Independence Hero Tiradentes Brazil - A p r 2 1
Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, known as Tiradentes (August 16, 1746–-April 21, 1792), was a leading member of the Brazilian revolutionary movement known as the Inconfidência Mineirawhose aim was full independence from the Portuguese colonial power and to create a Brazilian republic. When the plan was discovered, Tiradentes was arrested, tried and publicly hanged. Since the 19th century he has been considered a national hero of Brazil and patron of the Polícia Militar de Minas Gerais (Minas Gerais Military Police).
ideas Political Living in a state rich in gold, Tiradentes used
the knowledge he acquired about minerals to enter the public service (he achieved the ranks of alferes, low in the hierarchy of the epoch), and he was sent to missions in cities along the road between Vila Rica (the capital of Minas Gerais) and Rio de Janeiro; this road was the "open vein" used to export most of the gold to Portugal. Tiradentes soon noticed the exploitation to which Brazilians were subjected; he saw how much gold, and other valuable resources were being pillaged for export to Portugal. His trips to Rio put him in contact with people who had lived in Europe and brought from there the libertarian ideas (the American colonies had become independent in 1776, and French Revolution would be in 1789, the cauldron of freedom hard boiling). In 1788, Tiradentes met José Alvares Maciel, son of the governor of Vila Rica, who had just returned from England; they could compare the British industrial progress with the Brazilian colonial poverty. They created a group of freedom aspirers, led by clerics and other Brazilians with some social presence, like Cláudio Manuel da Costa (staff of government and important writer), Tomás Antônio Gonzaga (staff of government) and Alvarenga Peixoto (eminent businessman); the group propagated their ideas among Brazilians. At that time, Portugal was hungry for gold; however, the production of Brazilian mines was declining. The Brazilians were not meeting the yearly quota of gold that was requested by the crown, and there was pressure from Portugal to ensure all the due taxes were paid. The days of payment of taxes were calledderrama. Influenced by the writings of Rousseau, and by the American Revolution, Tiradentes joined with a number of likeminded citizens in the Inconfidência Mineira. They wanted to found a republic with its capital at São João del Rei and to create a university. The proposed flag for the new republic waswhite with a green triangle surrounded by the Latin motto "Libertas quae sera tamen" (Freedom, even if it be late.). The flag later became the state flag of Minas Gerais, the only modification was the color of the triangle which was changed to red.
Discovery, trial and execution
The plan of Tiradentes was, in a day of derrama (when the sentiment of revolt among Brazilians would be stronger), to take the streets of Vila Rica and proclaim the Brazilian Republic. The movement, however, was denounced to the governor, who canceled the derrama scheduled for February of 1789 and ordered the imprisonment of the rebels. The person who denounced the movement was Joaquim Silverio dos Reis; he was a participant of the movement, and betrayed the group in exchange for waiving of his due taxes. Tiradentes fled to Rio, where he tried to reorganize the movement. Not knowing who had denounced the group, he went to meet Joaquim Silverio dos Reis in Rio; Tiradentes was arrested on May 10, 1789. The trial lasted almost three years. Tiradentes assumed the entire responsibility for the movement. Ten members of the group were sentenced to death; all of them – except Tiradentes – had their sentences, by mercy of the Queen, commuted from death to degradation. On April 21, 1792 (today the date of a national holiday in Brazil), Tiradentes was hanged in Rio de Janeiro, in the plaza today namedPraça Tiradentes. His body was quartered into several pieces. With his blood, a document was written declaring his memory infamous. His head was publicly displayed in Vila Rica and pieces of his body were exhibited in the cities between Vila Rica and Rio to terrorize the populace and those who had sympathized with Tiradentes' ideas of independence.
hero National He began to be considered a national hero by the republicans in the late 19th century, and after the republic was
proclaimed in Brazil in 1889 the anniversary of his death (April 21) became a national holiday. As of now there is a city in the state of Minas Gerais bearing his name and major avenues and streets in countries like the Dominican Republic.
John Muir Day U.S. - A p r 2 1
John Muir was arguably the most influential ecologist of the 20th Century. Many consider him to be founder of the American environmental movement. The State of California has celebrated his birthday as a public holiday since 1989. Every April 21, schools throughout California are encouraged to organize activities and events that commemorate Muir’s achievements, philosophy, and teachings. Although Muir was an immigrant from Scotland and didn’t even set-foot in California until the age of 29, it is fitting that California would choose to observe his birthday as a state holiday. After all, California was Muir’s adopted homeland, and the inspiration for his most important life’s-work: the preservation and protection of America’s natural wilderness. Muir was an obstinate idealist, refusing to compromise on his commitment to serve as a protector of the environment – no matter how vociferous the opposition. But Muir did not advocate violence. Instead, he used his wit to influence policy and behavior. He developed a name for himself as a respected scientist and outdoorsman, inspiring other Americans to study ecology and visit the great outdoors. Although he detested writing, he published 12 books and over 300 articles. Muir’s tireless advocacy for wilderness preservation eventually led to the birth of America’s first real environmental movement. One of his culminating achievements was convincing the U.S. Congress to declare over 6,500 square kilometers of California territory as federally-protected lands. In 1890, America’s second, third, and fourth national parks were created, largely thanks to Muir’s efforts: Sequoia, King’s Canyon, and the world-famous Yosemite. Thirteen years later, Muir took President Theodore Roosevelt on a backcountry camping trip through Yosemite. Hoping to convince the federal government to step-up enforcement of the national park protections, he showed the President first-hand the shortcomings of that enforcement – as well as the awesome natural beauty of the park itself. The U.S. national park system has been called “America’s Best Idea,” and Muir deserves a great deal of credit for its inception. Today, the network maintains 58 parks spanning 210,000 square-km of territory, and receives tens of millions of visitors every year. But Muir’s greatest legacy was arguably his message. Intensely spiritual, Muir believed that nature is the ultimate manifestation of God – and that to really know God, one has to experience the wilderness. Despite the increasing urbanization of a rapidly-industrializing United States, Muir’s philosophy gradually infected the American psyche. In short, Muir helped inspire millions of Americans to visit the country’s most spectacular natural treasures – not to extract their natural resources, but to tap the innate spiritual energy within themselves. In short, he convinced America that the real value in its natural beauty is not economic or material, but spiritual.
Contributed by: Alberto Rodriguez
Kartini Day Indonesia - A p r 2 1
Raden Ayu Kartini, (21 April 1879 – 17 September 1904), or sometimes known as Raden Ajeng Kartini, was a prominent Javanese and an Indonesian national heroine. Kartini is known as a pioneer in the area of women's rights for native Indonesians.
Biography Raden Ayu Kartini was born into an aristocratic Ja-
vanese family in a time when Java was still part of the Dutch colony, the Dutch East Indies. R.A. Kartini's father, Raden Mas Sosroningrat, became Regency Chief of Jepara, and her mother was Raden Mas' first wife, but not the most important one. At this time, polygamy was a common practice among the nobility. She also wrote the Letters of a Javanese Princess. R.A. Kartini's father, R.M. A.A. Sosroningrat, was originally the district chief of Mayong. Her mother was M.A. Ngasirah, the daughter of Kyai Haji Madirono, a teacher of religion in Teluwakur, Jepara, and Nyai Haji Siti Aminah. At that time, colonial regulations specified that a Regency Chief must marry a member of the nobility and because M.A. Ngasirah was not of sufficiently high nobility, her father married a second time to Raden Ajeng Woerjan (Moerjam), a direct descendant of the Raja of Madura. After this second marriage, R.A. Kartini's father was elevated to Regency Chief of Jepara, replacing his second wife's own father, R. A.A. Tjitrowikromo. R.A. Kartini was the fifth child and second eldest daughter in a family of eleven, including half siblings. She was born into a family with a strong intellectual tradition. Her grandfather, Pangeran Ario Tjondronegoro IV, became a Regency Chief at the age of 25 while R.A. Kartini's older brother R.M. Sosrokartono was an accomplished linguist. R.A. Kartini's family allowed her to attend school until she was 12 years old. Here, among other subjects, she learnt to speak fluent Dutch, an unusual accomplishment for Javanese women at the time. After she turned 12 she was 'secluded' at home, a common practice among Javanese nobility, to prepare young girls for their marriage. During seclusion girls were not allowed to leave their parents' house until they were married, at which point authority over them was transferred to their husbands. R.A. Kartini's father was more lenient than some during his daughter's seclusion, giving her such privileges as embroidery lessons and occasional appearances in public for special events. During her seclusion, Kartini continued to educate herself on her own. Because R.A. Kartini could speak Dutch, she acquired several Dutch pen friends. One of them, a girl by the name of Rosa Abendanon, became her very close friend. Books, newspapers and European magazines fed R.A. Kartini's interest in European feminist thinking, and fostered the desire to improve the conditions of indigenous women, who at that time had a very low social status. Raden Adjeng Kartini's omnivorous reading included the Semarang newspaper De Locomotief, edited by Pieter Brooshooft, as well asleestrommel, a set of magazines circulated by bookshops to subscribers. She also read cultural and scientific magazines as well as the Dutch women's magazine De Hollandsche Lelie, to which she began to send contributions which were published. From her letters, it was clear that R.A. Kartini read everything with a great deal of attention and thoughtfulness. The books she had read before she was 20 includedMax Havelaar and Love Letters by Multatuli. She also read De Stille Kracht (The Hidden Force) by Louis Couperus, the works of Frederik van Eeden, Augusta de Witt, the Romantic-Feminist author Mrs. Goekoop de-Jong Van Beek and an anti-war novel by Berta von Suttner, Die Waffen Nieder! (Lay Down Your Arms!). All were in Dutch. R.A. Kartini's concerns were not only in the area of the emancipation of women, but also other problems of her society. R.A. Kartini saw that the struggle for women to obtain their freedom, autonomy and legal equality was just part of a wider movement. Kartini's parents arranged her marriage to Raden Adipati Joyodiningrat, the Regency Chief of Rembang, who already had three wives. She was married on the 12 November 1903. This was against R.A. Kartini's wishes, but she acquiesced to appease her ailing father. Her husband understood R.A. Kartini's aims and allowed her to establish a school for women in the east porch of the Rembang Regency Office complex. R.A. Kartini's only son was born on September 13, 1904. A few days later on September 17, 1904, R.A. Kartini died at the age of 25. She was buried in Bulu Village, Rembang. Inspired by R.A. Kartini's example, the Van Deventer family established the R.A. Kartini Foundation which built schools for women, 'Kartini's Schools' in Semarang in 1912, followed by other women's schools inSurabaya, Yogyakarta, Malang, Madiun, Cirebon and other areas. In 1964, President Sukarno declared R.A. Kartini's birth date, 21 April, as 'Kartini Day' - an Indonesian national holiday. This decision has been criticised. It has been proposed that Kartini's Day should be celebrated in conjunction with Indonesian Mothers Day, on 22 December so that the choice Kartini with Joyodiningrat of R.A. Kartini as a national heroine would not overshadow other women who, unlike R.A. Kartini, took up arms to oppose the colonisers. In contrast, those who recognise the significance of R.A. Kartini argue that not only was she a feminist who elevated the status of women in Indonesia, she was also a nationalist figure, with new ideas who struggled on behalf of her people, including her in the national struggle for independence.
Kindergarten Day Germany - A p r 2 1
This month Germans celebrate Kindergarten Day, in honor of Friedrich Froebel who was born on April 21, 1782 and who started the first Kindergarten in Germany in 1837. The school was built upon a series of innovative principles that used the innate curiosity and intrests of children to guide them to see what Froebel believed to be the harmonious, interconnectedness of all things -- through song and play (which was unheard of in earlier schools); daily lessons in drawing, design, and other artistic activities; and learning through active doing and close contacts with the natural world -- many of the kindergartens actually had real gardens attached to them that the children tended and in doing so, Froebel believed, cultivated their own inner lives. By the 1840s, Froebel was even issuing stock in his enterprise, the Universal German Kindergarten, at around ten dollars a share. But the business never made him wealthy -- in fact, though the kindergarten idea spread throughout Germany in the mid19th century, it was fiercely resisted by the autocratic Prussian state, which esentially outlawed it in 1851 because it was believed that Kindergartens promoted democratic ideas that were dangerous to the rigid status quo. Froebel would die a year later, in 1852 -- some say of a broken heart. As Norman Brosterman reports in his fascinating book, Inventing Kindergarten, by 1860, even the Prussian authorities relented and allowed this highly popular new form of schooling to continue. The first public American Kindergarten was opened in 1873 in St. Louis. By 1876, at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, there was a model kindergarten for inspection on the grounds at Fairmont Park. One visitor, Mrs. Anna Wright, was so taken with what she saw that she bought a set of what were called Froebel's gifts -- the blocks and balls, sticks and geometric forms that all kindergartens were equipped with -- and took a course of instruction so that she could pass on what she had seen about Froebel's ideas of beautiful unity to her son, Frank Lloyd Wright. Cubism, the Bauhaus, Taliesin -- in fact, a good part of what we see and call "modern," as Brosterman points out -- is arguably attributable to Froebel and the visionary geometries of his children's garden.
