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Letter of Protest re Government-linked Contract with Israeli Firm

20.12.2017

A delegation of LALIT members went to hand-deliver a letter to the Vice Prime Minister and Energy Minister, Ivan Collendavelloo, today 20 December, calling on him to find ways to rescind the contract with an Israeli firm for fibre-optics for broad band. The new US position on Jerusalem as capital of Israel is a prompt to every Government, including the MSM-ML one, to tighten up its contribution towards isolating the Apartheid State that Israel has become, as it continues to colonize Palestine with impunity.


 Ragini Kistnasamy and Alain Ah-Vee, who have both been to Palestine as part of international support brigades to witness the nature of the military occupation the Israeli State metes out to Palestinians, were part of the delegation, together with Rada Kistnasamy and Rajni Lallah.


 Here is the content of the letter:


 


19 December, 2017.


Dear Sir,


We are writing you this letter to call on you as Minister of Energy and Public Utilities to put in place procedures for CEB through its subsidiary company FiberNet Co Ltd to start at once looking for alternatives to replace the Israeli firm ECI Telecom Ltd that, against all principles, got this contract.


It is outrageous that the CEB is relying on an Israeli firm for this sensitive work. ECI Telecom Ltd should never have been awarded the tender for “high speed broadband to internet service providers through its island-wide fiber optic cable network” in the first place. ECI Telecom Ltd turns Mauritius, as a State, through the CEB and in turn through its subsidiary company, into profiteers from Israel’s crimes in occupied Palestine.


 In selecting an Israeli company as one of just four on a short-list of bidders allowed to submit tenders, you and the CEB have already, in the recent past, unfortunately been complicit in breaking the boycott and sanctions that are steadily building up against Israel. You need now to reverse this.


ECI Telecom Ltd is no ordinary company. It works closely with the Israeli military. It is often a partner of the Israel Defense Force. In 2009, ECI Telecom was even rewarded by Israeli Defense Minister for its support to the military. ECI Telecom cynically markets its products as having been “battle-proven” in a real armed conflict situation – referring thus in its “sales jargon” to the bombing of Gaza.


We first denounced this contract in a communiqué on 10 May 2017. We are today renewing our call for CEB to cut ties with ECI Telecom in the context of US President Donald Trump’s two announcements concerning Jerusalem, made on Wednesday 6 December, and which you commented upon (on 7 December in defimedia.info) saying, with reason: “Je considère cela comme une grosse provocation. Monsieur Trump va en guerre, sachant qu’il ne peut rien faire contre la Corée du Nord. Maintenant, il va chercher la guerre avec ce pauvre peuple palestinien qui a tant souffert. J’espère que le reste du corps diplomatique ne suivra pas son exemple et j’espère aussi que cette décision sera très vite oubliée.


Mauritius you will recall, at the time of the bombardment of Gaza in January 2009, was one of four countries that bravely suspended diplomatic ties with Israel. We call on you to play your part as Minister in charge of the CEB and other parastatals and also as Vice Prime Minister, to now begin the process of reversing the award of this contract. A formal stop must be made to any new forms of economic or political collusion with Israel as well. Israel is a rogue state. It is an Apartheid State.


The whole world is unanimous in condemnation of President Trump’s decisions on Jerusalem. There are protests in West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and even in Tel Aviv condemning the US decision. Daily international rallies in cities world-wide show solidarity to support Palestine and the Palestinian people. In Port Louis, LALIT members distributed a leaflet in front of the US Embassy in John Kennedy Street to denounce the USA’s continued support of Israel (copy enclosed). LALIT re-iterates our call to isolate Israel on 3 levels – political that is convince UN member states to recognize the State of Palestine and open Palestine embassies in their respective country, military that is an immediate arms embargo on the Middle East and economic that is suspension of all commercial ties and trade with Israel.


There are numerous UN resolutions regarding Jerusalem since the 1967 conflict. Once again the USA was isolated in its veto of the Security Council Resolution of 18 December, 2017.


Through this letter we wish to appeal to you as Minister of Energy, and as VPM, to stand on the right side of history. Just as Mauritius’ call for support on the Chagos Resolution in UN was heard by 94 Countries against 15, Mauritius owes it to actively support the growing international voice in favour of the independence of Palestine and support the legitimate aspiration of the people of Palestine for peace, justice and freedom. Both Chagos and Palestine are de-colonization and de-militarization issues, as well as issues of removing people from their land.


All states and the United Nations are obligated to hold Israel to account by adopting measures that will bring to an end its serious breaches of international law. This is a reminder of the responsibility of Mauritius as a state member of the UN.


Yours sincerely,


 Ragini Kistnasamy & Alain Ah-Vee, for LALIT


 cc. Minister of Foreign Affairs


 


From: LALIT, 153 Main Road, Grand River North West, Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius.


To The Hon. Ivan Collendavelloo


Minister of Energy and Public Utilities,Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 1st Floor, Government House, Port Louis