Return to Ouvea, New Caledonia

Written by David Stanley

Continued from page 1

Asrepparttar leaders are being received atrepparttar 125853 chefferie (chiefly house) of Wadrilla nearrepparttar 125854 center ofrepparttar 125855 island, Djoubelly Wea steps forward and shootsrepparttar 125856 pair dead at point blank range. Wea was reflecting a feeling still palpable in New Caledonia that Tjibaou had sold out torepparttar 125857 French and derailedrepparttar 125858 struggle of independence.

Tjibaou's bodyguard killed Wea,repparttar 125859 final shot ofrepparttar 125860 evenements. Todayrepparttar 125861 chefferie of Wadrilla is muchrepparttar 125862 same as it was in 1989, a large thatched case surrounded by a palisade of driftwood logs.

Acrossrepparttar 125863 coastal highway, a large monument has been erected torepparttar 125864 19 Kanak martyrs of 1988. Designed with two curving white walls to resemble a cave,repparttar 125865 monument bearsrepparttar 125866 photo, name, and date of birth of each victim.

Their traditional war clubs have been placed onrepparttar 125867 back side ofrepparttar 125868 monument and their remains are interred below.

No memorial to Jean-Marie Tjibaou exists on Ouvea butrepparttar 125869 French have constructed a massive cultural center to his memory in their stronghold Noumea.

In fairness, it must be said that Tjibaou only consideredrepparttar 125870 Matignon Accords a temporary stop onrepparttar 125871 road to independence. His assassination frozerepparttar 125872 agreement into a sort of permanent solution whichrepparttar 125873 French have used to justify continuing colonial rule ever since.

The promised 1998 referendum was never held. Instead an updated treaty calledrepparttar 125874 Noumea Accord was signed. This postponedrepparttar 125875 referendum for another 15 or 20 years and promised many thingsrepparttar 125876 French government has yet to deliver.

For example, a key provision creating a special New Caledonian citizenship status intended to control immigration from France was declared unconstitutional by a French court in 1999.

Metros (metropolitan French) continue to flood intorepparttar 125877 territory (in violation of United nations resolutions onrepparttar 125878 norms of conduct for colonial powers in non-self-governing areas) and Europeans may soon from a clear majority ofrepparttar 125879 population.

Towardrepparttar 125880 end of my stay I visitedrepparttar 125881 Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center inrepparttar 125882 Tina Peninsula, 12 kilometers northeast of New Caledonia's capital Noumea. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, it was built by French contractors between 1994 and 1998 at a cost of over US$50 million. The center opened on May 4, 1998, 10th anniversary ofrepparttar 125883 assassination of Jean-Marie Tjibaou.

No visitor can help but be impressed byrepparttar 125884 spectacular botanical garden interwoven with references to Kanak legends which encirclesrepparttar 125885 center's three villages.

A contemporary art gallery, temporary and permanent exhibitions of Kanak and other Pacific art, a library, an audiovisual room, indoor and outdoor theaters, and a large ceremonial area are only some ofrepparttar 125886 center's outstanding features.

Yetrepparttar 125887 Tjibaou Cultural Center presents Kanak culture as a regional folklore rather than a national tradition.

Events such asrepparttar 125888 Ouvea Massacre andrepparttar 125889 other murders ofrepparttar 125890 1980s are barely mentioned. A room in Village Three provides photos and texts onrepparttar 125891 life of Jean-Marie Tjibaou, but there's no explanation as to why he was assassinated orrepparttar 125892 background of his assassin.

The 19th century land seizures andrepparttar 125893 muscle flexing and maneuvering that have prevented independence are carefully avoided. The highlight for me was an amazing three-meter-high bronze statue of Tjibaou himself, clad in a Roman toga, on a hill overlookingrepparttar 125894 center.

Tjibaou wasrepparttar 125895 last real Kanak leader, and in a land whererepparttar 125896 spirits ofrepparttar 125897 dead have an important role inrepparttar 125898 lives ofrepparttar 125899 living, his soul must be suffering.

David Stanley is the author of Moon Handbooks South Pacific which has a chapter on New Caledonia. His online guide to New Caledonia may be perused at

The Democratic Ideal and New Colonialism

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

This self-righteousness would have been more tolerable hadrepparttar West actually meant and practiced what it preached, however self-delusionally. Yet, in dozens of cases inrepparttar 123225 last 60 years alone, Western countries intervened, often by force of arms, to reverse and nullifyrepparttar 123226 outcomes of perfectly legal and legitimate popular and democratic elections. They did so because of economic and geopolitical interests and they usually installed rabid dictators in place ofrepparttar 123227 deposed elected functionaries.

This hypocrisy cost them dearly. Few inrepparttar 123228 poor and developing world believe thatrepparttar 123229 United States or any of its allies are out to furtherrepparttar 123230 causes of democracy, human rights, and global peace. The nations ofrepparttar 123231 West have sown cynicism and they are reaping strife and terrorism in return.

Moreover, democracy is far from what it is made out to be. Confronted with history,repparttar 123232 myth breaks down.

For instance, it is maintained by their chief proponents that democracies are more peaceful than dictatorships. Butrepparttar 123233 two most belligerent countries inrepparttar 123234 world are, by a wide margin, Israel andrepparttar 123235 United States (closely followed byrepparttar 123236 United Kingdom). As of late, China is one ofrepparttar 123237 most tranquil polities.

Democracies are said to be inherently stable (or to successfully incorporaterepparttar 123238 instability inherent in politics). This, too, is a confabulation. The Weimar Republic gave birth to Adolf Hitler and Italy had almost 50 governments in as many years. The bloodiest civil wars in history erupted in Republican Spain and, seven decades earlier, inrepparttar 123239 United States. Czechoslovakia,repparttar 123240 USSR, and Yugoslavia imploded upon becoming democratic, having survived intact for more than half a century as tyrannies.

Democracies are said to be conducive to economic growth (indeed, to be a prerequisite to such). Butrepparttar 123241 fastest economic growth rates in history go to imperial Rome, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and post-Mao China.

Finally, how represented isrepparttar 123242 vox populi even in established democracies?

In a democracy, people can freely protest and make their opinions known, no doubt. Sometimes, they can even change their representatives (thoughrepparttar 123243 rate of turnover inrepparttar 123244 US Congress inrepparttar 123245 last two decades is lower than it was inrepparttar 123246 last 20 years ofrepparttar 123247 Politburo).

But is this a sufficient incentive (or deterrent)? The members ofrepparttar 123248 various elites in Western democracies are mobile - they ceaselessly and facilely hop from one lucrative sinecure to another. Lostrepparttar 123249 elections as a Senator? How about a multi-million dollar book contract, a consultant position with a firm you formerly oversaw or regulated, your own talk show on television, a cushy job inrepparttar 123250 administration?

The truth is that voters are powerless. The rich and mighty take care of their own. Malfeasance carries little risk and rarely any sanction. Western democracies are ossified bastions of self-perpetuating interest groups aided and abetted and legitimized byrepparttar 123251 ritualized spectacle that we call "elections". And don't you thinkrepparttar 123252 denizens of Africa and Asia and eastern Europe andrepparttar 123253 Middle East are blissfully unaware of this charade.

Sam Vaknin ( ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He is the the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

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