Friday, August 26, 2016

PARTI LEPEP SECRETS; THE BIGGEST THIEF

By Alexander Pierre

Parti lepep which was formerly SPPF (Seychelles People`s Progressive Front) are the proud owners of 40 plots of land according to the latest publicly available information at land registration. This is beyond the richter scale of wrong.  They are as follows; S4014, S3421, LD730, LD704, B827, J1770, V7267, V8336, V8337, V8051, V8013, C2432, V10072, V12249, V12250, V12256, V12257, V4908, V8911, PR1521, PR2350, H4689, S4296, LD622, PR2392, T1713, LD1097, C2782, V5487, LD1103, V102270, V12216, S6690, J2939, J2941, J1808, B2565, T3822, T3823 and V19499.



The card was so full the last 3 had to be written on the back and the amount of square metres is too much to calculate. How many Seychellois families could have benefited from those plots? How does a political party come into ownership of so many plots of land?

When a company changes name the assets and employees still belong to that company which is the same for a Political party. SPPF is now Parti Lepep. Parti Lepep always take the opportunity to make it known of how proud they are of their past. A past littered with tragic consequences of the coup d`etat such as nation division, disappearances, corruption and many more; it is dictatorial socialism and communism gone wrong. Seychelles as a nation cannot hide from these facts anymore; a change must take place. The remnants of the past must go and a new path must be taken.

International school, Montessori school, Zil Pasyon head office and District Administrations are just some known entities which are shockingly on SPPF/Parti Lepep land. Question is how much rent are they paying to the forever communist party? What do they do with the money? There are too many parcels to individually highlight them.

Parcel C2782, where the bazar at Anse Royale is located, has already been brought to the attention of the public by LDS candidate for Anse Royale, Flory Larue, in her campaign Party Political Broadcast.

Parcel  B2565, which is 12218 square metres in size, is an interesting plot to highlight. This plot was amalgamated from parcels from B499, B500 and B502; mafia style by the President of SPPF. No date was bothered to by recorded. Seychelles does not need mafias. The huge parcel which has 5 erected constructions with a swimming belongs to the Anse Polite branch of SPPF. Many questions arise.



Does the money they earn from all the rent of these parcels go towards funding the party? How long did Parti lepep wait on the land list? Many citizens who are deemed against the dictatorial party have been waiting on the list for over 30 years. There’s also no conclusive proof money was actually transferred for the ownership of those 40 plots. And what happened to the land allocation policy of this Government of  one piece of land per person/entity or if you have (private) land already you cannot get government land?

Is this why they are more determined than ever to keep the majority in parliament in case their secret comes out? Albert Rene once published a document called “SPPF Policy Statement Onward to Socialism”; is this what they meant by this? SPPF/Parti Lepep principles have totally malfunctioned; all Seychellois must take the upcoming opportunity in the National Assembly Election to vote them out!

Permission is granted to republish the article in full only. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

THE SEYCHELLES TIPPING POINT

A PEACEFUL REVOLUTION OF A PROUD NATION

The word revolution instantly sends that creepy feeling down our spines and  warning bells to our heads.  History of revolutions around the world have in too many cases spilled innocent blood and left trails of suffering along its path.   Such as the great communist revolution.  Packaged as the ultimate solution to save the downtrodden, communism and socialism only transformed those regimes in brutal dictatorship across the world.   Until the mid eighties after the fall of the Eastern block countries, that doctrine was perhaps the biggest lie that many had to silently bear until it's true nastiness was revealed across the world's media.   North Korea being the exception still survives today and unfortunately our dark past saw our nation recognising its existence and shamefully flocked its company.   Seychelles have indeed walked through the valley of the shadow of shame following the cowardly act of the 1977 coup d'etat. 


But the bright news is that our beloved country, at this critical juncture is going through a revolution that for once, after four decades of lies and corruption, is bringing pride back to its people.  Pride that was so commonplace amongst us prior to the coup.   It is being coined our revolution of unity and peace guiding our country towards inclusivity, optimism and refreshed enlightenment.

The struggle is not quite over yet but the finishing line is in sight and the wave for change is unstoppable.  Similarly to the tipping point in felling a massive sandragon tree which also goes through a brief moment when it lingers to and fro just prior to its thunderous crash, this is is the very moment that we presently find ourselves in.  The tipping of the present regime.  But what exactly kindled this revolution of peace?  Like all revolutions, it is a combination of numerous factors.  But ultimately Darwin warned us that change is the only constant in our world.

Whilst leaders influence changes, this revolution is in the main being propelled by the common men and women of all ages.  But most notably, are those pensioners in their twilight years, who find it their faithful duty to come forward one more time to finally bring democracy back to their country. Discarding fear in the gutter that  kept them in meek obedience for 39 years, today they proudly stand firm and upright in their own shoes.   But this is no motley group of individuals on a wild rampage as have happened in numerous revolutions.  No Sir, this is the LDS on the move towards a very clear vision for an inclusive  Seychelles where no man stands above the constitution.  The Linyon Demokratic Seselwa  is formed of five different entities.  It's strength built from the abilities of such a diverse group.  Allowing it to fearsomely and honestly debate, conclude and work together.  

The complete opposite to a system of government reminiscent of those days of ruling by Presidential decree.  Alongside the practice of interfering with the judiciary, nepotism, victimisation, and wastage.  The list being endless.  A government service with an inbuilt design to frustrate and make processes difficult and unbearable.  All intended to lead an individual to a point where political allegiance to the ruling party will suddenly be offered as the remedy to smooth the impossible.  A public service that should aptly have, as its slogan, 'Serving in order to Frustrate.'     

