Monday, 27 March 2017

National Assembly closes for Aldabra vacation

The National Assembly will be closed for business next week because of a vacation to Aldabra by the honorable members. Many people have called this newspaper to complain about this situation. They are saying that the first thing this National Assembly did was to amend the law to lower the pension age for former ministers and MNAs. They are looking after themselves and their friends first and foremost. This was well before the 13th month salary (bill) was presented for the approval of the National Assembly.

In fact, if it was not for this newspaper the 13th month salary would still be a long way away. It was pressure from The Independent newspaper that forced its enactment late last year. The LDS tried to get the bill delayed with the possibility of a complete retraction. They were under tremendous pressure from their benefactors in the business community. In the end pressure coming from this newspaper and “people’s power” won the day, there was nothing LDS or PL could do to stop the 13th month salary from becoming law. However, the stevedores are still out in the cold despite Jean Francois Ferrari’s many promises to look into their plight. When it comes to the stevedores it seems that JFF’s tongue is stuck up the backside of the Speaker. We will keep reminding him of the promise he has made to fight for a better deal for the “down and trodden” (pil lo zot) upon stevedores.

The vacation to Aldabra by the MNAs is a deplorable situation it shows the true colors of the so-called people’s representatives – at a time when many Seychellois families are struggling to put food on the table, the people they elected to find a solution for their hardship decides to go on a luxurious vacation.  

Independent

Changes to the Offshore Companies and Proceeds of Crime Acts Need to be stopped!

In supporting changes to the law aimed at making the offshore less transparent and an easier place to hide dirty money, the LDS appears to be trying to turn the Seychelles into a jurisdiction of financial secrecy where criminals can bank with impunity. It is intentionally supporting changes in legislation for the primary benefit of a small number of offshore insiders and their overseas clients. In so doing, they are placing Seychelles at risk of mistrust and sanction by the international community. At the economic level, they are heightening the risk of loss of international banking services to businesses and ordinary people alike. At the domestic level, they are making it more difficult and even impossible to confiscate the banked monies of drug-trafficking kingpins, many of whom sponsored LDS for the last two National Elections.

Most ordinary people and even many MNAs don’t understand the underlying motivation behind the amendments. It seems that the LDS has been misled into supporting legislation that is bad for the country. It has been misled by a number of irresponsible insiders from the offshore sector. Their interests are represented in the Assembly by Ahmed Afif, who has denied to the Assembly that he was linked to a particular company associated with offshore financial services interests.  Documents shown to this paper suggest otherwise.

What is clear is that there is a concerted agenda by a small number of offshore insiders to undermine transparency in the offshore, the rule of law and the ability of the State to protect its financial services from being abused by criminals and terrorists. Consciously or unconsciously, the LDS has allowed itself to be hijacked for this purpose and been persuaded to vote as the majority to support the first of these abortive amendments.  The thrust of the amendment was to ensure that the identities of the Directors of offshore companies could   remain hidden from all public access (from banks, journalists or ordinary members of the public alike). Such ‘anonymous’ companies are in great demand by those conducting criminal and even terrorist enterprises because it enables them to conduct trading activities and move funds anonymously. This scenario will also provide a fertile ground for corruption. A good example is the use of a number of Seychelles offshore companies to breach the sanctions against North Korea’s nuclear missile programme between 2009 and 2015.

A more informed Parti Lepep member of the National Assembly rejected the bill and has stated that he will not recommend the bill be assented by the President. It is critically important to the economic welfare of this country and to its international reputation that the President does not give his assent.
A victory sign for money laundering

It is not clear why this type of legislation was given priority in the first few months of the National Assembly’s term.  Sources close to the party deny that they received election funding from those pushing the legislation. Other stakeholders such as the Bar Association don’t seem to have even been consulted. What is clear is that Seychelles has become a ‘captured state’, where the offshore financial services interests have gained control of the domestic political opposition which controls the Assembly.  Laws governing the offshore financial services sector are being created by a very small number of offshore insiders in collaboration with offshore financial services overseas. Their clear intent is to make the Seychelles a secrecy jurisdiction, a money laundry they can sell around the world for their own profit at a time when every other country in the world is tightening its regulatory environment.

Government has done well to expose the very misguided offshore companies (IBC) Act and must do so again with the POC Act. President Faure must put the interest of Seychelles first and foremost in considering any changes in the law in relation to the IBC Act.

Independent

Is Ahmed Afif a threat to National Security?


This is the question we should be asking ourselves, having served this government in key areas for twenty odd years - Ahmed Afif must know a hell of lot what went on during all these years that he was a major player in this government. However, he is keeping quiet and his silence over many issues is definitely not in the best interest of this country.

This newspaper has been following and observing Ahmed Afif since his election to the National Assembly. We believe that it is now time to expose Ahmed Afif for the liar that he is, in his demarche to front the agendas of his associates just like he did when he was in Government.

