Harriet Tubman Day U.S. - M a r 1 0
Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Harriet Ross; 1820 – March 10, 1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. After escaping from slavery, into which she was born, she made thirteen missions to rescue more than 70 slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women's suffrage. As a child in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten by masters to whom she was hired out. Early in her life, she suffered a head wound when hit by a heavy metal weight. The injury caused disabling seizures, narcoleptic attacks, headaches, and powerful visionary and dream activity, which occurred throughout her life. A devout Christian, Tubman ascribed the visions and vivid dreams to revelations from God. In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other slaves to freedom. Traveling by night, Tubman (or "Moses", as she was called) "never lost a passenger". Large rewards were offered for the return of many of the fugitive slaves, but no one then knew that Tubman was the one helping them. When the Southern-dominated Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, requiring law officials in free states to aid efforts to recapture slaves, she helped guide fugitives farther north into Canada, where slavery was prohibited. When the American Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina. After the war, she retired to the family home in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. She became active in the women's suffrage movement in New York until illness overtook her. Near the end of her life, she lived in a home for elderly African-Americans that she had helped found years earlier.
Commonwealth Day - M a r 1 1 Canada, Australia, Gibraltar, U.K.
Commonwealth Day is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations held on the second Monday in March, and marked by a multi-faith service in Westminster Abbey, normally attended by HM Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Commonwealth High Commissioners in London. The Queen delivers an address to the Commonwealth, broadcast throughout the world. Also, in the year before the quadrennial Commonwealth Games, the Queen starts the Queen's Baton Relay on Commonwealth Day at Buckingham Palace, handing the baton to the first relay runner to start a journey that will end at the Opening Ceremony of the upcoming Games. While it has a certain official status, Commonwealth Day is not a public holiday in most Commonwealth countries and there is little public awareness of it.
History Clementina Trenholme
Flags of members and the Commonwealth Flag are flown outside and on top of Westminster Abbey re-
introduced Empire spectively. Day in Canadian schools, first in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1898, on the last school day before 24 May, Queen Victoria's birthday. It was celebrated more each year. A typical Empire Day in Hamilton schools occupied the entire day and included inspirational speeches by trustees and songs such as The Maple Leaf Forever and Just Before the Battle. Empire Day was instituted in the United Kingdom in 1904 by Lord Meath, and extended throughout the countries of the Commonwealth. This day was celebrated by lighting fireworks in back gardens or attending community bonfires. It gave the Queen's people a chance to show their pride in being part of the British Empire. In 1958 Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day, in accordance with the new post-colonial relationship between the nations of the former empire. The National Council in Canada of the Royal Commonwealth Society expressed in a 1973 letter to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau that Commonwealth Day should be observed on the same day throughout all countries of the Commonwealth. They asked that this notion be included on the agenda of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Ottawa that year. The item eventually appeared on the agenda of the 1975 meeting, and it was agreed that the Commonwealth Secretariat select a date, preferably one without previous historical connotations. At the meeting of officials in Canberra in 1976, the Canadian proposal of the second Monday in March was adopted.
In 2006 Elizabeth II delivered her Commonwealth Day address from St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, part of the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games that year in Melbourne.
In Canada, the only official recognition is a federal government stipulation that the Royal Union Flag be flown alongside Canada's flag at government installations nationwide, "where physical arrangements allow.... Physical arrangements means the existence of at least two flag poles". The 1964 parliamentary resolutions creating the Maple Leaf flag also retained the Union Flag as an official symbol of Canada's membership in the Commonwealth, and allegiance to the Crown.
Independence Day Mauritius - M a r 1 2
Mauritius officially the Republic of Mauritius (Mauritian Creole: Republik Moris; French: République de Maurice) is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 870 kilometres (540 mi) east of Madagascar. In addition to the island of Mauritius, the Republic includes the islands of Cargados Carajos, Rodrigues and the Agalega Islands. Mauritius Island is part of the Mascarene Islands, with the French island of Réunion170 km (110 mi) to the southwest and the island of Rodrigues 570 km (350 mi) to the east. The area of Mauritius is 2040 km2; its capital city is Port Louis. The United Kingdom took control of the islands in 1810, from France during the Napoleonic Wars, and Mauritius became independent from the UK in 1968. It is a parliamentary republic and is a member of the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the African Union, La Francophonie and the Commonwealth of Nations. Mauritius has an upper middle income economy. The main languages spoken in Mauritius are Mauritian Creole, French and English. English is the only official language but the lingua franca is Mauritian Creole and the newspapers and television programmes are usually in French. Asian languages also form part of the linguistic mosaic. The country's populace is composed of several ethnicities, including Indian, African, Chinese and French. The first European explorers found no indigenous people living on the island. The island of Mauritius was the only home of the dodo (Raphus cucullatus). This bird was an easy prey to settlers because of its weight and inability to fly, and became extinct fewer than eighty years after the initial European colonization.
History The island of Mauritius was unknown and uninhab-
ited before its first recorded visit, by Arab sailors during the Middle Ages who named it Dina Arobi. In 1507 Portuguese sailors visited the uninhabited island and established a visiting base. Portuguese navigator Diogo Fernandes Pereira was probably the first European to land on the island at around 1511. The island appears with a Portuguese name 'Cirne' on early Portuguese maps, probably because of the presence of the dodo, a flightless bird which was found in great numbers at that time. Another Portuguese sailor, Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, gave the name Mascarenes to the group of islands now known as Mauritius, Rodrigues andRéunion. The Portuguese did not stay long as they were not interested in these islands.
The Battle of Grand Port, 20–27 August 1810
In 1598 a Dutch squadron under Admiral Wybrand Van Warwyck landed at Grand Port and named the island "Mauritius", in honour of Prince Maurits van Nassau, stadtholder of the Dutch Republic. However, it was not until 1638 that there was a first attempt of Dutch settlement. It was from here that Dutch navigator Abel Tasman set out to discover the western part of Australia. The first Dutch settlement lasted only twenty years. Several attempts were subsequently made, but the settlements never developed enough to produce dividends and the Dutch abandoned Mauritius in 1710. They are remembered for the introduction of sugar-cane, domestic animals, and deer.
France, which already controlled neighboring Île Bourbon (now Réunion), took control of Mauritius in 1715 and later renamed it Île de France (literally, Island of France). The 1735 arrival of French governor Mahé de La Bourdonnais coincided with development of a prosperous economy based on sugar production. Mahé de La Bourdonnais established Port Louis as a naval base and a shipbuilding centre. Under his governorship, numerous buildings were erected, a number of which are still standing today - part of Government House, the Chateau de Mon Plaisir at Pamplemousses, and the Line Barracks. The island was under the administration of the French East India Company which maintained its presence until 1767. From 1767 to 1810, except for a brief period during the French Revolution when the inhabitants set up a government virtually independent of France, the island was controlled by officials appointed by the French government. In particular Charles Mathieu Isidore Decaen a successful general in the French Revolutionary Wars and in some ways a rival of Napoleon, ruled as Governor General of Mauritius and Réunion from 1803 to 1810. British naval cartographer and explorer Matthew Flinders was arrested and detained by Decaen on the island for most of this period, in contravention of an order from Napoleon. During this period, the Napoleonic wars, Île de France became a base from which French corsairs organised successful raids on British commercial ships. The raids continued until 1810 when a strong Royal Navy expedition led by Commodore Josias Rowley was sent to capture the island. Despite winning the Battle of Grand Port, the only French naval victory over the British during these wars, the French surrendered to a British invasion at Cap Malheureux three months later. They formally surrendered on 3 December 1810, on terms allowing settlers to keep their land and property and to use the French language and law of France in criminal and civil matters. Under British rule, the island's name reverted to the original one.
The British administration, which began with Robert Farquhar as governor, was followed by rapid social and economic changes. Slavery was abolished in 1835. The planters received two million pounds sterling in compensation for the loss of their slaves who had been imported from Africa and Madagascar during the French occupation. The abolition of slavery had important repercussions on the socio-economic and demographic fields. The planters turned to India, bringing in a large number of indentured labourers to work in the sugar cane fields. Between 1834 and 1921, around half a million indentured labourers were present on the island. They worked on sugar estates, factories, in transport and construction sites. Additionally, the British brought 8740 Indian soldiers to the islands. Indians mainly originated from Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. The first group arrived in 1721 fromBengal and Pondicherry. Most were Bengali or Tamil. Port-Louis was divided into three sectors, with the Indian community in the eastern suburb of ‘Camp de Malabar’. A great number of Hindus from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were brought as indentured labourers. There was also massive immigration from Madagascar, Southern and Eastern Africa, Mozambique and Comoros. Chinese immigrants who were in commerce also arrived later and the colony was transformed into a predominantly Asiatic population. The expanding marketing sector also attracted many traders from North India. As the Indian population became numerically dominant and the voting franchise was extended, political power shifted from the Franco-Mauritian and their Creole allies to the Indo-Mauritian. Cultivation of sugar cane flourished, for export of sugar to England. Economic progress saw improvement of the means of communication and a gradual upgrading of infrastructure. Following constitutional conferences held in London in 1955 and 1957, the ministerial system was introduced and general elections were held on 9 March 1959. Voting took place for the first time on the basis of universal adult suffrage and the number of electors rose to 208,684. A Constitutional Review Conference was held in London in 1961 and a programme of further constitutional advance was established. The last constitutional conference, held in 1965, paved the way for Mauritius to achieve independence. After general elections in 1967, Mauritius adopted a new constitution and independence was proclaimed on 12 March 1968. Mauritius became a republic on 12 March 1992.
Girl Scout Day U.S. - M a r 1 2
In the United Kingdom, the Union Flag is flown from public buildings on the second Monday in March to mark Commonwealth Day. The Scottish Parliament Building also flies the Commonwealth flag from the fourth flagpole.
Commonwealth Day is celebrated as a national holiday in Gibraltar.
Other Commonwealth countries:
In member states of the Commonwealth, Commonwealth Day is celebrated on the second Monday in March. In 2009, it was celebrated on 9 March. In some countries, such as Belize and In The Bahamas, a member of the Commonwealth since 1973, Commonwealth Day is marked officially in schools with special programmes and assemblies and flag-raising ceremonies. The Queen's Commonwealth Day message is often read at these events.
Restoration of Lithuania's Statehood Lithuania - Mar 11
The Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania or Act of March 11(Lithuanian: Aktas dėl Lietuvos nepriklausomos valstybės atstatymo) was an independence declaration by the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted on March 11, 1990. Signed by all members of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR, the act emphasized restoration and legal continuity of the interwar-period Lithuania, which was occupied by the USSR and lost independence in June 1940. It was the first time that a Union Republic declared independence from the dissolving Soviet Union.
Loss of independence:
After the partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 18th century, Lithuania was part of the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Council of Lithuania, chaired by Jonas Basanavičius, proclaimed the Act of Independence of Lithuania on February 16, 1918. Lithuania enjoyed independence for two decades. In August 1939, Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact dividing Eastern Europe into spheres of influence. The Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) were assigned to Russia and subsequently were occupied in June 1940 and converted into soviet socialist republics. The Soviet authorities undertook Sovietization policies: nationalization of all private property, collectivization of agriculture, suppression of the Catholic Church, and imposition of totalitarian control. The armed anti-Soviet partisans were liquidated by 1953. Approximately 130,000 Lithuanians, dubbed "enemies of the people", were deported into Siberia (see June deportation and March deportation). After the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, Soviet Union adopted de-Stalinization policies and ended mass persecutions. Nonviolent resistance continued both in Lithuania and among Lithuanian diaspora. These movements were secret, illegal, and more focused on social issues, human rights, and cultural affairs rather than political demands.
As Mikhail Gorbachev attempted to revive economy of the Soviet Union, he introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These reforms encouraged changes within the Soviet government and invited the public into discussions. For the activists, it was an opportunity to bring their movements from underground into the public life. On August 23, 1987 (48th anniversary of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact), the Lithuanian Liberty League organized the first public protest rally that did not result in arrests. In mid-1988, a group of 35 intellectuals organized Sąjūdis Reform Movement with the officially stated goal of supporting, discussing, and implementing Gorbachev's reforms. Sąjūdis grew in popularity, attracting large crowds to rallies in Vingis Park and radicalizing its agenda. The movement, afraid of angering Moscow and causing a violent clampdown, continuously pushed further with its demands: from limited discussions on Gorbachev's reforms, to demand of greater say in economic decisions, to political autonomy within the Soviet Union. By the time of the Baltic Way, a human chainspanning over 600 kilometres (370 mi) across the three Baltic states to mark the 50th anniversary of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, full independence was the official goal.