For too long the country has been run under a system of crony capitalism. Where disparity between a favoured few and the rest of the population spans all the needs of its people. From ease of doing business, favoured access to land and property, to licenses and permits, to special concessions, favoured labour incentives, one Rupee lease amongst cronies, to name a few.  We have come a long way in our struggle since the day that our constitution was gang raped by a bunch of goons.  And sadly to a day where we see the victim willing to go to bed with the rapist.  To a day where our judicial system has lost the public's trust, a day where corruption becomes a necessary qualification to high office, a day where the Election Commissioner has equal respect to the con-man.  But despite all the injustices that we have and are still suffering,  we are prepared to forgive.   Yes we are, not because they know not what they do, but because our love for our country is greater than their desire to keep our nation in the dark.     

And today we repeat our call that no man should be above our constitution.  This is our one single demand that we will not compromise on.  Where no man can interfere with the judiciary, where no man can interfere with the Election Commissioner.   Where SBC meets its obligation of transmitting diverse views without favour.  This country deserves the best and we will not accept second best.  The people have made this call.  The people understands this call.   This demand is being done in the name of unity, peace and the preparedness to heal the nation and for once put to rest our dark past in the archives as lessons for future generations.  


Most important is that our distorted history is honestly righted so that our nation can take a deep breath and move on in unity.  Taking us towards our vision for a refreshed and inclusive Seychelles.  And until this demand is achieved, no mum or dad dare have dreams for their children.  No youth can have dreams of their own.  No entrepreneur can confidently invest without that eerie feeling that a malicious ghost hangs behind the curtains ready to trip his progress.  But as the wind of change fill our sails, we know that finally those dark days will soon be lost in the aft horizon.  Expect some that will drop to the lowest level of decency to block our movement.  But good always prevail over bad.    My friends, the best is yet to come for our beloved country.   Let us all be part of that change together.  Room for everyone on this train.  God bless our Seychelles.


Roy Fonseka

Thursday, August 11, 2016

ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION; A FARCE

Another Election is round the corner and to date PL(Parti Lepep) has not yet announced that petroleum has been discovered in Seychelles Waters? It has been a hallmark statement from PL for the last few elections but this time it has come up with another “vote winner” it has created an “Anti-Corruption Commission.” To be chaired by none other than Duncan Gaswaga. This raises several questions. Why a Ugandan Mr. Danny Faure?

Or does he qualify as chairman because he has acquired Seychellois nationality. If so, was it under section 5 (2) of the Citizenship Act 1994 which gives the President total discretion to grant citizenship to a person who, in his opinion, special circumstances exist even if they are not otherwise entitled or eligible to Seychellois citizenship? Or was he granted Seychellois citizenship under section 5 (3) of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2013 which curtails the President’s discretion to grant citizenship by the imposition of a “Citizenship Eligibility Committee” to whom all applications have to be submitted and who will have to be satisfied that all the criteria set out under the new section 5 (3) are met especially when bearing in mind that a member of the Citizenship Eligibility Committee is Basil Hoareau who is a partner in the Chetty & Hoareau Chambers, the Chambers that represents President Michel, and members of his Cabinet?


"Corrupt" under the section 2 of the Anti Corruption Act 2016 “means the acts of soliciting, accepting, obtaining, giving, promising or offering of a gratification by way of a bribe or inducement, or the misuse or abuse of a public office for advantage or benefit for oneself or for another person, and "corruption" shall be construed accordingly”.

The credibility of the Commission depends on the personal integrity of its members, it is therefore of paramount importance that the above questions are answered honestly.

Parti Lepep has given us other “Commissions” before, such as the Human Rights Commission which has not been seen or heard of, since its creation. It did not even utter a squeak when Robert Banane was shot and killed in prison. We also have an office of Ombudsman which to all intents and purposes shut down after Judge Gustave Dodin left the office to become judge. But the one Commission that is notoriously embattled is the Electoral Commission chaired by Mr. Gappy. It is not only being fought against in court, but also on the Streets of Victoria.

I suspect that PL has approached the international community with begging bowl in hand, and it must have been told that the level of corruption or as President Michel has said the “perception” of corruption in the country is unacceptable hence the creation of this “Anti Corruption Commission.”

Which of PL’s Commissions has lived up to its mandate, Constitutional or Statutory? Another farcical move by PL was its adoption of the Opposition’s call for a two term Presidency. The Constitution was amended accordingly and yet President Michel remains in power continuing in his third term in office but shortly after the amendment we heard that Mr. Ban Ki Moon the United Nation Secretary General, is on a state visit to Seychelles and first on his agenda is to praise Seychelles as an exemplary democracy, simply because of this “timely” amendment. So, it is clear that these “commissions” are simply created to “bat latet” the international community.

Is this Anti Corruption Commission or ACC going to finally get IDC audited locally? Is it going to tell us where all our money and other state assets are hidden? Is it going to tell us who killed Ricky Hermitte? Is it going to reveal the identity of the soldiers who killed Brian Victor’s two friends and  who only managed to escape his killers by faking death?  Is it going to tell the Umarji family where Hassan is buried? Is it going to force Commissioner Elizabeth to divulge the identity of the “skull” discovered at Bel Ombre? This ACC is created by PL, so whose corrupt acts is it going to investigate? So please President Michel give me a break!!!

 In my view if President Michel wanted to leave a lasting legacy for Seychelles he would have created a “Truth & Reconciliation Commission” to be chaired by someone like Bishop French Chang-Him instead of this Anti Corruption Commission which I predict will follow the paths of other such “bodies” before it, and die at birth.


Alexia G. Amesbury






Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SENIOR ARMY OFFICERS AT PARTI LEPEP RALLIES

The overt participation of members of the security forces in political rallies is prohibited; the reasons are obvious. For many years attention has been drawn to the Electoral Commission regarding the participation of senior military officers in political rallies of the ruling party. It has even transpired in court that political campaigning is conducted in army barracks with the full knowledge and endorsement of the political leadership.

