Responses to Citizen’s Arrest article


07-August-2018

I write to thank all the readers of Seychelles NATION newspaper who responded to the article ‘Effecting a Citizen’s Arrest in Seychelles ’published on July 27, 2018. The callers were delighted that they now know they have this right as a citizen which they were not aware of before and which they can use. Several callers also discussed what is going on about Assomption Island which this newspaper has been covering diligently. Bargaining away our heritage has not stopped completely because efforts are still being made to give India this facility which is not for our benefits but India’s benefits which I will explain here in this article.

I also wish to extend my thanks to Dr. L. Popip SIK who is an outstanding cartoonist and columnist writer for contributing a very appropriate cartoon to go with this response to the original article. The idea of publishing articles on Citizen’s Arrest is to give the civil society of Seychelles an idea of their rights. If you do not know your rights people walk all over you and before you know it you become a door mat as people in power continue to purloin the wealth of our nation which has been happening big time and civil society has been silent. This is my biggest disappointment with CEPS, it has been a toothless bulldog. Our inheritance which we are supposed to guard with our life has been plundered and pillaged by those in power who have become very rich in the process.  Look around you who own the big houses on the mountains and most businesses in Seychelles? Who control the economy? These people in the echelon of our society also need to know that civil society has a legal tool to use in the event that a crime is witnessed or can be proven.

This cartoon illustrates the points made in the original article that you can run but you cannot hide because we want our inheritance back whether you give it back now or later you will be made to give it back somehow. Times have changed and today we call a thief a thief, we do not use diplomatic language to hide untruths, engage in deception and other crimes. We have lived in a society that is unequal and unfair and the result is 10% of our population are very rich and control nearly everything, 40% live below the poverty line and 50% of us try our very best to earn a crust on these rocks in the middle of the Indian Ocean and our politicians insist on trying to deceive us with lies and bad intentions.

Seychelles can play a vital role in the Indian Ocean not by just saying it and writing about it but by removing the inexperienced politicians from power and replacing most of them with businessmen who have already made their money and they do not need to steal from the people to top up their offshore deposit accounts. This has gone on for 41 years and the mismanagement of Seychelles as a nation has gone too far and the time has come for real change to happen. Let us take the current situation with India.  Our politicians are getting excited that India has extended a US $100 million line of credit to Seychelles to purchase military equipment from India. This is bad news for our next generation and please allow me to explain why.

However, before we go any further consider these facts. China’s population is 1.379 billion (2016), India’s population is 1.324 billion (2016) and Seychelles’ population is 94,677 (2016) which means that India’s population continues to grow while China’s population has stabilised due to the one child policy. Now ask yourself this question, does China want to invade India and be responsible for feeding another 1.324 billion people? Are the Chinese that dumb that they would do such a thing? So why is India scared of the Chinese having a military base somewhere in the Indian Ocean?  Then why should a small nation like Seychelles already in debt from the coup d’Etat event spend 100 million dollars on military equipment and build a military base on an island that is designated for conservation?

When I attended an Assomption Island presentation at Pointe Larue I asked the SPDF presenter who showed the audience a map of Seychelles’ location in the Indian Ocean and told his audience that drugs were coming down from Mogadishu in the North into Seychelles so I asked him then why does India want to build a military base on Assomption in the South which is nowhere near where the drugs are being trafficking? He could not give a reasonable answer because it is a misrepresentation. Now, had India asked for an island in the North of Mahé then we would perhaps believe that it would make sense to catch the drugs coming down from Mogadishu, would you agree? Do they think we are that stupid?

 

Let us call a spade a spade

The real reason why India wants a base on Assomption Island is because India holds only 9 days of oil reserve for a population of 1.324 billion people and any interruption, even for a short period, in their oil sea movement process could have devastating consequences on India all of which has nothing to do with Seychelles except that we have territories close to the sea route that could be used to station warships and war planes which will ensure safe passage of India’s oil supply line. How do I know that? I have done my research and I have put 2 and 2 together and I got 5, now you try it.