We are publishing a letter to show that Afif lied when he said in the Assembly that he had no association with any offshore company. It is also alleged that Ahmed Afif was party to the negotiations of the contract between government and the Irish. There are strong indications that Afif might have also signed on behalf of the State. Ahmed Afif has stayed silent in the National Assembly  all through the debacle over the contract between the Irish and GOS. He must now address this issue to say whether he was party to that contract or involved in any manner or form or not – he owes it to the people to come clean on this matter.


Source: Independent

Friday, 17 March 2017

Body Language Expert Analysis:

We gave this picture to our body language specialist aka Ed to give us his expert opinion on the people in the photograph. There are five people in total in the picture; a lady and four men all wearing different colour t-shirts. The lady is wearing a white baseball cap, earring and a necklace; she is dark skinned. However, there is very little that our expert can tell us about the lady as the rest of her person is not in view.

The guy in white cap, dark glasses and dark blue t-shirt are indicative of things to hide; many skeletons in the closet, so to speak. The chap in the yellow polo-shirt is a Tiger Woods impersonator; the kind that goes to church every Sunday with the family and gives generously to the church collection so as to escape the horror of the afterlife.       

The two males with their backs to the camera and hands in their pockets are very bad news to whoever decides to do business with these two fellows. They are good at putting their dirty hands in people’s pocket and keeping it there for as long as they can get away with it. They are also not wearing definitive colours, which is a sign of dubiousness and unprincipled character. You have been warned……

Independent

National Assembly in Disarray

It is a known fact that when you have an un-elected official as the head of elected members you are heading for trouble.  This is exactly the problem with a “Cohabitation through Collusion” National Assembly led by a person trying to hide his ownership of a bullet-proof BMW.  Will such a person be able to make a public declaration of assets?

We all expect to see the ‘plastik’ manhood carrier duck, dive, bobbing and weaving his way out of the fiasco of his own making – the attempt to please two masters at the same time!  Whilst trying to present a semblance of fighting for democracy in Seychelles, he is busy trying to keep democracy on a tight leash in the National Assembly.

The strategy is a short-term one as the constituents from various districts are beginning to realise that their dreams of the better and brighter future are being pegged on the ambitions of a single man.

A case in point is the current attempt for victimisation resolution. Discussions on the issue held in the National Assembly, apart from the initial live SBC broadcast or internet, are not available for public scrutiny on the National Assembly website. The deadline of 31st March, 2017 will be long past when the details are actually available for public scrutiny.

Currently available verbatim are at a three month backlog. This means that it will be July or August 2017 when the verbatim for March 2017 proceedings will be available.  Any questions arising about the issues raised will therefore only be academic.  The ensuing public discourse will therefore not be in the spirit of promoting fairness and democracy in the Seychelles.

In turn, this raises another issue of victimisation with respect to people who do not have access to diurnal televised Assembly proceedings.  Where do these people go to seek redress?  Will it be to the Reds or the Greens?  Who is responsible to ensure that the National Assembly acts within the framework of its proceedings – this situation is one where the National Assembly is acting as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner – with no recourse on dissatisfaction?

In such circumstances the only reasonable outcome is that the National Assembly will be making decisions on the run.  It is a reflection of the National Assembly in disarray.  Further array is predicted given the inkling for those with mandates abusing the same for personal and undemocratic purposes.

Independent

"Escobars are murderers”, Wavel said

Last week on Tuesday 7th March the National Assembly debated on a motion on drugs brought forward by Honorable Bernard Georges the National Assembly representative for the district of Les Mamelles. This is the motion as it appeared on the order paper:

Lasanble Nasyonal I demann Governman pou met an plas en Task Force ki enkli reprezantan Gouverman, Lasanble Nasyonal, distrik, paran e dimoun konsernen pou:

1. Pas anrevi sityasyon drog dan sesel

2. Etidye mezir ki nou e lezot pei in pran pou atak problem drog

3. Resevwar propozisyon sorti kot sitwayen e Lorganizasyon konsernen lo mezir pou konbat sa fleo

4. Elabor en plan d-aksyon konpreansiv anvi redwir e elimin problem drog sesel

Our translation:
The National Assembly is appealing to the Government for the establishment of a Task Force to include representatives from Government, National Assembly, parents and concerned citizens to:

1. review the drug issue in Seychelles

2. study the methods by which we and other countries are attacking the drug problem

3. receive propositions from the citizens and concerned organization on measures with which to combat the scourge

4. come up with an action plan with the aim of reducing and eliminate drug problems in Seychelles.

What follows is an extract (translated) from The leader of the Opposition speech in the National Assembly on Tuesday 7th March: “He has got his big car, he has got his big house, and his children are at the private school, during the school holidays he takes his kids to Dubai and elsewhere to Disney World – and you, you just sit there like slaves, let’s get out of this slavery…… Mr. Speaker I took the girl and placed her in my car (I know her dad is listening to me now)… I put her on the boat and her dad called to say thank you very much cousin….. Mr. Speaker she has gone back to Corgate Estate… she has returned to Corgate Estate!! It is a wasted life. And for me it is for this reason that we need to make war without pity…. If we were in Bogota, tonight several of us, our body would be retrieved from the gutter with a bullet at the back of the head. But we are living in Seychelles… and today I would like to talk to those who say they support the LDS…. I want to talk to the Escobar to tell them that if they support the LDS, they cannot be doing drug business… they cannot be bringing heroin in this country… if they support LDS, they cannot be doing that. So if they are doing heroin business I don’t consider them supporters of the LDS…… I will not associate myself with them. And Mr. Speaker we need to be sending clear messages… we need to save this generation…..………..”