Lt Colonel Vincent Luther

The photos highlight the fact that the participation of senior members of the force in political rallies of Parti Lepep continues unabated with the support of President Michel. In fact Colonel Clifford Roseline is the military advisor to President Michel. It is to be recalled that he was instrumental in campaigning within barracks on behalf of President Michel during last year’s elections; an offence under the electoral law and a violation of the Defence Forces Regulations.

Colonel Clifford Roseline


Will the Electoral Commission or the President do anything about it?

Source:Weekly

Friday, July 15, 2016

Letter to the Editor; SEYCHELLES’ 40 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY


Dear Editor,

Much has recently been said about our 40 years of independence. We have continuously been reminded of how proud we should all be from having progressed from the dark ages to a country that enjoys all the modern comforts of the 21st century. However, irrespective of your point of view, everyone will agree that we remain today, ever divided as a nation. And despite all our boasts of great national advancement, the Seychellois today can be described as a most “unhappy” nation.

Today we have schools in every district and also a university, but little schooling and a lack of grounding amongst our juvenile Ministers and Members of the National Assembly. We have a monumental structure named the “Palais de Justice” with numerous judges, and lawyers, but we enjoy no justice. We have the best unpolluted air over our islands, but have a young generation of polluted minds from overdose of booze and heroine. We have new houses, motorcars and cable television but very few homes. The country boasts a high GDP but the people have little wealth. We enjoy carnival, festival, dance and music, but we have lost our culture and pride along the way. We have great plans, vision and promises, but never seem to reach the elusive horizon. We have pupils unleashing fear and wrath toward their teachers instead of bending in humble humility in their tutors' presence. Sadly, the teaching profession has lost its integrity. We have a healthcare system mired in politics and our citizens are far from healthy, with many travelling overseas for basic treatment. Our health system is sick and the profession has lost its allure. We need more energy to power growth, but we need "friends" from UAE to donate generators to keep the lights on. We have a young generation waking up every day contemplating the future, but they dare not have dreams.

It is indeed a long list, and yet President Rene in his recent interview tried to claim success over the modern technology which spilled over our islands through globalisation. He claims credit over the development he witnesses on his daily drive through La Misère where the business community resides and survived against all odds, his policy of currency control and monetary pipeline and over centralised institutions. In reality, President Rene will be remembered as a failed lawyer turned socialist dictator politician, whose policies influenced all our ills today.

Whilst we may give him credit for not selling our areas of natural beauty such as Cap Ternay and Police Point, it may be due to him not being able to claim the special relationship which President Michel boasts of having with those middle eastern gentlemen. President Rene's line of credit relied mainly through the former Mafia boss Mario Ricci who specialised in sanction busting, and drug running. All known and well documented by foreign embassies of the world. But what are the solutions to all our ills?


Many have described the solution as the herculean task of our generation. But it needs not be so. I would sum it up in one word: "'Will". We must have the "'Will". And good leadership necessitates that the "Will" must filter down from top to bottom. It must start with the President of the country. Unfortunately, many had hoped that the President would have seized this opportunity on our 40th independence anniversary to bring about inclusivity and address the story of our dark past. But this magnanimous act seems to be beyond the man. Unifying a nation through forced submission cannot be a policy for success. His call for unity which he repeated throughout his speech urges the nation to behave like his pet spaniel and to roll over on its back into submission. If his call for unity is sincere, he needs to address simply two issues.
 Install a truly independent election commission and address the healing of our polarised nation, divided due to our dark past. Achieving those two areas, simply requires "Will"; after which he may leave behind a true legacy of a man who through sincere leadership, called the hard shots and brought about the unity that can cast aside to the annals of history, the cowardly acts of the coup d'etat.

But the President's opening remarks in his speech revealed the very core of our problem. His admission that his party's framework for Seychelles was decided well before our independence during the referendum campaign to either integrate with UK or seek independence, suggests that his party had to be at the helm of government by hook or by crook. And obviously they chose the latter having continuously failed to use the democratic institution in place at the time.

Furthermore, in President Rene's interview when asked by the interviewer to comment on how he viewed critics, his response was indeed telling. 'Critics must be encouraged he said as long as it does not reach a point which is damaging to one's programme. In which case measures must be taken to stop criticism.' Was that the first admission of the many disappearances of Seychellois during his reign?

President Michel's speech continued in a tone that signalled an arrogance of power. In paying due respect to the former heads of state, his order of precedence started with the second president hence relegating the first president to third place. Was that diplomatic slight? Having first dismissed the first president's pre-independence “stay UK campaign” as absurd, this was indeed diplomatic arrogance at its best. And jovial James Richard Mancham faithfully and duly beamed his acceptance of being relegated to third position. But President James Mancham is no fool and would not have missed the trick. Was there a touch of sarcasm at the corners of his wry smile?

After 40 years of independence and at this crucial crossroads of our political history, our country could have done with some role models. Unfortunately, our past leaders have all failed their country. It will be left to the goodwill of the common men and women to bring about the change that the nation deserves. Those who are prepared to put their personal ambition aside and place all their efforts into the noble desire of doing good for their country and the generation of tomorrow.

Those past 40 years have provided ample opportunity for the ruling party to take the initiative and heal our nation. They have failed more than once. It is therefore futile to believe that they will ever change and do the right thing. All good Seychellois who want a better Seychelles including those who may be a Lepep supporter must now make a decision to accept the status quo and remain divided or join the forces for change and inclusivity. You and your children do not deserve second best and you should not accept second best.

However this task must not be left to politicians only. We must encourage leadership from all independent institutions. Each and every one of us can do their bit from the shadows and from the wings. You do not need to be in the forefront to lead. You need simply the '"Will" and one other quality. Patriotism. God bless our beloved Seychelles. Happy 40th Anniversary to all for what it's worth.


