Mauritius commemorates abolition of slavery

Port Louis- Mauritius (PANA) -- A French legislator from Guyana, Christiane Taubira, was among guests at an official ceremony to mark the abolition of slavery held Wednesday at Pointe Canon, Mahebourg, in southern Mauritius.
Senior Mauritian personalities as well as Mrs Taubira laid wreaths at a statue constructed to commemorate the struggle by slaves in Mauritius.
Local actors staged a play to depict the suffering of slaves before they obtained freedom in 1835.
  "Nothing could have been done in Mauritius without slave labour.
With effect from now, we must affirm that this cannot happen again," the acting Prime Minister, Rashid Beebeejaun, told guests at the commemoration.
Beebeejaun appealed to each Mauritian to learn to accept his or her responsibility to help the poor who are still victims of the suffering the world took long to recognise.
Quoting the United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, Beebeejaun said that slavery was not finished in the world.
"Some 27 million people are still subjected to different forms of slavery.
There is now trafficking in humans, which is the current form of slavery," he said, as he called for vigilance against the phenomenon.
Meanwhile, the minister of arts and culture, Mahen Gowressoo, recalled that Le Morne in south western Mauritius, was the place where slaves went to hide after escaping from their masters.
"We have designated that place as a national heritage site and we have approached UNESCO to declare it as a world heritage," he said.
Aboyt half of the Mauritian population of 1.
2 million people are descendants of slaves.
Since 2000, Mauritian authorities have declared the 1 of February a public holiday in honour of slaves.

01 février 2006 08:53:00

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