Parliamentary elections of February 1990 were the first free and democratic elections in Lithuania since World War II. The people overwhelmingly voted for the candidates endorsed by Sąjūdis, even though the movement did not run as a political party. The result was the first post-war non-communist government. During its first assembly on March 11, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR elected Vytautas Landsbergis as its chairman, changed its name to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, and formally declared the re-establishment of the State of Lithuania. The act was approved at 10:44 pm by 124 members of the council while six abstained. There were no votes against.
The Act SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA ACT On the Re-establishment of
t he St a t e of Lithua nia . The Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, expressing the will of the nation, decrees and solemnly proclaims that the execution of the sovereign powers of the State of Lithuania abolished by foreign forces in 1940, is re-established, and henceforth Lithuania is again an independent state. The Act of Independence of February 16, 1918 of the Council of Lithuania and the Constituent Assembly decree of May 15, 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania never lost their legal effect and comprise the constitutional foundation of the State of Lithuania. The territory of Lithuania is whole and indivisible, and the constitution of no other State is valid on it. The State of Lithuania stresses its adherence to universally recognized principles of international law, recognizes the principle of inviolability of borders as formulated in the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in Helsinki in 1975, and guarantees human, civil, and ethnic community rights. The Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, expressing sovereign power, by this Act begins to realize the complete sovereignty of the state.
Aftermath The Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania served as a model and inspiration to other Soviet republics.
However, the issue of independence was not immediately settled and recognition by other countries was not certain. Mikhail Gorbachev called the Act of Independence illegal and the USSR demanded revocation of the Act and began applying sanctions against Lithuania including an economic blockade. In addition, on January 13, 1991 Soviet forces stormed the Parliament building in Vilnius along with the Vilnius TV Tower. Unarmed civilian Lithuanians confronted Soviet soldiers. Fourteen people were killed and seven hundred injured in what became known as January Events. Iceland was the first to recognize Lithuanian independence on February 11, 1991. After the failed August Coup, it was followed by the United States on September 2. President George H.W. Bush announced that if Russia were to use armed force against Lithuania, the U.S. would react accordingly. Finally, on September 6, 1991 Lithuania’s independence was recognized by the Soviet Union. Then recognition of Lithuania’s independence was quickly followed by several countries including Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Malta, San Marino,Portugal, Romania, Ukraine, Latvia and Estonia. On September 17, 1991, it was welcomed as a member of the United Nations along with Estonia and Latvia.
Moshoeshoe's Day Lesotho - M a r 1 1
Moshoeshoe (c. 1786 – March 11, 1870) was born at Menkhoaneng in the Northern part of present-day Lesotho. He was the first son of Mokhachane, a minor chief of the Bamokoteli lineage- a branch of the Koena (crocodile) clan. In his early childhood, he helped his father gain power over some other smaller clans. At the age of 34 Moshoeshoe formed his own clan and became a chief. He and his followers settled at the Butha-Buthe Mountain.
King Moshoeshoe was the son of Mokhachane, a
minor chief of the Bamokoteli sub-clan. He was born at Menkhoaneng in Leribe, Lesotho as Lepoqo. During his youth, he was very brave and once organised a cattle raid against Ramonaheng and captured several herds. As was the tradition, he composed a poem praising himself where, amongst the words he used to refer to himself, said he was "like a razor which has shaved all Ramonaheng's beards", referring to his successful raid. In Sesotho language, a razor makes a "shoe...shoe..." sound, and after that he was affectionately called Moshoeshoe: "the shaver". He also referred himself as the person of Kali, thus showed that he was a descendant of the Great Kali or Monaheng who is said to be the ancestor of most Bakoena people in Lesotho with the exception of the senior BaMolibeli. Moshoeshoe and his followers, mostly the Bakoena BaMokoteli, some Bafokeng from his maternal side and other relations as well as some clans including the Amazizi, established his village at Butha-Buthe, where his settlement coincided with the growth of Shaka and what came to be called the Lifaqane. Moshoeshoe’s reign coincided with the growth in power of the well-known Zulu chief, Shaka. During the early 19th century Shaka raided many smaller clans along the eastern coast of Southern Africa, incorporating parts of them into his steadily growing Zulu chiefdom. Various small clans were forced to flee the Zulu chief. An era of great wars of calamity followed, known as the Mfecane/lifaqane. It was marked by aggression against the Sotho people by the invading Nguni clans. The attacks also forced Moshoeshoe to move his settlement to the Qiloane plateau. The name was later changed to Thaba Bosiu or "mountain of the night" because it was believed to be growing during the night and shrinking during day. It proved to be an impassable stronghold against enemies.
The most significant role Moshoeshoe played as a diplomat was his acts of friendship towards his beaten enemies. He provided land and protection to various people and this strengthened the growing Basotho nation. His influence and followers grew with the integration of a number of refugees and victims of the wars of calamity. By the latter part of the 19th century, Moshoeshoe established the nation of the Basotho, in Basutoland. He was popularly known as Morena e Moholo/morena oa Basotho (Great King/King of the Basotho). Guns were introduced with the arrival of the Dutch from the Cape Colony and Moshoeshoe determined that he needed these and a white advisor. From other tribes, he heard of the benefits missionaries brought. By chance, three representatives of the Society arrived in the heart of southern Africa : Eugene Casalis, Constant Gosselin and Thomas Arbousset. Moshoeshoe brought them to his kingdom. Later Roman Catholic Missionaries were to have a great influence on the shape of Basotho History (the first being, Bishop M.F. Allard O.M.I. and Fr. Joseph Gerard O.M.I.). From 1837 to 1855 Casalis played the role of Moshoeshoe's Foreign Advisor. With his knowledge of the non-African world, he was able to inform and advise the king in his dealings with hostile foreigners. He also served as an interpreter for Moshoeshoe in his dealings with white people, and documented the Sesotho language. In the late 1830s, Boer trekkers from the Cape Colony showed up on the western borders of Basutoland and subsequently claimed land rights. The trekkers' pioneer in this area was Jan de Winnaar, who settled in the Matlakeng area in May–June 1838. As more farmers were moving into the area they tried to colonise the land between the two rivers, even north of the Caledon, 'claiming' that it had been abandoned by the Sotho people. Moshoeshoe, when hearing of the trekker settlement above the junction, stated that "... the ground on which they were belonged to me, but I had no objections to their flocks grazing there until such time as they were able to proceed further; on condition, however, that they remained in peace with my people and recognised my authority." Eugene Casalis later remarked that the trekkers had humbly asked for temporary rights while they were still few in number, but that when they felt "strong enough to throw off the mask" they went back on their initial intention. The next 30 years were marked by conflicts.
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) is a youth organization for girls in the United States and American girls living abroad. It describes itself as "the world's preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls". It was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 and was organized after Low met Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, in 1911. Upon returning to Savannah, Georgia, she made her historic telephone call to a distant cousin, saying, "I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight!" GSUSA aims to empower girls and to help teach values such as honesty, fairness, courage, compassion, character, sisterhood, confidence, and citizenship through activities includingcamping, community service, learning first aid, and earning badges by acquiring other practical skills. Girl Scouts' achievements are recognized through rank advancement and by various special awards. Girl Scouts welcomed girls with disabilities early in their history, at a time when they were not included in most other activities. Membership is organized according to grade with activities designed appropriately for each level. The GSUSA is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), and has an extensive history of accepting girls from any backgrounds. In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an industry publication, released the results of the largest study of charitable and non-profit organization popularity and credibility. The study showed that the Girl Scouts was ranked as the 8th "most popular charity/non-profit in America" of over 100 charities researched with 41% of Americans over the age of 12 choosing Love and Like A Lot for the Girl Scouts.
History Girl Scouting in the United States of America began on March 12, 1912 when Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low organized
the first Girl Scout troop meeting of 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia. It has since grown 3.7 million members. Low, who had met Baden-Powell in London while she was living in the United Kingdom, dreamed of giving the United States and the world "something for all the girls." She envisioned an organization that would bring girls out of their sheltered home environments to serve their communities, experience the out-of-doors, and give them the opportunity to develop "self-reliance and resourcefulness." Unlike other organizations, from its inception, Girl Scouts has been organized and run exclusively by women, for girls and women. The organization's original name was the Girl Guides of America. In 1913, it was changed to the Girl Scouts of the United States and the organization was incorporated in 1915. The name was finally changed to the Girl Scouts of the United States of America in 1947, and was given a congressional charter on March 16, 1950. The GSUSA started with 18 members — within months, members were hiking through the woods in their knee-length blue uniforms, playing basketball on a curtained-off court, and going on camping trips. By 1920, there were nearly 70,000 members, and by 1930 over 200,000. In 2005 there were over 3.7 million Girl Scouts — 2.8 million girl members and 954,000 adult members — in the United States. More than 50 million American women have participated in the Girl Scouts. Through its membership in the WAGGGS, GSUSA is part of a worldwide scouting family of over 10 million girls and adults in 145 countries. The names and ages of the levels — and the larger structure of the program — have evolved significantly. Troops were initially fairly independent before joining together into small councils, which have recently merged into larger councils. The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, located in Savannah, Georgia in the former Gordon family home, became the National Girl Scout program center in 1956. It provides tours to thousands of Girl Scouts yearly. Upon Low's death in 1927, she willed her carriage house, which would eventually become The Girl Scout First Headquarters, to the local Savannah Girl Scouts for continued use. The first National Headquarters was in Washington, D.C., but it was moved to New York City in the spring of 1916 and has remained there ever since. The aim of the Girl Scouts is that girls will develop to their full potential by pursuing four goals: developing their full potential; relating to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; developing a meaningful set of values to guide their actions and to provide for sound decision-making; and contributing to the improvement of society.
World War II:
During World War II, 1943–1945, many young Japanese-American girls were confined in internment camps with their families. Girl Scout troops were organized, even in these camps. These girls participated in many activities, including dramatic presentations, which took place in the Crystal City Internment Camp, located in Crystal City, Texas.
Most Girl Scout units were originally segregated by race according to state and local laws and customs. The first troop for African American girls was founded in 1917; the first American Indian troop was formed in New York State in 1921; and the first troop for Mexican Americans was formed in Houston, Texas, in 1922. In 1933, Josephine Groves Holloway founded unofficial African American troops in Tennessee. She also fully desegregated the Cumberland Valley council in 1962. The first official African American troop in the South was founded in 1932 in Richmond, Virginia by Lena B. Watson and led initially by Lavnia Banks, a teacher from Armstrong High School. It first met in Hartshorn Hall, Girl Scouts raising the flag at a Municipal Virginia Union University. By the 1950s, the GSUSA had begun significant national Band concert in Eau Claire, Wisconsin efforts to desegregate the camps and maintain racial balance. One of the first desegregations, accomplished by Murray Walls in 1956, was Camp Shantituck in Kentucky. Later the same year, Martin Luther King, Jr. described Girl Scouts as "a force for desegregation". In 1969, a national Girl Scout initiative called Action 70 was created that aimed to eliminate prejudice. Gloria D. Scott, an African American, was elected National President of the Girl Scouts in 1975.
The Wing Scout program was a Senior Girl Scout program for girls interested in flying and wanting to serve their country, started in 1941 and ending in the 1970s. In July 1942, 29 troop leaders from fifteen states met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to take Wing Scout leadership training. These leaders returned to their councils and began setting up Wing Scout troops. In 1959, Girl Scout Council in North San Mateo County, California was presented with an offer from United Airlines San Francisco Management Club President J. L. Burnside to start an aviation program for Senior Girl Scouts. One of the highlights of the Wing Scout program was the courtesy flight provided to Senior Girl Scouts using United Airlines' jets. For many of the girls, this was the first time they had flown in a plane. Senior Girl Scouts who had been in the program for three years were given the opportunity to take over the controls during flight in a small aircraft. The program was discontinued after United Airlines experienced financial setbacks in the 1970s.