Queen's Birthday (actual date) U.K., Falkland Islands - A p r 2 1
The Queen's Official Birthday, also known as "the Queen's Birthday" is the day on which the birthday of the monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms is officially celebrated rather than the actual day of the current monarch's birthday. The exact date of the celebration varies from country to country, and only marks the real birthday of the sovereign by coincidence (the current monarch, Elizabeth II, was born on 21 April 1926). Most Commonwealth Realms release a Birthday Honours List at this time. It has been celebrated in the United Kingdom with the Queen's Birthday Parade (which includes Trooping the colour ceremonies) since 1748. In the UK there is no public holiday for it and King Edward VII (1901–10) moved it to the 1st, 2nd, or (rarely) 3rd Saturday in June in the hope of better weather. It might be said that the Monarch's official birthday is only this date as the Monarch declared it, and others have kept it, whereas the celebration of the Queen's birthday elsewhere is the name of a public holiday, sometimes renamed. It has been celebrated as an official public holiday, sharing sometimes with the celebration of other things, in several Commonwealth countries, usually Commonwealth realms, although it is also celebrated in Fiji, now a republic.
San Jacinto Day (Texas) U.S. - A p r 2 1
Remember the Alamo? Remember Goliad? Well, every April 21, the State of Texas does. For these were the rallying cries that inspired a band of Texan rebels lead by Sam Houston to defeat two Mexican Army regiments at San Jacinto – the final and decisive battle in the Texas Revolution. San Jacinto Day is an official holiday in Texas. It commemorates Texas’ independence from Mexico and is marked by a reenactment of the battle itself, which took place on 21 April 1836. Most accounts agree that the Texas Revolution began in 1835, when Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna attempted to dissolve Mexico’s democratic government and assert autocratic authority over the nation. Thousands of Texan colonists responded by declaring independence and forming a new republican government. In 1836, Santa Anna led an invasion north to crush the insurrection. Mexican forces scored important early successes. The Mexicans defeated and slaughtered Texan rebels at the Alamo, in present-day San Antonio. They then defeated, captured, and murdered the unarmed survivors of another group of Texan rebels at Goliad. About 350 unarmed Texan prisoners-of-war were executed in what later became known as the “Goliad Massacre.” In the wake of these defeats, Sam Houston led a band of 900 remaining Texan soldiers on an apparent retreat. He successfully goaded Santa Anna – commanding 1,400 soldiers – to pursue. About three weeks after Goliad, Houston stopped to camp on a grassy field near a flooded marsh along the San Jacinto River. Santa Anna camped his soldiers about 1,000 yards away, in the swampy marshland. On April 21, while the Mexican soldiers rested in preparation for a final assault, Houston pre-empted them with an attack of his own. Santa Anna had failed to post sentinels, and Houston’s forces caught the Mexicans completely by surprise. The battle was over in only 18 minutes. Shouting “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!” as they raided the Mexican camp, the inspired Texans decimated Santa Anna’s forces, killing about 700 and wounding another 208. The Texans also took 730 Mexican prisoners, while suffering less than 40 casualties of their own. Santa Anna escaped during the melee, but was promptly captured the next day. The Battle of San Jacinto effectively ended Mexico’s control over Texas, paving the way for the independence and sovereignty of the “Lone Star State.” Although the battle didn’t result in Mexico officially recognizing Texan independence, it directly led to U.S. annexation of Texas. Texas annexation, in turn, sparked the Mexican-American War and the resulting westward territorial expansion of the United States. So, if Sam Houston’s forces had failed to win this crucial battle, world history could have taken a vastly different turn!
Contributed by: Alberto Rodriguez
Earth Day Worldwide - A p r 2 2
Earth Day is a day early each year on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth's natural environment. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 International Mother Earth Day. Earth Day is planned for April 22 in all years at least through 2015. The name and concept of Earth Day was allegedly pioneered by John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. The first Proclamation of Earth Day was by San Francisco, the City of Saint Francis, patron saint of ecology. Earth Day was first observed in San Francisco and other cities on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature's equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations where it is observed each year. About the same time a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.
St. George's Day - Apr 23 Canada, Spain, U.K.
St George's Day is celebrated by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint. St George's Day is celebrated on 23 April, the traditionally accepted date of Saint George's death in AD 303. For Eastern Orthodox Churches who use the Julian calendar, 23 April corresponds to 6 May on the Gregorian calendar. As Easter often falls close to St George's Day, the church celebration of the feast may be moved from 23 April. In 2011 and 2014, the Anglican and Catholic calendars celebrate St George's Day on the first Monday after Easter Week (2 May and 28 April, respectively). Similarly, the Eastern Orthodox celebration of the feast moves accordingly to the first Monday after Easter or, as it is else called, to the Monday of Bright Week. St George's Day is known as the Feast of Saint George by Palestinians and is celebrated in the Monastery of Saint George in al-Khader, near Bethlehem. It is also known as Georgemas. Besides the 23 April feast, some Orthodox Churches have additional feasts dedicated to St George. The country of Georgia celebrates the feast St. George on 23 April and, more prominently, 10 November (Julian Calendar), which currently falls on 6 May and 23 November (Gregorian Calendar), respectively. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the dedication of the Church of St George in Kiev by Yaroslav I the Wise in 1051 on 26 November (Julian Calendar), which currently falls on the Gregorian 9 December. In the General Calendar of the Roman Rite the feast of Saint George is on 23 April. In the Tridentine Calendar it was given the rank of "Semidouble". In Pope Pius XII's 1955 calendar this rank is reduced to "Simple." In Pope John XXIII's 1960 calendar the celebration to just a "Commemoration." In Pope Paul VI's revision of the calendar, that came into force in 1969, it was given the equivalent rank of a "Memorial", of optional use. In some countries, such as England, the rank is higher. St George's feast is ranked higher in England and in certain other regions. It is the second most important National Feast in Catalonia, where the day is known in Catalan as La Diada de Sant Jordi and it is traditional to give a rose and a book to a loved one. UNESCO declared this day the International Day of the Book, since 23 April 1616 was the date of death of both the English playwright William Shakespeare (according to the Julian calendar) and the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes (according to the Gregorian calendar).
Castilla y Leon Day Spain - Apr 23
Castile and León Day (Spanish: Día de Castilla y León) is a holiday celebrated on April 23 in the autonomous community of Castile and León, a subdivision of Spain. The date is the anniversary of the Battle of Villalar, in which Castilian rebels were dealt a crushing defeat by the forces of King Charles I in the Revolt of the Comuneros on April 23, 1521. Commemoration of the Battle of Villalar was closely associated with liberal politics in Spain from the late 18th century until the 1970s, as conservatives generally sympathized with the royal government. With the demise of General Franco's government, the day has broadened to a more general celebration of Castilian nationalism rather than only liberal politics. The government of Castile and León established August 23 as an official holiday in 1986, and festivals have since been held yearly at Villalar. April 23 is the same day as St. George's Day, with there being some crossover between the two holidays.
The birth of the Battle of Villalar as a rallying symbol for Spanish liberals dates back to the late 17th and early 18th centuries. León del Arroyal, an illustrious economist and protoliberal, stated that Villalar was "the last breath of Castilian freedom" in the latter half of the 18th century. The Castilian comuneros received their first major recognition during the Trienio Liberal, the three years of liberal government from 1820-1823. Resistance fighter Juan Martín Díez organized an expedition to Villalar to search for the remains of Padilla, Bravo, and Maldonado, the executed leaders of the revolt. These events took its climax with a festival and celebration of the comuneros in the plaza of the Villalar on April 23, 1821. Members of left-leaning secret societies often referenced the revolt in their names, such as "Los comuneros" or "Sons of Padilla." They also employed the purple banner, the flag flown by the comuneros rebels. While dormant for a time after the Bourbon Restoration to the Spanish throne, occasional recognition of Villalar and the comuneros came from some of the short-lived liberal governments of the period. For instance, President Francisco Pi y Margall of the First Spanish Republic stated that "Castile was among the first nations of Spain who lost their freedoms in Villalar under the first king of the House of Austria." In the early years of the 20th century there were other attempts to celebrate at Villalar. Among them was a proposal by José María Zorita Díez, a liberal deputy for Valladolid, who made a special request for funds to commemorate the battle of Villalar. There were also various requests and preparations to celebrate the fourth centenary of the Battle in 1923; the city council of Palencia proposed in early 1923 that "on next April 23, all the representatives of Castile go to the fields of Villalar and swear upon the Castilian Holy Grail, at the scene of the Fall ... On the same day and at the same time all the cities of Castile dedicate a minute of silence to the heroes of Villalar." Little came of these attempts to celebrate April 23, however.
By the early 70s, much of the reputation of the comuneros had been rehabilitated after generally positive portrayals by historians such as José Antonio Maravall, Juan Ignacio Gutiérrez Nieto, and Joseph Pérez. In 1976, a gathering of about 400 people met at Villalar. While they were dispersed by the Guardia Civil, the meeting the next year was far larger, with almost 20,000 attendees to celebrate the Battle and organize pro-Castilian groups. The meetings continued on an unofficial basis until 1986, when the government of the recently recognized autonomous community of Castile and León granted its official stamp of approval.
The acts normally begin on the evening of April 22, with performances by musical groups and a zone of free camping for the night. On the morning of April 23, the main ceremonies take place alongside the monolith erected in tribute to the comuneros. Each political party makes a floral offering to the monolith and gaves a speech. Throughout the day, political activities and speeches alternate with dances, music concerts, sports, exhibitions, street theatre, and other Castilian-themed recreational activities. The entity responsible for organizing the celebration in modern times is the "Villalar Foundation of Castile and León."
World Copyright Day Worldwide - Apr 23
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, publishing and 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 April and 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 Vega and Josep Pla, and the birth of Maurice Druon, Vladimir Nabokov, Manuel Mejía Vallejo and Halldór 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 the Gregorian 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.
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.
Armenian Genocide Memorial Day Armenia - Apr 24
Genocide Remembrance Day (Armenian: Եղեռնի զոհերի հիշատակի օր) or Genocide Memorial day, is a national holiday in Armenia and is observed by Armenians in dispersed communities around the world on April 24. It is held annually to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide from 1915 to 1923. In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, hundreds of thousands of people walk to the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial to lay flowers at the eternal flame. The date 24 April commemorates the Armenian notables deported from the Ottoman capital in 1915, of hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders, most of whom would be executed, which was a precursor to the ensuing events.
country Monuments Montebello Genocide Memorial •
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Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial Marseille Genocide Memorial List of Armenian Genocide memorials
National Concord Day Niger - Apr 24
National Day of Concorde ((French)Journée nationale de la Concorde, Fête nationale de la Concorde) is a national holiday in Niger, celebrated every 24 April since 1995.
Concord Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the 24 April 1995 Peace Accord between the Government of Niger and the Organisation of Armed Resistance (Organization de Resistance Armee, ORA) at the Congressional Palace in Niamey (Palais des Congrès de à Niamey). While this accord was only signed by some armed groups, and sporatic fighting continued until 1999, this marked the beginning of the end of the 1990 rebellion in the north and east of the country carried out by elements of Tuareg, Toubou, and other communities. The final peace agreement was celebrated with a "Flame of Peace" in which weapons were burned in Agadez on 25 September 2000. This date is also commemorated each year in some communities.
