Wednesday, September 28, 2016

PRESS RELEASE


LINYON DEMOKRATIK SESELWA REJECTS HANDOVER OF PRESIDENCY AND CALLS FOR ELECTION

Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) rejects the handover of the Presidency from Mr. James Michel to Mr. Danny Faure and calls for a fresh Presidential election to allow the people of Seychelles to choose a President that will have a clear mandate to govern the country.

LDS makes the following statements in reaction to the decision by Mr. James Michel to resign as President with effect October 16th, 2016 and to handover the Presidency to Mr. Faure.

1. Mr. James Michel has not given clear and valid grounds for his decision to resign and hand over power. In entering the Presidential Election of December 2015, he gave the people of Seychelles a clear undertaking to serve a mandate of five years and it was on that basis that he was elected. While the Constitution provides for a handover of power upon the resignation of the President, this can only be reasonable on serious and valid grounds relating to incapacity to perform the duties required. It is not acceptable on the grounds that have been stated, only nine months after he was declared President, of passing responsibility for implementing the party’s program to a younger team. LDS is questioning the legality of this process.

2. Mr. Michel was declared President in December 2015 after a tightly contested election marred by illegal practices and failures in the electoral process. His mandate to govern the country on the basis of this election was itself uncertain. For his part, Mr. Danny Faure has no claim to any such mandate.

3. In the National Assembly elections held in September 2016, LDS gained an overall majority of the popular votes over the Parti Lepep. For this reason too, Mr. Faure cannot claim to have the support of the Seychellois people and therefore has no mandate to govern.

4. The practice of handing over power is in itself undemocratic and LDS has declared its intention to revise the Constitution to amend it in favour of acceptable democratic procedure. LDS cannot accept its use in a situation where democratic principles are not respected. The character, capability and fitness to govern of Mr. Danny Faure must be submitted to the decision of the people of Seychelles

5. Under the circumstances, it is necessary for the sake of our democracy to hold a new Presidential election in order for a President to be elected with a clear mandate to govern. LDS will use its position in the National Assembly to insist on a fresh Presidential election.

6. LDS believes it is of paramount importance that the new Presidential election is held promptly but with due regard for it to be organised properly in order for it to be fully credible. In that respect LDS calls for the appointment of a new Chairperson for the Electoral Commission and for the electoral regulations and practices to be reviewed in the light of the National Assembly elections.

7. LDS reiterates its firm commitment to the democratic process and the proper functioning of all institutions of the state and the government. It confirms its commitment to peace, stability and orderly elections in our country.

Roger Mancienne September 28, 2016

Chairman, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DEAR JAMES; OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT

Firstly, I hope you are well. I also hope you dont mind me writing this letter to you; please know that it is written with the best intentions, with no ill will or malice.

I simply write as one Seychellois to another. A citizen of this country who has seen Seychelles persevere throughout the decades to the nation we now live in. The Seychelles you and I both call home.

We are both of an age where we have witnessed great changes in this country; some triumphant and some deplorable. In Seychelles’ short history as a nation so much has happened and every citizen has a different view of our past. However, as the adage goes, what is done, is done. Now it is time to look to the future of our island nation.

Despite the presidential elections of 2015 now over, the topic is still fervent on the minds of many of our fellow citizens. With the Constitutional Court case over, the issues raised are widely discussed amongst Seychellois. As a fellow Seychellois, I grew up on the streets of this country and Seychelles is in my blood. As a member of your generation, now I often find myself wondering how people will remember me; either as a mother, a friend, a professional and now as a political leader. I think now, my only wish is to have provided for those I care for, to have helped those who sought guidance and to have shown compassion for those who needed it. And as someone who often asks herself the same question, I felt compelled to sincerely enquire about the legacy you wish to leave when everything is said and done.

On the first day of polling last December, there was a photo taken of you and I (enclosed with this letter) which I'd like to bring your attention to. Your face in that picture is a very different portrayal of you than we've seen before and I believe it speaks volumes, because captured in that frame shows a man who is capable of genuine and demonstrable good as a President. It shows a more human side to you; a side which is often masked by politics.


Seychelles has borne witness to a great deal of pain - from the bloodshed of past decades and the subsequent hurting of our citizens, to the poverty, sickness, victimisation and miseducation which affects so many Seychellois if you open your eyes to their plight. There must be a time whereby you can reminisce and see the damage done to the people of Seychelles. With the current state of uncertainty shrouding the future of this nation, now must be the time where we reflect and think about the future of our people.

