We are in the capital again. Interestingly, staying in the same neighborhood as Marc Ravalomanana's residence. Here in the city he is being referred to as "The President". As a result, right outside of our third floor windows, music is blaring all night to help keep those manning the barricades energized through the night. A Malgasy rendition fo the "Internationale" is wafting high at the moment. All approaches to the three-way intersection are barricaded, complete with upright spikes to puncture tires.
It would be naive to believe that all of the night-time support for Ravalomanana is spontaneous. We learned that as night falls, the press-gangs go door to door requesting that people either help man barricades or provide money for those who are doing so; one's loyalties are suspect should there be non-compliance.
There has been little change. Those radio and television stations that are operational apparently are able to broadcast for only a couple of hours a day.
Expectations vary widely. In the vicinity of Mantadia it was suggested to us that this would all be over soon... specifically that there would be a peaceful transfer of power. Apparently, the only moves so far have been the removal of some barricades. Here in the city, some are nervous for tomorrow's events, believing that the inevitable conflict between army and citizens is imminent.
So far we have no idea what the international community's response has been (if any) to the selective imposition of martial law. Having already voiced various concerns, it would be disingenuous to now take a wait-and-see attitude. Particularly given the events of 1991. (We ared told it was 131 shot-dead, not the 31 we stated on February 27 taken from our travel guide). We have been told by friends in New York that the crisis has finally warranted some coverage in the American media.
In case of an inability to re-enter the city after our stay at Ranomafana, we have loaded absolutely everything in the Land Cruiser. This way we can head straight to the airport if need-be.