 Roy Fonseka.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Sir,

I am sick of hearing Minister Morgan singing the praises of the “Strategic  Partnership Agreement”  between Etihad and Air Seychelles and how it has benefitted the country.

I have been the most frequent flyer that Air Seychelles Domestic has had for the last 10 or so years. I live on Praslin and for years I have travelled the Mahe, Praslin return trip every day. As a result of the very poor service I have had to rent accommodation on Mahe and these days I only travel to Praslin at weekends and I am sorry to tell Minister Morgan that for me a real benefit of this “strategic” partnership would at the very least be a service that is, at a minimum “satisfactory”

There is hardly a time when the flights leave on time or that there are sufficient flights to meet the demands of commuters. The only concerns of Air Seychelles/ Etihad is for tourists to make the connecting flights and the rest of us locals who have to get to work at 8 a.m or some other time can “swim” to Mahe and back.


If my flight from Mahe to Praslin is at 5: 40 on Friday evening is it too much to expect that the flight will leave on time? What happens if I have booked a taxi to pick me up and drop me at the jetty to make my connection to La Digue, will Air Seychelles/ Etihad pay for my overnight stay on Praslin or foot the bill for a private boat to take me to La Digue ?

I have used Air Seychelles Domestic services before the “Strategic Partnership Agreement” with Etihad and as a consumer I can tell you that the service has not improved, it has gone from bad to worse and despite all the technological and so called ‘state of the art” equipment allegedly installed, the underpaid workers have more often than not, had to rely on the old and trusted “manual” way of doing things.

The only saving grace is the professionalism and back breaking work performed by the staff at the check-in counters. I would like to take this opportunity to once again congratulate one and all, from porters to pilots for a thankless job because the abuse they get from angry and frustrated passengers is to be heard and seen to be believed. With the increased profits have the staff received a pay rise?  

Is the success of an airline judged simply by the profit margin? Does customer satisfaction not feature at all in the equation?  I was less critical of the service when it was operated by Air Seychelles because I had conditioned myself to accept the usual mediocre service but with the coming on board of Etihad and all the hype, I had expected a world class service which started  with each passenger being offered a little container of ice cold water but as with almost everything that Joel Morgan brokers, sooner or later it will flop and my sincere hope  as a passenger is that this “Strategic Partnership Disaster” is not renewed.

Finally if any one is planning on using Air Seychelles Domestic to get them to church on time for their wedding or to a loved one’s funeral please be advised that “DUE TO UNFORSEEN CIRCUMSTANCES THE FLIGHT HAS BEEN DELAYED FOR REASONS BEYOND OUR CONTROL SUCH AS:

1           We cannot retain our pilots because we under pay them so all our planes are sitting on the run way.
2             Our state of the art computers at the check-in counter have failed
3             Only one of our 5/6 planes is working.
4             Tower did not inform us that there are international flights landing / taking off so we cannot take off on time

We apologise for the delay and we hope that next time you will use an alternative  carrier.”


Yours sincerely ,



Alexia G. Amesbury 

Monday, June 13, 2016

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 1986; SEYCHELLES

Amnesty International was concerned about the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience. No new "disappearance" cases were reported to Amnesty International during 1985 but the organization remained concerned about the government's failure to investigate allegations that at least seven people had either "disappeared" or been executed extrajudicially between 1977 and 1984. A prominent political opponent of the government was assassinated abroad. The government denied responsibility for the killing but there were allegations of official involvement.


Amnesty International adopted as a prisoner of conscience Jean Dingwall, a businessman detained without trial since September 1984 Under the Preservation of Public Security (Detention) Regulations Which allow indefinite detention without trial with no right to challenge the order in court. Jean Dingwall was apparently detained On suspicion of organizing political opposition, including a nonviolent demonstration which took place on 30 September 1984. He had previously been detained without trial in 1979 and between 1981 and 1983. It was the first time that he had been adopted by Amnesty International, although his detention had been investigated by Amnesty International once before.

Nine other prisoners of conscience were among a group of some 20 people detained in May and June for possessing or distributing literature criticizing the government. All but nine of those detained were soon released but three, two of whom were brothers, Joachim and Robin Sullivan, were still held untried at the end of 1985. Two other people were sentenced to a year's imprisonment in November but were released in December after remission for good conduct. Another four people were sentenced to suspended terms of imprisonment by the Supreme Court at a separate hearing in November but were not released until the next month. They included Andre Barallon, a stevedore, and Bernard Racombo, a former police Officer.

In another case, Amnesty International adopted as a prisoner of Conscience a known opponent of the government who was sentenced to imprisonment on criminal charges which appeared to have been fabricated for political reasons. Royce Dias was arrested in December 1984 and charged with possessing cannabis. He was tried by the Seychelles Supreme Court and convicted on 27 June. He was sentenced to seven and a half years' imprisonment, reduced on appeal in October to five years'. Before his arrest, Royce Dias had on several occasions been publicly named by President France-Albert Rene as an enemy of the government. He was also known to have expressed critical views about the government in press interviews. Royce Dias claimed in court that the cannabis had been placed in his car by an officer of the Police Mobile Unit, a paramilitary force whose duties do not normally include traffic control or criminal Investigation. The officer concerned denied this but Amnesty International noted that he was alleged to have harassed and intimidated political suspects on other occasions.

