One of the sad moments in the history of Mauritius towards Independence is during the General Elections of 1967. While the elections went rather smoothly in most parts of the island, a small section in Port Louis knew some clashes and oppositions towards the voting influence. Whilst sources are not clear how this started, different opinions and testimonials mention a severe clash against Muslims and Creoles/Chinese which even necessitated the Police and Mobile force interventions. The forces had to use tear gas to disperse the crowds and bring order. This is somehow a delicate matter to elaborate but the end result is what is important. Today we must be thankful that such clashes; ethnic or racial, are maintained as it is believed it should.
The country has progressed enough since these days even though there had been attempts to propaganda and inspiring racial/ethnic/religious wars but fortunately these attempts have been dispersed and kept low to avoid any such events to happen again.
On 22 August 1966 the Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a motion requesting independence for Mauritius from the United Kingdom. In October 10,000 workers were fired and they marched on Government House where their riotous actions were met with tear gas and mass arrests. These were followed by ten days of murderous communal riots in January 1968 between Muslims and Creoles, a state of emergency was declared on 22 January and British troops shipped in from Singapore to suppress the violence. At least 25 people were killed, hundreds were wounded and thousands driven from their homes. It was against this sombre background that Mauritius attained independence from the United Kingdom on 12 March 1968 with Queen Elizabeth II as nominal head of state, Governor General Sir John Rennie acting on her behalf.
A glimpse of the 1968 Rioting in Plaine Verte: