Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nepal Confirms May 28-30 Public Holiday

Sources Nepal News (Kathmandu) and Nepal public holidays (qppstudio.net). In our post of May 22, we wrote that our contacts in Nepal had indicated that it was very likely that the 3-day period from May 28-30 would be declared a public holiday to mark the first Constituent Assembly Convention, which is expected to will formally declare Nepal a federal democratic republic. This has now been confirmed. In addition all schools will also be closed from May 28-30, inclusively.

Jamaica To Consider More National Heritage Public Holidays

Sources: Jamaica Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports (Kingston) and Jamaica public holidays (qppstudio.net). The Chairman of the Jamaica National Bicentenary Committee, Professor Verene Shepherd, has called for an expansion of the national heritage calendar to embrace all the critical moments in the country's history that have helped to shape the nation. Professor Shepherd stressed that while she was not lobbying for all the above dates to be declared as public holidays, some form of recognition should be given.

Such dates might include the commemoration of the last ship with African slaves to arrive at the Kingston on February 17; the passage of the Trans-Atlantic Trade in Africans (TTA) Abolition Act on March 25; the anniversary of the outbreak Tacky's war on April 8; the trial of Sam Sharpe on April 19; the Frome massacre day on May 2, as well as 5 other less significant dates.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Brazil's Parliament To Consider Adding 3 Easter-Related Public Holidays

Sources: Agência Câmara (Brasilia) and Brazil public holidays (qppstudio.net). A draft bill (Lei 2846/08) by deputy Wellington Fagundes (PR-MT) has gone into commission. It purports to officially add Carnival Tuesday to the list of national public holidays in Brazil (it is currently only an unofficial holiday taken by the civil service and many, but not all, companies) as well as Good Friday and Corpus Christi.

Interestingly, the draft law would have the official Carnival public holiday set to always occur on the first Tuesday of March, rather than follow the Christian calendar.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kosovo Adopts "Law on Official Holidays"

Sources: Koha Ditore (Pristina) and Kosovo public holidays (qppstudio.net). Yesterday, after 3 days of intense negotiations, the Assembly of the Republic of Kosova finally adopted the Law on Official Holidays, incorporating with different names the three holidays requested by Albanian deputies; March 6, June 12, and November 28 (see our post of May 19).

Five other dates important to the citizens of minority communities (Turks, Romas, Ashkalijs, Gorans, and Serbs) were included in the category of memorial holidays, to be regulated by the Republican Council For Memorial Holidays.

Dominican Republic To Consider Making Labour Day Public Holiday Non-Movable

Sources: El Nuevo Diario (Santo Domingo) and Dominican Republic public holidays (qppstudio.net). Leading union leaders have submitted a draft law to the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Julio César Valentín, to amend law 139-70, which currently moves the May Day/Labour Day public holiday to adjoin the nearest weekend, so that in the future, the Labour Day public holiday remain on the set date of May 1st.

The President of the Chamber of Deputies, accompanied by deputies, Radhamés Vásquez and Néstor Cruz Pichardo, promised the union leaders that their draft law would be submitted to a commission.

This is the second attack on law 139-97 of June 19, 1997, which states that public holidays that are neither patriotic, nor religious, in character, shall be moved to the closest Monday if they occur on a weekday. Regular readers of this blog will recall that, last February, the Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic had judged unconstitutional articles 1-2-4 of law 139-97, as they relate to the August 16 Restoration Day public holiday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Lebanon Declares May 26 Public Holiday To Celebrate End Of Presidential Stalemate

Sources: The Daily Star (Beirut) and Lebanon public holidays (qppstudio.net). It is reported that President-elect, Gen. Michel Suleiman, has agreed with Parliament Speaker, Nabih Berri, to declare Monday, May 26, 2008, a one-off national public holiday to celebrate the election on Sunday of Lebanon's next President, hence ending a political stalemate that had left Lebanon without a President since November 2007.

Nepal Readies For 3-Day CA Convention Public Holiday

Sources: Telegraph Nepal and Nepal public holidays (qppstudio.net). It is reported that the government of Nepal is planning to declare a 3-day public holiday on the occasion of the upcoming Constituent Assembly Convention, the first ever, on May 28, 2008, at which convention it is expected that the CA will formally declare Nepal a federal democratic republic, thus ending 240 years of monarchy.