In July Amnesty International appealed for the government to establish an impartial inquiry into the fate of at least seven people reported to have been abducted by the security forces for political reasons between 1977 and 1984. In each of the seven cases Amnesty International had received detailed allegations about the abductions, including in some cases the names of the security officers said to have carried them out. The organization had also received allegations that police inquiries into the "disappearances" had been obstructed by the authorities. Moreover, the family of the person who had "disappeared" most recently - Alton Ah-Time, said to have been abducted and killed in September 1984 on account of his opposition to the government - was harassed. In May 1985 three of Alton Ah-Time's brothers - George, Wilhelm and Peter Ah-Time – were detained, assaulted and subsequently released by the security forces. Amnesty International drew these "disappearances" or extrajudicial executions to the attention of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and the UN Special Rapporteur on summary or arbitrary executions. However, by the end of 1985 the authorities were not known to have established any inquiry or to have issued any response.

On 29 November Gerard Hoarau, President of the exiled Seychelles National Movement, was killed by an unknown assailant outside his house in London. The Seychelles' authorities issued a statement deploring his murder and dissociating themselves from it. However, Amnesty International noted that the authorities had claimed to have kept Gerard Hoarau under surveillance for at least three years, and that several sources, including Gerard Hoarau himself shortly before his death, had claimed that the government had conspired to kill him while he was abroad. Amnesty International subsequently received allegations that his eventual murder was carried out with the complicity of the Seychelles Government.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Legalizing double voting; PERSEVERANCE

In what is being perceived as a total disregard for the views of the opposition and at least 50 percent of the population, the government has proposed amendments to the Elections Act that will allow residents of Perseverance to vote for two MNAs in a twelve-month period.

At present, when a new electoral area is approved by the National Assembly, receives the assent of the President and gazetted, the area automatically becomes a district upon the dissolution of the National Assembly.

During meetings between the Electoral Commission and representatives of political parties, objections were raised as the law says someone ought to have been a resident in an electoral area for at least three months at the time of elections to be allowed to vote.

To bypass this issue, the Elections (Amendment) bill 2016  published in the official gazette on 2 June states that where a new electoral area has gone through the process, the people living in that area will be able to vote in their previous district at an election.



The other problem raised during meetings between the EC and political parties involved young voters who have just turned 18 and living at Perseverance. The proposed law says they will be registered in their previous districts of residence even if they were kids before moving to Perseverance.

A third section makes provisions where Seychellois who have lived overseas and who are now residing at Perseverance, will have to register in the district where they originated. The most interesting part of the bill says that a referendum shall be held within a period of one year from the date of dissolution of the National Assembly.

To put it simply, if the National Assembly is dissolved next week,  residents of Perseverance will vote in their former districts and  within a year they will again vote at Perseverance for their own Member of the National Assembly (MNA).

“This is pure gerrymandering,” a senior official of the main opposition Linyon Demokratik Seselwa said adding that “given  that they will be voting for their own MNA within a year, residents of Perseverance should not vote in other districts.” The measures published in the official gazette may be unlawful and there is a strong possibility the amendments to the Elections Act may be challenged in court.


The decision taken by the government is pretty much in line with the stance taken by representatives of Parti Lepep during meetings with the Election Commission which suggested that citizens should be allowed to vote in the area where they last resided until such time that Perseverance residents are able to vote for their own MNAs. The opposition, on the other hand, had proposed an amendment to article 116 (5) of the Constitution to make a draft order come into effect upon its publication in the official gazette and not upon the dissolution of the National Assembly.

Source:TiS

Friday, June 3, 2016

BARBARIC ACTS OF A LIBERATOR; TELLING THE WHOLE STORY

With less than 250 years’ worth of history to our credit, our young nation most certainly wants to promote the little we do have and share it with the quarter million visitors who holiday in our country every year. And that is all the more reason why the stories and tragedies in our history must be told in their entirety and not from a single perspective.

The story of Pompée, the slave who was sentenced to die at the stake, is just one of the many tales already told through the critical eyes of the historian and now the romantic eyes of the artist. And credit for the dedicated art exhibition must go to our local artist and sculptor Egbert Marday.

Opening the exhibition to coincide with this year’s edition of FetAfrik, when our rainbow nation celebrates the African dimension in its melting pot, was well chosen too. Except that as is so common with our omnipresent party politics and political rhetoric in everything we do, the occasion seems to have given government ministers and officials another golden opportunity to claim credit on behalf of their government for improving things for everyone.

That the exhibition showcasing the life of the Mozambican slave and his ‘heroic’ murderous act against what some have termed “the barbaric system of 1810” should ‘bring the story to life for all Seychellois to understand what really happened so we can fully appreciate the future,’ may seem evident to the culture minister.

That it should ‘promote our vibrant history and give tourists and residents alike the opportunity to learn more about important aspects of our history’ may seem less evident to the rest of us, especially since the slave was tried and convicted of murder, even if he pleaded in court that he killed his white overseer because the latter beat him up and because he did not like to be commanded by a white man. The punishment received by the Mozambican-born field worker was that he be burned alive by the French colonial authorities on 15 August, 1810 near the Moosa River in the tiny nameless establishment of a very young colonial outpost barely 40 years old.


“We need to learn from that past so that we can appreciate the future,” the culture minister said as he opened the exhibition which could only have been one artist’s perspective on the slave’s life story. Of course Pompée’s story evokes oppression and repression, and heroism and revolt against barbarism. But it also evokes rebellion and a heinous crime by a man who broke the law. Pompée cleaved his overseer with a sickle whilst his partner in crime held him down. Hardly the stuff of romance and certainly no act of self defence!

This may have been one of the tales upon which our so-called people’s revolution of 1977 was justified with its promise to restore power to an oppressed nation. But it also illustrates perfectly the dangers of viewing history through rose tinted glasses and seeing it in a rosecoloured romantic perspective.

