Friday, 29 August 2014

L’ETAT DES SEYCHELLES DOIT RENDRE DES COMPTES: « Un mensonge répété plusieurs fois peut devenir une vérité... »

Si l'on comptait sur la conférence de presse de la police des Seychelles pour répondre aux questions fondamentales posées par la mort suspecte de Harmon Chellen il n’en a rien été, et l’on n’a pu qu’être consterné devant les contradictions dont il a été fait état. Mais peut-on alors compter sur le gouvernement mauricien pour s'engager résolument aux côtés d'un de ses citoyens ? Jusqu'ici nous n'avons entendu que les sempiternelles banalités diplomatiques du type « nous en évoquerons le cas avec ...' »
L'Etat Seychellois devra une fois pour toutes comprendre que le monde de 2014 n'est plus celui des années 70/80 quand un Etat totalitaire pouvait encore sévir en toute impunité.  Aujourd’hui un seul clic de souris peut ruiner la réputation d’un pays qui se retrouverait alors au rang d’Etat-voyou, même s’il s’agit d’une île à vocation touristique...
Notre premier article dans la page Forum du Mauricien nous a valu de nombreuses réponses de Seychellois aussi bien dans leur pays qu’en exil en Australie, à Paris, à Londres ou ailleurs. Ils n'ont pas hésité à avancer des noms et des dates quant aux méthodes très particulières de la police seychelloise. Voici un témoignage parmi tant d'autres :
''Sir, my family has suffered terribly under this regime. My uncle, Hassan Ali Umarji, a well known businessman in Seychelles, disappeared in August 1977 leaving behind his wife and children. We all had to leave the Seychelles to seek political asylum in the UK back in the 1980's.''
DIS-MOI compile actuellement une liste de tous ces citoyens persécutés au cours des dernières décennies ;
Notre enquête se poursuit et la vérité devra se faire tôt ou tard. Si le médecin légiste mauricien confirme que Harmon Chellen est bien mort noyé/asphyxié, il ne peut  dire si Chellen est sorti du poste de police conscient ou inconscient puisque même les policiers qui en avaient la charge semblent l'ignorer ! En tout cas nous attendons avec impatience que la prochaine conférence de presse de la police seychelloise nous révèle comment  M..Chellen a pu « s'evader » pour « se suicider » dans deux pieds d'eau !
Quand on ne peut expliquer l'inexplicable se taire est toujours la meilleure option...

http://www.lemauricien.com/article/l-etat-des-seychelles-doit-rendre-des-comptes-mensonge-repete-plusieurs-fois-peut-devenir-ve

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

MEURTRE AUX SEYCHELLES?: Tout est suspect dans la mort d’Harmon Chellen

  • « Aux mains de l’individu, la force s’appelle crime.
  • Aux mains de l’Etat, la force s’appelle droit… » - Stirner