Update, May 27: This has now been confirmed.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

China Confirms 3-Day Dragon Boat Festival

Sources: Shanghai Daily and China public holidays (qppstudio.net). The State Council of China has confirmed that the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival would be made into a 3-day public holiday, as had been announced late last year on the Q++Studio website. To this end, an extra day of holiday, Monday June 9, 2008, the day after the Dragon Boat Festival, has been declared a public holiday (presumably to compensate the fact that this year's Dragon Boat Festival falls on a Sunday).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fiji Announces Official List of 2009 Public Holidays

Sources: Governement of Fiji and Fiji public holidays (qppstudio.net). Late last night, the Fiji Governing Cabinet approved the list of the dates of public holidays for the year 2009. Apart from the pinning-down of the always uncertain local dates for the Prophet's Birthday and Diwali, the announcement also sets out the almost impossible to predict Youth Day. The announced list also contains some exceptions to the days in lieu rules, as specified in the law currently governing official public holidays in Fiji, the Public Holidays Act (Ordinances Nos. 1 of 1931, 5 of 1937).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ghana Declares Africa Day Public Holiday Day In Lieu

Sources: Modern Ghana and Ghana public holidays (qppstudio.net). Through an Executive Instrument signed by the President, Monday, May 26, 2008, has been declared a day in lieu public holiday to commemorate Africa Day which falls on Sunday, May 25, in 2008.

Note that the law governing official public holidays in Ghana, the Public Holidays Act, 2001 (Act 601), does not mandate days in lieu for public holidays that fall on a weekend. However, in the case of Africa Day, exceptions have often been made, ever since it became an official public holiday in Ghana in 2002. The trend, for other public holidays, is also to go back to days in lieu, as was the law until 1995.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Kosovo Passes Law Defining Public Holidays

Sources: Novosti and Kosovo public holidays (qppstudio.net). The government cabinet of Kosovo has adopted a law setting forth the list of official public holidays in Kosovo. As expected, February 17, the date of Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence, was made into the new republic's National Day, while June 15, the day its new constitution is expected to be approved, will be Constitution Day.

Two dates no longer included in the list are the Kosovo Liberation Day, which was celebrated by the ethnic Albanian majority on June 12 (the day NATO forces entered Kosovo), and Albania’s Flag Day, November 28, which used to be marked in the UN protectorate.

The bill faces some turbulence, ahead, as some ethnic Albanian parties in Parliament are threatening to vote against the bill if these 2 dates, and the March 5th Martyrs' Day, are not added to the list of public holidays. They are also demanding that the name of the law be changed from the Law on National Holidays in Kosovo to the Law on National Holidays of Kosovo.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Zimbabwe Likely To Declare June 27 Run-Off Election Public Holiday

Sources: Associated Press and Zimbabwe public holidays (qppstudio.net). Earlier today, the Zimbabwe electoral commission announced that a run-off election between Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be held on Friday, June 27, 2008. As is usually the case, we expect the government to declare that date as a one-off public holiday.

Benin Declares May 22 Public Holiday

Sources: Panafrican News Agency (PANA) and Bénin public holidays (qppstudio.net). The government of Benin has declared Thursday, May 22, 2008, as a one-off public holiday to allow Beninese citizens to pay their last tribute to Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, who died Tuesday in Paris at the age of 86.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kuwait Declares 3-Day Public Holiday To Mourn Former Emir

Sources: Arab Times and Kuwait public holidays (qppstudio.net). Following the death its Father Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Abdallah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti government has announced three days of national mourning which will be observed by both the public and private sectors. Parliamentary elections will, however, still be held on schedule, on May 17.

West Australia's Parliament To Consider Renaming Foundation Day Public Holiday

Sources: The West Australian (Perth) and Australia public holidays. A private member’s Bill was introduced to the WA State Parliament, proposing to change the name of the first Monday in June, Foundation Day public holiday to Western Australia Day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dominican Republic Extends Presidential Election Public Holiday

Sources: Presidency’s Press Office and Dominican Republic public holidays (qppstudio.net). The press office of the has announced decree 193-08 which extends the usual May 16 presidential election public holiday by a half-day. The afternoon of Thursday, May 15 will therefore be a public holidays, as well as Friday the 16th.

Bangladesh Moves Upcoming Buddha Purnima Public Holiday To May 19

Sources: MORA and Bangladesh public holidays (qppstudio.net). Our sources at the MORA (Bangladesh Ministry Of Religious Affairs) and other ministries have informed us that, at a recent MORA board meeting, the upcoming Buddha Purnima Public Holiday, officially scheduled for Tuesday, May 20th, had been moved to Monday, May 19, 2008.

Cambodia Considering New June 15 Public Holiday

Sources: Phnom Penh Post, Bangkok Post, and Cambodia public holidays. The government of Cambodia is reported to be considering the idea of introducing a national holiday on June 15 to mark the 1962 anniversary of the International Court in The Hague deciding that the temple of Preah Vihear, which is sacred to both Cambodians and Thais, lies within Cambodian territory.

