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Saturday 29th March 2014 marked the sad one year anniversary of the deadly floods that had casted a black shadow over the city centre .........

The first phase of the education project that envisages upgrading standards and quality in education via the use of working tablet ..........

The Italian cruise liner, Costa Croiciere will be back in the Mauritian waters as from next year (2015).....

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APRIL 2014

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Climate Change Japan to assist Mauritius on Capacity Development

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he Project Formulation Advisor of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Kaoru Takahashi along with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Premhans Jhugroo, have both signed an Agreement for the provision of technical assistance for the implementation of the project on Capacity Development on Climate Change Measures in

Mauritius. The agreement signing ceremony took place in Port-Louis in the presence of the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Devanand Virahsawmy. In line with the National Climate Change Adaptation Policy Framework which identifies socio-economic impacts of climate change on key sectors such as water, agriculture and coastal management, JICA will assist the

Ministry in developing sectorial guidelines/ policies on climate change adaptation, enhancing public awareness on climate change and strengthening the function of the recently set up Climate Change Information Centre. Minister Virahsawmy stated that a Climate Change Bill will soon be presented in the National Assembly to further strengthen the country’s adaptation and mitigation

efforts. The government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to address the adverse impacts of climate change and enhance the resilience of the population Minister Virahsawmy added that Mauritius has benefitted from a grant of Rs 90 million under the Africa Adaptation Programme on climate Continued on Page 2

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change, with the assistance of the government of Japan through the United Nations Development Programme. Moreover, JICA has said that it will donate related equipment to strengthen climate change education and awareness raising as well as provide training to stakeholders in Mauritius. “Japanese experts will also assist in formulating climate policies. The duration of the project will be two years and the cost is estimated at Rs 25 million”, said Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development. For her part, Ms Takahashi recalled that JICA’s assistance to Mauritius dates back to the 1980’s and since then, JICA has offered various assistance in accordance with the policies of the government of Mauritius, such as Maurice Ile Durable.

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Journalists & Contributors Jamirouddin Yeadally Leevy Frivet Lock Sohodeb Amishta Sohoraye Ludmilla Iyavoo Priya N. Hein Will Mathieson Des Hegarty Kerry Hegarty Kabir Jeetoo Avinash Nankoosing Shazia Mowlabaccus

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Photography Jamal Yeadally Shehan Jugurnauth (Acute Sync)

Disclaimer While every effort has been made by the author(s) and the publisher to ensure that the information contained in this Newspaper is accurate and up to date at the date of publication, they accept no responsibility or liability in contract, tort, negligence, breach of statutory duty or otherwise for any invonvenience, loss, damage, costs or expenses of any nature whatsoever incurred or suffered by anyone as a result of any advise or information contained in this publication.

Electoral Reform Prime Minister launched the White Paper

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rime Minister Navin Ramgoolam finally released the White paper for consultations for an electoral reform. He presented the White Paper during a press conference on the 24th of March. The electoral reform consultation paper outlined the government’s stance on electoral reform as a first step towards constitutional reform. According to the report, the “First past the post” system will remain as it is. The report highlighted that there would still be 20 constituencies with three elected candidates per constituency. The Prime Minister indicated that the government had published the document after careful reflection and study over the last several months. “Several reports and Commissions have looked into the electoral system of Mauritius since 2000 such as Sachs Commission, the 2002 Select Committee, Carcassonne report and the Sithanen Report”, he stressed. However, the Prime Minister said that the purpose of the consultation paper was to create and foster a better understanding of the government’s intention to build

consensus and to provide opportunity for informed comments prior to the introduction of legislation to reform the electoral system. The report underlined that the geographical boundaries will also remain unchanged. However, the Prime Minister said that a 10% Proportional Representation (PR) is important. Among the propositions are also included at least 30% reserved seats in Parliament for women. «We suggested also to ensure that on the party list neither gender represents less than 33% of the candidates», said Navin Ramgoolam. The report also suggested that at least one person of a different gender out of every three sequential candidates on the Proportional Representation (PR) list. However, political parties and individuals in Mauritius have up to 5 May 2014 to make their proposals and suggestions to the proposed reform. The opposition party have welcomed the

The Prime Minister during a press conference where he presented the White Paper to the press

white paper and said that they will look at it but insisted that they will concentrate on their campaign to overthrow Navin Ramgoolam in the 2015 general polls.

Parliament Opposition party urges government for two parliamentary sessions per week

Three hours per week for parliamentary questions including Private Notice Questions, is inadequate”, claimed Paul Berenger, Leader of the opposition party. According to Paul Berenger, the parliament does not allocate sufficient time for questions. He added that, there are often no response to questions addressed in the parliament and on top of that, members of the government prefer to cut short by saying that “answers will be laid on the table” rather than verbally answering questions.

parliamentary committees”, he stated. However, another member of the opposition, Reza Uteem has considered the silence of the government backbenchers to the initiative as being “unhealthy”. “They might have to participate more actively as the opposition has, with respect to the parliament, supported several bills”, said MP Uteem.

On the other hand, Chief Whip of the Government, Rihun Hawoldar, has said that there was no reason to change an old tradition. “Before each meeting, opposition members say that they will denounce a number of scandals and then afterwards, we see nothing! They should be more constructive and make less allegations”, Mr Hawoldar said.

Members of the opposition warmly welcomed and fervently supported the initiative from their leader. For instance, Satish Boolell said that he is ready to work for long nights in the Assembly. He also pointed out that it was absurd that some opposition members have been kept waiting for several months to put their questions again in the parliament as they have not obtained satisfactory answers previously. These are not subjects that are missing, added for his part, Steve Obeegadoo as he explained that the Parliament should sit at least 11 months per year with a break of two weeks in each quarter. “It is in the favor of the establishment of

Members of the Opposition party together with their leader, Paul Berenger


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Bagatelle poses to become Moka’s vibrant city centre

A 3D image of the new project of the ENL

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agatelle is about to become a city in itself. The Bagatelle Shopping Mall with its cinemas, restaurants, shops. After the Bagatelle Shopping Centre and the hotel Voilà Bagatelle, ENL has poised itself in seeking to develop the entire village of Moka.

Bagatelle Residences Belle - Rive. These include 40 apartments and 4 penthouses which are divided into two blocks. Sales has already started and even though construction has not yet started, two Penthouses have already been sold.

Therefore, with the collaboration of the Chinese Business Chamber many more projects will soon be concretized. Currently, developers are working actively on the

The developers have also expressed their intention to build office spaces, the Bagatelle Motor City, and a Deco City.

The first phase will consist of 20 lots. The

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However, these are not the unique projects of the ENL and Chinese Business Chamber partnership. In fact, they have started to work on the Bagatelle Motor City, which according to them, will be a real commercial city dedicated to the automobiles and new technologies. The project will be extended over more than 5,000 m2 and will offer a range of products and services.

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Bagatelle Deco City will be located next to the current Food Lover’s Market which is in the vicinity of the Bagatelle Mall. Finally, the promoters invited the public to support these projects as it will enable citizens to work in the Office Park which will comprise of a place that is 60% nature and 40% office. This project is designed to be at the cutting edge of modernity, said investors.


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04 mauritiusnow April 2014

Confluences 2014 Nicolas Hulot praised the island’s landscapes, objected to the setting up of a coal-fired power plant

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visit which will be graved in his memory. Invited by the association named “Culture et Avenir”, Nicolas Hulot who is the French Prime Minister’s special envoy for the protection of the planet, had visited Mauritius in March. The ecologist and well-known television program-maker of ‘Ushuaïa Nature’ attended the Confluences 2014International Book Fair held at the Swami Vivekananda Conference in Pailles.

for the promotion of renewable energy across the island during his meeting with a few members of the local government, including the head of diplomacy, Arvind Boolell, and the Minister of the environment, Deva Virahsawmy. “Renewable energy, is tomorrow’s energy, coal’s being that of yesterday”, he said. For him; “it is difficult to reconcile such a project with the MID”, a concept that is close to his heart since himself had specially sent a consultant on the island in 2007 in order to advise the local authorities to the start-up phase of the project.

Confluences 2014 welcomed authors from different parts of the globe. Mauritian authors living abroad also participated as well as several foreign and local publishing houses and international book-related specialists and professionals.

“I was mesmerized by the beauty of the island especially its landscapes and I wish that the Mauritian authorities look twice before going ahead with this project”, he further added.

Nicolas Hulot participated in conferences as well as debate sessions organized during the book fair exhibition. However, he clearly objected to the creation of a coal-fired power plant on the island, thus referring to the CT Power project which the government want to set up on the western coast of Mauritius. As the defender of the Mauritius île Durable initiative, the ecologist pleaded

Nicolas Hulot also called for a mobilization of the youth of the Southern Region on the Indian Ocean, particularly in the context of the Lima conference, scheduled from 1 to 12 in Paris. Nicolas Hulot dedicated some of his own books to fans at the Confluences 2014

Bilateral Ties Mauritius strengthened cooperation with Qingdao province

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auritius have expressed its desire to boost up its economic cooperation with China. In this regard, the Board of Investment (BOI) Mauritius and the Qingdao Bureau of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote bilateral relations and cooperation between Mauritius and Qingdao. The MoU which is a first of its kind with a Chinese counterpart aims to reinforce collaboration between the two countries through the joint organisation of trade missions and fairs.

Other objectives of the MoU are: the sharing of trade and investment information and expanding the scale of import and export and the promotion of bilateral cooperation in sectors such as fishing, food and beverage, education, tourism and trade. Qingdao, which is the second trading seaport in China, is also an important industrial centre and a seafood producer. Since its designation as a Special Economic and Development Zone in 1984, Qingdao has grown at a rate of 15% annually. The Qingdao Province harbour

Black Saturday Flood day that took the lives of eleven people, commemorated

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aturday 29th March 2014 marked the sad one year anniversary of the deadly floods that had casted a black shadow over the city centre of Port-Louis where 11 innocent people died. A commemorative ceremony took place at the subway of ‘Le Caudan Waterfront’ on Sunday 30th of March to mark this sad event. Relatives of victims as well as parents, friends and family members gathered for a wreath ceremony. On the 30th of March 2013, 152

millimetres of rain fell in the region of Port-Louis which caused massive flooding in the entire city of Port-Louis. According to the local meteorological station, 152 millimetres of rain fell on Port-Louis in less than 90 minutes. Since that date, major works amounting to nearly Rs 500 million, were injected in Port-Louis sewage and drainage system, in order to reduce the risk of reproducing the dramatic scenario of deadly floods which occurred in 2013, claiming the lives of 11 people.

Subsequently a preliminary report by the Mauritius police had also pointed its fingers towards the obstruction of the ‘Ruisseau du Pouce’ evacuation canal which had explained the sudden rise of water in the city centre.

A judiciary case has also been lodged against the state by the victim’s famalies in the District Court of Port-Louis as they want justice for their departed ones. A total number of 120 witnesses will be called to appear, on April 21, 2014, in the tribunal of Port-Louis.


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mauritiusnow April 2014 05

Real Estate Development Omnicane inaugurated Holiday Inn Hotel, unveiled Airport City project

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auritius’ SSR International airport, which was recently ranked the best airport in the Indian Ocean region, acquired another jewel in its already star-studded crown with the Mon Trésor Airport City. The Mon Trésor Airport City project was unveiled by Mauritius sugar major Omnicane’s CEO Jacques d’Unienville during the inauguration of the Holiday Inn Mauritius Airport by the Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam in March.

delivered by European specialists, Royal HaskoningDHV, and was refined by local architecture firm, Architects Studio. The project will consist of an industrial and technological activities park and is conceptualized as a hub of services as well as hotel and leisure activities, among which feature a novel Dodo attraction park

around Mare-aux-Songes, and a plan of residential development. The Prime Minister of Mauritius has well evoked the transformational changes to the economic environment of the island nation. “With the development of Mauritius as a financial hub, tourism is increasingly tilting towards business tourism, and it is

The Prime Minister went on to note that Omnicane had once again demonstrated its sense of innovation by proposing the Holiday Inn Mauritius Airport in particular, and the project of land development of the airport zone globally. In his welcoming speech, Jacques d’Unienville mentioned that the PABARI Group and Omnicane were associated in the implementation and the development of an agro-industrial cluster at Kwale in Kenya which will be in operation by the end of this year.