Je ne connais pas Harmon Chellen. Mais, suite à sa mort très suspecte aux Seychelles j’ai mené pendant une semaine une investigation intensive auprès de ses élèves, de ses employés et de ses connaissances. En effet j’ai été profondément choqué par cette mort aussi brutale qu’inattendue. Car tout est suspect dans ce qu’on peut maintenant appeler l’Affaire Chellen.
On notera d’abord la précipitation avec laquelle le ministre du Tourisme, Saint-Ange, évoque explicitement « l’asphyxie » et implicitement la noyade et même le «  suicide ». Mais Saint Ange n’est pas médecin légiste, ni même chef de la police. Or, dans un Etat de droit qui se respecte, un Ministre laisse l’enquête se dérouler avec impartialité avant de se prononcer, surtout de façon aussi  catégorique. Alors pourquoi prend-il position avec un tel empressement ? La réputation touristique de son pays a-t-elle plus de valeur que la vie d’un homme, même quand cet homme est un invité de marque de son pays ?
On remarquera ensuite la manière fort singulière d’enquêter de la police des Seychelles qui mérite qu’on s’y attarde un moment. Car nous le verrons, il y a chez la police des dallons, soit un amateurisme déconcertant, soit un cynisme à glacer le sang…Reprenons les faits : la police arrête à 9h40 du matin Harmon Chellen suite aux allégations d’une femme qui travaille à son hôtel. Selon ces policiers M. Chellen se montre « uncooperative », ce qui dans le jargon de toutes les polices du monde veut dire qu’il ne veut pas chanter la même chanson que les enquêteurs.
A 14h28, ô surprise, il est « reported ‘missing » dans l’enceinte même du poste de police ! A 14h29, selon le livre de la police, les policiers quittent le poste pour partir à la recherche de l’individu qu’ils avaient arrêté ! Enfin, à 14h50 un citoyen des Seychelles retrouve son cadavre à 500 mètres du poste de police d’où il s’était « évadé »... dans un endroit où même le plus inconscient des suicidaires aurait du mal à se noyer…
Sauf à être amateur de fables, difficile de ne pas se poser moult questions : qui a vu Harmon Chellen vivant entre son «  évasion » et la découverte de son corps ?(Si possible quelqu’un de fiable et qui n’est pas un témoin de la police). Peut-on et doit-on croire la version de la police ? M. Chellen qui était un homme moralement fort (« grande gueule ne se laissant pas facilement impressionner », disent certains) aurait-il été pris d’une soudaine envie de suicide entre la station de police et son hôtel où il s’apprêtait à retourner avant de prendre l’avion pour rejoindre une famille unie et aimante ? Enfin et surtout Harmon Chellen a-t-il vraiment quitté la station de police vivant ?- question que se poseront inévitablement tous ceux qui connaissent les méthodes de la police en Afrique et dans le sud-ouest de l’océan Indien?
Quiconque ne pose pas ces questions vit encore dans le monde d’Alice au pays des merveilles. Surtout si l’on connaît la police des Seychelles. Car pour les citoyens du monde qui ne connaîtraient des Seychelles que l’image carte postale-cocofesse, les policiers de ce pays peuvent, quand ils le veulent (ou quand ils en reçoivent l’ordre) se comporter comme de véritables tontons macoutes des tropiques. Instrumentalisés par le parti au pouvoir depuis bientôt 40 ans ils sont connus pour avoir, par exemple, frappé jusqu’au sang et en plein jour Wavel Ramkhelawon , le leader de l’opposition, pour avoir brutalisé et torturé des prisonniers dans le but de les faire avouer, ou encore d’avoir fait disparaître quiconque risquait de mettre en danger l’oligarchie politique en place. D’aucuns diront que les Seychelles ont changé et que l’Etat policier a disparu. Mais il y a un an à peine j’ai personnellement mené une enquête aux Seychelles au cours de laquelle j’ai interrogé des opposants, des journalistes, des citoyens ordinaires et je connais suffisamment la situation politique pour pouvoir affirmer que « rien n’est pareil, mais tout est comme avant ».
Dans l’Affaire Chellen il est essentiel de demander des comptes à l’Etat des Seychelles car il y va de la sécurité des citoyens de l’océan Indien et, partant, du monde. Arvin Boolell, notre ministre des Affaires Etrangères, a promis d’évoquer le cas avec son homologue seychellois mais Boolell n’est pas du genre à créer des vagues et la « realpolitik » de l’Etat mauricien peut laisser craindre que l’on décide de « sacrifier » Chellen. C’est pourquoi notre Ong DIS-MOI  n’hésitera pas à alerter l’opinion publique internationale si toute la lumière n’était pas faite sur cette affaire et la justice rendue. Il appartient aux médias mauriciens (ainsi qu’à tous les médias de l’océan Indien) de mener leur propre enquête afin que l’Affaire Chellen ne soit pas « noyée » au milieu de  palabres politiques puérils et inutiles.
Article paru dans Le Mauricien | | Par LINDLEY COURONNE

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Faits Divers

La famille d’Harmon Chellen, retrouvé mort aux Seychelles lundi, récuse la thèse du suicide. Elle privilégie celle de foul play. Elle a mandaté Veda Baloomoody pour qu’il mène sa propre enquête. Sollicité hier soir, l’avocat a confirmé cette information. Il se rend aujourd’hui, mercredi 20 août dans l’archipel et assistera à l’autopsie.

