Ramkalawan bows to public pressure

The political U-turn made by Wavel Ramkalawan, Leader of the Opposition and Person of Indian Origin, on the Assumption deal came as no surprise to those who know him. Ramkalawan, a populist who enjoys playing to the gallery, is well known for his vacillation and dilly–dallying.

His stance on the Assumption Agreement this week in the National Assembly was a marked departure from his declaration during his recent visit to his ancestral home of Bihar, India where he categorically stated that the Agreement would easily sail through the National Assembly with his full support.

Little, however, did he expect that the normally docile Seychellois would fiercely oppose this dodgy and treacherous Agreement.

Week after week, the Seychellois waged war on the streets, the social media, the print media and in public meetings against this senseless arrangement that would have seriously compromised the sovereignty of this country.

During an emergency meeting at State House, Ramkalawan entreated the government for help to curtail the tide of public opinion turning against him. The executive, led by theVice-president, Vincent Meriton and Foreign Secretary, Barry Faure, obliged and proceeded to hold a series of public meetings to try and convince a wary population that the deal was good for Seychelles. Lies after lies by the two were systematically exposed and matters came to a climax when the secret Agreement was leaked to the public on YouTube. What was revealed was what was most feared; Assumption will host an Indian military base which will be run by India and can only be accessed to with the approval of India. Assumption will de facto be Indian Territory. It has everything to do India’s geopolitical ambition and nothing with our national security.

Ramkalawan’s declaration that the Agreement will not be ratified by the National Assembly as is required by the constitution ended with the caveat “in its current state”. This newspaper can now reveal that Wavel Ramkalawan is presently renegotiating the Agreement with the government to make it more palatable to the Seychellois but one that will still give India overall control of Assumption as part of its geopolitical posturing.

The question that boggles the mind is why Ramkalawan is insisting on giving Assumption to the Indians. What deal has he struck with the Indians? Was money involved? And if yes, how much?

Indeed, the Government, later during the week, committed itself to submit the Agreement to the National Assembly despite Ramkalawan’s statement. It is becoming crystal clear that there is more to the Assumption deal than meet the eyes. We, therefore, reiterate that a commission of enquiry be set-up to investigate the Assumption Agreement.We call on the resignation of the Vice-president, the Foreign Secretary and the Leader of the Opposition pending the investigation. Seychelles obviously deserves better.

Independent

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