As we enter Holy Week, Cardinal Piat was inspired by the image of Jesus weeping before the city of Jerusalem to express his sadness for our country where “the foundations of our democracy are being shaken”. Cardinal Piat expressed his suffering for the country and his concern about the proliferation of drugs and the independence of institutions. Bishop Maurice E. Piat specifically mentions the questions surrounding a burning issue of the day, on drug trafficking.
Below are some extracts of his message:
“I too am sad, I cry when I look at my country. Everyone wants and seeks peace in our country. But how can we have peace in a democracy when there is a lack of respect for the separation of powers. I cry when I see that the independence of institutions is threatened, that the foundations of our democracy are shaken,” said the cardinal.
“How can we have peace when a community is insulted by a contemptuous song against them? I confess that I am sad and worried for my country when I see that injustice and corruption are tolerated. Let’s take the case of someone who has been accused and convicted of drug trafficking in Reunion. The Reunionese authorities send a file to Mauritius to inform the local authorities and ask them to do what is necessary and this file remains in a drawer for a year and a half!
During this time, let’s imagine the quantity of drugs that came back to Mauritius, the number of young people who saw their lives destroyed because of this, how many mothers and fathers are crying and suffering? Moreover, corruption seriously threatens the independence of the police and unfortunately (even if there are good and honest elements in the police) the trust of the population towards the police is shaken. Trust is the key to social stability in a country.
When I see all this, I feel like crying. Of course, there are many positive aspects, true values in our country, but I cry because these values, the dignity and the beauty of our country are deteriorating.
Like Jesus, he says, “we too cannot stand on our balconies and watch what is happening, manz pistas get cinema, and just share comments on social networks. We cannot remain spectators. We must become actors and contribute to peace in our country. We have to do it for the love of our country, not for our personal interest. Without love for our country, without commitment on our part, our country will sink.
To have the courage to become actors, we must have a sense of belonging to the Mauritian people, we must feel that we have a common destiny and that we are in solidarity. Even if we have different ethnic origins, even if our ancestors landed in Mauritius under different conditions – some in suffering and others in better conditions – each group has contributed in its own way to the building of the country.”
He added: “That is why today we must be grateful to each other; we must love this people and all its components, with its differences, its weaknesses, its values. To love them not only when we win a sporting competition, but to love them with the desire to commit ourselves to cure their illnesses, to relieve their suffering. To give a hand to help it move forward as a worthy people.
To be a peacemaker in our country today means not only denouncing corruption and injustice, but also not letting ourselves be tempted by easy money, dirty money, and privileges.
Our role is also to take positive initiatives where people from different communities can collaborate in solidarity projects like Lakaz l’Espwar in Solitude or Foodwise, or ecological projects like Tiny Forests or community vegetable gardens like in Ferney, or remedial education and school support projects.
These small initiatives show us concretely that another Mauritius is possible, when a mutual welcome between communities, solidarity and working together are possible and exist. Unfortunately, this side of Mauritius is often asleep; our responsibility is to wake it up and show concretely how this way of life brings peace, joy, development and dignity.”