The Concorde Festival also celebrates of the 2009 agreement to end a renewed Tuareg based insurgency, as well as cross cultural tolerance, peace, and social justice, in this diverse nation. Niger's National Day of Concorde is celebrated with street parties, educational and cultural events, speeches by the President of Niger and other leaders, and events designed to instill in youth love of nation and cross cultural peace. The National Day of Concorde is a Public Holiday in Niger, in which businesses and government offices close.
Independence Day Sierra Leone - A p r 2 7
Sierra Leone officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 6.3 million. It was a colony under the auspices of the Sierra Leone Company from March 11, 1792 until it became a British colony in 1808. Sierra Leone has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests. Freetown is the capital, largest city as well as its economic, educational, cultural and financial center. The second largest city is Bo. Other major cities are Kenema, Makeni and Koidu Town. Sierra Leone is divided into four geographical regions: the Northern Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area; which are subdivided into fourteen districts. The districts have their own directly elected local government known as district council, headed by a council chairman. The country's six municipalities of Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni, Koidu Town and the coastal town of Bonthe have their own directly elected city councils headed by mayors. Sierra Leone is a constitutional representative democratic republic, whereby the President is both the head of state and the head of government. Legislative power is vested by the House of Parliament of Sierra Leone. The Judiciary of Sierra Leone is independent of the executive and the legislative and is headed by the Supreme Court. Since Independence in 1961 to present, Sierra Leone's politics have been dominated by two major political parties: the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) and the All People's Congress (APC). Other political parties have also existed throughout but with no significant supports. The country has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base. It is among the top diamond producing nations in the world, and mineral exports remain the main foreign currency earner. Sierra Leone is also among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, and a major producer of gold. The country has one of the world's largest deposits of rutile. Sierra Leone is also home to the third largest natural harbour in the world where shipping from all over the globe berth at Freetown's famous Queen Elizabeth II Quay. Despite this natural wealth, 70% of its people live in poverty. Sierra Leone is a predominantly Muslim country, though with an influential Christian minority. Sierra Leone is ranked as one of the most religiously tolerant nations in the world. People are often married across ethnic and religious boundaries. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other Fragments of prehistoric pottery from Kamabai peacefully. Religious violence is very rare in Rock Shelter the country. The population of Sierra Leone comprises sixteen ethnic groups, each with its own language and custom. The two largest and most influential are the Mende and Temne. The two are about equal in numbers and each comprises just over 30% of the population . The Mende are predominantly found in South-Eastern Sierra Leone; the Temne likewise predominate in Northern Sierra Leone. Although English is the language of instruction in schools and the official language in government administration, the Krio language (derived from English and several indigenous African languages) is the primary language of communication among Sierra Leone's different ethnic groups, and is spoken by 95% of the country's population. The Krio Language unites all the different ethnic groups, especially in their trade and interaction with each other. Between 1991 and 2002 the Sierra Leone Civil War devastated the country leaving more than 50,000 people dead, much of the country's infrastructure destroyed, and over two million people displaced in neighbouring countries; mainly to Guinea, which was home to around one million Sierra Leonean refugees. ECOMOG used cluster bomb in the war against convention. The war was resolved in 2002 after the Nigerian-led ECOMOG troops were heavily reinforced by a British force spearheaded by 1st Bn The Parachute Regiment, supported by the British Royal Navy The arrival of this force resulted in the defeat of rebel forces and restored the civilian government elected in 1996. On January 18, 2002 President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah declared the civil war officially over. Since then the country has re-established a functioning democracy. Early inhabitants of Sierra Leone included the Sherbro, Temne and Limba peoples, and later the Mende, who knew the country as Romarong, and the Kono who settled in the east of the country. In 1462, it was visited by the Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra, who dubbed it Serra de Leão, meaning "Lion Mountains". Sierra Leone later became an important centre of the transatlantic trade in slaves until March 11, 1792 when Freetown was founded by the Sierra Leone Company as a home for former enslaved from (or freed by) the British Empire. In 1808, Freetown became a British Crown Colony, and in 1896, the interior of the country became a British Protectorate; in 1961, the two regions combined and Bai Bureh, leader of the gained independence. 1898 rebellion against
Archaeological finds show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited continuously for at least 2,500 years, populated by successive movements from other parts of Africa. The use of iron was introduced to Sierra Leone by the 9th century, and by AD 1000 agriculture was being practiced by coastal tribes. Sierra Leone's dense tropical rainforest largely protected it from the influence of any pre-colonial African empires and from further Islamic influence of the Mali Empire, the Islamic faith however became common in the 18th century. European contacts within Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa. In 1462,Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintra mapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming shaped formation Serra de Leão (Portuguese for Lion Mountains). The Italian rendering of this geographic formation is Sierra Leone, which became the country's name. Soon after Portuguese traders arrived at the harbour and by 1495 a fort that acted as a trading post had been built. The Portuguese were joined by the Dutch and French; all of them using Sierra Leone as a trading point for slaves. In 1562, the English joined the trade in human beings when Sir John Hawkins shipped 300 enslaved people, acquired 'by the sword and partly by other means', to the new colonies in America.
In 1787 a settlement was founded in Sierra Leone in what was called the "Province of Freedom". A number of "Black Poor" arrived off the coast of Sierra Leone on 15 May 1787, accompanied by some English tradesmen. Many of the "black poor" were African Americans, who had been given their freedom after seeking refuge with the British Army during the American Revolution, but also included other West Indian, African and Asian inhabitants of London. After establishing Granville Town, disease and hostility from the indigenous people eliminated the first group of colonists and destroyed their settlement. A second Granville Town was established by 64 remaining colonists. Through the impetus of Thomas Peters, the Sierra Leone Company was established to relocate 1,196 black Americans, most of whom had escaped enslavement in the United States by seeking protection with the British Army during the American Revolution. They had been given land in Nova Scotia and a few had died from the harsh winters there. These colonists built the second (and only permanent) Colony of Sierra Leone and the settlement of Freetown on March 11, 1792. In Sierra Leone they were called the Nova Scotian Settlers or 'Nova Scotians' but were commonly known as the Settlers. The Settlers built Freetown and introduced architectural styles from the American South as well as Western fashion and American courtesy. In the 1790s, the Settlers voted for the first time in elections, as did women. The Sierra Leone Company refused to allow the settlers to take freehold of the land. Some of the Settlers revolted in 1799. The revolt was only put down by the arrival of over 500 Jamaican Maroons, who also arrived via Nova Scotia. In 1800, Jamaican Maroons from Trelawny Town, Jamaica were settled via Nova ScoSir Milton Margai, lead tia. After sixteen years of running the Colony, the Sierra Leone Company was Sierra Leone to Independformed into the African Institution. The Institution met in 1807 to achieve more ent in 1961 and became the success by focusing on bettering the local economy, but it was constantly split country's first prime minisbetween those British who meant to inspire local entrepreneurs and those ter. with interest in the Macauley & Babington Company which held the (British) monopoly on Sierra Leone trade. Beginning in 1808 (following the abolition of the slave trade in 1807), thousands of formerly enslaved Africans were liberated in Freetown. Most of these Liberated Africans or 'Recaptives' chose to remain in Sierra Leone. Cut off from their homes and traditions, the Liberated Africans assimilated the Western styles of Settlers and Maroons and built a flourishing trade of flowers and beads on the West African coast. These returned Africans were from many areas of Africa, but principally the west coast. During the 19th century many black Americans, Americo Liberian 'refugees', and particularly West Indians immigrated and settled in Freetown creating a new ethnicity called the Krio.
In the early 20th century, Freetown served as the residence of the British governor who also ruled the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and the Gambia settlements. Sierra Leone also served as the educational centre of British West Africa. Fourah Bay College, established in 1827, rapidly became a magnet for English-speaking Africans on the West Coast. For more than a century, it was the only European-style university in western Sub-Saharan Africa. During Sierra Leone's colonial history, indigenous people mounted several unsuccessful revolts against British rule. The most notable was the Hut Tax war of 1898. The Hut Tax War consisted of a Northern front, led by Bai Bureh, and Southern front that were sparked at different times and for different reasons. Bureh's fighters had the advantage over the vastly more powerful British for several months of the war. Hundreds of British troops and hundreds of Bureh's fighters were killed. Bai Bureh was finally captured on 11 November 1898 and sent into exile in the Gold Coast (now Ghana), while 96 of his comrades were hanged by the British. The defeat in the Hut Tax war ended large scale organised resistance to colonialism; however resistance continued throughout the colonial period in the form of intermittent rioting and chaotic labour disturbances. Riots in 1955 and 1956 involved "many tens of thousands" of natives in the protectorate. One notable event in 1935 was the granting of a monopoly on mineral mining to the Sierra Leone Selection Trust run by De Beers, which was scheduled to last 98 years. In 1924, Sierra Leone was divided into a Colony and a Protectorate, with separate and different political systems constitutionally defined for each. Antagonism between the two entities escalated to a heated debate in 1947, when proposals were introduced to provide for a single political system for both the Colony and the Protectorate. Most of the proposals came from the Protectorate. The Krio, led by Isaac Wallace-Johnson, opposed the proposals, the main effect of which would have been to diminish their political power. It was due to the astute politics of Sir Milton Margai that the educated Protectorate elite was won over to join forces with the paramount chiefs in the face of Krio intransigence. Later, Sir Milton used the same skills to win over opposition leaders and moderate Krio elements for the achievement of independence. In November 1951, Sir Milton Margai oversaw the drafting of a new constitution, which united the separate Colonial and Protectorate legislatures and—-most importantly—-provided a framework for decolonization. In 1953, Sierra Leone was granted local ministerial powers, and Sir Milton Margai, was elected Chief Minister of Sierra Leone. The new constitution ensured Sierra Leone a parliamentary system within the Commonwealth of Nations. In May 1957, Sierra Leone held its first parliamentary election. The SLPP, which was then the most popular political party in the colony of Sierra Leone, won the most seats in Parliament. Margai was also re-elected as Chief Minister by a landslide. On April 20, 1960, Sir Milton Margai led the twenty four members of the Sierra Leonean delegation at the constitutional conferences that were held with Queen Elizabeth II and British Colonial Secretary Iain Macleod in the negotiations for independence held at the Lancaster House in London. . All of the twenty four members of the Sierra Leonean delegation were prominent and well-respected politicians including Sir Milton's younger brother lawyer Sir Albert Margai, the outspoken trade unionist Siaka Stevens, SLPP strongman Lamina Sankoh, outspoken Creole activist Isaac Wallace-Johnson, educationist Mohamed Sanusi Mustapha, Dr John Karefa-Smart, professor Kande Bureh, lawyer Sir Banja Tejan-Sie, former Freetown's Mayor Eustace Henry Taylor Cummings Paramount chief Ella Koblo Gulama, educationist Amadu Wurie, and Creole diplomat Hector Reginald Sylvanus Boltman. On the conclusion of talks in London, however, the outspoken trade unionist Siaka Stevens was the only delegate who refused to sign Sierra Leone's declaration of Independendence on the grounds that there had been a secret defence pact between Sierra Leone and Britain; another point of contention by Stevens was the Sierra Leonean government's position that there would be no elections held before independence which would effectively shut him out of Sierra Leone's political process . Upon their return to Freetown on May 4, 1960, Stevens was promptly expelled from the People's National Party (PNP).
An Independent nation and Sir Milton Margai Administration:
On April 27, 1961, Sir Milton Margai lead Sierra Leone to Independent from Great Britain and became the country's first Prime Minister. It retained a parliamentary system of government and was a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. In May 1962 Sierra Leone held its first general election as an Independent nation. The Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) won plurality of seats in parliament and Sir Milton Margai was re-elected as prime minister. The years just after independence were prosperous with money from mineral resources being used for development and the founding of Njala University. An important aspect of Sir Milton's character was his self-effacement. He was neither corrupt nor did he make a lavish display of his power or status. Sir Milton's government was based on the rule of law and the notion of separation of powers, with multiparty political institutions and fairly viable representative structures. Margai used his conservative ideology to lead Sierra Leone without much strife. He appointed government officials with a clear eye to satisfy various ethnic groups. Margai employed a brokerage style of politics by sharing political power between political groups and the paramount chiefs in the provinces. In 1962, Outspoken critic against the SLPP government, Siaka Stevens, formed an alliance with several prominent northern politicians like Sorie Ibrahim Koroma, Christian Alusine-Kamara Taylor, Mohammed Bash-Taqui, S.A.T. Koroma and S.A. Fofana to form their own political party called the All People's Congress (APC). Stevens used the Northern part of Sierra Leone as his political base.
