“Gouverner pour le peuple – avec le peuple”
Dear Sir Anerood Jugnauth
Congratulations on your election victory, but there is something you need to know. Many of us didn’t vote for you. We voted against Ramgoolam. If you had been allied with him, you would surely have been humiliated instead of Bérenger. Do we have blind faith in you? No. It was not without reason that you were crushed 60-0 in 1995. In 2000, you were given another chance, but your party failed to live up to expectations and was replaced once more. Of course, the alternative turned out to be even worse. Will you do better this time? We hope so.
While our politicians are, almost without exception, utterly corrupt and incompetent to run our country without putting our lives in unnecessary danger, they are masters of one thing: bull sh*t. Check out the report from the United Nations on the elimination of discrimination in Mauritius [link to report]. One example…
UN: “Mauritius should make every effort to ensure that women from marginalized communities had access to equal opportunities in the economic and political life of the country.”
MU Delegation: “The financing of political parties and the electoral system were being examined, with a view to making the latter more equitable especially in terms of the representation of women…[But] The Constitution did not allow for positive discrimination because it advocated for the equality of all citizens.”
Nowhere is the classic line from George Orwell’s socialist parody, Animal Farm, more true than Mauritius: “All animals are equal – but some are more equal than others”. Surely the fact that women in general, and those from disadvantaged communities in particular, are so poorly represented in the National Assembly is incontrovertible evidence of an extremely prejudiced, patriarchal society? Either Mauritian men are far superior to our women or discrimination is systemic. The chosen few help their friends, family and fellow freemasons with every discretionary decision that they make.
How do we bring about social justice for the downtrodden? Is it possible without first slaughtering the pigs?
[To the tune of dIre sTraits “Brothers in Arms”
Dedicated to Anjalay Coopen, Kaya and Berger Agathe]
These mist covered mountains
Are home now for We
And so are the lowlands
And even the Sea
We promise they’ll give you
Their fields and their farms
You’ll no longer burn to avenge
Your dead sister in arms
Through the streets of destruction
Baptisms of fire
We witnessed your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though you were hurt so bad
In fear and alarm
We left you alone there
Oh brothers in arms Continue reading
Since the start of the reign of the current Prime Minister, human rights and the rule of law have been steadily eroded. In no year has this been more apparent to us than 2011.
Freedom of Expression
On 17th October, Dharmanand Dooharika, editor of the weekly Samedi Plus was sentenced to three months imprisonment for publishing, on 14th August 2010, the views of Dev Hurnam who questioned the independence of a supreme court judge. The editor was accused of “publicly scandalising the supreme court” and “bringing the administration of justice into disrepute”. He was denied bail pending appeal and incarcerated on 20th October in the main prison. (A full report has been prepared by the Committee to Protect journalists). On 31st October, the same day that we made intercession to the President on his behalf, the DPP performed a u-turn and removed his objection to bail. Continue reading
It is a great honour and privilege for us to welcome Mervyn Anthony as our guest author. He is a very courageous individual, who is “undoubtedly one of the most outstanding deaf, physically challenged and speech impaired with mild dysarthria, keynote speakers and seminar leaders in the world”.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: IT IS HIGH TIME TO IMPLEMENT THE UNITED NATION CONVENTION ON RIGHTS FOR DISABLED IN MAURITIUS! Continue reading
There is no denying that certain Mauritians accumulated their wealth through the exploitation of labour. Once the African slaves were freed by the sugar estates, they were replaced by impoverished indentured labourers from India. Rather than pay higher salaries more labour was imported, ensuring that supply outstripped demand.
In the 1980s the textile sector was introduced to the country and gave jobs to many of our women folk. Did this emancipate them or exploit them as they were exempt from the workers rights that men enjoyed? Whichever the case, history repeated itself when they expected better pay. They were replaced by foreign workers from countries whose citizens were more desperate than our own. What is shameful is that such a high level of exploitation exists today. Continue reading
Here is our take. What do you think?
By 2025, Mauritius will be a global leader in terms of quality of life. Our economy will serve this goal by providing equal opportunities and fair rewards in return for meaningful contribution to our collective well-being and supplying the highest quality goods and services to the world. Our society will provide security for every citizen, including food, shelter, health and personal safety. We will also enjoy the fullest freedoms of religion, expression and relationships, while respecting the rights and sensitivities of others and preserving and celebrating our diverse heritages. Our government will be transparent, accountable and inclusive, rivalling those of traditional democracies and our legal system and human rights record will be second to none. Our systems of education, training and development will be the best in Africa, permitting each of us to explore ourselves, discover our talents and achieve our full potential in any field, at any age. Our unique environment and biodiversity will be cherished, protected and, where possible, restored to its original pristine state, with each citizen and visitor enjoying equal rights of access and responsibility for its care. Above all, we will be a model of sustainability, ensuring that future generations enjoy a quality of life at least as great as our own and inspiring other nations by our example.