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Madagascar News Forums The Transformation of Antananarivo Reply To: The Transformation of Antananarivo


On the night of Monday, May 11, 1863, Radama II fell under the blows of the sicarians “sent by two enemy brothers, momentarily reconciled by the crime” (Ary Robin or MF Robinary, member of the National Association of Writers of the Sea and overseas). The author wants to talk about Raharo alias Rainivoninahitriniony and Tsimanosika alias Rainilaiarivony. Both of them “boast” of their crime. “Neither the cupidity nor the love of grandeur was for nothing in the accomplishment of this political act. We saw only the interest of the country. “
According to Robinary, the true motives of regicide are of two kinds. First the need to consolidate the oligarchy hova created under Ranavalona I and threatened under Radama II by the influence of the “mignons” of the king, the Menamaso- “the debauched red-eyed”. Secondly, the necessity of nullifying the charter granted to Lambert. Both are sons of Rainiharo, during his lifetime Prime Minister of Ranavalona I and founder of the powerful oligarchy that dominates the whole history of Madagascar in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Heir to the office of his father, Raharo is the Prime Minister in office. His younger brother will also become him after having supplanted his brother “that he should treat with the last ignominy, judge himself, load chains with his weight, exile.”
This “extraordinary man” was born in the month of Alakaosy, regarded as detrimental to the highest degree by augurs. He is doomed to death from birth. He escapes, however, from the boiling water bath by two cruel expedients, “amputation of the right ring finger and application of a shameful nickname, Tsimanosika or the gradation, flattened”. At the birth of his son Laiarivony, Tsimanosika can finally raise his head. He takes, as is customary, the name of his future heir. “He came into history by calling himself Rainilaiarivony – the father of Laiarivony – and by displaying an irreducible hatred against France.” Raharo and Rainilaiarivony believe they have destroyed the Lambert Charter with the death of Radama II, nothing.
Radama II expressed himself thus on November 9, 1861: “We authorize J. Lambert to form a company with the aim of exploiting the mines of Madagascar, forests and
On the coasts and in the interior. The said Company shall have the right to create roads, canals, building yards, and public utility, to have coins bearing the effigy of the King; In a word, it will be able to do whatever it deems fit for the good of the country. We are committed to supporting this company with all our power, especially in helping and procuring workers. For its part, the company commits itself to us, by a loyal reciprocity, to help us according to its power in our projects of improvement and civilization of our country, remembering that it is founded in order to procure the good And the prosperity of our government. “
This document is countersigned by Prime Minister Raharo to whom his brother Rainilaiarivony never forgives this endorsement. For the nationalists hova, roads, canals, construction sites constitute the paths and instruments of the invasion. Labor to be supplied and rewarded by coinage means the emancipation of slaves. Above all, they could not abolish the gratuitous chores which had hitherto been the strength of the monarchy, the power of great officers and dignitaries, and the sumptuous life of the dominant oligarchy.
Instead of the Lambert money, Rainilaiarivony will use the currency of the Kingdon institution. The latter will issue piastres of lesser value than that of the ordinary, French, Brazilian, Swiss, Italian or other piastre. “Everyone hastened to profit by the windfall. All the silver having been thus drained into the coffers of Kingdon and Rainilaiarivony, it was astonished that the new piastres had been manufactured by counterfeiters. A riot nearly broke out. “
The affair resulted in a claim by Napoleon III for Lambert of 1,200,000 francs in indemnity. The government of Ranavalona II, relieved by this settlement of accounts, refused to liquidate the estate of Jean Laborde and it was the first Franco-Merina war of 1883-1885. He also refused to fulfill the clauses of the treaty of 1885 (payment of an indemnity of 6 million francs), a pretext for the second Franco-Merina war, which ended with the protectorate of 1895 and the colonization of 1896.