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Ex-President of the Republic, Cassam Uteem, speaks from the floor at LALIT Report Back from Palestine March

22.08.2004

Ex-President of the Republic Cassam Uteem made a very well-received speech from the floor at LALIT's Report Back from Palestine Saturday, 21 August. He said he admired the courage and determination of Alain Ah-Vee who participated in the Palestine Freedom Walk, and he welcomed Alain Ah-Vee's personal eye-witness testimony of the life of Palestinians under occupation. He said what Alain Ah-Vee had seen would cause us all to be able to assess more accurately what was happening in Palestine, and to be able to believe in the horror of occupation.

He appealed to people to help in this relaunch of support for the people of Palestine. In a tightly argued and inspiring speech he spoke of the suffering and humiliation of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli State, and of the role of the USA in supporting Israel's policies, especially through its UN veto. He called on people and the State to take their responsibility in showing solidarity with the Palestinian people.

A number of LALIT members asked questions or made comments. Ram Seegobin said that supporting the people of Palestine is a struggle that is linked to the daily struggle of working people in Mauritius. He said that US imperialism, for example, through AGOA has directly led to loss of jobs in the Free Zone, on the one hand, and to making the Mauritian Government sign up to cow-towing to US foreign policy, while it, at the same time, leads to the continued occupation by Israel of Palestine.

Three or four members of the public also made interesting comments.