Revolutionary Attack on the Presidential Palace Cuba - M a r 1 3
Revolutionary student groups FEU-DR attacked the presidential palace in an assassination attempt on Batista. Forty attackers were killed including José Antonio Echeverría (FEU leader) and Menelao Mora Morales (a former Autentico congressman). The Presidential Palace was Cuba’s equivalent of the US White House, housing the government offices of the President and his administration, and also the residential quarters of the first family. It had served this function since its inauguration in 1920. The Orestes Ferrara site has a set of pictures of this beautiful building over the years. On the afternoon of 13 March 1957. the FEU/DR attackers and their allies pulled up to the Presidential Palace in two automobiles and a delivery truck, where the attackers jumped out, opened fire on the guards at the entrance, and rushed the building to storm Batista’s office, which they found empty. Batista had gone to the family quarters on the third floor a few minutes earlier to check in his sick son. The attackers tried to reach those quarters, but the elevator being on the residential floor already there was no way for the attackers to get to the third floor. A gun battle of a few hours ensued. A few attackers escaped, but most were killed in the building. As the palace battle was in progress, Echeverria and DR confederates armed with pistols and machine guns assaulted the CMQ 24 hour news station Radio Reloj and shouted into the microphones that Batista was dead, rebel forces were in control, and called for a national strike and uprising by the military. Only the beginning of the message aired, that Batista was dead and had been slain by the DR. Echeverria didn’t realize the microphone cut out after his first few words, apparently due to volume-limiting circuitry. The attackers then fled to the University in their cars. Enroute, Echeverría ran into a patrol car and opened fire on the police, who shot back killing him. The failed attack provoked brutal reprisals. That evening Batista's police force launched one of the worst waves of repression and political violence Cuba experienced in the 50s. Some police squads, apparently of their own initiative, rousted opposition leaders not involved in the attack—including Carlos Márquez-Sterling. In the ensuing bloodbath one of the casualties was distinguished attorney and former senator Pelayo Cuervo Navarro, a prominent figure in theabstencionista opposition and leader of the Ortodoxo Party. Pelayo Cuervo was assassinated the night of March 13, as this new wave of violence surged. The leadership of the DR was eliminated by losses in the attack and its aftermath.
Constitution Day Andorra - M a r 1 4
The Constitution of Andorra (Catalan: Constitució d'Andorra) is the supreme law of the Principality of Andorra. It was adopted on 2 February 1993 and given assent by the Andorran people in a referendum on 14 March 1993. According to the Constitution itself, it was to enter into force the day of its publication in theButlletí Oficial del Principat d'Andorra, which occurred on 28 April 1993. The Constitution was signed by Andorra's two co-princes, the President of France, and the Bishop of Urgell, who at that time were François Mitterrand and Joan Martí Alanis respectively. The new constitution stipulates that these two officials are Andorra's heads of state. Indeed, this arrangement has existed for centuries, although at one time, the French king held the position now held by the French president.
Pi Day U.S. - M a r 1 4
Wars Moshoeshoe signed a treaty with the British Governor, Sir
George Thomas Napier. Among the provisions of this treaty was the annexation of a tract of land (now called the Orange River Sovereignty) that many Boers had settled. The outraged Boers were suppressed in a brief skirmish in 1848, but remained bitter at both the British and the Sotho. The situation erupted in 1851. A British force was defeated by the Sotho army at Kolonyama, touching off an embarrassing war for the British. After repulsing another British attack in 1852, Moshoeshoe sent an appeal to the British commander that allowed him to save face. Once again, diplomacy saved the Sotho kingdom. After a final defeat of the Tloka in 1853, Moshoeshoe reigned supreme. However, the British pulled out of the region in 1854, causing the de facto formation of two independent states: the Boer Orange Free Stateand the Sotho Kingdom. In 1858 Moshoeshoe defeated the Boers in the Free State-Basotho War and in 1865 Moshoeshoe lost a great portion of the western lowlands. The last war in 1867 ended only when the British and Moshoeshoe appealed to Queen Victoria, who agreed to make Basutoland a British protectorate in 1868. The British were eager to check Boer advances, and Moshoeshoe, with advice from Eugene Casalis, realized that continued pressure from the Boers would lead to the destruction of his king- Grave of Moshoeshoe I atop Thaba dom. In 1869, the British signed a treaty at Aliwal with the Boers. It Bosiu. defined the boundaries of Basutoland and later Lesotho; those boundaries have not changed. The arable land west of the Caledon River remained in Boer hands, and is referred to as the Lost or Conquered Territory. This effectively reduced Moshoeshoe's kingdom to half its previous size.
Legacy Although he had ceded much territory, Moshoeshoe never suffered a major military defeat and retained most of his
kingdom and all of his culture. His death in 1870 marked the end of the traditional era and the beginning of the modern colonial period. Moshoeshoe Day is a national holiday in Lesotho celebrated every year on March 11 to commemorate the day of Moshoeshoe's death.
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster Japan - M a r 1 1
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns, and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011. It is the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. The plant comprises six separate boiling water reactors originally designed by General Electric (GE), and maintained by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). At the time of the quake, Reactor 4 had been de-fuelled while 5 and 6 were in cold shutdown for planned maintenance. The remaining reactors shut down automatically after the earthquake, and emergency generators came online to control electronics and coolant systems. The tsunami broke the reactors' connection to the power grid and also resulted in flooding of the rooms containing the emergency generators. Consequently those generators ceased working and the pumps that circulate coolant water in the reactor ceased to work, causing the reactors to begin to overheat. The flooding and earthquake damage hindered external assistance. In the hours and days that followed, reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced full meltdown. As workers struggled to cool and shut down the reactors, several hydrogen explosions occurred. The government ordered that seawater be used to attempt to cool the reactors—this had the effect of ruining the reactors entirely. As the water levels in the fuel rods pools dropped, they began to overheat. Fears of radioactivity releases led to a 20 km (12 mi)-radius evacuation around the plant, while workers suffered radiation exposure and were temporarily evacuated at various times. Electrical power was slowly restored for some of the reactors, allowing for automated cooling. Japanese officials initially assessed the accident as Level 4 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) despite the views of other international agencies that it should be higher. The level was successively raised to 5 and eventually to 7, the maximum scale value. The Japanese government and TEPCO have been criticized in the foreign press for poor communication with the public and improvised cleanup efforts. On 20 March, the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano announced that the plant would be decommissioned once the crisis was over. The Japanese government estimates the total amount of radioactivity released into the atmosphere was approximately one-tenth as much as was released during the Chernobyl disaster. Significant amounts of radioactive material have also been released into ground and ocean waters. Measurements taken by Satellite image on 16 March of the four damthe Japanese government 30–50 km from the plant aged reactor buildings showed radioactive caesium levels high enough to cause concern, leading the government to ban the sale of food grown in the area. Tokyo officials temporarily recommended that tap water should not be used to prepare food for infants. A few of the plant's workers were severely injured or killed by the disaster conditions resulting from the earthquake. There were no immediate deaths due to direct radiation exposures, but at least six workers have exceeded lifetime legal limits for radiation and more than 300 have received significant radiation doses. Future cancer deaths due to accumulated radiation exposures in the population living near Fukushima have been estimated to be between 100 and 1,000. Fear of ionizing radiation could have long-term psychological effects on a large portion of the population in the contaminated areas. On 16 December 2011 Japanese authorities declared the plant to be stable, although it would take decades to decontaminate the surrounding areas and to decommission the plant altogether.
Renovation Day Gabon - M a r 1 2
Gabon celebrates Renovation Day, also known as National Day, to commemorate the anniversary of the establishment of the Gabonese Democratic Party in the same day in year 1968. Gabon is a country located in the western African continent and bordered by the following African neighbouring countries: Cameroon (north), Equatorial Guinea (northwest), Republic of the Congo (southeast), and Gulf of Guinea (west). Its capital is Libreville. It gained independence from European rule (France) on August 17, 1960.
History Gabon’s politics is largely influenced by France. In 1910, Gabon
was joined in a colonial and intergovernmental association called French Equatorial Africa. It continued to be part of the four ember territories of the federation until its dissolution in 1959. Even after the election of the first president of Gabon in 1961 (Léon M’ba), the French’s influence in the African country continued to exist. The interest of French in the region surfaced during the attempted deposition to the then president M’ba in 1964. Hours after the planned military coup against M’ba’s government, France sent in its military forces to keep M’bas’ hold to the seat of power. M’ba continued to rule Gabon until his death in 1967. His vice president, Omar Bongo Ondimba, took over and became the second president of the country and ruled the country until his death in 2009. During Bongo’s presidency, he established Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) in 1968. It was the only country allowed to exist until changes to Gabon’s political system was made in 1990 where other political parties were instituted (multi-party system).
Celebrations During the holiday, students and members of socio-civic organizations in Gabon join in people parade wearing uni-
form clothing or are dressed in traditional Gabonese clothing called ‘pagnes.’ Village women and men may also dress in uniform with their fellow villagers usually with prints from their sponsors (usually stores or name of sponsor private companies). Parades end up in town plazas where party is held. Traditional and modern Gabonese music are played along with some popular international dance music. Also, it is not surprising to see people playing traditional musical instruments during the celebration.
Youth Day Zambia - M a r 1 2
Zambia marks its annual celebration of Youth Day on the 12th of March. During the holiday, sporting events, tree-planting activities, and youth-related law implementation might take place during the celebration. Zambia, whose capital is Lusaka, is one of the landlocked countries in the Southern portion of Africa. It shares borders with the following African countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo (north), Tanzania (north-east), Malawi (east), Angola (west), and Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, and (south). Zambia has a very young population where 60%-65% of its population falls below the age of 21. The young population, however, is threatened by the spread of HIV.
History The institution of Youth Day in Zambia coincides with
the observance of the International Youth Day although Zambia celebrates it far earlier than the celebration of the latter. Zambia, having one of the highest numbers of youth population across Africa, recognizes that its political efforts in reducing poverty also points out the increasing marginalization of this endangered sector of the Zambian society. Youth Day in Zambia is an important political and social machinery; it helps the government reflect on how its effort is helping the youth curb the increasing problems it faces today. Zambia also uses this day to measure the youth’s contribution to society and how it can help them become more successful in their endeavour.
Celebrations Zambia celebrates Youth Day with usual street march where the youth participates in socio-civic action and sports
activities which improves and enjoys their youth. Youth-oriented organizations such as the Grass Root Soccer organize yearly parades to spread awareness on legal, health, and economic issues which concerns the youth. The local government, in partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGO) organize sporting events to which the youth can participate. Local leaders may deliver speeches recognizing the role of the youth in nation-building. Other activities such as tree-planting may also take place depending on the activities they organization planned for the day. On the part of the government, this is the time when special laws that benefit the youth are passed and instituted.
Pi Day is a holiday commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 (or 3/14 in month/day date format), since 3, 1 and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. Pi Approximation Day is held on July 22 (or 22/7 in day/month date format), since the fraction22⁄7 is a common approximation of π.
History Larry Shaw created Pi Day in 1988. The holiday was celebrated
at the San FranciscoExploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations. On Pi Day 2004, Daniel Tammet recited 22,514 decimal digits of π. On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224), recognizing March 14, 2009, as National Pi Day. For Pi Day 2010, Google presented a Google Doodle celebrating the holiday, with the word Google laid over images of circles and pi symbols. At 9:26:53 on Pi Day 2015, the date will be 3/14/15 at 9:26:53, corresponding to 3.141592653.
Date abstractions from pi
Pi Day is observed on March 14 because of the date's representation as 3/14 in month/day date format. This representation adheres to the commonly used approximation of 3.14 for π. The fractional approximation of π,22⁄7, resembles the date July 22 in the day/month format, where it is written 22/7. Pi Approxi- Larry Shaw, the creator of Pi Day, at mation Day is therefore celebrated on July 22. the Exploratorium
There are many ways of celebrating Pi Day. Some of them include eating pie and discussing the relevance of π. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology often mails its application decision letters to prospective students for delivery on Pi Day. There are also some serious critical observations by scientists that wind up examples of false celebrations you find on the web. The New Scientist found several stimulating starting points for true mathematical celebrations.
White Day Japan - M a r 1 4
White Day is a day that is marked in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China on March 14, one month after Valentine's Day.
In Japan In Japan, Valentine's Day is ob-
served by females who present chocolate gifts (either storebought or handmade), usually to a male, as an expression of love, courtesy or social obligation. A handmade chocolate is usually preferred by the receiver, because it is a sign that the receiving male is the girl's "only one". On White Day, the converse happens: males who received a honmei-choco (本命 チョコ, "chocolate of love") or giri-choco (義理チョコ, "courtesy chocolate") on Valentine's Day are expected to return the favor by giving gifts. Traditionally, popular White Day gifts are cookies, jewellery, white chocolate, white lingerie and marshmallows. Sometimes the term sanbai gaeshi (三倍返し, literally, "triple the return") is used to describe the generally recited rule that the return gift should be two to three times the cost of the Valentine's gift.
