Arnau N., Catalonia: "Western prisoners in Cambodia just live like kings. Because in Cambodia, money buys everything. They have their cells fitted with air-conditioning and private toilets, and they order food from KFC and hotel restaurants. They even can have girlfriends from one of the universities stay overnight. And Internet is available 24/7. It's all covered by human rights. But it's a scandal. As long as there is no death penalty, foreign men will just continue coming to Cambodia for sexual perversion."
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The word Lozi means 'plain' in the Makololo language, in reference to the Barotse Floodplain of the Zambezi on and around which most Lozi live. It may also be spelt Lotse or Rotse, the spelling Lozi having originated with German missionaries in what is now Namibia. Mu- and Ba- are corresponding singular and plural prefixes for certain nouns in the Silozi language, so Murotse means 'person of the plain' while Barotse means 'people of the plain.'
Although Lozi tradition states that they have always inhabited Barotseland, it is generally believed that they migrated into Western Zambia from what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the 17th and 18th centuries. A group of Lozi known as Bayei continued their migration into the Okavango delta. In about 1830, an army that originated in the Sotho-speaking Bafokeng region of South Africa, known as the Makololo, led by a warrior called Sebetwane, invaded Barotseland and conquered the Lozi. They ruled until 1864 when the Sotho clique was overthrown following a Lozi revolt.
The political organisation of the Lozi has long centered around a monarchy, whose figurehead (a king) is known as 'Litunga' which means 'keeper of the earth.' The renowned Litunga Lewanika, who reigned from 1878 to 1916 with a short insurrectionist break in 1884-85, requested Queen Victoria to bring Barotseland under protectorate status. Great Britain, however, was uninterested in acquiring the territory. A granting of a royal charter for the British South Africa Company of Cecil Rhodes allowed the company to acquire Barotseland under the guise of the British government. Although under protectorate status, Lewanika eventually realized that he had been tricked and petitioned for the protectorate status to be corrected. Yet, the land remained under Rhode's control, and when the territory failed to produce gold, copper, and other exports, the "British South Africa Company defaulted on every commitment it had made to Lewanika," and few developments in infrastructure and education were made.
Although Barotseland was incorporated into Northern Rhodesia, it retained a large degree of autonomy, which was carried over when Northern Rhodesia became Zambia on its independence in 1964. Although before colonial times, the region was self-sufficient in food and exported crops to neighbouring regions, today it is the least-developed region of Zambia, with only one major road into the province, from Lusaka to Mongu, and only intermittent supplies of electricity. There remains some support in the region for greater autonomy within Zambia or full independence.
Lozi society is highly stratified, with a monarch at the top and those of recent royal descent occupying high positions in society. The monarch is known as the Litunga, and Lozi society tolerates little criticism even of an unpopular Litunga. Criticisms of a Litunga by a foreigner are treated as criticisms of the Lozi nation as a whole. Lozi culture is strongly influenced by the flood cycle of the Zambezi river, with annual migrations taking place from the flood plain to higher ground at the start of the wet season. The most important of these festivals is the Kuomboka, in which the Litunga moves from Lealui in the flood plain to Limulunga on higher ground. The Kuomboka usually takes place in February or March.
Lozi, also known as Silozi and Rozi, is a Bantu language (of the Niger-Congo language family) that is spoken by the Lozi people, primarily in southwestern Zambia and in surrounding countries. Lozi and its dialects are spoken and understood by approximately six percent of the population of Zambia. There are many Lozi speakers in the area around the city of Livingstone in Zambia.
The Lozi language developed from a mixture of two languages: Luyana and Kololo. The Luyana people originally migrated south from the Luba-Lunda empire in the Katanga area of the Congo River basin, either late in the 17th century or early in the 18th century. The language they spoke, therefore, was closely related to Luba and Lunda. They settled on the floodplains of the upper Zambezi River in what is now western Zambia and developed a kingdom, Barotseland, and also gave their name to the Barotse Floodplain or Bulozi.
The Kololo were a Sotho people who used to live in what is now Lesotho. The Kololo were forced to flee from Shaka Zulu's Mfecane during the 1830s. Using tactics they had copied from the Zulu armies, the Kololo conquered the Luyana on the Zambezi floodplains and imposed their rule and language. However, by 1864 the indigenous population revolted and overthrew the Kololo. By that time, the Luyana language had been largely forgotten; the new hybrid language is called Lozi or Silozi and is closer to Sesotho than to any other neighbouring languages in Zambia. Lozi is also spoken in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia (Caprivi Region).
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