So please Mr Politician do not burden our next generation with another debt which we do not need. No one wants to invade Seychelles either, what for? For our sunny beaches? I don’t think so, or for our treasure buried in Bel Ombre? Or for our fish stock that is depleting fast? Or for our copyright on Coco der Mer which we have lost? So for what purpose would anyone want to invade Seychelles? What are we trying to defend? What are we scared of? Our shadows may be? You see China is not interested in taking over Seychelles but India could be interested because of our strategic locational co-ordinates 4.6796 degrees South and 55.4920 degrees East which is right in the path of India’s oil supply line corridor mentioned earlier. Now do you see what I am barking at?

What we have to remember fellow civil citizens is that politicians come and go and once our inheritance has been squandered we cannot get it back and they are long gone with our wealth in their pockets and our next generation will work their butt off and still not be able to recover from the mistakes and misbehaviours of our current politicians. Just think about it for a moment, we still owe US $896 million (2006) in debts incurred during the one party state which started 41 years ago and we are still struggling to repay this debt and now we want to incur another US $100 million more debt to buy military equipment from India which will be defunct in less than 10 years. India is not well known as a military equipment designer and manufacturer so what kind of quality can we expect from India? Copies may be? Right now you can buy medicines in the shops made in India which are not as good as medicines from Europe. Come on my friend screw your head back on your shoulders and open your eyes.

 

Seychelles is a jewel in the Indian Ocean

Our strategic location puts us in a good position to negotiate from strength but the people who are doing the negotiating are doing it behind closed doors, which means they are hiding something and telling us lies or changing their story from day to day. The truth is always consistent but lies vary from day to day. We have not managed our fish stock properly, now we are seeing signs of depletion. We were told we have oil in our ocean then some well-connected individuals and private companies bought shares in our oil exploration endeavours and they have gone quiet. We have granite and sand based alluvial soil where anything will grow, our climate is moderate and our Lord has blessed us with tropical temperatures cooled by Southerly Winds and we are nowhere near any volcanoes and we do not suffer from hurricanes which means Seychelles can truly be paradise not just for tourists only but for all Seychellois as well.

We have Seychellois with brains, some have overseas experience and we have the drive to succeed and yet with all these assets our country is not moving forward, we are seeing only organic growth not created growth which means our economy is not growing. We bring in foreigners to advise us and they are less experienced than us. We have no inward investments, so we have to ask ourselves “what the hell is going on?” We are still taking our begging bowls to other nations because any new project proposed by a Seychellois is frowned upon and every effort is made to prevent any Seychellois from launching a big project, like the monorail, so what is really wrong with our society? Is it jealousy or we still have the slave mentality that only Grand Blanc can undertake a big project? Every project seems to fail and Seychellois entrepreneurs are ignored by our politicians, some of our people cannot find work and yet there is so much work that we have to engage foreigners to fill the gap.

I firmly believe that we should seriously consider electing some businessmen to run our country and MAKE SEYCHELLES GREAT. We have played the game with the politicians and they have failed us but they have made sure that they retire on a lucrative pension. We are supposed to be moving towards full democracy yet important matters like Regional Councils and the Tunnels are not discussed with civil societies, we just hear announcements made at State House in matters where the people, the civil societies are not consulted so let us be honest with ourselves we have not yet moved out of the autocratic mentality. We are trying to get out but the doors are locked by autocratic decision making processes which the opposition shamefully endorse under the guise of “cohabitation” but really it is a marriage of convenience, yes? We are told lies by eminent and respected people we call “Honourables” and our politicians lie to us contagiously. We have put on trial our Deputy Chief Justice and our Chief Justice and some politicians want to give legal powers to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to protect their friends and buddies, so where the hell are we going? May be straight to hell itself.

I call on every member of our civil society to oppose any move by our politicians to get us into more debt and pledging our heritance and sovereignty to foreign powers for pittance and for their self-gratification and enrichment. Furthermore we must oppose any laws they bring out to cover up the misdemeanours of their colleagues. They ask us to work together but they work alone, behind closed doors and in the end we suffer.

 

Contributed by: Barry Laine FCIM, FInst SMM, MCMI, MBSCH

Seychelles Civil Society

PO Box 1336 Victoria                     

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