Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

The Talk, Talk, Talking Seychelles President

No sooner than the Cascade meeting of despair had finished, did Mr. President rush in Antoine Onezime to State House for another golden drape decor talk, to clear up the Public's doubts in his Administration's credibility, which is wearing very thin at this time.

A Moment With Mr. President- Really Now!

The President's chat with the nation through Onezime, this time turned its focus on to the $2.4 Billion missing in our banking system. He has alleged that the figure is $2.5 Billion and not $2.4 Billion as IMF asserts.

When questioned by Antoine Onezime, who is slowly displaying more and more courage to face Michel with Truth, on the issue of corruption and misuse of loan moneys, Michel said that the Paris Club forgiving us 45% of our debts is a "validation" of his government's work. Hence, there is no money missing, and this is a horse of battle for the Opposition.

Michel says that this "offer" by the Paris Club shows it believes in his Government. If the Paris Club thought money was missing they would not forgive our debts by 45%. He has said that he has traveled and given many speeches on the plight of small island states, hence the favourable treatment by the Paris Club. According to Michel's spin on the Paris Club announcement, if his government was corrupt, it would not get Paris Club "validation".

Validation according to Michel, implies approval. He wants this validation to translate into popular support for him and his government. Seychellois Beware!

There Is No Validation

Well, the Paris Club does not work as Michel dreams it does. Neither does the offer to Seychelles. Read below and see the break down Michel's lies and misrepresentations to the People of Seychelles, in another gallant Communist effort to fake it, not until he makes it, but until he gets to his grave (pardon the old Irish saying, but we have to use Irish sayings these days, so get use to it). You give us Irish, we give it back to you!

Paris Club Has Not Pardoned 45% of Seychelles Debt Yet!

Paris Club has offered to pardon, that is forgive write off, 45% of Seychelles debt if SPPF sticks to the IMF Plan it has embarked on. It is proposed that $20 Million will be written off in July, after the IMF consultations and review, if SPPF is still sticking to the IMF game plan. That is a big if.

There is no validation in this offer. It is really a carrot and stick thing, to train SPPF communist to evolve, into a pragmatic, free market, libertarian party.

In a phrase, the Paris Club, having SPPF financially chained and balled, hopes to melt down the AK-47's and use the metal to mould rakes, hoes, and plows. Good luck Paris Club.

Another portion of $20 million may be forgiven on the second year, if SPPF is still implementing the IMF programme. In total the amount proposed for forgiveness, but not yet granted, is about US$ 70 Million. The remaining balance will be put on a grace of five (5) years before repayment. SPPF has to pay the Paris Club $1 Million upfront, so where's the validation? It just sounds like the Paris Club does not want another failed state in the region.

Our other commercial obligations and non Paris Club obligations are still over $820 Million. Some of the commercial debts like the Lehman Brothers loans, have interest payments of near 10% per annum. Add that up fast and is compounded if payments stalled. It is money in this category of borrowing, commercial loans, that allegations of misuse has been focused, not on Paris Club loans as Michel tries to assert to fool the Public. Amateur actor he is! Only But You!

SPPF Taking More Debt Again

Recently, while SPPF has been pitching the Paris Club Proposal around as a fait accompli, to stay afloat, the SPPF have tacked on additional debt burdens recently to make our total sum owed even greater, which dwarfs the Paris Club proposal.

Over the years, they will search out more loans and increase our debt burden even more to stay afloat. And while no one wants to see Seychelles move down to failed state status, the warning signs are already shining in our face daily. People of Seychelles must go beyond the senses of pain and suffering and rationalize a proper transition of power to bring in a new era of freedoms and new attitude that place Seychellois at the center of development and not in the back kitchen. 

IMF Plan will be $26 Million over two years, ADB Budget Support Facility (which means, a Country cannot make it on its own and needs immediate help) is $ 20 Million. Total $46 Million. These debts have been accumulated by SPPF only recently. 