Whilst no one doubts that Pompée may have lived “a very hard life”, or ignore his courage in taking on a ruthless system, this like many other similar stories, must be told in its entirety if it’s to be a true lesson in history and if every Seychellois is to fully understand and appreciate its significance. The Colony of Seychelles in 1810 was part of Napoleon’s First Empire – a time when protest was met by repression. History recalls that Pompée was not burned because he was a black slave but because the small colonial outpost had no executioner to behead him. And besides, his death had to serve as an example to all who dared challenge the authority of the day in a colony of only 317 whites, 135 free blacks and 3,015 slaves.

Since 1810, our liberated country has seen many more Pompées and their stories too are waiting to be told. The post-revolutionary period after the 1977 coup d’état provided the backdrop for many other tragedies and their heroes that remain part of the living memory of many citizens to this day. Stories abound of those who lived, were persecuted and died for their sustained loyalty to the party politics of our pre-independence era. And if they may not have suffered the same fate of Pompée, history does recall Simon Denousse and his friend Mike Asher who died in the inferno of a vehicle on a deserted beach in the South of Mahé in 1982 and Gérard Hoarau gunned down on his front porch in a London suburb in 1985.

Pompée may be an essential part of our young history. But so are the likes of Simon and Gérard, Davidson Chang Him, Bérard Jeannie, Alton Ah-Time, Gilbert Morgan, Hassan Ali and many others who disappeared or were killed in circumstances that have never been elucidated and whose stories have never been told.


That’s why we must also make the same space for their stories in that place where “wonderful art can be placed” and where students, residents and tourists alike can “appreciate the history of Seychelles” and the barbaric acts of a liberator.

N. Tirant

Source:Today in Seychelles

Friday, May 27, 2016

HERMITTE TELLS IT ALL

The former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Godfra Hermitte resigned from his post on 21 March. He said then that he had been forced to do it and that he would give an explanation at a later date. This week, Mr Hermitte sat down with journalists to give an account of events that led to his resignation.

Things began to unravel for former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Godfra Hermitte some nine months ago, according to his accounts of the events that led him to submit his resignation earlier this year.

"I could not condone unethical practices and they didn't like it", Godfra Hermitte said.

Mr Hermitte told TODAY he was given a directive by the Minister for Home Affairs, Charles Bastienne to sack someone from the police force. He said the reason given was that the person “wasn’t one of us.” The implication was that the person, who worked at the Anse Boileau police station, was not a supporter of the ruling party. Mr Hermitte said he was extremely uncomfortable with the decision and made it known to anyone who would listen to him. “I was a professional and as such, I believe that wasn’t a valid reason to sack someone from the force. I believe that competence, honesty and loyalty to the organisation are the necessary requirements – certainly not a person’s political beliefs,” he said.

However, Mr Hermitte said he felt he was being tested and from then on things went from bad to worse.

Another test came before last December’s Presidential elections during the recruitment of new trainee police officers. Since he was the Assistant Commissioner responsible for support services, which also involved human resources, he expressed doubts on the recruitment process. “There were people who sat for the exams and failed, but were recruited. Some others simply failed to sit for the exam and they were selected,” he said, adding that “one got the impression that the Minister’s office was like a recruitment centre.” He said those youths had to be recruited no matter what as their votes and their families’ votes were crucial. “It was unprofessional and I again expressed my displeasure which must have certainly reached the ears of the Minister.”

 Mr Hermitte said that from then on, he felt he was sidelined from decision making. “Meetings were held and I was kept out of them. They just couldn’t understand my stance against politics in the civil service. Therefore they went out of their way to frustrate me,” he said.

According to Mr Hermitte’s account, things came to a head when he was summoned to the Minister’s office together with the Commissioner of Police to be told that he was being transferred to the office of the Minister as an advisor.

“I told the Minister that I needed time to think about the proposal. I spent a weekend agonising over it and I informed the Minister the following week that I would not mind being his advisor as long as I remained in the police force and based at the central police station.”

Mr Hermitte said that after ten days with no reply, he asked the ministry to propose a package, to which the Minister replied that he would refer the matter to the Commissioner of Police. However, he was in for a surprise as on 19 February, the Commissioner gave him a letter informing him that he was being transferred to the Minister’s office. “That was illegal. The Commissioner had absolutely no power to transfer me anywhere except within the force,’ he said.

Mr Hermitte added that he subsequently wrote to the Commissioner with queries regarding the issue. He said he never got an answer and his conclusion is that whatever happened to him was nothing but a political vendetta.

Source: Today in Seychelles

Thursday, May 26, 2016

VICTIMISED AGAIN!

Boulle a victim of secret information;  Intershore Banking Corporation’s affair takes a new twist.

The Supreme Court, in a judgment delivered on 17 May, refused to divulge the secret information provided by a foreigner of the Financial Investigative Unit (FIU) to the Central Bank which was used to refuse the grant of a bank licence to the Seychellois company Intershore Banking Corporation whose owner is the lawyer Philippe Boullé, who is also a former chairman of Barclays Bank.

The Judgment was delivered in the course of an appeal by Intershore Banking Corporation against the decision by the Central Bank, wherein Intershore Banking Corporation had requested the Supreme Court to compel the Central Bank to produce the secret information to discredit Intershore Banking Corporation and its owner. Intershore relied on an article of the Constitution which provides for “a right of access of every person to information relating to that person and held by a public authority which is performing a governmental function and the right to have the information rectified or otherwise amended, if inaccurate.”


Philippe Boulle says he takes it as a situation of déja vu as it all reminds him of times gone by “when, under the one party system, the state used the dirty tactics of secret information to try and destroy me.”

He cited the incidents when he was imprisoned three times by presidential decree based on “secret information” provided by security forces which he said was “nothing but lies and rubbish while criminals and murderers were walking free on the streets with the security forces.”

He added that after he was imprisoned, he was refused a passport based on “secret information” supplied to the immigration officers “which again was nothing but lies, while passports were freely given to foreigners who were known rogues and criminals.”