Harmon Chellen, 52 ans, était le Training Centre Manager du Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD) et de l’école hôtelière sir Gaëtan Duval. Il a été repêché de l’eau à Islette à Port Glaud à l’ouest de Mahé aux alentours de 14 h 50. Faisant état de zones d’ombre entourant sa mort, ses proches soulignent qu’il ne nageait pas. D’une part, il ne savait pas le faire et d’autre part, il souffrait de problèmes de peau.

La famille ajoute qu’Harmon Chellen était jovial et tout excité car il devait, la semaine prochaine, aller installer son fils Brandon à Singapour où ce dernier a décroché une bourse d’études. Selon elle, le quinquagénaire a assisté à une agression qui aurait mal tourné.

Il nous revient également qu’Harmon Chellen, qui était en mission officielle aux Seychelles, avait pris contact avec Jean Marc Lagesse en lui disant qu’il avait bien besoin de lui parler. N’étant alors pas disponible, cet ancien du Paradis et actuel General Manager de l’hôtel Constance Ephelia, basé à Mahé, lui avait demandé de se remettre en contact avec lui lundi. Mais Harmon Chellen est décédé sans avoir pu le faire.

Le haut cadre du MITD était arrivé aux Seychelles le mercredi 13 août comme invité d’honneur pour la remise de diplômes à l’académie de tourisme. Cette cérémonie s’est déroulée le lendemain. Il était prévu qu’il regagne le pays lundi.

Toutefois, lundi vers 10 heures, Harmon Chellen a été convoqué à la police de Port Glaud pour répondre à une accusation d’agression sexuelle faite contre lui par une femme de chambre de Constance Ephelia. Celle-ci était également au poste de police lorsque Harmon Chellen s’y est rendu. Bien qu’ayant décliné son identité, le Mauricien n’aurait pas voulu donner de dépositions. Après avoir rempli les formalités d’usage, il a été autorisé à partir dans cet hôtel où il logeait à Islette. Presque cinq heures après, un homme a alerté la police de la présence d’un corps qui flottait dans l’eau à cet endroit.

http://www.lexpress.mu/article/251154/affaire-chellen-baloomoody-va-enqueter-aux-seychelles

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Double Standards For Crooks And Murderers


I have worked in conjunction with the Leader of Seychelles Freedom Party, Mr Christopher Gill, to bring justice to all Seychellois who have suffered under the brutal regime of Rene and Michel.

I have written formal letters to the United Nations of Human rights, the International Courts of Justice in the Hague, the Commonwealth, the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States.

Today, we witness the same Governments, the same organisations, the same political leaders that speak for justice and democracy around the world inviting the same people that break all international norms to their official residences. I am baffled by their actions.

Inviting Dictators to dinner is an insult to human dignity. How demoralising for true reformers and activists in their home countries and abroad to see tin-pot dictators and Human Rights abusers feted at the White House and at Downing Street.

David Cameron and Barack Obama should act in a way that agrees with the things they say or else they should put up or shut up.


End.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Praslin resort in Seychelles awarded Hotel Check Quality Certificate for excellence

Iles Des Palmes Eco Resort of Praslin in Seychelles has been awarded and is a winner of the Hotel Check Quality Certificate 2014.Hotel Check evaluates hotels on the German market, and Iles Des Palmes scored 4.8 out of 5.0 with German guest reviews to achieve this remarkable award of excellence.Iles Des Palmes Eco Resort recently opened the National Heritage Treasure Trail – a fascinating tour taking visitors back to the era of pirates and treasures of the 17th century.


