LALIT, together with the Committee of the Centre Idriss Goomany and the Association Jeunes de Phoenix, held a Film-Debate in support of the people of Palestine on Tuesday 6 September at 8:00pm. Some 250 people attended, mainly invited by the Association Jeunes de Phoenix, but also through LALIT and CIG invitations. After holding Film-Debates in Plaine Verte, GRNW, La Tour Koenig, it was the turn of Phoenix, at the Sir Abdool Razack Mohamed Hall. Speakers were Imran Dhunoo and Ally Lazer for the CIG and Alain Ah-Vee and Ragini Kistnasamy for LALIT, with a Chair from the Association Jeunes de Phoenix. Former President of the Republic, Cassam Uteem, was also on the panel, as guest speaker. He linked the history of Palestine from the time of the Balfour Declaration of 11 September 1917, where the British promised land that was not theirs to the bourgeois leadership of the then tiny Zionist movement, to the present day, when Israel continues to smother Gaza and destroy the West Bank, leaving exiles by the million excluded from their homes. The film shown was “The Caged Bird’s Song”, a short film that chronicles life under occupation as it affects young people, high school students and university students as their graduation day nears. All speakers put emphasis on the need to continue opposing any Israeli diplomatic representation in Mauritius until the end of occupation, and the need to maintain pressure on the Government even after its decision to accord the Palestinian State diplomatic representation, and to vote for the UN resolution recognising the State of Palestine.
The meeting took place at the same time as the recently disclosed WikiLeaks cables from the US ambassadors in Port Louis to their bosses begin to unveil the constant heavy-handed pressure brought to bear on the Mauritian Government to vote the same as the US in the United Nations. The US ambassadors deplore a mere 8% vote “co-incidence” (as they call it) with the US. At present some 200 pages are being studied by LALIT Central Committee members, so as to make an over-all evaluation of the US’s tactics. Clearly with the Palestine issue as well as the coming rental contract between the UK and US for the military base on Diego Garcia (what is referred to as the “thief and receiver of stolen good contract” in Mauritius) at latest 2016, the USA is very active in Mauritius, through its various representatives and agents. Scholarships for academics are being awarded liberally, and one Pentagone man is none other than Mauritian ex-journalist, Nad Sivaramen who was Editor in Chief of L’Express Dimanche and who still writes in L’Express Weekly and L’Express Online, without any mention by the newspapers that he is employed by the military arm of US imperialism at a time when it occupies Mauritius!
In this context, the analyses of the speakers at the Film-Debate were crucial to peoples’ understanding of Israel’s role as US gendarme in the Middle East. Alain Ah-Vee and Ragini Kistnasamy shared their experiences with everyone present.
There were also informal contacts around an exhibition put on by the Jeunes de Phoenix. One woman present had visited Palestine in 1966, before the 6-day war, and said to LALIT members that she was shocked at the state of destruction she saw in a recent visit to Palestine.
The mobilization continues.