Mr Boulle added that following the refusal of a passport he was refused a licence to practice his profession once more based on “secret information” supplied to the licensing authority. “With hindsight I see those incidents as childish manoeuvres by people drunk with power seized by force,” the lawyer said.

“Now years later, from childish behaviour to the ridiculous, my company, Instershore Banking Corp is refused a banking licence based again on “secret information” by a foreigner in the FIU.”
Philippe Boullé concludes that it is obvious that citizens are still shackled by malicious tactics and that “it is evident that the only way to liberate all Seychellois so that they can feely engage in the business of their choice without facing the nonsensical Gestapo style hurdles, is to have a change in the political landscape.”


Intershore Banking Corporation will appeal against the decision of the Supreme Court.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO TERRY JULES?

This week marked the 3 year anniversary of the disappearance of a man from Anse La Mouche. His blue Terios Jeep the 34-year-old was driving was found parked by the roadside near Reef Holiday apartments at around 8pm on Sunday 19th of May 2013.


“The parked jeep caught the attention of a police officer who noticed it was unattended and had some personal belongings in it like a laptop and some clothes, and on the road near the jeep was a mobile phone, all later identified as Jules”


Since the initial investigation everything has gone quiet; no further information has been produced as to his whereabouts or what really happened to him.

By A.Pierre

Friday, April 29, 2016

LDS PRESS RELEASE



LINYON DEMOKRATIK SESELWA

PRESS RELEASE
LDS propose process for Perseverance to become an Electoral Area immediately

LDS met with representatives of the Electoral Commission today, April 29, to discuss the issue of declaring Perseverance an Electoral Area in time for the forthcoming National Assembly elections.

Chairman Hendricks Gappy and Legal Counsel Samantha Aglae who represented the Commission said the meeting was to get the proposals of the parties on how this could be done in view of the time constraints imposed by the provisions of the Constitution and the Elections Act.

The proposal to declare Perseverance an electoral area was contained in a Draft Order passed by the National Assembly in October 2015. The Draft Order needs to be approved by the President and gazetted. This has not yet been done.

Under article 116 (5) of the Constitution , Perseverance will become an Electoral Area only at the dissolution of the present National Assembly for the next elections. The procedures for registration of voters under the Elections Act can take several weeks.


These provisions mean that they will not be registered in time to vote at the National Assembly elections.

The block of parties in Linyon Demokratik Seselwa have made proposals for legal amendments to overcome the present obstacles.

1.      Article 116 (5) of the Constitution to be amended for Perseverance to become an electoral area immediately when the Order is gazetted, not waiting for the Assembly to be dissolved.
2.      The  Elections Act to be amended for residents of Perseverance to be registered based on the existing list of residents used in the 2015 elections.

LDS have said the legal steps to establish the electoral area can be concluded within a week, and registration of voters can be concluded in time for the Assembly elections.

What is required is for the National Assembly to be called into session to pass these amendments and for the President to approve the Order and have it published.

The responsibility falls on James Michel to have these steps taken immediately. Not doing so will mean disenfranchising the residents of Perseverance by denying them the right to register in an electoral district in which they live and denying them the right to vote for a member of the National Assembly to represent their district.


Roger Mancienne
Chairman. Linyon Demokratik Seselwa


Victoria                                                                                   April 29. 2016
Mahe



Thursday, April 21, 2016

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO FELIX MAUREL?

Private investigator insinuate foul play, inquiry to move to Farquhar.

A private investigator engaged by the Maurel family to help determined what happened to Felix Maurel who disappeared on Farquhar in April of 2010 has said his investigation suggest that was foul play involved given the circumstances of the disappearance.

The South African gave evidence in court on the third day of the hearing late last month, when the court concluded that it needs to retrace the footsteps of Mr Maurel on location at Farquhar itself in order to have a clearer insight into what could have happened.


The cost for the expedition is to be shouldered by the Maurel family, the same people who ordered the inquest initially and arrangements are ongoing for all parties concerned to go to Farquhar sometime later this month. 

In his statement to the court the South African investigator said he does not believe Mr Maurel went into the sea, or that he drowned for that matter as a result of that.

Most deponents in the case has suggested theoretically that Mr Maurel wnet into the sea at some point during the walk, as it was a very hot day and the sea was calm and inviting.

But the investigator said according to an experiment he carried out on his visit on the island, the body of Maurel would have remained afloat had he drowned, and would have been spotted by the search parties during the early days of the search.

Other testimonies adduced before the court so far state that Mr Maurel disappeared after abandoning a walk fifteen minutes into it accompanied by a bunch of friends he was holidaying with on Farquhar. 

Witnesses say he left the group to go back to where the boat was anchored, stating he was tired and not feeling well. 

But the skipper said Mr Maurel never made it back to the boat, stressing that he never left the boat out of view at any given time as he waited for group to return.


Source: Regar 2010

WHO BENEFITS FROM TOURISM ON FARQUHAR?

The Island D e v e l o p m e n t Company (IDC) has signed another deal for tourism on Farquhar Island. A company based in the UK specialising in fishing holidays, FlyCastaway, is now advertising packages offering a week’s stay on the island together with fishing, for the coast of US$7000 per person. These are offered for groups of 10, putting the weekly turnover at $70,000.

Prices have increased
These offers are being made to prospective clients all over the world, putting Farquhar tourism on a larger scale than it has been. How much the IDC will get out of this is not known yet but it can be expected to beat the $30,000 per week it has been getting from Mauritian tourists for years.

The new arrangement starts in February 2011, according to the advertisement. But this comes without the questions on Farquhar tourism being answered.

The first question is whether the island’s tourism business is legal and compliant with standards in the industry. IDC chief executive Glenny Savy has admitted that the establishment there does not have a licence. He has said this is not necessary because it is primarily a rest house intended for government officials or even other Seychellois who want to spend time there. But, we have never heard of such guests for Farquahar while groups of Mauritian tourists paying $3000 each have been regular.


