Letters

Readers’ Response/ Opinion   

To Our Readers   

Your views are of interest to us. They help us balance the argument in the correct perspective. We welcome you to draw our attention to anything or opinion expressed in the Mauritius Times (or any national or international event of interest) with which you agree from your own angle or disagree due to a different appreciation of facts.  

We will gratefully receive your communications at the email address: 

mtimes@intnet.mu   

We may decide to publish your comments or the relevant parts thereof if we consider that they will help our readers better understand specific contexts and maintain MT as the foremost and most balanced analytical newspaper of the country. 

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Rejoinder to R.V.’s “Undermining Public Confidence in Justice”  

We have received a rejoinder from Dev Hurnam in reply to our contributor R.V.’s article published last week — “Undermining Public Confidence in Justice” — wherein Mr Hurnam states: “I am in total agreement with the first paragraph of the aforesaid article and his citation in the second paragraph. But I take exception to his reference to the IBA’s inaction and that the present higher judiciary ‘has fulfilled its responsibilities in a highly commendable manner since independence’.”

Legal advice received at this office has cautioned us against the publication of the rejoinder in toto as it may contain defamatory material.

Editor 

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Of Witch Doctors
Wonderfully elaborated write-up of Del Fuego in your edition of Friday 6 Aug 10. While going through his “Of NRPT and Witch Doctors”, one cannot stop flashes of an earlier editorial of MT coming to my mind. There was a cautionary note and tone alerting us that beneath the rosily worked-out broad policies of the former Finance minister, the devil/s could be couched in the details.

Indeed the devils were nestling in the details and at present they keep nibbling at our receding net income, after the changes brought to the tax regime by the former minister. The immediate fallout of such changes was the massive fiscal and monetary benefits oozing to the “Gros Capital” — obviously to the detriment of the middle class.

The invisible marketing reach of the biggies created the perception and oversold the Minister in their favoured section of the written media as the Brightest Brain in government, at times even as the only brain! The middle class may seem voiceless in comparison to the reach and pull of the “Gros Capital”, but it definitely is not mindless! Let us hope that the new Minister of Finance wastes no time in reversing all those harmful policies before even beginning to “democratise the economy.” 

Ashock C. Ram
Port Louis 

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Good Balance

As a regular reader of your paper, I wish to commend you for the balanced mix of articles that you offer to your readers every week. Quite appropriately, you have a page 9 which makes one relax after going through the more serious and meticulous analyses of the previous pages where you cover a range of social, cultural, economic and developmental issues among others. They give a different slant and perspective than is to be found locally.

Like many other readers of MT that I know, we savour the contents at leisure over the ensuing week until we get the next issue in our hands.

I particularly enjoyed the jokes and lifestyle contents of page 9 in your issue of 30th July.

Please continue the good work! And thank you. 

Aditya
Curepipe 

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Proselytism

I refer to the article by KRJ YASH in your issue of 30 July 2010 and am enclosing this extract from The Economist of 31 July 2010 about Morocco’s stand on the evangelical Christians, which should be drawn to the attention of Mauritian authorities and your readers. 

“Morocco’s evangelical Christians

“Stop preaching or get out 

“The king is unamused by Christians who proselytise 

“Evangelical Christians in the poor world are rarely accused of undermining public order. All the more surprising, then, that in recent months around a hundred have been deported from Morocco for just that. The Christians, mostly from the United States and Europe, have been accused of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, a crime punishable by imprisonment under Moroccan law, which protects the freedom to practise one’s faith but forbids any attempt to convert others.

“Rules against proselytising are quite common in Muslim countries but Morocco has long enjoyed a reputation as a bastion of religious tolerance in the region. Almost all the country’s 32m citizens are Sunni Muslims but churches and synagogues exist, alongside mosques, to cater for the 1% of the people who are Christian or Jewish.

“Such open-mindedness presumably appealed to the Christian missionaries who ran the “Village of Hope” home for children 80km (50 miles) south of Fez, a former capital known for religion and scholarship. The 16 aid-workers had cared for abandoned children for over a decade when, in March, the Moroccan authorities sent inspectors to the orphanage, then gave the workers a few days’ notice to leave the country. Witnesses reported distraught farewells between the Moroccan children and the foreigners who had acted as foster parents.

“Morocco’s communications minister, Khaled Naciri, said the missionaries “took advantage of the poverty of some families and targeted their young children”. The aid-workers deny pumping the children with Christianity. But sympathisers say that even if they did, a few hours of preaching was a small price to pay for education and pastoral care. There have been further expulsions since then, most recently of an evangelical Spanish teacher.

“Local residents are quick to point out that it is not only Christians who have been targets; last year a similar campaign was waged against Morocco’s even smaller population of Shia Muslims. But the motivation for the crackdowns is probably political more than religious. Morocco’s constitution is based on the hereditary position of the king as “commander of the faithful”. Any drift of Muhammad VI’s subject away from the dominant stream of moderate Sunni Islam might, his advisers fear, diminish his authority.

“The American branch of an evangelical organisation, Open Doors, which speaks up for persecuted Christians across the world, is backing a campaign by a Republican congressman, Frank Wolf, to press the Moroccans to be kinder to the evangelicals. Seeing that Morocco is one of America’s closest Arab allies, the American administration has been notably silent.” 

SK Kumar
Port Louis

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