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Sushma Swaraj hails India, Mauritius friendship

PTI 02 Nov 2014, 16:31:12 PM IST

Port Louis:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today recalled the historical linkages between India and Mauritius as she hailed the democratic values shared by the two countries saying that India will always be a “steadfast friend and partner” of the Indian Ocean nation.
“It is a great honour and privilege for me to be present at the Apravasi Ghat on this august occasion, as we pay homage to those who commenced their journey here 180 years ago,” Swaraj, here on a three-day visit, said in a speech on the occasion of ‘Apravasi Divas' to mark 180 years since the first Indian indentured labourers arrived in Mauritius.  

Swaraj started her address with a couple of sentences in Bhojpuri, alluding to the Indian labourers who arrived here from Bihar in 1834, a gesture that received much applause from the audience.

Mauritian President Rajkeswur Purryag, Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam and Swaraj's counterpart Arvin Boolell were also part of the audience.

“The commemoration of the day of arrival of the indentured labourers from India is an occasion for grateful remembrance as well as introspection.

“By remembering the historic date of November 2, 1834, we pay tribute to all those resilient ancestors who landed on the shores of this rainbow island from India and other parts of the world. Through their toil and tears, sweat and sacrifice, they enabled later generations to live in comfort and security,” Swaraj said.