It took the immolation of one man , the internet and some very angry people , the Jasmine Revolution was born. He has been in power for more than 20 years and they got rid of him in a few days , his name is Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali (Ex President of Tunisia). Just like an innocent woman called Rosa Parks provoked the Civil Rights Movement in America , another previously unknown individual called Mohamed Bouazizi has managed to touch the heart of many from Sidi Bouzid.Is the slogan “Power to the People back” , may be .While some commentators took the view that the protests in Tunisia will not spill across the borders , the effect that the international community feared most happened.
Now,Egypt is faced with the “Mummy Revolution” and Hosni Mubarak is fearing that scenes from the “The Mummy Returns” are turning into reality on the streets of Cairo. The momentum of the “people movement” is sending chilling signals down the spine of many corrupt African leaders. This could actually mark the beginning of a cleaning up politics process throughout Africa. If it can happen in Tunisia after 20 years of dictatorship or Egypt after 30 years of dictatorship ,it can happen anywhere. We owe it to one man called Mohamed Bouazizi of Sidi Bouzid. Ben Ali , Hosni Mubarak , …..who is the next African Leader to be ousted. You should start betting.
After a long and well deserved break,the undercoverdodo is back feeling refreshed.But,the effects of my ever increasing sipping of camomille tea and my break did not last very long.When I spotted the words of Choonee , even my dog could notice the storm of fury lurking around the house, so Dom Perignon (the dog) made a smooth exit.Mauritius does not and will never belong to the vaish community or any other specific ethnic groups.Mauritius belongs to any individuals born on the island.There is no such right as the right to govern a country or even the right to be a Prime Minister. Anyone on the island can and should aspire to be in government. The words of choonee have been condemned by only two prominent individuals namely the leader of the opposition and the Prime Minister.The rest got no balls ( except Amnesty). Even the Deputy Prime Minister Pravind is sitting on the fence regading this issue. Is he condoning the words of Mr Choonee ? Where is the President of the Republic in all that fiasco ?. Perhaps the Jugnauths are busy having tea and samosas in The Château of Réduit.
For the sake of decency and integrity , choonee should step down as Minister or else the population should act like Alan Sugar in the boardroom …You are fired Choonee.And I should add , bon débarras .
The great Houdini escaped from The Chinese Water Torture Cell more than once. I thought only Houdini can make a great escape but I was wrong , wrong and wrong. I am still banging my head against the wall because I thought Houdini was invincible. Now, I realised even Cehl Meeah can do it, he is not Harry Houdini and will never be. I will not provoke a trial by bloggers on what Mr Meeah did or did not. However, there is a bleak and cancerous picture that should be highlighted , sexual offences cases particularly under 16.The Mauritian Press is obsessed with stories involving sex.They make a feast of this sad state of affairs by describing every single detail of a sexual assault. The Press is not the diary of Belle De Jour and should not be. Even today, the rape of a 14 year old girl was reported with the identity revealed through the back doors.
The number of sexual assault cases reported on a weekly basis sends chills down my spine. The scenarios being displayed are like the scenes from the movie SAW II with one individual down at every stage and a very grim end. Unlike Saw II , this is the true picture of the Mauritian Society. A very shocking and disturbing scene is slowly emerging from our society. We are approaching a very dangerous line where sexual offences are being normalised and a pool of paedophiles is growing. Since 2004, the number of sexual offences reported has been on the rise and I am particularly concerned with the number of sexual offences under 16. In 2008 , 156 cases of sexual offences under 16 were reported and only 9 juveniles were involved. The rest were adults. This is outrageous.
I have chosen the reported figures instead of figures showing the convictions for two reasons: most sexual offences are not reported because of the social stigma attached to it and our judicial system is corrupt. I am much more concerned about the rise of sexual offences under 16. A proportion of our adults has to go through sex therapy to become sexually responsible.Introducing a sex offenders register where all the sex offenders are named and shamed will be a way to keep the perverts away.However, the government should also provide a lot of support to the victims of sexual offences both pre and post trial. Victims of sexual offences should be cross examined through video conferencing rather than being in court. Tougher legislation will also help but families should inculcate their kids or teenagers to always be cautious and not to be afraid to report their attackers. However, striking conversation with our teenagers is fundamental to prevent a surge of sexual offences. It is important to explain to teenagers that there is no such thing as a league to become more promiscuous. And, the press should be more responsible by not disclosing the identity of a victim.