Your presidency will be remembered no matter what, but you need to decide how history will remember you. Leave a legacy which you can be truly proud of, and something that all the people of Seychelles will thank you for. You can leave a memory where you are seen as a figure of odium or one which shows a man of genuine compassion and statesmanship.

Now is an opportunity to truly see the people and to put the citizens of Seychelles first in everything you do. Presently the people of this country look to you. As a woman and as a mother, the thought sometimes crosses my mind that perhaps at times you have lost your way. Forgive me for saying this, it is only my opinion. But there is time to make amends - start by returning the assets of Seychelles to its people, regardless of whatever way they were taken; whether it be land or money or whatever else.

Cleanse the land and put things right. Have a memorial service for all those who have been lost to the violence from the Coup and it's following years; conduct a service in one of our stadiums, with their pictures and their families present so these souls can finally be put to rest. Give the people a chance to grieve. Erect a monument in their honour and engrave our lost citizens' names on it.

Have a moment with the people of Seychelles and truly connect with them. Promise them that none of the mistakes of the past will ever be repeated and give them a memory, something to hold on to, to rectify the injustices that so many have suffered.

It is time to leave behind, the people who constantly shield your eyes from the wrongdoing in this country. You need to see for yourself the pain and the suffering of the people in Seychelles.

There is some good in the worst of us and some bad in the best of us, and I would like to believe the same of you. All I ask in this letter is for you to reflect, and to use the good in you to create a lasting good legacy - something everyone will remember and thank you for. Forget the figures, forget the politics and forget the games - truly ask yourself what kind of legacy you would like to leave behind.

After all, when we leave this world, it does not matter the number of jets or cars or houses or property we have acquired. We all leave with nothing, so should we not leave some kind of positive memory instead?

Everyone thinks of their mortality; especially for those our age, it is a thought that comes to us all. In the case of Albert Rene, we must look back at the last years of his presidency. No one now remembers what they were, yet the decades preceding him are forever there. You have a golden opportunity, afforded to very few, to use your remaining time as president to make a resounding difference and leave more than what history has shown.

Life is full of miracles and God can do wonders. It is only possible though, by accepting the wrong done to the people of Seychelles and bringing real change. The healing process can only truly begin with an admission of wrong doing and a plea for forgiveness.

One of my personal aspirations when joining local politics was to heal the nation; I would like to invite you in joining me in this vision and to help the people bury the past in the right way and truly heal this country.

James, our differences matter but our country matters more, and that is why I am writing this letter to you. My destination is social justice, democracy and the rule of law, let us make the journey together. So let us as leaders take the first steps and start the healing process.

Kindest regards,

Alexia


Saturday, September 3, 2016

ALEXIA AMESBURY IS FURIOUS!

Dear Madam,

I write to set the records straight in regards to an incident that happened on Thursday 1st September 2016 at the Land Registry, which has been reported both by the SBC and the Nation News paper which is nothing short of defamatory of the three persons involved.

Firstly, Barnet Fanchette is a director of his company called TB Search that undertake work for those persons seeking their family tree (genealogy) and land Titles that their ancestors may have had. He is a methodical and prolific researcher who has travelled both to La Reunion and Mauritius in pursuit of his client’s instructions. The Land Registry is the place where most of his work is done and he knows almost all the personnel there. He knows the procedure for accessing documents and he also knows that land Titles are public documents and the Land registry a Public place.

On Thursday I gave him a document with the following parcel numbers and asked him to ascertain who is/are the owners, V 10428, V 10427, V 10426, V 17024, V 663, V 6081, V 662, V 661, V 6085, V 8311. It is believed that the eight parcels of land are owned by President Michel.

He visited the Land Registry with me and we gave the information to Priscilla and she informed us that the files were not in its place but she would trace the files and if we returned in the afternoon she would  let us know if she had traced the files.

That afternoon Barnet went to the Registry accompanied by Alexander Pierre  who wanted to find out whether indeed the JJ Spirit Building is on a plot of land that was purchased for One Rupee.  Bernard Sullivan simply accompanied Alex.

There is a video clip that has since been uploaded on the Seychelles Daily Facebook group that shows clearly what ensued.


video
The truth


The Nation lies


video
SBC Lies

If there was any kind of disturbance would the Land Registrar or some other person not have called in the security at the Independence House check-in counter? Priscilla asked all three to switch off their phones, which request was promptly complied with. At some stage Alex is clearly heard to be laughing. Is that the kind of scenario where there is violent abuse and assault? Priscilla is seen throwing a file down on the counter. This would suggest that the only person who lost her professionalism is Priscilla and no one else.

Whereas in the morning of the 1st of September 2016 the owner (s) of the ten parcels of land was in doubt after what happened to the three, it is now clear who owns those plots of land.

