Monday, June 29, 2009

Seychelles Comedy - State House Anytime Now

Battling on all fronts

Now that the ‘Per Fondater’ has removed the “Progressive Front” from the SPPF and handed him with a “Parti Lepep”, King James Michel finds himself alone, trying to battle on all fronts! Or is it more like wars – the war on drugs and Escobars, the war on security and pirates, the war on vices, and… hmm hmm.. that infamous war on corruption. This battle is rearing its ugly head again and we need to account for the missing US$ 2.5 Billion and counting. Who said this Presidency was boring?

JenPa: Good morning Sir! Independence Day is on the horizon and another opportunity for you to bask in the SBC limelight. Come to think of it, this is truly our day of unity. My parents used to tell me how proud they were when they saw Mancham and Tonton Albert joining hands on the podium to salute our newborn nation, and to watch the English Union Jack come down and replaced by our own “bleu, blanc et rouge pavilion”. But somehow Ton Albert always seemed to be looking down instead of up. Where were you on that momentous occasion Mr. President?

Mr. President: Oh, that’s a long story my boy. You see, we had everything hatched by then and we were going to take over no matter what. We had already established contacts with our Tanzanian friends and the training for the operation was already under way with Ogilvy, Desaubin and Lucas heading the rites of passage. This is how I learned to handle the symbol of our struggle, at the barrel of the AK-47. Our ‘liberation’ troupes were being assembled even back then, and “Per Fondater” had already purchased the furniture to ship out with those powerful rifles and lots of bullets hidden inside.

JenPa: You did take a lead role in the cause and today you are presiding over the very same people who seem to be confused about their history and identity. So what do you make of your ascendency as party leader Sir?

Mr. President: I am unfortunately part of the system that broke it all down. But we plan to fix it back JP, and return to the olden days. I have agreed to the IMF medicine and we need to administer it. Even though this is to the detriment of the people, they have to understand that we need to make sacrifices. Soon we will have Carrefour and ISPC opening its doors to the public, and everything will be sold in rupees. This will pacify the people a little till the next elections- just like we did when we gave them Supasave and Le Rocher supermarkets. Even Ramadoss joined in the frenzy with People’s supermarket. Perhaps he knew beforehand that the party was going to be called ‘Parti Lepep’.

JenPa: You never know Sir. He is so close to Ton Albert and the gang. And he is still promoting the ‘Rising Sun’ of the SPUP days! Incidentally, we have a new issue at hand that we need to address. Your new press secretary Srdjana seems at a loss at how to handle this one. The “Face-a-Face” show has rubbed our nose into this corruption dirt again and we need to come up with a counter offensive. But come to think of it, it will catch up with us and some people are even to start calling it “Farce-a-Farce”. We are advocating a government of transparency and good values such as sincerity and honesty. We therefore need to take the bull by the horns and tackle all the issues facing us. With the economy in tatters and all these social problems we have to contend with, we have a mountain to climb Sir.

Mr. President: Not to worry JP. All is under control. These debates are nicely edited and only half truths come out. Afif and Miss Jackie Belle are under my orders. Remember, I am still the Minister for Information, so don’t you forget that.

JenPa: We will have to invite more ambassadors and dignitaries to State House Sir to divert some attention until this corruption issue dies down. We have not invited Siva - our ambassador at large - as yet. We have to put the big VIP bikes to good use. Otherwise we will have to surrender them to Joel for his patrol squad he wants to set up to safeguard us from future pirate attacks. That Joel, he is something else on TV. Even speaks French as well as me!

Mr. President: I wanted Mancham as our ambassador at large JP. At least I can dialogue with him. But you remember the Marylou coup in the assembly on this issue. Jimmy could really give me some ideas on how to unite this people. Now I have to put up with that squeaky voice power-hungry Potter for tea every month! You have to get me out of this one of these days JP.

JenPa: I will Sir. I will find a way to get rid of her sooner rather than later.

Mr. President: Good boy JP as we have to focus on more important matters. People are now panicking about their safety. We cannot seem to be able to solve these security problems. The Police are lying as the Attorney General said recently on TV. Prison escapees are spreading terror in our little nation and they keep getting out of a rat hole. Why did we give up Long Island in the first place? We need to summon Dugasse on that one as I can smell a corrupt rat somewhere.