Monday, May 12, 2008

France's Parliament To Debate May 9th Public Holiday

Sources: AFP-Le Figaro and France public holidays and our post of May 10. France's Prime Minister, François Fillon, recently indicated that Parliament would consider making May 9th an annual public holiday in France. If this were to happen it is likely that this new public holiday would replace the, more divisive, May 8th public holiday instituted in 1981, by former President, François Mitterand.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sri Lanka's LSSP Wants To Restore May 22 Republic Day Public Holiday

Sources: The Daily Mirror (Colombo) and Sri Lanka public holidays. The presidency of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) is calling for a restoration of the May 22, Republic Day public holiday, which commemorates the adoption of a new constitution, on May 22, 1972, thus ending 24 years of dominion status under British rule.

Republic Day was celebrated as an official public holiday between 1972 and 1977, but it was removed from the list of public holidays when the JR Jayawardene Government came to power in 1977. Currently the Sri Lanka national day is the February 4th Independence Day.

Luxembourg's PM Proposes Europe-Wide Annual May 9th Public Holiday

Sources: Le JDD and Luxembourg public holidays. During a recent radio interview, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, proposed that May 9th, the anniversary of the 1950 Schumann Plan that lead to the creation of the EU, be made an annual public holiday throughout Europe.

Jean-Claude Juncker, is considered German Chancellor Angela Merkel's favorite candidate for the newly created office of president of the European Council, the body that represents the interests of the 27 European Union member states. French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, a previous supporter of Tony Blair for the post of president of the European Council, recently seemed to indicate a change of heart, making Mr. Juncker's candidacy all the more likely.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Netherlands Antilles Adds December 15 Annual Public Holiday

Sources: The Daily Herald (St. Maarten) and Netherlands Antilles public holidays. The Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles has agreed to a law amendment making December 15, Kingdom Day, a new official holiday.

West Bank and Gaza May 15th One-Off Public Holiday

Sources: Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda (West Bank) and West Bank and Gaza public holidays (qppstudio.net). The Palestinian Authority has declared Thursday, May 15, 2008, as a one-off public holiday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, or Catastrophe, referring to the 1948 creation of the State of Israel.

Note that, for its part, Israel celebrated its 60th anniversary on May 8, 2008, because, although Israel declared statehood on May 14, 1948, the date of its National Day is determined according to the Hebrew calendar, which started from sunset on May 7 to dusk on May 8 this year.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cameroon Declares May 2nd Bridge Public Holiday

Sources: Cameroon Radio Television and Cameroon public holidays (qppstudio.net). Earlier today, May 1st, 2008, Cameroon's President issued a decree making tomorrow, Friday, May 2nd, 2008, a one-off bridge public holiday.

Turkey Declares May 1st De Facto Public Holiday In Istanbul

Sources: Hürriyet, our post of April 19, and Turkey public holidays. The Governor of Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, has declared a de facto public holiday for today, May 1st, 2008, as the city braces for an unauthorized march by labour unions in the Taksim area of central Istanbul.

Here are some of the measures taken: The Istanbul subway will not function today. Ferry service from the coastal districts of Besiktas, Kabatas or Karakoy will be suspended until the afternoon. The funicular services between Taksim and Kabatas will be suspended. Schools in the Beyoglu, Sisli and Okmeydani districts will be closed. All roads leading into Taksim will be blocked to traffic. Buses will not stop at Taksim.

Chile May 2nd Bridge Holiday To Be Generally Observed

Sources: Cambio 21 and Chile public holidays. Despite last summer's prolonged debate (see our post of August 15, 2007) aimed at settling the issue of Días Sandwich (normal working days that fall between a public holiday and the week-end) the May 1st, 2008, public holiday and its May 2nd día sandwich has arrived without any clear-cut decision by the government.

The situation, as it is now reported by our contacts in Chile, is as follows: most schools have already factored-in this día sandwich into their school term schedule, and will thus be off on May 2nd. As usual in such cases, regardless of the official status of the day for civil servants, one would think that dealings with the government will be neigh impossible on May 2nd. As for the private sector, it seems that a sizable proportion have given Friday, May 2nd, 2008, as a day off to their employees.

Transportation entities, such as the Transantiago (the capital's bus system), and airlines such as Sky airlines, seem to work under the assumption that May 2nd will be a de facto public holiday, the former by shifting to a weekend schedule, and the latter by offering special 4-day trip promotions.