Sunday 15 April 2012

Research Grant Doubts in Ludistan


It has been announced this week in the Official Gazette that the  Lugabe Trust has awarded a research team a grant of LP 150000 to conduct a study of the functioning and achievements of the Ludistanian Supreme Council of Antiquities in response to growing controversy evoked by media reports over the past few years. There is however general indignation that the Principal Investigator who will be receiving this money is none other than Zanny Hazzaz, the controversial head of the Ludistanian Supreme Council of Antiquities itself. Comment was also aroused by Hazzaz's first step on learning the money for the grant had been paid into his account, which was to appoint a long-legged 23 year old former employee as his personal "Research Assistant".

Hazzaz has frequently attracted criticism for his flamboyant lifestyle in the country's capital Lonbassa, while many of his employees in the provinces find it hard to make ends meet on their low-paid temporary contracts. "This has got to change"  said Mustafa Kon Olye, representing the Ludistan Professional Archaeologists' Federation (the LAJR). "The LSCA is a corrupt organization, Hazzaz does nothing to stop the theft of antiquities from archaeological sites all over Ludistan, our heritage. For the fifth year running he has been paid thousands of dollars by the Judeo-American  National Explorers' magazine as their "Resident Geographer", but has done nothing to improve the position of archaeology in Ludistan. He simply swans around making television appearances with shiny golden artefacts and writing coffee table books". Kon Olye announced he was pressing for a government investigation into the activities of  Dr Hazzaz and demanded the setting up of an independent commission to study the functioning and results of the operations of the LSCA.

If this sort of thing was happening in Zimbabwe, or Egypt, there would be immediate calls for Hazzaz to step down, but it seems that such principles do not apply to Lonbassa, where apparently 'anything goes'. 

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