‘I can’t grieve’: former Colonies clash over Queen

Nairobi, Kenya (AP) — Queen, upon her throne in 1952 Elizabeth II Millions of subjects around the world are inherited, many of them uninteresting. Today, in the former colonies of the British Empire, his death Brings up complex emotions including anger.

Beyond official mourning praising the Queen’s longevity and service, there is some bitterness about the past in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and elsewhere. Talk has turned to the legacy of colonialism, from slavery to corporal punishment in African schools to looting Artifacts held in British institutions, For many, the Queen came to represent them all during her seven decades on the throne.

In Kenya, where decades ago, a young Elizabeth learned of her father’s death and her new role as queen, a lawyer named Alice Mugo shared a photo online of a fading document from 1956. It was issued four years into the Queen’s reign, and bodes well in Britain’s harsh reaction to the Mau Mau Rebellion against colonial rule.

“Permission for movement,” the document says. While more than 100,000 Kenyans were held in camps in dire conditions, others, such as Mugo’s grandmother, were forced to request British permission to move from place to place.

“Most of our grandparents were tortured,” Mugo tweeted hours after the Queen’s death on Thursday. “I can’t grieve.”

But Kenya’s outgoing president, Uhuru Kenyatta, whose father, Jomo Kenyatta, was imprisoned during the Queen’s rule before becoming the country’s first president in 1964, ignored past troubles, as did other African heads of state. “The most iconic figure of the 20th and 21st centuries,” Uhuru Kenyatta called him.

Giant portraits of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Ghana's President Kwame Nkrumah are displayed in Accra on November 9, 1961, as the city prepares for the arrival of the British monarch on a state visit to Ghana.  The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, arrived in Accra by plane from London later that day.  (AP photo, file)
Giant portraits of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah are displayed in Accra on November 9, 1961, as the city prepares for the arrival of the British monarch on a state visit to Ghana. The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, arrived in Accra by plane from London later that day. (AP photo, file)

The common people got angry. Some apologized for past abuses like slavery, others for something more tangible.

“This Commonwealth of Nations, that wealth belongs to England. That money is something that is never shared,” said Bert Samuels, a member of the National Council on Reparations in Jamaica.

Elizabeth’s reign saw the hard-won independence of African nations from Ghana to Zimbabwe, along with a string of Caribbean islands and nations along the Arabian Peninsula.

Some historians see him as an emperor who helped oversee the mostly peaceful transition from empire to empire. commonwealthA voluntary association of 56 countries with historical and linguistic ties. But she was also a symbol of a nation that often oppressed the people under its control.

There was some indication of public mourning or even interest in his death in the Middle East, where many still attribute Britain to the colonial actions that drew much of the territory’s borders and many of its modern laid the groundwork for the struggle. On Saturday, Gaza’s Hamas rulers called on King Charles III to “correct” the decisions of the British Mandate, which they said had oppressed Palestinians.

In ethnically divided Cyprus, many Greek Cypriots recall the four-year guerrilla campaign in the late 1950s against colonial rule and the Queen’s perceived indifference to the plight of nine people who were hanged by British officials.

Yiannis Spanos, president of the Association of National Organizations of Cyprus Fighters, said the Queen was “held by as many as the responsibility” for the island’s tragedies.

Now, with his passing, there are new attempts to address, or hide, the colonial past.

India is renewing its efforts under Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove colonial names and symbols. The country has been growing for a long time, even outpacing the British economy in size.

“I don’t think we have any place for kings and queens in today’s world because we are the largest democratic country in the world,” said 57-year-old entrepreneur Dhiren Singh in New Delhi.

There was some sympathy for Elizabeth and the circumstances in which she was born and then asserted.

In Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, resident Max Kahindi recalled the Mau Mau rebellion “with great bitterness” and recalled how some elders were detained or killed. But he said the Queen was “a very young woman” then, and believed that someone else was running British affairs.

Kahindi said, “We cannot blame the queen for all our sufferings at that particular time.”

Timothy Kaligira, a Ugandan political analyst, said that some African countries have a “spiritual connection” from the colonial experience to the Commonwealth. “It’s a moment of pain, a moment of nostalgia,” he said.

The Queen’s iconic personality and age, and the English language’s centrality in global affairs, are powerful enough to quell some of the criticism, with Kalgeira saying: “She is seen more as the mother of the world.”

Mixed views were also seen in the Caribbean, where some countries are removal of the British monarch as their head of state.

“You have a paradoxical consciousness,” said Maziki Tham, a senior lecturer in development studies at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, whose prime minister announced visit this year Prince William, who is now the heir to the throne, and Kate intend that the island be completely independent.

The younger generation of royals appears to have been more sensitive to the effects of colonialism, Tham said – during the visit, William expressed his “deep sorrow” for slavery.

One activist, Nadine Spence, said the admiration for Elizabeth among older Jamaicans is not surprising as she was presented by the British as “this benevolent queen who has always looked out for us,” but young people feared the royal family. are not.

“The only thing I noted about the Queen’s passing is that she died and never apologized for slavery,” Spence said. “He should have apologized.”

Associated Press journalists from around the world contributed to this report.

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