Sir Albert Administration:
Upon Sir Milton's death in 1964, his half-brother, Sir Albert Margai, was appointed as Prime Minister by parliament. Sir Albert's leadership was briefly challenged by Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister John Karefa-Smart, who questioned Sir Albert's succession to the SLPP leadership position. Kareefa-Smart received little support in Parliament in his attempt to have Margai stripped of the SLPP leadership. Soon after Margai was sworn in as Prime Minister, he immediately dismissed several senior government officials who had served under his elder brother Sir Milton's government, as he viewed them as traitors and a threat to his administration. Unlike his late brother, Sir Milton, Sir Albert proved unpopular and resorted to increasingly authoritarian actions in response to protests, including enacted several laws against the opposition All People's Congress (APC) and attempting to establish a singleparty state. Unlike his late brother Milton, Sir Albert was opposed to the colonial legacy of allowing the country's Paramount Chiefs executive powers and he was seen as a threat APC political rally in the northern town of Kabala to the existence of the ruling houses across outside the home of supporters of the rival SLPP in the country. In 1967, Riots broke out in Free- 1968 town against Sir Albert's policies; in response Margai declare a state of emergency across the country. Sir Albert was accused of corruption and of a policy of affirmative action in favor of his own Mende ethnic group Sir Albert had the opportunity to perpetuate himself in power, but he elected not to do so even when the opportunities presented themselves. He had the police and the army on his side and nothing could have prevented him from achieving his ambition to hold on to power, but he chose not to and called for a free and fair elections
Three Military Coups, 1967-1968:
The APC, with its leader Siaka Stevens, narrowly won a small majority seats in Parliament over the SLPP in a closely contested 1967 Sierra Leone general election and Stevens was sworn in as Prime Minister of April 26, 1968. Within hours after taking office, Stevens was ousted in a bloodless military coup lead by the commander of the army Brigadier General David Lansana, a close ally of Sir Albert Margai who had appointed him to the position in 1964. Brigadier Lansana placed Stevens under house arrest in Freetown and insisted the determination of office of the Prime Minister should await the election of the tribal representatives to the house. On March 23, 1968, A group of senior military officers in the Sierra Leone Army lead by Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smith overrode this action by seizing control of the government, arresting Brigadier Lansana, and suspending the constitution. The group constituted itself as the National Reformation Council (NRC) with Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smith as its chairman and Head of State of the country . In April 1968, a group of senior military officers who called themselves the Anti-Corruption Revolutionary Movement lead by Brigadier General John Amadu Bangura overthrew the NRC junta. The ACRM juntas arrested many senior NRC members. The democratic constitution was restored, and power was handed back to Stevens, who at last assumed the office of Prime Minister.
Independence Day Togo - Apr 27
Togo, officially the Togolese Republic is a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east, and Burkina Faso to the north. It extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, on which the capital Lomé is located. Togo covers an area of approximately 57,000 square kilometres (22,000 sq mi) with a population of approximately 6.7 million. Togo is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation, highly dependent on agriculture, with a climate that provides good growing seasons. While the official language is French, there are many other languages spoken in Togo, particularly those of the Gbe family. The largest religious group in Togo are those with indigenous beliefs, but there are significant Christian and Muslim minorities. Togo is a member of the United Nations, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, La Francophonie and Economic Community of West African States. From the 11th to the 16th century, various tribes entered the region from all directions. From the 16th century to the 18th century, the coastal region was a major trading centre for Europeans in search of slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name "The Slave Coast". In 1884, Germany declared Togoland a protectorate. After World War I, rule over Togo was transferred to France. Togo gained its independence from France in 1960. In 1967, Gnassingbé Eyadéma led a successful military coup, after which he became president. At the time of his death in 2005, Eyadéma was the longest-serving leader in modern African history, after having been president for 38 years. In 2005, his son Faure Gnassingbé was elected president. In April 2012, Togo was ranked 156th in Gross National Happiness - GNH World Happiness report published by the earth institute.
During the period from the 11th century to the 16th century, various tribes entered the region from all directions: the Ewé from the east, and the Mina and Guin from the west. Most settled in coastal areas. The slave trade began in the 16th century, and for the next two hundred years the coastal region was a major trading center for Europeans in search of slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name "The Slave Coast". In 1884 a treaty was signed at Togoville with the King Mlapa III, whereby Germany claimed a protectorate over a stretch of territory along the coast and gradually extended its control inland. In 1905, this became the German colony of Togoland. During World War I this German territory was invaded by British troops from the neighbouring Gold Coast colony and French troops coming from Dahomey. Togoland was separated into two League of Nations mandates, administered by Britain and France. After World War II, these mandates became UN Trust Territories. The residents of British Togoland voted to join the Gold Coast as part of the new independent nation of Ghana in 1957, and French Togoland became an autonomous republic within the French Union in 1959. Independence for French Togoland came in 1960 under Sylvanus Olympio. He was assassinated in a military coup on 13 January 1963 by a group of soldiers under the direction of Sergeant Etienne Eyadema Gnassingbe. Opposition leader Nicolas Grunitzky was appointed president by the "Insurrection Committee", headed by Emmanuel Bodjollé. However, on 13 January 1967, Eyadema Gnassingbe overthrew Grunitzky in a bloodless coup and assumed the presidency, which he held from that date until his sudden death on 5 February 2005 after 38 years in power, the longest occupation of any dictator in Africa. The military's immediate but short-lived installation of his son, Faure Gnassingbé, as president provoked widespread international condemnation, except from France. However, some democratically elected African leaders such as Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria supported the move, thereby creating a rift within the African Union. Faure Gnassingbé stood down and called elections which he won two months later. The opposition claimed that the election was fraudulent. The developments of 2005 led to renewed questions about a commitment to democracy made by Togo in 2004 in a bid to normalise ties with the European Union, which cut off aid in 1993 over the country's human rights record. Up to 500 people were killed and around 40,000 fled to neighbouring countries in the political violence surrounding the presidential poll, according to the United Nations.
Anzac Day International - Apr 25
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for their countries. Anzac Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tonga. It is no longer observed as a national holiday in Samoa.
Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as Anzacs. Anzac Day remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand, a rare instance of two sovereign countries not only sharing the same remembrance day, but making reference to both countries in its name. When war broke out in 1914, Australia and New Zealand had been dominions of the British Empire for thirteen and seven years respectively.
In 1915, Australian and New Zealander soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula, according to a plan by Winston Churchill to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was an ally of Germany during the war. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk). What had been planned as a bold strike to knock the Ottomans out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the An Australian veteran on end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered Anzac Day. heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The Allied casualties included 21,255 from the United Kingdom, an estimated 10,000 dead soldiers from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand, and 1,358 from British India. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war. Though the Gallipoli campaign failed to achieve its military objectives of capturing Constantinople and knocking the Ottoman Empire out of the war, the actions of the Australian and New Zealander troops during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as an "Anzac legend" became an important part of the national identity in both countries. This has shaped the way their citizens have viewed both their past and their understanding of the present.
Foundations of Anzac Day:
On 30 April 1915, when the first news of the landing reached New Zealand, a half-day holiday was declared and impromptu services were held. The following year a public holiday was gazetted (officially declared) on 5 April and services to commemorate were organised by the returned servicemen. The date 25 April was officially named Anzac Day in 1916; in that year it was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia and New Zealand, including a commemorative march through London involving Australian and New Zealand troops. Australian Great War battalion and brigade war diaries show that on this first Anzac Day at Manly, Brisbane, Australia, anniversary, units including those on the front line, made efforts to solemnise the memory of those who were killed 1922 this day twelve months previously. A common format found in the war diaries by Australian and New Zealand soldiers for the day commenced with a dawn requiem mass, followed mid-morning with a commemorative service, and after lunch organised sports activities with the proceeds of any gambling going to Battalion funds. This occurred in Egypt as well. The small New Zealand community of Tinui, near Masterton in the Wairarapa, was apparently the first place in New Zealand to have an Anzac Day service, when the then vicar led an expedition to place a large wooden cross on the Tinui Taipos (a 1,200 ft (370 m) high large hill/mountain, behind the village) in April 1916 to commemorate the dead. A service was held on 25 April of that year. In 2006 the 90th anniversary of the event was commemorated with a full 21gun salute fired at the service by soldiers from the Waiouru Army Camp. In London, over 2,000 Australian and New Zealand troops marched through the streets of the city. A London newspaper headline dubbed them "The Knights of Gallipoli". Marches were held all over Australia in 1916; wounded soldiers from Gallipoli attended the Sydney march in convoys of cars, accompanied by nurses. Over 2,000 people attended the service in Rotorua. For the remaining years of the war, Anzac Day was used as an occasion for patriotic rallies and recruiting campaigns, and parades of serving members of the AIF were held in most cities. From 1916 onwards, in both Australia and New Zealand, Anzac memorials were held on or about 25 April, mainly organised by returned servicemen and school children in cooperation with local authorities. Anzac Day was gazetted as a public holiday in New Zealand in 1920, through the Anzac Day Act, after lobbying by the New Zealand Returned Soldiers’ Association, the RSA. In Australia at the 1921 State Premiers' Conference, it was decided that Anzac Day would be observed on 25 April each year. However, it was not observed uniformly in all the states. During the 1920s, Anzac Day became established as a National Day of Commemoration for the 60,000 Australians and 18,000 New Zealanders who died during the war. The first year in which all the Australian states observed some form of public holiday together on Anzac Day was 1927. By the mid-1930s, all the rituals now associated with the day—dawn vigils, marches, memorial services, reunions, sly two-up games—became part of Australian Anzac Day culture. New Zealand commemorations also adopted many of these rituals, with the dawn service being introduced from Australia in 1939.
Anzac Day since World War II:
With the coming of the Second World War, Anzac Day became a day on which to commemorate the lives of Australians and New Zealanders lost in that war as well and in subsequent years. The meaning of the day has been further broadened to include those killed in all the military operations in which the countries have been involved. Anzac Day was first commemorated at the Australian War Memorial in 1942, but, due to government orders preventing large public gatherings in case of Japanese air attack, it was a small affair and was neither a march nor a memorial service. Anzac Day has been annually commemorated at the Australian War Memorial ever since. In New Zealand, Anzac Day saw a surge in popularity immediately after World War II. However this was short-lived, and by the 1950s many New Zealanders had become antagonistic or indifferent to- Flags on the cenotaph in Wellingwards the day. Much of this was linked to the legal ban on commerce ton for the 2007 Dawn Service. on Anzac Day, and the banning by many local authorities of sports From left to right, the flags of New events and other entertainment on the day. Annoyance was particu- Zealand, the United Kingdom and larly pronounced in 1953 and 1959, when Anzac Day fell on a Satur- Australia day. There was widespread public debate on the issue, with some people calling for the public holiday to be moved to the nearest Sunday or abolished altogether. In 1966 a new Anzac Day Act was passed, allowing sport and entertainment in the afternoon. From the 1960s, but especially in the 1970s and 1980s, Anzac Day became increasingly controversial in both Australia and New Zealand. The day was used by anti-Vietnam War protesters to agitate against that war and war in general, and ceremonies were later targeted by feminists, anti-nuclear campaigners, Maori activists and others. From about the late 1980s, however, there was an international resurgence of interest in World War I and its commemorations. Anzac Day attendances rose in Australia and New Zealand, with young people taking a particular interest. Protests and controversy became much rarer. Australians and New Zealanders recognise 25 April as a ceremonial occasion to reflect on the cost of war and to remember those who fought and lost their lives for their country. Commemorative services are held at dawn, the time of the original landing, mainly at war memorials in cities and towns across both nations and the sites of some of Australia and New Zealand's more-recognised battles and greatest losses, such as Villers-Bretonneux in France and Gallipoli in Turkey. One of the traditions of Anzac Day is the 'gunfire breakfast' (coffee with rum added) which occurs shortly after many dawn ceremonies, and recalls the 'breakfast' taken by many soldiers before facing battle. Later in the day, ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen meet and join in marches through the major cities and many smaller centres.
