Portal:Mauritius

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Mauritius /məˈrɪʃəs/ (About this sound listen) (Mauritian Creole: Moris; French: Maurice, pronounced [mɔˈʁis]) is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the south east coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Agaléga, Saint Brandon and Rodrigues. Mauritius forms part of the Mascarene Islands, which include the neighbouring islands of Réunion, Saint Brandon and Rodrigues. The area of the country is 2040 km2, its capital is Port Louis.

The first Portuguese explorers found no indigenous people living on the island in 1507. The island of Mauritius was the only home of the Dodo bird. The bird became extinct fewer than eighty years after its discovery. The Dutch settled on the island in 1598 and abandoned it in 1710, Mauritius became a French colony in 1715 and was renamed Isle de France. The British took control of Mauritius in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. The country became an independent state as a Commonwealth realm on 12 March 1968 and a republic within the Commonwealth on 12 March 1992.

The country's populace is composed of several ethnicities, mostly people of Indian, African, Chinese and European descent. Most Mauritians are multilingual, English, French, Creole and Asian languages are used.

Selected articleedit

Cyclone Hollanda

The Invasion of Île de France was a complicated but successful amphibious operation in the Indian Ocean, launched in November 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. During the operation, a substantial British military force was landed by the Royal Navy at Grand Baie on Île de France. Marching inland against weak French opposition, the British force was able to overwhelm the defenders in a series of minor engagements, culminating in the capture of the island's capital Port Napoleon and the surrender of Charles Decaen, the French governor. The surrender eliminated the last French territory in the Indian Ocean and among the military equipment captured were five French Navy frigates and 209 heavy cannon. Île de France was retained by Britain at the end of the war under the name of Mauritius and remained part of the British Empire until 1968.

The operation was the culmination of two years of conflict over the island and the neighbouring Île Bourbon between frigate squadrons commanded by Josias Rowley and Jacques Hamelin. Hamelin repeatedly raided British trade convoys and Rowley responded with amphibious assaults on French harbours, but neither had gained ascendancy by the time Rowley sent most of his force to attack the port of Grand Port on Île de France in August 1810. At the ensuing battle the British squadron was destroyed and Hamelin began to blockade Rowley on Île Bourbon. As British reinforcements were urgently despatched, several actions were fought between recently arrived British ships and the more numerous French forces. At the last of these on 18 September 1810, Hamelin was defeated and captured by Rowley. This allowed Rowley to build his forces over the next two months until they were sufficient for a successful invasion, which was led by the recently arrived Admiral Albemarle Bertie.

Selected pictureedit
Mauritius 23.08.2009 13-50-24.jpg
Credit: Hansueli Krapf
Hotel Labourdonnais in Port Louis, Mauritius.
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Wikinews Mauritius portal
  • September 7: UN holding recruitment exams in under-represented countries
  • July 2: United Nations passes Declaration on human cloning
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Selected biographyedit

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam KT, GCMG, KCMG, LRCP, MRCS (Hindi: सीवसगुर रंगूलम born on 18 September 1900 – 15 December 1985) was the first Chief Minister, Prime Minister and sixth Governor General of Mauritius.

He graduated from University College London and attended lectures at the London School of Economics. Ramgoolam was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 12 June 1965. Ramgoolam served as Chief Minister from 1961 to 1968, Prime Minister from 1968 until 1982 and lastly as Governor General from 1983 to 1985. He is known as the "Father of the Nation". Amidst much decolonisation, he led Mauritius to independence from the United Kingdom in 1968. He is perhaps the highest respected personality of Mauritius as he has various streets, public places such as a garden, a college, and the national airport, as well as his face on every Mauritian Rupee coin and on the highest note tender of Rs 2,000.

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Jacques-Désiré Laval

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Landscape near Les Mariannes
Credit: Hansueli Krapf

Landscape near Les Mariannes, Mauritius.

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