004_Global13_InBox

Global 13

Inbox Change to royal succession laws Music banned in northern Mali Music has been one of Mali’s most important exports as well as a feature of everyday life Rebel Islamist groups in control of northern Mali have banned all forms of music. The imposition of strict Sharia law has resulted in musicians and resi- dents fleeing to the south of the country New legislation would end male primogeniture within the 16 realms currently served by Queen Elizabeth to escape widespread bans. Musicians have been threatened with The announcement that the Duke and Duch- The bill will be put before the UK House confiscation of instruments and equip- ess of Cambridge were expecting their first of Commons before the next general elec- ment and even physical mutilation; one child, and the official agreement from the tion but in order to ensure the same mon- singer was told that if she returned to Commonwealth realms to end male primo- arch rules over all 16 realms, legislation her home in the north her tongue would geniture, came on the same day in what the will also be required in overseas parlia- be cut off. Playing music in private UK Deputy PM Nick Clegg called a ‘won- ments. The successful passing of the bill homes has been banned and many find derful coincidence’. The change to the suc- will mean that if the couple’s first child is this new development alien to their cession laws was agreed in 2011 at the Com- a girl she can become Queen even if she is former way of life, talking of eerie, monwealth Heads of Government meeting followed by younger brothers. silent streets. The radio waves have in Perth but it has now had the go-ahead to Other significant changes to the long- been cleared of music and even mobile become official law through the Succession established rules of succession mean that a phones have become a focus for the to the Crown Bill. Will and Kate’s child monarch will be allowed to marry a Roman rebel groups as ringtones are replaced will be third in line to the throne currently Catholic. However they themselves must re- with Koranic verses. Anyone found held by Queen Elizabeth, who is monarch main in the Church of England, an institution breaking the bans can have their equip- of 15 realms outside the UK. which is headed by the British sovereign. ment confiscated or destroyed. Fears are growing that these consequences A new image for China’s new leaders continues; in November two men foundwill become harsher as the crackdown smoking tobacco were whipped. The 25 strong politburo which was ap- There will also be material changes to Residents of Niafunke, the home- pointed in November is implementing a government procedure as the country’s town of the late Malian music legend dramatic overhaul of the Chinese gov- new president Xi Jinping denounced Ali Farka Touré, fear that Mali’s rich ernment’s public image. The expensive empty and unnecessary documents and music culture will be threatened by the lifestyles of China’s leaders had attracted complicated jargon. He declared an end bans. They warn of the cultural black criticism after competitive officials vied to self-aggrandising ceremonies such hole which has been created under the for dominance through increasingly lav- as groundbreaking or ribbon cutting for rebels’ regime and cite the destruc- ish buildings and events. leaders and announced an auditing sys- tion in July of tombs at Timbuktu, a The new look will eliminate other tem which would keep all government of- UNESCO world heritage site. features of the previous governments’ ficials’ behaviour and spending in check. Music has been one of Mali’s most time in office including long speeches Observers have said that this is a sign important exports as well as a feature and sycophantic pieces in national that the country’s new leader is listening of everyday cultural life. One Malian newspapers. Officials’ travel and pub- more to voices outside the party. An- musician, Toumani Diabaté, likened lic appearances will be played down other sign of change for the party is Xi music to oil and mineral resources in contrast to the elaborate welcome Jinping’s pledge to implement the rule of meaning that the continued ban could parties which typified previous govern- law and the constitution to counter criti- have far-reaching economic as well as mental appearances. cism of corruption at the top level. social effects. 4 lwww.global-briefing.org first quarter 2013global


Global 13
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