The three have been bailed for criminal trespass. Is the Land Registry not a public place? Is there a notice anywhere indicating that the place is private property and that special permission must be sought prior to entry? Criminal trespass is an offence where one must first be proved to have “trespassed”. The video clip shows Priscilla inviting the three into the “search area”. One must also enter with “an intention to commit a felony therein”. Priscilla had told Barnet to return in the afternoon to see whether she had found the files sought in the morning. And Alex is clearly heard to be asking for the file of the parcel of JJ Spirit Building, V16938 so, was their intention, to steal files, assault and commit acts of violence?

Why are the ten files missing from their usual place? Is the land registry not the depository of all land documents? Why did Priscilla have to go into an inner office with the list of ten plots of land in the morning when I was there?

Based on what happened, and the false accusations leveled at the three, I can now safely assume that the ten plots of land are owned by President Michel or some other person (s) or entity with close ties with PL and I feel justified in asking whether the ten plots of land form part of the “aki” and “gain’ that he and Vice President Danny Faure wants to protect when he asks the Nation to vote for PL MNAs?




Alexia G. Amesbury

Monday, August 29, 2016

ROY FONSEKA PROVIDES MICHEL AN EXIT STRATEGY

INCLUSIVITY & DEMOCRACY MUST PREVAIL OVER MACHIAVELLIAN POLITICS, INTIMIDATION & VICTIMISATION

When Mohamed Bouazizi, a common citizen of Tunisia made the ultimate sacrifice on the 18th December 2010 to bring world attention to the sufferings of his fellow compatriots by setting himself ablaze, it can be said that the man simply had had enough.  That triggered the Arab Spring which in turn created the tsunami that still engulfs the Middle East today.

It is true that the likes of Saddam Hussain of Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya managed to keep on 'lock down' the ever bubbling lid of discontent in their respective country.   Punching a Machiavellian fist in the air, whilst holding a flaying whip in the other hand, they ruthlessly kept their peoples on tight leashes.  Terror being their favoured modus operandi and their role models being the likes of Stalin, Hitler and those post Empire African dictators, they were always ready to arrange a one-way ticket to the Great Allah for those who dared think of an alternative.

The Middle East is indeed going through a most testing period.  But unlike other periods in its previous turbulent history, the ongoing sufferings today can be most graphically viewed right in our sitting rooms and in real time, encouraging the false argument that appeasement is less chaotic than standing up to dictatorship and corruption.   There are those (even the supposedly most enlightened) who may now prefer the devil they knew, forgetting that they also must accept the consequence of them having turned a blind eye to the devil's dance in the first place.    Such turbulent times also draws in those who are prepared to perch themselves on the fence and become lecturers and professors of hindsight.   I personally subscribe to those who somehow knew that the world was not flat and dared look towards the horizon.  

But the fall from grace of the leaders of Libya, Tunisia, Yemen and soon others may follow, could have been avoided had they been able to spot the wind of change that blew right across their doorstep.  With clear foresight, they could have considered an inclusive team on the bridge to help steer the ship and avoided falling over-board.  Like President Frederik Willem de Klerk of South Africa who must be given immense credit for his role in taking a troubled South Africa from the past to the present.  And whilst all glory centred on good old President Mandela, the ability for de Klerk to detect that Mandela was a person who could be trusted must not be belittled in any measure.  But again it is not necessarily about the ability to single out any special individual.  It is more about being able to appreciate the true mood of the public and acknowledging the surge of the wave for change.  Thereby being able to seize the opportunity and become part of smoothing its progress towards its defined course instead of futile resistance until it is too late.  Change is no doubt a most healthy moment for a country.  However, in changing a fatigued and corrupt system, the compass of democracy must direct our path towards inclusivity so that a vacuum is not created for another devil to own that space.  This is an area where the Middle East is facing its biggest challenge.

There is no doubt that the mood for change here in Seychelles is unstoppable.  There is nothing more powerful in life than the true discovery of freedom within one's self.  It starts with the simple absence of fear which takes its form through one's innate thoughts.  But once a person discovers a true and noble purpose, fear will simply disappear.  Similarly soldiers with a clear mission and purpose also experience the calmness before a major battle, and in the same way the nuns and priests who dedicated their lives to treating lepers in those early days were also fearlessly committed, not forgetting those who recently treated the victims of the Ebola virus.


