A few hours before last Friday's demonstration against the State of Israel for its massacre in Gaza, the Government took the decision at the Cabinet meeting to "freeze" its diplomatic ties with Israel. This is only the fourth such severing of diplomatic ties in the 40 years since Independence, and has great significance. The demand to "freeze" ties ("Zel relasyon diplomatic") had been put forward jointly by the former President of the Republic, Mr. Cassam Uteem and LALIT for the first time when Israel was bombing Lebanon two years ago, and has been re-iterated since.
In pouring rain last Friday, a group of fifteen LALIT members joined into the demonstration of over a hundred people from Champ de Mars to the Municipality of Port Louis. It was organized as a "secular and peaceful march" organized by the Association des Travailleurs Sociaux de Maurice, grouped together by Imran Dhannoo. In the LALIT delegation were two LALIT members, Alain Ah-Vee and Ragini Kistnasamy, who have gone to Palestine in the past few years in order to express solidarity with the people of Palestine, and to protest against continued occupation by Israel. There were also women and children in the march.
This procession was organized to join with the end of a much larger religious demonstration that was leaving the Municipality Esplanade, as it arrived.
Just an hour or two before the demonstrations, the Minister of Foreign Affairs came on to radio in order to announce that the Cabinet had decided to "freeze" relations between Mauritius and Israel. This important measure means that the Minister is now in a better position to do what LALIT has called on him to do i.e. get all the SADC countries to take a common SADC position to end diplomatic ties, and then to get the African Union to follow suit.