After the mysterious disappearance of Mauritian Felix Maurel last year, the IDC has not come up with any assurances on the safety of visitors. Should it expand its activities without better safeguards?

FlyCastaway obviously intends to enlarge the scale of fishing that tourists can do. It offers both fly-fishing from the flats and sand bars and also fishing in the waters of the lagoon for grouper, tuna, sailfish and marlin. It will bring in four motorized skiffs for, in ots own words, “unleashing the offshore opportunities that await there”.

Obviously, this is on a much bigger scale than has been going on. But who gets the money? IDC executive Glenny Savy has never given any clear answer on how the money collected from Mauritian visitors over the past years has been accounted for. Auditors are supposed to be looking closely at the accounts of state-owned companies, but this part remains obscure.

If IDC is to engage in tourism on the islands it manages, it must do so within the rules and standards of the industry and with full transparency. Until it does that, its dealings will remain questionable.


Source: Regar 7-9-10

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Amnesty Newsletter; SEYCHELLES EXILED LEADER KILLED

The murder of exiled Seychellois opposition leader Gerard Hoarau outside his home in London, England on 29 November 1985 was the latest in a series of incidents in which at least nine opponents of the government of President Albert Rene are reported to have been murdered or have "disappeared".


The current Government of the Seychelles came to power following a coup d'etat in June 1977. The following August, Hassan Umarji Ebrahim, a 45-year-old businessman and known government critic, "disappeared". He left his house after receiving a phone call from an unknown person. His empty car was discovered an hour later with the engine still running. His shoes were found nearby. Amnesty International (AI) later received detailed allegations suggesting that Hassan Umarji Ebrahim had been abducted and killed by members of the security forces because of his political views. A former police officer told AI that police files on the case had vanished from the archives as a result of an intervention by senior officials.

STRANGE

In October 1982 and July 1983 a further four people died in strange circumstances. The two victims in 1982 were Simon Desnousse, a Seychellois student leader, and Mike Asher, a South African, said by the authorities to have blown themselves up with a homemade bomb. In July 1983 Michael Hoffman, a former policeman, and Tony Elizabeth, were killed after their car was attacked at night by unknown assailants. A third man, Brian Victor, was left for dead hut subsequently recovered and claimed that he and his companions had been attacked by members of the security forces. Al has received reports that all of these killings were carried out for political reasons by members of the security forces who had tried to disguise them either as accidents or as the work of common criminals.

VICTIMS

The latest "disappearances" reported in the islands occurred in August and September 1984. The victims were Jean Guillaume, a 22-year-old labourer, and Alton Ah-Time, a known government opponent. Al again received reports that both had been abducted and killed by members of the security forces because of their actual or suspected political activity. Their bodies are said to have been dumped at sea.

On 3 October 1984 Alton Ah-Time's mother, Simone Ah-Time, wrote an open letter to a local newspaper in which she claimed that her son had been followed and intimidated by security officers on several occasions in the previous eighteen months. Since then, at least two members of the Ah-Time family have been detained and allegedly beaten by security officers.

AI has appealed a number of times to the Seychellois authorities to establish an impartial inquiry into this series of deaths and "disappearances" but without response.

LEADER

Shortly before he was killed, Gerard Hoarau, leader of the exiled Seychelles National Movement, claimed that the Seychellois Government had planned to kill him in France. He alleged that the French police had been informed of the plan: that it was to have been carried out by a professional gunman hired by an associate of President Rene, and that the weapons for the assassination were to have been smuggled into France in the diplomatic bag.


Gerard Hoarau was a former immigration officer in the Seychelles. In November 1979, he was one of about 811 people detained on suspicion of organizing an underground opposition movement which had circulated literature criticizing the government. The authorities also claimed that Hoarau was involved in a plan to overthrow the government by force, although he was never charged with any offence. He was released untried after eight months' detention. In March 1980 Hoarau was one of several detainees visited by an AI delegate, Kenyan lawyer Amos Wako, who recorded a conversation with Hoarau in prison.

This echo from the past is brought by the Voice, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) focused on Human Rights in Seychelles and defending victims of fundamental rights abuses. The launch of the NGO is imminent.




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

“VICTORY IS OURS” LDS

Linyon Demokratik Seselwa held its first public meeting in Victoria yesterday.

The Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) or ‘Seychellois Democratic Alliance’ which brings together four existing political parties, held its first public meeting yesterday to outline its strategies particularly for the forthcoming National Assembly elections. The meeting was also aimed at reassuring party supporters that the LDS remained united despite speculation that various groups were at odds with each other over a common list of candidates for the elections. Leaders called on party supporters to give their unconditional support to candidates presented by the LDS in each district.


The leader of the Seychelles National Party, Wavel Ramkalawan announced that the LDS will put forward new candidates from all groups within the movement. He mentioned in particular, the LDS candidate for Perseverance, Mr Wavel Woodcock. Lawyer Clifford Andre will stand in the Anse Aux Pins constituency. Ahmed Afif of Lalyans Seselwa will represent the LDS in the Anse Etoile district and Godfra Hermitte will stand in the Port Glaud electoral area.

Mr Ramakalwan said it was vital that the LDS secures a majority in the National Assembly to carry out the changes that is required in the country.


The four parties that make up the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa are the Seychelles National Party (SNP), Lalyans Seselwa (LA) the Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy (SPSD) and it also has the support of the Seselwa United Party (SUP). Roger Mancienne of the SNP is the leader of the party. Lalyans Seselwa’s Clifford Andre is the Secretary General whilst Roy Fonseka of the Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy is the treasurer.

Source: Today in Seychelles