Sudharka

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République Libre du Sudharka (Free Republic of Sudharka)
Capital
and largest city
Sudharka (city)
Ethnic Groupswhite (82%), black (7%), mixed (11%)
GovernmentRepublic
LegislatureGrand Conseil
Area
 • TotalTBD km2
TBD sq mi
Population
 • Estimate (2020)105 623
GDP (PPP)2020
 • Total1 679 088 831 $
 • Per capita15 897 $
GDP (nominal)2019
 • Total659 120 486 E
 • Per capita7 920,3 E
HDI (2019)Increase 0.819
very high
CurrencyEsterlin (E) (EST)
Drives on theright
Internet TLD.sk
Sudharka, officialy République Libre du Sudharka (Free Republic of Sudharka), is a country in the north coast of Tarephia.


History

Franquese buccaneers first established a settlement in what was then a small valley occupied by indigenous tribes around 1625. The place was theoretically claimed by the Castellanese, who owned the neighboring colony of Garània but they could not exert any actual control over this remote valley, thus enabling the pirates to settle there. At first they survived by pirating ships, eating wild cattle and hogs, and selling hides to traders of all nations. Although the Castellanese tried to destroy the buccaneers' settlement in 1628 and then in 1630, they returned due to an abundance of natural resources: hardwood trees, wild hogs and cattle, and fresh water. The settlement began to serve as an outpost for franquese-speaking merchants in the Uthyran Sea, and was so valuable to them that the government of Broceliande (as this country was the place of origin of many of the merchants) decided to establish it in a more official manner, a goal achieved in 1665 under the commission of Prince ?.

With this official status came new colonists, among them many Apostolicists whose life was hard in Broceliande at the time. Many of them were strongly opposed to slavery while it was already developing in other colonies within the region. Furthermore, as the new colony was still largely an uncleared rainforest, there were no large plantations needing for slaves. For this reason, work was mainly provided by indentured laborers and continued to be so when slavery was widespread in the neighboring countries. Nonetheless, even if indentured laborers could get free after a few years, their situation wasn’t much better than that of slaves, especially in the case of black indentured laborers (mainly former slaves emancipated in other colonies and left without money). Furthermore, slavery was not officially forbidden until 1817, so the slave trade, even if less important than in other colonies, existed aside from indentured labor. Anyway, this peculiar system of labor created many small landowners, many of them owning only between 25 and 50 acres at most, a fact that is considered to be at the origin of the importance of coffee and cocoa in the economy, as these cultures don‘t need as much land as sugar plantations, for instance.

The Franquese colonization of the valley was officially recognized by the Castellanese in 1723.

During most of the 18th century, the colony experienced an important economic growth, mainly driven by the trade of cocoa, coffee and tropical wood. However, this created an always increased need for workforce, thus leading to an increased import of slaves. Nonetheless, it also drove to Sudharka many persecuted people and social reformers, some of them taking advantage of the still prevailing indentured labor system. Many were highly-skilled Apostolicists and people influenced by the new philosophical ideas of the Enlightment, willing to find in Sudharka a place in which they could live freely. However, their progressive views, tough majoritarian in the population, were in growing conflict with those of important slave owners. One could also mention that these slave owners, many of them recently arrived in Sudharka, cultivated much bigger plantations than the former settlers, thus putting them in a situation in which they could lose their influence. Also, their will of freedom was more and more counteracted by the Broceliande government, whose monopoly in trade with Sudharka was hard to accept for Sudharkan merchants.

Politics

Taxes and state expenditure

Excise taxes on alcoholic beverages, tobacco, etc., have been applied since the foundation of the country. Later, and as the government is considered to be in charge of the preservation of the environment, a tax, similar in its principle to an excise tax, have been created in order to contain every form of pollution into strict limitations. Indeed, no pollutant can be emitted in the atmosphere or rejected in the water without an official allowance whose price is proportional to the amount of pollutant rejected (and also depends on the nature of the pollutant itself.). The funds provided by the latter must be used to contribute to the preservation of environment, remarkable places and historical monuments.

