Re : An attempt to stop China from raping Gabon's resources
- Thanks for sharing Bob.
I would have applauded this gesture if it was motivated by a genuine attempt to preserve our resources or create jobs. Fact is, Ali Bongo is merely reacting here to French survival instinct. The French are increasingly losing their tight grip on our economy, and resentment against French interests is so great among the population that all they are left with is this type of kafka-esque methods. (Remember how they fled Port Gentil last August--talk about a bad conscience.)
Did the Chinese company act wrong? Possibly. Are they the only ones? Not at all. I have an uncle who has worked for a very long time at Rougier Gabon and never got a raise. They treat him like dirt. He says there's absolutely no control over how the forest is being destroyed. Villages are being pushed further into the forests because they can no longer find fish or bush meat the way they used to. Young people simply leave and flock to main cities.
We have yet to see a thoughtful strategy on sustainable management of our resources. Arbitrarily arresting folks left and right grabs you a headline, but doesn't get really far in terms of equitable sharing de notre patrimoine national. Bref, Bongo enerve.
De : bobutne <bobutne@...>
À : firstname.lastname@example.org
Envoyé le : Mar 30 mars 2010, 22 h 37 min 22 s
Objet : [Gabon Discussion] An attempt to stop China from raping Gabon's resources
Chinese plywood boss stopped from leaving Gabon (AFP) LIBREVILLE —
Gabon authorities have barred the Chinese buyer of an former European plywood giant from leaving the country, an official said Tuesday, as the France-based company battles legal and financial problems. Guohua Zhang, head of the Chinese group "Honest Timber" which bought out Plysorol last year, was briefly held last week because his identity papers were "false", a senior documentation and immigration department official told AFP.
"He was arrested for falsification of identity," General Michel Andjambe said.
The businessman was released but had been barred from leaving Gabon and ordered to pay the customs office two billion FCFA (three million dollars, 2.2 million dollars), he said, without making clear what the payment was for.
"On his residence permit, the name and surname were switched, the date of birth did not match and it was written that he is an employee of a business whereas he is the boss of Honest Timber and of Plysorol," Andjambe said.
"We have let him go but he does not have the right to leave Gabon territory," the general said.
Zhang took over Plysorol in 2009 vowing to keep all its employees.
However it owes 10 million euros in unpaid wages, said a lawyer for the employees, Philippe Brun.
A court in France's northern city of Lisieux, where Plysorol is based, ordered Friday an enquiry to determine if the business should be declared in "suspension of payments" as it deals with its financial problems, Brun said.
Zhang renewed his promises to invest in France to Industry Minister Christian Estrosi at the end of October but spells of partial unemployment have increased while ecological complaints against the company have gained support.
Jacky Bonnemains, president of France's Robin des Bois environmental protection group, accused Zhang of harming biodiversity in Gabon and infringing employee rights, and of sending wood from the country directly to China without checks.
"What interests Mr Zhang is the 500,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of Plysorol forest in Gabon which he has since been running in the murkiest fashion to the detriment of the biodiversity, " he said.
Gabon, a former French colony in West Africa, has rich tropical forest which conservationists warn is under threat.
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- Dear Neighbor and Art Lover,
If this is your first time hearing
about the Gabonese American Community & Cultural Center (GACC), I invite
you to visit our website and becoming familiar with our exciting programs,
exhibitions and events. I also encourage you to visit our website often as we expand
opportunities for all to connect with area and international artists along with
learning more about their creative processes.
The GACC is a 501 C (3) organization and a
public charity (Not for profit) currently located in Germantown, MD, whose mission
is to bring both American and Gabonese arts into the life of our communities
through arts education, art appreciation and community outreach. The GACC wishes
to inspire children in our communities to become the greatest painters, artists
or sculptors of the 21st century. Did you know the legendary Pablo Picasso incorporated the
ceremonial masks of the Fang tribe (Ngil Fang) into his groundbreaking cubist
work, “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907-1909”?
(Picasso was inspired by many
kinds of arts including the African art).
According to Christies (the world's leading art business)
and the Smithsonian Institution, African art embodies one of humanity's
greatest achievements--fusing visual imagery with spiritual beliefs and social
purpose. Its technical achievements and artistic perfection bear witness to the
creative ingenuity of its makers. Religious beliefs and cultural ideals find
artistic expression not only in masks and figures created primarily for
ceremonial purposes, but also in the utilitarian objects of daily life.
Although we are proud to be the world’s
very first Gabonese American Community and CulturalCenter, we are still motivated to provide our community with a new
facility that houses a wonderful art gallery with exhibitions that feature
local, regional and international artists. In addition to our gallery, we are determined to provide studio facilities
for our art, dance, music and classes.
Your support is needed for this
worthy cause. Because of the generous contribution
and involvement of our members, we are determined to move to a new site to
provide free and unique arts education and outreach programs to an increasing
number of people in our community, including isolated seniors and children with
special needs. Please consider supporting the arts in our community through
your Tax-Deductible Gift to the GACC, attending one of our many exhibitions and
creative arts events. Thank you for your support. Together we can make a
Landry Lignabou., MBA., MEd.,
President & Founder
Gabonese American Community &
Cultural Center (GACC)
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