Timeline Mauritius

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Mauritius is a small Indian Ocean archipelago of four islands, 1200 miles off the coast of East Africa. The capital is Port Louis. It is a part of the Mascarene Islands that includes Reunion and Rodrigues. Reunion is a French territory. It is officially divided into four ethnic groups: Hindus, Muslims, Chinese, and the remaining "general population," and has nearly always had a prime minister from the Hindu majority.
    (SFC, 6/24/96, p.A8)(SFC, 3/14/98, p.C1)(AFP, 3/30/12)

c42Mil BC    A bird ancestral to the dodo flew from Africa about this time to the Mascarene Islands east of Madagascar. By 1681 the dodo was extinct.
    (SFC, 3/1/02, p.A2)

c26Mil BC    Two separate species of dodo evolved. One on Mauritius and the other on Rodrigues.
    (SFC, 3/1/02, p.A2)

1511        Portuguese sailors first reached the unsettled Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, Reunion and Rodrigues). They discovered the dodo bird and killed many for sport.
    (NH, 11/96, p.24)(SSFC, 12/9/01, p.C9)

1599        Jacob Cornelius Van Neck returned to Holland from the Mascarene Islands. A narrative of the Dutch voyage first mentioned the dodo bird.
    (NH, 11/96, p.24)

1605        The first scientific description of the dodo bird was made by the Dutch botanist Carolus Clusius from an observation of a dodo at the home of the anatomist Peter Paauw.
    (NH, 11/96, p.24)

1681        The dodo bird was last seen on Mauritius. The dodo bird became extinct on Mauritius. In 2005 scientists reported the discovery of a complete skeleton of the bird on Mauritius.
    (SFC, 7/7/96, BR p.5)(NH, 11/96, p.24)(SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.8)(SSFC, 12/25/05, p.A2)

1693        The French explorer Francois Leguat spent several months on Mauritius and looked hard for a dodo bird, but found none.
    (NH, 11/96, p.26)

1746        The solitaire of Reunion, a flightless pigeon, was gone by this year.
    (NH, 11/96, p.24)

1755        The last specimen of a dodo bird, a stuffed but rotted relic, was burned at the Ashmoleum Museum at Oxford, England. In 1996 by David Quammen authored The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions. In 2003 Clara Pinto-Correia authored “Return of the Crazy Bird."

1790s    The solitaire of Rodrigues, a flightless pigeon, was last seen.
    (NH, 11/96, p.24)

18th cent    Mauritius was settled by the French. The island was seeded with sugar and slaves were brought from Africa to work the plantations.
    (SFC, 6/24/96, p.A8)

1810        The British wrestled the island from France. Indians were brought in as indentured laborers and later waves of Chinese immigrants arrived.
    (SFC, 6/24/96, p.A8)

1836        May 9, HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin departed Port Louis, Mauritius.
    (MC, 5/9/02)

1847        Mauritius, a British ruled island nation, issued the two-pence “Post Office" Blue Mauritius postage stamp along with a similar one penny orange stamp. They became very rare and in 1904 Britain’s King George V acquired a Blue Mauritius for £1,450. In 2008 Helen Morgan authored “Blue Mauritius: The Hunt for the World’s Most Valuable Stamps."
    (WSJ, 8/9/08, p.W9)

1940        Dec 9, Illegal Jewish immigrants to Haifa were deported to Mauritius.
    (MC, 12/9/01)

1945        Aug 25,  Jewish immigrants were permitted to leave Mauritius for Palestine.
    (chblue.com, 8/25/01)

1965        Nov, The British Indian Ocean Territory (Biot) was created by detaching the Chagos island group from Mauritius and other small islands from the Seychelles, then both British colonies. Mauritius was given £3m in compensation; the following year, Britain signed a military agreement with the US leasing it the largest island, Diego Garcia, for 50 years.

1968        Mar 12, The British-ruled African island of Mauritius became an independent country within the Commonwealth of Nations and many Europeans left the country. GDP per person was about $200. By 2008 it rose to $7,000 per person.
    (SFC, 6/24/96, p.A8)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)(SSFC, 12/9/01, p.C9)(AP, 3/12/08)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.58)

1972        Mauritius set up an export-processing zone on the recommendations of Jose Poncini, economist, watchmaker and island historian.
    (WSJ, 7/14/98, p.A11)

1982        Mauritius became the 1st African country to vote an opposition party into office. Anerood Jugnauth (b.1930) became prime minister.
    (SFC, 6/24/96, p.A8)(Econ, 9/27/03, p.46)

1986        A US military base on the Mauritius island of Diego Garcia became fully operational and was intensely involved in 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait. In the 1960s and 1970s Britain destroyed houses, slaughtered animals, and turfed out some 2,000 inhabitants from the Chagos islands to Mauritius and the Seychelles.
    (Reuters, 4/16/07)

1986        The Reunion island volcano Piton de la Fournaise erupted. The lava cooled into bizarre formations that became a tourist attraction.
    (SFC, 3/14/98, p.C1)

