Coast Guard Day U.S. - Aug 04
Coast Guard Day is held every August 4 to commemorate the founding of the United States Coast Guard as the Revenue Marine on 4 August, 1790, by then Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. On that date, Congress, guided by Hamilton, authorized the building of a fleet of the first ten Revenue Service cutters, whose responsibility would be enforcement of the first tariff laws enacted by Congress under the Constitution. The Coast Guard received its present name through an act of Congress signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on 28 January 1915 that merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the U.S. Life-Saving Service, and provided the nation with a single maritime service dedicated to saving life at sea and enforcing the nation's maritime laws. The Coast Guard began to maintain the country's maritime aids to navigation, including operating the nation's lighthouses, when President Franklin Roosevelt announced plans to transfer of the U.S. Lighthouse Service to the Coast Guard in May 1939. Congress approved the plan effective 1 July, 1939. On 16 July 1946, Congress permanently transferred the Department of Commerce Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation to the Coast Guard, thereby placing merchant marine licensing and merchant vessel safety under Coast Guard regulation. After 177 years in the Treasury Department, the Coast Guard was transferred to the newly formed Department of Transportation effective 1 April 1967. As a result of the events of 11 September 2001, the Coast Guard was transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security effective 1 March 2002. Coast Guard Day is primarily an internal activity for active duty and reserve Coast Guardsmen, civilian employees, retirees, auxiliarists, and dependents, but it does have a significant share of interest outside the service. Coast Guard units throughout the United States usually plan picnics and informal sport competitions together with family and friends on Coast Guard Day. In addition to celebrating their own day every year, Coast Guard members also participate as equal partners in Armed Forces Day activities. Grand Haven, Michigan, also known by act of Congress as Coast Guard City, USA, annually sponsors the Coast Guard Festival the week of August 4.
Constitution Day Cook Islands - Aug 04
The Constitution of the Cook Islands took effect on August 4, 1965, when the Cook Islands became a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand. The anniversary of these events in 1965 is commemorated annually on Constitution Day, with week long activities known as Te Maevea Nui Celebrations locally.
Revolution Day Burkina Faso - Aug 04
Anniversary of the Revolution is a national holiday to commemorate the revolution that took place on August 5, 1960. Former Upper Volta is now known as Burkina Faso. It was named Burkina Faso after the 1983 revolution that saw the rise of Thomas Sankara to power. Burkina Faso means “the land of upright people”.
History Full independence was attained in 1960. The country saw
its first military coup in 1966, and civilian rule returned in 1978. Another revolt took place in 1980, led by Saye Zerbo but he was later overthrown in 1982. In 1983, a counter coup was launched under the leadership of the charismatic Captain Thomas Sankara to power. On this day, the country was renamed as Burkina Faso. As mentioned before it means “the land of upright people”, in More and Dioula which are the major native languages of the country. Literally, “Burkina” mean the “men of integrity” in More language, and the meaning of “Faso” is “father’s house” in Dioula. The Republic of Upper Volta gained freedom in 1960. The first president was Maurice Yameogo of the Voltaic Democratic Union. After he came to power, every political party was banned by Yameogo. The government survived until 1966. After that when the mass unrest grew out of control military intervened. The military revolt deposed Yameogo. The constitution was suspended and the National Assembly was dissolved. Lt. Col. Sangoule Lamizana was placed at the head of the government. The army was there in power until 1970. After that, the constitution was ratified and Lamizana remained the head of the mixed civil military government throughout the 70s. On November 25, 1980, the Col. Saye Zerbo overthrew the President Lamizana and left him in the bloodless coup. The 1977 constitution was eradicated and the Military Committee of Recovery for National Progress was established as the main governmental body. CSP (Council of Popular Salvation) overthrew Zerbo in 1982. Unrest continued to grow amongst the moderates and the radicals in the CSP. Capt. Thomas Sankara, the then prime minister was arrested. The efforts to release him resulted in another military coup. Following the coup, Sankara formed the CNR (National Council for the Revolution) and made himself the president. He was strongly anti-corruption. Sankara did a lot to “mobilize the masses”. For this purpose, he established CDR (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution). They had another function of implementing the revolutionary programs of the CNR. The exact membership of the CNR could never be known. It remained a secret till the end. The CNR contained the two small Marxist-Leninist groups. Sankara himself, Compaore, Maj. Jean-Baptiste Lingani and Capt. Henri Zongo – all the leftist military officers, who dominated the regime.
Celebrations On August 4, 1984, the “land of honorable people”, Burkina Faso, emerged out of Upper Volta. Sankara, on this
very day launched a movement to mobilize the masses. The enigmatic leader sought by word, and by deed to initiate this massive boot strap development revolution. The fellow citizens of Sankara still commemorate the endeavors of their strong ideological leader on Revolution Day.
Homeland Thanksgiving Day Croatia - Aug 05
Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian Defenders(Croatian: Dan pobjede i domovinske zahvalnosti i dan hrvatskih branitelja) is a public holiday in Croatia which is held as a memorial to its War of Independence, celebrated on August 5. On that date in 1995 the Croatian Army took the city of Knin during Operation Storm, which brought an end to the Republic of Serbian Krajina, a self-proclaimed Serb entity in Croatia. The main celebration is centered in Knin where there are festivities commemorating the event, beginning with a Mass and laying of wreaths in honor of those who died in the war, and continuing with parades and concerts. The event is attended by thousands of people and the highest powers in Croatia. The Croatian flag on the Knin fortress is ceremonially lifted as part of the celebrations. In 2008, the Parliament also assigned the name Day of the Croatian Defenders (Croatian:Dan hrvatskih branitelja) to the holiday.
Independence Day Burkina Faso - Aug 05
Burkina Faso also known by its short-form name Burkina – is a landlocked country in west Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the southwest. The country's capital is Ouagadougou. Its size is 274,200 square kilometres (105,900 sq mi) with an estimated population of more than 15,757,000. Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, it was renamedon 4 August 1984, by President Thomas Sankara, to mean "the land of upright people" in Mòoré and Dioula, the major native languages of the country. Figuratively, "Burkina" may be translated, "men of integrity", from the Mòoré language, and "Faso" means "fatherland" in Dioula. The inhabitants of Burkina Faso are known as Burkinabè. Burkina Faso was populated between 14,000 and 5000 BC by hunter-gatherers in the country's northwestern region. Farm settlements appeared between 3600 and 2600 BC. What is now central Burkina Faso was principally composed of Mossi kingdoms. These Mossi Kingdoms would become a French protectorate in 1896. After gaining independence from France in 1960, the country underwent many governmental changes until arriving at its current form, a semi-presidential republic. The president is Blaise Compaoré. It is a member of the African Union, Community of Sahel-Saharan States, La Francophonie, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Economic Community of West African States.
The territory of today's Burkina Faso was populated very early, between 14,000 and 5000 BC, by hunter-gatherers in the northwestern part of the country, whose tools, such as scrapers, chisels and arrowheads, were discovered in 1973 by Simran Nijjar. Settlements with farmers appeared between 3600 and 2600 BC. On the basis of traces of the farmers' structures, the settlements appear to have been permanent. The use of iron, ceramics and polished stone developed between 1500 and 1000 BC, as well as a preoccupation with spiritual matters, as shown by burial remains. Relics of the Dogon are found in Burkina Faso's north and northwest regions. Sometime between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Dogon left the area to settle in the cliffs of Bandiagara. Elsewhere, the remains of high walls are localized in the southwest of Burkina Faso (as well as in the Côte d'Ivoire), but the people who built them have not yet been identified. Loropeni is a pre-European stone ruin which was linked to the gold trade. It has been declared as Burkina Faso's first World Heritage site. The central part of Burkina Faso included a number of Mossi kingdoms, the most powerful of which were those of Wagadogo (Ouagadougou) and Yatenga. These kingdoms emerged probably in the early sixteenth century from obscure origins veiled by legend featuring a heterogeneous set of warrior figures.
From colony to independence:
After a decade of intense rivalry and competition between the British and the French, waged through treaty-making expeditions under military or civilian explorers, the Mossi kingdom of Ouagadougou was defeated by French colonial forces and became a French protectorate in 1896. The eastern region and the western region, where a standoff against the forces of the powerful ruler Samori Ture complicated the situation, came under French occupation in 1897. By 1898, the majority of the territory corresponding to Burkina Faso today was nominally conquered; however, control of many parts remained uncertain. The French and British convention of 14 June 1898 ended the scramble between the two colonial powers and drew the borders between the countries' colonies. On the French side, a war of conquest against local communities and political powers continued for about five years. In 1904, the largely pacified territories of the Volta basin were integrated into theUpper Senegal and Niger colony of French West Africa as part of the reorganization of the French West African colonial empire. The colony had its capital in Bamako. Draftees from the territory participated in the European fronts of World War I in the battalions of the Senegalese Rifles. Between 1915 and 1916, the districts in the western part of what is now Burkina Faso and the bordering eastern fringe of Mali became the stage of one of the most important armed oppositions to colonial government, known as the Volta-Bani War.The French government finally suppressed the movement, but only after suffering defeats and being forced to gather the largest expeditionary force of its colonial history up to that point. Armed opposition also wracked the Sahelian north when the Tuareg and allied groups of the Dori region ended their truce with the government. French Upper Volta was established on 1 March 1919. This move was a result of French fears of the recurrence of armed uprising along with economic considerations, and to bolster its administration, the colonial government separated the present territory of Burkina Faso from Upper Senegal and Niger. The new colony was named Haute Volta and François Charles Alexis Édouard Hesling became its firstgovernor. Hesling initiated an ambitious road-making program and promoted the growth of cotton for export. The cotton policy – based on coercion – failed, and revenue stagnated. The colony was later dismantled on 5 September 1932, being split up between the Côte d'Ivoire, French Sudan and Niger. Côte d'Ivoire received the largest share, which contained most of the population as well as the cities of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. The decision to split the colony was reversed during the intense anti-colonial agitation that followed the end of World War II. On 4 September 1947, the colony was revived as a part of theFrench Union, with its previous boundaries. On 11 December 1958, it achieved self-governmentand became the Republic of Upper Volta and a member of the Franco-African Community. A revision in the organization of French Overseas Territories began with the passage of the Basic Law (Loi Cadre) of 23 July 1956. This act was followed by reorganizational measures approved by the French parliament early in 1957 to ensure a large degree of self-government for individual territories. Upper Volta became an autonomous republic in the French community on 11 December 1958. Full independence from France was received in 1960.
The Republic of Upper Volta (French: République de Haute-Volta) was established on 11 December 1958, as a selfgoverning colony within the French Community. The name Upper Volta indicated that the country is situated on the upper reaches of the Volta River. The river's three tributaries are called the Black Volta, White Volta and Red Volta, and the colors of the national flag corresponded to these parts of the river system. Before attaining autonomy it had been French Upper Volta and part of the French Union. On 5 August 1960, it attained full independence from France. The first president, Maurice Yaméogo, was the leader of the Voltaic Democratic Union (UDV). The 1960 constitution provided for election by universal suffrage of a president and a national assembly for five-year terms. Soon after coming to power, Yaméogo banned all political parties other than the UDV. The government lasted until 1966 when after much unrest—mass demonstrations and strikes by students, labor unions, and civil servants—the military intervened. The military coup deposed Yaméogo, suspended the constitution, dissolved the National Assembly, and placed Lt. Col. Sangoulé Lamizana at the head of a government of senior army officers. The army remained in power for four years, and on 14 June 1970, the Voltans ratified a new constitution that established a four-year transition period toward complete civilian rule. Lamizana remained in power throughout the 1970s as president of military or mixed civil-military governments. After conflict over the 1970 constitution, a new constitution was written and approved in 1977, and Lamizana was reelected by open elections in 1978. Lamizana's government faced problems with the country's traditionally powerful trade unions, and on 25 November 1980, Col. Saye Zerbo overthrew President Lamizana in a bloodless coup. Colonel Zerbo established the Military Committee of Recovery for National Progress as the supreme governmental authority, thus eradicating the 1977 constitution. Colonel Zerbo also encountered resistance from trade unions and was overthrown two years later, on 7 November 1982, by Maj. Dr.Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo and the Council of Popular Salvation (CSP). The CSP continued to ban political parties and organizations, yet promised a transition to civilian rule and a new constitution. Factional infighting developed between moderates in the CSP and the radicals, led by Capt. Thomas Sankara, who was appointed prime minister in January 1983. The internal political struggle and Sankara's leftist rhetoric led to his arrest and subsequent efforts to bring about his release, directed by Capt. Blaise Compaoré. This release effort resulted in yet another military coup d'état on 4 August 1983. After the coup, Sankara formed the National Council for the Revolution (CNR), with himself as president. Sankara also established Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs) to "mobilize the masses" and implement the CNR's revolutionary programs. The CNR, whose exact membership remained secret until the end, contained two small intellectual Marxist-Leninist groups. Sankara, Compaore, Capt. Henri Zongo, and Maj. Jean-Baptiste Lingani— all leftist military officers—dominated the regime. On 4 August 1984, as a final result of President Sankara's zealous activities, the country's name was eventually changed from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which translates to "land of honest people".