JenPa: Ok Sir. Well noted. Long Island is now being turned into a 5 star hotel project and you know very well how Tonton arranged that deal without a tender of course. The prison has now been relocated to Montagne Posee. We need to arrange a visit for you there so that we can have another PR coup – will put the Serbian dame on this one. Remember that the questions in the districts will become tougher in the months ahead.

Mr. President: But are you not happy with the release of our hostages? We finally got them back home with all the prayers and faith. What a great moment synonymous of our ‘Koste Seselwa’ spirit. I am sure that the ‘Jj Spirit’ is also with them.

JenPa: Indeed Sir, but the public is accusing you of lying because you told them you would bring back all 10 hostages. People are saying you left the other 3 behind because one of them is a staunch SNP supporter. But still, your hugs at the airport showed off your compassionate side. And you did let little Joel bask in his glory.

Mr. President: Yes, he was in his element with the interviews, and for a minute there, I could see his little beady eyes gleaming in the camera lens. I think he is quite ambitious that one and might want my job one of these days.

JenPa: Indeed Sir. However, there seems to be reports of a ransom being paid and the ship has now been torched. And Joel seems to like the numbers 4 and 5. Remember he lost the US$ 4.5 million before the last elections. And now the pirates said they actually received US$ 450,000. Quite a coincidence, don’t you think Sir?

Mr. President: Well JP, we cannot make any statements about ransom. We had Marylou opening her big trap and barking against such practice in the Assembly; but unfortunately this is the law of the pirates. Come to think of it, this reminds me of our old pirates like La Buse and Hodoul. But it seems we have a lot more pirates in Seychelles these days, if you know what I mean. And I am not talking about taxi-pirates.

JenPa: I certainly do Sir, and this is why people are firing away and asking you to wage a war on corruption. For example Sir, why is it that the guys who retire from government get a fat bonus like Changleng. The guy is now a flourishing businessman and yet the word on the street is that he is one of the main culprits of our bankruptcy. Think of it Sir. Will Glenny get a fat payout soon? What about Mukesh? Did he receive a big cheque too? You see, people associate all this with corruption Sir and you really have to step up those anti-corruption efforts.

Mr. President: JP, you of all people should know that this is known as a “golden handshake” in Wall Street jargon. They get ‘retired’ and are asked to shut their mouths forever. We have been doing this throughout our career in politics. This is why I said that politics is an art. We have perfected this art form my boy, ever since we did the coup in 1977. Look at the array of civil servants and ministers we have put by the wayside over the years… and show me one of them who is not well off, let alone one who has opened his mouth to reveal the truth?

JenPa: Indeed Sir. The right process of elimination. Now we need to bind ourselves into a solid team. The handover of the party was just ceremonial as we have no access to the funds of the party. We will have to rely on our Jj Spirit loans to entice more youngsters to join us. Soon we will have a jamboree camp for everyone to drill our message for the next elections.

Mr. President: Good strategy my boy. I am glad to have you as a faithful servant for the cause. We need to keep the lid on this country until after I retire. There are too many cans of worms opened and we are facing an infestation. I have no more answers for all these allegations JP, especially when it comes to corruption. Now they want us to open the vault to see our declaration of asset forms. I did not list the Desroches villa in mine did I JP?

JenPa: Gee Sir, I can’t even remember but I will give Leka a call to verify as she is the only one with the key to the Central Bank vaults. If you did, we can ask cousin Glenny to put it under his name because he has so many assets in Seychelles and Mauritius already. But there is fear of a list circulating (according to the spies at Pirates Arms), with names of people asking ‘Who owns what?’. Big question marks on land sale deals, islands for free or for 1 rupee, Cosproh hotel deals, prawn farm deals, mercenary ransom deals, arms sales deals, hospital deals, luxury flats deals and a whole long list of more than 100 questions on ‘deals’. This sounds like the movie ‘The Godfather’! I can foresee a barrage of questions for the next district meetings when the people will brandish the same lists instead of the ones prepared for them. The press secretary will have her work cut out on this one…

Mr. President: We need to find a new gimmick like the laptop deal we did with Space95 for the teachers. Only the Jj Spirit funding will not work. Let’s get one of our friendly companies to donate something back to our people. Perhaps we can ask the Eden Island guy or Mukesh’s Abhaye Valabjhi or Intelvision. If they cannot come to the rescue, then we will resort to Siva again.

