Letter to the Editor-Debate on matters of national interest should be encouraged


The two articles you published have taught me many things which I did not know about the turtles of the world. I would like to make it clear that I have always admired the dedicated work of those involved with the ICS, whose objectives I have always admired and supported. And now, who am I to dispute the statements of facts and the concerted opinion of those who are indeed experts in the field?

However, when I wrote about the turtles that were being consumed in that restaurant in Beijing – I do not think that the point I was trying to make should be overlooked just because the turtles may not have originated from the Indian Ocean.

Maybe the most pertinent point coming out of your agreement to publish the contribution of Dr. Jeanne Mortimer, Pat Matyot and Adrian Skerrett on the matter is the reflection of the emergence of the spirit of debate on matters of national interest and importance. This spirit had for too long been absent within our community.

In this connection, I also welcome the concluding statement made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Jean-Paul Adam, who in your issue of April 8, 2013, wrote his views concerning the enforcement of immigration laws on Seychelles borders – “I thank you for publishing these views, on which we welcome debate,” the minister concluded.

Finally, as we envisage debating national and controversial issues, I would like to share with your readers these lines which I wrote some time ago in my book “Peace of Mind”-
“We are just beginners in the University of knowledge
And life is too short for anyone to find the time to graduate from that University
Where history is being researched and analyzed as history is being made
Where wisdom and experience are being studied as values and laws are being changed
You will remember my soul the day I became a lawyer and was called to the Bar
That day they gave me a white wig with which to impress simpler minds
And a dark robe under which to cover my limitations
And when a fellow lawyer referred to me as ‘my learned friend’
For the first time I realized how ‘ignorant’ a lawyer can be.”

James R. Mancham