According to the CEO of Omnicane, the Mon Trésor Airport City project will be extended over 400 hectares in the zone near the airport. However, he stressed that the Holiday Inn Mauritius Airport represents the first link of the planned Airport City.

The CEO also elaborated on the Holiday Inn Mauritius Airport which is a 4-star hotel in the service of the Mauritian and foreign business community, involving an investment of Rs 850 million.

“Omnicane aims to develop a slew of airport activities connecting Mauritius with the African continent and the rest of the world, while respecting the imperatives of green energy set under Maurice Ile Durable (MID)”, said CEO of Omnicane. The Mon Trésor Airport City project, which has the support of the BEI, formed the subject of a Master Plan realised and

essential adapt to the new environment in order to seize opportunities”, highlighted the Prime Minister.

CEO Jacques d’Unienville together with Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam during the inauguration ceremony of the Holiday Inn Hotel which is located near the airport

Holiday Inn Mauritius Airport provides a whole range of modern facilities for businessmen near the airport and consists of 140 rooms among which feature 9 suites, conference rooms and meeting spaces, he concluded.

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06 mauritiusnow April 2014

Business in Mauritius Business confidence index hits a low, 85, 3 points in first quarter 2014

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rates, and logistics as well as connectivity problems are other factors contributing to the negative impact on business confidence.

For the record, the MCCI Business Confidence Indicator is based on a survey led by MCCI with business managers of various branches of the local industry.

The manufacturing sector has also not being spared from economic turmoil’s as it recorded the strongest reduction (4.4%) in confidence levels due to below-average sales. Unlike in the last quarter 2013, this particular sector registered an increase of 2%. It is to be pointed out that the services sector index also fell by 2.6%.

he Mauritian business climate is surfing on a weakness point since the beginning of the year. A report from the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has revealed that Mauritius business confidence has dipped to 85, 3 points for the first quarter of 2014, representing a 2.7 points decline compared to 88 points in the third quarter of 2013.

The MCCI Business Confidence Indicator was presented by chief economist, Renganaden Padayachy on the 24th of March. He however, pointed out that the situation was alarming and urged the government to consider appropriate solutions to revive the state of the economy. “The situation is especially worrying as last year’s result hinted at a possible revival of the economy”, stressed economist Padayachy during the press conference. Held between February 21 and March 14, 2014, the survey shows that the confidence index of business managers had dived by 3.1%. According to the MCCI, the negative result in the first quarter of this year and the continuous weakness of the indicator demonstrates that the Mauritian economy is not yet out of trouble. The MCCI established 14 factors to determine a company’s confidence level among which, ten showed a negative movement. The determinants are; global

Dr. Renganaden Padayachy presented the MCCI Business Confidence Indicator

environment, local demand, competition on the market, opportunities for expansion into new markets, the exchange rate, the effective tax rates on corporations, access to capital, the cost of capital, costs related to the conduct of business and so on. As far as the cost of doing business is concerned, MCCI observed that more than two thirds of the consulted company directors declared that the unpredictable increase of indirect costs was strongly affecting the conduct of business. The failure to respect rules and standards, difficultly in accessing land, corruption, problems related to infrastructure or utilities covering energy, water and transportation were some of the difficulties businesses encountered.

As for entrepreneurs, the rise in Trade fees and Advertisement fees which was between 100% and 500%, was hard to absorb in these difficult economic times. On the other hand, a poor internal demand was a considerable factor that has affected business performance in the first quarter of 2014, according to businessmen. However, Mr Padayachy stated that since 2009 there was a deep deceleration of the consumption’s growth rate in Mauritius. “The average rate, which was 6.5% from 2004 to 2008, fell to 2.5% over the postcrisis period of 2009-2013”, he said. He further stated that delays in payment, competition in the market, lack of skilled workforce, incidence of corporate tax

Concerning employment, entrepreneurs declared intends to limit their investment expenditure due to poor economic prospects and prohibitive interest rates. To which, the MCCI predicted that the unemployment rate could be expected to rise in 2014. However, the MCCI has estimated that a reduction in interest rates would boost private investment as economists said that economic operators consider that business opportunities in the region and in Africa pose interesting avenues as there was a noticeable improvement in the global economic environment. The MCCI has cautioned government officials not to await the budget to set up a strategy for promoting enterprise growth as the growth rate for the entire economy would be affected this year. “If no improvement occurs in the second quarter, the growth rate for 2014 might be similar to 2013”, claimed Mr Padayachy.

Correctional facility Opening of State-of-the art Prison at Melrose

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he Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam inaugurated the Eastern High Security Prison (EHSP) at Melrose in March. Considered as a state-of-theart correctional facility, the newly built prison amounted around Rs 2,147 billion, according to Prime Minister Ramgoolam. Construction work started on 20 September 2010 and were completed in October 2013 undertaken by J.V Beijing Zhuzong /Hyvec Partners. “The decision to build a new prison was taken to address the problem of overcrowding in the island’s existing facilities”, claimed Prime Minister during his address speech. He also added that he visited the Changi Prison in Singapore during a state visit in 2010 where he signed an MOU (Memorandum of Unerstanding) with the Singapore Corporation Enterprise for the provision of enhanced security features at the EHSP.

“Security is an important component of the new EHSP as it has a keyless mode of operation at the geriatric ward and the administrative block, as well as an all-round perimeter protection system made of antiscale fencing with fibre optics detection technology and security management system to alert the Control room in real time in case of any emergency”, flaunted the Prime Minister. In addition to four towers in each corner, the prison is enclosed by a high perimeter wall topped with power fencing so as to strengthen surveillance. The prison also consists of a jamming system to block mobile network signals. Prime Minister Ramgoolam also pointed out that the rule of the law should prevail and that those who commit crimes and break laws must be punished. He spoke in

favour of a tough but intelligent approach to reduce reoffending behaviour adding that a detainee should become a better citizen after his release. However, the Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Jean Bruneau, said that the newly built EHSP is the result of a revolutionary vision and political will and commitment. “The EHSP is a gem among prison departments in the Indian Ocean”, he said.

facilities: 13 accommodation blocks including a geriatric block and a high security block for 60 inmates, a transit unit for 30 detainees and a medical complex with accommodation capacity of 20 inmates”, Mr Bruneau explained.

The latter added that the EHSP has an operational capacity of 800 to 1 000 detainees. “The residential prison comprises the following Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam met with the EHSP personnel’s


NEWS

mauritiusnow April 2014 07

Government to create 3 000 jobs in the coming years

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he Fast Track Committee of the Prime Minister’s Office has approved six investment projects, thus pertaining to the creation of some 3 000 news jobs in the future. According to Cabinet which met on the 28th of March, these new projects will comprise of a lot of advantages for the country.

Cabinet have approved an injection of a total amount of Rs 50 billion into the economy by 2018 with regards to both local and foreign investment.

Architect’s view of the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) of Mont Choisy Property Development Ltd

The most ambitious of these projects is an Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) of Mont Choisy Property Development Ltd, which will require an investment of Rs 15 billion and will create some 1,000 jobs to term.

The proposed project that spans a dozen hectares in Mon Choisy will be launched in December 2015 with commercial centres, apartments, penthouses and an 18-hole golf course


NEWS

08 mauritiusnow April 2014

E-Education Government kick off the distribution of tablet PC’s to students and educators

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he first phase of the education project that envisages upgrading standards and quality in education via the use of working tablet kicked off on Thursday 27th of March. The Ministry of Education proceeded to the distribution of Tablet PCs to state secondary school teachers and students. The Ministry said that there were about 5,500 educators from State colleges as well as private institutions who were involved in the exercise.

The distribution of the tablets was a promise that government made in 2012. There are more than 20,000 tablets for 5,500 educators and students”, highlighted Minister of Education, Vasant Bunwaree. Tasarajen Pillay Chedumbrum, Minister of ICT argued that it is a revolution in the educational system. “Modernization in how to educate our children is today

made by the distribution of tablets”, he stressed. A digital library, a database on different materials, a class for teachers’ management system has been scheduled among the programs that appear on the tablets PC’s distributed to teachers and students. The Education Ministry stated that

the primary goals of the Project is to induce a paradigm shift in teaching and learning process at Secondary Level and to improve learning by providing students with anytime, anywhere opportunities to become independent learners through technology. These tablets, is also a way to better prepare both students and educators for 21st century skills, the ministry have said.

As far as Form IV students are concerned, the ministry indicated that they will take possession of their Tablets in the month of April. However, for those who are in Form 4, the Ministry indicated that a tender will be launched in the beginning of April for the provision of Tablet PCs. The Ministry of Education stated that a budget of Rs 243 million for the purchase of 26,100 tablets intended for students and teachers, was voted in the 2013/2014 Budgetary exercise which was conducted in November 2013. And have emphasized that, this time, the procedures will go faster. The Ministry will pursue the distribution of tablette PC’s to form IV students in the month of April

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NEWS

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Courtesy Call Prime Minister discuss modernisation of the island’s judiciary system with eminent jurist Professor Crabbe

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rime Minister Navin Ramgoolam insisted that he was keen to modernize the judiciary system as well as the good understanding of law and order in Mauritius during a meeting with eminent jurist from Ghana School of law and former Law Revision Commissioner of Ghana, Professor V. Crabbe.

visit in Mauritius dated back in 2010. The eminent jurist was in the island to form and train lawyers as well as members of the judiciary in various fields including the drafting of legislations. He pointed out that Ghana and Mauritius do have some similitude’s in their judicial system as a result of being offshoots of the British system.

Professor Crabbe paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister on March 18 in PortLouis. Professor Crabbe described his meeting with the Prime Minster as very cordial and recalled that his previous

Professor V. Crabbe shared his experiences and expertise with members of the judiciary panel during his visit in the country.

Travel

Regional Cooperation

Passport fees revised

Mauritius businessmen expressed satisfaction during fair in Rwanda

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he passport fee of overseas British citizens residing in Mauritius has been revised by the British government - reduced the costs of obtaining a passport up to 35%. The amendment which concerns only British citizens will come into force as from the 7th of April, according to the British High Commission in Port-Louis. This decision of the British government stems from the desire to centralize Passport programming procedures in the United Kingdom. A number of 35,000 British who shall apply for a passport outside the territory will pay the same rates as those who do so in Britain. For example, a 32-page adult passport will, after the amendment, cost £83 instead of £128. “Now, the British citizens of Mauritius shall apply directly to the Passport Office of the United Kingdom. They will have to call on 0300 222 0000 to make their request or do this online at the address https://gov.uk/apply-renew-passport indicated the British High Commission in Mauritius.

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auritian business people have expressed strong interest in a number of sectors including textile, bio-fertilizer, construction and agro-processing in Rwanda, according to Enterprise Mauritius (EM). The island’s premier trade promotion body accompanied a local business delegation for the second annual business-tobusiness meeting at the Kigali Serena Hotel, Rwanda in March. According to entrepreneurs from both sides, the buyer-seller meeting was an ideal platform to establish fruitful contacts between both countries’ business men during the two-day trade mission which aimed at promoting exports between the two countries. “22 Mauritian companies showcased a wide range of ‘made in Mauritius’ products which was well appreciated by the Rwandan business men and firms. We were able to strengthen trade and relationships between the two countries and economic relations between the business communities”, said CEO of EM, Dev Chamroo.