World Book Day Worldwide - M a r 1 4
World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) is a yearly event on 23 April, organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishingand copyright. The Day was first celebrated in 1995 and in 2012 the UK World Book day was celebrated on March 1, 2012. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on April 23. The connection between 23 Apriland books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Spain as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes who died on that day. In 1995, UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on this date because of the Catalonian festival and because the date is also the anniversary of the birth and death of William Shakespeare, the death of Miguel de Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso de la Vegaand Josep Pla, and the birth of Maurice Druon, Vladimir Nabokov, Manuel Mejía Vallejo andHalldór Laxness. Although 23 April is often stated as the anniversary of the deaths of both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, this is not strictly correct. Cervantes died on 23 April according theGregorian calendar; however, at this time England still used the Julian calendar. Whilst Shakespeare died on 23 April by the Julian calendar in use in his own country at the time, he actually died ten days after Cervantes because of the discrepancy between the two date systems. The apparent correspondence of the two dates was a fortunate coincidence for UNESCO.
Revolution of 1848 Hungary - M a r 1 5
The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 was one of many of the European Revolutions of 1848 and closely linked to other revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas. The revolution in the Kingdom of Hungary grew into a war for independence from the Austrian Empire, ruled by the Habsburg monarchy. Many of its leaders and participants, including Lajos Kossuth, István Széchenyi,Sándor Petőfi, Józef Bem, are among the most respected national heroes in Hungarian history. The anniversary of the Revolution's outbreak, 15 March, is one of Hungary's three national holidays.
In 1825, Emperor Francis II convened the Diet in response to growing concerns amongst the Hungarian nobility about taxes and the diminishing economy, after the Napoleonic wars. This – and the reaction to the hot-headed reforms of Joseph II – started what is known as the Reform Period (Hungarian: reformkor). But the Nobles still retained their privileges of paying no taxes and not giving the vote to the masses. It was in this time that Hungarian became an official language instead of Latin as had been used formally before. The influential Hungarian politician Count István Széchenyi recognized the need to bring the country up-to-date. The Hungarian Parliament was summoned once again in 1825 to handle financial needs. A Liberal Party emerged in the Diet, which put its attention on providing for the peasantry. Lajos Kossuth, a famous journalist of the time, emerged as the leader of the lower house of Parliament. Kossuth's aspiration was to build a modern democratic, liberal state with a constitution, ensuring civil equality. The people supported him in this modernisation, even though the Habsburg monarchs obstructed all important liberal laws about their civil and political rights and the Mihály Zichy's painting of Sándor economic reforms. Many reformers (like Lajos Artist Kossuth, Mihály Táncsics) were imprisoned by Petőfireciting the Nemzeti dal to a crowd on March the authorities. 15, 1848
The Revolution started on March 15, 1848. The bloodless mass demonstrations in Pest and Buda forced the Imperial governor to accept all twelve of their demands. After that, there were many insurrections throughout the Kingdom; on the pressure, the Governor-General's officers, acting in the name of the King appointed Hungary's new parliament with Lajos Batthyány as its first Prime Minister. The new government approved a sweeping reform package, referred to as the "April laws", which created a democratic political system. The newly established government also demanded that the Habsburg Empire spend all taxes they received from Hungary in Hungary itself, and that the Parliament should have authority over the Hungarian regiments of the Habsburg Army. In the summer of 1848, Hungarian Government ministers, seeing the civil war ahead, tried to get the Habsburgs' support against the conservative Josip Jelačić. They offered to send troops to northern Italy. By the end of August 1848, the Imperial Government in Vienna officially ordered the Hungarian Government in Pest not to form an Army. Jelačić, being a Count in Croatia and Dalmatia, which were at that time part of Hungary, had a different view. He invaded Hungary to dissolve the Hungarian Government, without any order by the Austrian throne. Hungary now had war raging on three fronts: Jelačić's Croatian troops to the South, Romanians in Banat and in Transylvania to the East, and Austria to the West. Hungarian liberals in Pest saw this as an opportunity. In September 1848, the Diet made concessions to the Pest Uprising, so as not to break up the Austro-Hungarian Union. But the counter-revolutionary forces were gathering. After many local victories, the combined Bohemian and Croatian armies entered Pest on 5 January 1849 to put down the revolt. Austria had its own problems with the revolution in Vienna that year. So at first it acknowledged Hungary's government. The Austrian monarchy also made other concessions to subdue the Vienna masses: On 13 March 1848, Prince Klemens von Metternich was made to resign his position as the Austrian Government's Chancellor. He then fled to London for his own safety. After the Austrian revolution in Vienna was beaten down, the kamarilla orchestrated Franz Joseph I of Austria to replace his uncle Ferdinand I of Austria, who was not of sound mind. With Franz Joseph on throne, Austria now again refused to accept the Hungarian government. In the end, the final break between Vienna and Pest occurred when Field-Marshal Count Franz Philipp von Lamberg was given control of every army in Hungary (including Jelačić's). He went to Hungary where he was mobbed and viciously murdered, upon which the Imperial court, without authority for such, ordered the Hungarian Parliament and Government dissolved, and uniliterally appointed Jelačić – the same illegal invader referred to above – to take Lamberg's place as Palatine and commander-in-chief. War between Austria and Hungary had officially begun.
War of Independence
In 1848 and 1849, the Hungarian people or Magyars, who wanted independence, formed a majority only in about a third of the total country known as "Hungary and Transylvania," and the Magyars were boxed in by their traditional enemies. In the north, from Pressburg (now Bratislava, Slovakia) to the Danube and the Tisza were several million Slovaks and Hungarian The a few Ruthenians. Croats and Slovenes lived in the south, between the Danube, the Sava and the Drava. cockade used in More to the east, there was a Serb colony numbering over a million. These Slavic areas – 1848 the Slovenes and the Serbs – were linked with the Wallachians and the Saxons of Transylvania.Often these different races were at war with each other. In 1848– 49, the Austrian monarchy, and those advising them, skillfully manipulated the Croatian, Serbian and Romanian peasantry, making promises to the Magyars one day and making conflicting promises to the Serbs and other groups the next. Some of these groups were led to fight against the Hungarian Government, by their priests and officers who were loyal to the Habsburg monarchy. But in 1848 and 1849, the Hungarians were supported by most Slovaks, Germans, Rusyns and Hungarian Slovenes, the Hungarian Jews, and many Polish, Austrian and Italian volunteers. Occasionally, the Austrian throne would overplay their hand in their tactics of divide and conquer in Hungary – with some quite unintended results. This happened in the case of the Slovaks who had begun the war as at least indifferent if not positively anti-Magyar, but came to support the Hungarian Government against the Dynasty. But in another case, the Austrians' double-dealing brought some even more surprising new allies to the Hungarian cause during the war in 1849:
To the east of the Tisza to the Transylvanian border lay the part of Hungary called "The Banat", the southern boundary of which was the Danube. On its southern bank lies the city of Belgrade in the district of Syrmien (now Syrmia, Serbia). For centuries the Danube here had served as the boundary between the Ottoman and Austrian empires. But since 1804, the independent nation of Serbia had formed south of the Danube with Belgrade as its capital. So in 1849, the Danube divided Serbia from the Kingdom of Hungary. The Hungarian district on the northern side of the river was called "Vojvodina", and was home to more than a million Serbian colonists. Vojvodina had long sought its own independence as a nation or, as an alternative, attachment with the independent nation of Serbia on the other side of the Danube. Even before the revolution of 1848 the Austrian monarchy Battle at Tápióbicske (4 April had promised an independent status for Vojvodina within the Austrian Em- 1849) by Mór Than pire. Toward this end, Josif Rajačić was appointed to "Patriarch" of Vojvodina in the February 1849. Rajačić was a supporter of the Serbian national movement, although somewhat conservative with pro-Austrian leanings. At a crucial point during the war against the Hungarian Government , in late March 1849 when the Austrians needed more Serbian soldiers to fight the war, the Austrian Field-Marshal Georg Rukavina Baron von Vidovgrad, who commanded the Austrian troops in Hungary, officially re-stated this promise of independence for Vojvodina and conceded to all the demands of the Patriarch regarding Serbian nationhood. Acquiescence to the demands of the Patriarch should have meant a relaxation of the strict military administration of Vojvodina. Under this military administration in the border areas, any male between the ages of 16 years and 60 years of age could be conscripted into the army. The Serbs of Vojvodina were expecting their requirement for Austrian military conscription to be the first measure to be relaxed. But the new Emperor Franz Joseph had other ideas and this promise was broken not more than two weeks after it had been made to the people of Vojvodina. This caused a split in the population of the Vojvodina and at least part of the Serbs in that province began to support the elected Hungarian Government against the Austrians. Some Serbs sought to ingratiate the Serb nation with the Austrian Empire to promote the independence of Vojvodina. Believers in the idea of a "Greater Serbia" hoped that an independent Vojvodina would sooner or later attach itself to the Serbian nation. Believers in Greater Serbia already looked forward to acquiring Bosnia (37.1% Serb), Herzegovina (37.9% Serb), and Montenegro (32.0% Serb). But some supporters of Greater Serbia also threw in acquisition of the northern part of Albania (less than 1% Serb) as another desirable goal for Serbian acquisition, not so much because of any ethnic link, but rather so that the Greater Serbia would have ""access to the sea". With war on three fronts the Hungarian Government should have been squashed immediately upon the start of hostilities. However, events early in the war worked in favour of the Government. The unity of the Serbs on the southern front was ruined by Austrian perfidy over the legal status of Vojvodina. Some right-wingers in the Serbian national movement felt that a "revolution" in Hungary more threatened the prerogatives of landowners, and the Surrender at Világos, 1849 nobles in Serbian Vojvodina, than the occupying Austrians. At the start of the war, the Hungarian forces (Honvédség) won many battles against the Austrians, for example at the Battle of Pákozd in September 1848 and at the Isaszeg in April 1849, at which time they even stated the Hungarian Declaration of Independence from the Habsburg Empire. The same month, Artúr Görgey became the new Commanderin-Chief of all the Hungarian Republic's armies.
Because of the success of revolutionary resistance, Franz Joseph had to ask for help from the "gendarme of Europe" Czar Nicholas I of Russia in March 1849. Russian armies, composed of about 8,000 soldiers, invaded Transylvania on 7 April 1848. But as they crossed the Southern Carpathian mountain passes (along the border of Transylvania and Wallachia), they were met by a large Hungarian revolutionary army led by Józef Bem, a Polish-born General. Bem had been a participant in the Polish insurrection of 1830 – 1831, had been involved in the uprising in Vienna in 1848 and, finally, became one of the top army commanders for the Hungarian Republic from 1848 – 1849. When he encountered the Russians, Bem defeated them and forced them back out of the towns of Hermannstadt (now Sibiu, Romania) and Kronstadt (now Brașov) in Transylvania, back over the Southern Carpathian Mountains through the Roterturm Pass into Wallachia. Only 2,000 Russian soldiers made it out of Transylvania back into Wallachia, the other 6,000 troops being killed or captured by the Hungarian Army. After securing all of Transylvania, Bem moved his 30,000– 40,000-man Hungarian army against Austrian forces in the northern Banat capturing the city of Temesvár (now Timişoara, Romania).
