Mauritius paid a sincere and moving tribute yesterday to the indentured labourers who helped build the modern republic.
A ceremony was held at the Aapravasi Ghat at Trou Fanfaron in Port Louis to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the labourers from India.
President of the Republic Sir Anerood Jugnauth said that since 2001 the government has made it “ a must” to commemorate the arrival.
“ This is part of our history. Their contribution made Mauritius what it is today. Was it fate or luck? In any case it was certainly not enjoyable for them to leave their ancestral land to travel to a far- off island.
“ The Aapravasi Ghat is the place from which starts the development of Mauritius,” he said.
Sir Anerood added that the fact Aapravasi Ghat has been listed as a world heritage site constitutes a symbol of the Mauritian identity.
He recalled that as a politician he had been involved in the drafting of the Mauritian Constitution and that now, as President, he has the delicate task to see to it that the constitutional rights of each and every citizen is respected.
“ Mauritians have a fighting spirit. We have already achieved what others are still trying to achieve,” he said.