Last month, Iles Des Palmes Eco Resort opened Le Vasseur La Buse fine dining located beachfront on Anse Takamaka in Praslin. The specialty of the house is a starter called Millionaire Salad, a main course in the form of a Seafood Platter or a USDA Black Angus Prime Cut, plus a dessert that is an incredible aphrodisiac called Dessert D’Amour. These delectable delights were served to the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mr. Alain St. Ange, only a couple of weeks before this prestigious award was received from Hotel Check.

http://www.travelandtourworld.com/news/article/praslin-resort-seychelles-awarded-hotel-check-quality-certificate-excellence/

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Breaking News

 
 
Ministers of Natural Resources is conducting a three island
survey including Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, to assess domestic
consumption of fish.
 
This move is anticipated to be the foundation work which 
will lead to an eventual ban on fish export from Seychelles overseas.
 
The market expected to be most affected is the Russian, Moscow
market serviced by Oceana Fisheries.
 
UAE market will be affected as well.
 
Fishermen who have been reaping huge profits will not appreciate
the bans when put in place.
 
Also those ordering boats in Sri Lanka and PRC will soon find
out that the domestic market may not help them pay back their loans. 
Nearly one hundred boats are reportedly being built in Sri Lanka.
That venture will be put to a stop with a ban on exports.
End

Friday, 8 August 2014

Africa Leaders’ Summit: Send the Right Message

The Butcher with Mr and Mrs Obama
 
August 4, 2014
Three notorious African leaders -- Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Eritrea's Isaias Afewerki, and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir -- are not invited to this week's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. But a number of other long-ruling African strongmen, like Angola's José Eduardo dos Santos, Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, will be there. In fact, over a dozen African countries which will be represented at the summit boast disturbing human rights records of ruthlessly suppressing freedom of expression and freedom of association through harassment, arrest, torture, and trumped up charges and killings.
As President Barack Obama said in an inspiring speech in Accra, Ghana, five years ago, the continent's future is up to Africans, and "Africa needs strong institutions, not strongmen." Like most other African activists, I hoped the United States would recalibrate its security partnership with autocratic African strongmen. I hoped it would follow a balanced policy towards the continent, with development, security, and governance as core pillars, each holding equal sway. Freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly underpin the ability of citizens to exercise so many other rights and hold their own governments accountable. These rights -- prized not only in the United States but by millions of Africans -- must be at the center of Washington's message to Africa's leaders.
But a closer look at U.S. policy and practice in Africa shows that Washington too often prioritizes security and trade at the expense of good governance and respect for human rights. Take Angola, where for over 30 years President José Eduardo dos Santos has wielded criminal prosecutions, arbitrary arrests, and a brutal police force to silence the media and public and enforce his rule, while Washington remains almost exclusively focused on Angolan oil.
Or look at my own country, Ethiopia, where only weeks ago, three journalists and seven bloggers were charged with "terrorism" for allegedly conspiring to overthrow the government. They are simply the latest victims of a decade-long crackdown on political opponents, nongovernmental groups, peaceful protesters, and media that dare to even mildly criticize the policies of the ruling party. Meanwhile, the U.S. administration focuses on its security alliance with Ethiopia for its fight against terrorism in Somalia.
Under Paul Kagame, Rwanda has effectively silenced political opposition and independent criticism through a litany of arrests, disappearances, and killings of political opponents and journalists both at home and in exile. Meanwhile, neighboring Burundi recently marked a new low by imposing a life sentence on opposition party members and alleged supporters, among others, in a blatantly unfair one-day trial.
Uganda, another country whose president, Yoweri Museveni, has been in power for decades, has increasingly cracked down on independent media and nongovernmental organizations, particularly at a time when they are reporting allegations of state corruption and financial mismanagement. And Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea celebrated his 35th anniversary in power on August 3 by traveling to Washington for the summit, while illegal arrests, torture, and high-level corruption continue back home.
Even in Nigeria, which has for years boasted a strong, free press and active independent groups, there are signs of slippage as soldiers have carried out campaigns to intimidate and harass some media organizations for reporting on corrupt practices in the military. Nigerian authorities defended this brazen intimidation as a routine security operation when soldiers intercepted and destroyed the deliveries of several national newspapers in May and June. On top of this, a new draft law presented to parliament threatens to cut foreign funding for nongovernmental organizations. 
In the Gambia, a series of repressive laws has led to the intimidation and imprisonment of journalists and human rights defenders for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association. Some have been forcibly disappeared.
So it's particularly alarming that this summit will not give human rights and governance a prominent role, and that activists will remain on the outside looking in at a time when independent voices are under sustained attack in so many African countries.
If the U.S. government truly wants to support stable and prosperous African partners, then this summit should pay more than just lip service to human rights and good governance.