After the First World War, returned soldiers sought the comradeship they felt in those quiet, peaceful moments before dawn. With symbolic links to the dawn landing at Gallipoli, a dawn stand-to or dawn ceremony became a common form of Anzac Day remembrance during the 1920s. The first official dawn service was held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1927. Dawn services were originally very simple and followed the operational ritual; in many cases they were restricted to veterans only. The daytime ceremony was for families and other well-wishers and the dawn service was for returned soldiers to remember and reflect among the comrades with whom they shared a A large commemoration march in Wagga special bond. Before dawn the gathered veterans would be ordered to Wagga, New South Wales (April 2008) "stand-to" and two minutes of silence would follow. At the start of this time a lone bugler would play "The Last Post" and then concluded the service with "Reveille". In more recent times the families and young people have been encouraged to take part in dawn services, and services in Australian capital cities have seen some of the largest turnouts ever. Reflecting this change, the ceremonies have become more elaborate, incorporating hymns, readings, pipers and rifle volleys. Others, though, have retained the simple format of the dawn stand-to, familiar to so many soldiers. Typical modern dawn services follow a pattern that is now familiar to generations of Australians, containing the following features: introduction, hymn, prayer, an address, laying of wreaths, recitation, the playing of "The Last Post", a minute of silence, "Reveille", and the playing of both New Zealand and Australian national anthems. At the Australian War Memorial, following events such as the Anzac Day and Remembrance Day services, families often place artificial red poppies beside the names of relatives on the Memorial's Roll of Honour. In Australia, sprigs of rosemary are often worn on lapels and in New Zealand poppies have taken on this role.
In Australia and New Zealand, Anzac Day commemoration features solemn "Dawn Services", a tradition started in Albany, Western Australia on 25 April 1923 and now held at war memorials around both countries, accompanied by thoughts of those lost at war to the ceremonial sounds of The Last Post on the bugle. The fourth stanza of Laurence Binyon's poem For the Fallen (known as the "Ode of Remembrance") is often recited.  Australia Anzac Day is a national public holiday and is considered by many Australians to be one of the most solemn days of the year. Marches by veterans from all past wars, as well as current serving members of the Australian Defence Force and Reserves, with allied veterans as well as the Australian Defence Force Cadets and Australian Air League and supported by members of Scouts Australia, Guides Australia, and other uniformed service groups, are held in cities and towns nationwide. The Anzac Day Parade from each state capital is televised live with commentary. These events are generally followed by social gatherings of veterans, hosted either in a public house or in an RSL club, often including a traditional Australian gambling game called two-up, which was an extremely popular pastime with ANZAC soldiers. The importance of this tradition is demonstrated by the fact that though most Australian states have laws forbidding gambling outside of designated licensed venues, on Anzac Day it is legal to play "two-up". Despite federation being proclaimed in Australia in 1901, many[who?] argue the "national identity" of Australia was largely forged during the violent conflict of World War I, and the most iconic event in the war for most Australians was the landing at Gallipoli. Dr. Paul Skrebels of the University of South Australia has noted that Anzac Day has continued to grow in popularity; even the threat of a terrorist attack at the Gallipoli site in 2004 did not deter some 15,000 Australians from making the pilgrimage to Turkey to commemorate the fallen ANZAC troops. Although commemoration events are always held on 25 April, most states and territories currently observe a substitute public holiday on the following Monday when Anzac Day falls on a Sunday. When Anzac Day falls on Easter Monday, such as in 2011, the Easter Monday holiday is transferred to Tuesday. This followed a 2008 meeting of the Council for the Australian Federation in which the states and territories made an in principle agreement to work towards making this a universal practice. However in 2009, the Legislative Council of Tasmania rejected a bill amendment that would have enabled the substitute holiday in that state.
Australian postage stamps:
Australia Post has issued stamps over the years to commemorate Anzac Day, the first being in 1935 for the 20th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. The full list of issued stamps is as follows: • 1935 20th Anniversary (2 values) 2d Red and 1/- Black featuring the London Cenotaph. • 1965 50th Anniversary (3 values) 5d Khaki, 8d Blue and 2/3 Maroon featuring Simpson and his donkey. • 1990 75th Anniversary (5 values) 41¢ x 2, 65¢, $1, and $1.10 all featuring various Anzac themes. • 2000 ANZAC legends (4 values) 45¢ x 4 featuring Walter Parker, Roy Longmore, Alec Campbell and the Anzac medal. • In 1955, the then current 3½d Purple Nursing commemorative stamp was privately overprinted with the words "ANZAC 1915-1955 40 YEARS LEST WE FORGET" and a value ranging from 1d to £1 was also added which was the fundraising amount in addition to the legal cost of stamp of which the denomination was 3½d. Eight values were issued and were intended to raise funds for the Anzac commemorations. It is believed these stamps were authorised by the secretary of a leading Melbourne RSL club.
During many wars, Australian rules football matches have been played overseas in places like northern Africa, Vietnam, and Iraq as a celebration of Australian culture and as a bonding exercise between soldiers. In 1975, the VFL/AFL first commemorated Anzac Day and the Anzac spirit with a match of Australian rules football between Essendon and Carlton in a one-off match in front of a large crowd of 77,770 at VFL Park, Waverley, with Essendon coming out winners. The modern-day tradition began in 1995 and is played every year between traditional AFL rivals Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG. This annual blockbuster is often considered the biggest match of the AFL season outside of the finals, sometimes drawing bigger crowds than all but the Grand Final, and often selling out in advance; a record crowd of 94,825 people attended the inaugural match in 1995. The Anzac Medal is awarded to the player in the match who best exemplifies the Anzac Spirit – skill, courage, self-sacrifice, teamwork and fair play.
Rugby League Football:
Beginning in 1997, the ANZAC Test, a rugby league test match, has commemorated Anzac Day, though it is typically played a week prior to Anzac Day. The match is always played between the Australian and New Zealand national teams, and has drawn attendances between 20,000–45,000 in the past. Domestically, matches have been played on Anzac Day since 1926 (with occasional exceptions). Since 2002, the National Rugby League (NRL) has followed the lead of the Australian Football League, hosting a match between traditional rivals St George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters each year to commemorate Anzac Day in the Club ANZAC Game, although these two sides had previously met on ANZAC day several times as early as the 1970s.
New Zealand's Commemoration of Anzac Day is similar. The number of New Zealanders attending Anzac Day events in New Zealand, and at Gallipoli, is increasing. For some, the day serves as a reminder of the futility of war. For most New Zealanders though, the day is an occasion on which to formally pay tribute and to remember. Dawn Parades and other memorials nationwide are typically attended by the New Zealand Defence Force, the New Zealand Cadet Forces, members of the New Zealand Police, New Zealand Fire Service, Order of St John Ambulance Service (Youth and Adult Volunteers) as well as Scouting New Zealand, GirlGuiding New Zealand and other uniformed community service groups including in most places the local Pipe Band to lead or accompany the parade march, and sometimes a Brass Band to accompany the hymns. Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war. Paper poppies are widely distributed by the Returned Services Association and worn as symbols of remembrance. This tradition follows that of the wearing of poppies on Remembrance Sunday in other Commonwealth countries. The day is a public holiday in New Zealand. Shops are prohibited from opening before 1pm as per the Anzac Day Act 1966. A prior Act passed in 1949 prevents the holiday from being "Mondayised" (moved to the 26th or 27th should the 25th fall on a weekend), although this has drawn criticism from trade unionists and Labour Party politicians.
Turkey In Turkey the name "ANZAC Cove" was officially recognised by the Turkish government on Anzac Day in 1985. In
1934, Kemal Atatürk delivered the following words to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to visit the Gallipoli battlefields. This was later inscribed on a monolith at Ari Burnu Cemetery (ANZAC Beach) which was unveiled in 1985. The words also appear on the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, Canberra, and the Atatürk Memorial in Wellington, New Zealand: "Those heroes that shed their blood And lost their lives. You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side Here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, Who sent their sons from far away countries Wipe away your tears, Your sons are now lying in our bosom And are in peace After having lost their lives on this land they have Become our sons as well." In 1990, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, Government officials from Australia and New Zealand (including Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke and New Zealand Governor-General Paul Reeves) as well as most of the last surviving Gallipoli veterans, and many Australian and New Zealand tourists travelled to Turkey for a special Dawn Service at Gallipoli. The Anzac Day Gallipoli Dawn Service has since attracted upwards of 15,000 people. Until 1999, the Gallipoli Dawn Service was held at the Ari Burnu War Cemetery at Anzac Cove, but the growing numbers of people attending resulted in the construction of a more spacious site on North Beach, known as the "Anzac Commemorative Site" in time for the year 2000 service. In 2005, criticism surrounded the daybreak service at Anzac Cove after the screening of a rock concert-style commemoration of popular musical artists, with the site being left strewn with rubbish.
Other overseas ceremonies
• In Kanchanaburi, Thailand, a dawn service is held at Hellfire Pass, a rock cutting dug by allied Prisoners of War and Asian labourers for the Thai-Burma Railway. This cutting is where the greatest number of lives were lost during railway construction. The dawn service is followed by a "gunfire breakfast" (coffee with a shot (or two) of rum) recalling the 'breakfast' taken by many soldiers before facing battle. At 11am a second ceremony is held at the main POW cemetery in the city of Kanchanaburi, where 6,982 POWs are buried, mostly British, Australian, Dutch and Canadians. Over the years, both services have been attended by some Anzac ex-POWs and their families travelling from Australia, as well as ambassadors from the Australian and New Zealand consulates, the Kanchanaburi Provincial Governor, and others. The closest Saturday to Anzac Day also sees the ex-POWs attend an Australian Rules football match between the Thailand Tigers AFL club and a team invited from neighbouring Asian countries. • In the Cook Islands, Niue and Tonga Anzac Day is also commemorated to honour their soldiers who participated in the campaign. • In Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea there is a dawn service at the Bomana War Cemetery. Bomana is the location of thousands of graves of Australian and New Zealand Servicemen who were killed during the New Guinea campaign of World War II. • In Newfoundland, Canada, the Gallipoli offensive is commemorated each year on 25 April by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment who hold a march from Government House through the streets of St. John's ending at the National War Memorial. Members of both the Australian and New Zealand armed forces are invited each year to participate in the march and wreath laying ceremonies. Other Canadian communities also mark Anzac Day; Calgary has had a Cenotaph Service annually at Central Park with participation from the local military. • In London, England, a dawn service is held, alternating between the Australian War Memorial, and the more recently constructed New Zealand War Memorial, both of which are at Hyde Park Corner. The day is also marked by a parade and wreath-laying at Whitehall, which is attended by official representatives and veterans associations of Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and other countries. • In France in the towns of Le Quesnoy and Longueval and in the town of Villers-Bretonneux (on the next closest weekend) because on 25 April 1918, the village of Villers-Bretonneux was liberated by the Anzacs. The Australian Government holds an annual dawn service at the Australian National Memorial just outside the small town of Villers-Bretonneux. • In French Polynesia, Anzac Day has been commemorated with an official ceremony held in Papeete since 2006. The 2009 ceremony was attended by French Polynesia President Oscar Temaru, who praised the "courage and liberty" of Australian and New Zealand soldiers in a statement. • In Germany, Anzac Day is commemorated in Berlin, at the Commonwealth Kriegsgräber, Charlottenburg. (Commonwealth War Graves). • In Hong Kong, a simple dawn commemorative service is held at The Cenotaph (Hong Kong) in Central, with a member of the Hong Kong Police Band playing "The Last Post" and "Reveille" from the balcony of the nearby Hong Kong Club. • In Indonesia, Anzac Day is commemorated in Jakarta, Balikpapan, Bangka Island, Bandung, Denpasar and Surabaya. In Kiribati, Anzac Day is commemorated at the Coast Watchers Memorial on the islet of Betio, Tarawa, • hosted by the New Zealand and Australian High Commissions. In Israel Anzac Day is commemorated at the Commonwealth War cemetery on Mount Scopus in • Jerusalem. In Hodogaya a suburb of Yokohama, Japan, there is a small service held in the Commonwealth War • Graves cemetery. In the United States, Anzac Day is commemorated at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood, • California. The New Zealand and Australian Consulates-General rotate hosting the service. The largest expatriate community of New Zealanders and Australians are in Southern California, hence this location. In New York a small mid-morning tribute to Anzac Day is held in the roof garden in the British Empire Building in Rockefeller Plaza, 620 5th Avenue, overlooking St. Patrick's Cathedral, on the Sunday nearest 25 April; it is an annual tradition that has been held at this locale since 1950. In Washington DC, Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women observe Anzac Day at a dawn service at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on 25 April each year. In Hawaii the Marine Corps hosts an Anzac Day ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as "The Punchbowl", where several dignitaries from many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S. attend to commemorate the memory of all who have fallen for their country. In Santa Barbara, CA, Anzac Day is remembered by the expatriate Australian and New Zealand communities. In the absence of an official World War I remembrance, several dignitaries from many countries including Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. attend an 11.11am morning service held at the Elings Park Veteran’s Memorial Walk on 25 April of each year. Two-up and a sausage sizzle follows the event. • In Ireland, Anzac Day is remembered by the expatriate New Zealand and Australian communities. In the absence of an official World War I remembrance, and in honour of Irish soldiers who fought and perished in the Dardanelles and elsewhere, Anzac Day commemorations are also attended by members of veterans groups and historical societies, including the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, O.N.E.T., the Royal British Legion, UN Veterans, and more. Since the mid-1980s, an evening service has been organised by the New Zealand-Ireland Association, which currently takes place in St Ann's Church, Dawson St, Dublin 2. For the 90th anniversary in 2005, a daylight service was held for the first time in the re-furbished Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin 7. A Turkish Hazel tree, planted by the Ambassadors of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey, commemorates this occasion. It can be found to the south of the limestone Memorial Wall. Since this date, a dawn service has been held at this location. At the Ballance House in County Antrim, the official New Zealand centre in Northern Ireland, a midday Anzac reception and act of remembrance takes place. An Anzac Tea Dance is held every year by the Dun Laoghaire branch of the RBL. • In Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England, a parade is held on the nearest Sunday to Anzac Day. The service is held in a graveyard with several war graves of service men from Australia and New Zealand. Veterans and cadets from the local ATC squadron attend. In 2009, Filton cadets provides a band. • A service of remembrance to commemorate Anzac Day and Gallipoli is held at the National Memorial Arboretum. This commences with a service in the chapel followed by wreath laying at the Gallipoli memorial.
