Madagascar, France ties strained over Indian Ocean games

Antananarivo, Aug 8 (IANS) Diplomatic relation between Madagascar and France was threatened by the Indian Ocean games which have been held in the French-ruled island Reunion since last week.

The problem already happened when the Malagasy delegation could not participate in the opening ceremony for problem of visa from the French Embassy in Madagascar, Xinhua reported.

The second and big incident happened when a staff of the Indian Ocean games organizing committee Catherine Paoli removed rudely the Malagasy flag from a Malagasy athlete who won in the games on August 4, 2015.

This attitude of Catherine Paoli made angry Malagasy authorities, including the minister of Sports Jean Anicet Andriamosarisoa and the consul of Madagascar to Reunion, Virapin Ramamonjisoa, who attended the games.

The Malagasy minister of Sports asked Catherine Paoli to make a public apologise to the Malagasy people.

The Indian Ocean games commission sent on Thursday an apologise letter to the minister who told the French part that this apologize was not for him but for the Malagasy people. He asked that Catherine Paoli in person do these public apologise before the media for the Malagasy people.

Another incident happened again on Thursday when the Malagasy minister of Sports and the consul of Madagascar in Reunion Island were banned at the official tribune at Saint Paul Stadium in Reunion.

A statement from the ministry of Foreign Affairs published on Friday said that Madagascar’s government expressed its “deep indignation to the act of a staff of the Indian Ocean games organising committee during the medal offering on August 4, 2015 at Saint Paul stadium of the French-ruled- island La Reunion.”

Madagascar’s Foreign Minister Atallah Beatrice requested through diplomatic channels to the French government to respond formally to this incident and to communicate the measures taken against the perpetrator as well as incriminating reprehensible.

Madagascar got its independence from France on June 26, 1960 after being colonized by the latter for 64 years.

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