Meanwhile, the Austrians followed the Danube down from Vienna and crossed over into Hungary to envelope Komorn (now Komárom, Hungary and Komárno, Slovakia). They continued down the Danube to Pest, the capital of the Hungarian Kingdom. After some fierce fighting, the Austrians, led by Alfred I, Prince of Windisch-Grätz, captured Pest and held it for a short while before being forced to give up their positions and move across the Danube to the town of Buda, located directly across the Danube from Pest. (the town was known in German as Ofen and later Buda and Pest were united into Budapest). In April 1849, the Hungarian Government enjoyed success on this western front, crossing the Danube and forcing the Austrian Army to retreat from Buda back up the Danube. The Hungarian Army relieved the Austrians at Komárom and pushed them back towards Vienna. Thus, the Hungarian Government was initially successful on its eastern front (Transylvania) against the Russians, and on its western front against the Austrians. But there was a third front – the southern front in the Banat, fighting the troops of the Serbian national movement and the Croatian troops of Jelačić within the province of Vojvodina itself. Mór Perczel, the General of the Hungarian forces in the Banat, was initially successful in battles along the southern front. Laval Nugent von Westmeath was the Austrian Master of Ordnance, but was serving as the general in the field attempting to marshall all the Serbs still loyal to the Austrian throne, for another offensive against the Hungarian Government. Here, even on the southern front the Hungarian Armies were proving successful, initially. This combat led to the Vienna Uprising of October 1848, when insurgents attacked a garrison on its way to Hungary to support forces. After Vienna was recaptured by imperial forces, General Windischgrätz and 70,000 troops were sent to Hungary to crush the last challenge to the Austrian Empire. By the end of December, the Hungarian government evacuated Pest. However this army had to retreat after heavy defeats from March to May 1849 and General Windischgrätz was removed as well. In April 1849, Ludwig Baron von Welden became the new supreme commander of Austrian forces in Hungary. Without destroying the Austrian army, the Hungarians stopped, besieged Buda and prepared defenses. In June 1849 Russian and Austrian troops entered Hungary heavily outnumbering the Hungarian army. After all appeals to other European states failed, Kossuth abdicated on August 11, 1849 in favour of Artúr Görgey, who he thought was the only general who was capable of saving the nation. On August 13, Görgey signed a surrender at Világos (now Şiria, Romania) to the Russians, who handed the army over to the Austrians. However, in May 1849, Czar Nicholas I pledged to redouble his efforts against the Hungarian Government. He and Emperor Franz Joseph started to regather and rearm an army to be commanded by Anton Vogl, the Austrian lieutenant-field-marshal who had actively participated in the suppression of the national liberation movement in Galacia in 1848. But even at this stage Vogl was occupied trying to stop another revolutionary uprising in Galacia. The Czar was also preparing to send 30,000 Russian soldiers back over the Eastern Carpathian Mountains from Poland. Austria held Galacia and moved into Hungary, independent of Vogl's forces.
Julius Jacob von Haynau, the leader of the Austrian army, has been appointed plenipotentiary of restoring order at Hungary after the conflict. He ordered the execution of the The 13 Martyrs of Arad (now Arad, Romania) and Prime Minister Batthyány was executed the same day in Pest. After the revolution, in 1849 the whole country was in "passive resistance". In 1851 Archduke Albrecht, Duke of Teschen was appointed as Regent, which lasted until 1860, during which time he implemented a process of Germanisation. Kossuth went into exile after the revolution. In the US he was most warmly received by the general public as well as the then US Secretary of State, Daniel Webster, which made relations between the US and Austria somewhat strained for the following twenty years.Kossuth County, Iowa was named for him. He then also travelled through Constantinople, theOttoman Empire and to Turin, Italy. Kossuth thought his biggest mistake was to confront the Hungarian minorities. He set forth the dream of a multi-ethnic confederation of republics along the Danube, which might have prevented the escalation of hostile feelings between the ethnic groups in these areas. Many of Kossuth's comrades-in-exile joined him in the United States, including the sons of one of his sisters. These "Forty-Eighters"fought on the Union side in the US Civil War. After the Hungarian Army's surrender at Világos in 1849, their revolutionary banners were taken to Russia by the Tsarist troops, and were kept there both under the Tsarist and Communist systems. But in 1940 the Soviet Union proposed to the Horthy government to exchange the banners for the release of the imprisoned Hungarian Communist leader Mátyás Rákosi – which was accepted.
Constitution Day Belarus - M a r 1 5
In 1994, the country of Belarus gained a new constitution and the right to democratic elections. Constitution Day was celebrated as a changing for the better of a democratic Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko won those elections, but soon worked to secure his position as leader of the country through the 1996 Belarus Referendum. This highly contentious referendum altered the constitution, abolishing the parliament and putting in an assembly of cronies. Afterwards, Constitution Day lost its meaning to many people who saw Lukashenko’s changes as a destruction of democracy.
History After Belarus severed connections with the Soviet Union
in July 1990, work set out to bring democracy to the people. A new constitution came into effect on March 15, 1994, allowing for democratic elections. The people of Belarus marked March 15 as Constitution Day, and at first they were excited. In two-part elections in June and July 1994, Alexander Lukashenko was elected as president of the country. Lukashenko quickly made enemies by refusing to install real free-market reform to Belarus. The World Bank and the IMF both severed funding to the country in 1995. But Lukashenko wanted more control, and in July 1996, he asked the legislature to extend his term from five to seven years, add a second chamber of legislature, and add a constitutional court for which he’d appoint half of its members. Under his proposition, Lukashenko would also be immune to prosecution for life and would be able to dissolve the parliament at will. He threatened to hold a referendum if the legislature refused. In November, Lukashenko, determined to hold his referendum, declared that the results would be legally binding. This incited Viktor Gonchar, chief electoral officer, to declare the referendum unconstitutional. On November 15, Lukashenko dismissed Gonchar, and the parliament began with impeachment proceedings. Protests erupted and officials resigned. Lukashenko’s pushed the Belarus Referendum despite the chaos, and on November 25, he declared it passed with 70.5 percent approval. The next day, Lukashenko dissolved the original parliament and set up a new one with his own supporters. Impeachment proceedings were suddenly dropped by the constitutional court. On March 15, 1997, a massive protest with more than 10,000 people was held in Minsk, the countries capital. “Marchers chanted, ‘’Down with Lukashenko!’ and ‘Freedom! Independence!’,” reported the New York Times. One of the more poignant demonstrations of the malice placed towards the constitution occurred on Constitution Day in 2005. Dzmitryy Dashkevich, an opposition activist, brought three black coffin-like structures to October Square in Minsk, claiming they represented three “funerals” for the constitution in 1995, 1996, and 2004, times when the constitution was altered further away from democracy. Another highly contested election in 2006 saw Lukashenko remain in power, prompting even more to demonstrate. Protests and demonstrations have since been commonplace on Constitution Day, a day that is flaunted for its importance by state-run agencies.
An air of fear is said to surround anti-Lukashenko activists. Fears of being imprisoned, tortured, or spied on by the KGB have all been mentioned by the more vocal of protestors. What originally was seen as a reason to celebrate democracy in an independent Belarus is now scoffed at as state propaganda hiding a dictator-like regime. Human rights days have become increasingly popular as people pressure Lukashenko to answer to the imprisonment and death of many opposition figures. Constitution Day is seemingly derided as a joke and the death of democracy and independence in the country. As such, it’s not celebrated by many as a real holiday.
J.J. Robert's Birthday Liberia - M a r 1 5
The birthday of J. J. Roberts is celebrated in Liberia, a country in West Africa bordering the Atlantic Ocean on its south-west portion of the land. It also shares borders with Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, and Guinea. He is the first and seventh president of country on January 3, 1848 to January 7, 1856 and on January 1, 1872 to January 3, 1876 respectively.
History Born on March 15, 1809, Roberts migrated from Norfolk, Vir-
ginia (USA) to Liberia at the age of 20 in 1829. He initially put up a business and later engaged in Liberian politics which he led twice: one in 1848 and one in 1872. There were various theories in Roberts’ emigration but two of the most popular are Roberts’ worry of the passing of laws in the US (Black Codes), especially the northern and southern states, which curtail the rights of African-Americans in the region and Roberts’ wanting to devotion to the spread of Christianity in this region of Africa called Liberia. Together with his family, he joined an expedition which allowed them to set foot on the African nation on February 9, 1829. On the ship on the way to Liberia was James Spriggs Payne who became the fourth president of Liberia. Just like, Roberts, Payne was also based and born on Virginia, USA. Between 1829 and 1833, Roberts and his family got involved in businesses in Monrovia, the country’s capital. The start of Roberts’ entry into Liberia’s politics happened on 1833 when he became Liberia’s high chief. He was tasked to collect taxes and deal with mounting rebellions in the region; this work continued until he was elected vice governor by an organization based in US that aimed to liberate black slaves and to launched an expedition to establish a new state for the freed black slaves in the US – The American Colonization Society. Roberts died on February 1876 barely completing the last two months of his term. He was noted to have left a large sum of money ($10,000) and dedicated his assets to be used for the improvement of Liberia’s educational system as written on his will. It is his act of generosity and his unforgettable legacy to the people of Liberia made his people mark a day that commemorate his birthday.
Parades and other exciting activities are held during the holiday including musical events in major cities and towns across Liberia. Special meals are prepared as part of the celebration with dumboy, fufu, and soups made of goat meat are cooked and served with coffee.
St. Urho's Day Finland - M a r 1 6
St. Urho is a fictional Finnish saint who is said to have chased away the grasshoppers to save the grape crop. St. Urho's Day is traditionally March 15th, and there are widespread celebrations across northern Minnesota, and indeed, many places with populations of Finnish descent. Finland, Minnesota has long celebrated St. Urho's Day (March 13, 2010 marked the 35th annual celebration), but in 2007 the committee who had been putting on the event for years decided to retire. For a brief time it seemed that maybe Finland, Minnesota would no longer have the saint's celebration. However, Friends of the Finland Community decided to step in and continue the tradition. In Finland, MN, St. Urho's Day is celebrated the Saturday closest to March 15th. There is a beauty pageant, a parade, music, facepainting, food, snow sculptures, and other community festivities.
W O R L D W I D E EVENTS/ZARB-EJAMHOOR NEWSPAPER CONGRATULATES HUNGARY ON REVOLUTION DAY 2013
World Book Day by country Spain:
To celebrate this day Cervantes' Don Quixote is read during a two-day "readathon" and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize is presented by the King in Alcalá de Henares.
In Catalonia, Spain, since 1436, St. George's Day has been 'The Day of the Rose', where the exchange of gifts between sweethearts, loved ones and respected ones is effectuated. It would be the analogous to Valentine's Day. Although the World Book and Copyright Day has been celebrating since 1995 internationally, the first time that books where also exchanged in 'The Day of the Rose' in Catalonia, was in 1926; also to commemorate the death of Cervantes and Shakespeare.
In Sweden, the day is known as Världsbokdagen (world book day), and the copyright part is seldom mentioned. Normally celebrated on April 23, it was moved to avoid a clash with Easter to April 13 in the year 2000 and 2011.
UK and Ireland:
In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, World Book Day is held annually on the first Thursday in March. Although it might be argued that this makes it more a "UK and Ireland Book Day" than a World Book Day as such, it was decided to avoid the established international 23 April date due to clashes with Easter school holidays, as well as the fact that it is also the National Saint's Day of England, St George's Day. In 2011 it was held on Thursday 3 March and was observed on Thursday 1 March 2012.
The Summer Day Albania - M a r 1 4
Albania celebrates the lunar Spring Day (Albanian: Dita e Verës or Dita e Luleve) on March 14, and from 2004 it is a national holiday. It is an old pagan practice, particularly popular in the city of Elbasan, Central Albania. According to some sources, Dita e Verës derives from the Arbëresh, an Albanian community that lives in Italy since the fifteenth century. On 14 March, the arbëresh of the Italian coast, collect a tuft of grass roots and soil, bringing it home to commemorate the anniversary of their emigration from Albania. In fact, some sources date back this celebration to the ancient Illyria. At that time, the feast was celebrated on March 1, which according to the Julian calendar, corresponded to the first day of the year. Pilgrimages were made to the highest peaks in the Albanian mountains to be as close as possible to the Sun God and pray for the goodness and prosperity of the new year. The great fire crossed by men and young people symbolized the end of winter. Instead, wreaths and garlands on the doors of the houses wished good luck. The purity of the celebration has weakened over the centuries but came to this day thanks to the tradition preserved in the city of Elbasan. The ritual of the Dita e Verës begins on the previous day with the preparation of sweets: the revani and ballakume, the blended butter, sugar, corn flour and egg yolks cooked in a wood oven. During the evening ballakume, dried figs, walnuts, turkey legs, boiled eggs, simite (a typical sandwich of the city) are distributed to members of the family. The oldest woman of the house remains awake at night and goes from room to room to put down grass on the cushions of couples, young people and children, a ritual that symbolizes the regeneration and quickening. On the morning of March 14, the elderly leave the door open as a sign of generosity, a pitcher filled with fresh water and take home a clump of green grass. The youngest fertilizes the orange and olive trees, but the smaller ones are the first to make the "lucky" visits to neighbors and relatives who give them turkey legs, dried figs and nuts. Finally lunch on March 14, should be eaten outdoors in the company of friends and relatives.