In a somewhat similar way, in order to promote the equal right of land and resources ownership, a 2% tax on land value has been created in 1840. However, as this tax was created only to reduce the natural unequal access to raw land, and not to discourage the improvement of land, this tax is paid only on the value of the land itself, not taking into account buildings, or other kinds of improvements made to the land. It is paid at the death of the owner, and funding a £2500 (≈ 5750 USD) allowance given to everyone arriving at twenty-one years of age, and a £1000 (≈ 2300 USD) annual allowance for the elderly (above 65) and the lame and blind.

This, of course, comes in addition to welfare programs. However, the said programs are operated by private actors only, under the close supervision of the state.

As for the funding of the expense of the state itself, it is provided, in addition to the excise tax mentioned earlier, by a 10% tax on companies‘ gross sales and a 12.5% V.A.T. In addition to these comes also a 10% tax on legacies. These taxes provide funds for justice, defense, general administration, education, research, etc.

There is also an income tax with two brackets : 15% under £200 000 (≈460 000 USD USD), and a 75% bracket for the rest of the income. However, a negative income tax of £200 (≈460 USD) a month is deduced from this tax.

In the past, tariffs had been put in place until the sudharkan industry could develop, but they all have been removed since 1982.

Political system

Legislative Power

The legislative power is held by the Grand Council (Grand Conseil), a monocameral parliament, but with two kinds of members. There are 35 députés and 5 contrôleurs. The députés are elected every 6 years (they can be re-elected until they turn 75), using the single transferable vote ([1]). The contrôleurs, created to ensure that spurious arguments were avoided during the debates, are selected through an exam of general knowledge, ranging from politics and history, to logic, philosophy, economics, science, etc. They are also replaced every 6 years, but they cannot apply for a second term. Even if they are officially members of the Council, witness the debates and can take part in them, the contrôleurs cannot vote.

The Grand Conseil is at the basis of the sudharkan political system. It votes the laws, and controls the executive power by electing the 6 members of the Directoire exécutif, who does not have the possibility to dissolve the Grand Conseil.

Petitions can be addressed by the population to the Grand Conseil, and if a proposal for a new bill or a constitution amendment has been approved by more than 5000 people, it must be either submitted to vote by the Grand Conseil or to referendum, respectively.

Executive Power

The Executive Council (Conseil Exécutif) is the collegial government of the country and wields the executive power. It is composed of 6 Secretaries of State, that are appointed by the Grand Council at the beginning of the legislature. It is interesting to notice that the 6 Secretaries of State are elected separately, allowing the Grand Council to choose people of various political opinions, and preventing the raise of an unduly powerful executive power.

Each Secretary of State is in charge of one of the 6 ministries defined in the constitution :

- Secrétariat aux Affaires Intérieures (Home Affairs). It includes a Bureau de Préservation ("Preservation Office"), selling the polluting allowances and using the money gathered to protect the remarkable landscapes or elements of biodiversity.

- Secrétariat aux Affaires Étrangères (Foreign Affairs).

- Secrétariat à la Défense Nationale (Ministry of Defense)

- Secrétariat à l'Instruction, au Commerce et à l’Industrie (Ministry of Education, Trade and Industry). Gives school vouchers, and operates a broadcasting service. Can also, as visible in its name, promote trade and industry, but is tightly bound in what can be done for this purpose.

- Secrétariat aux Contributions Publiques (Ministry of Treasure).

- Chancellerie (Ministry of Justice). The Chancelier does not receive the title of Secretary of State.

Judiciary Power

The Judiciary Power is held by the Chancellerie.

Geography

TO BE DONE

Climate

Sudharka have a tropical monsoon climate. The wet season occurs from december to may, with a precipitation totals close to 300 mm, and the dry season is during the rest of the year, with like 100 mm of precipitations. The temperature is always between 18°C (64.4°F) and 33°C (91.4°F). The prevailing winds are from N-W.

Natural Resources

There are a few mines of antimony, and a silver mine. A few quarries are exploited for the use of the inhabitants.

The main resource is crops, mainly cacao and coffee, but also bananas, oranges, pepper, vanilla, avocados, pineapples, guava, coconut, breadfruit, cassava (almost not exported), and a very good wine. Wood (teck and brazil wood, mainly, but also mahogany wood and ironwood) is also an important resource.

