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గాంబియా ఆర్ధికవ్యవస్థ వ్యవసాయం, చేపలు పట్టడం, ముఖ్యంగా, పర్యాటక రంగం మీద ఆధారితమై ఉంది. 2015 లో జనాభాలో 48.6% పేదరికంలో నివసించారు.<ref name="World Bank Overview">{{cite web|url=http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/gambia/overview|title=The Gambia overview|publisher=World Bank|accessdate=5 July 2018}}</ref> గ్రామీణ ప్రాంతాల్లో పేదప్రజలు మరింత అధికంగా ఉన్నారు. గ్రామాలలో జనాభాలో అత్యధికంగా పేదలు (దాదాపు 70%) ఉన్నారు.<ref name="World Bank Overview"/>
{{Main|History of the Gambia}}
[[Arab]] traders provided the first written accounts of the Gambia area in the ninth and tenth centuries. During the tenth century, Muslim merchants and scholars established communities in several West African commercial centres. Both groups established trans-Saharan trade routes, leading to a large export trade of local people as [[slaves]], also gold and [[ivory]], as well as imports of manufactured goods.
[[File:Wassu Stone Cirles shaunamullally 02.jpg|thumb|left|[[Senegambian stone circles]] (megaliths) which run from Senegal through the Gambia and are described by [[UNESCO]] as "the largest concentration of stone circles seen anywhere in the world".]]
By the 11th or 12th century, the rulers of kingdoms such as [[Takrur]], a monarchy centred on the [[Senegal River]] just to the north, ancient Ghana and [[Gao]] had converted to Islam and had appointed to their courts Muslims who were literate in the [[Arabic language]].<ref>Easton P (1999) [http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/581121468329358898/Education-and-Koranic-literacy-in-West-Africa "Education and Koranic Literacy in West Africa"]. IK Notes on Indigenous Knowledge and Practices, n° 11, World Bank Group. pp. 1–4</ref> At the beginning of the 14th century, most of what is today called The Gambia was part of the [[Mali Empire]]. The Portuguese reached this area by sea in the mid-15th century, and began to dominate overseas trade.
In 1588, the claimant to the [[List of Portuguese monarchs|Portuguese throne]], [[António, Prior of Crato]], sold exclusive trade rights on the [[Gambia River]] to English merchants. [[Letters patent]] from [[Queen Elizabeth I]] confirmed the grant. In 1618, King [[James I of England]] granted a charter to an English company for trade with the Gambia and the [[Gold Coast (British colony)|Gold Coast]] (now [[Ghana]]). Between 1651 and 1661, some parts of the Gambia were under the rule of the [[Duchy of Courland and Semigallia]] belonging to [[Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth]]—modern-day [[Latvia]]—and were bought by Prince [[Jacob Kettler]]<ref>{{Cite journal|last=Yevstratyev|first=O|date=2018|title=Chronological Dating of the Duchy of Courland’s Colonial Policy|url=https://www.lvi.lu.lv/lv/LVIZ_2018_files/3_numurs/O_Yevstratyev_Chronological_LVIZ_2018_3.pdf|journal=Latvijas Vēstures Institūta Žurnāls|volume=3|pages=34–72|via=}}</ref>.
During the late 17th century and throughout the 18th century, the [[British Empire]] and the [[French colonial empire|French Empire]] struggled continually for political and commercial supremacy in the regions of the Senegal River and the Gambia River. The British Empire occupied the Gambia when an expedition led by [[Augustus Keppel, 1st Viscount Keppel|Augustus Keppel]] landed there following the [[Capture of Senegal]] in 1758. The 1783 [[Peace of Paris (1783)|First Treaty of Versailles]] gave Great Britain possession of the Gambia River, but the French retained a tiny enclave at [[Albreda]] on the river's north bank. This was finally ceded to the United Kingdom in 1856.
As many as three million people may have been taken as [[slavery|slaves]] from this general region during the three centuries that the [[transatlantic slave trade]] operated. It is not known how many people were taken as slaves by intertribal wars or Muslim traders before the transatlantic slave trade began. Most of those taken were sold by other Africans to Europeans: some were prisoners of intertribal wars; some were victims sold because of unpaid debts; and many others were simply victims of kidnapping.<ref>Park, Mungo ''Travels in the Interior of Africa'' [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/5305 v. II, Chapter XXII – War and Slavery].</ref>
[[File:James Island and Fort Gambia.jpg|thumb|A map of [[James Island (Gambia)|James Island]] and [[Fort Gambia]]]]
Traders initially sent people to Europe to work as servants until the market for labour expanded in the [[West Indies]] and North America in the 18th century. In 1807, the United Kingdom abolished the [[slave trade]] throughout its empire. It also tried, unsuccessfully, to end the slave trade in the Gambia. Slave ships intercepted by the [[Royal Navy]]'s [[West Africa Squadron]] in the Atlantic were also returned to the Gambia, with people who had been slaves released on MacCarthy Island far up the Gambia River where they were expected to establish new lives.<ref name=xyz>{{cite journal|doi=10.2307/3060072 |jstor=3060072 |title=Guests of the Crown: Convicts and Liberated Slaves on Mc ''Carthy'' Island, the Gambia |journal=The Geographical Journal |volume=160 |issue=2 |pages=136–142 |year=1994 |author=Webb, Patrick |authorlink=Patrick Webb}}</ref> The British established the military post of Bathurst (now [[Banjul]]) in 1816.