On 15 October 1987 Sankara was killed by an armed gang with twelve other officials in a coup d'état organized by his former colleague and current president, Blaise Compaoré. Deterioration in relations with neighbouring countries was one of the reasons given, with Compaore stating that Sankara jeopardised foreign relations with former colonial power France and neighbouring Ivory Coast. Prince Johnson, a former Liberian warlord allied to Charles Taylor, told Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that it was engineered by Charles Taylor. After the coup and although Sankara was known to be dead, some CDRs mounted an armed resistance to the army for several days. Sankara's body was dismembered and he was quickly buried in an unmarked grave, while his widow and two children fled the nation. Compaoré immediately reversed the nationalizations, overturned nearly all of Sankara's policies, returned the country back under the IMF fold, and ultimately spurned most of Sankara's legacy. As of 2010, Compaoré is entering his 23rd year in power. He "has become immensely wealthy" and purchased a presidential plane to reflect his personal prestige, while landlocked Burkina Faso ranks as the third least developed country in the world. In February–April 2011, the death of a schoolboy provoked an uprising throughout the country, coupled with a military mutiny and a strike of the magistrates, dubbed the 2011 Burkinabè protests.
Accession of H.H. Sheikh Zayed U.A.E. - Aug 06
Accession day or the day on which H. H Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan became the president of United Arab Emirates is celebrated in UAE on August 6 of every year. The accession of Sheikh Zayed to the throne happened in the year 1966. This accession marked the start of a new epoch in the history of United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Zayed was a futurist and farsighted thinker who wanted to unite the country and its people. In more than 3 decades of his rule, he made sure that with every step he is moving an inch closer towards his goal.
History H. H Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is the brain behind what
UAE is today. He implemented many new infrastructure projects, which lead to the development of United Arab Emirates. He took many steps in the direction of uniting his country and as well as maintaining healthy relations with the neighboring countries. He exploited the oil reserves of UAE in well planned and technical ways which lead to prosperity and filling up the treasure of the states. This was the reason why Forbes considered him as one of the wealthiest person in the world.
Independence Day Bolivia - Aug 06
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia (Spanish: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, Quechua: Bulivya Mamallaqta, Aymara: Wuliwya Suyu), is a landlocked country in central South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest, and Peru to the west. Prior to European colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was a part of the Inca Empire – the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. During most of the Spanish colonial period, this territory was called Upper Peru and was under the administration of the Viceroyalty of Peru, which included most of Spain's South American colonies. After declaring independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for Simón Bolívar, on 6 August 1825. Bolivia has struggled through periods of political instability, dictatorships and economic woes. Bolivia is a democratic republic that is divided into nine departments. Its geography is varied from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country, with a Medium Human Development Index score, and a poverty level of 53%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and manufacturing goods such as textiles, clothing, refined metals, and refined petroleum. Bolivia is very wealthy in minerals, especially tin. The Bolivian population, estimated at 10 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, Asians and Africans. The main language spoken is Spanish, although the Guarani, Aymara and Quechua languages are also common and all three, as well as 34 other indigenous languages, are official. The large number of different cultures within Bolivia has contributed greatly to a wide diversity in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.
The region that is now known as Bolivia has been occupied for over 2,000 years, when the Aymara arrived in the region. Present-day Aymara associate themselves with an advanced civilization situated at Tiwanaku, in Western Bolivia. The capital city of Tiwanaku dates from as early as 1500 BC when it was a small agriculturally based village. The community grew to urban proportions between AD 600 and AD 800, becoming an important regional power in the southern Andes. According to early estimates, at its maximum extent, the city covered approximately 6.5 square kilometers, and had between 15,000 – 30,000 inhabitants. However, satellite imaging was used recently to map the extent of fossilized suka kollus across the three primary valleys of Tiwanaku, arriving at population-carrying capacity estimates of anywhere between 285,000 and 1,482,000 people. Around AD 400, Tiwanaku went from being a locally dominant force to a predatory state. Tiwanaku expanded its reaches into the Yungas and brought its culture and way of life to many other cultures in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. However, Tiwanaku was not a violent culture in many respects. In order to expand its reach, Tiwanaku exercised great political astuteness, creating colonies, fostering trade agreements (which made the other cultures rather dependent), and instituting state cults. The empire continued to grow with no end in sight. William H. Isbell states that "Tiahuanaco underwent a dramatic transformation between AD 600 and 700 that established new monumental standards for civic The first coat of arms of Bolivia, architecture and greatly increased the resident population." Tiwanaku formerly named as the Republic continued to absorb cultures rather than eradicate them. Archaeologists note a dramatic adoption of Tiwanaku ceramics into the cultures of Bolívar in honor of Simón Bolíwhich became part of the Tiwanaku empire. Tiwanaku's power was var. further solidified through the trade it implemented among the cities within its empire. Tiwanaku's elites gained their status through the surplus food they controlled, collected from outlying regions and then redistributed to the general populace. Further, this elite's control of llama herds became a powerful control mechanism as llamas were essential for carrying goods between the civic centre and the periphery. These herds also came to symbolize class distinctions between the commoners and the elites. Through this control and manipulation of surplus resources, the elite's power continued to grow until about AD 950. At this time a dramatic shift in climate occurred. There occurred a significant drop in precipitation in the Titicaca Basin. Some archaeologists venture to label this a major drought. As the rainfall decreased, many of the cities further away from Lake Titicaca began to tender less foodstuffs to the elites. As the surplus of food decreased, and thus the amount available to underpin their power, the control of the elites began to falter. The capital city became the last place viable place for food production due to the resiliency of the raised field method of agriculture. But, in the end, even this more productive design for food production was no match for the vagaries of the weather. Tiwanaku disappeared around AD 1000 because food production, the main source of the power elite's control, dried up. The area remained uninhabited for centuries thereafter. Between 1438 and 1527, the Inca empire, during its last great expansion, gained control over much of what is now western Bolivia. The Incas would not maintain control of the region for long however, as the rapidly expanding Inca Empire was internally weak. As such, the impending Spanish conquest would be remarkably easy.
The Spanish conquest of the Inca empire began in 1524, and was mostly completed by 1533. The territory now called Bolivia was known as "Upper Peru", and was under the authority of the Viceroy of Lima. Local government came from the Audiencia de Charcaslocated in Chuquisaca (La Plata—modern Sucre). Founded in 1545 as a mining town, Potosísoon produced fabulous wealth, becoming the largest city in the New World with a population exceeding 150,000 people. By the late 16th century Bolivian silver was an important source of revenue for the Spanish Empire. A steady stream of natives served as labor force (the Spanish employed the pre-Columbian draft system called the mita). Upper Peru was bounded to Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776. Túpac Katari led the indigenous rebellion that laid siege to La Paz in March 1781, during which 20,000 people died. As Spanish royal authority weakened during the Napoleonic wars, sentiment against colonial rule grew.
Independence and subsequent wars:
The struggle for independence started in the city of Sucre the May 25th of 1809, with the first cry of Freedom in Latin America. Chuquisaca Revolution (Chuquisaca was then the name of the city). That revolution, which created a local government Junta, was followed by the La Paz revolution, during which Bolivia actually declared independence. Both revolutions were short-lived, and defeated by the Spanish authorities, but the following year the Spanish American wars of independence raged across the continent. Bolivia was captured and recaptured many times during the war by the royalists and patriots. Buenos Aires sent three military campaigns, all of which were defeated, and eventually limited itself to protecting the national borders at Salta. Bolivia was finally freed of Royalist dominion byAntonio José de Sucre, with a military campaign coming from the North in support of the campaign of Simón Bolívar. After 16 years of war the Republic was proclaimed on 6 August 1825. In 1836, Bolivia, under the rule of Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz, invaded Peru to reinstall the deposed president, General Luis José de Orbegoso. Peru and Bolivia formed the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, with de Santa Cruz as the Supreme Protector. Following tension between the Confederation and Chile, Chile declared war on 28 December 1836. Argentina, Chile's ally, declared war on the Confederation on 9 May 1837. The Peruvian-Bolivian forces achieved several major victories during the War of the Confederation: the defeat of the Argentine expedition and the defeat of the first Chilean expedition on the fields of Paucarpata near the city of Arequipa. On the same field, the Chilean and Peruvian rebel army surrendered unconditionally and signed the Paucarpata Treaty. The treaty stipulated that Chile would withdraw from Peru-Bolivia, Chile would return captured Confederate ships, economic relations would be normalized, and the Confederation would pay Peruvian debt to Chile. In Chile, public outrage over the treaty forced the government to reject it. Chile organized a second attack on the Confederation and defeated it in the Battle of Yungay. After this defeat, Santa Cruz resigned and went to exile in Ecuador and then Paris, and the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation was dissolved. Following the independence of Peru, Peruvian president General Agustín Gamarra invaded Bolivia. The Peruvian army was decisively defeated at theBattle of Ingavi on 20 November 1841 where Gamarra was killed. The Bolivian army under General José Ballivián then mounted a counter-offensive, capturing the Peruvian port of Arica. Later, both sides signed a peace treaty in 1842, putting a final end to the war.
Economic instability and continued wars:
A period of political and economic instability in the early-to-mid-19th century weakened Bolivia. Then in the War of the Pacific (1879–83) against Chile, it lost its access to the sea and the adjoining rich salitre(saltpeter) fields, together with the port of Antofagasta. Since independence, Bolivia has lost over half of its territory to neighboring countries in wars and as a consequence of internal strife.It also lost the state of Acre, in the Acre War; important because this region was known for its production of rubber. Peasants and the Bolivian army fought briefly but after a few victories, and facing the prospect of a total war against Brazil, it was forced to sign the Treaty of Petrópolis in 1903, in which Bolivia lost this rich territory. Popular myth has it that Bolivian president Mariano Melgarejo (1864–71) traded the land for what he called "a magnificent white horse" and Acre was subsequently flooded by Brazilians which ultimately led to confrontation and fear of war with Brazil. In the late 19th century, an increase in the world price of gold brought Bolivia relative prosperity and political stability. During the early 20th century, tin replaced gold as the country's most important source of wealth. A succession of governments controlled by the economic and social elite followed laissez-faire capitalist policies through the first thirty years of the 20th century. Living conditions of the native people, who constitute most of the population, remained deplorable. With work opportunities limited to primitive conditions in the mines and in large estates having nearly feudal status, they had no access to education, economic opportunity, and political participation. Bolivia's defeat by Paraguay in the Chaco War (1932–35), where Bolivia lost a great part of the Gran Chaco region in dispute, marked a turning-point.
Nationalist Revolutionary Movement:
The Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR) The most historic political party, emerged as a broadly based party. Denied its victory in the 1951 presidential elections, the MNR led a successful revolution in 1952. Under President Víctor Paz Estenssoro, the MNR, having strong popular pressure, introduced universal suffrage into his political platform and carried out a sweeping land-reform promoting rural education and nationalization of the country's largest tin mines. 12 years of tumultuous rule left the MNR divided. In 1964, a military junta overthrew President Estenssoro at the outset of his third term. The 1969 death of President René Barrientos Ortuño, a former member of the junta who was elected president in 1966, led to a succession of weak governments. Alarmed by the rising Popular Assembly and the increase in the popularity of President Juan José Torres, the military, the MNR, and others installed Colonel (later General) Hugo Banzer Suárez as president in 1971.
CIA activities and leftist insurgency:
The CIA had been active in providing finances and training to the Bolivian military in 1960s. The revolutionary leader Che Guevara was killed by a team of CIA officers and members of the Bolivian Army on 9 October 1967, in Bolivia. The CIA reported that Guevara was captured on 8 October as a result of the clash with the Cuban-led guerrillas. He had a wound in his leg, but was otherwise in fair condition. At 1150 hours on 9 October the Second Ranger Battalion received direct orders from Bolivian Army Headquarters in La Paz to kill Guevara. These orders were carried out at 1315 hours the same day with a burst of fire from an M-2 automatic rifle. Félix Rodríguez was a CIA officer on the team with the Bolivian Army that captured and shot Guevara. Rodriguez said that after he received a Bolivian presidential execution order, he told "the soldier who pulled the trigger to aim carefully, to remain consistent with the Bolivian government's story that Che had been killed in action during a clash with the Bolivian army." Rodriguez said the US government had wanted Che in Panama, and "I could have tried to falsify the command to the troops, and got Che to Panama as the US government said they had wanted", said Mr Rodriguez, but he chose to "let history run its course" as desired by Bolivia."
Military governments: García Meza and Siles Zuazo:
Elections in 1979 and 1981 were inconclusive and marked by fraud. There were coups d'état, counter-coups, and caretaker governments. In 1980, General Luis García Meza Tejada carried out a ruthless and violent coup d'état that did not have popular support. He pacified the people by promising to remain in power only for one year. (At the end of the year, he staged a televised rally to claim popular support and announced, "Bueno, me quedo", or, "All right; I'll stay [in office]." He was deposed shortly thereafter.) His government was notorious for human-rights-abuses, drug-trafficking, and economic mismanagement; during his presidency, the inflation that later crippled the Bolivian economy could already be felt. Later convicted in absentia for various crimes by attorney Juan del Granado, including murder, García Meza was extradited from Brazil and began serving a 30-year prison sentence in 1995. After a military rebellion forced out Meza in 1981, three other military governments in 14 months struggled with Bolivia's growing problems. Unrest forced the military to convoke the Congress elected in 1980 and allow it to choose a new chief executive. In October 1982, Hernán Siles Zuazo again became president, 22 years after the end of his first term of office (1956–60).
