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              L’Union fait La Force
The UK Mauritians’
Monthly Issue No 1/17 At the service of the Mauritian community} 75p
Unity is Strength
 P.O. Box 73645 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 9EF Tel: 0773 907 2105 Email: Website: http//
      Editor: Peter Chellen (Founder & Editor of Mauritius News (1983 to 2015)
Can The UK Mauritian Gazette last another 32 years !!!
We started Mauritius News (MN) 34 years ago, precisely in November1983, but the paper itself went out of circulation in December 2015. It lasted 32 years. When we started the paper many of you were not born yet. How many will be born during the next 32 years if The UK Mauritian Gazette (The UKMG) should exist that long!
Can we take it as a challenge to make The UKMG last another 32 years? Where were we all when MN was created in November 1983? And where shall we all be when The UKMG
will mark its 32nd annivarsary! What a challenge!
In the course of time, The UKMG will be of service to many more readers, those who are
yet to be born as in 1983, the newly-created MN was to serve readers yet to come then.
As we say in the editorial below, in the next 32 years people will probably be travelling to the moon just as people are regularly flying across the oceans by planes. In those past 32 years (plus) the
digital age has completely transformed our way of life and today we cannot do without the mobile phones and the Internet.
So let us be part of this great adventure into the future.
The old Mauritius News itself has been hit by an asteroid and gone out of exisence in the UK. With your support we can keep The UKMG going long into the future. Long Live The UK Mauritius’s Gazette and Long Live The UK Mauritian community
 To UK Mauritians of all age groups, of all religious and community backgrounds
This our story
Next year, on 12 /3/18, Mauritius will celebrate 50 years of sovereignty as a nation after its release from the colonial control of mother country, Britain. The apron string was cut off and baby Mauritius was left to fend for itself in the vast Indian Ocean. Well the baby is now an adult of 50. Some believed then that the baby would be drown in the surrounding ocean. Well the country did not drown itself and is still around! It is now prosperous enough to be known as a financial centre, to be considered as a beacon to the vast African continent in spite of its small size. Have a look at the sketch map on this page, Mauritius (in red) is very tiny and the white dot next to it is the French is- land of La Réunion, considered as sister of Mauritius.
In the wake of the independence era in the 1960s, there was a genuine fear that Mauritius could sink into the Indian Ocean because the island was facing very serious problems of which overpopulation was one of them.
With barely 600 thousand people then, just over half a mil- lion, tiny Mauritius was considered overpopulated and this was exacerbated by having one of the highest birth rate in the world at the time. Moreover, Mauritius depended almost en- tirely on sugar and unemployment was rife.
Britain after losing the Jewel in the Crown, India, had decided to rid itself of its colonial vocation and began to blow the wind of change in the direction of Africa. Mauritius, geographically and because of its political alignment, is African, and was ear- marked for independence
The Chagos Archipelago
Did Mauritius have to give back to Caesar what was Caesar’s? In other words, did Mauritius have to cede Chagos to the British to obtain independence? It is to be wondered how can we give away what was not ours, one may ask. But Britain has been condemned by the International Court of Justice for dismembering Mauritius before granting the island its inde- pendence. Britain has also been condemned for the ill-treat- ment of the Chagosian people to remove them from the Archipelago, namely Diego Garcia, for a US military base.
As much as Mauritius belonged to the British, so were its de- pendencies, including the Chagos Archipelago situated about 1,000 miles from Mauritius.
The Chagos Archipelago was already theirs. Whether Mauri- tius wanted it or not Britain was going to ram independence
down its throat. Mauritius was no longer the Star and well less the Key of the Indian ocean as it was when Britain had to con- quer it from the French in 1810 to control the Indian Ocean route round the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), before the opening of the Suez Canal in 1867.
Well, independence to a country with a monocrop economy, struck terror in the hearts of many. And there was a fear of the Hindu hegemony (domination) as it was propaganded then by some politicians. The fear of economic disaster lying ahead was genuine and years before independence (1968) many began to jump overboard to swim to other shores (like the tiny rodents abandoning the sinking ship). Where to go? Well, we had to go to the mother country whether she liked it or not. The mother country was Britain
The first batch of Mauritian Migrants
We went by the French liners (Messageries Maritimes) via
Marseilles to Dover, Folkestone and by planeloads to Heathrow. Seeing those hordes of her progenitures (proge- nies) coming home from many Commonwealth countries, Mother Britain shut her door with the introduction of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act ((CIA) in 1962.
Peter Chellen
The CIA did not stop the children from coming home. Some were refused entry at ports of entry, some were detained in prison, some were repatriated, but a lot got through to become illegal immigrants without any documents (les sans-papiers,
as those in France were known, travaillant au noir) to be part of the Black Economy.
While we have been away for the past 50 years Mauritius has done well in spite of all fears. The Hindu domination never materialised, Mauritius became the rainbow nation (an ex- pression used in Mauritius first before it was adopted by South Africa). Since its release from the colonial yoke, Mauritius never looked back to ruminate over its weaknesses. Sugar Is- land moved from the status of an underdeveloped country to that of a Newly Industrialised Country (NIC). Today as a Fi- nancial Centre, Tiny Mauritius is regarded as a beacon (une phare) to the immense African continent, more so because of its democratic institutions and its observance of the Rule of Law.
Well, so much about our motherland and the land of your an- cestors. What about us here? To
sum up, the lot of the first Mau- Continued on Page 3
   The last edition of MN in Dec 2015
 Sketch map of the Indian Ocean where minute Mauritius is shown in red (a beacon?) facing the gigantic African continent. Can you spot UK?

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