http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/08/04/africa-leaders-summit-send-right-message

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Seychelles Sliding To Bankruptcy For The Second Time


The Seychelles Government has announced measures, which will lead to higher interest rates on bank deposits and loans, to reduce pressure on demand for foreign currency after national growth slowed during the first quarter of 2014.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, the archipelago’s Finance, Trade and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte said though the economy is still buoyant, demand for foreign exchange this year surpassed receipts, leading to shortages at banks and money changers.

He said this is linked to increased pressure by the construction, wholesale and retail trades, whose borrowings have gone up by 13 percent this year.
Laporte said up to 90 percent of any credit or loan component is spent by way of foreign exchange.

http://www.habarizacomores.net/?p=52451


Practical Impact

  • High interest rates, as a practical matter, discourage borrowing and spending by both individuals and businesses. You and other consumers will postpone purchases, particularly those of big-ticket items, such as homes, automobiles, and boats. Business reacts much the same, putting off capital spending that is not absolutely essential. As spending slows, so too does the rate of economic growth.


Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5314153_effects-high-interest-rates.html
Higher interest rates have various economic effects:

1.  Increases the cost of borrowing.

2. Increase in mortgage interest payments.

3. Rising interest rates affect both consumers and firms.

4. Government debt interest payments increase.

5. Reduced Confidence.

GOODBYE BANKS, HELLO BLACK MARKETS!

Practical Impact

  • High interest rates, as a practical matter, discourage borrowing and spending by both individuals and businesses. You and other consumers will postpone purchases, particularly those of big-ticket items, such as homes, automobiles, and boats. Business reacts much the same, putting off capital spending that is not absolutely essential. As spending slows, so too does the rate of economic growth.


Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5314153_effects-high-interest-rates.html

Monday, 4 August 2014

Breaking News

 
The Governor of the Central Bank Seychelles Caroline Abel has 
announced that the Seychelles is experiencing a shortage of supply 
in hard currency and will take steps to redress this in its
monetary policy.
 
There is a shortage of hard currency in the market. Requests
to commercial banks are going un met for as much as 30 days.
 
This affirms the SFP position that the Seychelles Rupee has 
been kept at an artificial level deliberately by the PL policy .
 
The Governor said the Public can expect higher interest rates 
to curb demand for hard currency and a devaluation of the 
Seychelles Rupee in due course to adjust the imbalance 
resulting from poor economic performance.
 
The minister of Finance Pierre Laporte is still waiting
until the end of the 3 rd quarter to assess the situation.
 
END

Friday, 1 August 2014

Seychelles tops the table at Commonwealth Games!



Jubilee Scotland is pleased to announce that even before all of the events have been completed, the unfancied Seychelles has emerged as the clear leader. The idyllic islands, way out in the Indian Ocean, may not be garnering the attention of the global media this week, but the latest stats indicate that they have streaked far ahead of all other Commonwealth nations.
It really is an astounding turnaround for ‘Team Seychelles’, after winning a solitary medal at the 2010 Delhi Games. With a population of just 92,000 things haven’t been easy, but the concerted efforts of the team are now bearing fruit. Many have said that Australia or England were up there fighting for the number one spot, but the stats show neither country has even made the top 10.
Of course, the Seychelles have not actually suddenly become world-beaters. In Glasgow their true medal table position is currently listed as joint 34th, which as some of you may realise also equates to dead last.


