THE XXI COMMONWEALTH GAMES BEGIN
Van Janusekstadt hosts most massive celebration for the Games' opening ceremony
The capital of Sdudeti-Karabak has today hosted what many have already termed as the most massive celebration in the brief history of the small Grand Duchy. The XXI Commonwealth Games opening ceremony is, quite obviously, a huge opportunity for the hosting country to make a show of its culture, to garner prestige from the power of impression, and to stand out from the ranks. All things that, clearly, the grand ducal government wanted to achieve; and it did it without minding at the expenses.
A moment of the ceremony.
The athletes parade was just the starting point: the stadium became the stage for a show illustrating the long history of the Karabakian lands, moving forward through ambitious and outstanding coreagraphies involving thousands of people, statues representing the most illustrious sons of the Grand Duchy, all accompanied by a mix of orchestra and Ajanic traditional music. A thirty-minutes long firework spectacle then followed the arrival of the Queen's Baton Relay on the site.
It was truly a moment of pride and glory for the Grand Duchy, as also underlined by the words of Grand Duke Conrad Van Vinkel, who opened the ceremony with his speech. But behind the veil of splendour, clearly lies the most ambitious political project which is at the heart of the very existence of the Grand Duchy itself: that of mending the wounds resulting from centuries of war and decades of social, economic, and cultural discrimination and emargination of the mixed Ajanic-Zack population since Sdudeti-Karabak were restituted by the UKZ to New Tarajan in 1954. Since his enthronement as first sovereign of the independent Grand Duchy, Conrad I have done much to lead his country along this path, and the decision to join the Commonwealth was one of the most prominent feats he achieved. The hosting of the XXI Commonwealth Games was too much of an opportunity to be wasted: and we can see the show and the coreographies stressing the strong and unshakable links between Sdudeti-Karabak and New Tarajan, exemplified by their shared Ajanic legacy, on one side; and the Zack heritage, not hidden anymore, but instead stressed as a unity with the Ajanic one, on the other.
It is no coincidence, of course, that much of the show has been co-financed by the New Tarajan Investment Authority, the Kingdom's sovereign fund. The same can be said about what will probably be the long-lasting legacy of these Games: the Commonwealth Village, the huge complex of gaming fields, swimming pools, residences (with, of course, the stadium at its core), that will be the stage of the games and which already shaped a new face for Van Janusekstadt's outskirts, not without arousing vociferous complains from some fringes of the political world about the huge expenses and the meaning of having them in part covered with Tarajani money. A decision that by some has been seen as another demonstration that the Grand Duchy's independence is, in fact, nothing more than a fake.
No matter what will happen at the Games, Sdudeti-Karabak is quickly approaching a crossroad in its history as a sovereign State. What we have seen tonight may just be an allusion to it.
The Commonwealth Village.
New Tarajan welcomes NZ decision to break talks, calls for peace conference to begin immediately
Meanwhile, a good show of the results that joint Tarajani-Zack diplomacy can achieve has been seen on another field, with the official decision by the government of New-Zealand to withdraw from the bilateral talks with the Empire of Eurasia. The first news of the talks resulted in an outcry of outrage from all OMNI member States, which considered them to be a blatant betrayal, and an attempt to reach a unilateral peace with Eurasia. Reactions coming from both New Tarajan and the UKZ were particularly strong, with Astana clearly concerned that the talks could spell a break in OMNI just a few months after its most costly war, particularly in case a Z-Exit (the name given to the possibility of Zackalantis leaving the alliance) should look more and more attractive to Zack politicians. But the new government led by the Duke of Coevorden had already made clear that priority would have been given to a Zack participation to the alliance, and that any compromise on the talks was to be rebuffed.
Now, this strong-word policy seems to have paid its dividends, but it is clear the issue is not yet over."While we appreciate the decision of the New-Zealand government to fall back in line with its international obligations"
the Grand Pensionary said in a press conference from the Palace of Government "We understand that there is a pressing concern for a swift transformation of the ceasefire into a peace treaty. For this reason, we renewe our calls for a peace conference to be held immediately, with all parties involved. I have already received an invitation by the government of North Ajania to host the talks in Shahrazad."