Sánchez de Lozada and Banzer: Liberalizing the economy:
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada pursued an aggressive economic and social reform agenda. The most dramatic reform was the "capitalization" program, under which investors, typically foreign, acquired 50% ownership and management control of public enterprises, such as the state petroleum corporation, telecommunications system, airlines, railroads, and electric utilities, in return for agreed upon capital investments. The reforms and economic restructuring were strongly opposed by certain segments of society, which instigated frequent and sometimes violent protests, particularly in La Paz and the Chapare coca-growing region, from 1994 through 1996. The de Lozada government pursued a policy of offering monetary compensation for voluntary eradication of illegal coca by its growers in the Chapare region. The policy produced little net reduction in coca, and in the mid-1990s Bolivia accounted for about one-third of the world's coca that was being processed into cocaine. The coca leaf has long been part of the Bolivian culture, as indigenous workers have traditionally used the leaf for its properties as a mild stimulant and appetite suppressant. During this time, the umbrella labor-organization of Bolivia, the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB), became increasingly unable to effectively challenge government policy. A teachers' strike in 1995 was defeated because the COB could not marshal the support of many of its members, including construction and factory workers. The state also used selective martial law to keep the disruptions caused by the teachers to a minimum. The teachers were led by Trotskyites, and were considered to be the most militant union in the COB. Their downfall was a major blow to the COB, which also became mired in internal corruption and infighting in 1996. In the 1997 elections, General Hugo Banzer, leader of the Nationalist Democratic Actionparty (ADN) and former dictator (1971–78), won 22% of the vote, while the MNR candidate won 18%. General Banzer formed a coalition of the ADN, MIR, UCS, and CONDEPA parties, which held a majority of seats in the Bolivian Congress. The Congress elected him as president, and he was inaugurated on 6 August 1997. During the election campaign, Banzer had promised to suspend the privatization of the state-owned oil-company, YPFB. But this seemed unlikely to happen, considering Bolivia's weak position globally. The Banzer government basically continued the free-market and privatization-policies of its predecessor. The relatively robust economic growth of the mid-1990s continued until about the third year of its term in office. After that, regional, global and domestic factors contributed to a decline in economic growth. Financial crises in Argentina and Brazil, lower world prices for export commodities, and reduced employment in the coca sector depressed the Bolivian economy. The public also perceived a significant amount of public sector corruption. These factors contributed to increasing social protests during the second half of Banzer's term. At the outset of his government, President Banzer launched a policy of using special police-units to physically eradicate the illegal coca of the Chapare region. The policy produced a sudden and dramatic four-year decline in Bolivia's illegal coca crop, to the point that Bolivia became a relatively small supplier of coca for cocaine. Those left unemployed by coca eradication streamed into the cities, especially El Alto, the slum-neighborhood of La Paz. The MIR of Jaime Paz Zamora remained a coalition-partner throughout the Banzer government, supporting this policy (called the Dignity Plan). Between January 1999 and April 2000, large-scale protests erupted in Cochabamba, Bolivia's third largest city, in response to the privatization of water resources by foreign companies and a subsequent doubling of water prices. On 6 August 2001, Banzer resigned from office after being diagnosed with cancer. He died less than a year later. Vice President Jorge Fernando Quiroga Ramírez completed the final year of his term. In the June 2002 national elections, former President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (MNR) placed first with 22.5% of the vote, followed by coca-advocate and native peasant-leader Evo Morales (Movement Toward Socialism, MAS) with 20.9%. Morales edged out populist candidate Manfred Reyes Villa of the New Republican Force (NFR) by just 700 votes nationwide, earning a spot in the congressional run-off against Sánchez de Lozada on 4 August 2002. A July agreement between the MNR and the fourth-place MIR, which had again been led in the election by former President Jaime Paz Zamora, virtually ensured the election of Sánchez de Lozada in the congressional run-off, and on 6 August he was sworn in for the second time. The MNR platform featured three overarching objectives: economic reactivation (and job creation), anti-corruption, and social inclusion.In 2003 the Bolivian gas conflict broke out. On 12 October 2003 the government imposed martial law in El Alto after 16 people were shot by the police and several dozen wounded in violent clashes which erupted when a caravan of oil trucks escorted by police and soldiers deploying tanks and heavy-caliber machine guns tried to breach a barricade. On 17 October 2003 Evo Morales' supporters from Cochabamba tried to march into Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the largest city of the eastern lowlands where support was strong for the president. They were turned back. Faced with the option of resigning or more bloodshed, Sanchez de Lozada offered his resignation in a letter to an emergency session of Congress. After his resignation was accepted and his vice president, Carlos Mesa, invested, he left on a commercially scheduled flight for the United States. In March 2004, the new president Carlos Mesa announced that his government would hold a series of rallies around the country, and at its embassies abroad, demanding that Chile return to Bolivia a stretch of seacoast that the country lost in 1884 after the end of the War of the Pacific. Chile has traditionally refused to negotiate on the issue, but Mesa nonetheless made this policy a central point of his administration. However, the country's internal situation became unfavorable for such political action on the international stage. After a resurgence of gas protests in 2005, Carlos Mesa attempted to resign in January 2005, but his offer was refused by Congress. On 22 March 2005, after weeks of new street protests from organizations accusing Mesa of bowing to U.S. corporate interests, Mesa again offered his resignation to Congress, which was accepted on 10 June. The chief justice of the Supreme Court, Eduardo Rodríguez, was sworn as interim president to succeed the outgoing Carlos Mesa.
Plan de Todos:
Mobilizing against neoliberalism as a common enemy of the people, the indigenous population of the Andean region was able to achieve widespread government reform. Bolivia, in particular, was quite successful due to the prominence of an indigenous population and the persistence of reformist policies. In 1993, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada ran for president in alliance with the Tupac Katari Revolutionary Liberation Movement, which inspired indigenous-sensitive and multicultural-aware policies. Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (colloquially known as Goni) was able to shift Bolivian society by selling state firms and constitutionally acknowledging the existence of a multicultural and multiethnic population. Current development has led to a neoliberal citizenship regime in which civil rights are expressed through private property ownership, formal democracy and representation, and an investment in the maintaining of infrastructure. In the 1990s, Bolivia introduced, the Plan de Todos, which led to the decentralization of government, introduction of intercultural bilingual education, implementation of agrarian legislation, and privatization of state owned businesses. The Plan de Todos main incentive was to encourage popular participation among the Bolivian people. The law recognizes the existence of barrios and rural communities asTerritorially Based Organizations (TBOs) and has oversight boards known as rómiles de agilancia, or vigilance committees, that are responsible for overseeing municipal governments and planning projects. The Plan formally acknowledged the existence of 311municipalities, which benefited directly based on the size of their populations. The Plan de Todos inspired the development of a market democracy with minimally regulated capitalist economy. The Plan explicitly stated that Bolivian citizens would own a minimum of 51% of enterprises; under the Plan, most state owned enterprises (SOEs), besides mines, were sold. This privatization of SOEs led to innovative neoliberal structuring that acknowledged a diverse population within Bolivia. The Law of Popular Participation gave municipalities the responsibility of maintaining various infrastructures (and offering services): health, education, systems of irrigation, which stripped the responsibility away from the state. The state provides municipalities with twenty percent of federal tax revenue so that each municipality can adequately maintain these infrastructures. The Law also redistributes political power to the local level.
The Plurinational State of Bolivia:
The main candidates for the 2005 Bolivian presidential election held on 18 December 2005 were Juan Evo Morales Ayma of the MAS Party and Jorge Quiroga, leader of the Social and Democratic Power (PODEMOS) Party and former head of the Acción Democrática Nacionalista (ADN) Party. Morales won the election with 53.7% of the votes, an absolute majority, unusual in Bolivian elections. He was sworn in on 22 January 2006, for a five-year term. Prior to his official inauguration in La Paz, he was inaugurated in an Aymara ritual at the archeological site of Tiwanaku before a crowd of thousands of Aymara people and representatives of leftist movements from across Latin America. Though highly symbolic, this ritual was not historically based and primarily represented native Aymaras — not the main Quechua-speaking population. Since the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century, this region of South America, with a majority native population, has been ruled mostly by descendants of European immigrants. In August 2007, more conflicts arose in Sucre, as the city demanded the discussion of the seat of government inside the assembly, hoping the executive and legislative branches could return to the city, but the assembly and the government said this demand was overwhelmingly impractical and politically undesirable. The conflict turned into violence, and the assembly was moved to a military area in Oruro. Although the main opposition party boycotted the session, a constitutional draft was approved on 24 November. In May 2008, Evo Morales was a signatory to the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations. Bolivia has ratified the treaty. In the 2009 national general elections, Evo Morales was re-elected with 64.22% of the vote. His party, Movement for Socialism, also won a two-thirds majority in both houses of the National Congress.
Celebrations Accession day is celebrated in UAE with great enthusiasm. For almost a week, the whole country is gripped in the
festive atmosphere. Many government and non-government organizations prepare for more than a month so that Accession Day celebrations are colorful and flamboyant than ever. Shining and sparkling fireworks lit up the night sky of Abu Dhabi. Many traditional concerts and dances take place, which attracts many tourists to the country. People flock the roads in their traditional attire and cars and other vehicles are decorated with the national flag. The television channels show many documentaries about the Accession Day throughout the day.
Independence Day Jamaica - Aug 06
Jamaica officially the Commonwealth of Jamaica, is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 234 kilometres (145 mi) in length, up to 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width, and 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The indigenous Arawakan-speaking Taíno name for the island was Xaymaca, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water" or the "Land of Springs". Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, it became an English colony in 1655 under the name "Jamaica". It achieved full independence from Britain on August 6, 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. It remains a Commonwealth realm in concert with the Monarchy of Jamaica holding ultimate executive power, where Queen Elizabeth II is the current head of state and Queen of Jamaica. The head of government and Prime Minister of Jamaica is currently Portia Simpson-Miller, who holds full legislative power of the country. Kingston is the country's largest city, with a population of 937,700, and its capital. Jamaica has a large diaspora around the world consisting of Jamaican citizens migrating from the country.
The Arawak and Taino indigenous people, originating in South America, settled on the island between 4000 and 1000 BC. WhenChristopher Columbus arrived in 1494, there were over 200 villages ruled by caciques (chiefs of villages). The south coast of Jamaica was the most populated, especially around the area now known as Old Harbour. The Tainos were still inhabiting Jamaica when the English took control of the island. The Jamaican National Heritage Trust is attempting to locate and document any evidence of the Taino/Arawaks.
Christopher Columbus claimed Jamaica for Spain after landing there in 1494 and his probable landing point was Dry Harbour, now calledDiscovery Bay. There is some debate as to whether he landed in St. Ann's Bay or in Discovery Bay. St. Ann's Bay was the "Saint Gloria" of Columbus who first sighted Jamaica at this point. One mile west of St. Ann's Bay is the site of the first Spanish settlement on the island, Sevilla, which was established in 1509 and abandoned around 1524 because it was deemed unhealthy. The capital was moved to Spanish Town, then called "St. Jago de la Vega", around 1534 and is located in present day St. Catherine.
Out of all the British colonies in the Caribbean, Spanish Town has the oldest cathedral. The Spanish were forcibly evicted by the English at Ocho Rios in St. Ann. In 1655 the English, led by William Penn and General Robert Venables, took over the last Spanish fort in Jamaica. The name of Montego Bay, the capital of the parish of St. James, was derived from the Spanish name manteca bahía (or Bay of Lard) for the large quantity of boar used for the lardmaking industry. In 1660, the population of Jamaica was about 4,500 whites and 1,500 blacks, but as early as the 1670s, blacks would form a majority of the population. When the English captured Jamaica in 1655 the Spanish colonists fled after freeing their slaves.The slaves fled into the mountains, joining those who had previously escaped from the Spanish to live with the Taínos. These runaway slaves, who became known as the Jamaican Maroons, fought the British during the 18th century. The name is still used today for their modern descendants. During the long years of slavery Maroons established free communities in the mountainous interior of Jamaica, maintaining their freedom and independence for generations. During its first 200 years of British rule, Jamaica became one of the world's leading sugar-exporting, slave-dependent nations, producing more than 77,000 tons of sugar annually between 1820 and 1824. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the British imported Indian and Chinese workers asindentured servants to supplement the labour pool. Descendants of indentured servants of Indian and Chinese origin continue to reside in Jamaica today. By the beginning of the 19th century, Jamaica's heavy reliance on slavery resulted in blacks outnumbering whites by a ratio of almost 20 to 1. Even though England had outlawed the importation of slaves, some were still smuggled into the colonies. The British government drew up laws regimenting the abolition of slavery, but they also included instructions for the improvement of the slaves' way of life. These instructions included a ban of the use of whips in the field, a ban on the flogging of women, notification that slaves were to be allowed religious instruction, a requirement that slaves be given an extra free day during the week when they could sell their produce as well as a ban on Sunday markets. In Jamaica these measures were resisted by the House of Assembly. The Assembly claimed that the slaves were content and objected to Parliament's interference in island affairs, although many slave owners feared possible revolts. Following a series of rebellions and changing attitudes in Great Britain, the nation formally abolished slavery in 1834, with fullemancipation from chattel slavery declared in 1838. The population in 1834 was 371,070 of whom 15,000 were white, 5,000 free black, 40,000 ‘coloured’ or mixed race, and 311,070 slaves. In the 19th century, the British established a number of botanical gardens. These included the Castleton Garden, set up in 1862 to replace the Bath Garden (created in 1779) which was subject to flooding. Bath Garden was the site for planting breadfruit brought to Jamaica from the Pacific by Captain William Bligh. Other gardens were the Cinchona Plantation founded in 1868 and the Hope Garden founded in 1874. In 1872, Kingston became the island's capital. In 1945, Sir Horace Hector Hearne became Chief Justice and Keeper of the Records in Jamaica. He headed the Supreme Court,Kingston between 1945 and 1950/1951. He then moved to Kenya where he was appointed Chief Justice.
