Readers’ Response/ Opinion
To Our Readers
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Your country was once the ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’
Freed from Slavery and Servitude
It became the first independent Black Republic
Two centuries ago
You had your legendary hero, a visionary man
Toussaint Louverture had a great dream
A beautiful dream for Haiti and its people
During brief intervals
Of growth and stability
The rich and the famous came
To indulge in Port-au-Prince…
But my God! How you suffered
in the last two hundred years!
At the hands of the French colons and the Metropole
who sought compensation after the abolition of slavery
At the hands of the Americans the new arch enemy
And the big loan sharks that grounded Haiti in abject poverty…
How you suffered from the dictatorship of Papa Doc and Baby Doc
and the Tonton Macoutes
the so-called ‘zombies raised from the dead’
To terrorise you and your children
We know they were not zombies
But thugs who killed in total impunity
And had nothing to do with voodoo culture
In new clothes others came
To continue the spoliation
and spoke of democracy and national unity
Other corrupt politicians
Who plunged Haiti into a vicious circle of crippling debt
Endless violence and calamitous deforestation
Then the natural disasters and the interminable catastrophes
Cyclones followed by a series of flooding not so long ago
And today this unimaginable and deadly earthquake!
How many have died?
The death toll keeps on rising
Two hundred thousand may have perished
Mostly buried under concrete
How many more are injured and maimed and scarred for life?
How long will it take for the wounds to heal?
Will they ever heal?
In this day and age when
other planets can be reached
Who would have imagined that
it would be difficult to bring you water!
To prevent yet more unnecessary deaths
by dehydration this time!
We understand your suffering
We share in your pain and desperation
We hope you will recover soon
from this terrible, terrible disaster!
Noor Adam Essack
Candidats pères et fils (2)
J’apprécie comme il se doit les commentaires de votre collaborateur LEX à la petite note que je vous avais adressée la semaine dernière. Je tiens tout d’abord à assurer ce collaborateur qu’il n’était nullement de mon intention de polémiquer sur la question. Je tenais tout simplement à relever certains faits de notre histoire politique récente.
Qu’il me soit néanmoins permis de signaler que l’ancien président français, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing a, si je ne m’abuse, sollicité un mandat électif après avoir quitté les plus hautes fonctions de la république française. Je préfère pour ma part laisser à l’électeur le soin de choisir son représentant plutôt que de lui imposer des critères autres que le bulletin de vote.
Sincerely, I was expecting to read about the views of Mr Renaud Marie on the two issues raised but regrettably I have been disappointed.
On the case he has made out concerning President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, I have to point out that we do not operate in the French system of politics, which is far remote from our system. We operate purely in the Westminster system and the comparison does not stand. I do agree that at the end of the day, the electorate will have to choose, but as electors, we have our views which we express through what we write.
Mauritius & tourism
Tourism minister for Tourism, Xavier-Luc Duval,spoke very highly of our tourist industry in a recent speech (Le mauricien 15 Jan 10): “Tous ce s efforts, rappelle enfin le ministre, ont été couronnés à Londres en novembre dernier lors de la cérémonie des World Travel Awards lorsque Maurice a été élue Leading Island Destination in the World”. We are all glad at this news. “Pour ce qui est de l’avenir, il prévoit qu’en 2010, nous franchirons la barre d’un million de tourists.” This is again very nice for the economic development of our little country. Those involved deserve all the praises. He speaks of: “1) l’accessibilité ; 2) la visibilité ; et 3) l’attractivité,” as a foundation stone for the tourist industry. This is all wonderful; however, one key ingredient is missing, and that is protection of the tourists from all types of theft, burglary and attacks on them while in our country. Unless those visiting our beautiful island are protected the Minister’s vision may not be achieved. The country will be all the poorer; already there are reports in our daily papers of the way the tourists are treated by certain groups of our own citizens. The quicker steps are taken to redress the situation the better for all concerned.
Responsible people in Mauritius are saying that we are neglecting all human values; our society is degenerating. Some sociologists too have been saying the same thing for quite some time now. Yet despite all efforts by some well-meaning individuals and groups no change seems to be on the horizon.
The presisident of the Union of Post Office Workers (UPOW), Ootesh Ramcharitar, noted in the same paper: « Actuellement, notre société est malade, en parlant de la criminalité montante à Maurice et aussi du mauvais comportement des Mauriciens, particulièrement de certains jeunes. » Our society is sick. All of us are responsible for the state of this sickness. Let’s get started. Assist our police force to catch and apprehend those who are giving us a bad name. Law and order is everybody’s business in a civilized society. Corruption must be eradicated from top down. Our top leaders must be seen to be taking the right decisions to ensure our safety, and we must back them up in this move.
Moreover politicians must not play to the gallery to win votes; stronger measures for punishment by the courts must be instituted. It is high time our leaders take note and ensure our country is made safe for all if we wish to play a prominent role on the world stage.
Instead of tourists flocking to the island they will be keeping away resulting in the loss of much needed revenue to our country. The news is spreading like wildfire that Mauritius is too dangerous a destination to spend one’s holidays there. Overseas Mauritians themselves are feeling ashamed to talk of their country as a suitable place for tourists. So, be warned; don’t take things for granted. Do everything possible to change the impression you are giving to the outside world.
Dr David B.Lingiah