Fishing is important for the inhabitant's consumption, but this production is almost not exported. There is also a small production of seafood, sold in the neighbouring countries.

Infrastructure

Rail

Sudharka is linked with its neighbour countries by a train line. Created in 1890, it has always been extensively used by Sudharkans. The line itself is owned by the sudharkan government, and the transportation service is operated by private (and foreign) companies.

Aerial Transportation

The population generally prefers the cheaper rail transportation, but, for overseas destinations, an airfield has been built in 1932.

Energy supply

The electricity supplier is Régie de Distribution d‘Électricité, a public service owning the electricity distribution network and buying the electricity it provides from various private companies. Thanks to Sudharka natural opportunities, the vast majority of the energy supply can be provided by reneweable means.

Education System

Schooling in Sudharka is not mandatory, but instruction is. Schools are privateky-owned, but the curricula, defined by the school itself, are controlled by the government, who classifies schools according to the quality of the education they provide.

The first stage is the instruction primaire (primary school), from the age of 5 to 11. Then comes either the instruction secondaire (secondary education), in lycées, from 11 to 18, or the instruction professionnelle (secondary technical education), in écoles primaires supérieures (allowing to became an apprentice at the age of 15). The degrees of the higher education are the bachelor's degree (licence), the master's degree (maîtrise), and the doctorate (doctorat).

Since 1890, the sudharkan government allows school vouchers. They are of 1125 E (4072$) a year in primary education, 2500 E (8484$) in secondary education, and 4000 E in higher education (14480$). These vouchers can only be used to pay for a government-agreed school.

Health System

TBD

Demographics

TO BE DONE

Culture and daily life

Media

Press

The only daily paper still published is La Feuille Nationale, also the first newspaper in Sudharka, created in 1792. A few weeklies are also published.

Numerous monthly magazines about science, philosophy, art, automobile, sports, etc. are also published. Among these monthlies is Le Consommateur, published by the government and giving information about the products available on the market, and comparisons of these products.

Radio

There are 12 FM radio stations, and no AM stations. The most important of them is Radio-Sudharka, the government-owned station. There are among 60 000 radio receptors in Sudharka.

Television

Even if many foreign TV channels are available in Sudharka, the only sudharkan TV station is Sudharka-Télevision, the government-owned channel, created in 1965. There are roughly 20 000 televisions in Sudharka.

Internet

Internet is very widespread in Sudharka. Indeed, according to the latest survey, there are roughly 63 000 internet users in the population.

Public holidays

- 1 January : Nouvelle année (New Year's Eve)

- second friday of May and following monday : bank holiday

- 4 June : Fête de l'indépendance (independance day)

- last friday of August : bank holiday

- 24 December afternoon and 25 December : Christmas

Economy

Currency

The currency is the piastre (code PIA, symbol $), a silver-exchangeable currency worth 0.750 troy ounces of silver (and therefore worth about 11.5 USD as of April 2020). However, its subdivision, the livre (symbol £), worth a fifth of a piastre (0.15 ounces of silver, 2.3 USD) is more commonly used. The livre is divided in 100 centimes.

This origin of this currency can be tracked back to the 18th century, in which Broceliande (like many other colonial powers) was unable to send enough livres (the currency used in Broceliande at the time) to its colonies. For this reason, and in order to facilitate the trade with neighboring countries, the Sudharka population mainly used the only widespread currency in the area, the Castellanese Peso, also called Taller, as this ingerish currency of this name contained almost exactly the same amount of silver than the Peso. In Franquese, this currency was called piastre, and the name remained used in Sudharka to this day. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this money was so much in use among various colonies in Tarephia that it is believed to be one of the major standard trade coins to have been in use across various countries. For this reason, when the country became independent, it was chosen by the new government to be the official currency of Sudharka.

As Sudharka, due to its peaceful history as a small country, has always been able to retain its silver reserves, the value of the piastre has never been modified, and it is still worth a 18th century peso or Taller, i.e., 0.750 oz. of silver. The livre now in use in Sudharka is also a legacy of these times, where it was the Broceliande currency, and therefore the official currency of the colony, worth a fifth of a piastre.