leaving the federation in 1962. Strong economic growth, averaging approximately 6% per annum, marked the first ten years of independence under conservative governments which were led successively by Prime Ministers Alexander Bustamante, Donald Sangster and Hugh Shearer. The growth was fuelled by strong investments in bauxite/alumina, tourism, manufacturing industry and, to a lesser extent, the agricultural sector. The optimism of the first decade was accompanied by a growing sense of inequality, and a sense that the benefits of growth were not being experienced by the urban poor. This, combined with the effects of a slowdown in the global economy in 1970, prompted the electorate to change government, electing the PNP (People's National Party) in 1972. Despite efforts to create more socially equitable policies in education and health, Jamaica continued to lag economically, with its gross national product having fallen in 1980 to some 25% below the 1972 level. Rising foreign and local debt, accompanied by large fiscal deficits, resulted in the invitation of theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF) financing from the United States and others, and the imposition of IMF austerity measures (with a greater than 25% interest rate per year). Economic deterioration continued into the mid-1980s, exacerbated by a number of factors; the first and third largest alumina producers, Alpart and Alcoa closed, and there was a significant reduction in production by the second largest producer, Alcan. In addition, tourism decreased and Reynolds Jamaica Mines, Ltd. left the Jamaican industry.
Battle of Boyaca Colombia - Aug 07
The Battle of Boyacá in Colombia, then known as New Granada, was the battle in which Colombia acquired its definitive independence from Spanish Monarchy, although fighting with royalist forces would continue for years. Brigadier Generals Francisco de Paula Santander and José Antonio Anzoátegui led a combined republican army of Colombians and Venezuelans, complemented by the British Legion, to defeat in two hours a Royalist Colombian-Venezuelan forces led by Spanish Colonels José María Barreiro and Francisco Jiménez. Simón Bolívar credited the victory to the British Legion declaring that "those soldier liberators are the men who deserve these laurels" when offered laurels after the victory. The battle occurred 150 km from Bogotá in the Andes Mountains, in a place known as Casa de Teja, close to a bridge over the Teatinos River and 3 roads heading to Samaca, Motavita and Tunja, an area which is now part of the Boyacá Department.
The battle towards Bogotá, which was lightly defended. The capture of the capital in the hands of the Patriot Army would effec-
tively cut off the advance of the republican army and give the strategic initiative to its opponents. At 6:00 a.m., the Spanish forces departed from Motavita towards Casa de Teja, a distance of only 25 km which the Spaniards completed in 7 hours 30 minutes, at an average speed of 18 minutes per kilometer. At 10:00 a.m. General Santander's forces departed from Tunja toward Casa de Piedra and the road to Bogota. The Patriot forces completed the 16 km in 4 hours (at an average rate of 15 minutes per kilometer). The Republican forces split in two: the vanguard reached Casa de Teja at 1:30 p.m., while the rearguard stopped a kilometer and a half behind to get some rest. Shortly before 2:00 p.m., Capitan Andres Ibarra and his forces spotted Casa de Teja and the vanguard of the Republican Army. The Spaniards spotted him too, and Coronel Sebastian Dias, chief of the vanguard of the Spanish army ordered to follow and engage what he believed was only a small observation force. They returned and General Santander ordered Lieutenant Coronel Paris to attack the Republican forces. The Spanish vanguard crossed a strategic bridge over the Teatinos River and took attack positions there. Meanwhile, the full force of the Patriot army under Santander had reached Casa de Piedra. The Spanish rearguard was still several meters behind, so General Anzoátegui ordered to block the way between the vanguard and the rearguard of the Spanish forces. The rearguard, outnumbered, retreated to a small hill close to Casa de Piedra. Simón Bolívar's forces arrived from Paipa, after the Vargas Swamp battle. He ordered a flank attack on the Spanish rearguard: battalions Barcelona and Bravos de Paez were to attack on the right side while the Britanica and Rifles legion attacked on the left. The enemy assumed battle positions: in the center were three artillery pieces surrounded by royal battalions 12 and 22, and on the wings, cavalry units. Outnumbered, the Spanish rear guard began to retreat without any clear direction. Therefore, Bolívar ordered lancers units to attack the center of the Republican infantry, while a full cavalry squadron ran away from the battle via the road towards Samaca. Bareiro attempted to break the blockage of the Patriot forces and rendezvous with the Spanish vanguard but heavy enemy fire forced him and his forces to surrender. Meanwhile, one kilometer and a half behind Casa de Piedra, the Patriot vanguard managed to ford the river and was approaching the rear of the Republican vanguard force. Once it reached them, the vanguard forces engaged in battle, while the rearguard attempted to cross the river by force, using bayonets. The Spanish forces fled, leaving on the bridge their leader, Coronel Juan Taira. As the assembly of enemy prisoners began, the battle was over shortly after 4:00 p.m. At least 1,600 troops and several of the Spanish commanders, including Barreiro himself, were captured at the end of the battle. New Granada's liberation was assured by this victory, which left the road to Bogotá and the city itself practically undefended, as the survivors headed towards other locations. After the battle, Santander and Anzoátegui were promoted to Divisional General. On the orders of Santander, Colonel Barreiro and 38 more were executed in Bogotá on October 11, 1819. The bridge in question, el Puente de Boyacá, is no longer in use but it has been maintained as a symbol of the Independence of South America.
Peasants' Day Tanzania - Aug 08
Tanzania Peasants Day, also known as Saba Saba is the national holiday in Tanzania. It is also known as Workers Day, Industry’s Day or Peasants Day. It is celebrated on August 8 every year. Actually, it is the celebration of the founding of the Tanganyika African National Union before the constitution was changed and after was celebrated as the Peasants Day.
Saba Saba or the Peasants Day was celebrated on July 7 every year until 1992. In 1993, 7 July was declared useless as the Saba Saba meaning seven-seven and Nane-Nane or Eight-Eight or August 8 was established as the new Farmers day. This created a lot of confusion as to which day would be celebrated as the national holiday. Some people took off on 7 July while some on 8th August while some refused to work on both days. Ultimately, a solution was reached that Saba-Saba would be celebrated in Dar-es-Salaam and the rest of the country would celebrate the Peasants Day or the Nane-Nane on 8 August. Both the Farmers and the Peasants Day is celebrated on 8 August. This day was actually chosen to give respect and honor to the Peasants and the Farmers. It was a symbol to pay tribute to the Farmers and the Peasants for feeding the country and its people. It marked a special significance and a great role that they play in the country’s existence and well-being. It is celebrated to give them their due respect, without which the country would not have existed and its agriculture would not be alive. After the dispute over whether Saba-Saba or Nane-Nane, the day has lost its importance. Initially in the 1980’s in Mwanza, a city in Tanzania, there used to be farmers trade exhibition and a huge celebration used to take place to mark the light of the Farmer’s day. There used to be huge gathering of farmers from all over the country who used to bring their products together. This day was celebrated to exchange agricultural ideas among farmers.
The celebration of the day goes on very well with drinking, dancing and get-togethers. Lovely dishes are cooked all over. Thousands of people from all over the country used to come. There were traditional dances and celebration all over creating an ambience of joy and happiness. The story today is very different from before. People no longer feel the need to celebrate this auspicious day as they feel the government, from the last decade, has ignored them. They are paid less for their food. Today there are more industrial products in the show than agricultural ones. The celebrations today are very different from the previous ones. The number of people attending the event in last decade has gone down to considerable mark. The economy of the country is no longer for the person i.e. the Peasants and the Farmers. The whole event organization, publishing and the real fun has changed totally and has lost its essence and importance among the general population.
International Infinity Day Worldwide - Aug 08
Infinity Day is also known as Universal & International Infinity Day, and is a day held on the 8th of August of each year in order to celebrate and promote Philosophy and Philosophizing, not just for professional academics and published philosophers, but for everyone. The reason why it is called Infinity Day is because it is generally agreed among certain philosophers and other intellectuals that the concept, idea and potential reality of infinity is the ultimate one that the human mind can conceive, in terms of relevance and importance to true philosophical enquiry. History Infinity Day was first conceived and created by Jean-Pierre Ady Fenyo, a Philosopher and Science-Fiction author, who is also known as The Original New York City Free Advice Man (see The New Yorker magazine's August 17, 1987 issue) in 1987. It has been celebrated in the form of peaceful, non-violent and lawful (by official permit) demonstrations for philosophical inquiry, freedom of expression, freedom of speech and ethics in society, throughout the world. The first Infinity Day was held in New York City in 1987. Thereafter the founder took it to Washington (DC, USA), Budapest and London.
Day of the World's Indigenous People Worldwide - Aug 09
In 1994 the United Nations declared a International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, but concerned about upsetting some member nations chose August 9 instead of the traditional Columbus Day. There has been some annual international celebration on August 9 ever since.
History The idea of replacing Columbus Day with a day celebrating
the indigenous people of North America first arose in 1977 from the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1990, at the First Continental Conference on 500 Years of Indian Resistance in Quito, Ecuador in July 1990, representatives of Indian groups throughout the Americas agreed that they would mark 1992, the 500th anniversary of the first of the voyages of Christopher Columbus, as a day to promote "continental unity" and "liberation". After the conference, attendees from Northern California organized to plan protests against the "Quincentennial Jubilee" that had been organized by the United States Congress for the San Francisco Bay Area on Columbus Day, 1992 to include, among other things, sailing replicas of Columbus' ships under the Golden Gate Bridge and reenacting their "discovery" of America. The delegates formed the Bay Area Indian Alliance, and in turn, the "Resistance 500" task force, which advocated the notion that Columbus was responsible for genocide of Indian people. In 1992 the group convinced the city council of Berkeley, California to declare October 12, a "Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People", and 1992 the "Year of Indigenous People", and to implement related programs in schools, libraries, and museums. The city symbolically renamed Columbus Day to "Indigenous People's Day" beginning in 1992 to protest the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the demise of Native American people and culture through disease, warfare, massacre, and forced assimilation. Performances were scheduled that day for Get Lost (Again) Columbus, an opera by a Native-American composer. Berkeley has celebrated Indigenous People's Day ever since. Beginning in 1993, Berkeley has held an annual pow wow and festival on the day. In the years after Berkeley's move, other local governments and institutions have either renamed or canceled Columbus Day, either to celebrate Native Americans, to avoid celebrating actions of Columbus that lead to the colonization of America by Spanish conquistadors, or due to controversy over the legacy of Columbus. Two other California cities, Sebastopol and Santa Cruz, now celebrate Indigenous People's Day. South Dakota renamed the holiday "Native American Day". Various tribal governments in Oklahoma designate the day "Native American Day", or name the day after their own tribe. Virginia celebrates both Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day, commemorating a battle in the Revolutionary War. The United States Virgin Islands celebrates "Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands Friendship Day." Hawaii celebrates Discoverer's Day, commemorating the Polynesian discoverers of Hawaii. San Francisco, California and a number of other American cities have either canceled their observances or renamed them "Italian Heritage Day" in honor of Italian Americans, for whom Columbus, believed by many historians to be a native of Italy, was a source of pride. Columbus, Ohio has not sponsored an official Columbus Day parade since the 1990s, in part over controversy over the legacy of Columbus. Other cities and states have canceled celebrations due to lack of interest in the holiday or budget cuts.
National Day Singapore - Aug 09
The National Day of Singapore is celebrated every year on 9 August, in commemoration of Singapore's independence from Malaysia in 1965. This holiday features a National Day Parade, an address by the Prime Minister of Singapore, and fireworks celebrations.
National Day Rally Also on National Day, the Prime Minister of Singapore
makes an annual address to the nation, called the National Day Rally. A yearly event since 1966, the Prime Minister uses this rally to address the nation on its key challenges and its future directions, and can be compared to the State of the Union Address delivered by the President of the United States. Prior to 2005, the rally was a continuous speech from 8 pm (SST). From 2005, the Malay and Chinese versions were delivered at 6.45 pm with a break at 7.30 pm while the English version was delivered at 8 pm. Opposition MPs have been invited to the rally since 2007.
Singapore Fireworks Celebrations
National Day celebrations also include fireworks celebrations. They feature several local and foreign teams which launch fireworks displays on different nights. First held in 2004 at Marina Bay, the event was initially known as the Singapore Fireworks Festival and organised by Unusual Productions. The amount of fireworks used has grown in magnitude over the past three years, from 4,000 rounds used in 2004 to over 9,000 in 2006.
Women's Day South Africa - Aug 09
National Women's Day is an annual public holiday in South Africa on 9 August. This commemorates the national march of women on this day in 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the "pass", special identification documents which curtailed an African's freedom of movement during the apartheid era.
