ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tooling Up for Branch Expansion

Mauritius and Indian Ocean WHAT precisely Seewoosagur Ram- goolam seeks to imply by joining India in expressing concern over the 'developing situation' in the Indian Ocean is not quite clear. Welcome as the concern is, it still leaves some questions unanswered. Mauritius has a defence agreement with Britain which provides for joint consultation on any request for British assistance in the event of a threat to Mauritius's internal security; the agreement also gives Britain continued use of defence facilities on the island like the airport and the naval communications centre at Vacoas. Moreover, the government of Ramgoolam has already accepted the Anglo-American scheme for turning a group of islands in the area, including Diego Garcia which was formerly a part of Mauritius, into a new British colony and military base called the British Indian Ocean Territory. This acceptance presumably implies Anglo-American assistance to Mauritius against external threats as well. Since the 'defence of the Indian Ocean' is allegedly the object of creating the new Anglo- American base, Mauritius must be deemed to have already identified itself with a particular manner of this defence. Does the present concern apply to developments in the Indian Ocean Territory itself or has it been occasioned only by the possibility of Soviet Union introducing its naval forces in the area?

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