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US leaders must be ashamed

The new leadership of United Seychelles (US) is harvesting fruits they did not sow and feeling proud of it. In fact they have had the nerve to take credit for things they were vehemently against for years up until the most recent past.

 

They have been accorded the privilege of uncensored live press conferences, something they denied the opposition when they controlled the executive. This year alone, they have issued more press releases and given more press conferences than government with the accompanying press coverage on prime news. Ironically, all their press conferences and releases were aimed at criticising government; no opposition has ever had it so good in the political history of Seychelles.

 

Dr Patrick Herminie, the newly elected leader of United Seychelles was, for the most part of his life, an active member of the machinery that stifled free speech and violently suppressed political opponents over more than four decades. The 3rd October will forever be remembered as a day when the US led government violently assaulted a peaceful assembly. President Ramkalawan and Designated Minister Ferrari were bloodied within the precincts of the National Assembly which was situated at the National Library building at the time.

 

Many who fought for the basic freedoms we now enjoy were forced to flee the country while others were unlawfully detained or imprisoned; some brutally murdered. Those who suffered under the regime have all the reasons in the world to be angry at the unlimited access granted by state media to those who went out of their way to reprehensively deny a nation its basic rights. They passed legislations which made it impossible for citizens to operate radio stations and censored state media. It is insulting to the great majority of Seychellois that US leadership should now be taking credit for the liberties we now enjoy.

 

Dr Herminie was unashamed to publicly acknowledge his constitutional right to make use of all means, including strikes, as an expression of discontent by his party. This is seriously irresponsible at a time when the country has to unite to face a common enemy; the pandemic. Sadly, oppressors throughout history have never understood the responsibility that comes with freedom: there are consequences. It was most unfortunate for Dr Herminie to be justifying the Coup d’Etat at a time when the nation is trying to heal itself from this unsavoury part of our history. His neo-Marxist attitude borders on fascism which poses a real threat to the stability of the country.

 

Without the effective oversight role of President Ramkalawan when he was Leader of the Opposition and chairperson of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee, the country’s reserve would not have been at the current levels. Dr Herminie would do well to acknowledge those facts and give credit where it is due.

LDS Secretariat

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