Election Special 4. The ex-Presidents, The Bel Ombre skull and the 25th November Defence Forces Day.

Tomorrow the country celebrates the Defence Forces Day.
We the people salutes our boys and girls in Uniform on this occasion and wish to convey the pride with which we the people look up to them.

We the people would take this occasion to remind our boys and girls in uniform of the oath they would have taken when swearing in: -- to uphold and defend the constitution of the Seychelles, its people and nation.

SPDF
The people would also remind our guys in uniform that they are one of us; that they share, and are part of, a non-violent, friendly, peaceful, docile population that enjoys happy living.
The message from the people of the Seychelles to those in Uniform on the eve of the most important elections in the Seychelles is, be it before the elections, during the elections or after the elections, if given any order, before the execution of that order you ensure that the order is both legal and constitutional. Check it out before acting on the order. If you have any doubts, then refuse to carry out the order and commit a Human Rights offense on behalf of and for the personal benefit of someone else. Rather be court-martialed than turn your weapons on a defenceless and peace-loving people. You are one of us. We are not the enemy.

To the people: by all means celebrate your successes (the winners) in any spontaneous joy the moment brings, but respect and have consideration for the losers. Hopefully, it is Seychelles that will win, not a person or a particular party.

The worst thing in our country is the political divide that prevents the country from going forward. This political divide is caused by the partisan mentality of the politicians and political parties of the past. The political divide is not part of our DNA and is foreign to us.

Today, with many more parties on the playing field, the spirit of unity that defines the people of Seychelles overrides the partisan politics that has dictated the political landscape for too long. Let our people in uniform take note of that. These powerful pictures speak for themselves.

The choice of the 25th November as the Defense Forces Day is most distasteful. Yes, as intended, it does bring to mind the landing of the mercenaries on the shores of the Seychelles. But more importantly, it would remind the people of the mercenary adventure, that day in 1981, that failed to take off as the element of surprise was lost. The mercenaries had arrived back home in South Africa even before the Seychelles Defense Forces decided to react and then proceeded to fight the automatic unmanned gun stations. The mercenaries were long gone. There were other unpleasantness that day. Again a dark side associated with that day is the widely believed shady behind -the -scene deals and money transactions (which the people are not particularly proud of) in the release from custody of the couple of mercenaries that got left behind. The selection of another date to celebrate the Defense Forces Day would be on the table.

The ex-Presidents of the Seychelles would have, since 1964, in their respective roles claimed to have stood for the people, by the people, fought for the people and brought prosperity, liberty, peace and human dignity to the people of Seychelles … often with the battle cry "SEYCHELLES IS ONE", ostensibly meaning to do away with the political divide that scours our land; whilst instead anything and everything they do has led to more polarization.
Today James Richard Mancham has reduced himself to being THE ONE LINE EX-PRESIDENT OF THE SEYCHELLES, at least on the local scene, with his infamous repertoire, "That JAM is the right person, in the right place, at the right time".

Suddenly the only thing that seems to matter for JRM is ‘bef dan disab saken vey son lizye’, hardly a line any politician, past or present, should ever consider if they want the respect of the population. Now on the ‘right side of the divide’ he, JRM, conveniently forgets to address (the fact) ALL he once stood and fought for -- to continuously improve the personal development and wellbeing of the masses that is, 40 years later, an even a greater challenge. Presently, we have an education system in place that fails to educate our children, a health system that needlessly struggles to provide even the basics and is unable to arrest the slide into deterioration of the health of the Seychellois people. JRM also refuses to speak of the ‘joie de vivre’ the people enjoyed before 5th June 1977. Neither does he address the fact that we are the worst paid lot of people on earth. --That often one has to have a second, even a third employment to make ends meet, leaving no time to enjoy life or fully participate in parenting. JRM is totally mute on the scourge drugs and corruption inflict on the nation. JRM has totally forgotten the people of Seychelles. Little wonder then that the masses forget him as well and those that do remember see him as a hypocrite and a sell-out.

James Mancham
Not that France Albert Rene is seen in any better light. Loved by many of the ruling party he put in place in the first instance; the non-performance of the team he left the people with after his retirement, and his seeming inability to remedy the situation that continuously weakens and threatens the very foundation of the party he founded cannot amuse FAR. Neither does it amuse the SPPF/PL supporters.

Not only would they not be amused to see, in front of their very eyes, their party weakening, but neither can they be amused by the current state of the political party FAR left behind so many years ago. More importantly, the total dismissal of certain cardinal principles he, FAR, always adhered to:
1) Never bring the IMF and the World Bank into the country. No leader who loves his country would ever do such a thing. Even when SNP was calling out loud that IMF should be brought in (to help resolve the economic mess, including the For-X problem then), that was never done. FAR held firm and held the IMF away.
2) Never bleed the Central Funds to the extent that would necessitate calling in the IMF and the World Bank. FAR would have been very strict with people who might have tried to bleed the system, and always brought it in check (monies and that too serious monies, if it were to be made were made in different ways). Who made what and how was always tightly tightly controlled.
3) Protect the economy from the shock of a savage and brutal economy controlled by the Ultra-rich and Multinationals. The GDP would go up as it has kept doing recently but nothing filters down to the people. What is the point of such massive development if the people are stuck further and further into slavery?

Albert Rene
He, FAR, is understood to have, on many occasions, in private, talked about his displeasure with JAM’s performance as President because it went against what he built and stood for. And was anti-people. Did these words, heard by the ears of like-minded people, lead to the formation of a new political party, which had active support of some folks very close to FAR, to correct the wrong?
What started off as a phenomenon in Seychelles politics and took the country by storm, Lalyans Seselwa, all ex-SPPF/PL big guns, lost much of its momentum and active support around the time the Bel Ombre skull was found.

Suddenly even for these people who recently exhibited a change of heart, JAM suddenly became the ‘right person in the Right place at the Right time’. Or was it the Bel Ombre Koksis that refused to remain buried that was ‘the Right skull, in the Right place, at the Right time, just on the eve of the election.’ This discovery no doubt has everyone on the edges and worried. Was the right skull sent to Mauritius for DNA testing in the first place? And the belief by the people that it is impossible that such a fresh skull could not give concrete DNA results, but that the results may have been so damning that they were not disclosed. The skull was talking more than the ex-presidents and is an issue that will never go away, in this case as in other similar cases until the respective families get the chance to have proper closure.

In the end, JAM would have been his own worst enemy. He was unpopular (and that is ok; some people are) but maybe not his party. If only he had read the writing on the wall and allowed someone else from his party to run, whilst he chose another option.
We would then have had three ex-Presidents and a young untainted team to run as the SPPF/PL. candidate in the elections. What a different set of elections we would have had. Would we then still have had as many opposition parties to contest the presidential elections?
Even the Ex-presidents take the Seychellois electorate pou bann K.O.U.Y.O.N. Not long ago they had asked us for our votes and for yet another FIVE. Now they ‘vey zot lizye’.

24th. November, 2015
Viral V. Dhanjee, Union Vale

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