Business fair in Rwanda

Prime Minister Ramgoolam together with Africa’s renowned jurist, Professor V. Crabbe

Products and services included textile, plastics, detergents, cosmetics, chemicals, fertilizers, pipes and fittings, furniture, footwear, books, printing services as well as a services such as ICT, education and training services. Current trade between Mauritius and Rwanda stood at USD 500,000 in 2013. Rwanda has been exporting minerals such as cassiterite, coltan, wolfram, agro-products to Mauritius and the Indian Ocean region. However, Mauritius exports textiles, garments and local investors have already started to invest in the Rwandan energy and sugar production sectors. “The government will continue improving the business environment to reduce the cost of doing business and increase productivity of firms in the country,” added Diane Sayinzoga, the Rwanda Development Board Trade Development Division Manager. Michael Nehaldas, Chairman of Enterprise Mauritius and head of the delegation urged and encouraged

Mauritian participants to diversify their exports and work towards attracting direct foreign investments and joint partnerships. “Let us show the world how important it is to do business among ourselves”, he stressed. Rwanda and Mauritius have gathered good markings record from renowned survey organisations such as the World Bank. The island was ranked as the best country to do business in Africa by the World Bank Doing Business report 2014, followed by Rwanda. Both countries are members of the Common Market for Eastern Africa (COMESA), which promotes intraregional trade with goods exempted from customs duty. Rwanda and Mauritius signed a memorandum of understanding in 2013 in a bid to further strengthen economic ties between the two countries, as well as harmonize some of the tax regimes exempting traders from either country from double taxation.


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Support to the Indian Ocean China gifted USD 100 000 to IOC

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he People’s Republic of China (PRC) has provided a financial support of USD 100,000 to the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) in March. A representative of the PRC conducted a signing of the agreement together with the Secretary General of the IOC at its headquarters on the 25th of March. This support of the PRC is believed to strengthen the administrative capacity of the IOC. “This strengthening is essential to allow the IOC to manage a portfolio of projects for a total amount of EUR 125 million”, said Jean Claude de l’Estrac, Secretary General of the regional institution. He added that the significant donation demonstrated the deepening of ChinaIOC co-operation and reflected the

growing role of China on international and regional development assistance and cooperation. After praising the pivotal role that the IOC is playing for the economic interests of its Member States, Ambassador Li Li expressed the People’s Republic of China will strengthen their ties in the course of a perennial partnership since 2010. This ceremony marked the first official visit of an Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China at the headquarters of the IOC. In 2010 and 2011, the IOC has benefited from the People’s Republic of China sum worth USD 50,000. For 2013 and 2014, the funding reached USD 100,000. Jean Claude de l’Estrac exchanging documents with Ambassador Li Li

Cruises Costa Croiciere back in Mauritian waters as from Jan 2015

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year and will pass through the Indian Ocean islands and is believed to promoting islands in the Indian Ocean to the European market.

The ministry indicated that this incentive from the cruise company will help to boost tourist arrivals from Europe to Mauritius.

The sense of hospitality, which is typical of the Indian Ocean countries, and Mauritius in particular, will have an important role in welcoming the travellers coming from all over the world, especially the European market.

he Italian cruise liner, Costa Croiciere will be back in the Mauritian waters as from next year (2015), indicated the Ministry of Tourism of Mauritius. The cruise company has said that it will offer new routes and travel to local customers.

Furthermore, the new itinerary by Costa Crociere will be especially addressed to the Italian, French, German and Scandinavian markets.

Costa Crociere will work in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and the MTPA in this endeavour. “It is a good opportunity for Mauritius as we aim to have high-quality tourists”, has said Michael Sik Yuen, Minister of Tourism. The new 14-day cruise by Costa Crociere, which will start from next

This will surely open new opportunities through new contacts with emerging markets, namely, China, India, Middle East and Africa, believes the ministry. The Costa Cruise Liner is believed to have far more than 1 million customers worldwide

Facebook Nasty remarks on the Prime minister lead suspect to jail

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28 years-old nurse was arrested by the Cyber­crime Unit of Central CID in March. His offence; through facebook page, he posted defamatory comments as well as insults against members of the Government including the Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam and the Minister of Public Infrastructure, Anil Baichoo Since January 2014, Gauravsing Bhagwan consistently made nasty remarks towards members of the government on his Facebook page, under the pseudonym of

Girish Baboo As he had used a pseudonym, police encountered many difficulties to trace him. Police was able to track him down using his IP address. Gauravsing Bhagwan was arrested and upon been quizzed by officers of the Cybercrime Unit, the nurse confessed to the offences. However, according to investigating officers, Gauravsing Bhagwan asserted his right to silence, in the presence of his lawyer, Zahid Nazurally. After his interrogation, Gauravsing

Bhagwan appeared in court in Port Louis where he was charged of ‘breach of Information and Communication Technologies Act’. Police have objected to his release. It is to be recalled that the latest arrest regarding defamatory comments on Facebook dates back to January when a sixty year old woman called Suzanne Hervet was arrested and charged for spreading racial hatred in the country via Facebook.


DAVYLAND PROPERTY

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Welcome to DavyLand Group DavyLand Promoters Ltd, is a Mauritius-based local real estate agency incorporated in 1993. The Chief Executive Officer of the Agency is Mr A.Vyravene, who has over 20 years’ experience in the real estate business. With several completed projects throughout the island standing to its credit, the company can justifiably pride itself as a reputed enterprise in the field of real estate, notable in the development and promotion of properties. Our Mission To simplify the real estate transaction for our valued Our experienced and dedicated sales team, which concustomers and to strive for the highest ethical standards. stantly keeps itself abreast of major developments in the sector, including type of demand and evolution of the sec- Our Vision tor, both locally and internationally, contributes largely to To remain a reference in the real estate business. the image of excellence enjoyed by Davyland. A respected Services we offer: member of the Estate Agency Association of Mauritius, *Residential and Commercial *Development *Rental Pool DavyLand aims at developing and strengthening its long*Integrated Resorts Scheme *Real Estate Scheme *Sale term investment in the real estate sector. *Purchase *Parceling of land *Counseling *Customer Care


NEWS

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Mauritius, a paradise island Tourism promotion agency work hard to get more Russian tourists

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Present on a stand of 85 m2, the Mauritian tourism stakeholders promoted the beauty and multiple facets of the destination throughout this exhibition. They showcased the tourism product and the special offers which Mauritius offers to travellers.

uring the recent years, Mauritius has welcomed a large number of tourists (+10 000) from Russia. According to the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Association (MTPA), the market is considerably growing each year. However, the promotion agency has set a target to entice more Russian tourists to visit Mauritius.

The main objective was to increase the visibility of Mauritius on the Russian market and to attract more Russian travellers.

In that context, the MTPA sent a delegation of twelve including local tourism stakeholders to the 21st edition of the Moscow International exhibition “MITT Travel and Tourism” which was held from 19th to 22nd March in Moscow.

The delegation, headed by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, included hotels and inbound tour operators: Beachcomber, Veranda Leisure & Hospitality, Sun Resorts Ltd, Attitude Resorts, Lux Resorts, White Sand Tours, Mautourco, Sega Tours, Solis Indian Ocean, Emotions Destination Management and Luxe Voyage.

The Moscow International Travel and Tourism (MITT) is one of the most important exhibitions of the Russian travel industry with 3,000 participating companies and representatives from 185 destinations. MTPA delegates together with tour operators in Russia

Skytrax Awards SSR International Airport is the best in the Indian Ocean

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he Sir Sewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (SSRIA) won the title of “Best Airport in the Indian Ocean” by Skytrax, an independent international organization that evaluates the quality of services providers in the aviation sector, including airports and airlines. The official ceremony of the World Airport Awards 2014 was held in Barcelona, Spain in the month of March. Skytrax also presented an award to SSRIA as it formed part of the top ten in the world rankings for international airports with less than five million passengers.

growth in airport activities, the airport went through a number of infrastructural changes to take hold of business opportunities and to provide facilities, which met the aspirations of stakeholders.

The first building of the airport of Mauritius was built in 1945. Afterwards, a new building with aerobridge facilities was built to cater for the planned increase in traffic growth. At this time it was called the Plaisance Airport. Later in 1987, the airport was renamed Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. As a result of the continued rapid

The assessment exercise of Skytrax for

Trade Union

The SSRIA at its best with more than a dozen of traffic per day

body.

Labour Minister unhappy about SICOM

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evaluation. The World’s Best Airports 2014, was awarded to Singapore Changi Airport, the second price was granted to Incheon International Airport and the third to Munich Airport.

The airport has been once more the scene of major developments with the growing number of traffic as from 1999-2000. And in 2013, a new SSRIA was inaugurated and that made the jury of Skytrax to really appreciate its beauty as well as the service and the infrastructure offered . Serge Petit, the CEO of Airports of Mauritius Ltd (AML), who received the trophy from the Director of Skytrax, said that; “We welcome this award with great pleasure and are satisfied that our continuing efforts to provide an excellent level of service has been recognized internationally. We owe this achievement and effort to all the employees of AML and ATOL. It is a great pride for the country”.

abour and Industrial Relations minister, Shakeel Mohamed was very upset with the management of the State Insurance Company of Mauritius (SICOM). The Minister stated in a press conference in March that the management of SICOM had been very slow to give its consent for its employees to have a trade union.

the World Airport Awards of this year started in 2013 and ended in February 2014, with more than 12 million of submitted questionnaires. More than 400 airports worldwide participated in this

A report emanating from the Commission for Conciliation and Mediation blasted the industrial relations situation within the SICOM. The report pointed out that there were no negotiations as well as union representations and unfair promotions and recruitment within the para statal

Minister Mohamed told the press that the situation prevailing at SICOM cannot be tolerated. “I will not cover such issues despite being a minister despite that the SICOM is owned by government”, explained a frustrated Minister Mohamed. He urged trade unions to seek an order from the Employment Relations Tribunal (ERT) against SICOM.

Minister, Shakeel Mohamed


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Cooperation Gabon and Mauritius ready for economic partnership

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very optimistic that things will work very well soon.

auritius and Gabon are ready for economic partnership. Finance Minister Xavier-Luc Duval led a delegation of businessman from Mauritius to Gabon in mid of March to explore the possibilities of investment in the African landlocked country.

It is to be recalled that Mr Duval’s visit in Gabon’s capital Libreville was effected upon the invitation of the Gabonese President, Ali Bongo Ondimba. The latter extended this invitation after he visited Mauritius for a business Forum organized by the Board of Investment in 2013, and asked Mauritian counterparts to take advantage of the many business opportunities offered by Gabon

According to the Minister of Finance, Gabon has agreed to let Mauritian workforce comprising of teachers, doctors and other professionals to work in Gabon. Minister Duval praised potentials that both countries have and is Joint working session between the two heads of States, Navin Ramgoolam and Ali Bongo

Workforce Statistics Mauritius revealed slight decrease in unemployment for 2013

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nemployment has been one of the main social scourges in Mauritius for some time now. But such is not the case, according to Statistics Mauritius. A report released by Statistics Mauritius, the authority responsible for conducting monthly surveys in all sphere of the Mauritian economy, has revealed that the rate of unemployment for 2013 stood at 8.0% compared to 8.1% in 2012. Thus amounting to a total number of 45 500 unemployed people in 2013. The report outlined that only 39% of this proportion is less than 25 years of age as the active population was at 578 700 last year.

the participation rate lied at 60.5%, registering an increase of 0.9% over the same period in 2012. Academically speaking, 6800 of the unemployed had not gone through the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) examinations successfully, while 12 600 did not attain the level of the Cambridge School Certificate (S.C). Only 15 800 of the unemployed proportion of the country are registered in the Employment Service database. The inactive population was estimated to be at 377 900 at the end of last year – 111 000 males and 266 900 females.

