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The unwarrantable and enduring attacks on the government by United Seychelles continue to show their unwillingness to unify the nation, especially when the country’s economy has been left in tatters and everyone’s efforts are being called into solidarity to save it.

Instead, their energy is being used to purposefully confuse the nation with selective information. The plan to combat COVID-19 is often criticised by the opposition party. Recently Hon. Sebastien Pillay protested at the 2305 confirmed cases of COVID in Seychelles, but the Leader of the Opposition purposefully forgot to mention the 1775 cases that have recovered from the illness, focusing on the bigger numbers to create fear and panic.  In reality, there are only 520 active COVID cases being treated currently.


With lives at risks and 10 Seychellois tragically succumbing to the disease, the government continues to appeal to the entire nation to respect the restrictions and safety guidelines currently in place, if Seychelles is to win against the pandemic. The situation of COVID-19 in Seychelles today totally differs from 10 months ago, with community transmissions recently added to the mix; a volatile situation that could have been much worse if not for the dedications of the health professionals.


With any change in government, it is fine to have reforms that are in the best interest of the country; sadly Seychelles has never experienced such transformation having been ruled by the same government until October 2020.  Therefore, it is concerning when United Seychelles would scream victimisation at the government’s effort to fix the abuse on the Unemployment Relief Scheme (URS) and social welfare permitted to go unabated under their watch.


Contributing significantly in creating a society dependent on the State’s financial assistance to put food on the table, United Seychelles would rather leave these same unsustainable systems in place, simply because it was their controlling mechanism as they had the power to approve or disapprove any applications based on their agenda and not on merit.


The FA4JR list of companies and individuals financially assisted is yet another testimony of the extreme level of mismanagement of funds taking place under the eyes of United Seychelles.  Keeping the FA4JR going was not an option as SCR1.2 billion has already been paid out, such action would have indebted the country to the brink of collapse.


As history would dictate, Seychelles lost its freedom on the 5th of June 1977. The ensuing violence of torture, murder and victimisation that followed the coup d’état and imposed on those not supporting their regime would result in a large number of Seychellois getting displaced and forced to leave their country in terror to watch from afar. For their comments and contributions to be disregarded as insignificant is an insult to their struggle and shows a lack of respect and empathy, thus creating a barrier towards national reconciliation.


The Anse La Mouche controversy has been laid to rest following a press conference at State House by a panel led by President Wavel Ramkalawan. After  a petition handed at State House gates by the concerned individuals and a peaceful demonstration over the weekend, the president informed the nation on his government’s stance vis-à-vis the project.


The project will go ahead as it is not only beneficial to the country but also adheres to the established environmental laws and planning regulations. The president addressed pertinent issues raised in the petition and ordered a review of the EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) process because it was evident that cross sectorial and public consultations could have been of a higher order.


With the Vice President, the Minister for Environment and the chairman of the Planning Authority in attendance all queries were effectively addressed with utmost professionalism. No stones were left unturned.


The manner in which the press conference was conducted gave a clear indication as to what is expected of the current government, a testimony of its commitment for inclusiveness in consultations when issues of national interest arise. It is adhering to the philosophy of transparence, accountability and good governance. Certain elements of the press conference are worth noting.


First and foremost, the President did not blame the previous government for decisions it had taken in respect of the project. This is a sign of astute statesmanship and responsible leadership where past agreements with government have to be respected. It sends the right message to prospective investors.


Secondly, the president did not blame the protesters and other concerned citizens for their vociferous actions. Instead, he welcomed their views and their militancy in preserving the environment. This approach is vital in a democracy where divergent views are not only to be tolerated but given attention.


Thirdly it was abundantly evident that the current administration functions as a coherent team. The fact that the Vice President took all the questions from journalists demonstrates a level of harmony in the work of government never seen before.


President Ramkalawan has once again proven that the voice of every Seychellois is heard by his administration. This is the leadership model that will bring Seychelles forward ensuring that ‘Sesel i reste pour tou son zanfan’

Air Seychelles has become a serious concern for the LDS government, one with an anchoring debt on the brink of collapsing. It is the more reason why President Ramkalawan was duty-bound to describe the state of the nation as a kales kase.

His frankness, however shocking, has produced a sense of solidarity in a country that now knows the true state of its nation and can now grasp the challenges that lie ahead.


