Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The forgotten history lurking beneath the turquoise waters of the Andaman Islands

The forgotten history lurking beneath the turquoise waters of the Andaman Islands
‘Kali Pani: A Forgotten History’ was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 earlier this morning. In the programme Selma Chalabi recalls the forgotten history of the Andamans Penal Settlement, and its Cellular Jail, on the Andaman Islands for Indian political prisoners.
The islands were known to Indians as Kala Pani (literally ‘Black Water’ in Hindi), a place of isolation, torture and oppression. Chalabi’s grandfather, Noel Kennedy Paterson, was a member of the Indian Civil Service, in which he rose to Chief Commissioner of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, during the 1930s and 1940s. She investigated the history of the prison following her discovery of a series of tapes, which her grandfather recorded during his time as governor of the Andaman Islands.
Read the introductory article on the website of the BBC.
In The Andaman Islands Frances Stewart recalls the time when the Andaman Islands served as a penal colony for the British Empire.

Argentina’s last dictator sentenced to 25 years in prison
Yesterday, April 20th, Argentina’s last dictator, Reynaldo Bignone, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for kidnappings and torture during the country’s military regime.
Read the article written by the Associated Press published on the website of Fox News.
For further information, visit our Argentina Focus Page.

Unseen baby pictures of the Queen released today to mark her 84th birthday
The photographs were taken by Marcus Adams in December 1926 when Princess Elizabeth was seven months old. The photographs will go on display on Saturday in Windsor Castle as part of an exhibition of the work of the photographer Marcus Adams, who photographed four generations of the Royal family between 1926 and 1956.
The BBC reports.
Gordon Rayner also reports in The Telegraph.

Death of ‘the godmother of the civil rights movement’
Barack Obama referred to Dorothy Height as ‘the godmother of the civil rights movement’. She died yesterday, April 20th, aged 98. Height was active in the 1960s US civil rights movement. She participated in various historic marches alongside Martin Luther King Jr and was the president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years.
Richard Adams comments on his blog on the website of The Guardian. The blog post features a video of a public service announcement that she recorded for the US Census Bureau a few weeks ago.
Read the report in The Telegraph.

50th anniversary of the foundation of Brasilia
The Brazilian capital was officially inaugurated 50 years ago today. From 1763 to 1960, Rio de Janeiro had been the capital of Brazil. The idea of moving the capital to a more central geographical location was first suggested in 1891. Prior to that, from 1549 to 1763, the capital was situated in Salvador. There is an interesting video news report of the inauguration ceremony from the time on the website of the BBC.

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