By Akwei Thompson - Washington, DC [Voice of America] - 22 February 2009
Life has not been the same in Madagascar since violence broke out in January. More than 100 people have been killed in demonstrations and protests.
On Friday representatives from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) arrived in the country to facilitate talks between President Marc Ravalomanana and opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, hoping to restore calm to the country.
Patricia Rajeriarison is a tourism development consultant in the Capital Antananarivo. In an interview Saturday with Nightline’s Akwei Thompson, the tourism consultant said the streets of the capital were quiet and that the president and the opposition had met the opposition leader for talks.
“The situation has improved. Today there was a new step that has been taken by the two parties – the president, Ravalomanana has met the mayor, Rajoelina and they agreed to start negotiations and to stop all disinformation and public meetings in the streets and the arrest of people…and I guess there’s hope for negotiations to start and a solution to be found very soon,” she said.
Rajeriarison described the tourism situation in her country as a total disaster, but expressed the hope that the industry will pick up again once the political situation stabilizes.