1987        Mauritius opened a stock exchange.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)

1988        Mauritius formed a National Computer Board to spur technology.
    (SFC, 10/28/02, p.E6)

1992        Mauritius launched itself as a financial center.
    (Econ, 2/24/07, SR p.6)

1994        Jun 15, Mauritius established its 16,000-acre Black River Gorges National Park.

1995        Anerood Jugnauth and his Socialist Movement lost elections to Labor Pary leader Navin Ramgoolam, who formed a coalition government with Berenger’s Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM).
    (SFC, 6/24/96, p.A8)

1996        The population of Mauritius was about 1.2 million people.
    (SFC, 6/24/96, p.A8)

1998        Mar 9, The Reunion island volcano Piton de la Fournaise erupted but did not threaten any of the population.
    (SFC, 3/14/98, p.C1)

1999        Feb 18, A popular reggae singer was arrested for smoking pot at a rally to legalize marijuana. He died 3 days later under police custody and riots ensued across the island.
    (SFEC, 3/7/99, p.T14)

1999        Nov, It was reported that the worst draught in 95 years forced authorities to limit water in Port Louis, the capital, to 6 hours per day. The remaining 1.2 million residents of the island nation were limited to one hour a day for water.
    (SFC, 11/6/99, p.A24)

2001        Mauritius textile worker wages reached $1.47 cents an hour compared with 37 cents in Madagascar.
    (WSJ, 1/2/02, p.A4)

2002        Mauritius President Cassam Uteem resigned because he disagreed with a draft bill on fighting terrorism.
    (AFP, 3/30/12)

2003        Sep 30, Mauritius PM Anerood Jugnauth resigned and was replaced by his deputy, Paul Berenger. Jugnauth took up the ceremonial roll of president a few days later.
    (Econ, 9/27/03, p.46)

2003        Oct 7, Anerood Jugnauth (b.1930) became president of Mauritius.

2005        Jan 1, The 1974 Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA), which had restricted Chinese textile exports, ended. This forced Cambodia to face fierce competition from rival exporters. This led to the loss of some 30,000 jobs in Mauritius.
    (www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/February06/Features/feature2.htm)(Econ, 2/19/05, p.42)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.58)

2005        Mar 31, India's PM said India and Mauritius are moving toward a free trade agreement to boost the island's threatened trade portfolio and help India tap into African markets.
    (AP, 3/31/05)

2005        Jun 19, Mauritius expected that by year's end, or soon afterward, to become the world's first nation with coast-to-coast wireless Internet coverage, the first country to become one big "hot spot."
    (CT, 6/19/05)

2005        Jul 4, Mauritius' opposition Social Alliance claimed victory as counting from the Indian Ocean island's weekend election neared an end.
    (AP, 7/4/05)

2008        Apr 20,     In Mauritius a conference of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) opened for talks on poverty and food prices.
    (AFP, 4/19/08)

2009        Feb 16, China’s Pres. Hu Jintao arrived in Mauritius to sign deals worth more than 270 million dollars to fund infrastructure projects on the Indian Ocean island. The next day he  pledged continued aid to Africa despite his country's economic downturn, and wrapped up a four-nation visit to the continent.
    (AFP, 2/17/09)

2009        Aug 29, The EU signed a temporary trade pact with Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Madagascar calling for tariffs on European goods to be removed over the next 15 years.
    (AP, 8/29/09)

2010        Sep 21, A new report, "Mauritius: The trade in primates for research," said wild long-tailed monkeys sustain broken limbs and other injuries when trappers catch the primates and transfer them to breeding farms on the island nation of Mauritius. The report said Mauritius justifies the catching of wild monkeys on the grounds that the long-tailed macaque is not native, is a pest and is not deserving of conservation concerns.
    (AP, 9/21/10)

2010        In Mauritius Navinchandra Ramgoolam became prime minister following elections.
    (AFP, 3/30/12)

2011        Jan 10, In Mauritius Michaela McAreavey (27), an Irish beauty queen and daughter of a high-profile Gaelic football manager, was found strangled to death at the five-star Legends hotel on her honeymoon. Three hotel employees were soon charged with her murder. On Jan 18 a 4th suspect, security guard Dassen Narainen (26), was arrested.
    (AFP, 1/11/11)(AP, 1/12/11)(AFP, 1/19/11)

2012        Mar 30, Mauritius President Anerood Jugnauth, who has been in open conflict with PM Navinchandra Ramgoolam, said he was resigning to join the opposition. Jugnauth will be replaced by Vice President Monique Ohsan Bellepeau, who is in the same party as the PM.
    (AFP, 3/30/12)

2013        Mar 30, In Mauritius rivers of water rose swiftly in a pedestrian underpass leading to the waterfront and an underground car park in Port Louis. At least 11 people were killed in the flash flooding. The next day PM Navinchandra Ramgoolam blamed climate change for the floods.
    (AP, 4/1/13)

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