Letter from the Turk Family in Madagascar
February 20, 2009
hank you for your prayers. Friday was a day of calm.
Last night the government security forces took back the four ministries from the people who seized them yesterday. The prime minister said this morning that about 50 people were arrested and no one was injured. Mr. Rajoelina insisted that eight people got killed, but he has not provided convincing evidence. The gendarmerie later put out a statement insisting that no one was killed. Andry Rajoelina’s logic seems rather twisted: he wants martyrs but can hardly expect people to be interested in helping him guard buildings if the ones who do it tend to get killed.
Mr. Rajoelina did not try to take any more ministries today. At the 13 May plaza, he asked the crowd to come back tomorrow in large numbers for a big rally. He asked them to bring food and water because they will travel a fair distance from the plaza. This led to speculation that he wants to try to take the presidential palace at Iavoloha on the south side of Antananarivo. Many people lost their lives marching on the presidential palace on 10 August 1991 when then president Ratsiraka had a helicopter drop grenades on the crowd.
- For continued peace tomorrow (Saturday) as Mr. Rajoelina may get a large crowd (perhaps more than ten thousand people) that may be a challenge to control.
- That the government can find a peaceful way to stop Mr. Rajoelina and his crowd definitively while at the same time addressing the underlying issues that have fueled the unrest.
- For all parties (church leaders, national and international leaders) that are trying to help bring about a resolution that helps the country move forward.
- For safety for the churches and church leaders in this time of unrest.
- That the church and church members will be a strong witness of God’s peace and love.
- For the Malagasy people as prices have risen and the country enters the annual period of difficulty before rice is harvested in May.
Peace in Christ,
Dan and Elizabeth
The 2009 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 48