JenPa: Sir I think you need to take a rest as these bags under your eyes are showing prominently. I think it’s the teleprompter effect, or maybe the surgery effect. I will have to report this to Srdjana…maybe she has a special masking makeup she can lend you…

The President takes a look at his reflection in one of the framed pictures of the past British Governors of Seychelles. “I do look like an old wreck” he moans to himself. He never realised that life as a president was so demanding… and boy oh boy, this corruption issue is really becoming a major problem.. At this rate, he might end up like the King of Pop one day… or is it the deflated King of PEP…?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

National Day - Communist Speech In The Shadows of Reform

The children turned up at the National Day Parade in Unity Stadium to see their parents march in uniform. The turnout was the worse since 1993. No leaders from the Opposition, many SPPF missing from the armed chairs and concrete bleachers for the common masses.

This year SPUP- SPPF- Parti Lepep, the communist party that still runs Seychelles, had made it a point to offend the sensibilities of every freedom minded person on June 5th, as James Michel went on SBC to defend the un-defendable in a 30 minute charade .

His attempt to compare June 5th to La Bastille day -July 14th in France, was nothing more then intellectual mayhem. The turn out on National Day was evidence of that, in spite of the free buses for all districts. The half dozen Honda Goldwing motorcycle escort only reminds us that as in all communist governments, critical resources go to the leadership first while the people are told suffering and sacrifice is good for us.

Those that fall to the street sides from too much suffering and too much sacrifice for a lifetime, are called vagabonds and called to clear the streets with polyethylene pipes at first, tear gas and bullets will soon follow for those that remain.

With communists the tactics are always the same, only the regimes differ from country to country. One thing is for sure, they leave a track of failure, wherever they thread.

President Michel had a difficult task in front of him as he faced the Nation. It was a moment for him to display leadership on the economy when in reality there has been none on his part. He had to show signs of success when there has been no success. He had to show that he knows what he is doing today, when in fact he did not know what he was doing for quite some time. National Day was a tall order and the speech writers were grouped in to work overtime. The teleprompter could not help what was not in the brain or heart.

As Michel spoke, Rene slouched in a VIP spectator chair and listened and coached from the arm chair. Rene it seems was not pleased with this presidential speech. If I am not either, let no blame fall upon my shoulders for I am only one of many and but a simple citizen.

Because there are still three (3) hostages being held in Somalia, I will not address this issue at this time, as I do not want to compromise their safety. I am happy the seven hostages on Indian Ocean Explorer are home. I thank God and the owner of the ship that willingly paid what he could. Our government paid nothing according to Joel Morgan, and it could have paid something to ensure an early release.

The Economic Reform

Michel says eight months ago he committed the country to economic reform, which today, means there are many changes taking place. He says everyone must review their priorities. This is true, but it also sounds as if Michel was just elected.

The only reason why we have a Reform today, is because Michel and SPUP-SPPF were doing a bad job running the country over the years with un-sustainable policies. They were running us into the ground and kept on until we were in the ground.

This is not leadership. It is nothing more than madness draped in National Symbols. Behind this madness was the leadership of James Michel and Albert Rene. They took Seychelles to her last day of imports and last 3 hours of fuel in 2008. They did not care at the time that Seychellois future was being compromised, as long as they were fine and their containers arrived on time and their fuel tanks were guarded well.

People of Seychelles, the Reform as Michel puts it was not a choice he had to make for Seychelles. By the time Michel announced the Reform on October 31st, 2008, we were already bankrupt and the IMF was already stepping in to run and manage our country where SPPF had failed. It is simple. SPPF BANKRUPTED Seychelles, with Michel and Rene at the helm for the past 35 years!

This is why they changed their name from SPPF to Parti Lepep. They do not want their party apparatus to be associated with bankrupting Seychelles.

IMF Was Here Before Reform

Before the Reform was announced, the IMF was visiting Seychelles under Article IV Consultations, wherein they advised Seychelles of its finances and whether or not they agreed with homegrown plans like MERP (SPPF’s version of voodoo-nomics).

On September 19th, 2008, IMF announced it had sent Mr. Paul Mathieu to Seychelles to discuss a Reform with Government of Seychelles and a Stand By Arrangement (financial assistance).

We were already defaulting on our external obligations at this time and our debt burden was unsustainable. The world press knew more about Seychelles finances than we did in Seychelles.

PR Newswire reported on October 23, 2008 “Seychelles goes bankrupt with US$ 800 Million external debt”; the Financial Times ridiculed James Michel in an article dated September 19th 2008, “Living on Borrowed Time”, the take on that article was basically the President of Seychelles led the nation on a borrowing spree of risky expensive bond loans and now the country has defaulted.