According to the report unemployed people complaimed of not finding the jobs that fit their criteria; some people are overqualified, and yet others have specialised in domains that are not job-generating in the country.

Other details revealed in the report included, 33 300 unemployed which sought actively employment for a year while 10 100 job seekers were looking for work for more than twelve months.

This report also stated an increase in the number of active population in the Mauritius (578 700) as it highlighted that during the fourth quarter of 2013,

Amongst men, 46% are students and 35%, pensioners. On the other hand, the report revealed that 55% of the total female population were housewives.

A busy day for the working class in the city centre of Port-Louis

Food Vegetables prices hit record level aftermath heavy rains

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he heavy downpour across the island in the last week of March has had an effect on the prices of local vegetables. The Ministry of Agriculture noted that an increase in the prices of locally produced vegetables. The Ministry said that a big number of planters had reported that their crops were affected from the heavy rains and in order to compensate them, prices of vegetables had to be increased. However, prices of vegetables are expected to a stabilization in the first week of April as the Meteo Station have forecasted bright sunny weather during

the period, according to the Ministry. But on a general perspectives, prices of vegetables is subsequently expected to fall as, according to the President of the Association of Small Planters, Kreepalloo Sunghoon, summer is drawing to an end which means no more insects and other vegetables nuisances affecting crops. According to the President of the Association of Small Planters, only an exception remains the prices of bananas which should still keep around Rs 3 per unit. Vegetable sellers at the Central Market in Port-Louis


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Mauritius, the paradise island Love at first sight for Kuwait’s Tour Operators

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delegation of 10 Kuwaiti Tour Operators, accompanied by a representative of Emirates, were in Mauritius last month to discover and familiarize themselves with the various tourism products that the island had to offer. Kuwaiti tour operators included; Barakat Travel, Al Shamel Travel, Al Salhiya World, Al Deera Travel, Ritz Travel Tour, Alghanim Travel, Discovery Travel, Al Maktab, Wataniya Intl and Al Madar Travel.

They also took a trip to L’aventure du Sucre as well as the Botanical Garden of Pamplemousses, the Île aux Cerfs and under water walking and the Grand Bay Shopping centre. Sales Executive of Emirates, Yahya Shbair, is of those who believes that the Middle East tourism market is very important to the island as he greatly welcomed all the Mauritian partners for the good organisation as well as the professionalism shown during the one week stay.

During their stay, Kuwaiti tour operators were able to discover the different tourism products which they identified as adapted to their respective clientele. The St Regis Mauritius, Heritage Le Telfair Golf Resort and Spa, Zilwa Attitude Hotel, Trou aux Biches Resort and Spa, Le Touessrok, Lux * Belle Mare, Le Prince Maurice are amongst the various hotels that attracted them.

It is worth to note that Mauritius offers good hospitality to foreign travellers and is seen as a safe destination in the Indian Ocean.

The Kuwaiti delegation also experienced various nautical activities namely, cruising on a catamaran to admire the sunset on the west coast of the island, the Valley of colours, Casela Natural Park along with its famous lion walk.

On the other hand, Hiam Ali, Tours Manager of Alghanim Travel, indicated that Mauritius was blessed with several natural surroundings views which could be a value added charm for Kuwaiti tourists.

“However, there is a vast possibility to find Halal products in Mauritius. I believe that this asset will surely attract the Kuwaiti travellers, including couples on honeymoon”, stated Mr Shbair.

The delegation of 10 Kuwaiti Tour Operators at the Casela Nature Park in Cascavelle, Mauritius

“We were amazed by the services Mauritius provides, ranging from the hotel up to in the streets. The welcome is fantastic. Mauritius is a new destination for Kuwaiti travellers and it is especially the family aspect of the destination that perfectly matches the request of travellers. Indeed, some hotels are very well equipped to welcome and supervise children during their stays. Thus, couples

can spend a pleasant stay”, said Hiam Ali. Tour operators in Kuwait had a meeting with the Minister of tourism, Michael Sik Yuen to whom they praised beautiful aspects of the island including the sandy beaches, tropical climate, and the luxury hotels, thereby demonstrating their interest to sell the destination in Kuwait.

Trouble in Mauritian Waters

Investment

Mauritius generated Rs 9 512 billion worth of FDI in 2013 Taiwanese ship with 14 fishermen disappear at sea

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he Managing Director of the Board of Investment (BOI), Ken Poonoosamy has indicated that Mauritius generated overall Foreign Direct Investments amounting to Rs 9,512 billion in 2013. BOI’s chief clearly indicated in his latest released newsletter that, Rs 4.4 billion worth of FDI were generated from Africa and Asia.

investment opportunities that Mauritius offers in the Biotech field”, said Mr Poonoosamy. “The goal is to highlight the investment opportunities offered by Mauritius in the field of biotechnology”, he said.

“While Rs 4.8 billion flowed in from Europe, MUR 4.4 billion were contributed by Africa and Asia together”, highlighted Mr Poonoosamy. He added that FDI from the developed countries had equalled to those of developing countries. Besides petroleum and bunkering activities, other sectors which attracted significant investments included agriculture, manufacturing, financial services, ICT and real estate, according to the BOI.

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fter the disappearance of the Malaysian flight in March, a Taiwanese trawler, Fu Fa No. 12, disappeared in the Mauritian waters. According to firsthand information gathered by officers of the National Coast Guard (NCG), the ship was last sighted approximately 350 kilometers from the South East coast of Mauritius.

to have been approached by a fishing cooperative in the South of the island of Formosa, so that the trawler is localized.

The Taiwanese Trawler with fourteen Indonesian fishermen left Taiwan during the third week of March to capture marlin and tuna, in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Mauritius. According to the NCG, Taipei authorities had warned the PortLouis harbor of the missing ship.

According to Taiwanese press, the boat owner has explained that he was able to locate the trawler about 415 nautical miles south of Mauritius two days after the boat went missing.

Concerned Mauritian authorities is said

However, authorities have said that a Taiwanese skipper made regular contacts with his wife and boat’s owner and that last radio contact was made on the 24th of March.

Mauritius has mobilized all its resources assisted with international authorities to investigate into the boat disappearance.

Ken Poonoosamy also announced the holding of the BioAfrica conference in Mauritius scheduled in April. The BOI is hoping that this conference will bring together approximately 200 professionals in various sectors of the economy. “The overall objective is to showcase the

Managing Director of the Board of Investment

The Port-Louis harbor welcomed more than a hundred of Taiwanese boats in 2013


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4th EU-Africa Summit Navin Ramgoolam marked his presence in Brussels

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investing in peace and ways to enhance EU support for African capacities to manage security on the continent.

he Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam, left for Brussels on the 30th of March. Prime Minister Ramgoolam who was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Arvin Boolell and other officials attended the 4th EU-Africa Summit, held on the 2nd and 3rd April in Brussels.

It is to be recalled that the previous EU-Africa Summits were held in Cairo (2000), Lisbon (2007) and Tripoli (2010). The 2014 summit has been an opportunity for leaders and observers to take a fresh look at the EU-Africa partnership, to highlight some of the results that have been achieved, and to explore areas for future cooperation.

The Prime Minister along with his delegation had several bilateral meetings on his agenda during the Summit which has brought together the Heads of State and Government of the European Union and the African continent, along with the leaders of the EU and African Union institutions. Discussions at the Summit have focussed on the theme “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace”. Topics have included education and training, women and youth, legal and illegal migrant flows between both continents, ways to stimulate growth and create jobs,

EU-Africa relations are largely based on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, adopted in 2007. Alongside this strategy, a 20112013 action plan, agreed at the last EU-Africa Summit in 2010, sets out concrete targets within specific areas of cooperation, such as peace and security, democratic governance and human rights. Late General Ghadafi along with European leaders at the EU Africa Summit in 2010 in Tripoli

Politics

Moody’s Report Mauritius retained its “Baa1” rating

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he Moody’s 2014 report has been favourable for Mauritius in 2013 like it was in 2012. According to a report released on the 31st of March 2014, Moody’s Investor Service said that Mauritius’s Baa1 rating with stable outlook primarily reflects the resilience and diversification of the local economy and robust institutional capacity. But is, however, constrained by unfavourable debt metrics and its vulnerability to external shocks. The rating agency has noted that the country’s diversified, upper-middleincome economy had supported its Baa1 rating despite its small size which was of a nominal GDP of $11.9 billion in 2013. “The economy has proven resilient to the unfavourable external environment over the past years, owing to its successful attraction of foreign direct investment and the diversification of exports”, highlighted the report. Moody’s has also noted that the political risk as assessed is very low, given wellestablished democratic institutions and a tradition of coalition politics in Mauritius. In contrast, Moody’s indicated that Mauritius’s debt affordability ratio (interest payments / revenue) and current debt stock (53.8% of GDP in 2013) have been unfavourable with those of its Baa-rated peers. Although the Mauritian government is committed towards lowering public-sector

debt to below 50% of GDP by 2018, this objective will test the strong fiscal track record of the Mauritian authorities, said Moody’s report. Moody’s outlined that: « it remains to be seen whether the government can ensure that its debt does not exceed 50% of GDP by 2018 as stipulated by its 2008 Public debt Management Act »,

lead to a substantial deterioration of its debt metrics, which would exert downward pressure on the rating. Conversely, a significant and permanent reduction in Mauritius’s vulnerability to external volatility and shocks would exert positive pressure on the rating”, highlighted the report.

For Moody’s, the banking system in Mauritius (272% of GDP as of 2013) is a source of risk, although this is partially mitigated by the adequate capitalisation of its on-shore and off-shore banks, as well as a strict and prudent regulatory supervision by international standards.

MMM Opposition coalition

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he MMM party leader Paul Berenger and MSM leader Sir Anerood Jugnauth are set to go together in one coalition for the next general polls scheduled in 2015. Delegates of the MMM ratified the deal between their party and that of the MSM, going in the same formula that led the coalition to win massively the polls in 2000. According to the deal, Sir Anerood Jugnauth will take the seat of Prime minister for first three years and the second remaining ones will be assumed by Paul Berenger. The post of the President of the Republic and that of the Speaker of the National Assembly will go to the MMM. The coalition was approved by MMM delegates on the 15th of March.

“We expect monetary policy to remain in-line with the central bank’s objectives of price stability and balanced economic development”, said the report. In addition, according to Moody’s, solid macroeconomic policy in Mauritius, in a context marked by the global crisis, contributed to the strengthening of institutions. The rating agency also praised the government for the improvements in its budgetary management through the system of “program-based budgeting” “The current outlook on the ratings is stable. As a small, export-dependent economy, Mauritius is vulnerable to changes in global demand, particularly from the EU. Should external demand fail to recover sufficiently, another shock could

The Banking sector in Mauritius is a source of risk, according to Moody’s

Paul Berenger waving to the crowd comprising of supporters of the MMM and MSM during t


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Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority Christian Lefèvre appointed as Chairman

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fter nearly 6 months without any successor, the government decided to appoint Christian Lefèvre, Managing Director and owner of Coquille Bonheur, as the new Chairman of the Board of the Tourism Authority. Robert Desveaux who formerly occupied this chair was sacked from the company, being fired by Tourism Minister, Michael

Sik Yuen. Mr Lefevre is a member of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and is well known in the community. According to him, the country has several tourists’ products such as cultural tours and good restaurants which need to be further boosted up.

