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Showing posts from August, 2017

Small island states are on the frontline of the Blue Economy challenge

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Former Seychelles President James Alix Michel has called on island states of the Pacific Ocean to follow the Seychelles example and bring the Blue Economy to the centre of Government, work with neighbouring islands, adopt innovative financing mechanisms and marine spatial planning tools.

Mr. Michel delivered a keynote address at the 1st High-Level Pacific Blue Economy Conference (PBEC) under the theme ‘Sustainable Oceans in a Changing Climate’ organised by the Pacific Islands Development Forum in Suva Fiji on 23rd and 24th August 2017. The conference is being held in conjunction with the PIDF Biennial Conference.

“We look anxiously at the threat posed by rising sea levels, but we also see the enormous potential of what the sea can offer.  No human being is more respectful of the sea than islanders like us, no human being has a keener sense of what is needed.  The sea holds the key to our future and, as such, island societies are flag-bearers of human development.  This is why I am s…

The CAA is rotten

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The editor of this newspaper has a case before the Constitutional Court in regards to the composition of the CAA Board. We believe that an engine cannot be repaired using old spare parts. We consider the appointment of Mr. Shelton Jolicoeur and Ms Simone Decomarmond (especially) to the Board of the CAA as an error of judgment and totally in contravention to the laws that provide for the creation of the authority and cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

We are publishing a letter here to illustrate part of our ‘raison-d’ĂȘtre’ for filing the petition. In the letter it is clear that Shelton Jolicoeur was seeking guidance and/or approval of the President on how to deal with a matter before him. This is totally unacceptable. It shows clearly that the CAA in its present state is determine to salvage the career of Justice Duraikannu Karunakaran – irrelevant of any evidence of wrong doing against him. This we believe is a major conflict of interest by the CAA. Jolicoeur even suggested that …

FROM THE SUBLIME TO THE RIDICULOUS!

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The pub that is now the National Assembly


Ever since Pat Pillay has taken over the Speakership, the National Assembly has been on a steady decline towards chaos. Pat Pillay has been unable to properly manage time, adhere to the rules and regulations of the Assembly and many of his decisions have been unconstitutional.

Almost eleven months have elapsed, and Pat Pillay still has no command of his Standing orders and Rules and Procedures. Week in, week out, the National Assembly has been the butt of ridicule and by consensus is now a national embarrassment.

As if all these were not enough, the Assembly has lately resorted to hosting a happy hour every Friday evening. The happy hour inevitably became happy hours. Alcohol is in abundance and is even sold on the precinct of that prestigious institution. Members and some staff alike drink away the night with songs and music. Ahmed Afif, the former Principal Secretary for Finance, who failed to exercise proper financial checks and balances…

Patrick Pillay cannot wait for 2020

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The Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly is a man in a hurry; he can’t wait for 2020, he wants to be President tomorrow, which might never come for him. It is now clear that the Leader of ‘Lalyans Seselwa’ was behind the question about the presidential election that Joanna Nicette asked during the live press interview with President Danny Faure on Wednesday 16th, August. The President replied emphatically that there will be no presidential election until the end of his mandate. And this statement by President Faure has clearly angered Patrick Pillay, who had hoped for a better answer from the President, to the point that a botched up plan was quickly put together to try and force the hand of the President.

On Monday 21st, Patrick Pillay got his barber and now personal friend; a man he has gotten very close to, in the last few months - to stage a one man protest in Victoria. The protest continued the next day on Tuesday and this time, Ryan Moncherry was joined by Patrick Pillay a…

10 Reasons the Irish Contracts Were Targeted

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Who is benefiting from their Departure?




The Irish expatriates working in law enforcement had their budgets cut by the National Assembly because they were achieving unprecedented levels of success in stopping criminals, and their facilitators, from benefiting through crimes and the international facilitation of crime.  Under the administration of President James Michel, the rule of law could be enforced as he would tolerate no interference with due process. But once he was gone, the old political dogs reverted to old tricks in a weakened political environment and the Irish, who were well-known to refuse to entertain interference with investigations, had to go. In fact members from both sides wanted the Irish out; their well-publicised National Assembly vendetta and campaign of incitement against the Irish was launched to smear them because:

1. They were intercepting too much heroin being imported into Seychelles.

In 2015 the NDEA stopped a total of 39 kg of heroin from being traffick…

OMBUDSMAN REVIEW REQUIRED

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Giving a person appointed to such an important position such as that of Ombudsman needs a certain benefit of the doubt.  Whilst concerns were raised about the “fitness to hold office” no process was in place to give ordinary members of the public access to the organs of appointment.

A remedy could be making the appointment process more transparent by publishing the shortlisted candidates and secondly also allowing members of the National Assembly to interview the candidates.

All of the above come almost a year after the appointment of the current ombudsman with public criticisms by the more vulnerable members of our society not being given the due recourse to equality and justice.

Such concerns hinge around the constitutional mandate of the ombudsman and whether this is being done with procedural fairness.  Whilst the veracity and rationality of the criticisms cannot be established, it leaves concern of how such criticism can be avoided in the future.

Another issue raised is to wha…

President Michel will address the 1st High-Level Pacific Blue Economy Conference

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The former President will leave Seychelles this week to attend the 1st High-Level Pacific Blue Economy Conference (PBEC) under the theme ‘Sustainable Oceans in a Changing Climate’ organised by the Pacific Islands Development Forum to be held in Suva Fiji on 23rd and 24th August 2017. The conference is being held in conjunction with the PIDF Biennial Conference.

President Michel has been invited as a keynote speaker by the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands and the Chair of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, Hon. Manasseh D. Sogavare MP, in order to share his understanding of the development of the Blue Economy concept and the Seychelles’ experience for the benefit of Pacific island countries.