Criticism and protests
Anzac Day has been criticised by a number of Australians and New Zealanders. One early controversy occurred in 1960 with the publication of Alan Seymour's classic play, The One Day of the Year, which dramatised the growing social divide in Australia and the questioning of old values. In the play, Anzac Day is critiqued by the central character, Hughie, as a day of drunken debauchery by returned soldiers and as a day when questions of what it means to be loyal to a nation or Empire must be raised. The play was scheduled to be performed at the inaugural Adelaide Festival of Arts, but after complaints from the Returned Services League, the governors of the Festival refused permission for this to occur. Anzac Day has also been marked by protests against contemporary wars; for instance, protests against the Vietnam War were common Anzac Day occurrences during the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, Australian feminists used the annual Anzac Day march to protest against rape and violence in war and were banned from marching. There were also Anzac Day protests in New Zealand, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1967, two members of the left-wing Progressive Youth Movement in Christchurch staged a minor protest at the Anzac Day ceremony, laying a wreath protesting against the Vietnam War. They were subsequently convicted of disorderly conduct, but that was not the last time that the parade was used as a vehicle for protest. In 1978, a women's group laid a wreath dedicated to all the women raped and killed during war, and movements for feminism, gay rights, and peace used the occasion to draw attention to their respective causes at various times during the 1980s. More recently, protest groups have expressed concern about New Zealand's involvement in 18 United Nations missions including Afghanistan, Solomon Islands and East Timor. Following Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War, interest in Anzac Day reached its lowest point. On 26 April 1975, The Australian newspaper covered the passing of Anzac Day in a single story. Anzac Day now draws record crowds, with an increasing number of those attending being young Australians, many of whom attend ceremonies swathed in Australian flags, wearing green and gold T-shirts and beanies and with Australian flag tattoos imprinted on their skin. This phenomenon has been perceived by some as a reflection of younger generations of Australians wanting to honour the sacrifices made by the previous generations. However, critics contend that the revived interest in Anzac day is a result of the efforts of former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, to encourage a greater feeling of national pride in the Australian populace, involving an "uncritical and self-serving embrace of the Anzac spirit". Although the Anzac revival was well under way before Howard came to office, his critics claim the Prime Minister encouraged this phenomenon through his willingness to emphasise the Anzac tradition and its significance in contemporary Australia. Some critics have suggested that the revival in public interest in Anzac Day amongst the young is tempered by the fact that these younger Australians have not themselves experienced war. For decades, there have been concerns that the participation of young people in Anzac Day events has injected a carnival element into what is traditionally a solemn occasion. This was highlighted by a rock concert-style performance at Anzac Cove in 2005 where people drank and slept between headstones. After the event the site was left strewn with rubbish. In October 2008, former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating stated that he believes it is misguided for people to gather each year at Anzac Cove to commemorate the landing at Gallipoli, because it is "utter and complete nonsense" to suggest that the nation was "born again or even, redeemed there." former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd rejected Keating's views, saying the Gallipoli campaign is "part of our national consciousness, it's part of our national psyche, it's part of our national identity, and I, for one, as Prime Minister of the country, am absolutely proud of it." Other criticisms have revolved around a perceived overzealousness in Australian attachment to the event, at the expense of remembrance of the contribution of New Zealand. John Howard shunned the New Zealand Anzac service at Gallipoli in 2005, preferring instead to spend his morning at a barbecue on the beach with Australian soldiers. In 2009, New Zealand historians noted that some Australian children were unaware that New Zealand was a part of Anzac.
WORLDWIDE EVENTS NEWSPAPER CONGRATULATES SIERRA LEONE ON INDEPENDENCE DAY - 2013 WORLDWIDE EVENTS NEWSPAPER CONGRATULATES TOGO ON INDEPENDENCE DAY - 2013
HUNGARY Flag Day Faroe Islands - Apr 25
Access to healthy drinking water is important
Hungary is open to discussion on constitutional amendment: PM Orbán
The flag of the Faroe Islands is an offset cross, which represents Christianity; following, as with other Nordic flags, the tradition set by Dannebrog. The flag is called Merkið, which means "the banner" or "the mark". It resembles the flags of neighbouring Norway and Iceland.
History The modern Faroese flag was devised in
1919 by Jens Oliver Lisberg and others while they were studying in Copenhagen. The first time Merkið was raised in the Faroe Islands was on 22 June that year in Famjin on the occasion of a wedding. On 25 April, 1940, the British occupation government approved the flag for use by Faroese vessels. 25 April is still celebrated as Flaggdagur and it is a national holiday. With the Home Rule Act of 23 March, 1948, the flag was recognized by the Danish Government as the national flag of the Faroes. The original copy of the flag is displayed in the church of Fámjin in Suðuroy.
Armed Forces Day North Korea - Apr 25
The Korean People's Army (KPA; Chosŏn'gŭl: 조선인민군; Chosŏn inmin'gun), also known as the People's Army (Chosŏn'gŭl: 인 민 군 ; Inmin Gun), are the military forces of North Korea. Kim Jong-un is the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and Chairman of the National Defence Commission. The KPA consists of five branches, Ground Force, the Navy, the Air Force, the Strategic Rocket Forces, and the Special Operation Force. Also, the Worker-Peasant Red Guards come under control of the KPA. In 1971, Kim Il-sung directed that "Military Foundation Day" be changed from 8 February to 25 April, the nominal day of establishment of his anti-Japanese guerrilla army in 1932, to recognize the supposedly indigenous Korean origins of the KPA and obscure its Soviet origin. An active arms industry had been developed to produce long-range missiles such as the Nodong-1. The KPA faces its primary adversaries, the Military of South Korea and United States Forces Korea, across the Korean Demilitarized Zone, as it has since the Armistice Agreement of July 1953. As of 2013, with 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel, it is the largest military organization on earth. This number represents nearly 40% of the population, and is the numeric equivalent of the entire population between ages 20 and 45.
Confederate Memorial Day U.S. - Apr 26
Confederate Memorial Day, also known as Confederate Decoration Day (Tennessee) and Confederate Heroes Day (Texas), is an official holiday and/or observance day in parts of the U.S. South as a day to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Nine states officially observe Confederate Memorial Day: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
History In the spring of 1866 the Ladies Memorial As-
sociation of Columbus, Georgia passed a resolution to set aside one day annually to memorialize the Confederate dead. Additionally, the secretary of the association, Mrs. Charles J. (Mary Ann) Williams was directed to author a letter inviting the ladies in every Southern state to join them in the observance. The letter was written in March of 1866 and sent to all of the principal cities in the South, including Atlanta, Macon, Montgomery, Memphis, Richmond, St. Louis, Alexandria, Columbia, New Orleans, et al. The date for the holiday was selected by Mrs. Elizabeth Rutherford Ellis. She chose April 26, the first anniversary of Confederate General Johnston's final surrender to General Sherman at Bennett Place, NC. For many in the South, that marked the official end of the Civil War. On April 26, 1866, tens of thousands of Southern women commemorated the first Confederate Memorial Day. Some, however, in the northernmost portions of the South did not participate because their flowers were not yet in bloom. Consequently, they selected dates later in the spring to hold their first Confederate Memorial Days. For example, parts of Virginia chose May 10, commemorating Stonewall Jackson's death. Near Petersburg, VA, they chose June 9, the anniversary of a significant battle there. Others opted for Jefferson Davis' birthday, June 3. To the present, Southern states continue to have Confederate Memorial days. Though most are still on April 26, others continue to be later in the year.
Freedom Day South Africa - Apr 27
Freedom Day is a South African public holiday celebrated on 27 April. It celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994. They were the first national elections in South Africa in which the franchise did not depend upon race.
Photo: MTI, Koszticsák Szilárd (Online 17 Apr) Water gives life, and we give water. To make healthy drinking water available for every citizen of Hungary! The government has assigned us this task, and the Hungarian Defence Forces are ready to carry it out – Defence Minister Csaba Hende said in Kiskőrös on April 16. Developed by the MoD ED Co. and the MoD Currus Co. under the professional guidance of the Ministry of Defence, the fiftieth water purification and water dispenser container has been handed over in Kiskőrös. Thanks to the equipment, from now on the townspeople can have access to healthy and controlled water simply and easily. At the ceremony, Minister Hende reminded his audience that the Hungarian Defence Forces have long had such mobile devices, since supplying the soldiers with healthy potable water is one of the keys to successful military operations. The Minister of Defence
stressed that “thanks to a 100 per cent stateowned Hungarian world patent, we are now making these military capabilities available to the civilian population.” Zoltán Mátyus, the technical manager of Kőrösvíz Ltd. told us that they have long been waiting for the installation of this water purification container. Arsenic contamination of the municipal wells exceeds more than twice the limit value set by the European Union – 14 thousand people have so far drunk arsenic-contaminated water here. Anett Andriska, a leaver of the local Wattay secondary school also said she considered it important that everybody – especially infants and children – can have access to healthy drinking water. Speaking on behalf of the local retired HDF personnel, Jánosné Fábi thanked for the installation of the container. As she noted, they were frightened on hearing that the children were forbidden from
drinking tap water in the schools of the town. Bagged water and water transported by tankers have also been good solutions, but the present situation is much more comfortable, because now people can fetch healthy water from this container 24 hours a day. The government has allocated HUF 5.7 billion to the Ministry of Defence so that such filtering containers can be installed in the concerned communities as a temporary solution to replace the supply of water by means of bags and tankers, which has been going on since January 1. This sum makes it possible to provide residents with access to healthy drinking water in all concerned areas of Hungary. The final solution, however, will be the filtering devices fitted on the waterworks wells – when healthy water will also flow from the taps. The Hungarian Defence Forces are ready to participate in carrying out this task as well.
Strategic partnership agreement concluded with world-famous Danish company Lego
History The South African general election of 1994 was an
election held in South Africa to mark the end of apartheid, therefore also the first held with universal adult suffrage. The election was conducted under the direction of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Millions queued in lines over a three-day voting period. Altogether 19,726,579 votes were counted and 193,081 were rejected as invalid. The African National Congress (ANC), whose slate incorporated the labour confederation COSATU and the South African Communist Party, fell short of a two-thirds majority. As required by the Interim Constitution, the ANC formed a Government of National Unity with the National Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party, the two other parties that won more than twenty seats in the National Assembly. The date 27 April is now a public holiday in South Africa,Freedom Day.
