ACCESS TO LAND WITHIN LE MORNE VILLAGE VICINITY: We support the struggle of inhabitants of Le Morne

For several decades inhabitants of Le Morne village have been displaced for different reasons from their living place. History records that since period of slavery in Mauritius people have been living in the place called Trou Chenille situated at the feet of the Le Morne Mountain. History also recalls that those people are legitimate descents of marooned slaves and slaves who are bearers of the history of the mountain. Such histories remind us that throughout the creation of the Mauritian society, people have been united to stand against oppressors. The different displacements of Le Morne inhabitants, often in inhuman conditions, have created irreversible damage to the collective memory of the whole Mauritian society. People who had to leave Le Morne village for other localities no longer carry this particular ancestral knowledge linked to the maroon heritage since they are now disconnected from their native environment and transmission practices. The Article 1 (b) of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention (2003) of UNESCO specifies that the purpose of this Convention is ‘ to ensure respect for the intangible cultural heritage of the communities, groups and individuals concerned (…)’ Such purpose cannot be met when objective conditions such as proper environment, appropriate socio/economic development are not gathered. Furthermore, Article 2 (1) to (4) of same Convention clearly stipulates that the backbone of intangible heritage is the people and that it lies on social practices, oral traditions, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe. How can we thus imagine the liveliness of this intangible heritage without the people and the blossoming of the people in their native environment?
Today, Le Morne village is hem in and over and above other challenging issues that need to be addressed, the villagers face a serious land access problem, growing unemployment and alarming pauperization of their village. The Le Morne village can no longer expand itself. The village finds itself caught between the sea, the mountain and lands that some individuals claim to own. The land grabbing propagation occurring in the western coast in favour of few wealthy locals and foreigners is further exacerbating the land crisis in this region. This situation causes overcrowdedness in households and various related problems and in many scenarios, younger generations found themselves forced to leave the village. This is consequently dispossessing Le Morne Village from an important aspect of its unique heritage, its people. The physical boundaries of the village are also preventing people from pursuing (long dated) agricultural development as a means of subsistence and hinder further the overall economic activities of the village. As a result, unemployment and poverty are increasing at an alarming rate.
For all the above-mentioned reasons, Rezistans ek Alternativ supports the struggle of inhabitants of Le Morne for access to land within Le Morne village vicinity. The occupation of the land situated behind the village by the villagers is a right and legitimate move and should be legalized by the government of the Republic of Mauritius. Furthermore, this demand must be addressed urgently because pecuniary private interests are ogling this living testimony of our memory, for real estate projects most probably. Failing to do so, the government of the Republic of Mauritius will fail the whole nation in the preservation of our collective memory. Failing to do so, the government of the Republic of Mauritius will show no will in addressing real issues that have to do with poverty and social inequalities, among which, access to land. Testimonies from villagers of Le Morne show that when they used to have access to land to grow food this allow them revenue and help in having a decent life. Failing to access to Le Morne villagers demand will also condemn the Republic of Mauritius in the slavery and colonial schema based on unequal repartition of land so that working class remains under the joust of a certain bourgeoisie to help them expand their wealth.


Commentaires

Kudos Rezistans! Well argued paper...deep and visionary...You are always doing good jobs..qualitatively different from other so called emerging movments..not to say traditional parties..