Cool Government images

April 25th, 2012

Some cool Government images:

Tokyo – Nishi-Shinjuku: Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Hall, Shinjuku Mitsui Biru and Keio Plaza Hotel
Image by wallyg
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Assembly Hall, part of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building complex, was built to the design of Kenzo Tange in 1991. The hall is a seven-story curved building that connects to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Tower One via skywalks at the edges, encircling a formidable courtyard. T?ky?-to gikai (?????), or the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, the prefectural parliament of Tokyo, meets here. T?ky?-to Ch?sha (?????), or The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, also referred to as Tokyo City Hall or Toch? (??) for short, houses the headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which governs not only the 23 wards, but also the cities, towns and villages that make up Tokyo as a whole.

Shinjuku Mitsui Biru (??????), or the Shinjuku Mitsui Building, at 2-1-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, was built in 1974 by developer Mitsui Fudosan to the design of Nihon Sekkei. At the time of its completion, the 55-story, 225-meter skyscraper was the tallest building in Tokyo and Japan–a title it held until the Sunshine 60 Building was built 4 years later.

The Keio Plaza Hotel’s Keio Plaza North Building, at 2-2-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, was built in 1971 by Nihon Architects, Engineers & Consultants. At completion, the 47-story, 178-meter modernist skyscraper was the tallest building in Tokyo and Japan, until it was surpassed by the Shinjuku Sumitomo Building.

Bangkok. September 2008
Image by adaptorplug
Sanam Luang, Bangkok. 4th September 2008.

The pro government counter protestors returned to their homes and left behind remnants of their stage and educational materials. This is a poster of their main hero, the ex prime minister Thaksin Shinwatra, who was deposed in a peaceful and unopposed military coup in 2006.

The pro government supporters seem to quite like ex Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who ran to England to save facing corruption charges in Thailand. And also to save his convicted wife Khunying Potjaman from serving her three year jail sentence. In his absence he has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Thaksin is depicted in the above as flying like Superman through "Democracy Monument."

Ironic really. This monument was built by fascist sympathisers to celebrate the overthrow of the (then "absolute") monarchy and the place had sod all to do with democracy.

However, I think this lot are using the imagery to draw upon the benefits of "elected governments" and that Thaksin is their defender of "democracy."

AND let’s not forget… what Thaksin had to say….


The Nation 2003-12-11.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday revealed for the first time the value he places on democracy, saying it was not the foremost thing Thailand needed.

In a candid statement made ominous by its release on Constitution Day, Thaksin said that as long as the country could progress and the people were happy, he was not concerned about the means used.

"Democracy is a good and beautiful thing, but it’s not the ultimate goal as far as administering the country is concerned," he said. "Democracy is just a tool, not our goal. The goal is to give people a good lifestyle, happiness and national progress."

In a comment to counter calls for constitutional amendments that would support the spluttering checks-and-balances mechanism, the prime minister hinted that he would block the campaign to amend the charter, an issue that could cause a fall-out between him and his Chat Thai Party allies.

"Democracy is a vehicle," Thaksin said. "We can’t drive a Rolls-Royce to a rural village and solve people’s problems. A pickup truck or good off-road car will do. We just need to think carefully and make the right choices."

Amid threats of total domination by the ruling Thai Rak Thai Party, the minor coalition partner, academics and opposition MPs agree there is an urgent need to sharpen the teeth of independent constitutional bodies and empower a parliamentary system of checks and balances.

"I don’t think there’s a need to amend the charter right now," said Thaksin. "Maybe they want to because they want to censure me in Parliament."

Many rules within the Constitution are said to be playing into the hands of Thaksin as they seem to ease his on-going consolidation of power and expansionist philosophy. Among them is the requirement that a censure motion against the prime minister has to be signed by at least 200 MPs.

Before leaving for the Asean-Japan summit in Tokyo, Thaksin avoided actually naming the Chat Thai Party, which has proposed a public referendum to amend the Constitution coinciding with the 2005 general election.

"If they really want to do it for good reasons, why didn’t they do it earlier when they had enough support in Parliament?" Thaksin said. "There’s no real need to change the highest law at the moment. If we do have implementation problems, we can review the Constitution’s organic laws."

The Chat Thai Party has set up a working group to review the Constitution. But the study could take a long time, its leader Banharn Silapa-archa confirmed yesterday, at the risk of upsetting his powerful ally.

"We are reviewing both the charter and organic laws, as we think that it’s time to amend the Constitution," said Banharn. "But I can’t say whether we can finish in time for the next election."

Chat Thai leaders have said the charter has failed to produce an adequate system of checks and balances in the political system, as a single party dominates Parliament and many independent constitutional bodies.

Once lauded as one of the best constitutions the country has had, the 1997 charter is seen by a growing number of critics as having failed to cope with the realities of Thai politics in the era of Thaksin’s political and business empire.

Chat Thai wants all political parties represented when selecting members of key independent bodies, which have been under growing influence of Thai Rak Thai.

Snoh Thienthong, leader of the Wang Nam Yen faction of Thai Rak Thai, also alluded to support for constitutional amendment and suggested Thaksin was the reason to review the charter.

"The prime minister’s thoughts run faster than the Constitution, so it might be necessary to change the law to keep up with him. He’s a commander who moves faster than his army," Snoh said.

Former Constitution Drafting Assembly members who wrote the existing charter have backed calls for amendment to bolster the checks-and-balances mechanism before it falls apart.

"When we made it a rule that the censure motion must be submitted by at least 200 MPs, we never envisaged any party would one day have the staggering influence of 400 MPs in Parliament," said Decho Sawananont, one of the charter-drafters. "This hampers the opposition’s work and the future looks bleak."


Govt College site, Zaria 1957/8 Dry season
Image by Ruth Flickr
Government College, Zaria, Nigeria.
"Starting from (let us say) the Catering Resthouse, cross the Kubani Bridge (a fine new one is now under construction) ad take the first turning on the right. Pass Gaskiya Corporation (with its tower) and NORLA, and you will find the Government College on your right. It stands on a magnificent site, with the Tukurtukur rock as a local landmark. The grounds embrace an area of 140 acres and contain a fine mosque, a well laid-out athletic track, pitches for hockey, cricket and football, and a small swimming pool.
The college started life in Katsina in 1921, when it was known as the Katsina Higher College. In 1938 it went to Kaduna, and the final move to Zaria was made in January 1949.
The college is divided into six houses, and accommodates 250 boys from the Northern Provinces."
(from This is Zaria, pub Gaskiya Corporation, Zaria 1958)

Vintage family slides from 1950s & early 60s NIgeria (scanned). Jean and David were in Nigeria for over 10 years, David working in the then colonial service and education. For some of that timeJean worked part-time in a number of secretarial roles and teaching.

The family lived variously in Kano, Maru, Zaria and Kuru, near Jos (Plateau Province).

The slides uploaded are just a selection of the family collection, not intended to be artistic or significant at the time, but a personal ‘diary’. David was the principal photographer.

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