Caught between ending an era of pride and patriotic emotions versus deciding what is best for Seychelles to successfully navigate out of this economic storm; President Ramkalawan has vowed his government will make the necessary decisions however tough  it gets when it comes to Air Seychelles.


Recently, the former CEO of Air Seychelles for 14 years until 2011, Cpt. David Savy gave a rare but insightful interview on SBC describing the type of atmosphere that existed between the previous administration and him. He acknowledged that a lot of bad decisions by the government at the time contributed to the demise of the airline. And as it happens, former President Danny Faure was the Minister of Finance between 2006 – 2012; which puts him in a very distinct position in all of these Air Seychelles calamities, United Seychelles would do well to acknowledge their part in the Air Seychelles saga.


During all of the shenanigans taking place and bringing Air Seychelles to the brink of closure, the 5th National Assembly led by the now US party leader, Dr Patrick Herminie, failed to play their role as an oversight institution that could have used their privilege to questions the actions of the government. Instead, we witnessed a rubber-stamp institution standing idly by as the government continued to make bad decisions contributing to the crisis for Air Seychelles and the economy.


Also part of the 5th National Assembly cohort were Honourable Sebastien Pillay and Honourable Chantal Ghislain who is the current Leader of the Opposition and a proportional member respectively and have been very vocal on the Air Seychelles deliberations in the National Assembly recently. To recall, they were both in a very good position to raise the alarm in the 5th National Assembly that could have prevented or, at minimum, raise some awareness of the risks involved, but instead they remained silent and the decision to partner with Etihad slipped through and was signed  without much due diligence.


Today, United Seychelles wants to play make-believe and pretend they have no idea how Air Seychelles got into this situation and that they are fighting for those who may have to lose their jobs. They should stop using cheap politics to score political points when in fact it was always their actions, or lack of, that has led to the current economic dilemma.


It only remained for the elephant to finally leave the room and sit on top of the house to be noticed since they refused to face reality and the consequences of their actions.

US presidential candidate, former President Danny Faure, campaigned for a united approach in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Seychelles is greater than anyone’ he stressed. ‘We need a unifying force’. Unfortunately, his peers within the party had other ideas.

In his attempt to bring together all stakeholders in the fight against the pandemic, President Ramkalawan invited the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Sebastien Pillay, to be part of the highest committee overseeing the management of the pandemic. After having attended only one meeting, Hon. Pillay resigned from the Platinum Committee. His main reason was flimsy; the LDS government is autocratic. This is absolutely absurd.

Unlike his predecessor, President Ramkalawan extended an invitation to the Opposition to partake in decision making regarding the pandemic. Decisions of the Platinum Committee are based on inputs of professional from various fields; health, tourism, finance, security and others. As clearly stated by the Health Commissioner, recommendations on actions to be taken are laid before the Platinum Committee for approval. At the end of the day, it remains a collective decision based on inputs from all sectors but Hon Sebastien Pillay could not accept that. He wants things to be done ‘his way’; this attitude is what is called autocracy. He feels ill at ease with collective decision making and collective responsibility.

This attitude stems from years of autocratic rule by his party as espoused by former President James Michel on passing over power to his successor: ‘I did it my way’ he boasted. US does not believe in compromise and the call for unity during the election campaign was just a bluff. Hon. Pillay’s resignation is testimony that US will never accept the democratic will of the people. Under the leadership of Dr Patrick Herminie, the opposition is set to oppose anything government does. The notion of national interest eludes them and they will stop at nothing to distract government from nation building.

This is tragic and does not bode well for our democracy. A responsible opposition should know better.

100 days in the office can be a time to look back at the progress and share the plan ahead. The first live press conference under the helm of President Ramkalawan afforded media houses and the public the opportunity to share these achievements and challenges.


As a man of principles and fairness amongst many other attributes, President Ramkalawan ensured all media houses had the opportunity to question his actions and that of his government freely without fear of reprisal, constantly promoting freedom of expression, an element missing in our democratic society for far too long until recently. The long and arduous fight in the name of freedom of expression has left its battle scars permanently etched on the president and Designated Minister, Jean Francois Ferrari, as well as many others who suffered the brutal  assault on that fateful day on the 3rd October 2006.