Hungary is open towards the Gulf region: János Lázár
Photo: Gergely Botár
Photo: Gergely Botár (Online 17 Apr) The Minister of State heading the Prime Minister’s Office said at an international conference in Budapest that the development of the new Hungarian state structure has been completed, so Hungary is now ready to open towards the Gulf States. The conference, entitled "Perspectives of relations with the Gulf region", was organized by the Antall József Knowledge Centre of Political and Social Sciences. János Lázár emphasized that the policy of opening towards the East does not mean closing with regard to the West, and Hungary would like to begin and continue the Western practice of establishing relations with the countries of the region. János Lázár pointed out that the plan of the Gov-
ernment is to take significant steps towards Asian countries while reorganising external economic and foreign relations. The Minister of State expressed that Hungary was hit very hard by the crisis in 2008 and it was on the verge of economic collapse, however, the new government elected in 2010 perceived this crisis as a chance to reorganise the country. According to János Lázár, a country the size of Hungary must be innovative in establishing new relations, and the Hungarian society is open, inclusive and ready to welcome the Gulf states. He pointed out that there are great opportunities not only for economic cooperation, but also for collaboration within the fields of sci-
ence, education and culture. Regarding HungarianKuwaiti relations, Deputy State Secretary for Security Policy Péter Sztáray declared that Kuwait is one of the first countries with which Hungary has established diplomatic relations in the Gulf region. Péter Sztáray pointed out that Hungary condemned the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, adding that bilateral relations became closer following the Gulf War, something that has also been affirmed by highlevel meetings. The Deputy State Secretary expressed that an economic joint commission would be created in May that is expected to open a new chapter in the bilateral economic and trade relations between the two countries.
American-Hungarian consensus: Social integration is the greatest challenge of our time (Online 16 Apr) An American project on the safer building of communities aimed at initiating social debate began on Tuesday at the Central European University with the screening of a documentary and a conference. In addition to the US and Norwegian Ambassadors, the Ministry of Human Resources' Minister of State for Social Inclusion also gave a speech. Despite the differing characteristics of the American and Hungarian environment, experts and "inspirational activists" from abroad like documentarist Patrice O'Neill are searching for the answer to questions such as how it would be possible to apply the methods used in the United States to prevent racial, ethnic and cultural tension and aggression within the Central European region. An important element of this approach is the examination of the responsibility of the media, the state apparatus, the church or school education, and in what ways they might help achieve a solution. At the conference entitled "Not Here We Won't": Strategy for the Solution of Community Conflicts, US Ambassa-
dor to Hungary Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, Norwegian Ambassador to Hungary Tove Skarstein and Minister of State for Social Inclusion of the Ministry of Human Resources Dr. Zoltán Kovács all gave speeches. In his speech, and in a similar vein to the thoughts put forward by A m b a s s a d o r Kounalakis, the Minister of State stressed that the issue of Roma integration is far from being simply a Hungarian or Central European problem, but is a challenge that affects the whole of Europe and one which has not been handled in accordance with its weight and importance during the past decade. In addition, he also reminded those present that it was in fact thanks to the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2011 that EU institutions had recognised that there was a need for a European-level uniform inclusion strategy, including solutions to the Roma issue. In addition to legal and human rights frameworks that declare the principle of equal opportunities, there is a need for real opportunity-creating
measures and complex, comprehensive solutions not just at a member state level, but also in Brussels, he added. Although the initiative and the main topic and message of the conference, which came about in the spirit of rejecting extremism, was acceptance and understanding, well-known left-wing political activists attempted to disrupt the event following the short presentations, many brandishing "spontaneously" printed signs. There was "only" one problem with the texts printed on these: they failed to successfully use any of the nomenclature and methods applied both in theory and in a practical sense in either English or Hungarian. Today, the idea of social inclusion is a well known and accepted new approach not only in Hungary, but throughout Europe. Protesting against "catching up" is only proof of the fact that many of the protestors had not even tried to understand our principles and objectives. This is a great pity: their work and cooperation is also needed if we are to succeed.
(Online 15 Apr) The Hungarian Government and Lego Manufacturing Ltd. signed a strategic partnership agreement today in Budapest. The agreement was signed between Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations Péter Szijjártó and Lego's Investment Manager Martin Svejda. Danish Ambassador to Hungary Tom Norring and Executive Director of Lego Manufacturing Jesper Hassellung Mikkelsen also took part at the event. In his speech made before the signing ceremony, Péter Szijjártó highlighted that the agreement goes further than agreeing on production, supply and job creation as it determines a common set of values focusing on family. The Minister of State reiterated the Government’s
commitment to supporting families with such provisions as the development of a childfriendly tax system while Lego, apart from being socially engaged, remained a family-owned company, and represents this approach in its everyday business activities. The company’s Investment Manager informed the public that Lego factories in the East-Hungarian town of Nyiregyhaza employ approximately 1200-1300 people on an annual basis and rely on local suppliers, thus building a link between the success of Hungary and the company. CEO of Lego Manufacturing Ltd. Jesper Hassellund Mikkelsen emphasised that the current agreement was the starting point of a long-term cooperation, which would create jobs and en-
hance the company’s presence on the Hungarian market. He also told reporters that in the upcoming years, Lego would extend its current plants in Nyiregyhaza to 122 thousand square meters and would also double the number of injection moulding machines. The agreement with the Danish Lego Manufacturing Company is the 19th consecutive partnership agreement that the Hungarian Government has concluded with international economic operators with the aim of improving the Hungarian economy’s competitiveness as well as ensuring the longterm presence of these international companies on the Hungarian market. The Government plans to conclude 40 similar agreements with international investors.
Cooperation between the Hungarian and Chinese immigration authorities (Online 18 Apr) The Hungarian and Chinese immigration authorities signed a treaty on cooperation in the fields of professional training and the exchange of information. According to Zsuzsanna Végh, Director-General of the Hungarian Office of Immigration and Nationality, the cooperation is useful to both countries since it affords the
opportunity to exchange relevant information regarding migration. She also added that the treaty makes travelling easier for students and businessmen. She explained that the Chinese party provided important information on the border control system and the high-level IT system for biometric passports. The Hungarian party re-
ported that at the end of February 2013 there were 14 300 Chinese citizens legally in the country for a period of time longer than 90 days. Zsuzsanna Végh emphasized that Hungary is the first EU member country to sign such an agreement with the Chinese partner.
PM Orbán met with leaders of t h e E u r o p e a n P e o p l e ’s P a r t y (Online 17 Apr) International press reports on Hungary's fourth constitutional amendment are misleading, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Strasbourg, where he attended a European People’s Party (EPP) group meeting on Tuesday. Following the meeting, he travelled to London to attend Margaret Thatcher's funeral ceremony. The Prime Minister met with the EPP parliamentary group prior to Wednesday’s European Parliament (EP) plenary debate about the Hungarian constitution. The debate was originally planned last month as a priority event but it has since been modified to a meeting of less than an hour with most group leaders absent. The EP's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has also indicated that their report on Hungary will
only be completed by the end of May. On Tuesday, the Hungarian Prime Minister met with Joseph Daul, head of the EPP’s parliamentary group and EP President Martin Schulz, with the latter proposing that he should only attend the plenary session on Hungary in June rather than today. At a press conference late on Tuesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated that he had received several substantive questions during the EPP meeting concerning issues "that are difficult to understand and often get misinterpreted in international press reports". In the context of the fourth amendment to the Hungarian constitution, he pointed out that reports indicating that the Constitutional Court's powers to review cardinal laws had been restricted, the independence of courts
was compromised or homeless had been criminalised were mistaken. He also told the press that the EPP rejects double standards and shows respect to EU nations. The contents of the Hungarian Fundamental Law can be found in the practice of other countries, he stated, adding that "we must focus on presenting our arguments at the June/July EP session". Minister of State for Justice Róbert Répássy has proposed a motion in Hungarian Parliament addressing the concerns raised by the European Commission. The motion would prohibit the re-election of the President of the National Judiciary Office (OBH), curb its powers to transfer cases to certain courts, and allow party political broadcasts to also be aired in independent media.
(Online 16 Apr) The Hungarian Government is awaiting the results of a probe by the European Commission into the fourth amendment to the Hungarian Fundamental Law, and is ready to discuss possible issues, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced at a press conference in Bilbao on Monday evening. “We are democrats, we believe in the strength of facts and arguments,” he said on the sidelines of a two-day official visit. The Prime Minister called suggestions that Hungary could be deprived of some of its rights under Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty a “bad joke”, adding that those provisions are only applied against countries that disrespect democratic values. The Prime Minister said that Hungary had succeeded in thriving without financial bailout programmes and highlighted some economic measures, such as reducing state debt and the budget deficit, in-
creasing employment and making the tax system more equitable, as convincing for decisionmakers of the community. Economic achievements and the general elections held in 2014 “will calm down the European public”, he concluded. Hungary succeeded in achieving all these because it has walked its own path, he stressed, expressing his hope that the Government would receive more respect in return. In Bilbao, Viktor Orbán addressed the conference entitled “Catholics in Public Life”, where he emphasized the role of Christianity in Europe’s past and called for the respect of human resources as well as cultural traditions. Following this, Viktor Orbán held talks with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy where he stated that Hungary insists on pursuing its own economic policy until it adopts the common European currency.
Discussions focused on crisis management and the two heads of government agreed that Europe needs to seek to boost its economic performance in the face of much better output elsewhere around the world. The two governments share the opinion that closer cooperation between eurozone member states is desirable, whereas those outside the eurozone, such as Hungary, require more flexibility. The situation in Hungary and Spain is different, but both countries have an interest in strong European integration, Viktor Orbán explained. The Prime Minister is travelling to Strasbourg today to participate at an EPP parliamentary group meeting prior to the plenary debate concerning Hungary in the evening. On Wednesday, he will be in London to attend the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Hungary and Germany to launch joint Roma programmes (Online 19 Apr) Hungary and Germany will soon launch several Roma programmes, Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog said in Berlin on Thursday after talks with German officials. The Minister, who is on an official visit to Germany, met with Ministers of State Cornelia Pieper and Eckart von Kladen, as well as with Romani Rose, President of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. On Thursday evening, he also participated in a roundtable discussion on the role of the church and religion in the integration of Roma and Sinti people at the Hungarian embassy in Berlin. Following his meetings, the Minister stated that the German police, large companies and both public and commercial
media will take part in the projects, which will involve training programmes in the German federal police for Hungarian Roma police officers, visits to German media outlets for Roma journalists, and training opportunities at large German companies for Roma vocational students. Romani Rose stated that these programs are very important as they can provide role models for the Roma in Hungary. Minister Balog pointed out that the problem of poverty among the Roma and discrimination against them had been ignored by previous governments, but after 2010 the Fidesz-led government brought the issue to the forefront by developing a European Roma Strategy. Around 70 people were present at the
roundtable discussion, including spokeswoman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group on human rights Erika Steinbach, who stated that Hungary has received great acknowledgement for initiating the strategy The German Government seeks to further develop the Andrássy University in Budapest, which is the only German-language higher education institution outside German-speaking areas, into a research centre, Minister Balog announced. He welcomed the endeavour which he said would help Germans better understand Central and SouthEastern Europe while bringing German culture closer to the Hungarian public.