Hence for this year, the net benefit of SPPF efforts with Paris Club is really only about $24 Million, from the 45% debt forgiveness package.

Do Not Forget The Ticking Bomb - INTEREST

As interest rates crank on debts SPPF do not speedily pay back, this debt burden will actually increase.

As Michel softens the financial blows to us with the nice little pretty word REFORM, remember People of Seychelles, in October last year Sunday Times ran an article with Mr. President gracing State House lawns titled: "Living on Borrowed Time", another article was run in L’Express: "Seychelles BANKRUPT", as IMF prepared an offer to Seychelles, AFIF was sweating bullets on Face a Face and Faure, on a Saturday was running to SBC to announce we have a Plan and an immediate disbursement would be made to help us meet fuel bills. These frantic efforts are a sign of our BANKRUPT ECONOMY.

In reality, there is no REFORM under Michel, his Government is BANKRUPT. It is Michel that led us to BANKRUPTCY, with the help of sidekicks like Chang Leng at the Central Bank.

Danny Faure has been in charge of the mop up operation after the free for all party at Central Bank, which any President should have known about, especially when he did drink coffee regularly with the Governor of Central Bank. Faure travels the World now, cleaning up the mess created by Michel, Butler-Payet, Chang Leng, Chang Sam and others.

After each mop up trip, he goes to the National Assembly, and presents a brave face, and puts our troubles in the best possible light, to save SPPF. This is the game plan. But it does not change Seychellois reality.

The long and short of this is that if Michel thinks Paris Club has "validated his government's" BANKRUPTCY, then the man should simply resign in mid term and let Joe Belmont and Danny Faure carry the SPPF torch. At least these two gentlemen, for all their short comings, do still have their feet on the ground and both are workers and listeners, instead of fakers, lately.

Wake up SPPF, stop wasting our time and eating into our children's future, with your debts, as Mr. Onezime pointed out. Just for that one question we should introduce a Freedom of Press Award, and give it to Mr. Onezime. For it took great courage, in one moment, to face this fake and question him like you should. Congratulations!

Twisty James Gets Twisted

Addressing the missing $2.4Billion issue which highly credible, IMF placed in public domain, through SCCI and journalists, Michel said that these funds, held by offshore companies were owned by Seychellois like the one at Barbaron and the one with a factory, who is that? Another mystery Seychellois? Give us a break Michel. Michel asserts that IMF is wrong and the amount overseas can be $5 Billion. Now, Mr. Twisty, where did you get the $5 Billion figure. IMF said $2.4Billion not $5 Billion. Do you have information on more money missing in our banking system? Can we have so many rich Seychellois living under tin roofed houses? 

For your information Michel, IMF said the Seychellois in question, were bonafide citizens of long time, who served in the government of Seychelles through offices or parastatals. They were not UK citizens with factories that donated a fancy car to you but have legally declared their domicile to be UK as per High Court of Appeals there. Give us a break Twisty!

My suggestion to SPPF is to use the first week of June 2009, to call an Extraordinary Congress, but make it ordinary and fast, pass two (2) motions. I will write them for you if Boss cannot help. 

Motion One: "Be it resolved that the Central Committee of Seychelles Progressive Front aka SPUP, thanks James Alix Michel for all he has done for Seychelles since the 5th of June Coup D’Etat 1977, and we hereby offer him an early retirement from his term of office".

Automatically on resignation Joe Belmont becomes President and Danny Faure Vice President. Meriton appointed Minister Designate.

Motion Two: "Be it resolved that once assuming office Mr. Belmont will dissolve the National Assembly within seven (7) days and cause to be called a General Election of the post of the Presidency and all National Assembly seats in order to foster greater stability and unity in Seychelles".

Then vote on it, have everyone raise there hands and let us get it on for our children's sake.

I will offer you more free advice when the vote passes. 

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois and Our Beloved Seychelles!




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