Today was a clear indicator of where the TGV movement is going, how honest they are being with their own people and how much control they really have over the crowd.
The events of today almost guarantee that there will be more trouble to come as TGV admits that talks have broken down due to one of their demands not being met. What demand was that? That Ravalomanana steps down as president. Are you kidding?
Before I elaborate on anything, here is a quick point form version of the things that happened today (from what I have read):
- 2 more ministers announced. Minister of Education: Razafimananjato Julien and Ministry of Communication: Augustin Andriamananoro (co-founder of a very biased news company)
- Andry tells the crowd that they are going to do a “sit-in” at some of the ministries while they try and install their new ministers. (Fortunately all government workers were told to go home early for their own safety).
- The crowd ends up marching to the Ministry of Youth and Ministry of Sports (both ministries that they have not yet announced ministers for, which doesn’t make sense).
- Andry tells the crowd to stay behind/outside while the ministers attempt to enter the Ministries.
- The crowd does not listen and follows along anyway.
- The TGV delegation finds that the ministries are locked and attempts to get the crowd to go back to 13th May, but the crowd would not let the delegation pass.
- TGV delegation suggests to the crowd that they return tomorrow with lock smiths to enter the buildings.
- Angry TGV protesters start to throw stones at the army angry that no ministries were taken, but somehow the crowd manages to get back to May 13th.
- TGV delegation leaves May 13th after unsuccessfully trying to calm the crowd.
- Army/Police fire in the air and throw tear gas to disperse the crowd.
- Around 6PM Andry states that there is more negotiations possible, and that they will meet again at May 13th tomorrow.
In addition to the above points, here are a few more interesting points:
- There was some more attempted looting in Tulear, but was stopped by police.
- Andry accuses the government of paying people to attend Mahamisma with counterfeit money.
- Catholic bishops are fearful of this crisis breaking out into a civil war.
As I mentioned above it is very telling of the direction and intentions of the TGV movement. The negotiations with the AU/EU/France and whomever else, it is as good as finished. Here’s the quote from Andry:
Does this sound at all familiar? Early on he said he wouldn’t talk to Ravalomanana until some killers on the Jan 26th looting were apprehended. He has done nothing but come up with excuses as to why he cannot have a dialogue with mediators or the president and this clearly shows that he does not want to try and resolve this issue… This is an “all or nothing” deal for him (or his puppeteers). Isn’t that obvious to any of his followers? What kind of logic is there in not negotiating until you have all of your demands met? Would you even call it negotiations if you gave the person what they wanted straight off the bat? No, negotiation involves compromise and there is no room for that with the TGV.
Not only does he refuse to negotiate, but he is also telling some pretty BIG stories to his supporters. He has 80% control of the army huh? Does anyone believe this? If that is true then, and he persists that the government was at fault for the bloodshed where was your 80% of the army to protect the people? Every article that I read shows that there are vast amounts of police and army personnel at every location to stop TGV and its followers from succeeding in their intentions. With his 80%, shouldn’t it have been easy to take any ministry? He is out right lying to his people and it will be bad news for Andry if they decide that they have had enough of his stories. I am still waiting for him to tell them what he plans to do to fix their lives… but I don’t think that is ever going to happen.
What about the comment (not sure if it was at today’s rally or on Saturday) that the president is giving people counterfeit money to attend the Mahamasima rally? Is that not the most insane thing to say? First off, why on earth would they spend the time to counterfeit money to bring people to the stadium? Second, aren’t they shooting themselves in the foot? I am certainly not with TGV, but if they say they paid money to people to attend, wouldn’t it serve their purpose much better to tell them that it was real money? Incredible, do they even think before they speak? We had family in attendance at Mahamasima and they didn’t receive any sum of money, so it is all a hoax anyway.
Now to the scariest part of the whole situation, the TGV has lost control of their crowd. This is the 3rd instance where the TGV has lost control of their people and it was almost trouble for them this time. Imagine if the crowd refused to let TGV return to the square? Or if at one point they had enough of TGV excuses? I shudder to think.
This movement is starting to get out of control and must be stopped. Tomorrow they intend to go back to the ministries with a lock smith and effectively break into the ministries to install their ministers. Does this not mean that TGV and it’s people are being lead to lawlessness? The crowd and TGV clearly think that they are entitled to take over the offices of government elected officials, so what else will they start to think they are entitled to?
If there are no negotiations, there will be no progress and only bad things can happen from here. They need to do something to take the steam away from this movement because if they don’t we are going to have TGV marching all over Tana taking whatever it pleases. This would inevitably lead to more violence and looting.
Before I go, here is a quote that I found this quote, do you think it means anything?
“Je ne suis pas du tout manipulé, je suis un homme d’ouverture, je parle avec tout le monde. J’ai discuté avec Didier Ratsiraka. Mais il n’y a pas les mains de Ratsiraka dans tout ce que je fais”, a-t-il dit.