Hungary's critics should check their facts says Győri (Online 18 Apr) The Minister of State for EU Affairs has published an article on euractiv.com in reaction to Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe calling for the application of Article 7. „I’ll get the papers and go home – sang Louis Armstrong, anno 1968. Anno 2013, Guy Verhofstadt gets the papers – and reads them, too. To read the papers and keep abreast of events would be a commendable ambition for any citizen. Alas, in the case of Verhofstadt, leader of an important political group in the European Parliament, more demanding standards apply. It appears that, after reading a handful of papers talking about democracy being under renewed threat in Hungary, he got so upset as to add his own contribution under the impulse. Unfortunately, instead of relying on sound evidence coming from the institution best placed to deliver them – which, perhaps unlike journalists rushed to produce sensational headlines for tomorrows paper, Verhofstadt could have and should have waited - he makes pronouncements about Hungary buzzing with factual errors. What he does is symptomatic of a widespread political attitude: accusations based on hearsay rather than on facts and arguments. Verhofstadt and his fellow critics have been denouncing the Hungarian Constitution in general and now the so-called fourth amendment to the Constitution in particular. But there is nothing really new out there in the first place; for there is hardly anything of what worries them which had not been scrutinised by the competent national and European institutions and revised, if
found necessary, by the Hungarian parliament. We have a spotless track record: the Hungarian government and parliament have complied with all rulings of both the European Court of Justice and the Hungarian Constitutional Court on the media law and the status of the judiciary, and we have adapted our laws on the basis of recommendations from the Venice Commission in the past. Now, paradoxically, this is exactly what Verhofstadt and others hold against us: for it was the Constitutional Court and not Orbán’s government that obliged the Hungarian legislature to resolve the problems posed by the ‘transitional acts’ in the Constitution, leading to the adoption of the socalled fourth amendment, the centre of the present controversy. Then there are the new rules on churches, decried as ‘limiting freedom of religion.’ Yet in fact, the rules in no way interfere with freedom of religion or the pursuit of religious activities – they merely deal with the procedure for conferring preferential fiscal status on religious communities by the parliament - subject to review by the Constitutional Court. (By the way, the reference is the German model of religiöse Körperschaften des öffentlichen Rechts.) But the critics certainly hit bottom when they complain about the powers of the Constitutional Court being ‘radically curtailed’, when in reality they are extended from no power to review constitutional amendments at all to the ability to repeal them for procedural flaws. The complaints are egregious not only because it would be so simple to verify their truthfulness, but also because in the vast majority of member states, Constitutional
Courts have even less power – if they exist at all, that is. And while the zeal of our critics - like Verhofstadt who repeated the same well-known accusations on Wednesday in the European Parliament - to see the Hungarian government sentenced without a trial remains unchanged, so does our commitment to abide by the rules of the family of democratic European nations, especially when faced with such serious allegations. Thus, the Hungarian foreign minister has requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the fourth amendment to the Constitution, and the implementing legislation necessitated by the Constitution were drafted by the government in full compliance with the relevant EU standards. We abide by the European rules. We wish our critics did the same. I admit that all this is complex, technical stuff. It would take an extra effort from anyone to file through the documents let alone to check the allegations against the reality on the ground. Our predicament today is that opinionmakers often talk and write more than they read. Sometimes they don’t even read what they talk about. Of course, it would be unfair to accuse Verhofstadt of general ignorance. He is a man of fine literary tastes, an avid reader of the late Hungarian writer Sándor Márai. But it would be time for him and his camp to catch up on the Hungarian Constitution and the related legislative texts. It is a less entertaining reading than Márai, I’m afraid. But it may prove useful for him when he gets the papers next time and decides to pronounce himself on Hungary.”
H u n g a r y ’ s H o l o c a u s t r e m e m b r a n c e d a y
C onf e r e nc e on s oc ia l dia logue in B uda pe s t
N e w r e gula t ion t o c om ba t ille ga l t r a de a nd t he f t of m e t a ls (Online 15 Apr) The Government bill adopted on Wednesday aims to combat metal theft, eradicate illegal trade in metals, reduce the economic burdens of public service providers and to safeguard life and property more effectively. As a result of the new proposal, cooperation between authorities and supervisory efficiency will improve. In addition, the Government intends to aid the economic situation of legally operating metal trading enterprises. The number of metal thefts has increased significantly in the past couple of years, causing – among others – both economic and cultural damage. This is what necessitated the development of stricter and more comprehensive legislation. The Ministry for National Economy formulated its proposal for the amend-
ment of currently effective regulations after extensive consultations with state and professional organizations as well as market stakeholders. According to the proposal, metal trading enterprises could purchase metals only after having obtained a special license; as a consequence, supervision will improve and cable theft will decrease. The provision limits at the quantity of metal(s) a private individual may possess 3m3, in any other case the owner shall require a certificate that proves the origin and source of licensable metal trade materials. As a result of the new regulation, harsher sanctions and higher fines will deter illegal metal traders. In addition, requirements for obtaining a metal trading licence will increase. Stolen
metal will become more easily detectable as the number of traders’ mandatory reports will increase and subscriptions for private persons will be more restrictive. Besides restricting metal trading activities, the proposal will provide economic advantages for law-abiding metal trading enterprises (the 6-day moratorium on storage will be abolished, and no permit will be required to perform the demolishing of a building or for storage performed with relation to contracted work). As a result of adopting the amendment proposed by the Government, the overall size of the illegal metal trade, the number of metal thefts and cases of vandalism may decline spectacularly.
Hungaricums are the greatest achievements of the Hungarian people (Online 15 Apr) "Hungaricums are unique accomplishments related to the 1100-year history of the Hungarian nation within the Carpathian Basin; it is important that we become aware of them, protect them, and that they form part of our everyday lives", stressed Minister for Rural Development and Chairman of the Hungaricum Committee Sándor Fazekas at an event entitled "Hungaricums in Parliament" held on Saturday. Hungaricums are the embodiment of national unity, and it is important that we embrace their significance, the Minister stressed, pointing out that it had been more than a year since the National Assembly adopted the Act on Hungarian National Values and Hungaricums on 2 April with no votes against. Mr. Fazekas called the new legislation a milestone, created to protect Hungarian values.The Act's regulations create expansive opportunities for the discovery, collection and registration of material and intellectual values that have been created by and are important to the nation. The legislation defined the idea of the Hungarian Value Repository, which Sándor Fazekas called the antechamber to becoming a Hungaricum. The Hungaricum Act fulfils the
basic objective that social selforganisation should apply to all Hungarian peoples while cultural values that project a unified spirit should be protected. The Minister also noted that the Government had last week adopted the implementation decree with regard to the Hungaricum Act, which means that the organised collection of values that are important to the Hungarian peoples may now begin within a legally regulated framework. The search for such values is in the interests of national strategy, Sándor Fazekas stated, adding that the compilation of the Hungarian Value Repository requires a collection movement involving the whole nation. Accordingly, a multi-step, pyramid system has been developed that relies heavily on those communities in whose value systems culture and the nation occupy and important place. Only the most excellent Hungarian values are classified as Hungaricums. The title may be awarded by the Hungaricum Committee to those material and intellectual values and creations that represent the greatest achievements of the Hungarian nation. In addition, it is the opinion of the Minister that one of the important, primary tasks is to greatly increase awareness of these
Hungaricums both at home and abroad. In the interests of affording the greatest possible protection to the most significant values of the Hungarian peoples, the Hungaricum classification will soon receive a trademark, Sándor Fazekas said. All of the speakers at the event held in the Parliament building stressed the importance of protecting and preserving national values, including Deputy Speaker of Parliament Sándor Lezsák, Minister of State for Sport of the Ministry of Human Resources István Simicskó, members of the Hungaricum Committee, Zsolt Horváth MP and Magdolna Závogyán, Director-General of the National Institute of Public Education and Public Collections. Participants at the event, designed to promote national values, including Hungaricums, viewed presentations on values such as the dancehouse movement, the Aggtelek stalactite cave, the ancient Christian cemetery in Pécs and the Danube banks, the Buda Castle district and Andrássy Avenue in Budapest, as well as the Pannonhalma Benedictine Abbey and its natural environment, the Busó festivities in Mohács, Herend Porcelain and grape marc pálinka.
Photo: Zsolt Burger (Online 16 Apr) On the occasion of Hungary’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorations including exhibition openings, confer-
Photo: Károly Árvai
(Online 15 Apr) Minister of State for Employment Policy Sándor Czomba emphasized at a twoday conference entitled Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue in Europe that the key objective of the Government is to maintain social dialogue – as underpinned by new regulations – as this enables society to recover from the crisis more easily. The economic crisis has created formerly unheard-of challenges, industrial relations have undergone various changes, decentralization has become typical and the role of Governments concerning labour issues has diminished, he said. He also said that similarly to other countries in the region, in Hungary
employees are not highly organized, but by the end of 2012 a new development can be observed: the share of collective contracts in the public sector has shrunk to below that of the private sector. Speaking about the Government’s goals, he said that the inclusion of social partners and establishing a broadbased consultation mechanism are essential. Social partners have been engaged and relevant EU guidelines have been taken into consideration for formulating regulations. It is too early to assess in detail the effects of the new regulations; responses and experiences are still being gathered in order to finetune provisions, he said.
New rounds of collective bargaining may now begin on the basis of new regulations. President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso sent a video message, while European Commissioner for Industrial Policy László Andor spoke at the event. The objective of the twoday conference is to present the key results of the 2012 Industrial Relations in Europe report, analyse the similarities and differences between industrial relations in Central and Eastern European member states, and to identify the main challenges and policies to be implemented on both a national and European level.
Hungary condemns the Boston explosions (Online 16 Apr) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary was deeply saddened by the news of the Boston explosions. There cannot be any acceptable justification for this disgraceful attack against the participants and specta-
Dear Pakistani brothers and sisters:
tors of a popular sporting event. We would like to express our sympathy to the relatives of the victims and we wish those injured a rapid recovery. Given the circumstances of the incident, it is conceivable that the explosion at the
Boston Marathon was a planned terrorist attack. Hungary firmly condemns all forms of terrorism and, as an ally of the United States, remains committed to continuing the struggle against terrorism.
missing from the Hungarian nation as a result. Fidesz Member of the Parliament Zoltán Pokorni, who was also present at the Jewish
bility of the Hungarian state and the fact that it did not defend its citizens from the depravation of rights and physical destruction shall not be forgotten,
Photo: Zoltán Gergely Kelemen, MTI ences and history lessons were held throughout the country. Within the framework of the series of events, Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics laid down the stones of remembrance and lit a candle at the Shoes on the Danube Promenade Jewish memorial site. The Deputy Prime Minister declared that we commemorate not only the victims of the Holocaust but also those who could not be born because of it. He emphasised that several generations of talented and outstanding people are today
memorial site, suggested in 2000 as Minister of Education that a remembrance day should be held each year for the victims of Holocaust on 16, April. Zoltán Pokorni expressed that the Holocaust is part of Hungarian national history, adding that those who were killed were Hungarians and those who killed were also Hungarians. With the participation of Minister of Defence Csaba Hende, a conference entitled Rescuers during the Holocaust was held in Hódmezővásárhely. The Minister pointed out that the responsi-
adding that if the representatives of the Hungarian state would not have complied with all available instruments to the inhumane commands, the genocide could not have taken place. Various events were also held in the Holocaust Memorial Center, the Eötvös Lóránd University of Sciences, the House of Terror Museum and various Budapest theatres as well as in Hódmezővásárhely, Pécs, Szerencs, Kiskőrös and Balatonfüred.
The Syrian Arab Republic celebrates today the 67th anniversary of its independence. Allow me on this great occasion to extend to the friendly people, Government and leadership of Pakistan, the warmest and Sincerest regards from the people, government and the leadership of Syria, reaffirming the desire to solidify and Strengthen the Fraternal relations between our two countries and to promote and develop their relations for the benefit of both the countries. The diplomatic relations between Syria and Pakistan were initiated at the advent of the fifties, but the historical bonds that bind the people of both countries are deep rooted and date back to the luminous Islamic history. Generally the history of relations between Syria and Pakistan is good; and I would like here to point to the balanced and wellarticulated policy of the political leadership of Pakistan towards the crisis being faced by Syria for more than two years, the political leadership of Pakistan called for abhorring violence and infighting, stressed upon noninterference of any foreign army in its internal affairs, and it also called for dialogue and respect of sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria. Ladies and Gentlemen Syria is an important country in the Middle East, and as you Know Almighty Allah has blessed it with an important location, beautiful landscape and climate and is enriched with beautiful historical sites, which are frequently visited by millions of visitors, of various schools of thought, from all over the word, besides, Damascus is the oldest populated capital in history. We pray to Allah to help Syria to overcome its hour of trial which it is afflicted with, and peace and tranquility to return to our dear homeland and Syria to become better than before the aspiration of millions of tourists, investors and businessmen, so that it may resume its advance and natural role in the region and in the world over. In the end allow me to avail this opportunity, as the head of the mission of the Syrian Arab Republic in Islamabad, to call for the promotion of cooperation between Syria and Pakistan in all political and socio-economic fields for the betterment of our two countries and their dear peoples.