Rather, Jubilee Scotland has produced an alternative Commonwealth Medal Table, looking at each country’s national debt per capita. The figures, taken from the latest World Bank Debt Report, indicate that Seychelles is far ahead of other Commonwealth nations, with a debt per capita of $22,084.01. Caribbean states, Grenada and Jamaica, are 2nd and 3rd respectively.
What is perhaps most noticeable from the above table is that 7 of the top 10 are island states. The Commonwealth organisation, backed by its Charter of values and principles, believes itself to be a global leader in understanding the special needs of small island-states. However, as our alternative medal table shows, many of its members are still struggling from crippling debt.
Jubilee Scotland’s campaign director Alys Mumford said:

As our table shows, until the Commonwealth backs up the words of its Charter with action, there will always be a sense that for the stronger members the weak states are not worth looking after.

 http://www.jubileescotland.org.uk/seychelles-tops-table-at-commonwealth-games/

We Have Plane And Outrageous Ticket Prices! Empty planes stay new!


President James Michel welcomes Air Seychelles' two new Twin Otters

Thu, 31 July 2014
James Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles, today welcomed Air Seychelles' two new DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft at a special ceremony at Seychelles International Airport.
The aircraft, recently delivered from Canada's Viking Air Limited, will operate between Seychelles International Airport and Praslin, as well as other islands in the archipelago, including Bird, Denis and Frégate.
Greeted by a traditional water cannon salute, the two aircraft, named 'Isle of Bird' and 'Isle of La Digue' respectively, arrived in sequence this afternoon in front of the Air Seychelles VIP lounge.
President Michel cut a ceremonial ribbon to welcome the Twin Otters to their new home, and was accompanied by Danny Faure, Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, Joël Morgan, Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs and Transport and Air Seychelles Board Chairman and Manoj Papa, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles.
Honouring tradition and representing the country's interfaith committee, the two aircraft were then blessed by Roman Catholic Priest David Alcindor and Anglican Priest Danny Elizabeth.
Cabinet ministers, government officials, diplomats, members of the National Assembly, representatives of tourism bodies, media and Air Seychelles staff were also present, including Captain Sandy Benoiton, Air Seychelles Chief Pilot for Domestic Services, and Captain Eddy Cesar.
Both pilots were part of the ferry crews that flew the aircraft from Victoria, British Columbia, and Farnborough, United Kingdom to Seychelles.
President Michel conveyed his thanks and appreciation to the Air Seychelles Board, management team and staff of the airline for successfully charting a new route for Air Seychelles, one which has turned the island carrier into one of the world's aviation turnaround success stories.
He said:  "Today is a proud milestone in the history of Air Seychelles and on behalf of the people of Seychelles, I feel particularly proud of the Seychellois crew members and staff who have worked so hard and come so far to create a new and revitalised Air Seychelles.  These two aircraft will no doubt brighten our skies as well as enhance our domestic services."
Minister Morgan said: "This is an incredible day, not just for Air Seychelles, but for the Seychelles.  Our investment in new aircraft is a result of the success of our turnaround program and of our strong and rewarding partnership with Etihad Airways.  Our new Twin Otters will secure the future of inter-island air services and boost Seychelles tourism."
Manoj Papa said:  "The Twin Otters have renewed our domestic fleet and their early delivery is a clear demonstration that we are on the right track with our business.  We intend to grow our domestic operations further, and we have the right tools now in place to better serve the growing demand for more access to and from the various islands that make up this beautiful archipelago.
"Our customers will experience better onboard comfort, pilots will fly new technology, and Air Seychelles will remain the vital link that connects businesses, families, friends and visitors with the very best of what Seychelles has to offer."
The multi-million dollar fleet announcement for the purchase of three 19-seat DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft was made last October in a deal between the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles and Viking Air Limited.  One remaining Twin Otter is scheduled for delivery in mid-2015.
The Twin Otter flight path to Seychelles included stops at Churchill (Canada), Iqaluit (Canada), Reykjavik (Iceland), Malmo (Sweden), Nis (Serbia),  Aswan (Egypt) with a final stop in Nairobi (Kenya).
Isle of La Digue also made a stop at the Farnborough Airshow (United Kingdom) and the total ferry flight distance was 9,175 nautical miles (17,000 km) per aircraft, the longest sector being from Aswan to Nairobi (distance 1,528 nautical miles).