His appointment was discussed and approved during a cabinet meeting held on Friday March 28. Mr Lefevre, however, said that he was proud that the Prime Minister of Mauritius has entrusted him that special job and has vowed to deliver his best to promote Mauritius as a tourism hub in the Indian Ocean. New Chairman Christian Lefèvre

Africa-Europe Summit EU chief praises Mauritius for its effectiveness

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he Commissioner for the development of the European Union, Andris Piebalgs, praised Mauritius for its effectiveness in the use of financial aid the country has received for its continuous development, according to a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The abolition of the quota will have serious impacts on the price of sugar to countries like Mauritius,” Navin Ramgoolam highlighted in his plea made to the EU.

during the transition period, and according to a study on the impact of this measure on the sugarcane industry and the economy of the country, he said that Europe will take corrective measures”.

However, the press release indicated that the European Commissioner made a formal commitment to assist Mauritius

Navin Ramgoolam also made a plea for Small Island developing States (SIDS), due to their vulnerability to climate

The Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam who attended the 4th Africa-Europe Summit in Brussels in the beginning of April, was warmly welcomed by Andris Pielbalgs in the premises of the European commission.

change. The Prime Minister of Mauritius explained that, as in the case of Mauritius, regardless of the development of a country or its gross domestic product (GDP), the small island developing States remain ‘highly vulnerable ‘. “It is not question of penalizing Mauritius due to its level of development,” insisted Navin Ramgoolam.

The press release stated that the Commissioner for the development of the European Union has called for exemplary cooperation between Mauritius and the European Union.

Andris Piebalgs, promised the support of the European Union to Small Island developing States, especially in the light of the major conference being held in Samoa on the theme of the vulnerability of SIDS (Small Islands Developing States).

According to the press release, Prime Minister Ramgoolam has formally called the EU for the abolition of the internal sugar quota which will be effective as from 2017. Mr Ramgoolam made a plea for corrective measures for the countries most affected by this European decision.

The European Union has agreed to disburse an amount of EUR 4 million under the national indicative Programme (NIP), which affects especially in the sector of energy. It supports the sustained use of ethanol in energy production.

Andris Piebalgs together with Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam during the EU Summit

World Trade Organisation & United Nations Implementation of WTO’s agreement plans discussed

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echnicians from the World Trade Organsations as well as members of the United Nations were in Mauritius at the beginning of April to attend meetings and discuss trade issues. Discussions were targeted on aiming to develop an implementation plan for the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation. An agreement was signed at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Bali in December 2013, which was the first Multilateral Agreement finalised since the creation of the WTO in 1995. It redefined the conventional approach to special and differential treatment. This Agreement has allowed Developing Countries to identify elements in the

Agreement which they have implemented upon its entity into force, also known as Category A Issues; elements which can be implemented over a certain period of time to be indicated by the Developing Countries (Category B Issues) and elements which will be implemented only

when financial and technical assistance have been made available (Category C Issues).

Mauritius and will lead to elimination of cumbersome non-tariff barriers in export markets in which Mauritius trades.

It is expected that implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement will further remove impediments to trade in

Mauritius is therefore fully committed to implement the agreement, aid the ministry.


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Nourouz 2014 400 Iranians travel to Mauritius to celebrate New Year

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auritius is steadily becoming a country for cultural tourism. Decades ago, it attracted only European tourists but with new tourism products it has attracted Chinese tourists and even many coming from Iran.

Tamassa and Shanti Maurice. They said that they were fascinated by the beauty of the island, the hotel facilities and the various activities of the destination. Excursions in the north and south of the island and a day at sea aboard a catamaran were also on the agenda.

On the last week of March, Mauritius welcomed 400 Iranians who came to celebrate their New Year known as ‘Nowruz’. This festival is celebrated every year, specifically on March 20 to mark the first day of spring. Norouz celebration is a legacy of the Persian Empire has been celebrated in Iran for the past 2500 years.

During their visit, they also met with the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Michael Sik Yuen during a dinner at the Hotel Shanti Maurice. A representative of the Iranian group and Michael Sik Yuen have both expressed their wishes for future cultural exchanges and collaborations.

A total number of 400 Iranian visitors stayed in three different hotels on the island including Sofitel, Imperial, LUX*,

This was the first time that Mauritius received such a large number of tourists from Iran and the Tourism Office is

Nourouz is celebrated every 20th of March since 2500 years by Persians

intensifying its efforts in promoting Mauritius to the Gulf countries in a bid to be more visible on this market’s segment.

The visit of the 400 Iranian in Mauritius was made possible thanks to the assisted actions of Reza Maleki, Deltaban Iran, tour operator-Coquille Bonheur, Emirates Airline and the MTPA.

School of Music at Grande Rivière Noire ENL has posed itself to help

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rande Riviere Noire is one of the most undeveloped villages in Mauritius, but that does not mean that children and inhabitants of that coastal village cannot aspire to become local Mozarts. In this context, the ENL Foundation has decided to help to make music a reality in this particular village.

The Ecole de Musique has various objectives such as to provide facilities and techniques to vulnerable children to perform music, to enhance the development of vulnerable children through music as well as their socialization skills and promote their talents.

The National Empowerment Foundation and the ENL Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the setting up of an Ecole de Musique at Grande Rivière Noire. The MoU defines the roles, responsibilities and functions of each stakeholder in the project.

The project which will run for a period of three years starting in April 2014 will target some 50 beneficiaries of the NEF in the region of Camp Robinet, Grande Rivière Noire.

Work Placement HRDC shows care for young labour force’s future

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mid tight job market competition, employers nowadays are placing greater emphasis on the value of skills. Work experience is one way for students to add to their skills profile. In this regards, the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) will organise an initiation workshop on the 7th of April in order to mark the launch of its work placement programme for Lower VI students. Some 150 students from 42 secondary schools will be on placement in 24 participating organisations for two weeks during the April school holidays, the HRDC stated. However, according to the HRDC, the main objective of the placement programme will be to bridge the gap between the schooling system and the world of work from an early stage.

“Students will be able to familiarise themselves to a working environment and reinforce academic learning with practical workplace experience”, has said the Director of the HRDC, Raj Auckloo “Since last year, the HRDC has introduced a new feature to the work placement programme. For the April 2014 batch, the HRDC will run a presentation on topics such as potential career pathways, job interview advice and how to build a successful Curriculum Vitae so as to give students the necessary guidance in their career planning process”, explained Mr Auckloo. For the record, the project was first launched in August 2007 and has been successfully replicated in Rodrigues since July last year. Undoubtedly,

Raj Auckloo, Director of the Human Resource Development Council

work experience has a number of advantages for students by helping to boost their self-development, improving communication and language skills and developing an awareness of the workplace culture. By emphasising the

importance of out-of-classroom careerrelated experiences for students, the project implemented by the HRDC will expose the students to the new realities of the world of work.


NEWS

18 mauritiusnow April 2014

Islands Project Indian Ocean Commission get financial support from EU The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) signed a new agreement of 7.5 million euros with the European Union (EU) during the Council of Ministers, held in Moroni, Comoros, on Thursday, April 10. According to the IOC, the grant which is the result of the 10th European Fund of development (EDF), will help the Commission to fund the implementation of a new phase of the ISLANDS project. “The renewed EU support will again give full force to the link between emergencies of today and the expectations of tomorrow, in the service of the construction of a world where economic growth and social welfare will be synonymous with sustainability”, summarized Jean Claude de l’Estrac, Secretary General of the IOC. He furthermore said that the new funding will allow the Commission to continue its works on the implementation of the ISLANDS project until 2017, which aims to accelerate the process of implementation of the Mauritius Strategy adopted at the second conference of

the United Nations on the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of 2005. “It will add to the 10 million euros already allocated by the EU for Phase I of the programme which runs from August 2011 to June 2014”, said the Secretary General of the IOC. It is worth to point out that over these past three years, the ISLANDS project has supported sustainable development initiatives in various countries throughout the region. The results of the first phase of the project, providing a solid base to the second phase, have made it possible to strengthen national and regional dynamics for sustainable development which includes the partnership of more than 40 regional and international countries; awareness of more than 13,000 people on issues relating to sustainable development; formed over 350 actors of sustainable development so that they have the skills to carry out their actions; put the region in value at more than 20 international events and so on.

The Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission, Jean Claude de l’Estrac during the EU grant signing ceremony in Moroni, Comoros


NEWS

mauritiusnow April 2014 19

Economy Minister Duval wins Southern African Economic Development Championship Award It shall not be a surprise to see Mauritius’ Finance Minister, Xavier Luc Duval elected as the African personality of the year, 2014 simply because the minister has won quite a few prestigious international awards during these past years. And for this year, the latter was chosen as the winner of the Southern African Economic Development Championship Award 2014 by the African Leadership Magazine. Minister Duval has won the Africa Investor Award for Best Finance Minister of Africa over two consecutive years (2012/2013). However, Minister Duval will receive his award during a ceremony which will take place from April 25 to 26, 2014 in Washington DC, during a two-day US EXIM Bank conference. The Mauritian Finance Minister will join the ranks of previous beneficiaries of this award

category such as Dorcas MakgatoMalesu, Trade Minister for Botswana; Armando Manuel, Finance Minister for Angola; Peter Sinon, Minister for Natural Resources and Industry, Seychelles; M Cutifani, Chief Executive Officer, Anglogold Ashanti, South Africa and Brian Joffe, Chief Executive, Bidvest Group, South Africa. According to the magazine, the Mauritian economy which is already among the most competitive countries in Africa has been able to compete successfully on the global stage thanks to the relentless efforts undertaken by Minister Duval. Furthermore, Mr Duval was credited with having made finance more accessible to the common man with continuous improvements in the macroeconomic fundamentals as well as the socioeconomic development of the country. Mauritian Minister of Finance, Xavier Luc Duval

MyDodo Club Celebrates its 25th Anniversary with Champions League Style Tournament

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t was a special night for non-league MyDodo Club on Saturday 25th March as the popular north London-based family and friends football club marked its 25th year with a thrilling tournament final at the Coles Park Stadium, White Hart Lane, Tottenham.

Made up of players from across north London aged between 7 and 60, the team has grown from strength to strength after starting with a few friends having a kick about in a north London park 25 years ago. The club now boasts an academy team, a team in Canada, a twinned team in Normandy and has played internationally in tournaments in France.

about for the past quarter of a century, making it a truly unique organisation despite its non-league status.” Saturday’s tournament was followed by a glitzy red-carpet ceremony with the winning team being presented their medals and trophy by Charlotte Giles, Miss Hampshire and finalist in the Miss England competition to be held in June. The event also included authentic

MyDodo Club chairman and founder Faz Hyda said: “Tonight is a proud moment for MyDodo Club as it is the first time we are opening our doors to an external audience. This show, with all its protocols and etiquette, is what our club has been

The final was the culmination of the ‘Q1 tournament’ which had seen the 60-strong club split into four teams, each representing a Premier League side. The Saturday night event ended with ‘Liverpool’ beating ‘Manchester United’ 6-1 in front of a crowd of friends, families and representatives from Enfield Council.

