President talks about independence-Celebrating our success as a nation


30-June-2009

“And this is exactly what we have done. Independence has allowed us to take the destiny President Michel speaking during the monthly programme En Moman Avek Prezidan on SBC televisionof our country into our own hands, build a nation and develop our country into one where everybody has benefited,” President James Michel has said.  

He was speaking on SBC television on Sunday evening during the monthly programme En Moman Avek Prezidan, in which the Head of State speaks on issues of national importance.

Since this month’s programme coincided with the 33rd anniversary of our independence, celebrated yesterday, it focused on the theme of independence and its significance.

Mr Michel said the anniversary of our independence is a festive occasion for the Seychellois people as it is an event that marked the birth of our nation.
It is, however, important to realise that we had to fight for our independence and that it did not come about by chance, he added.
The reason the struggle for independence was not easy, Mr Michel said, was that there was always a small group of people who would play on the ignorance of our people to maintain the status quo, a situation where a few would continue to decide what was best for our country and enjoy all the resources, whereas the large majority would remain subservient and poor.

He said the fight for independence was one brought about in the main by the then Seychelles People’s United Party led by France Albert Rene and one that most people were behind.

The President also took the opportunity to comment on the diverging views in the country as to which day should be celebrated as our national day – June 29 or June 18.

He said the birth of our nation on June 29, 1976 (Independence Day) allowed us to take the destiny of our country into our own hands and has given us the opportunity to build the nation that we are today.

“Today our people should be proud of what we have achieved as a nation,” he added.
On the other hand, June 18 marked the birth of our Third Republic with the adoption of our new Constitution.

“It marked a return to multiparty democracy and it represents the day that the whole nation adopted a Constitution which would allow the Seychellois people to come closer together under a new political system and continue in the task of nation building,” said Mr Michel.

He said when one compares Seychelles with many countries, even some that gained their independence before we did, we rank high in terms of a vibrant and active democracy, good governance and a solid social welfare system that is seen as a model by many.

Now is the time to take stock of what we have achieved over the past 33 years and look ahead and see how, by working together, we can make our country progress further, Mr Michel said.

He also spoke about the importance for a country that has gained independence of safeguarding its sovereignty, its territorial integrity and all its resources, adding that was the reason Seychelles decided to form its own defence forces shortly after independence.

He said during those 33 years, events have shown why it was important to have our own defence forces, citing the mercenary attack of 1981 and the more recent acts of piracy in our waters as examples.

The President repeated his government’s commitment to continue boosting our defence forces, especially our coastguard, to protect our sovereignty. He also stressed the need to encourage more young people to join the force.

“We are putting in place mechanisms to set up a Young Leaders programme within the defence forces so that more young people will be encouraged to take up a career in the military and help in the defence of our motherland,” he said.

The President said in this new era, we must be more serious, responsible, realistic and more resilient to cope with the new challenges that the world is facing.

He also spoke of the need to develop a country where there is good governance, transparency, law and order and where there is no place for such ills as corruption and drug abuse.

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