As Seychelles Collapses President Michel Calls For Greater Good!

Committed to the Greater Good for the National Interest: The National Consultative Forum Meets

Thu, 31 July 2014
President James Michel opened the first meeting of the newly created National Consultative Forum this morning at State House, where members participated in a frank exchange of views and an open dialogue on the future of Seychelles.
In his opening remarks, President Michel said that this unique and unparalleled forum would have a role that no other national consultative body presently has.
“This is to serve as body for high level discussions concerning the promotion of national unity and solidarity, social and moral values, ethics, and for addressing other issues which have no established outlet for discussion, and which can impact on the future of Seychelles as a whole, not just during the next few years, but perhaps for generations to come. It serves as an avant-garde think tank that crosses political boundaries, and that seeks to prepare Seychelles in the best way possible for the future,” said the President.
He said that the forum can serve as a venue to advise on remedies to certain grievances of the past as well as considering major constitutional reforms.
Mr. Michel said the members represent a large cross-section of society and are known to have a great diversity of views, opinions and interests as well as being men and women of integrity who have distinguished themselves by their knowledge, their experience, their goodwill and service to the nation.
“This matters. It is of utmost importance. Yet of greater importance is the fact that the national interest comes first. There can be no greater cause than this. And we are all united in that cause. We are all committed to the greater good. To the moral and spiritual upliftment of the people of Seychelles. To the material wellbeing and the happiness of our nation. To national unity. To reaching out and building bridges. To healing old wounds. To building a resilient, God-fearing and confident nation.”
During the meeting the members of the Forum also spoke of their expectations of the Forum, and raised issues of national concern which they thought should be addressed in greater detail in forthcoming meetings.
Many Members spoke of the need for greater attention to the education, training and apprenticeship systems in place, because the success of these systems were crucial for the continuous supply of qualified Seychellois manpower at all levels to service the needs of the Seychelles economy.  Indicators of student achievement needed careful scrutiny with the aim of improving the quality of education.
Improvements in the various economic sectors were also raised, in the context of productivity and competitiveness, especially in the tourism and related areas.  The need for accurate statistical information and indicators of performance was highlighted.  The strengthening of financial services and their oversight was considered vital.
The importance of effective mechanisms for ensuring law and order was raised.  Members felt that law enforcement was generally not effective.
The elimination of unnecessary bureaucracy was highlighted, as well as the need for authorities to process applications for various services, licences or planning permissions in a manner that was fairer, faster and more efficient.
The importance of environmental protection was strongly highlighted.
Members advocated emphasis on the growth of moral and spiritual values, and good parenting, with the protection of families being taken into account in the ongoing revision of the civil code.  It was felt that there a need for better understanding by citizens of their individual rights and responsibilities.
Members felt there was a need for greater balance in the news coverage of the SBC, which it was felt was dominated by reports on Government related activities.
The need to overcome political differences was considered vital to the success of the Forum.  importance of developing trust and stronger bridges between Government and the private sector was also strongly advocated.
The Cabinet would be briefed on the deliberations of the Forum, so that appropriate measures could be taken by the Executive in response to the issues raised.
Members agreed to meet on a monthly basis for the time being, with each meeting dedicated to a selected issue.
The President expressed his satisfaction with the successful outcome of the first meeting of the Forum.  He said that the Forum would play a crucial role in building a new Seychelles where everyone give of their best for their country.