Club’s Founder & President Moves on to New Challenges

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fter leading MyDodo Club to new heights at Coles Park Stadium on Saturday 29th March, club founder & president Faz Hyda has called time on his ‘dodo’ career to focus on new business challenges, which include the launch of his own publishing company. His first big project will be a 100-page business-to-business magazine for the Europe, Middle East & Africa region earmarked for publication in October this

year. Targeted at CEO’s and other CXlevel executives of top companies in that region, the new publication will cover hot spot industry sectors, carrying the latest business news and interviews of industry leaders. With over 30 years’ experience in advertising and consulting for Hewlett Packard and other blue chip technology vendors into large global enterprises in the EMEA region, Faz’s b2b experience

will be invaluable in the success of his new quarterly magazine which he promises to be of high quality, both in advertising and editorial content. On the local sports scene, the company has just produced The Dodo, which was distributed at the stadium event and to many outlets and Mauritian families in London to promote MyDodo Club and several Mauritian businesses in London.

Mauritian music and food. While the club has a majority of Mauritian players, other nationalities on board include Romanian, Turkish, Polish, Sri Lankan, Algerian, Goan, and English. The club hopes to continue growing without losing its unique culture, values and ethics.


CULTURAL AFFAIRS

20 mauritiusnow April 2014

The man who would be King abhimanyu unnuth

Pritish Beesooa British Correspondent & Publicist

In celebration of Mauritian Independence last month, British correspondent Pritish Beesooa takes a look at some of the unsung heroes of Mauritius who have helped define the country since 1968. In this month’s edition, we focus on the life and works of literary powerhouse and critically acclaimed novelist and playwright Abhimanyu Unnuth, who this year will receive one of India’s highest ranking literary awards, the last recipient being V.S Naipaul in 2010.

“So let me tell you a story,” he said in a bittersweet whisper. It was hard to focus; yet his gentle charm swayed me. His concept of fashion had changed dramatically since the last time we met. In our last meeting he was an immaculate gentleman, a stout figure representing the canon of Indian and Hindi literature, a man accustomed to facing seemingly insurmountable odds and yet achieving and breaking the boundaries with great success. Drawn into his deep piercing brown eyes like a child watching a magician for the first time, an epiphany smacked me to the core serving to prompt memories of the greatness of this frail man. I was reminded that he had lived through the period of colonial Mauritius when the injustice of the ‘The Great Experiment’ was introduced by the British Empire as a replacement to the abolishment of slavery. Indeed, he worked through the brutality of the sugar cane plantation system as a young minor and, upon observing first hand how fellow indentured labourer Mauritians were treated at the hands of barbaric plantation owners and their brainwashed ‘Sirdar’ scapegoats, promised to fight back against the system and expose the truth (Lal Pasina 1976). Furthermore, founding fathers of Mauritius Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and Sir Gaetan Duval constantly acknowledged the brilliance of this man from Triolet in establishing Mauritian identity in the years and decades proceeding independence and his passionate enthusiasm at fighting corruption and poverty. Sixty years of writing had come down to this confession. A confession he needed me to hear, a confession that maybe I might have heard before from his ripen mango lips and sweet placid voice,

“So this is a true event that happened to me when I was a young boy and only my close friends know of this and now I want to confess to you,” he said. “Even my own family do not know about this, yet I’m not embarrassed to tell you, so I want you to listen”

His eyes were different today. Those thunderous pupils connected to his storm like creative brain weighed his brittle, fragile body down. Those eyes were clearly different, there was no more thunder, there was no more creativity and there was water around,

“When I was a young boy” “How young?” I said, “Young, maybe eight.” “So when I was young, we were very poor. Money was something very sacred and scarce for my family and I had lived my entire childhood without any. My friend at the time, he was from a richer more prosperous family and had money for lunch by virtue of a couple of coins. So it was lunchtime at school and we went out to the local vendor and my friend brought two little Gateaux Pima cakes for himself. He quickly ate one and licked his lips after finishing it with great vigour. He was just about to place the second in his mouth when an unfortunate jerk in his arm made him drop the glistening fried cake on the floor. I watched as it rolled and bounced a few times and lay to rest under the wheel of the vendour’s cart. It was a hot day and my stomach was rumbling, I was so ever hungry and the smell from the fried chickpea cakes and the fresh chopped spring onions was too much to bear for my young tender age. So I decided then. I looked my friend directly in the eyes, he looked back and smiled and proceeded to take another coin out of his pocket and turned to


CULTURAL AFFAIRS

mauritiusnow April 2014 21

Gabriel García Márquez William Blake Bharati Mukherjee William Shakespeare Malcolm de Chazal, VS Naipaul Henry James Ernest Hemingway, RK Narayan John Keats Mahashweta Devi, EM Forster James Joyce I am in awe Bronte, Woolf of these great Rushdie,Wole Soyinka masters Arundhati Roy Derek Walcott Doestoyevsky J.M.G Le Clezio abhimanyu unnuth Designed by Pritish Beesooa

the vendour and purchased two more Gateaux Pima cakes. Using this as a distraction, I quickly picked the lonely, dusty Gateaux Pima from the floor under the wheel, turned my back and ate it. It was quite magnificently delicious”. He looked at me with compassionate eyes. Water was building under his heavy drawn lids and his face sagged and dropped. Remarkably he had a beautiful face with a structure that remained young looking despite his years of seventy-six. His bright white hair provided a shocking contrast to his seemingly child like facial expressions. He lifted his hand with great frailty and wiped his eyes. I was drawn to the sliver of tears that lined his frail finger and sparkled off the light of the room. It was very dramatic, and it was obvious that this was a story he was very proud of and I have no doubt a story he had repeated to many a person who had the privilege of sitting with him.

“I’m very proud of that story,” he said with a great big smile. “I’m not ashamed of being poor and telling you that story. My poverty defined me and led me to becoming a writer.” My lack of response and emotion may have prompted him to add those phrases in, but it was a story that sounded eerily similar to others that he had confessed to me in our previous meetings. I wondered in those seconds of silence that preoccupied his living room how others in my position before me had responded. How did a writer like J.M.G Le Clezio respond when he confessed this story to him? Would it have touched him more because he was born on the other side of the tracks? He was a Mauritian too but a Franco Mauritian. A Mauritian whose ancestors were the colonial French, the landowners, the might of Mauritian colonial power, the slave masters, the oppressors, the pioneers, the owners of the ‘white gold’ sugar cane plantations, the minority that never knew poverty or acknowledged the suffering of the indentured workers in the long beautiful blood soaked history of Mauritius. Had he been moved to tears when his dear friend, a friend he felt compelled to thank in his Noble prize winning speech, a friend who warmly invited him into his house and showed him the greatness of hospitality and told him that he ate food from the floor out of necessity as a consequence of his poverty, a scenario that would have been a riveting contrast to his childhood. Had Le Clezio been moved to tears in the very place that I was seated?

“It’s a beautiful story,” I said with a forced compassionate expression. It was a story amongst many others that I already possessed for him and some far more moving than the one he told me. I had noticed by now that he did not seem his usual self. Normally, I would be in the presence of a gentleman of great energy despite his age. Previously he had talked to me on many subjects surprising me with his wealth of knowledge and understanding of multiculturalism, spiritual enlightenment, theology, secularisation and technological advancement. Today was a contrast. He seemed lost in the safe haven of his crumbling home. He seemed tired and unexpected. He

seemed as misplaced as his forty-six inch Sony Bravia television thrown in amongst the endless books that preoccupied his living room. Hundreds of books of varying age and condition collected over the last half-century each containing vast stories, epic imagery and unique interpretations from the generations of individuals that have wondered into his realm picking and choosing their readers. It was as if age had finally caught up to him and guided him gracefully back to his impending doom- silence and contemplation for the gift that was bestowed upon him.

“They have given me another award in India,” he said with a touch of sadness. “Congratulations Abhimanyu, it’s only what you deserve. You are the ‘King of Hindi Literature’, you are the one that created the Mauritian identity through your epic imagery and poetry and, gave voice to the plight of the Indian indentured labourers when the world wanted to forget, you are a great writer…” “No never!” he exclaimed in a passionate outburst that resonated around the room. “I have told you before Pritish, I do not like the word ‘great’. This word by itself has significant meaning, as does the word writer. We use these words too often in a wrong context. Great writers are people like Shakespeare, Keats, Hemingway, Bronte and others. I am just a writer, and I am happy without the word association of great connected to it”. “Are you happy with the way things are progressing with the English translation of Lal Pasina?” I said with an attempted charming disposition. “I’m very happy. I am at your service. I give you full control,” he said with a cheeky charming child like demeanour. The above passages are an excerpt from “Welcome to cloud Koo Koo Land” which charts Pritish Beesooa true account of publishing Abhimanyu Unnuth. The book gives an eventful insight into the UK publishing world, international politics, second-generation British diaspora and all the colorful individuals involved (some broken promises) in helping to bring Unnuth to the attention of the world. Due for release in 2016. To find out more about Unnuth and the English translation of Lal Pasina due for UK release later this year, please email : pritish@biswadocumentaries.com


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY


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BOLLYWOOD

24 mauritiusnow April 2014

Banter with Vallisa! Hi my name is Vallisa and I am a Radio Presenter,

Film Producer/Director/Scriptwriter, I have my own Female only DJ Roadshow and now I will be adding Writer to my list. Each month I will be bringing you banter from all over, including Bollywood, Bhangra and Urban Asian. So welcome to my page!

Killing Bollywood!

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ollowing the passing away of veteran actress Nanda, who appeared in Hindi nad Marathi films and is best known for acting in the films Ittefaq, Joru Ka Ghulam,Neend Hamare Khwab Tumhare, Kanoon, Pati Patni, Gumnaam, Akashdeep,Bedaag and Raja Saab, on March 25th 2014 twitter went into over load with rumours spreading that the nightingale of Bollywood Lata Mangeshkar had also passed away. The

very next day one of the country’s most influential and loved actresses of her time, Asha Parekh, became the butt of the rumor mills who targeted her. Lata Mangeshkar tweeted, yes she uses twitter, about her health saying she was in good health.

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Journalists and Cricketers alike further tweeted their apologies for falling for the rumors.

I am extremely happy to host IIFA again and more than that I am excited to see Hrithik performing. He is the best dancer in the industry. I remember watching ‘Koi... Mil Gaya’ and I felt like a terrible actor,”

3. Fruit Ninja – Even a little baby could play this. It is all about swiping your finger across the screen at the right time to break the fruit. The only frustrating is you have to contain your excitement otherwise as the game goes on you could end up swiping a bomb or missing the fruit and 3 missed fruits means you loose.

The IIFA’s are taking place in Tampa Bay in Florida and it should be interesting to see what the two cook up this time.

Aishwariya Rai’s Comeback! In 2011 Ashwariya Rai was cast as the protagonist of Madhur Bhandarkar’s social drama Heroine; however, due to her pregnancy, Rai was replaced by Kareena Kapoor, the original choice for the role. Later in the year she gave birth to daughter Aaradhya and since she has not yet made her acting comeback which has had the rumor mills going wild. What a better way to celebrate this comeback then to act opposite her husband Abhishek Bachchan. Ashwariya

Causing a Stir!

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arun Dhawan, son of film director David Dhawan made his debut in the 2012 Karan Johar film Student of the Year and therefore making him still a newcomer in Bollywood compared to some of the older actors. But this hasn’t stopped him from stealing the limelight whether it is his fans ripping his shirt off him during the excitement of the promotions of his latest film Main Tera Hero or that he disclosed he shares dirty jokes with his co-star, Nargi Fakhri. Varun has now taken on power couple Katrina and Ranbir. Varun spoofed scenes from Ranbir’s Barfi! To woo his leading ladies and it is also said that

has reportedly shown interest in Prahlad Kakkad’s directorial debut, Happy Anniversary which Abhishek has already been casted for. The couple are going through the script and apparently Sushmita Sen has been asked to play a supporting role. Back in the day one of the most talked about feuds in Bollywood was between Sushmita and Ashwariya and dates back to 1994 when Sushmita won the Miss

1. Instagram – This had to be on the top of my list I love that you can snap a picture of absolutely anything and Instagram it and using #hastags is brilliant. On a daily basis I have people that I do not even know connecting with me due to a picture I have posted. It’s all about learning how to use your smartphone camera effectively. When that fails filters are there to help. 2. Candy Crush – Oh was this game a little too addictive? To be honest when I first bought the app I wasn’t that taken by it however, that all changed when my ousins told me what levels they were on and I felt jealous that I was nowhere near those levels. The problem is the game is like Pringles. Once you pop you just can’t stop. I found myself paying to buy more lives to help me along the way. I finally had to actually whine myself off the game and haven’t touched it since.