WORLDWIDE EVENTS/ZARBE-JAMHOOR N E W S PA P E R CONGRATULATES MAURITIUS ON INDEPENDENCE DAY 2013
HUNGARY Prime Minister Orbán receives the Indonesian President
Photo: Gergely Botár
(Online 07 Mar) Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and five Hungarian ministers received the President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in the Parliament Building on Thursday. Indonesia, with its 250 million inhabitants, has the strongest economy in South-East Asia, is among the G20 states and is considered the largest Muslim country in the world. The two officials agreed that the two countries will tighten their relations within the
fields of agriculture, water management and the pharmaceutical industry. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán informed the Indonesian President about the economic situation in Central Europe, emphasizing that our region may be of heightened interest for the dynamically developing Indonesia in the coming years. The Prime Minister of Hungary and the President of Indonesia agreed that following the financial crisis and the restructuring of the
world economy, new valuebased social and economic systems must be established in the interests of sustainability. Viktor Orbán also informed the President about the situation of Western Balkan states. The two officials also agreed to launch a joint higher education scholarship program. Within the framework of this program, more than 50 Indonesian students may soon begin their studies in Hungary.
Deputy Prime Minister Navracsics offered compromise to Secretary General Jagland (Online 07 Mar) Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics called it an acceptable compromise in a letter sent to Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland last December that the President of the National and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) should invariably be appointed for nine years term but only for a single term. According to the letter, dated December 19, Secretary General Jagland originally proposed that the NMHH head should be elected by parliament rather than appointed by the prime minister. Deputy Prime Minister Navracsics, in turn, proposed that the authority's leader should be appointed by the president of the republic. He argued that Parliament's electing the media authority head would require an
amendment to the constitution which would be incompatible with the basic principle of separation of powers. This is why he did not accept the Secretary General's proposal. The Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that there are some institutions, for instance the Central Bank, which are part of the executive branch but independent from the Government, and their leaders are not elected by Parliament either. He said that having a "politically neutral president of the republic" to appoint the media authority head ensures a "strong guarantee" of independence. Secretary General Jagland also proposed on November 29 last year that the NMHH and the Media Council should be presided by two different persons. The Hungarian official responded, however, saying
that accepting the proposal would mean that Hungary abandons a key element of its media regulation approved in 2010. In his letter Deputy Prime Minister Navracsics said the Government was ready to submit to Parliament proposed amendments on the appointment and term of the media authority head, on his or her appointment by the President and on including NGOs in the nomination process. Secretary General Jagland, in response, said on January 29 in Brussels that the Council of Europe had ended the dialogue with Hungary about disputed points in the country's media regulation as the Government had given satisfactory answers to the concerns voiced by the panEuropean organisation.
Minister Martonyi expects the softening of statements in Hungarian–Romanian relations (Online 06 Mar) A softening is expected in sharply toned statements that are straining the relationship between Hungary and Romania, said Foreign Minister János Martonyi, who completed his official visit to Romania on 5 March 2013.
Martonyi told MTI he had agreed with his Romanian partners on avoiding sending messages via the media even if there are fundamental differences in standpoints on certain issues, such as use of the Szekely flag.
The Minister held talks with Speaker of the Romanian Lower House of the Parliament Valeriu Zgonea, Prime Minster Victor Ponta, and Chairman of the Senate Crin Antonescu.
St a t e Se c r e t a r y Szijjá r t ó m e t with Ge r m a n M inis t e r of St a t e Pie pe r
Photo: Botár Gergely
(Online 05 Mar) The State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economy Relations of the Prime Minister's Office received Minister of State Cornelia Pieper of the German Federal Foreign Office on Tuesday, the Ministry of State's Chief Press Officer told Hungarian news agency MTI. At the meeting, State Sec-
retary Szíjjártó called Hungarian-German economic relations a clear success story, because German companies provide livings for some 1 million 300 thousand Hungarians, Eva Varga's statement reads. The Hungarian Government has concluded Strategic Cooperation Agreements with two large German corporations to date. 5 billion
euros in German investment has entered Hungary since 2010, and German companies have opened 18 new factories here, the Chief Press Officer stated. The parties agreed on the importance of educational and cultural relations, in which extremely significant roles are played by the Andrássy University and the Goethe Institute.
Brazilian-Hungarian cooperation on fish management
Photo: Gergely Botár
(Online 05 Mar) Brazil's Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Marcelo Crivella is on an official visit to Hungary at the invitation of Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas. At their meeting today, the two Ministers discussed opportunities for bilateral relations in fish management, with special attention to the sharing of Hungary's wide experience and professional knowledge within the field of freshwater fish production. Brazil is one of the world's most intensively developing countries, which would now like to make significant headway in developing fish production. The environment for this special food production sector of industry are very favourable in the South American country, and the world's largest fishproducing nations are competing to clinch a role in several. wide-ranging development projects. Hungary begins the competition with an advantage, as many fish management professionals from Hungary have already been working in Brazil for some time.
The objective of the current high-level visit is for the two countries to discuss their aquaculture development plans and to enable Hungary to present ways in which it could become involved in the development of fish management in Brazil. Previous experience in Brazil, existing professional relations and the new fish breeding technologies that have recently been developed in Hungary provide an excellent basis for discussions. Hungary also has high levels of experience and capacities in training professionals and within the field of research and development. Minister Fazekas and Hungarian fish management experts will be presenting these opportunities to the Brazilian delegation during the course of their visit. In addition to visiting a fish production unit that applies state-of-the-art technology and a fish farm that showcases methods for modernising traditional lake fisheries, the Brazilian delegation will also be meeting with both Hungarian researchers and fish produc-
ers during the course of their visit, in addition to taking part in a professional lecture at the Szent István University's Fish Management Department. The background to the visit was provided by the talks held by Deputy State Secretary Katalin Tóth with her counterpart from the Brazilian Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture at the sidelines of the Hungarian-Brazilian Economic Cooperation Committee's session in November 2012, and with whom she discussed the details of possible opportunities within the field of aquaculture research and development. Economic relations between the two countries have developed spectacularly recently, as proved by the fact that the HungarianBrazilian Economic Joint Committee's session closed with a positive result for Hungarian agriculture: representatives of the agriculture ministries of Hungary and Brazil signed a declaration of intent.
International conference on food testing procedures underway in Budapest (Online 04 Mar) "The work of the international commission that develops analytical and food-sampling methods, set up fifty years ago, is of extreme importance to ensure that safe, high quality and healthy foods reach the tables of consumers all over the world", stated Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas at the opening ceremony of the four-day conference of the Codex Alimentarius Commission's Select Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS) in Budapest. Over two hundred foreign and Hungarian food safety experts accepted the invitation of the organiser, the National Food Chain Safety Office (NFCSO), to attend the event. According to the Minister of Rural Development, the fact that Hungary has hosted the Select Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling since 1972 is a joint achievement; this is the 28th time that we have had the opportunity to facilitate the work of the Committee. The regulations and direc-
tives developed within the framework of the Codex Alimentarius (the "Food Book") form the basis for the monitoring of the requirements determined by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement). The work of the Commission is equally important to all member states, including Hungary, because it forms the basis for international trade in safe and good quality foods", said Sándor Fazekas. In addition to the successful work completed within the Codex Alimentarius, the Minister highlighted the excellent cooperation between Hungary and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Hungary provides financial and professional support for FAO projects in developing countries, in addition to providing grants for students from low income nations to train at agricultural universities in Hungary. The Codex Alimentarius
was established in 1963 by two of the UN's specialised organisations, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is responsible for developing standards, codes of practice and guidelines that provide a framework for a safe and high quality food supply, and for fair trade in foods. One of the most important select committees of the Codex is the Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling. The Codex Alimentarius was established exactly 50 years ago, placing increased attention on this year's conference in Budapest. A memorial meeting will be held on March 5 to mark the organisation's golden jubilee, at which the Chairman of the National Food Chain Safety Office Márton Oravecz will greet those present, and the Codex Alimentarius Commission's Vice-President Awilo Ochieng Pernet, who is in Hungary for the Conference, will hold a lecture.
New Military Strategy an important step
Photo: Mária Krasznai-Nehrebeczky
(Online 08 Mar) The new national military strategy is an important means of renewing the Hungarian Defence Forces – said Minister of Defence Csaba Hende on Thursday, March 7 at a conference held in Budapest. The opening event of the “National Military Strategy Conference Series” announced by the Hungarian Atlantic Council took place at the campus of the National University of Public Service (NUPS) on Hungária Street. In his opening presentation, Csaba Hende recalled that several significant changes had occurred in Hungary and the international environment since the endorsement of the previous document in 2009, which called for the formulation of a new military strategy. According to the Minister,
quence of the economic crisis starting from the autumn of 2008 – affected the defence budget as well, and this alone prevented the implementation of the plans formulated in the previous strategy. He added that a number of further changes had occurred in the global security environment as well, for example the realignment of Great Powers and the new types of security challenges like cyber security coming to the fore. The Minister also drew attention to the fact that the changes of exceptional dynamics occurring in the global security environment have become unpredictable in the long run. As he said, this not only places higher value on the role of the military but “makes the sustainment of a credible military force outright indis-
budgetary guarantees. Previously they undertook not to decrease the nominal amount of the defence budget until 2015, but already in this year an extra HUF seven billion has been allocated for defence spending. Minister Hende stated that – contrary to some reports – the governmental sequestration of certain sums in the MoD budget was out of the question. The Minister said that he himself had decided on setting up internal precautionary savings in reserve. These sums, however, have not been drawn away at all, as they will be spent in full on national defence, he said. He also stated that the government had undertaken to increase the defence budget by an annual 0.1 per cent of the GDP from 2016 to 2023. Assuming an in-
agreement entered into with the OECD, while information campaigns tailored to specific target groups serve to promote its social acceptance. The professional content of the project is fundamentally identified in Government Resolution No. 1104/2012. (IV.6.) on the Government’s anti-corruption measures and the approval of the Anti-Corruption Programme of Public Administration. This programme places the main emphasis on prevention and the reinforcement of personal and organisational integrity, in departure from the former criminal law approach. The contemplated measures focus on the establishment of an integrity management system in public administration which constitutes the foundations for a defence mechanism against organisational corruption and other irregularities. The implementation of the concepts outlined above is also promoted by training courses differentiated to accommodate the specific needs of the target groups concerned which are aimed, on the one hand, at the attainment of organisational development targets and, on the other hand, at the continued promotion of an in-
tegrity-based approach in organisational operations. As training will be provided by the National Public Service University, the curricula developed will be integrated into the system of further and on-thejob training in higher education and public administration, thereby guaranteeing the sustainability of measures designed to prevent corruption. It clearly indicates the particular significance of the project that the Government has raised the original budget of the project from HUF 480 million to HUF 680 million. Detailed information on the progress of the project and the Government’s anti-corruption measures will be provided on the anti-corruption website launched on 1 March 2 0 1 3 (http://korrupciomegelozes.kormany.hu). The website of the project will gather together and make accessible to the public information and documents related to the anti-corruption programme of public administration, the measures of the project and the status of the implementation of the project as well as information on related news and events.