===Gambia Colony and Protectorate (1821–1965)===
[[File:The National Archives UK - CO 1069-25-4.jpg|thumb|left|The British Governor, [[George Chardin Denton]] (1901–1911), and his party, 1905]]
{{Further|Gambia Colony and Protectorate}}
In the ensuing years, Banjul was at times under the jurisdiction of the British Governor-General in [[Sierra Leone]]. In 1888, The Gambia became a separate colony.
An agreement with the [[French Republic]] in 1889 established the present boundaries. The Gambia became a [[British Crown colony]] called [[Gambia Colony and Protectorate|British Gambia]], divided for administrative purposes into the colony (city of Banjul and the surrounding area) and the protectorate (remainder of the territory). The Gambia received its own executive and legislative councils in 1901, and it gradually progressed toward self-government. Slavery was abolished in 1906{{citation needed|date=January 2017}} and following a brief conflict between the British colonial forces and indigenous Gambians, British colonial authority was firmly established.<ref>Archer, Frances Bisset (1967) ''The Gambia Colony and Protectorate: An Official Handbook (Library of African Study)''. pp. 90–94. {{ISBN|978-0714611396}}.</ref>
During World War II, some soldiers fought with the [[Allies of World War II]]. Though these soldiers fought mostly in [[Burma Campaign|Burma]], some died closer to home and a [[Commonwealth War Graves Commission]] cemetery is in Fajara (close to Banjul). Banjul contained an [[airstrip]] for the [[US Army Air Forces]] and a port of call for Allied naval convoys.
After World War II, the pace of constitutional reform increased. Following general elections in 1962, the United Kingdom granted full internal self-governance in the following year.
[[File:Gambia 1953 stamps crop 6.jpg|thumb|Stamp with portrait of [[Elizabeth II|Queen Elizabeth II]], 1953]]
===Post-Independence (1965–present)===
The Gambia achieved [[Gambia Independence Act 1964|independence]] on 18 February 1965, as a [[constitutional monarchy]] within the [[Commonwealth of Nations|Commonwealth]], with [[Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom|Elizabeth II]] as [[Queen of the Gambia]], represented by the [[Governor-General of The Gambia|Governor-General]]. Shortly thereafter, the national government held a referendum proposing that the country become a [[republic]]. This referendum failed to receive the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution, but the results won widespread attention abroad as testimony to The Gambia's observance of secret balloting, honest elections, civil rights, and liberties.{{citation needed|date=January 2017}}
On 24 April 1970, The Gambia became a republic within the Commonwealth, following a second referendum. Prime Minister Sir [[Dawda Kairaba Jawara]] assumed the office of [[President of The Gambia|President]], an [[executive presidency|executive post]], combining the offices of [[head of state]] and [[head of government]].
President Sir Dawda Jawara was re-elected five times. An attempted coup on 29 July 1981 followed a weakening of the economy and allegations of corruption against leading politicians.<ref name="ucdp.uu.se">[[Uppsala Conflict Data Program]] [https://web.archive.org/web/20131004220417/http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/gpcountry.php?id=60&regionSelect=2-Southern_Africa Gambia. In depth: Economic crisis and a leftist coup attempt in 1981].</ref> The coup attempt occurred while President Jawara was visiting London and was carried out by the leftist [[National Revolutionary Council]], composed of [[Kukoi Samba Sanyang]]'s Socialist and Revolutionary Labour Party (SRLP) and elements of the Field Force, a paramilitary force which constituted the bulk of the country's armed forces.<ref name="ucdp.uu.se"/>
President Jawara requested military aid from [[Senegal]], which deployed 400 troops to The Gambia on 31 July. By 6 August, some 2,700 Senegalese troops had been deployed, defeating the rebel force.<ref name="ucdp.uu.se"/> Between 500 and 800 people were killed during the coup and the ensuing violence.<ref name="ucdp.uu.se"/>
In 1982, in the aftermath of the 1981 attempted coup, Senegal and The Gambia signed a treaty of confederation. The [[Senegambia Confederation]] aimed to combine the armed forces of the two states and to unify their economies and currencies. After just seven years, The Gambia permanently withdrew from the confederation in 1989.
In 1994, the [[Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council]] (AFPRC) [[1994 Gambian coup d'état|deposed the Jawara government]] and banned opposition political activity. Lieutenant [[Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh]], chairman of the AFPRC, became head of state. Jammeh was just 29 years old at the time of the coup. The AFPRC announced a transition plan for return to democratic civilian government. The Provisional Independent Electoral Commission (PIEC) was established in 1996 to conduct national elections and transformed into the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in 1997 and became responsible for registration of voters and for the conduct of elections and referendums.