Dancing Magic!

he 15th edition of the IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) awards is upon us and Shahid Kapoor has been picked to host the awards alongside Farhan Akhtar, yet again. They previously co-hosted the 2012 IIFa’s together and done a splendid job. Shahid is also known for his fantastic dance moves but he has admitted he feels he does not have a patch on Hritik Roshan.

Top 5 Apps

India crown beating the strong-favourite Aishwarya and went on to win the Miss Universe title, while Aishwarya, the first runners-up, was adjudged Miss World. 20 years on could the two of them put their differences behind them?

4. My Fitness Pal – This is an app that could really get on your nerves but in the same sense help you loose weight. You set a goal of how many calories you are going to consume a day and anything you put into your mouth you record on this app. It is brilliant for when you are on the go and cannot write down all the food you are eating. It also saves the food you input and has a scanning system so you can scan barcodes of most products and it will calculate the calories. 5. Kindle – This is a fantastic little app that can save you a tone of money, especially if you are a reader. There are books on the app that are available for free and some that you can pay for. Instead of carrying your books around with you, depending on how big could sometimes be very heavy, you can carry your favorite books on your smatphone or tablet. there is a parody choreographed by the actor himself on Ranbir’s popular track Badtameez Dil from his 2013 release Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. His latest dig was at Katrina and her lack of understanding over the Hindi language. It has Anupam Kher telling Varun: “Kutte ki pooch and Katrina ki Hindi kabhi seedhi nahi ho sakti“! To this comes the witty reply from Varun: “Aaj kal uski Hindi theek ho gayi hai“. Varun best watch out if he is looking to make friends in the industry.


CULTURE

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Ramanavami

Mauritius Independence Celebration… What a celebration!

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amanavami was celebrated by the Indians around the world on Tuesday 8 April 2013. This celebration is associated with the birth of Lord Rama, the eldest son of the King of Ayodhya, King Dasarath and Queen Kausalya. Lord Rama is regarded as one of the incarnations of Hindu God Visnu. The epic Ramayana is based on the life and hardship of Lord Rama. Ramanawami falls in the month of Chaitra (MarchApril. Ramanawami Puja is also performed by the Hindu Mauritian community in Britain. On this auspicious day worshippers observe fast and go to temples. There is an exchange of foods and other gifts. It is noted that the Ramanawami Puja has been celebrated in Britain since the seventies but the greatest event ever recorded among the Hindus in Britain whose ancestors were either from Mauritius or the Caribbean was held in April 1988. This was published in the Asian Times dated Friday 8th April 1988:‘Homage to our ancestors who left India 150 years.’A four day Tulsi Krit Ramayan Yajna was hosted by Ramsewak Doon Pundit from Trinidad at the Radha Krishna Mandir & Shyama Ashram in Balham, South London. The four days were strictly to pay homage to those who left the shores of India 150 years ago and to bless the land of Trinidad, Guyana, Mauritius, Fiji, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and other places all over the world. The service was administered by Pundit Ramasarran Sankar and his discourse was well received by the congregation which is to day reflected in the increased activities of the Hindus, many folds than anticipated, not only in Britain but around the world. The prime essence of the Tulsi krit Ramayana cannot be more appropriate than the sentences to follow in the above published article: ‘It is a source of pride to be able to say that the Hindus from the ancient times to the present have been performing Yajnas and have thus adhered to the scriptural ordinance with unflinching devotion.’

Picture Credits: Krishnamercy.org

he Mauritian Middlesex Cultural Group West London celebrated the 46th Independence Day and 22nd Republic Day of Mauritius in an outstanding style at Barn Hill Community Hall, Hayes on Saturday 22 March 2014. The executive members were well pleased with the attendance. Over 245 people had attended the function. The entertainment had a three pronged approach to the musical night that captured the very essence of Mauritian traditional and contemporary music. The evening kicked off with the nostalgic voice of Sashi Sohodeb, the Bhojpuri Film Fare Award winner, who dedicated his first song to Motherland, Mauritius, in his most traditional style followed by few latest Bollywood songs. Sashi was then followed by Satidanand Sankar and his daughter whose fantastic repertoires included a melange of Bhojpuri and Bollywood songs. The vocalists were accompanied by Kewal Seewoorattun and Jay Aukhaj who amazed the audience with the dexterity on Tabla and Dholak.

The variety show was enhanced by the vibrant Disco Sound of DJ Eagle and Max Dussoye.

The live musical section came to a close with the sizzling and sensational Belly Dance routine performed by Pooja Bhunjun. The Sega dancing group led by Isabelle added an extra cultural dimension to the evening with their selections of popular Sega numbers.

Guru Seegoolam, the President of MMCGWL, in his speech, having congratulated the Government of Mauritius and its people took great pride in bringing to the attention of the audience that ‘Mauritius has moved on from a mono to diverse economic something that all the Mauritians are

Many of the guests congratulated the Mauritian Middlesex Cultural Group West London for showing their patriotism in organising this event with great passion.

proud of.’ The organisers would like to express their thanks to all the performing artists; volunteers; younsters and sponsors namely: MK Travels in Barking; ITW Shipping Hayes; Sarasas Restaurant and Click & Talk Photographer. Jay Aukhaj and his wife Sangeetah would like to thanks all those who had honoured their invitations at short notice and apologise to those who could not get ticket. Congratulation to all raffle winners.

The Hindu Mauritian Sabha (UK) celebrated Ram Katha.

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n Sunday 6th April, 2014 the Hindu Mauritian Sabha (UK) of Epsom and Ewell celebrated its first Ram Katha which was officiated by Pundit Yugal Sharma Ramkisoon. In her welcoming speech the Sabha’s secretary Mala Jugutpal said: “Katha is derived from Ramcharitmanas. The Ramayana is the immortal tale of Shree Ram that teaches us the values of devotion, duty and relationship. It leads to the simplistic form of life and teaches us what to do and what to be.” The Ramcharitmanas is a poetic classic written by Goswami Tulsidas (16th Century CE) and is one of the greatest works of Hindi literature. It bestows upon its readers the gifts of Devotion (Bhakti), Divine Knowledge (Gyan) and Salvation (Mukti). The Ram Katha or the reading from the Ramcharitmanas is one of the most auspicious occasions in the Hindu religion. It is claimed that reciting five to seven verses of this holy scripture will get rid of all the “faults of the human mind.” Pundit Ramkisoon in his discourse explained “Ramcharitmanas is like a mirror. When we look in the mirror

discovering something wrong on our face we tend to rectify it immediately. Likewise, when we become aware of all the falseness of life, we need to change our life and one of the ways is to follow the message of Tulsidas which symbolises the nectar of life leading to Lord Vishnu.” The characters in the Ramcharitmanas are embodiments of virtues and each personality epitomises the highest qualities of each role. Beginning with Lord Rama himself, who is the perfect son, husband and a model king, Shri Laxman is the ideal brother, and Shri Hanumanji is devotion personified. Even Ravana is the perfect enemy until the end when he realises that Lord Rama is the Supreme God himself. In his vote of thanks, the President, Manna D Santokhee recognised the sterling work of the individual EC

members in making the Ram Katha a success. He particularly acknowledged the contribution of Atmanand Mutty, Darsanee Mutty for not only organising the Ramayan sessions and Bhajans but also reminding us of the continuation of the relevant Doha (rhyming couplet in poetry) and Bhajans (devotional songs) prior to each session. By the same token he thanked Rajah Garikedu, Atmanand, Darsanee, Anita Sumessur, Bharatee Santokhee, Naraini Ramlugun, Lalita Haurdhan, Nandini Khedan Naraini and Kishore for their support. The President also said “the continued presence of the members, friends and families has always been a source of great encouragement to the EC Members in their work.”


KIDS

26 mauritiusnow April 2014

Feno the little DODO About the Author

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riya N. Hein (née Rughooputh) is the bestselling author of A Little Dodo Called Feno series published by EOI in Mauritius. Her latest book, Little Dodo’s ABC Book, published by Editions Orphie in France received the Coup de Coeur FNAC, Paris. Priya N. Hein lives in Munich with her husband and her two children and regularly visits Mauritius. For more information please visit: www.priyahein.com

Sirandanns / Riddles Sirandanns are witty guessing games in Mauritian Creole. Different cultures have developed this tradition of telling riddles and word games but in Mauritius it is much more than just a word game. It is a magical and poetic ritual which, a long time ago, used to take place at night when the sun began to set and the sky started to glow. Families and friends would gather round the fire camp and tell sirandanns which have been handed down from generation to generation. Mo mezir enn latwal, zamé mo pa truv so la fin? I unwind a bolt of cloth without end? Answer: Gran simin/The high street Ena enn mamzel, li swiv mwa partu, zamé mo kapav ambras li? There’s a maiden that follows me everywhere but I never get to kiss her? Answer: Mo lombraz/My shadow Mo ena enn bann ti bonom: zur zot fet zot tu abiy an ruz? A team of little ones, who, when its party time all dress up in red? Answer: Piman/Chilies Mo ena enn suval, mo ferm li dan lekiri, so laké tuzur deor? I’ve got a horse that, lock it up in the stable as I may, its tail always sticks out? Answer: Lafimé/Smoke


KIDS

mauritiusnow April 2014 27

Squawk Talk with Didi Squawk! Squawk! Being in an egg isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It can get pretty cramped in there, I can tell you! It’s not even as if I had a window to look out of. But thankfully I was able to peck my way to freedom and fresh air in next to no time. However, I do have a slightly sore beak from all of that head-banging. I shall be sticking to chocolate eggs from now on. Speaking of which, I had better hop along as I’m helping the Easter Bunny with his deliveries. See you soon - Squawk! - Didi

Didi’s Easter ‘Egg’-stravaganza!

(Didi the Dodo is written and illustrated by: © Des & Kerry Hegarty)


LAW

28 mauritiusnow April 2014

Rights of same sex couples: Are the United Kingdom and Mauritius on the same length?

T

he 29th March 2014 is to be seen as a historical date in the United Kingdom as it is the first time that gay and lesbian couples have been given the right to get married. This date is important and represents a significant revolution for same sex couple who were since 2005 only allowed to enter into a ‘ civil partnership’.

The new law now gives same sex couples the right to get married but also means that they can enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples. The gay marriage law is the result of a long battle going back to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England in 1967. The present law can also be attributed to the ruthless protests brought by

campaigners fighting for equality and the law also translates the United Kingdom’s wishes to recognise the principle of equality and Human Rights which make it unlawful to act discriminatory against homosexuals. While the United Kingdom has made real progress in recognising gay rights other countries including Mauritius still do not

explicitly acknowledge these rights. In Mauritius gay people can under certain circumstances be sanctioned and sentenced to jail purely for being gay. In this article I aim to emphasise on the different approach of the UK and Mauritius when considering gay rights.