25 containers of materiel to be transported from Afghanistan camp to Hungary
Photo: Barna Burger
(Online 06 Mar) During the course of his visit to Warsaw, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met Polish university students while giving a lecture at the University of Warsaw. The audience of about 200 people, comprising students and lecturers, welcomed him with a large round of applause. The Prime Minister commented on the question of whether Hungary is the “black sheep” of Europe or a success story. The lecture was followed by a Q&A session giving students the op-
Fundamental Law, Civil and Labour Codes were adopted. He said results testify to the fact that Hungary is doing better and is successfully resolving the crisis. The Government has been able to reduce state debt, has kept the budget deficit below 3 per cent and the employment rate is improving. Now it is economic growth which must be ensured. Prime Minister Orbán believes that Central-Europe will undergo dynamic devel-
cluded that European growth is of exceptional importance for the V4 countries. In response to a question regarding the independence of the National Bank of Hungary in view of the appointment of György Matolcsy as its new Governor, the Prime Minister said the bank’s independence is guaranteed by law. On Hungarian-Polish relations, he said strong cooperation in Central Europe should be built on security policy and trade, adding that
Photo: Barna Burger
Photo: Mária Krasznai-Nehrebeczky the most important one among these changes was the shift of approach in national defence and the government’s national defence policy. In the light of this, they have laid down the guidelines and directions for the capability development of the Hungarian Defence Forces and identified the medium- and long-term goals. They have set the long-term strategic goal of establishing a military with adequate capabilities and balanced structure, which can be deployed to carry out tasks both in defensive and international operations and is supplemented with a well-functioning volunteer reserve system. Minister Hende also noted that at the time of the change of government, there had been 18 volunteer reservists on paper, but actually there had been none at all. Today the Hungarian Defence Forces have 4400 well-trained and sworn-in reservists who can deploy any time. Speaking about the reasons for developing the new strategy, Minister Hende also pointed out that the austerity measures – which were taken in conse-
pensable”. It follows that the development of the armed forces is an essential requirement. He told his audience that the Hungarian Defence Forces are at once characterized by obsolete as well as modern military equipment and also by excellent personnel with experience in international operations. The Minister also noted that Hungary’s national defence is based on the national resources and allied cooperation. It is indispensable to develop the national armed forces so that Hungarian Defence Forces are able to fulfill their commitments arising from various global and regional cooperation programs, including those assumed in the European Union and with the NATO membership. Following the gradual downsizing in the last 20plus years, the armed forces must be strengthened systematically and gradually. We still have a very long way to go – the Minister noted. He pointed out that the experience gained so far had shown that the government of Hungary not only fulfilled but in fact over-fulfilled its
creasing GDP, this rise also includes certain development funds. Apart from this, the development of the Hungarian Defence Forces will not be completed by 2023, but at last they have set out on the road of stabilization and progress. In his presentation the Minister also noted that the recognition of the Hungarian Defence Forces’ performance in international missions significantly contributes to increasing Hungary’s ability to assert its interests. He also pointed to the results of a NATO survey according to which Hungary is ranked first regarding the troop level of units deployed abroad in proportion to the total troop strength of deployable land forces. Minister Hende stated that the Hungarian Defence Forces “are one of the most streamlined militaries” in NATO, since the proportion of leaders is only eight per cent. At the same time, the Minister noted that they were planning to take further measures in the near future to reduce bureaucracy within the Hungarian Defence Forces.
portunity to receive first-hand information about the ideas of the Hungarian Government. In his speech, Viktor Orbán stressed that Hungary has a good chance of ascending to join the ranks of Europe’s most successful states which are able to reduce their public debt, boost competitiveness and preserve political stability. He said that the Government has carried out major reforms over the past two years: for instance, taxes on banks and multinational companies were introduced to ensure equal burdensharing, beneficial taxation schemes and the reduction of household expenses helped strengthen the position of the middle classes and families, and a new
opment with which the region will be able to contribute to the renewal and reinforcement of Europe. There is a good chance that Hungary will become one of the most successful countries of the European Union. He also highlighted that the crisis had created opportunities for Central European states, adding that he is confident that growth in Europe will be strongly connected to the region. In the next fifteen to twenty years, the Central-European region will reach a higher degree of integration with regard to macro-economic indicators and the structure of the economy, and hopefully, Hungary will also join the ranks in terms of its economic growth. He con-
the basis for cooperation is already given. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is attending the V4 summit in Warsaw along with the Heads of Government of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The participation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande gives special significance to this year’s event, as they will be able to draw wide attention to the importance of the Central European region. The meeting of V4 Prime Ministers aims at reviewing the work carried out so far by the Polish V4 Presidency and the most important issues on the European Union’s agenda, including competitiveness and the future of the monetary union.
Hungary is committed to EU norms on the constitutional amendment (Online 09 Mar) Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has written to José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission to assure him of Hungary's commitment to European norms with regard to the amendments to the Fundamental Law.
In a letter following a phone conversation on Friday, the Prime Minister confirmed the Hungarian government’s and Parliament’s full commitment to European norms and rules. He also assured Mr. Barroso that this commitment has been
and is going to be reflected throughout the process of adopting the amendments to the Fundamental Law. He added that he counts on the cooperation of the European Commission as well.
M ihá ly Va r ga ha s be e n a ppointe d a s M inis te r of N a t iona l Ec onom y
H unga r ia n t r oops c a r r y out t he ir wor k wit h ut m os t pr ofe s s iona lis m (Online 06 Mar) Having attended a ceremony closing the activity of the HDF Provincial Reconstruction Team (HUN PRT), Maj.Gen. László Domján, the commander of the HDF Joint Force Command (HDF JFC) continued his tour in Afghanistan with visiting the contingents of the Hungarian Defence Forces deployed in Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif, where he informed himself about the current tasks and met the personnel serving there. (Reporting from the spot) The around 230-strong HDF Kabul International Airport Force Protection Contingent (HDF KAIA FPC) is the largest of all the contingents of the Hungarian Defence Forces deployed in missions abroad. In his briefing, Col. László Benda, contingent commander said that after taking over their tasks, the Hungarian soldiers reorganized the protection of the airport, which has thereby become much more secure than before. With this, the first rotation of the contingent has earned recognition from the international partners, Col. Benda stressed. The Hungarian soldiers are responsible for the undisturbed operation of the military side of the Kabul International Airport – which manages an air traffic comparable to that of the airport of Marseille – and also for the protection of the airport area inside the fences. Their main activities include the checking of outbound and inbound traffic of cars and motor vehicles at the entry control points, guarding the gates, checking the Afghan staff members on their entering and leaving the base, deploying as a quick reaction force (QRF) to secure the site of aviation incidents and carrying out unforeseeable tasks (such as convoy escort in the area of the airport). In addition to the Force Protection Contingent, more than 20 Hungarian soldiers serve in various positions of a French-led international staff which is running the airport. One of the helicopter mentor teams of the Hungarian Defence Forces is also stationed at KAIA. Maj. Péter Simon, the commander of the ninth rotation of the HDF Air Mentor Team (HDF AMT-9) – which provides training for the attack helicopter pilots and
ground crews of the Afghan Air Force – told us that during their four-month tour of duty, the airmen of the AMT fly around 40 hours on average in the area of operations. This equals around 200 hours flown under Hungarian circumstances. The Hungarian pilots and ground crews arrive in the country not only to mentor the Afghans, as they themselves also learn a lot during the mission, Maj. Simon told us. The lessons learned in the area of operations could not be learnt anywhere else, except on operations. Maj.-Gen. László Domján attended a joint staff meeting of the contingents in Kabul, where he promoted Maj. G. to lieutenantcolonel. Maj. G. – who is currently doing a six-month tour of duty in Kabul – serves abroad as Deputy Financial Controller (Deputy Chief G8 BUDFIN) at the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps–Italy. After paying a visit to the HDF Special Operations Contingent, the commander of the HDF JFC flew to Mazar-e Sharif. Col. László Zentai, the commander of the sixth rotation of the Hungarian Defence Forces National Support Element– Afghanistan (NSE–A) – which is based in Mazar-e Sharif and Kabul to provide logistic supply for the Hungarian military contingents – reported to the HDF JFC commander about the tasks related to the withdrawal of the PRT, telling him that the NSE would bring close to 40 containers of military materiel from the Provincial Reconstruction Team, of which it would transport some 25 containers back to Hungary. They would reallocate part of the equipment and vehicles in use with the PRT to the Hungarian contingents serving in Afghanistan, whereas they would return to the US military part of the items of equipment they had received from the American partner as battlefield aid. Of the vehicles of the PRT, they had already airlifted the BTRs back to Hungary in last December by Antonov–124 Ruslan transport planes. Speaking about the tour, Maj.-Gen. László Domján stressed that “I have gained very positive experiences during my weeklong visit. I have made sure that the plans worked out in Hungary are being implemented precisely here in
the area of operations. I met here several military leaders, and they all spoke very highly of the job done by the Hungarian troops serving here”. “Our soldiers carry out the tasks assigned to them with the utmost professionalism, and I have experienced discipline, order and the Hungarian strength of character wherever I went during my tour”, said the commander of the HDF Joint Force Command in assessing his visit. In February 2013, over 100,000 troops from 50 countries served with the NATO International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF). NATO is operating in the country under a UN Security Council mandate. Afghanistan continues to be NATO’s most important mission. The Hungarian Defence Forces contribute around 1,000 troops to international peace support operations, of whom more than 530 are deployed in Afghanistan. Participation in the Afghanistan mission is one of the key elements of the tasks in the Alliance. The Hungarian soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan are grouped into eight contingents and fill individual positions: 1.) Provincial Reconstruction Team, Pol-e Khomri, Baghlan Province 2.) Kabul International Airport Force Protection Contingent, Kabul, Kabul Province 3.) Hungarian–US Military Advisory Team, Khilagay, Baghlan Province 4.) HDF Mi–35 Air Mentor Team, Kabul, Kabul Province 5.) HDF Mi–17 Air Advisory Team, Shindand, Herat Province 6.) HDF Special Operations Contingent 7.) HDF ISAF CSS School Hungarian Mentor Team, Kabul, Kabul Province 8.) HDF National Support Element – Afghanistan, Mazar-e Sharif, Kabul Several Hungarian soldiers are posted to fill staff positions at various ISAF commands, but most of them – more than 20 service members – are filling different positions in the staff of the ISAF Regional Command– North (ISAF RC–North). Since mid-February 2012, Brig.-Gen. Ferenc Korom, the Operations Chief of the Defence Staff has been serving as Chief of Staff at the ISAF Regional Command–North.
C s a ba H e nde holds t a lk s in B e ir ut on de v e loping m ilit a r y r e la t ions (Online 05 Mar) On February 28, Minister of Defence Csaba Hende held talks in Beirut on the development of military relations between Lebanon and Hungary, and met the Hungarian soldiers deployed in the Middle Eastern country as well. As a member of the Hungarian governmental-business delegation headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the Minister of Defence held discussions with his counterpart, Lebanese Defence Minister Fayez Ghosn. The two partners agreed that the development of military relations is a mutual interest because
so far there has not been any real cooperation between the two countries in matters of defence policy and the military. After his talks in Beirut, Minister Hende told Hungarian News Agency MTI that – as it had been announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán –, Hungary offered one hundred state scholarships to Lebanese young people so that they can be ambassadors of the Hungarian–Lebanese friendship for decades. He added that ten of these hundred students would study together with Hungarian officers at the Faculty of Military Sciences
and Officer Training of the Hungarian National University of Public Service. The Minister also drew attention to the fact that since 2006, Hungary has been contributing troops to the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and currently four Hungarian military cartographers are deployed in the Middle Eastern country, which is very grateful to Budapest for this. Both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence met these soldiers in the capital of Lebanon. Minister Hende finally told MTI that he had invited his Lebanese counterpart to visit Hungary.
The Hungarian Defence Forces continue to support the stability of the Balkans Region
Government launch anti-corruption project and website (Online 04 Mar) "The Government launched the most intensive series of anti-corruption measures of the post-change of regime period following its establishment, thereby emphasising its commitment to enhancing the trust of the people in the State and to reinforcing and guaranteeing the responsible management of national assets and public funds. Hungary has an anti-corruption programme for the first time which is designed to implement anti-corruption measures in the fields of law, the economy and public administration. The primary purpose of the anti-corruption project launched as yet another station in the fight against corruption is to reduce office corruption to a degree that is also perceivable by society. A priority project is now being launched in conjunction with the Government’s anti-corruption measures which serves to support the efforts made to prevent corruption in public administration. The project is being implemented with the cooperation of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice and the National Public Service University. External monitoring is provided for the project under the framework
Chances are high for Hungary to rise to be among the most successful EU states
Photo: Gergely Botár
(Online 08 Mar) Mihály Varga was appointed as Minister of National Economy by János Áder, the President of the Republic of Hungary, at the proposal of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. During the first Orbán Government, Mihály Varga was Minister of Finance from January 2001 until May
2002. In the current Government, he led negotiations with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund as a Minister without portfolio. György Matolcsy, the previous Minister of National Economy, has been appointed as Governor of the Hungarian National Bank.
Among others, Minister of National Development Lászlóné Németh and Minister of State for Public Administration and Justice Bence Rétvári were present during the ceremony, at which President of the Republic of Hungary János Áder presented the letter of appointment to Mihály Varga.
Foreign Minister warns of further political attacks against Hungarian Government (Online 07 Mar) Hungary’s Government has reacted to critics by explaining its position and changing laws in several contested areas, yet „no one should expect political attacks to cease,” Foreign Minister János Martonyi told weekly magazine Heti Válasz in an interview on Thursday. The fact that after three years of constant attacks the situation has been normalised is a major achievement, Martonyi said. Still, political pressure is unrelenting not least because party political battles are still raging both at national and European level, he said.