The event On 9 August 1956, 20,000 women staged a march on the
Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950. They left bundles of petitions containing more than 100 000 signatures at prime ministerJ.G. Strijdom's office doors. Outside they stood silently for 30 minutes, many with their children on their backs. Those who were working for Whites as nannies were carrying their white charges with them. The women sang a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo!(Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.). In the 54 years since, the phrase (or its latest incarnation: "you strike a woman, you strike a rock") has come to represent women's courage and strength in South Africa. The march was led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn. Other participants included Frances Baard, a statue of whom was unveiled by Northern Cape Premier Hazel Jenkins in Kimberley(Frances Baard District Municipality) on National Women's Day 2009. Since 9 August 1994, the day has been commemorated annually and is known as "Women's Day" in South Africa. In 2006, a reenactment of the march was staged for its 50th anniversary, with many of the 1956 march veterans. national women's day celebrates why women are important.
Independence Day Ivory Coast - Aug 07
The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire is a country in West Africa. It has an area of 322,462 square kilometres (124,503 sq mi), and borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was 15,366,672 in 1998 and was estimated to be 20,617,068 in 2009. Côte d'Ivoire's first national census in 1975 counted 6.7 million inhabitants. Prior to its colonization by Europeans, Côte d'Ivoire was home to several states, includingGyaaman, the Kong Empire, and Baoulé. There were two Anyi kingdoms, Indénié andSanwi, which attempted to retain their separate identity through the French colonial period and after Côte d'Ivoire's independence. An 1843–1844 treaty made Côte d'Ivoire a protectorate of France and in 1893, it became a French colony as part of the Europeanscramble for Africa. Côte d'Ivoire became independent on 7 August 1960. From 1960 to 1993, the country was led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny. It maintained close political and economic association with its West African neighbours, while at the same time maintaining close ties to the West, especially to France. Since the end of Houphouët-Boigny's rule, Côte d'Ivoire has experienced one coup d’état, in 1999, and a civil war, which broke out in 2002. A political agreement between the government and the rebels brought a return to peace. Côte d'Ivoire is a republic with a strong executive power invested in the President. Its de jure capital is Yamoussoukro and the biggest city is the port city of Abidjan. The country is divided into 19 regions and 81 departments. It is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, African Union, La Francophonie, Latin Union, Economic Community of West African States and South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone. The official language is French, although many of the local languages are widely used, including Baoulé, Dioula, Dan, Anyin and Cebaara Senufo. The main religions are Islam, Christianity (primarily Roman Catholic) and various indigenous religions. Through production of coffee and cocoa, the country was an economic powerhouse during the 1960s and 1970s in West Africa. However, Côte d'Ivoire went through an economic crisis in the 1980s, leading to the country's period of political and social turmoil. The 21st century Ivoirian economy is largely market-based and relies heavily on agriculture, with smallholder cash crop production being dominant.
The first human presence in Côte d'Ivoire has been difficult to determine because human remains have not been well-preserved in the country's humid climate. However, the presence of newly found weapon and tool fragments (specifically, polished axes cut through shale and remnants of cooking and fishing) has been interpreted as a possible indication of a large human presence during the Upper Paleolithic period (15,000 to 10,000 BC), or at the minimum, the Neolithic period. The earliest known inhabitants of Côte d'Ivoire have left traces scattered throughout the territory. Historians believe that they were all either displaced or absorbed by the ancestors of the present indigenous inhabitants, who migrated south into the area before the 16th Prehistoric polished stone celt from century. Such groups included the Ehotilé (Aboisso), Kotrowou Boundiali in northern Ivory Coast. (Fresco), Zéhiri (Grand Lahou), Ega and Diès (Divo). Photo taken at the IFAN Museum of
Pre-Islamic and Islamic periods:
African Arts in Dakar, Senegal.
The first recorded history is found in the chronicles of North African (Berber) traders, who, from early Roman times, conducted a caravantrade across the Sahara in salt, slaves, gold, and other goods. The southern terminals of the trans-Saharan trade routes were located on the edge of the desert, and from there supplemental trade extended as far south as the edge of the rain forest. The more important terminals—Djenné, Gao, and Timbuctu—grew into major commercial centres around which the great Sudanic empires developed. By controlling the trade routes with their powerful military forces, these empires were able to dominate neighbouring states. The Sudanic empires also became centres of Islamic education. Islam had been introduced in the western Sudan (today's Mali) by Muslim Berber traders from North Africa; it spread rapidly after the conversion of many important rulers. From the eleventh century, by which time the rulers of the Sudanic empires had embraced Islam, it spread south into the northern areas of contemporary Côte d'Ivoire. The Ghana empire, the earliest of the Sudanic empires, flourished in present-day eastern Mauritania from the fourth to the thirteenth century. At the peak of its power in the eleventh century, its realms extended from the Atlantic Ocean to Timbuctu. After the decline of Ghana, the Mali Empire grew into a powerful Muslim state, which reached its apogee in the early part of the fourteenth century. The territory of the Mali Empire in Côte d'Ivoire was limited to the north-west corner around Odienné. Its slow decline starting at the end of the fourteenth century followed internal discord and revolts by vassal states, one of which,Songhai, flourished as an empire between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. Songhai was also weakened by internal discord, which led to factional warfare. This discord spurred most of the migrations of peoples southward toward the forest belt. The dense rain forest, covering the southern half of the country, created barriers to the large-scale political organizations that had arisen in the north. Inhabitants lived in villages or clusters of villages; their contacts with the outside world were filtered through long-distance traders. Villagers subsisted on agriculture and hunting.
Five important states flourished in Côte d'Ivoire in the pre-European era. The Muslim Kong Empire was established by the Juula in the early eighteenth century in the north-central region inhabited by the Sénoufo, who had fled Islamization under the Mali Empire. Although Kong became a prosperous center of agriculture, trade, and crafts, ethnic diversity and religious discord gradually weakened the kingdom. The city of Kong was destroyed in 1895 by Samori Ture. The Abron kingdom of Gyaaman was established in the seventeenth century by an Akangroup, the Abron, who had fled the developing Ashanti confederation of Asanteman in what is present-day Ghana. From their settlement south of Bondoukou, the Abron gradually extended their hegemony over the Dyula people in Bondoukou, who were recent émigrés from the market city of Begho. Bondoukou developed into a major centre of commerce and Islam. The kingdom's Quranic scholars attracted students from all parts of West Africa. In the mid-seventeenth century in east-central Côte d'Ivoire, other Akan groups' fleeing the Asante established a Baoulé kingdom at Sakasso and two Agni kingdoms, Indénié andSanwi. The Baoulé, like the Ashanti, developed a highly centralized political and administrative structure under three successive rulers. It finally split into smaller chiefdoms. Despite the breakup of their kingdom, the Baoulé strongly resisted French subjugation. The descendants of the rulers of the Agni kingdoms tried to retain their separate identity long after Côte d'Ivoire's independence; as late as 1969, the Sanwi attempted to break away from Côte d'Ivoire and form an independent kingdom. Michael Jackson visited Krinjabo, the capital of Sanwi, in 1992 and met with the king. The current king of Sanwi is Nana Amon Ndoufou V (since 2002).
Establishment of French rule:
Compared to neighbouring Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire suffered little from the slave trade, as European slaving and merchant ships preferred other areas along the coast with better harbours. The earliest recorded European voyage to West Africa was made by the Portuguese and took place in 1482. The first West African French settlement, Saint Louis, was founded in the mid-seventeenth century in Senegal while, at about the same time, the Dutch ceded to the French a settlement at Goree Island off Dakar. A French mission was established in 1637 Assinie near the border with the Gold Coast (now Ghana). Assinie's survival was precarious, however. It was not until the mid-nineteenth century that the French were firmly established in Côte d'Ivoire. In 1843–1844, French admiral Bouët-Willaumez signed treaties with the kings of the Grand Bassam and Assinie regions, placing their territories under a French protectorate. French explorers, missionaries, trading companies, and soldiers gradually extended the area under French control inland from the lagoon region. Pacification was not accomplished until 1915. Activity along the coast stimulated European interest in the interior, especially along the two great rivers, the Senegal and the Niger. Concerted French exploration of West Africa began in the mid-nineteenth century but moved slowly, based more on individual initiative than on government policy. In the 1840s, the French concluded a series of treaties with local West African rulers that enabled the French to build fortified posts along the Gulf of Guinea to serve as permanent trading centres. The first posts in Côte d'Ivoire included one at Assinie and another at Grand Bassam, which became the colony's first capital. The treaties provided for French sovereignty within the posts, and for trading privileges in exchange for fees or coutumes paid annually to the local rulers for the use of the land. The arrangement was not entirely satisfactory to the French, because trade was limited and misunderstandings over treaty obligations often arose. Nevertheless, the French government maintained the treaties, hoping to expand trade. France also wanted to maintain a presence in the region to stem the increasing influence of the British along the Gulf of Guinea coast. The French built naval bases to keep out non-French traders and began a systematic conquest of the interior. (They accomplished this only after a long war in the 1890s against Mandinka forces, mostly from Gambia. Guerrilla warfare by the Baoulé and other eastern groups continued until 1917). The defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 and the subsequent annexation by Germany of the French province of Alsace Lorraine caused the French government to abandon its colonial ambitions and withdraw its military garrisons from its French West African trading posts, leaving them in the care of resident merchants. The trading post at Grand Bassam in Côte d'Ivoire was left in the care of a shipper from Marseille, Arthur Verdier, who in 1878 was named Resident of the Establishment of Côte d'Ivoire. In 1886, to support its claims of effective occupation, France again assumed direct control of its West African coastal trading posts and embarked on an accelerated program of exploration in the interior. In 1887 Lieutenant Louis Gustave Binger began a two-year journey that traversed parts of Côte d'Ivoire's interior. By the end of the journey, he had concluded four treaties establishing French protectorates in Côte d'Ivoire. Also in 1887, Verdier's agent, Marcel TreichLaplène, negotiated five additional agreements that extended French influence from the headwaters of the Niger River Basin through Côte d'Ivoire.
French colonial era:
By the end of the 1880s, France had established what passed for control over the coastal regions of Côte d'Ivoire, and in 1889 Britain recognized French sovereignty in the area. That same year, France named Treich-Laplène titular governor of the territory. In 1893 Côte d'Ivoire was made a French colony, and then Captain Binger was appointed governor. Agreements with Liberia in 1892 and with Britain in 1893 determined the eastern and western boundaries of the colony, but the northern boundary was not fixed until 1947 because of efforts by the French government to attach parts of Upper Volta (present-day Burkina Faso) and French Sudan (present-day Mali) to Côte d'Ivoire for economic and administrative reasons. France's main goal was to stimulate the production of exports. Coffee, cocoa and palm oil crops were soon planted along the coast. Côte d'Ivoire stood out as the only West African country with a sizeable population of settlers; elsewhere in West and Central Africa, the French and British were largely bureaucrats. As a result, French citizens owned one third of the cocoa, coffee and banana plantations and adopted a forced-labour system. Pre-Colonial kingdoms. Throughout the early years of French rule, French military contingents were sent inland to establish new posts. The African population resisted French penetration and settlement. Among those offering greatest resistance was Samori Ture, who in the 1880s and 1890s was establishing the Wassoulou Empire, which extended over large parts of present-day Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Côte d'Ivoire. Samori Ture's large, well-equipped army, which could manufacture and repair its own firearms, attracted strong support throughout the region. The French responded to Samori Ture's expansion of regional control with military pressure. French campaigns against Samori Ture, which were met with fierce resistance, intensified in the mid-1890s until he was captured in 1898. France's imposition of a head tax in 1900 to support the colony in a public works program, provoked a number of revolts. Ivoirians viewed the tax as a violation of the terms of the protectorate treaties, because they thought that France was demanding the equivalent of a coutume from the local kings, rather than the reverse. Much of the population, especially in the interior, considered the tax a humiliating symbol of submission. In 1905, the French abolished slavery in most of French West Africa. From 1904 to 1958, Côte d'Ivoire was a constituent unit of the Federation of French West Africa. It was a colony and an overseas territory under the Third Republic. Until the period following World War II, governmental affairs in French West Africa were administered from Paris. France's policy in West Africa was reflected mainly in its philosophy of "association", meaning that all Africans in Côte d'Ivoire were officially French "subjects", but without rights to representation in Africa or France. French colonial policy incorporated concepts of assimilation and association. Based on an assumption of the superiority of French culture over all others, in practice the assimilation policy meant extension of the French language, institutions, laws, and customs in the colonies. The policy of association also affirmed the superiority of the French in the colonies, but it entailed different institutions and systems of laws for the colonizer and the colonized. Under this policy, the Africans in Côte d'Ivoire were allowed to preserve their own customs insofar as they were compatible with French interests. An indigenous elite trained in French administrative practice formed an intermediary group between the French and the Africans. Assimilation was practiced in Côte d'Ivoire to the extent that after 1930, a small number of Westernized Ivoirians were granted the right to apply for French citizenship. Most Ivoirians, however, were classified as French subjects and were governed under the principle of association. As subjects of France, they had no political rights. They were drafted for work in mines, on plantations, as porters, and on public projects as part of their tax responsibility. They were expected to serve in the military and were subject to the indigénat, a separate system of law. In World War II, the Vichy regime remained in control until 1943, when members of Gen. Charles de Gaulle's provisional government assumed control of all French West Africa. The Brazzaville Conference of 1944, the first Constituent Assembly of the Fourth Republic in 1946, and France's gratitude for African loyalty during World War II led to far-reaching governmental reforms in 1946. French citizenship was granted to all African "subjects," the right to organize politically was recognized, and various forms of forced labour were abolished. Until 1958, governors appointed in Paris administered the colony of Côte d'Ivoire, using a system of direct, centralized administration that left little room for Ivoirian participation in policy making. Whereas British colonial administration adopted divide-and-rule policies elsewhere, applying ideas of assimilation only to the educated elite, the French were interested in ensuring that the small but influential elite was sufficiently satisfied with the status quo to refrain from any anti-French sentiment. Although strongly opposed to the practices of association, educated Ivoirians believed that they would achieve equality with their French peers through assimilation rather than through complete independence from France. But, after the assimilation doctrine was implemented entirely through the postwar reforms, Ivoirian leaders realized that even assimilation implied the superiority of the French over the Ivoirians, and that discrimination and political inequality would end only with independence.