In late 2001 and early 2002, The Gambia completed a full cycle of [[Gambian presidential election, 2001|presidential]], [[Gambian parliamentary election, 2002|legislative]], and local elections, which foreign observers{{Who|date=March 2016}} deemed free, fair, and transparent, albeit with some{{which|date=March 2016}} shortcomings. President Yahya Jammeh, who was elected to continue in the position he had assumed during the coup, took the oath of office again on 21 December 2001. Jammeh's [[Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction]] (APRC) maintained its strong majority in the National Assembly, particularly after the main opposition [[United Democratic Party (Gambia)|United Democratic Party]] (UDP) boycotted the legislative elections.<ref name="backgroundnote">{{StateDept |section |url=https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5459.htm#politics |title=Background Note: The Gambia}}</ref> (It has participated in elections since, however).
On 2 October 2013, the Gambian interior minister announced that The Gambia would leave [[Commonwealth of Nations|the Commonwealth]] with immediate effect, ending 48 years of membership of the organisation. The Gambian government said it had "decided that The Gambia will never be a member of any neo-colonial institution and will never be a party to any institution that represents an extension of colonialism".<ref name="nocom">{{cite web|url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24376127|title=UK regrets The Gambia's withdrawal from Commonwealth|publisher=BBC News|date=3 October 2013|accessdate=4 October 2013}}
Incumbent President Jammeh faced opposition leaders Adama Barrow from the Independent Coalition of parties<ref>[http://www.senenews.com/2016/10/31/gambie-lopposition-designe-adama-barrow-comme-candidat-unique-pour-affronter-yahya-jammeh-en-decembre_170269.html Gambie : l'opposition désigne Adama Barrow comme candidat unique pour affronter Yahya Jammeh en décembre]. Senenews.com (31 October 2016). Retrieved on 18 December 2016.</ref> and Mamma Kandeh from the Gambia Democratic Congress party<ref>[http://www.freedomnewspaper.com/gambia-will-mama-kandehs-nomination-papers-be-accepted/ Gambia: Will Mama Kandeh's Nomination Papers Be Accepted? – Freedom Newspaper]. Freedomnewspaper.com (6 November 2016). Retrieved on 18 December 2016.</ref> in the December 2016 presidential elections. The Gambia sentenced main opposition leader and human rights advocate [[Ousainou Darboe]] to 3 years in prison in July 2016,<ref>{{Cite news |url=https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/07/gambia-prison-sentences-for-opposition-leaders-continues-downward-spiral-for-human-rights/ |title=Gambia: Prison sentences for opposition leaders continues downward spiral for human rights |date=20 July 2016 |work=Amnesty International}}</ref> disqualifying him from running in the presidential election.
Following the [[Gambian presidential election, 2016|1 December 2016 elections]], the elections commission declared [[Adama Barrow]] the winner of the presidential election.<ref>[https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38183906 Gambia's Jammeh loses to Adama Barrow in shock election result]. BBC News (2 December 2016). Retrieved on 18 December 2016.</ref> Jammeh, who had ruled for 22 years, first announced he would step down after losing the 2016 election before declaring the results void and calling for a new vote, sparking a [[Gambian presidential election, 2016|constitutional crisis]] and leading to an [[Invasion of the Gambia|invasion]] by an [[Economic Community of West African States|ECOWAS]] coalition.<ref name="bbc.com">[https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38271480 Gambia leader Yahya Jammeh rejects election result]. BBC News (10 December 2016). Retrieved on 18 December 2016.</ref> On 20 January 2017, Jammeh announced that he had agreed to step down and would leave the country.<ref name="Agrees" />
On 14 February 2017, The Gambia began the process of returning to its membership of the Commonwealth and formally presented its application to re-join to Secretary-General [[Patricia Scotland]] on 22 January 2018.<ref name=boris>{{cite news|url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38968336|title=The Gambia: UK 'very pleased' about Commonwealth return|publisher=BBC}}</ref><ref name="cwlthre">{{cite news|title=The Gambia presents formal application to re-join the Commonwealth|url=http://thecommonwealth.org/media/news/gambia-presents-formal-application-re-join-commonwealth|accessdate=24 January 2018|publisher=The Commonwealth|date=23 January 2018|format=Media Release}}</ref> [[Boris Johnson]], who became the first British [[Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs|Foreign Secretary]] to visit The Gambia since the country gained independence in 1965,<ref name=borisgambia /> announced that the British government welcomed The Gambia's return to the Commonwealth.<ref name=borisgambia>[http://www.thejournal.ie/boris-johnson-gambia-3241111-Feb2017/ Boris Johnson is only delighted the Gambia wants back into the British Commonwealth]. thejournal.ie (15 February 2017)</ref> The Gambia officially rejoined the Commonwealth on 8 February 2018.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://thecommonwealth.org/media/news/gambia-rejoins-commonwealth|title=The Gambia rejoins the Commonwealth - The Commonwealth|first=Site designed and built by Hydrant|last=(http://www.hydrant.co.uk)|website=thecommonwealth.org}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/08/gambia-rejoins-commonwealth-democratic-election/|title=Gambia rejoins the Commonwealth after democratic election|first=Our Foreign|last=Staff|date=8 February 2018|publisher=|via=www.telegraph.co.uk}}</ref>
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