Privatising our patrimoine

In 2007, our “democratising the economy” Government introduced the Aquatic Business Activities Bill which would have paved the way for the privatisation of our coastal lands, lagoons and inshore waters. Our friends at Kalipso ferociously opposed this legislation and it was shelved. However, its essential elements were sneaked into law as part of the Finance Act 2008 (Miscellaneous Provisions). Finance Acts are supposed to be for annual budgetary measures, but this one amended the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act (2007) to permit vast tracts of sea to be leased for aquaculture.

The privatisation of our collective heritage continues apace with the construction of ever more hotels to chase the self-destructive dream of 2 million tourist arrivals per year. Our challenge to the Ministry of Tourism about this suicidal policy remains unanswered. First, the northern islets were leased at heavily discounted rates to concessionaires (who just happened to be the ruling parties’ political agents) and now they are being gifted with areas of public beach on the mainland.

We actively oppose the giving away of public land, especially after one of our own directors suffered an unprovoked aggravated assault at the hands (and feet) of the “security guards” on Ilot Gabriel. Now we are asking you to support us, either morally, by spreading the news, or physically by joining us in peaceful protests (yes, in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi). Because the agents of political parties are protected by their masters, it is difficult to prosecute them for their crimes via normal channels (the police and Director of Public Prosecutions). That is why we are preparing a test case: the private prosecution of the Commissioner of Police for perverting the course of justice. We would appreciate any financial support you can offer for this.

Please donate directly to our account with Bramer Bank, Account name: “WeLuvMu”, Account number: 11-1578.

Note that we are a registered charity, regulated by the MRA and Companies’ Division. We operate at levels of transparency and accountability unmatched by any other NGO in Mauritius. Our accounts are available on-line for your perusal. The Ministry of Finance effectively cut off our main sources of private sector funding by refusing to approve us as an NGO for the CSR Fund because we advised them it was poorly conceived. To date, donations received this year amount to a measly Rs1000. We are in the process of fighting this injustice via every possible means. In the event that normal channels fail, we issue this final warning to those responsible: “Few escape justice. None escape vengeance.”

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One thought on “Privatising our patrimoine

  1. Pingback: Fight the good fight « We Love Mauritius' Blog

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