The son of a Baoulé chief, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, was to become Côte d'Ivoire's father of independence. In 1944 he formed the country's first agricultural trade union for African cocoa farmers like himself. Angered that colonial policy favoured French plantation owners, they united to recruit migrant workers for their own farms. Houphouët-Boigny soon rose to prominence and within a year was elected to the French Parliament in Paris. A year later the French abolished forced labour. Houphouët-Boigny established a strong relationship with the French government, expressing a belief that the country would benefit from it, which it did for many years. France appointed him as the first African to become a minister in a European government. A turning point in relations with France was reached with the 1956 Louis-Gustave Binger of French West Overseas Reform Act (Loi Cadre), which transferred a number of Africa in 1892 treaty signing with powers from Paris to elected territorial governments inFrench West Famienkro leaders, in present day Africa and also removed remaining voting inequalities. In 1958, Côte d'Ivoirebecame an autonomous member of the French Community N'zi-Comoé Region, Ivory Coast. (which replaced the French Union). At the time of Côte d'Ivoire's independence (1960), the country was easily French West Africa's most prosperous, contributing over 40% of the region's total exports. When Houphouët-Boigny became the first president, his government gave farmers good prices for their products to further stimulate production. This was further boosted by a significant immigration of workers from surrounding countries. Coffee production increased significantly, catapulting Côte d'Ivoire into third place in world output (behind Brazil and Colombia). By 1979, the country was the world's leading producer of cocoa. It also became Africa's leading exporter of pineapples and palm oil. French technicians contributed to the 'Ivoirian miracle'. In other African nations, the people drove out the Europeans following independence; but in Côte d'Ivoire, they poured in. The French community grew from only 30,000 prior to independence to 60,000 in 1980, most of them teachers, managers and advisors. For 20 years, the economy maintained an annual growth rate of nearly 10%—the highest of Africa's non-oil-exporting countries.
Houphouët-Boigny's one-party rule was not amenable to political competition. Laurent Gbagbo, who would be the president of Côte d'Ivoire in 2000, had to flee as he incurred the ire of Houphouët-Boigny when Gbagbo founded the Front Populair Ivoirien. Houphouët-Boigny banked on his broad appeal to the population who continually elected him. He was also criticized for his emphasis on developing large scale projects. Many felt the millions of dollars spent transforming his home village, Yamoussoukro, into the new capital that it became, were wasted; others support his vision to develop a centre for peace, education and religion in the heart of the country. But in the early 1980s, the world recession and a local drought sent shock waves through the Ivoirian economy. Due to the overcutting of timber and collapsing sugar prices, the country's external debt increased threefold. Crime rose dramatically in Abidjan. In 1990, hundreds of civil servants went on strike, joined by students protesting institutional corruption. The unrest forced the government to support multi-party democracy. Houphouët-Boigny became increasingly feeble and died in 1993. He favoured Henri Konan Bédié as his successor.
Unlike Houphouët-Boigny, who was very careful in avoiding any ethnic conflict and left access to administrative positions open to immigrants from neighbouring countries, Bediéemphasized the concept of "Ivority" (French: Ivoirité) to exclude his rival Alassane Ouattara, who had two northern Ivorian parents, from running for future presidential election. As people originating from foreign countries are a large part of the Ivoirian population, this policy excluded many people from Ivoirian nationality, and the relationship between various ethnic groups became strained which will result in two civil wars in the following decades.
Similarly, Bédié excluded many potential opponents from the army. In late 1999, a group of dissatisfied officers staged a military coup, putting General Robert Guéï in power. Bédié fled into exile in France. The new leadership reduced crime and corruption, and the generals pressed for austerity and openly campaigned in the streets for a less wasteful society.
A presidential election was held in October 2000 in which Laurent Gbagbo vied with Guéï, but it was peaceful. The lead-up to the election was marked by military and civil unrest. Following a public uprising that resulted in around 180 deaths, Guéï was swiftly replaced by Gbagbo. Alassane Ouattara was disqualified by the country's Supreme Court, due to his alleged Burkinabé nationality. The existing and later reformed constitution [under Guéï] did not allow non-citizens to run for presidency. This sparked violent protests in which his supporters, mainly from the country's north, battled riot police in the capital, Yamoussoukro.
Ivorian Civil War:
In the early hours of 19 September 2002, while the President was in Italy, there was an armed uprising. Troops who were to be demobilised mutinied, launching attacks in several cities. The battle for the main gendarmerie barracks in Abidjan lasted until mid-morning, but by lunchtime the government forces had secured the main city, Abidjan. They had lost control of the north of the country, and the rebel forces made their strong-hold in the northern city of Bouake. The rebels threatened to move on Abidjan again and France deployed troops from its base in the country to stop any rebel advance. The French said they were protecting their own citizens Samori Touré from danger, but their deployment also aided the government forces. It was not established as a fact that the French were helping either side but each side accused them of being on the opposite side. It is disputed as to whether the French actions improved or worsened the situation in the long term. What exactly happened that night is disputed. The government claimed that former president Robert Guéï had led a coup attempt, and state TV showed pictures of his dead body in the street; counter-claims stated that he and fifteen others had been murdered at his home and his body had been moved to the streets to incriminate him. Alassane Ouattara took refuge in the French embassy; his home had burned down. President Gbagbo cut short his trip to Italy and on his return stated, in a television address, that some of the rebels were hiding in the shanty towns where foreign migrant workers lived. Gendarmes and vigilantes bulldozed and burned homes by the thousands, attacking the residents. An early ceasefire with the rebels, which had the backing of much of the northern populace, proved short-lived, and fighting over the prime cocoa-growing areas resumed. France sent in troops to maintain the cease-fire boundaries, and militias, including warlords and fighters from Liberia and Sierra Leone, took advantage of the crisis to seize parts of the west.
Independence of Quito Ecuador - Aug 10
The Ecuadorian War of Independence was fought from 1820 to 1822 between several South American armies and Spain over control of the lands of the Royal Audience of Quito, a Spanish colonial administrative jurisdiction from which would eventually emerge the modern Republic of Ecuador. The war ended with the defeat of the Spanish forces at the Battle of Pichincha on May 24, 1822, which brought about the independence of the entire Presidencia de Quito. The Ecuadorian War of Independence is part of the Spanish American wars of independence fought during the first two decades of the 19th century.
The Beginning of the War
The military campaign for the independence of the territory now known as Ecuador from Spanish rule could be said to have begun on after nearly three hundred years of Spanish colonization. Quito was a city of around ten thousand inhabitants. It was there, on August 10, 1809 that the first call for independence from Spain was made in Latin America ("el Primer Grito de la Independencia"), under the leadership of the city's criollos, including Carlos Montúfar, Eugenio Espejo and Bishop Cuero y Caicedo. Then on October 9, 1820, the port-city of Guayaquil proclaimed its independence after a brief and almost bloodless revolt against the local garrison. The leaders of the movement, a combination of Venezuelan, Ecuadorian, and Peruvian pro-independence officers from the colonial Army, along with Ecuadorian intellectuals and patriots, set up a Junta de Gobierno and raised a military force with the purpose of defending the city and carrying the independence movement to the other provinces in the country. By that time, the tide of the wars of independence in South America had turned decisively against Spain: Simón Bolívar's victory at theBattle of Boyacá (August 7, 1819) had sealed the independence of the former Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada, while to the south, José de San Martín, after landing his Army on the Peruvian coast on September 8, 1820, was preparing the campaign for the independence of the Viceroyalty of Perú. The news of the proclamation of independence of Guayaquil spread rapidly to other cities in the Presidencia, and several towns followed the example in quick succession. Portoviejo declared its independence on October 18, 1820, and Cuenca—the economic center of the southern highlands—did the same on November 3, 1820. The stage was set for the campaign of liberation of Quito.
The Junta de Guayaquil moves to the offensive:
The military unit raised and financed in Guayaquil was given the name of Division Protectora de Quito ("Division for the Protection of Quito"). Its immediate purpose was to advance on the cities of Guaranda and Ambato, in the central highlands, hoping to bring these cities to the independentist cause, and cutting all road communications between Quito and the cities of Guayaquil and Cuenca, so as to forestall any Royalist countermove from the north. The Division, under the command of Colonel Luis Urdaneta, one of the ringleaders of the revolt in Guayaquil, began its advance out of the coastal plain towards the highlands, and by November 7, was ready to begin its march up the Andes mountains. The first clash with a Royalist covering force was a success, occurring on November 9, 1820, at Camino Real, a strategic mountain pass along the road from Guayaquil to Guaranda. This victory opened the way into the inter-Andean highlands, and the capture of Guaranda soon followed. News of the presence of the patriot army in Guaranda had the intended effect: most of the towns in the highlands went on to proclaim their independence in quick succession, Latacunga and Riobamba doing it on November 11, and Am- Antonio José de Sucre bato on November 12, 1820. By the middle of November, the Spanish rule over the Presidencia had been reduced to the Quito and its surrounding areas in the northern highlands. It looked as if the liberation of the entire territory would be easier than expected. But the hopes turned out to be premature and short-lived. Field-Marshal Melchor Aymerich, acting President and supreme commander of the military forces in the Presidencia de Quito, took swift action. Soon, an army of around 5,000 troops, under the command of veteran Spanish Colonel Francisco González, was dispatched south to deal with the 2,000-strong patriot army, stationed in Ambato. In the Battle of Huachi, on November 22, 1820, the Royalist army inflicted a severe defeat on Urdaneta's force, which had to fall back, badly mauled, to Babahoyo, on the coastal plains. Disaster struck the patriots. The Spanish army continued its advance south, towards Cuenca, retaking all major towns along the way. On December 20, 1820, after the defenders of the city were defeated at the Battle of Verdeloma, Cuenca was retaken by the Royalist army. The authorities in Guayaquil, who on November 11, 1820, had issued a decree creating the Provincia Libre de Guayaquil (Free Province of Guayaquil), desperately organized a ragtag detachment with the survivors of Huachi plus some reinforcements (300 men altogether, including some 50 cavalry), ordering it to make a final stand at Babahoyo. As the Royalist army did not seem to be particularly inclined to come down to the plains to meet them, the patriots sent some guerrilla bands back into the highlands, which were finally ambushed and massacred on January 4, 1821 at the Battle of Tanizagua. The guerrillas' commanding officer, Spanish-born Colonel Gabriel García Gomez, taken prisoner after the battle, was executed by a firing squad and decapitated, his head sent to Quito to be displayed before the population. Thus, amid total military failure and a number of Royalist reprisals on the civilian population of the highlands cities, the attempt of the Junta de Guayaquil to carry out the independence of the Presidencia de Quito came to an end.
Sucre enters the Scene:
And yet, not all was lost: help was on the way. By February 1821, the foreign aid requested by the Junta de Guayaquil back in October finally materialized in the form of Spanish-born independentist General José Mires, sent by General Simón Bolívar, President of Colombia. Even more welcomed perhaps was what Mires had brought along with him: 1,000 muskets; 50,000 musket rounds; 8,000 bits of flint; 500 sabers, and 100 pairs of pistols. Mires' instructions were clear: "To liberate the capital city of Quito, whose taking will bring about the liberation of the whole Department," as the first step towards later operations aimed at securing the complete independence of Perú. Bolívar also informed Guayaquil that he would begin a simultaneous campaign from the north.
Second Battle of Huachi:
By July 1821, Sucre had almost finished deploying the Army around Babahoyo, ready to advance on the highlands as soon as the weather allowed. Aymerich acted to preemt the patriot plans with a two-pincer movement: he would lead his Army from Guaranda down to Babahoyo, while Colonel González, coming from the southern highlands down to Yaguachi, would attack his flank. Sucre, privy to Aymerich's intentions (thanks to a well-developed espionage network), sent Mires to deal with González. The encounter, which ended up destroying Gonzalez's force, took place near the town of Cone, on August 19, 1821. Upon hearing the news, Aymerich retraced his steps and headed back to the highlands. Sucre advanced on to the highlands, his main force occupying Guaranda on September 2, 1821. Aymerich moved to block any further progress, and in the Second Battle of Huachi, which took place on September 12, 1821, annihilated Sucre's infantry. The patriot forces lost 800 men, mostly killed, plus 50 prisoners, among them General Mires. As Second Huachi had also taken a heavy toll on the Royalists, Aymerich decided against exploiting his victory with an advance on the coastal plains. On November 19, 1821, a 90-day armistice was signed at Babahoyo, putting an end to Sucre's ill-fated first attempt to liberate Quito.