While Cehl has managed to do a great escape, I hope he is the last one. But, we all know what happened to Pavlov’s dog , the mere sound of the bell left the dog drooling.
Is Navin Ramgoolam our Prime Minister a deluded individual ? . Adopting a patronizing stance , we were called dirty because our streets are not clean. It is deeply offensive and insulting. Perhaps, he should remind us the following :the number of bins on the streets , how to recycle our garbage and most importantly what happened to the tacky pieces of plastic hugging our trees. I forgot the avalanche of flowery posters on the walls across the island during his political campaign. We shall take no lessons from you prime minister. Mauritius is not Singapore , we will never be and we will never try to be one. Parallel to Singapore enjoying a sound economic prosperity , there is a constant curb on the freedom of expression.Your admiration for Singapore seems to be for the wrong reasons. We say no to economic prosperity at the expense of civil liberties.Moreover, unlike china we repudiate the idea of having our google.mu being manipulated.
The PM relentless compulsive obsession towards controlling the media and freedom of expression is revolting. Over the next few days , the PM will meet Geoffrey Robertson a leading lawyer and writer of an amazing book called “The Justice Game”. I will strongly recommend the honourable PM to read the chapter dedicated to the “cash for questions affair” where Mr Robertson was representing the Guardian Newspaper for publishing the story. Get your homework done. Instead of waging war against the Media, bring the Freedom of Information Act so that we can kick some corrupt members of parliament out.I cannot wait to witness the introduction of that piece of legislation on our statute books.
I hope the PM visit in London will bring sense in him to stop his Klu Klux Klan journey against our basic fundamental human rights. In the meantime, the PM should enjoy his visit in London because it will be very hot,if he can stand the heat. Perhaps some sangria and tapas will enable our bamboozled PM to refresh his ideas.
One last thing, PM get your hands off on our freedom of expression.I forgot to add the word please or should I.
So far, so much ink has flooded on the world cup games with predictions for the winner firing from every corner of the earth. The bafana bafana does not have world class players and they are not the greatest team in the world.However, their built up to the game and their team spirit is inspiring.Before each game , all the players starts singing injecting some relaxed elements in their game.Being the underdogs has strengthened their fighting spirit on the pitch. Today could be their last game but hats off to them to bring pride to Africa. Start singing , get the vuvuzela out and may the Bafana Bafana bring some entertainment on the African soil.
This is unrelated to my blog but as an active supporter of human rights I had to make an exception. Today the lady of Burma is celebrating her 65th birthday. It is also a stark reminder that she has been under house arrest for 15 years for her beliefs in freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It takes one individual to disagree and act , history begins.
Join the Free Burma Campaign
Following the arrest of Mr Sithanen, is it time for more politicians to be arrested unnecessarily to highlight a disfunctional judiciary and a government submissive police force. The case of Sithanen provoked a sudden awakening that the legislation regarding arrestable offences is in need of reform. Hence, the law reform commission will conduct a study about the future of the said legislation. If only some of us were called Sithanen, then we would have been a messiah for law reforms. A knee jerk reaction towards law reforms should be avoided by the government. Bringing more or new legislations will not miraculously provide a remedy to the problem.
We need plain common sense not some complex expensive solution. In 1951, Sir Hartley Shawcross said in a House of Commons debate that suspected criminal offences must not automatically be subject to prosecution. He further adds that prosecution is necessary if “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”. Consequently, this formed the basis of the public interest test.It is a practice which has been adopted by the Crown Prosecution Service in the U.K over half a century. The incompetent State Law Office and ineffective police force should embark on a thorough thinking process to deal with any similar circumstances in the future.
Without leaping enthusiastically to Sithanen’s defence , it does not serve the public interest to prosecute him otherwise my father would have probably being in jail for shouting at me down the phone. May be my mother too, I think she would have had a lengthier sentence than my father.