Democracy Watch Mauritius

Par DWM Team

Inhabitants of outer islands: Agalega and Chagos

Text: Meeting of the Group Les Amis d’Agalega (AMA) on 14th April 24 in Roche-Bois. Examining the huge developments done in Agalega by India (namely the jetty and airport), the group notes that almost nothing of the actions to meet the needs of Agaleans have been implemented. Amongst the proposed actions as part of a comprehensive development package, ESSENTIAL for the inhabitants of Agalega is a fundamental one, namely the re-issue birth certificates to all these children of Agaleens born in Mauritius (Pregnant Agalean women travel to Mauritius to give birth) and which as of now do NOT indicate Agalega as origin. Thereby a deliberate if not ‘genocidal’ action to gradually reduce the number of Agaleans to zero! Re issue of birth certificates, leading to immediate access to all those, now living in Mauritius, to Agalega as Agaleans.

Comments of DWM: We learn from L‘Express (of 3rd May 2024, page 13) and from the Guardian (UK) that the extracts of birth certificates of Chagossians were modified (by direct order of the Mauritius Government?) TO REMOVE CHAGOS and REPLACE it by MAURITIUS. Thereby denying them their rights of being from Chagossians. And apparently “to make assurance double sure” of that malpractice, the names of their parents ALSO removed from the new birth certificates.

For several actions such as obtaining a new passport, opening a bank account etc, people have to present a birth certificates less than 3 months old, which gives the authorities the occasion to have made these illegal/unethical alterations.

These apparently simple, administrative actions by Mauritius may be to gradually reduce the number of Agaleans and Chagossians to zero!

Law and Order Issue

The Law and Order issue is once again occupying the centre stage in the daily life of the Mauritius population. The accumulation of cases of murder, rapes, thefts, wounds and blows, domestic violence, drug trafficking, white collar crime, gang attacks, etc is more frightening and weighs heavily on the morale of the people.

Democracy Watch, in its earlier bulletins, raised its concern and offered a few solutions, but they fell on deaf ears. One suggestion was to advise the Commissioner of Police to urgently address the nation and assure the public that remedial measures were effectively envisaged to restore public confidence in our institutions. As it is, the government has its own way of dealing with the situation, leaving everything in the hands of the Prime Minister and the Commissioner of Police. The Prime Minister has, in fact, confirmed in Parliament that he regularly meets the Commissioner of Police to discuss Law and Order. However, the lack of bold and decisive actions has resulted in a growing number of criminal activities all over the island.

What else can we do to prod the Government to act? We can only rely on all our institutions to function in all fairness and transparency and in line with the good governance norms. We can also learn from other countries facing similar Law and Order problems. In the past, Democracy Watch mentioned some good governance practices adopted elsewhere as a guide for the government.

We wish to mention two recent cases which may give us food for thought. In India, the Chief Justice recently addressed judges and magistrates of lower courts on bail decisions. He expressed his concern over the increasing number of bail cases brought before the Supreme Court as the lower courts in many cases dragged their feet and did not make timely determination. The Chief Justice asked the magistrates and judges to put aside the pressure that might be exerted by external forces and act independently and WITHOUT FEAR. The wakeup call from the Chief Justice will no doubt be beneficial to the Indian Judiciary. This is an example to follow.

The second case which caught our attention involves a former Prime Minister, Mr Voreqe Bainimarama and Mr Sithiveni Qiliho, a former Commissioner of Police of Fiji. Last week, the former Prime Minister was found guilty of obstructing the course of justice as he had instructed the former Chief of Police not to investigate allegations of financial mismanagement at the University of South Pacific, one of the top academic institutions of the region. The acting Chief Justice, Mr Satesi Temo, sentenced both accused to one and two years jail, respectively and stressed that anyone, whoever he or she may be, breaking the law should be brought to account. How inspiring!

Can the strict application of the accountability framework help in dealing energetically with our Law and Order issues? Hope we still have time.

Étranges similitudes entre tirage au sort et expulsions parlementaires

Texte : Assemblée Nationale « Assirvaden maintient ses allégations quant au trucage du tirage au sort des questions parlementaires. Il est expulsé et suspendu pour six séances » (Mauricien du 8.5.2024)

Commentaire de Democracy Watch : Notre population ne peut s’empêcher de trouver d’étranges similitudes entre le tirage au sort des interpellations parlementaires et les expulsions d’élus du peuple. Ce sont pratiquement toujours les mêmes qui curieusement arrivent en première position. La démocratie exige, peut-être, que tout arbitrage protège davantage le faible, devant affronter l’omnipotence du plus fort, sans s’écarter pour autant des voies de la justice la plus élémentaire. Sommes-nous toujours dans le temple suprême de la démocratie mauricienne ? Peut-on même envisager une discrimination positive en faveur des questions de l’opposition ? La population attend impatiemment les réponses ministérielles à leurs questions qui sont aussi les siennes. On pourrait tout autant diviser le temps alloué aux questions adressées à Pravind Kumar et à ses ministres, avec une durée plus grande à l’opposition aux dépens de la majorité. Les backbenchers disposent d’autres instances partisanes pour obtenir les réponses ministérielles désirées.

Évaluation du mandat – Réalisations et manquements

Texte : Steven Obeegadoo : Pa ziz nou lors cozé… Ziz nou lor sé ki finn fer (Mauricien du 11.5.2024)

“Any outgoing government will surely list the NUMEROUS REALISATIONS they have achieved during their mandate (in this case that of the MSM in 2019-24). We invite that outgoing government to ALSO undertake a serious evaluation of these 5 years and list the ERRORS/BAD DECISIONS TAKEN. And before coming to the electorate to ask for another 5 years to ADMIT AND CORRECT THESE ERRORS” (DWM, 26.2.24)

Commentaire de Democracy Watch : Très juste commentaire du ministre Obeegadoo. Pareille invitation ne se décline pas.  Dès aujourd’hui nous invitons les électeurs, observateurs politiques et la presse à passer en revue les faits et gestes du gouvernement MSM de 2019-24. Autant pour lister ses nombreuses réalisations positives QUE pour lister ses manquements et mauvaises décisions, avec évidemment la promesse électorale de ne pas répéter ses erreurs en 2024-2029, si-réélu, et la correction de ces mauvaises décisions avant la fin du présent mandat (par exemple les contrats médicamenteux octroyés à des privilégiés sous couvert de Covid-19,  l’arbitre parlementaire devenant le 12e équipier de l’équipe ministérielle, les avions d’Air Mauritius cloués sur le tarmac,  la guerre des gangs qui repart de plus belle, les rapports de l’Audit jamais autant snobés, le gaspillage des fonds publics se chiffrant pas milliards, le handling du naufrage du Wakashio, l’accaparement de la MTC, etc…)

Non seulement corriger ses erreurs, mais dans ce mouvement d’ÉVALUATION DES DÉPUTÉS et MINISTRES SORTANTS, de prendre cela en considération en nous proposant une nouvelle assiette de candidats.