International Biodiesel Day Worldwide - Aug 10
Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fatbased diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl (methyl, propyl or ethyl) esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids (e.g., vegetable oil, animal fat (tallow)) with an alcohol producing fatty acid esters. Biodiesel is meant to be used in standard diesel engines and is thus distinct from the vegetable and waste oils used to fuel converted diesel engines. Biodiesel can be used alone, or blended with petrodiesel. Biodiesel can also be used as a low carbon alternative to heating oil. The National Biodiesel Board (USA) also has a technical definition of "biodiesel" as a mono-alkyl ester.
Transesterification of a vegetable oil was conducted as early as 1853 by scientists E. Duffy and J. Patrick, many years before the first diesel engine became functional. Rudolf Diesel's prime model, a single 10 ft (3 m) iron cylinder with a flywheel at its base, ran on its own power for the first time in Augsburg, Germany, on 10 August 1893 running on nothing but peanut oil. In remembrance of this event, 10 August has been declared "International Biodiesel Day". It is often reported that Diesel designed his engine to run on peanut oil, but this is not the case. Diesel stated in his published papers, "at the Paris Exhibition in 1900 (Exposition Universelle) there was shown by the Otto Company a small Diesel engine, which, at the request of the French government ran on arachide (earth-nut or pea-nut) oil (see biodiesel), and worked so smoothly that only a few people were aware of it. The engine was constructed for using mineral oil, and was then worked on vegetable oil without any alterations being made. The French Government at the time thought of testing the applicability to power production of the Arachide, or earth-nut, which grows in considerable quantities in their African colonies, and can easily be cultivated there." Diesel himself later conducted related tests and appeared supportive of Rudolf Diesel the idea. In a 1912 speech Diesel said, "the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal-tar products of the present time." Despite the widespread use of fossil petroleum-derived diesel fuels, interest in vegetable oils as fuels for internal combustion engines was reported in several countries during the 1920s and 1930s and later during World War II. Belgium, France, Italy, the United Kingdom,Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Japan and China were reported to have tested and used vegetable oils as diesel fuels during this time. Some operational problems were reported due to the high viscosity of vegetable oils compared to petroleum diesel fuel, which results in poor atomization of the fuel in the fuel spray and often leads to deposits and coking of the injectors, combustion chamber and valves. Attempts to overcome these problems included heating of the vegetable oil, blending it with petroleum-derived diesel fuel or ethanol, pyrolysis and cracking of the oils. On 31 August 1937, G. Chavanne of the University of Brussels (Belgium) was granted a patent for a "Procedure for the transformation of vegetable oils for their uses as fuels" (fr. "Procédé de Transformation d’Huiles Végétales en Vue de Leur Utilisation comme Carburants") Belgian Patent 422,877. This patent described the alcoholysis (often referred to as transesterification) of vegetable oils using ethanol (and mentions methanol) in order to separate the fatty acids from the glycerol by replacing the glycerol with short linear alcohols. This appears to be the first account of the production of what is known as "biodiesel" today. More recently, in 1977, Brazilian scientist Expedito Parente invented and submitted for patent, the first industrial process for the production of biodiesel. This process is classified as biodiesel by international norms, conferring a "standardized identity and quality. No other proposed biofuel has been validated by the motor industry." Currently, Parente's company Tecbio is working with Boeingand NASA to certify bioquerosene (bio-kerosene), another product produced and patented by the Brazilian scientist. Research into the use of transesterified sunflower oil, and refining it to diesel fuel standards, was initiated in South Africa in 1979. By 1983, the process for producing fuel-quality, engine-tested biodiesel was completed and published internationally. An Austriancompany, Gaskoks, obtained the technology from the South African Agricultural Engineers; the company erected the first biodiesel pilot plant in November 1987, and the first industrial-scale plant in April 1989 (with a capacity of 30,000 tons of rapeseed per annum). Throughout the 1990s, plants were opened in many European countries, including the Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden. France launched local production of biodiesel fuel (referred to as diester) from rapeseed oil, which is mixed into regular diesel fuel at a level of 5%, and into the diesel fuel used by some captive fleets (e.g. public transportation) at a level of 30%. Renault, Peugeot and other manufacturers have certified truck engines for use with up to that level of partial biodiesel; experiments with 50% biodiesel are underway. During the same period, nations in other parts of the world also saw local production of biodiesel starting up: by 1998, the Austrian Biofuels Institute had identified 21 countries with commercial biodiesel projects. 100% Biodiesel is now available at many normal service stations across Europe.
HUNGARY Procter & Gamble to invest 19 billion forints in Hungary
Photo: Károly Árvai
(Online 12 Aug) Procter&Gamble (P&G) is to build a new greenfield factory in Gyöngyös, corporation's the second plant in Hungary, with an investment of 19 billion forints, the company’s repreansentatives nounced on Friday. State Secretary for External Economic Relations and Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó said at today’s press con-
The investment will create 150 new jobs in addition to the already existing 800 jobs and will contribute significantly to enhancing the country’s competitiveness, he added. The State Secretary that emphasised P&G is already partner to several hundred local suppliers, providing them with further opportunities to expand and develop. P&G’s Finance Di-
Photo: Károly Árvai ference that this is another addition to the success story of Hungarian-American economic cooperation.
rector for Central Europe Kitti Papp said that their decision to invest was based on the positive investor envi-
ronment, the wellqualified workforce and the infrastructural capacity of Hungary. She emphasised the role of the Hungarian Government, the Hungarian Investment and Trade Association (HITA) and the Heves County Government Office in realising this project. The factory will produce to the Central and Eastern European markets, as well as other coun-
Photo: Ministry for National Economy with partners who help improve Hungary’s competitiveness, create new jobs and boost Hungarian exports. Through its active investor-friendly economic policy, the Government is aiming to establish a favourable and predictable economic environment for en-
Javier González Pareja said that the largest European R&D facility of the Bosch Group outside Germany is in Hungary. The Hungarian turnover of the Group amounts to 2 percent of Hungary’s annual GDP, and the company has played a key role on the labour
Photo: Ministry for National Economy dapest. The document was signed by Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga on behalf of the Government and President of Bosch Hungary and CEO of Robert Bosch Javier Ltd. González Pareja, as representative of the ten Hungarian of subsidiaries Bosch. At the ceremony, the Minister for National Economy said
terprises that have already established a presence in Hungary or are seeking a new investment destination, Mihály Varga said. He added that the amount of working capital in Hungary USD exceeds 100bn, and some two-fifths of Huneconomic gary’s growth, which averaged 2.5 percent per year over the past one-and-a-half decades, was gen-
market. He also emphasised that the knowledge of Hungarian engineers is competitive all over the world and the company aims to exploit this resource. The new Budapest of headquarters Bosch Hungary will be completed by 2015 at a cost of HUF 30bn. The foundation stone was laid in October 2011; now that the first building has
Photo: Ministry for National Economy that boosting employment and investment as well as improving the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy are key objectives for the Government, and the long-term plans of Bosch are contributing to the renewal of Hungary’s economy in all three fields. Member of the Robert Bosch GmbH Board of Directors Uwe Raschke emphasised that the company considers its Hungarian presence to be of strategic importance regarding the international conglomerate’s production and development activities. Mihály Varga stressed that the investment programme of the Group is based on the high professional skills of Hungarian employees and has been sending a positive message about the country. The Minister for National Economy pointed out that the Government intends to conclude Strategic Partnership Agreements
erated by the Hungarian subsidiaries of foreign investors. The presence of the Bosch Group in Hungary dates back to 1899, and it is currently the second largest foreign employer. The motor vehicle industry has been a leading sector within the Hungarian economy, and Bosch has assumed a key role in that field, the Minister said. Mihály Varga also mentioned that Germany has been Hungary’s number one strategic partner, with 26 percent of Hungarian exports heading to and 25 percent of imports originating from the country. 24 percent of Hungary’s working capital investment comes from Germany. At the ceremony, Uwe Raschke stressed that the Bosch Group is present in 150 countries and its earnings totalled EUR 52.2bn last year; the conglomerate employs 306 thousand people and spent EUR 4.8bn on research and development last year.
been inaugurated, 350 professionals from the fields of development, marketing and administration can move into the 11 thousand square metre building complex. The foundation stone for the second phase was laid in April of this year. According to information made available by the company, the Bosch Group has 10 subsidiaries and 8500 employees in Hungary, of whom 1000 professionals work in the field of R&D. The Group’s turnover was more than HUF 594bn in 2012, and the value of investments over the past decade will have exceeded HUF 250bn by the end of 2013. In 2012, the Bosch Group spent some EUR 4.8bn on research and development, and submitted almost 4800 patent applications worldwide. In recent months the Government has concluded Strategic Partnership Agreements with more than two dozen international corporations with Hungarian subsidiaries.
H unga r y we lc om e s r e s um pt ion of pe a c e t a lk s (Online 31 Jul) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary welcomes the fact that Israeli–Palestinian talks have been resumed, the Ministry told MTI in a statement July 31, 2013. It is crucial that parties in the direct
talks should make all efforts and be prepared to make compromises to resolve the decadeslong conflict in the Middle East, the statement said. Hungary is ready to ensure diplomatic assistance in the process and sup-
ports relevant efforts by the European Union, the statement said. Talks between Israel and Palestine resumed in Washington DC on July 29 2013 following a three-year pause.
H unga r y c onde m ns t he a s s a s s ina t ion of M oha m e d B r a hm i (Online 30 Jul) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary has condemned the rec e n t assassination of Tunisian opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi, who was a member of the Constitutional Assembly, and expressed concern over the
latest trends in Tunisia. In a statement issued on July 30, 2013 the Ministry expressed its hope that Tunisia would continue efforts to develop the rule of law, draft the constitution and hold general elections in the near future, thereby crowning
said that the best for foundations long-term economic cooperation are rebetween lations people. The Hungarian Government is committed to the invigoration of bilateral economic relations in which the system of tied aid loans play an important role, he said. Secretary State Péter Szijjártó declared that the Hungarian Government is proud of the fact Hungarian that are companies building the water system of a Vietnamese province and have begun installation of the country’s population registration system within the framework of the tied aid loan programme. Concerning the utilisation of nuclear energy he said that similarly to Vietnam, Hungary affords the issue significant importance and both governments will do everything in their power so that a bilateral agreement on nuclear educa-
tion may be signed during the Vietnamese presidential visit in Hungary in September. Vietnamese Deputy Minister Prime Nguyen Thien Nhan said that there have been diplomatic rebetween lations Hungary and Vietnam for 63 years and during this time more than 4000 stuVietnamese dents have comtheir pleted university educations in Hungary, of them many great achieving recognition at home in the fields of science or commerce, and in public life, sometimes even as Ministers. He added that the Vietnamese region consists of 10 countries that comprise a market of 400 million people and the gateway to this market for Hungary could be Vietnam, emphasising that cooperation between the two countries could create great opportunities within both the fields of culture and the economy.
Hungary to fully repay IMF loan until mid-August (Online 30 Jul) On 15 July, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga informed IMF Director Reza Moghadam in a letter that Hungary intends to fully repay the IMF loan provided for the country in 2008 ahead of schedule, by 12 August 2013. This option is only open for countries with sufficient fiscal reserves, a stable policy budgetary and positive investor sentiment indicators. As a result of the strenuous efforts of past three the years, in Hungary the aforementioned factors are facilitating an opportunity for the economy to shed the burden posed by the IMF loan prior to the re-
imbursement date. favourable The market environment and investor confidence in Hungary have resulted in the auspicious most government bond yields and the best 5-year CDS premium (an indicator that reflects investor sentiment) in Conseyears. quently, Hungary has managed to accumulate a signifistock of cant and reserves achieve favourable condifinancing tions. As there are sufficient resources available to cover the early repayment, the Government has decided to initiate the final repayment of the outstanding debt. The State of Hungary (excluding the
National Bank of has Hungary) drawn EUR 7.5bn from the loan provided by the IMF. The current respective amount of principal debt is EUR 2.2bn and the last large instalment of that would be due in March 2014. By fully repaying the IMF loan ahead of time, the Government is taking a big step towards financing its debts from the markets – the share of which has been increasing steadily. This measure will also cut interest payments and thus ease the burden on the Budget. Foreign currency reserves will remain at a secure level despite the early repayment.
State Secretary Zsolt Németh on Hungarian–Romanian Relations (Online 29 Jul) Hungarian–Romanian relations suffered no irreparable damage last year, Hungarian State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Zsolt Németh told a Romanian TV channel on Sunday. The two foreign ministries played a great part in this achievement, he stated in a nearly 30-minute interview recorded at the Baile Tusnad (Tusnádfürdő) Summer University and aired by news channel Digi 24. The State Secretary noted that the Sum-
mer University had been launched in 1990 with a view to creating a forum for Hungarian–Romanian dialogue and reconciliation. Two-way ties have shown a spectacular upswing since 1996, followed by a slight halt over the past year which should not be dramatized, he said, noting that the two countries’ interests are identical in several areas. Commenting his Romanian counterpart George Ciomba’s recent statement that Romania’s plan to re-
draw regions was not motivated by ethnic goals, Mr Németh said that Hungary supported the position of Romania’s Hungarian community in Szeklerland, an area inhabited by many ethnic Hungarians. Mr Németh, who called Szeklerland a unified and indivisible region earlier this month, expressed hope that the reorganisation of Romania’s public administration would consider the fundamental, legitimate interests of the Hungarian community.
