AHMAD MACKY

… And yet more has to be done to achieve the complete takeover of our territory to mark the success of our sovereignty. Regarding the American military base in Diego Garcia, if Mauritius, from what we are told, is not too keen to ask the Americans to vacate Diego Garcia, it should at least fight to get a regular allowance from the American tenancy. Since the International Court of Justice in The Hague has given an advisory opinion that Chagos Archipalego is part of the sovereignty of Mauritius, the government of Mauritius has a “locus standi” and is entitled to put a claim for a regular tenancy income from the USA as tenant using Diego Garcia.

The Constitutional conference for the future of Mauritius as a British Colony was held in Lancaster House, London, in 1965 where a delegation of some prominent members of the Mauritius Legislative Council participated in that historical conference at Lancaster House in London before the then British PM Harold Wilson.

History reveals that most Mauritians feared for Mauritius to achieve Independence as in those days there were lots of mistrust between various communities living on the island. Let us not forget also that at that time in Mauritius lobbies for and against Independence were rife. The country itself was in a state of tension where the slightest spark of communal provocation could ignite a racial brawl. Certain irresponsible politicians tried to exploit that tense situation to make matters worse for the country. Some 44% of the population was against Independence.

Sir Anerood Jugnauth remains one of the last of the Mohicans who know a lot about the deal between Wilson and Ramgoolam and is the only surviving witness of the Chagos historical episode. There were even top confidential discussions between Dr. Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and British PM Harold Wilson about the excision of Chagos to which some delegates were not invited including Anerood Jugnauth.

Harold Wilson strongly told the Mauritian delegates either they return to Mauritius empty handed without the thought of Independence or accept the excision of Diego Garcia and a quick Independence for Mauritius. Dr. Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was forced to accept the second option and was given a compensation of £ 3M to hand over Chagos. The Chagossians were afterwards literally uprooted from their islands in the dark by the British who thus violated the human rights of the United Nations. Gun shots were heard across the island where all their domestic animals and pets were killed before the Chagossians were put on the boat to Mauritius.

Today, the outcome of the trial of the International Court of Justice in The Hague has brought people and politicians from all sides in a sort of consensus and solidarity because fighting for right of the Chagossians and of our Sovereignty are well above party politics. The Chagossians have won a battle and there is still the war to be won! The International Court of Justice has corrected great injustice done to the Chagossians by the British.

There is a feeling of hope and a feel-good factor across the country today where the government has scored lots of good points and are no doubt in the good books of the majority of our population due to the positive outcome verdict of the International Court of Justice at The Hague on that Monday 25th February 2019 which also coincided with the victory of the PM at the Privy Council. These events will no doubt go down in history for generations to come.

But the government should not shout victory too quick and have to be cautious! However, the government should beware of the ides of March and listen to what some political soothsayers are saying about the political strategies of certain Opposition parties in an endeavour to subdue and ruin the PM and his team. A slight miscalculation, or error of judgment of the government on his political strategy can be fatal to its future. For instance, such mistakes as dissolving parliament before its time and give an anticipated election could lead to a political catastrophe.