In his letter of invitation to President Michel, Prime Minster Manasseh Sagavare said:

“We believe that your commitment to the development of the Blue Economy is unparalleled and your participation as a speaker to this conference will be of great benefits to the Pacific Island Countries…

Ahmed Affif must be held accountable

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Both the President and the Speaker of the National Assembly have accentuated the need for transparency and accountable government. This will have to apply to every single one of us; from the president to the dock worker. There is an ongoing storm in the country on the contract that some individuals had with the FIU and the NDEA. There are many calls for openness and transparency so that we can get to the bottom of this matter in the shortest possible delay. However, we have since discovered that Honorable Ahmed Afif, who is the elected National Assembly member for Anse Etoile and the former Principal Secretary for Finance and Trade, had a hand in the matter – when he was still employed by this government. In fact, it was Ahmed Afif who approved the budget given to the FIU and the NDEA

In a clear case of conflict of interests Ahmed Afif assisted Wavel Ramkalawan with the preparation of a summary on the Auditor General’s Report for the two organizations, which was presented to the Natio…

WHO IS THE REAL POLITICAL REJECT?

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In an article written in Le Seychellois Hebdo recently, several active or former politicians were labelled as political rejects by Gervais Henri, the Editor of the newspaper.

However, the most prominent political reject that he failed to mention was his party chief, Wavel Ramkalawan. Wavel Ramkalawan was rejected three times in a row in the last three elections. In the first round of the 2015 Presidential election, Ramkalawan barely got 35% down from a high of 46% in 2007. Despite obtaining the support of all the other opposition political parties, totaling to 52.3% of support, Ramkalawan miserably failed to obtain 50% in the second round.

In the legislative election of last year, Ramkalawan chose to contest the English River Constituency against political novice Wilbert Herminie. Herminie was twenty three years his junior and was contesting an election for the first time. Once again, Wavel was rejected and had a humiliated defeat at the hands of the young politician. Most political…

THE VENDETTA AGAINST THE IRISH IS A NATIONAL DISGRACE

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What we need to ask is WHO IS PROFITING from their departure?


The recent National Assembly debate on the joint NDEA-FIU Auditor General’s report would disgrace a gathering of drunken stevedores. The Irish who worked in the FIU and NDEA were roundly abused by all, called thieves, bandits and accused of trafficking heroin into Seychelles so that they could keep themselves in a job. Even the dead weren’t immune from the poisoned rhetoric spouting from the mouths of despicable politicians as they maligned and blasted an Irish that had died in service - all this on national television and radio for all to see and hear. Facts played little part in the debate. Instead a flawed and incomplete report was quickly embraced because it served the political machinations of politicians eager to distract the public from the failure of their first year running the Assembly to address fundamental issues like the cost of living, the impending recession and the break down in the rule of law.

A prejudic…

THE WITCH-HUNT CONTINUES!

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The Anti-Victimisation Committee is persisting in its endeavor to victimise as many opponents, real or imaginary, as it could. Last week it was taken to the Constitutional Court by one Martin Aglae.

This week, it was yet again the former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Patrick Herminie, who was the victim of that witch-hunt. This time round, Dr. Herminie was accused of “emotionally and verbally” abusing somebody who claimed she was a partner of Wellness Centre, the famous detoxification centre at Anse Royale. It should be noted that the person was neither an employee of the Ministry of Health which owns the place, nor an employee of the Secretariat for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation of which Dr. Herminie is the Secretary of State. This newspaper has since learned that the person in question is employed by a religious organization based in South Africa, which wants to impose its religion on a government run rehabilitation programme. The new programme being intro…

DEMOCRACY RAPED! Pillay and Cesar are a total disgrace

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The tabling and debate of the special Auditor General’s Report on the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) last week by the Leader of the Opposition, Wavel Ramkalawan, was yet another example of the amateurism that has shrouded the National Assembly lately.

All rules and procedures regulating the proceedings of the House were ignored and Ramkalawan himself stated that the Report was being laid under Article 23 (8) of the Rules of Procedures for Committees. In fact, what has happened was a total disregard of the Constitution and the Rules including Rule 23 (8) of the said document. The Constitution dictates that all Auditor General’s reports should go to the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC), for consideration first and only thereafter can a report be submitted by FPAC to the National Assembly for debate. This, sadly, was never done thus rendering the deliberations on the motion null and void.

The National Assembly debated the re…

SHOULD THE HIRING OF SPOUSES BY POLITICIANS BE BANNED? Ahmed Afif should take note!

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Those who had wished that the Fillon scandal was dead and gone were quite unpleasantly surprised to learn that it is still reverberating not only in France but across the whole world.

Francois Fillon was a French presidential hopeful in the last election but his bid was destroyed by a scandal involving payment to his wife and children. The scandal raised several ethical issues including whether family members should be drawing a salary from a politician. This month, the French parliament, in the wake of the Fillon scandal, banned the hiring of spouses by politicians.

Although France is far from our shores, the case itself is close to home and reminds us of a similar situation ongoing in our parliament. Ahmed Afif, the LDS representative for the Anse Etoile Constituency and the chief whip of the LDS party in parliament is presently employing his wife Stella Afif as his Constituency Clerk. This situation is, to say the least; morally shameful given that Stella Afif is a rich business w…

Ahmed Afif owes us an explanation

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In regards to the letters that we have published on this page, which clearly illustrated that Ahmed Afif in his capacity as Principal Secretary Finance and Trade; wrote to the head of the FIU in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 to inform him that their budget for each of the particular year had been approved. Mr Afif owes us the people of Seychelles an explanation on how he came to the conclusion to approve these budgets:

Independent