Prime Minister to travel to Japan and India this year (Online 29 Jul) Several high-level visits will serve the strategic goal of opening towards the East in Hungary’s foreign relations this year including Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s official visit to Japan and India. Also this year, the presidents of Vietnam and Singapore, as well as the foreign minister of Afghanistan are set to visit Hungary, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Szabolcs Takács said at the
24th Baile Tusnad Summer University. Hungary would also like to strengthen its presence in Africa as trade relations with the continent have been developing well, he stated, adding that there are plans to open diplomatic missions in Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique and Ghana. Parallel with its efforts to strengthen relations with Asia, Africa and Latin America, Hungary will continue to remain active in Euro–Atlantic coop-
Commemorating the Roma Holocaust
Photo: Gergely Botár
Photo: Károly Árvai
(Online 30 Jul) Hungarian-Vietnamese relations could intensify and move a higher agreed level, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Thien Nhan and his Hungarian hosts; the Vietnamese Prime Minister was the guest of Deputy Speaker István Jakab at an official lunch held in Parliament the building on Tuesday. State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations Péter Szijjártó and Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Thien Nhan jointly declared that Hungarian-Vietnamese relations may begin a new chapter and further intensify. Secretary State Péter Szijjártó acknowledged the 5% economic growth achieved by Vietin recent nam years, adding that tries of the EU, the Vietnamese relaMiddle East and tions have an imNorthern Africa, she portant role in the said. Opening towards the East policy. The Secretary State
Strategic partnership agreement concluded between Govt and Bosch Group
(Online 31 Jul) A Strategic Partnership Agreement was concluded between the Government of Hungary and Bosch Hungary at the inauguration ceremony for the first stage of the international company’s new Hungarian headquarters in Bu-
Hungarian-Vietnamese relations could intensify
eration as well, he emphasised. Deputy State Secretary for Global Affairs Péter Wintermantel said the Visegrád Four (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) plans to open the next Visegrád Houses, which perform special, joint diplomatic and consular duties, in Vietnam and Mongolia. A similar diplomatic mission is already operating in South Africa, he said.
(Online 02 Aug) On 2 August 1944, three thousand Roma people were murdered in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. What happened on that day only became fully known to his-
on 3 August, Mr. Doncsev declared that "the most important thing is that we must stand by the victims, all victims, from the very first minute. This isn't a question of minority and major-
which an agreement was concluded on the organisation of joint German-Hungarian Roma programmes. The Government of Hungary recognised the merits of those who offered a help-
Photo: Gergely Botár tory several decades later. 2 August was declared International Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day by the World Romani Congress in 1972. On this day, we remember the tens of thousands of Sinti and Roma people who were murdered throughout Europe during the Second World War. At this year's memorial service, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Human Resources András Doncsev gave an opening speech at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest. In relation to the series of Roma murders committed during 2008-2009, the last of which, in Kisléta, also occurred almost exactly four years ago
ity, but a question of human dignity." An excellent example of this is the fact that the Government helped the families of the victims of the serial killings, and working together with several churches, charities and both local and international nongovernmental agencies, the houses and homes of the victims' families were fully renovated. Of the organisations which helped with renovation activities, the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and its President, Romani Rose, was involved in developing the main elements and objectives of the Roma Strategy introduced during the Hungarian presidency of the European Union, in addition to
ing hand in a suitable manner: Romani Rose was presented with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary last year by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. This evening there will be a remembrance service at the Roma Holocaust Memorial in Budapest's 9th district, in front of the National Roma Self Government in Dohány Street and in the heart of Jesus Church in Pest, at which Minister for Human Resources Zoltán Balog will also be present. The National Roma Self Government will be holding a memorial service on 6 August in Saint Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, where Cardinal Péter Erdő will celebrate ecumenical mass.
Informal V4 meeting to take place in Hungary (Online 01 Aug) The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia are to participate on an informal Visegrád Four (V4) meetin Fertőd, ing Hungary on August 24, the Prime Minis-
ter’s Press Chief announced. He also stated that are preparations under way and according to plans the meeting will take place at Fertőd Palace in the morning, following which
in the afternoon the four prime ministers will attend a forum in discussion Kőszeg, at the ‘Tranzit - Festival on the Border’ Summer University.
Le v e l of H unga r ia n e c onom y ’s e x t e r na l de bt de c r e a s ing s t e a dily (Online 01 Aug) Hungary’s external debt level is characterized by a positive trend which has been in place for almost two years: since the third quarter of 2011, the ex-
ternal debt of the Hungarian economy has decreased by some 18.7 percent of GDP. The improvement of the external debt indicator – a key benchmark for Hungary’s
risk assessment – is a favourable change from the aspect of the stability of the country in general and the financial status in particular.
Successful cooperation continu e s w i t h B u d a p e s t o f f i c e o f FA O
Photo: Gergely Botár
(Online 30 Jul) Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas met with Deputy SecretaryGeneral of the FAO Denis Aitken, with whom he reviewed current issues concerning the relation-
Another important topic of the meeting was the proposed expansion of the activities and function of the FAO Shared Services Center (SSC), which operates in Hungary. On 8 October 2013, the
ing the ceremony organised to mark the office's fifth anniversary and its expansion. The "Global Forum and Expo on Family Farming", which will be held on March 47 2014 as the open-
Positive labour market trends remain firmly in place Photo: Gergely Botár ship between Hungary and the organisation.The parties expressed their satisfaction with regard to the success of the Hungary – FAO Scholarship Programme, within the framework of which 159 students from low income countries have received university edSource: Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) ucations in both (Online 30 Jul) improvement of compared to the English and HungarAccording to the 1.1 percentage level of one year ian since 2008.
flash report of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) on 30th July, the total number of those in employment increased again in comparison to the corresponding period of 2012. In the period AprilJune 2013, the number of those in employment aged 15-74 years was up by 55 thousand or 1.4 percent, to 3 million 931 thousand, compared to the same period of the previous year. In the age group of 1564 years, the number of those in employment edged up to 3 million 899 thousand, an increase of 60 thousand or 1.6 percent. In light of the latest labour market statistics of the KSH, in Q2 2013 the employment rate among those aged 15-74 years improved by 0.9 percent to 51.5 percent compared to the same period of 2012. In the age group of 15-64 years, the employment rate increased from 57.2 percent in the corresponding period of the previous year to 58.3 percent, which corresponds to an
points. In April-June 2013, as far as the gender aspect of employment is concerned, indicators improved for both sexes. Among men aged 15-64 years, the employment rate edged 2.1 percent higher, to 64.4 percent, compared to the second quarter of the previous year, while the respective improvement for women was 0.2 percentage points (52.4 percent). Positive trends can be observed with regard to the employment indicators of different age groups as well. In Q2 2013, the number of those in employment was 219 thousand among young people aged 15-24 years, and thus the 19.2 percent employment rate was 1.4 percentage points higher than the figure recorded one year ago. The employment rate among those in prime working age (25-54 years) improved by 0.9 percentage points, whereas among older people, aged 55-64 years, this indicator was up by 1.2 percentage points
ago. The employment rate for those aged 15-64 years improved in each region -- with the exception of Western Transdanubia. The largest increase (3.4 percentage points) was registered in the Southern Transdanubia region, where the employment rate is thus already 56 percent. The highest employment rate was recorded in Central Hungary, where the respective figure was 62.8 percent thanks to an increase of 0.9 percentage points. Favourable unemployment trends have also continued. According to KSH data, in the observed period the number of unemployed decreased by 23 thousand to 449 thousand, and the unemployment rate improved by 0.6 percentage points to 10.3 percent compared to Q2 2012. The unemployment rate for those in prime working age, 2554 years, fell by 0.7 percentage points to 9.3 percent in April-June 2013.
its transition to democracy. Hungary continues to support Tunisia’s transformation and hopes that the country’s political forces and civil society will jointly halt the spread of politi- S c h o l a r s h i p a g r e e m e n t s i g n e d cally motivated vi- b e t w e e n H u n g a r y a n d V i e t n a m olence and (Online 29 Jul) mony was at- said. extremist ideas. Hungary and tended by deputy The rectors' conVietnam have prime ministers ferences of the an Zsolt Semjén and two countries will M OL Wor ld Fe nc ing C ha m pions hips concluded agreement on a Nguyen Thien organise a roadto be gin ne x t we e k in B uda pe s t scholarship pro- Nhan. show in Vietnam (Online 02 Aug) forints. Organ- (FIE) was es- gramme in Bu- According to the in autumn to presH u n g a r y ’ s isers are ex- tablished in dapest on agreement, from ent Hungarian largest sporting pecting 1100 1913, exactly Monday. The doc- 2014 Hungary will universities and event this sum- p a r t i c i p a n t s 100 years ago. ument was grant scholar- colleges, he mer, the cen- from 106 coun- President of the signed by Hun- ships to 40 Viet- added. tennial MOL tries, including FIE Alisher Us- gary's Minister of namese students At present 45 World Fencing more than 160 manov stated State for Higher per year, primarily Vietnamese stuChampionships, w h e e l c h a i r that it is fitting Education István in the technical dents receive are to begin on fencers. that this year’s Klinghammer and and agricultural state scholarships Monday in Bu- This year’s World Champi- Vietnam's Deputy fields, and will be in Hungary, while dapest. The competition is onships should Minister of Edu- prepared to re- 189 are paying for Ministry of Na- also a centen- take place in cation and Train- ceive further, pay- their studies here, tional Economy nial event, Budapest, a city is sponsoring since the Inter- that has such a ing Tran Quang ing ones as well, the Minister of Minister of State State said. the event with national Fenc- rich tradition in Quy. The signing cereKlinghammer 180 million ing Federation fencing.
SSC office in Budapest will be holding a large-scale event to mark the fifth anniversary of its opening. The Ministry of Rural Development will take this opportunity to provide the FAO with further office space. At the invitation of Minister Sándor Fazekas, FAO Director General Graziano da Silva will also be attend-
ing event of the International Year of Family Farming, will also be a largescale occurrence for both the FAO and Hungary. The global professional conference will also provide an opportunity for family farms from a variety of countries to present themselves and their products.
2 0 0 ,0 0 0 une m ploy e d to be inc lude d in public wor k s c he m e t his wint e r (Online 30 Jul) The Government has decided to include 200,000 unemployed in its public work scheme during the winter season, the Ministry of National Economy said. Some 100,000 people will in effect work from November until next April and the other 100,000 will participate from December until March in training programmes aimed at helping
them find future employment, the ministry added. The training will be aimed at teaching or advancing skills and also providing professional qualifications in areas helping participants to find permanent employment later on. The scheme for the winter of 2013/2014 has been designed to cover primarily the eastern counties of Borsod-Abaúj- Zem-
plén, SzabolcsSzatmár-Bereg, Hajdú-Bihar and Békés, where a large number of people have already been employed in public works projects. The Government has allocated a total of 19 billion forints (EUR 64m) for the programme from the central budget and is providing an additional 24 billion forints from EU funds.
Te m por a r y r e f uge e c a m p t o ope n in Vá m os s za ba di (Online 29 Jul) Vámosszabadi agrees to use the former workers’ hostel building as a refugee camp, mainly for women and families, as a temporary solution. Gyula Kovács, leader of the Győr-Moson-Sopron county Office of Immigration and Nationality announced at the beginning of June that a camp for 216 illegal immigrants will open in Vámosszabadi, near the Hungarian-Slovak border. The Ministry of Interior and the
leaders of Vámoszsabadi will review the situation of migration in March 2014 and will decide about the further use of the building. The leaders and inhabitants of Vámosszabadi are aware of the pressure that is put on Hungary due to immigration and accept the fact that there is need for a new station in order to host asylum seekers. At the end of June, Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér announced that Hungary’s ninth refugee camp
will be in Vámosszabadi. He explained his decision with the large number of asylum seekers who have recently arrived in Hungary and could not be accommodated in any of the already existing camps. Director General of the Office of Immigration and Nationality Zsuzsanna Végh emphasised earlier that most of the maximum 200 people to be housed in the outskirts of Vámosszabadi have fled from war and have young children.
Sá ndor Fa ze k a s ina ugur a t e s ne w bioga s powe r pla nt (Online 29 Jul) Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas inaugurated Héjja Brothers Ltd's new biogas power plant in Csongrád. In his speech, the Minister emphasised that the exemplary development project generates environmentally friend energy cheaply, which is not just good for the en-
vironment, but is also important with relation to the profitability of the pork sector. Mr. Fazekas pointed out that renewable energy is also used in animal husbandry in Germany, which supports this ailing sector, and so agriculture is also able to contribute to energy production. For Hungary to perform profitable
and successful production in this sector and reduce the quantity of imported products, we must also incorporate these methods and solutions, he added. Héjja Brothers Ltd's modern, environmentally friendly plant adapts to these new conditions, with which it provides an example that should be followed.