Major General Chatterjee Comes Back

News and Views

Mauritius Times 3rd Year No 89 – Friday 20th April 1956

The Commissioner for the Government of India in Mauitius, Major General Bimanesh Chatterjee who went to New Delhi to take part in a conference of Indian Commissioners came back on Saturday last by Air France.

Quite a large number of friends and well-wishers turned up to welcome Mr Chatterjee.

We are happy to have Mr Chatterjee in our midst again and we welcome him.

* * *

At The Municipality of Port Louis

At present the Municipal Council of Port Louis is incomplete. There are only ten members instead of sixteen; six Labour councillors having resigned. To fill the vacancies, there ought to have been by-elections. But how can the authorities work with an electoral roll which, it has been proved beyond doubt, does not actually reflect the electorate of Port Louis?

Also, in view of the fact that the elections which elected the present councillors were made upon an incorrect register, the Labour Party asked the replacement of the present Council by a temporary caretaking commission pending new elections based upon a properly compiled electoral register.

Though Government opposed Labour’s request (it was an amendment) yet it went through, thus undoubtedly creating an embarrassing situation for government which became more embarrassing by the resignation of the Labour councillors.

Nevertheless on Tuesday the Governor announced that “… (Government) proposes to bring forward legislation… making it practicable to hold elections for the Municipality very much earlier than is the normal course and thus to ascertain the wishes of the electorate of Port Louis with regard to the composition of a new Municipal Council”.

Therefore, in the near future the present Council will have to make room for another one.

* * *

Mr North Coombes and the Indian Sugar Industry

In the early days of January this year a delegation of sugar technologists left Mauritius to attend a conference of International Sugar Technologists in New Delhi.

On Friday last, Mr F. North-Coombes who was chairman of the delegation gave the public an account of the work performed by the conference and also his general impressions of India.

The progress achieved by the Indian sugar industry and its high standard technique have impressed Mr Coombes so much that he formulated hopes that Mauritian sugar magnates, in their endeavour to develop the local industry, will not fail to draw inspiration from the Indians.

Mr Coombes laid stress upon the courteous hospitality and warm welcome extended to them by Indian officials wherever they went during their stay in India.

We are happy that Mr Coombes have given his impressions in public. They will no doubt dispel the impression, which many had, that India is a country of savage and superstitious people and that Indians cannot manage big industries. No doubt some people must have found it queer that Mr Coombes did not speak about people sleeping in streets and things of the sort.

 * * *

Parti Mauricien: The Party of Law and Order

The incidents that happened on Saturday last at the meeting held at the Plaine Verte Gardens by the Parti Mauricien, cannot be dismissed as mere localized frenzy. Their consequences can have several repercussions on our strained political situation.

Let us be very candid. We strongly condemn lawlessness on whichever side it occurs. But it’s only up to the Police to deal with the rowdy elements in the audience, if any. Civilization cannot tolerate that people should take the law into their hands.

Report has it that at the meeting of Saturday last one of the orators flew off the handle and made use of such language which could have caused grave disturbances.

His words were such that the atmosphere became tense. What happened on that evening will go down in the political annals as one of the most shameful and cowardly assaults we have witnessed so far in a public meeting.

It is not the first time that an orator resorts to such strong language in a public meeting. Nobody will forget that during the electoral campaign of 1953 wild speeches brought the communal feelings to a pitch. Dr Ramgoolam’s house was stoned and people at a funeral wake were assaulted.

The peace-loving public is anxious to know what actions the Police is taking to stop recurrence of such unlawful practices. Has the Police been given the assurance that such incidents which occurred during the 1953 elections and on Saturday last will not occur anymore?


*  Published in print edition on 10 November 2017

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