Wavel went on to say that the Escobar has no interest for the country and that the only interest they have is their own selfish interest. He also said that the Central Bank should give seven days notice only for the immediate collection of all the old bank notes to catch the Escobar out with their dirty money. This newspaper in some part agrees with what Wavel Ramkalawan said. However, we need to highlight the hypocrisy of the man, his double standard a trait he is well known for….

The exercise by Wavel to set himself apart last week on Tuesday is one that brought out the coward in the fake priest and he will regret doing it in the manner that he did….  Wavel thinks he is smart; smarter than all the rest in the LDS and this will be his undoing. It is important to note that Wavel came to this National Assembly having been defeated twice at the polls in the presidential and the legislative elections – he got in through the back door with the help of the Escobar. The big vehicles which he said belong to the Escobar were present at all the political rallies staged by the LDS during the campaign for the National Assembly elections. Wavel knew them because many were giving money to the LDS and spending a fortune to get LDS elected. If Wavel was a courageous leader he should have spoken out, there and then, at the rallies that he didn’t want the support of the Escobar - to tell the Escobar now after the election, when the Escobar had contributed so much towards the LDS victory, which has provided LDS with a majority in the National Assembly is both self-serving and deceitful on his part. This is the behavior of a (con man) dangerous person to be likened to a poisonous snake in the grass.

In fact in all the years that Wavel has been in politics he has done next to nothing to help out with dealing with the drug problems. The millionaire priest is now so drunk on power and arrogance that he has forgotten his past. We also need to point out that when he started his deliberations last Tuesday - it was a case of looking at himself in the mirror; “the big cars, the big house, private school, the holidays”. If push ever comes to shove, can Wavel truly account for all his thrills and privileges? This is the question!!  

Source: Independent

Friday, 24 February 2017

The cohabitation will FAIL!

The cohabitation between the LDS majority in the National Assembly and the Parti Lepep Executive will fail to achieve favorable results for the people. This is our prediction. We hope that we are wrong for the sake of this country. It will not succeed because it is not being done in the national interest or in the interest of those who voted for change. This is a little arrangement between old friends (Patrick Pillay, Simone, William, Noelie, Ahmed, Clifford and their friends in the Government of Parti Lepep) and political opportunists (Wavel, Bernard and others) to look after their own selfish interests - the people’s need and welfare are not being taken seriously, it is getting only lip service.

The welfare of others in the top executive of PL and LDS are also at the core of their agenda. The first thing that the new Government and National Assembly negotiated was to lower the pension age for ex-Ministers and ex-National Assembly Members. It must be noted that the Government of Parti Lepep was well and truly cornered by the results of the National Assembly elections and for the first time in forty years they found themselves without a working majority in parliament. In certain respects they had no choice; however, the LDS does have a choice.

They have decided to protect those same persons they said were not doing a good job running the country. They had told their followers they wanted change and could only achieve it with a win in the National Assembly Elections (2016). They got what they wanted, and are now using it to make deals. They have deceived their supporters!    

The LDS is in this cohabitation for the wrong reason; they are in it to “wheel and deal” and they will negotiate away the interests of the people. Both Pat Pillay and Wavel Ramkalawan have a track record of doing exactly that; we can all remember when Wavel and compatriot in the SNP voted for the 2008 Budget, no questions asked. Pat Pillay knew all about the SPUP/SPPF atrocities against this country and the people, yet he jumped at the first opportunity that was provided to him to join in the plundering that was taking place.

For the first time in a long time the PL Government is apprehensive and not in control of everything something that they are not use to…... In 2017 they depend on the good will of the opposition for the smooth running of the day to-day affairs of the country. This situation has presented the LDS hyenas with an opportunity to sink their teeth into some fresh meat or rotten meat for that matter, something they have been waiting for, for several decades. Their lust for privileges, power and fame cannot be ignored it is being displayed openly in the National Assembly.

Patrick Pillay is trying to defend the un-defendable he has acted unethically by allocating two key positions with hefty (unjustified) salaries within the administration of the National Assembly to his sycophants without advertising the posts – destroying the notion of equal opportunity in the process. This is corruption, something, which the LDS said they would fight against. Patrick Pillay is yet to provide details of all the land he acquired from government and how much money he made from the properties, that he eventually sold to foreigners; he must do that in the spirit of transparency. This was another typical case of using public office for private gains. We are highlighting these matters here so that the people can be motivated to keep their eyes wide open over the next four years. “In fini tro tar pou fer Seselwa dormi boner”.