Martonyi rejected the idea that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had been isolated internationally. EU summits provide a regular opportunity to meet with European leaders and it is therefore natural that fewer bilateral meetings occur, he said. Concerning ties with Romania, Martonyi expressed Hungary’s „fundamental interest” in preventing the achievements of the past two years „from being lost”. “For this reason, we are refraining from making disparaging remarks,” he said, adding that the Hungarian Prime Minister, unlike his Romanian counterpart, did
not comment on the Székely flag issue. „We will in no way exacerbate the conflict.” Asked about relations with Slovakia, Martonyi said that the first round of expert talks on dual citizenship had taken place, to be followed by a second one this month. He added that Hungary was seeking a solution but did not „quarrel in public, which would only do harm to the cause.” Asked if there is a mutually acceptable solution to the dual citizenship conflict, Martonyi admitted that the issue can probably be settled in the short term.
Wa te r m a na ge m e nt is a na tiona l is s ue : Sá ndor Fa ze k a s (Online 07 Mar) "The constitutional regulations regard domestic water assets as a natural treasure, and its management is a challenge for us all", said Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas on Tuesday in the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County town of Fegyvernek at the first stop in the series of public debates on the latest National Rural Development Strategy. In his speech, the Minister highlighted the fact that although certain countries have huge economic potential, water stocks are finite throughout, and this restricts future opportunities. In this regard, Hungary is in a relatively favourable position in the Carpathian Basin, he noted. Mr. Fazekas put the question: what guarantees that a programme such as this can
be realised, when "the shelves of planning offices and the records of various authorities are full of similar programmes"? As he went on to explain, one of the guarantees is that a good programme must be developed, and a second is that the Government and the Ministry of Rural Development is open to all solutions that facilitate the completion of the tasks ahead through concrete ideas and concepts. The opportunity is also available to concentrate European Union funding, the opportunities that lie within the Start public employment program and funding from the state on this particular plan, he stated. According to Minister Fazekas, the Strategy includes three groups of measures. Of these, the
short-term measures implemented before 2014 include the completion of ongoing water management projects and planning for the European Union's next financial period. The second, which spans the period until 2021, incorporates the exploitation of the financial opportunities afforded by the EU's next seven-year term, while the third period until 2027 is expected to utilize an already stabilised water management institute system and successfully distribute available EU resources in the most efficient way possible. The full text of the proposed Strategy, the individual chapters of which have been elaborated as a starting point by prominent experts, is now available online (in Hungarian).
Vitic ult ur e a nd Vinic ultur e m us t r e c la im its r ight f ul pos it ion (Online 07 Mar) "We must find those opportunities, which improve the situation of Hungarian rural areas and move Hungarian agriculture forward", the Ministry of Rural Development's Parliamentary State Secretary Gyula Budai announced at an event held to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the birth of János Mathiász. Gyula Budai underlined that the example of the world famous Hungarian viticulturist proves that hard work performed with sufficient expertise always yields
dividends. The Minister of State also noted that traditionally excellent Hungarian viniculture and viticulture must conform to the challenges of modern times and must reclaim its rightful position in the world. The descendents of János Matthias were also present at the event, which was staged under the arcades of the Ministry of Rural Development. Almost 50 of the 3700 grape varieties bred by János Matthiász are still cultivated today. Matthias vineyards still exist throughout the
world, in California, in the Crimean, Israel, South Africa and Japan. His wines have also won some two hundred international competitions. Following his huge success at the 1873 world exhibition, he received several offers from abroad, and could even have been the director of the Russian Tsar's personal vineyard in the Crimean, but he did not accept any of these positions and continued to work in Hungary until the end of his life.
M inor it y is s ue is not a n int e r na l a ff a ir : M inis t e r M a r t ony i (Online 05 Mar) Hungary's Foreign Minister János Martonyi, who is paying a two-day official visit to Romania, met his Romanian counterpart Titus Corlatean in Bucharest. The Ministers discussed differences regarding the recent Romanian ban of the Szekely flag on public buildings. They agreed cooperation should take the sensitivities of both sides and the rights of ethnic communities and European norms pertaining to national minorities into consideration. Using proper language in Hungarian-Romanian relations is a must as both countries have an interest in maintaining partnership,
János Martonyi said after the talks. The two sides agreed on the need to preserve the foundations of cooperation and settle their differences primarily between themselves, through diplomatic channels, he stated. Hungary will make every possible effort to maintain partnership, he added. János Martonyi also asked his counterpart that the Romanians should be more cautious in their political rhetoric so as not to create a climate which generates fear in ethnic Hungarians living in Romania. "This is more important than grand politics. I make a point of whether ethnic Hungarians
feel at home, in safety here and their rights are respected” he said. After their meeting, the two Foreign Ministers attended a conference organised in honour of the 10th anniversary of signing the Hungarian-Romanian Strategic Partnership. Addressing the conference, Jánosi Martonyi said Hungary and Romania have common interests and countries in Central and Eastern Europe region must work together, which, however requires mutual trust and due restraint in the rhetoric used. He added that the governments of both Hungary and Romania agree that the minority issue is not an internal affair.
EU de v e lopm e nt pr oje c ts pr e s e nte d t o t he public a t ope n da y Photo: László Szűcs (Online 05 Mar) The Hungarian Defence Forces continue to support the stability of the Balkans region and to participate in the mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Hungarian News Agency MTI on Friday. According to the MoD press release, Hungarian military leaders have been appointed since February 1, 2010 as deputy com-
manders of the EUFOR Althea mission, which supports development in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The fourth one, Brig.-Gen. József Szpisják took over the position of deputy commander on Friday from Brig.-Gen. Péter Ernő Siposs, who has filled it over the last one year. “Supporting the stability of the Balkans region is a priority in Hungary’s foreign and security policy”, the
MoD stressed, adding that the Hungarian Defence Forces are planning to continue to participate in the operation. The press release says that currently 29 Hungarian soldiers are serving in the area of operations, whereas 118 troops are carrying out their tasks in the area of Hungary as part of the Intermediate Reserve Force.
V4 countries discuss scope of defence cooperation
Photo: Tünde Rácz
(Online 05 Mar) Around 25 containers of military materiel will be transported back to Hungary with the withdrawal of the Hungarian Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) from Afghanistan – the Ministry of Defence informed Hungarian News Agency MTI in a press release on Sunday. Hungary has been running a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Baghlan Province, Northern Afghanistan since 2006. The Hungarian-led PRT is going to complete its mission in this spring, and the Hungarian Defence Forces will withdraw this contingent from Baghlan Province. Concurrently, Hungary will terminate its provincial development activity in Afghanistan. The MoD press release says that after attending a ceremony which closed the activity of the HDF Provincial Reconstruction Team (HUN PRT), Maj.-Gen. László Domján, the commander of the HDF Joint Force Command (HDF JFC) continued his tour in Afghanistan with visiting the HDF military contingents stationed in Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif, where he was briefed about the current tasks and met the personnel serving there as well. Col. László Zentai, the commander of the sixth rotation
of the Hungarian Defence Forces National Support Element – which is based in Mazar-e Sharif and Kabul to provide logistic supply for Hungarian military contingents – reported to the HDF JFC commander about the tasks related to the withdrawal of the PRT, telling him that around 40 containers of military materiel would be brought from the Provincial Reconstruction Team, of which around 25 containers would be transported to Hungary. They would reallocate part of the equipment and vehicles in use with the PRT to the Hungarian contingents serving in Afghanistan, whereas they would return to the US military part of the items of equipment they received from the American partner as battlefield aid, the colonel told Maj.-Gen. László Domján. The around 230-strong HDF Kabul International Airport Force Protection Contingent (HDF KAIA FPC) is the largest of all the contingents of the Hungarian Defence Forces deployed in missions abroad. Col. László Benda, contingent commander said that after taking over their duties, the Hungarian soldiers reorganized the protection of the airport, which has thereby become much more secure than before. The Hungarian
soldiers are responsible for the undisturbed operation of the military side of the Kabul International Airport – which manages an air traffic comparable to that of the airport of Marseille – and for the protection of the airport area inside the fences. More than 100,000 troops from 50 countries are currently serving with the NATO International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) operation, which is being conducted by NATO under the mandate of the UN Security Council. Afghanistan continues to be NATO’s most important mission. The Hungarian Defence Forces contribute around 1,000 troops to international peace support operations, of which more than 530 are deployed in Afghanistan where they are serving with eight contingents altogether. Speaking about his weeklong visit to Afghanistan, Maj.-Gen. László Domján stressed that he had made sure that the plans worked out in Hungary were being precisely implemented in the area of operations. “I met several military leaders, and all of them spoke highly of the job done by the Hungarian soldiers serving here”, the Ministry of Defence quoted the commander of the HDF JFC in its press release.
(Online 05 Mar) The Defence State Secretaries of the V4 countries discussed opportunities for defence cooperation at their twoday meeting in Gdansk, Poland. Tamás Vargha, the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence told Hungarian News Agency MTI on the phone that the meeting had started a brainstorming process concerning the potential capabilities and fields where the four Visegrád countries – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – can cooperate. By way of example, the State Secretary highlighted the areas of “helicopter capability”, pilot training, logistic cooperation, individual equipment and CBRN defence capability. State Secretary Vargha pointed out that the V4 cooperation had been going on for more than two
decades. Originally formed with a political purpose, this alliance now involves defence cooperation to an increasing extent. In this regard he noted that after it arose in 2008, the economic crisis forced the NATO member states – including the United States of America and the Visegrád Four countries – to reduce their defence budgets. Consequently, “cooperation becomes even more important in times of crisis”, he said, adding that there are some capabilities which a country is either unable or unwilling to sustain because, as he noted, they are very expensive, for instance. However, the costs can be significantly reduced if countries start cooperating already in the planning phase of the implementation of various military technology and defence development projects, Tamás Vargha
stressed. The tasks of the next presidency were also on the agenda of the meeting. Hungary will take over the presidency of the V4 group from Poland in four months, as of 1 July. The partners discussed the preparations for the EU Battle Group which the V4 countries will set up by January 1, 2016, Tamás Vargha also told MTI that next week the V4 countries would meet at Prime Ministers and Defence Ministers level in Warsaw to discuss the establishment of the EU Battle Group together with the countries of the Weimar cooperation, namely Germany and France in addition to Poland. This meeting, however, will address not only defence issues but also a cooperation involving several areas, focusing on the topic of Europe’s future.
Hungary welcomes the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2094 (Online 08 Mar) Hungary welcomes the unanimous adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2094 on 7 March 2013 in response to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s latest nuclear test on 12 February 2013. This is a clear message from the international community that it does not tolerate the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s provocative behaviour, violating the existing international non-proliferation regimes. Hungary fully associates
itself with the Declaration issued earlier today by the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton and will implement the provisions of the UNSCR 2094 with immediate effect. Hungary also wishes to commend the United States and China for their effective co-operation in preparing the Resolution. Hungary learnt with dismay about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s announcement to ab-
rogate the 1953 armistice agreement, to sever the NorthSouth hotline installed in 1971 and to threaten the United States and South Korea with preemptive nuclear attacks. Hungary urges the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to cease its hostile and belligerent actions posing threat to regional and international peace and security, as well as to fulfill its international obligations and to return to the negotiating table.
Photo: Gergely Botár
(Online 04 Mar) Nearly 30 EU-funded projects were presented nationwide during the open day organised by the National Development Agency (NFÜ). At the Liszt Academy of
nyánszky emphasised that the 13.1 billion forint investment will help created favourable educational conditions, pointing out that after the medical university SOTE, their institution
street station, Deputy Mayor Balázs Szeneczey emphasised that 82-83% of the project has been completed and that the inauguration of the new metro line in March
Photo: Gergely Botár Music, Deputy State Secretary responsible for development programs Nándor Csepreghy said that the aim of the open day is to introduce the EU projects included in the New Széchenyi Plan that positively affect people's everyday lives to the public. In Budapest, the new building of the Academy of Music, the Tétényi street station of the new Metro 4 underground and the Castle Garden Bazaar were presented. Deputy Rector of the Academy Csaba Kut-
has the most foreign students. Deputy State Secretary Csepreghy stated that two thousand educational institutions will be renovated between 2007 and 2013. István Perger, Head of Communications at the European Commission Representation in Hungary, highlighted that 2013 is the year of European citizens within the EU, adding that 97% of Hungarian public investment projects are 85 percent cofunded by the European Union. At Metro 4’s Tétényi
2014 will be a major milestone in the capital’s life. At the Castle Garden Bazaar, Ministerial Commissioner Ferenc Zumbok presented the project, which will be realised through investing approximately 9 billion forints. In 1996, the site was listed among the 100 most endangered monuments in the world. Following the opening ceremony in May 2014, plans include the opening of the largest ever Munkácsy exhibition at the new Bazaar.