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The subject of a military facility on Assumption Island has continued to arouse controversy and objection among the public and in the media. 

Public concern has continued despite official statements that the matter was being reconsidered and that any development will be by and for Seychelles only. Statements by the Indian High Commissioner in Seychelles has led to doubts that the Seychelles Government is sincere in its declaration to keep foreign powers out of the equation. 

There has been some quibling over what kind of infrastructure would be intended, but whether it is called a coastguard facility or a military base is of no consequence. It’s all the same in the end. 

There has been a level of acceptance that the presence of a security and defence facility in the south-west corner of the Seychelles maritime zone is necessary. But the proposal has become stuck with controversy over the involvement of India, which according to an agreement with the Seychelles Government, was to build and equip the infrastructure and operate it under joint control with Seychellois authorities.

There has been widespread objection to this formula. LDS has declared that it is categorically against any foreign power being in control of a military facility on our soil. It stands by this and will fight any attempt to secure it.

Recent events have thrown more doubt on the capacity of the Seychelles Defence Forces to meet its security obligations. One was the entry of a foreign vessel into Port Victoria without knowledge of the authorities. The failure was only brought to light by the grounding of the vessel on the reefs. The other is the disappearance of two young soldiers from Assumption Island itself – after they had supposedly gone fishing on a raft. Now, trust in the Coastguard has been diminished so far that the Seychellois find it difficult to accept assurances on their part.

The necessity of a military facility on Assumption has never been properly explained to the Seychellois public, and therefore objections remain. Foreign control is out of the question. There is no going back over this. 

In the ongoing confusion over what is intended, the idea of any facility at all has become suspect. It is necessary to stop and start again from the beginning, with a specific examination of our security needs for the south-west Indian Ocean. There is no going forward with the present plan.

LDS is the true champion of unity. We can rightfuly claim to have forged the sense of reconciliation and national unity that exists in our country today. 

The obstacle to national unity in Seychelles has always been our past history of coup d’etat and authoritarian government. The party which came to power in the coup d’etat has never adhered to democratic norms. It has maintained power by using the authority and resources of the state. It has only conceded political space to the opposition when it was obliged to do so. 

The LDS majority in the National Assembly in the 2016 elections made a difference. 

The main Opposition in Seychelles has always been responsible and patriotic – always putting the good of the country above party politics. LDS is doing so today, which is why the country has avoided bitterness and recriminations. 

The work of LDS today is focused on priorities for the country. It is engaged in bringing honesty and transparency in the management of state finances – to eliminate the corruption that has permeated the government under the Parti Lepep and its predecessors. It is also committed to securing all the rights of the Seychellois people which include the right to information and expression, access to opportunity and effective service delivery from government. 

LDS remains determined to bring better government for Seychelles. 

LDS was out in force on Praslin Sunday.

Supporters gathered on the Marie-Jeanne beach front for one of the best ever rallies on Praslin.

Party leaders addressed the current themes, especially the call for early presidential elections.

The musicians and performers were there with party songs, old and new.

Another scandal on the Land Bank Scheme has been shown up publicly.

The interrogation of the citizenship granted to the Russian Prokopyev couple has revealed that they have become owners of 3 plots that were originally in the scheme to provide Seychellois families with home building plots. These plots were in a scenic area of Port Launay.

The plots were not purchased by the couple directly. The had initially been sold to other Seychellois, including a well-known fix-man for the Pari Lepep. But the persons concerned transfered their modestly priced plots into million rupee deals. According to reports, the Prokopyevs paid up to R3.6 million for two of the plots. 

What went wrong? The people who were granted the plots did not need them to build homes. They already had homes and other properties. They wasted no time in selling the plots for big money. The scheme appears to have been operated as a favour to notable party supporters or sponsors.

Last year, it was revealed that a number of plots at Glacis had been sold to the representative of the Kempinsky hotel. Whether for his own use or for his patrons, it has not been clear. 

These are at least two cases. The likelihood is that there are many more.

The Land Bank scheme holds the dreams of many Seychellois to be able to build a home of their own. It is unforgiveable for the scheme to be misused to grant favours or allow unscrupulous speculation in land. 


LDS Secretariat

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