Contrary to what United Seychelles would have you believe, the LDS government does have a solid plan to combat COVID-19 and find solutions to the economic woes brought on by the pandemic, Politicians in the opposition today are selective in memory and neglecting their contributions to the current economic dilemma owing to their mismanagement of the country’s finances during their 43- year rule.


Most recently, United Seychelles staged yet another political manoeuvre criticising the deportation of a foreign national to her native country. In his press conference, President Ramkalawan has justified his decision that the deportation was according to the law and necessary.


The numerous warnings from President Ramkalawan about drug trafficking have been crystal clear without any ambiguity. Stop your drug trafficking into Seychelles or face the consequence. Some chose to heed the president’s warnings, whilst others ignored this invaluable notice.


The war to eradicate illicit drugs in Seychelles has begun, a promise enshrined in the LDS manifesto. United Seychelles (US) must be careful not to show support for drug traffickers, raising serious questions of why alleged drug traffickers have been allowed to live and operate in Seychelles freely under their watch. 


The plot thickens when SBC quoted an article from TODAY in Seychelles newspaper quoting the deportation to be illegal by the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission, Judge Bernadin Renaud. But as it turned out, the article was fake news created to undermine the fight of the LDS government against drugs traffickers. The continued baseless attack by a small group of people on the present administration is deplorable and callous at a time President Ramkalawan is calling for unity.


President Ramkalawan affirmed the deportation was enacted under the Immigration Decree. In Section 23, it states: (1) Any person who in the opinion of the Minister is, by his presence or his conduct, likely to be a danger to peace and good order in Seychelles may be deported from Seychelles pursuant to a warrant under the hand of the Minister.


The vulnerable Seychellois is another card often used to support United Seychelles’ political charade, play-acting the guardian of those more vulnerable when in fact they were instrumental in creating the situation in the first place through the maladministration of public funds. Their reckless decision during the last election campaign to give everyone a 25% reduction off their loan in the hope of securing votes has cost the government SCR42 million. The FA4JR scheme was riddled with abuse whereby everyone and anyone were getting paid without proper validation being done and at great expense to the taxpayers.


The Unemployment Relief Scheme (URS) and Social Welfare were political tools used to secure votes and decisively creating a large part of society dependent on the state passing as vulnerable. But there is a silver lining shining between the ensuing chaos as an extraordinary number of Seychellois are opting to leave the URS scheme and jumping into employment, a commendable effort on their part.  It is not the first time US has criticised the proposed revised scheme and the opposition party has yet to put any alternative plans or suggestions forward.


A shortage of methadone has caused a stir in the community and putting those receiving treatment at risk due to the shortage. But how did we get there? To recall the head of APDAR was none other than Dr Patrick Herminie, the current United Seychelles party leader who resigned as the head of APDAR in November 2020. It would appear Dr Herminie has failed to do his job when he was the Secretary of State for APDAR as he was unable to foresee or plan ahead to ensure adequate stock of the controlled drug was available. His failure may have been planned to persistently disrupt the current administration but their plan was short-lived as new stock of Methadone is due to arrive  on Saturday, 6 January 2020 and neighbouring Mauritius has pledged assistance to Seychelles with another stock of Methadone and effectively ending a possible crisis.


‘Kales kase’ is now the buzzword of Seychelles since President Ramkalawan used it to describe the state of the nation. It was a term which the opposition party didn’t like very much and have continued to protest.


Although upsetting to a few people, the true essence of the two words may have gone amiss when President Ramkalawan was describing the magnitude of problems inherited by the LDS government. It is a combination of actions and inactions by the previous administration that impelled President Ramkalawan to use such a term.


Within 2 weeks of taking office from President Faure, President Ramkalawan procured several tents from overseas to be used by the Ministry of Health for COVID-19, instead of renting them for SCR129,000 per day. After paying Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Hotel SCR4.4 million per month to use part of the hotel as a quarantine facility for over a year, his government was able to renegotiate this contract to zero.


It would not be fair not to mention the brand new Anse Royale hospital that had to close down and then ended up paying SCR400,000 per month in rent to a private citizen to use his building just around the corner as a hospital.  All these shenanigans happened under the watchful eye and leadership of United Seychelles. Their hypocritical and political tantrum will not change this fact.

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