And once the power of freedom is tasted, it cannot be washed off with a forced gulp of arsenic and ratcheting up the flow of intimidation.  Freedom is contagious and sooner or later, it is replaced with something even stronger - individual pride and self-worth, .known as 'esprit de corps' by the military.   And this phenomena is what is presently taking place here in Seychelles.  To have men, who having been invited to State House with the subtle offer of a fat envelope, turn their backs, walk purposefully down the lane, with head up and chin forward after refusing to swallow hook line and sinker, is not only commendable, but  was a shattering rebuke  to the offerer.  Those are marks of true patriots, who must at some future period be considered to receive the citation of the Freedom of Victoria in time to come.

Those great acts prove that the common Seychellois bears an  immense quota of pride which have been suppressed for too long.  And had we nurtured those qualities over the past 39 years, instead of the practice of manipulative politics, our country could have been the best place to live in the world.  Our service levels could be the best, our tourism industry past anything we know of today, and our youth would be full of dreams with no heroine running through their veins.    But being an optimist, I am indeed hopeful for the future.  And as we leaders set an example of pride and unselfishness, we can start claiming the future of our country for a better and refreshed Seychelles.

The public's mood is clear, eager for change.  The downtrodden have picked themselves back on their feet.  The numerous tapes of lies and promises have been rewound once too often.  The people have been pushed to their limits and cannot be fooled any further.  Like a swarm of bees, self purpose directs their movement and no-one is without labour.


On the other side, bewilderment masks those previously well favoured as they watch a determined public demanding their right to free and fair elections, demanding an end to nepotism and deep-rooted corruption, demanding an impartial judiciary, demanding an end to victimisation, and insisting on good governance.  Those demands are being persistently made in a high spirited atmosphere and through respect for the law.  Contagious optimism fills the air and smiles and laughter are back amongst the once oppressed.  'What do these guys know which we do not' the new bourgeoisie ask themselves.  Freedom and self-respect is the answer my friends.  Some suddenly realise that the light that was directed at their eyes had been masking the darkness around them and quickly jump sides.   For the rest, it is never too late to walk towards betterment.  I say come and join us, there is room for everyone on this train of democracy.

As for the President, he must find himself between a rock and a hard place as he continues to use the election commissioner to engineer more obstacles along the voting process.  Gerrymandering and threatening to strike off the electoral register, his main opponent, he continues down an old path of futility.   Unfortunately that's all he knows.  In the absence of having anyone he can trust around him, he must find himself as being in a lonely place.  Unlike FW de Klerk, he has failed to create a visionary team.  He is left surrounded by only those who believe in self-interest. 

Foresight and opportunities, are either quickly grasped or very soon become elusive.  The President could take some lessons from de Klerk and turn this present scenario in his favour.   Pick the phone up and speak to FW de Klerk, I say.  And that is sound advice.  No doubt there will be reluctance from those close to him cunningly eyeing the crown.  But has the President got what it takes?  Only time will tell.

God bless Seychelles.



Roy Fonseka

DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

Not too long ago Minister Adam announced that Seychelles Gross National Income (GNI) was in the region of $14,000 per capita and in the same breath he said that in a recent census of household income it emerged that just over 39% of the population live below the poverty line earning SCR 3900/- per month or less.

Strange, because 39, is the number of years that SPUP, SPPF and PL has been in power. I cannot help but conclude that every year that PL has been in power the level of poverty has increased by 1% therefore the question is, if PL remains in power for the next 5 years (making a total of 44 years) will those living below the poverty line be 44%? 

One of the ways through which a PL government has contributed to the creation of poverty is the issue of “tan servis”. The formula of one day’s pay for each month worked, dates back to the colonial days, but in 2010 this government found it fit to trash it down to a mere 0.8333 pay for each month worked, therefore The tax payer loses 0.1677 pay for each month worked.

For example a person earning a salary of SCR 5000.00 per month, after working 5 years in a company/Government on a 5 day week  he/ she would have earned SCR 13846.00 as “tan servis”, but under the present system where a worker gets only 0.8333 pay, for each month worked he/she would only get SCR 11537.87, because instead of the government paying the employee 60 days equal to (5 years “tan servis” on the pre 2010 formula) the government only  pays the worker for 50 days. (Which is, four years and one and a half months salary only, instead of five years). In essence the longer you serve in the company or government you loose big time!! This means for every 5 years that an employee works he /she loses 10 days pay from his “tan servis” payment. If he/she has served 15 years therefore he/she stands to loose a whole month’s salary as compensation paid to him/her. This is day light robbery!! That is not all, the employees I have spoken with all tell me that after five years service they only get around Seychelles Rupees Six Thousand as gratuity.

And this, is only one of the ways that PL uses to give the citizens of Seychelles ‘son don li”.



Alexia G. Amesbury

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