The United Kingdom

A

s explained earlier it has been a long battle for homosexuals and lesbians in the UK as it has taken nearly 50 years to legalise same sex marriage in the UK. The first step towards the liberation of gay rights in the UK was through an Act passed in 1967 which aimed to decriminalise homosexuality. A couple of decades later the UK then passed the Civil Partnership Act 2004, coming into force in 2005 allowing gay couples to translate their unions via what we call Civil Partnerships. Civil Partnerships are civil unions which grant

gay people more or less the same rights as marriage. However campaigners have raised issues with this principle as some of them took the view that the regime still suggests that same sex relationships are not as equal as opposite sex marriage and the wording still aims to differentiate the unions. It is also disputed that the legal rights conferred in a civil partnership are not exactly the same as in marriage. On a politicside, the Home Secretary Theresa May and Equality Minister Lynne Featherstone have been in support of same sex marriage and even

stated the following: “put simply, it is not right that a couple who love each other and want to formalise a commitment to each other should be denied the right to marry”. Despite the apparent victory, the new law is not accepted by everyone. Some religious people are concerned that perhaps one day the equality law may force a church, a mosque or a temple to hold ceremonies for same sex couples. In fact some religious institutions are still protected and can still refuse to hold religious ceremonies for gay people and the law currently ensures that no discrimination claim can be brought against religious organisation in case of

refusal. Other opinions suggest that the new law may ‘endanger’ the historical and traditional meaning of the marriage institution. One professor argues that the ‘main reason for the state to be involved with marriage is children’ and his views are that gay marriage would contradict and question those values. Therefore while the new development can be seen as a victory for some, for others it still feels like the United Kingdom still have some fighting to do before the law is accepted by every single individual.

Mauritius

M

auritius is known to be one of the most favourite destinations for honeymooners. However surprisingly Mauritius does not officially recognise gay rights. Section 250 of the Mauritius Code of 1838 states that ‘any person who is guilty of the crime of sodomy….shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years’. The section seems here to criminalise sexual acts between consenting adults that are not purely for the sake of reproduction. While Mauritius does not accept that a person should be discriminated based on their sexual orientation there is a problem in the

sense that the law in Mauritius does not explicitly accept and acknowledge gay rights unlike Europe. It is reported that gay people in Mauritius still live out of fear that anybody may find out they are gay. It also goes far as it has been reported that some gay people are sometimes kidnapped by their relatives in an attempt to ‘cure’ their homosexuality. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Mauritius claims that gay people often encounter violence and hatred if they are open about their sexual orientation and they are currently fighting to get the Mauritian government to acknowledge the existence of Lesbian and gay rights, to get the government to decriminalise

same sex sexual activities and to raise awareness among the population. However there is some hope for gay people in Mauritius as economic wise Mauritius is a free economy, although it tries to be independent it can to some extend face different challenges and may be forced to rely on external help and therefore this may indirectly influenced the country to implement international

Mauritius may therefore be constrained to reconsider its views on the principle of equality and how this principle should apply to its citizens. However there is no doubt that Mauritius has still a long journey to go before it legally accepts same sex couples rights.

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STUDENT LIFE

mauritiusnow April 2014 29

simply r o t e rg g o o d, d t o fo w n o e h t e e s e t i m e, w o t re a l i n e h o t positiv d f f o d o t n r s a e o w fe M the po ics of li l s a a e r b d e r igno ined an m r e t e d s t r o n g, g i s. think in

The power of positive thinking By Amishta Sohoraye

How to ace a job? 1. Internship/Volunteering Internships always look good on your CV. Volunteering is one of the best ways to boost your CV and keep your skills Volunteering is a great way to boost your CV and keep your skills up-to-date while you’re between jobs, and demonstrate to employers you’re still a keen worker. If you’re looking for a career change – Volunteering is a great way to start gaining valuable experience and showing employers you’re serious about taking on a new direction.

Read more about tips on how to be a good student on our website www.thestudentpress.co.uk Love The Student Press? Find us on Facebook: The Student Press P.S: if you have any further questions feel free to drop me a line at info@thestudentpress.co.uk.

2. Online Courses With a lot of employers looking for evidence of continuous learning and development, online courses have become more and more popular. There are plenty of different online organisations and companies offering fully or part funded courses that can be done online and at your own pace. 3. Look for hidden vacancies Instead of advertising their available jobs, employers often look to fill vacancies by word-of-mouth, headhunting or simply by recruiting internally. 4. Get employers to come to you Getting headhunted is no longer the preserve of employees in senior management. When you post your CV online, you are immediately putting your details within reach of thousands of employees may save you the trouble of searching through job adverts. 5. Target the right companies Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or would you rather have the safety of a large organisation with job security and a clear career path? Knowing what you want allows you to narrow down your search and spend more time on applying for the roles you really want. Many employers now research potential candidates across social media sites so make sure your name brings up the professional, quality presence they’ll want to hire. Good luck.


SPORT

30 mauritiusnow April 2014

Champions League Semi- Finals draw and analysis A mouth-watering game in perspective for the football lovers and the ‘La Liga’ and the ‘Bundesliga’ fan will relish this tie alongside all those who love the game in general. The neutrals will just sit down and enjoy 180 minutes of football or even more if it goes into extra time while the fans of those teams will bite their nails and hoping that their respective team can get the better of the rival on the night. As Carlo Ancelotti, manager of Real Madrid declared it, “The match against Bayern will be very difficult but it will not be easy for them to play us” This tie will also see Pep Guardiola, currently managing Bayern Munich return to the Santiago Bernabeu where he has had so much triumph with when he managed Barcelona. This game will be a hard one to call, as we expect with all semi final games since they should be one of the best 4 teams that remain in the competition and this game could have been the final as well as many expected before the draws were announced. In terms of the tie, I think the battle will be won by the team that concedes less and it could even go to the away goal rules. Both teams are attacking teams but their mode of attack and tactics are different. While Real will rely on individual talents like Di Maria, Bale and of course Ronaldo, Bayern is more of a squad team that depends on passing the ball all round the pitch and pressing hard when they have not got it. As I said before, it will be a close game and refereeing decisions could have a major outcome in the final aggregate

scoreline. The bookies have made Bayern favourite for this tie and to win the cup after beating Manchester United and also after Real Madrid suffered a heavy defeat against Borussia Dortmund. We also witnessed how appalling the Madridian side looked without star man Cristiano Ronaldo who was only a sub. Moreover, Real Madrid have only knocked out Bayern once in their five Champions League semi-finals against them but the only time they did it, they eventually went out to win the trophy and that was back in 2000. My prediction would be Bayern Munich to go through but only just. The second leg at the Allianz Arena is a big boost for the German team that could go to Spain and get the away goal that would put them in the driving seat for the return leg. We all know they can score goals with Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben or even Toni Kroos who can get a goal at any time. Real’s defence is the weakest link in the team and we can see the Munich side exploiting that debility. The other game sees a fully confident Atletico Madrid sides take on the only English team left in the competition in Chelsea Football Club. Both teams are optimistic in this competition after the Madrid side, currently top of the league, eliminated the mighty Barcelona while Chelsea came down from 2 goals down to turn the game around at the Bridge to make it through on away goal rules. However, this tie will be encompassed by

Sports News in a nutshell... • England manager Roy Hudgson was at his former club Fulham to watch the performance of youngsters Ross Barkley and John Stones, both Everton players in an attempt to bring some fresh players on the plane to Brazil. • Briton Lewis Hamilton has won the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix and praised Mercedes with what he hailed as ‘the best car ever’ after a dominant display from start to finish. He defeated team-mate Nico Rosberg and Vettel completed the podium • Netherlands thrashed England by 45 runs to add a new low to what had already been a dismal winter at the World Twenty20 2014. The other game saw Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 59 runs to book their place in the semi finals. • Novak Djokovic defeated number 1 Rafael Nadal in the Sony Open final in two straight sets 6-3 ,6-3 to claim his 4th Miami title, and in doing so, surpasses Pete Sampras in the event’s

all-time list. • In WTA, Serena Williams got the better of Chinese Na Li 7-5 6-1 and retained her title which she won last year. In the Women doubles, veteran Martina Hingis teamed up with Sabine Lisicki to beat Russian duo of MakarovaVesnina in an intensive final which ended in a tie break, which the former number one and new partner Lisicki won 10-5. • The 3 times Augusta winner Phil Mickelson is a doubt ahead of the Augusta bid as he pulled out of the Texas Golf Open with a muscle strain. Another favourite, Tiger Woods is another doubt after receiving treatment for back spasms. • The world’s richest race; the Dubai World Cup at Meydan has been won by African Story of the Godolphin stable. It was quite an easy victory in the end to give trainer Saeed bin Suroor a sixth win in this Horse Racing competition.

Real Madrid v Bayern Munich Atletico Madrid v Chelsea the fact that Thibault Courtois, currently the best keeper in the world might not feature because of a clause in his contract. Currently on loan from Chelsea to Atletico, Courtois has been the star man of his team, saves and saves have kept Atletico in the competition while some tremendous saves in la Liga have seen his team keeping clean sheets and winning games. In fact, Atletico has conceded only 22 goals this season and Courtois has contributed a lot to make the team looks solid at the back. It is fair to that the Belgian keeper should not be facing his parent club, a team where he might be next season but this rule only apply in the Premier League. In the domestic league, the law clearly states that a player on loan cannot face his parent club but the UEFA does not follow these proceedings. In European competitions, a player on loan can face his parent club if they face each other but there are compensation fees in place to offset for the detriment. It may seem like ‘eating a piece of cake’ decision to make for the Spanish team but it was revealed that the indemnity cost for playing Courtois could be around 8m, a price that Atletico cannot afford to pay. The UEFA might step in to prevent

this but again Courtois playing in the semi finals might be in the balance. Atletico look like a team that is caught between a rock and a hard place and if you think this is it, then you are wrong. Another dilemma they are facing is an injury to star man Diego Costa. The Brazilian-born Spanish forward is a doubt for his team and his absence might be crucial in which team progress though. He is so good that Chelsea has put forward a bid to sign him in the summer and a money+Torres swap has also been mentioned. As far as the game is concerned, it will depend on the availability of Courtois and Costa for Atletico but if they do not play, I will go for Jose’s Chelsea to go through. But if those two are available, then with displays that we have seen from Atletico, a team that eliminated Barca and could have even demolished the current Spain champion, they can do it against Chelsea as well. Chelsea is better equipped defensively but it is the attack that is worrying at the moment and a lack of goals means they might not progress. Hard call but I will go for Atletico to progress through 3-1 aggregate scores

Liverpool FC to visit Mauritius?

F

rom what has been reported, it looks very likely that Liverpool Football Club is considering a trip to Mauritius at the end of the football season in May. The in form team will look to wrap up their season in style with a season friendly against WestHam United in Mauritius and the date pencilled for this game is the 18th of May 2014. What looked to be an unlikely story has been bolstered with the arrival of Ily Dale, Director of Sales of Liverpool Football Club and Mark Gibbon, agent representing West Ham United. That news would certainly be the icing on the cake for the Merseyside Red for what has been an excellent season for them and has even got Pep Guadiola, manager of Bayern Munich to describe Liverpool as the best team in Europe at the moment. It seems as if Liverpool has achieved target number one which was to get into the top 4 and are now looking to push for the title and talismanic captain Steven Gerrard has spoken of the desire and motivation and the belief

of the squad to finally lift the premier league after 24 years. Luis Suarez V Andy Carroll at stade Anjalay on the 18th of May, get ready to witness what could be a dream comes true for many Liverpool fans in Mauritius. The representatives from England have been impressed by the facilities provided and awed with the country as a whole. What we are waiting to confirm is whether the stars like Gerrard and Suarez among others will make the trip or whether it will be the reserves. It is all about sponsorship at the moment but fingers crossed, Luis Suarez who may be the best player in the world at the moment could play on home soil


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Mauritius Now - April 2014 Edition