Reuters, before the Reform was announced said, “a source from Ministry of Finance disclosed that Seychelles has reserves for not more then 1 day importation of goods to keep the country going “, the source said the situation was “severe”, according to Reuters.

In a phrase, SPPF under Michel and Rene, had taken us to the end of the road. We were bankrupt and we were about to start starving, cars were about to stop running, dogs were about to start looking like cows to us.

This is where we were before the well thought out carefully planned “REFORM” was announced on October 31, 2008, with IMF putting words into Mr. Michel’s mouth as he went on SBC and read conditions IMF set and confirmed in a subsequent letter to IMF begging for assistance.

When the Communists speak, remember, they are not his ideas, although his words. IMF is pulling the strings today, and this year, they will even write our budget.

Thank you SPUP.

Thank you SPPF.

Thank you Parti Le Pep!

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

Seychelles Cartoon - Nou Tresor Pou Pey Det

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Face-a-Face in Seychelles - Corruption Debate

Face-a-Face TV Programme & The Controversial Corruption Debate in Seychelles

I was indeed looking forward to this much anticipated Face-a-Face TV programme dealing with corruption in Seychelles. I sat myself in my favourite chair, Seybrew in hand, and turned on my old faithful Sony to see what the host was wearing for the night!

An hour later, I picked myself up, shook my head in disappointment, and started to wonder why I continue to waste an hour of my life every couple of weeks to watch this charade on SBC.

Why is it that everyone who goes on this show pussy-foots around the subject instead of going for the bulls eye? Why is it that no one has the guts to come forward and state the real facts? Why is it that no one challenges the status quo, or gives real life examples as to what is happening in the country? What are they afraid of?

Let us start with the host of the show, Mrs. Jacqueline Moustache-Belle. While we all know that she is no Larry King, she can surely do better than that with all her experience at SBC. We do know that she is protecting her own job, that of her husband and of course her son who both work for the Government as well. Thus, I have to assume that either she is a die-hard SPPF-Le Pep fanatic or she is simply protecting her livelihood. Either way, she is in no position to waver too far to the right, which by the way, is where the truth really lies. In all of her shows, Jacqueline has a way of stifling debate, oppressing the speech of invitees who lean against the Government’s ideals, and for most shows that I have watched, she seems to allow members of the Government to have more air time to express their opinions. Also, it seems that the FOR Government people always sit on the right, and the AGAINST the Government or topic du jour are on the left. Is there more than meets the eye to this sitting arrangement? Ou ek nou, ou pa ek nou?

Now let us move on to the invitees themselves. Why are they so afraid to speak the truth? Why are they so scared to open up, speak their minds and make reference to reality? They all seem to be mummified, and their answers are weak and timid. In last night’s show, at least lawyer Nicole Tirant had some fire in her veins, but this was quickly extinguished by Mrs. Moustache-Belle. Well-known footballer and businessman straight-shooter Suketu Patel made some valid points. For example, he stated that the law is merely a useless piece of paper as there is no desire from the top to really tackle corruption. But he scored his highest mark when he stated that corrupt Government workers who have stolen millions are now allowed to declare these ill-gotten assets on a piece of paper held at the Central Bank vault, with no fear of prosecution. And pity the ignorant who cannot challenge such cases given that the public has no access to these infamous “declaration of assets” documents. Patel called for those forms to be made public, and surprisingly, Mr. Dodin the Ombudsman who was extremely technical throughout the night agreed with him.

Of course, poor Mrs. Leka Nair who is in charge of managing this controversial Declaration of Assets Department did not have much to say, except for the fact that she can only forward paperwork to the Attorney General’s office when someone did not comply. Pretty lame for an overseer, although this is not her fault but probably attributed to the design by the great architects of this wishy-washy legislation.

I also like Mrs. Tirant’s take that in Seychelles, we make too many laws without looking at the real consequences down the line, and that a law in itself will do nothing for our country unless it is enforced. Her analogy that “a cow born in a pig pen remains a cow” was brilliant! Her call basically was to a lame Attorney General’s office, to a pathetic Police Department, to the already corrupt Government heads, and to a mediocre Judiciary to get off their fat butts and to start prosecuting some of the perpetrators who have stolen millions from our country. I wish she had been more explicit. But anyhow, I digress…

In retrospect, I believe that the Face-a-Face show has some merits and might be good for Seychelles in the long run. However, an air of conspiracy fills the studio every time the show comes on and that in itself seems to be a form of corruption, be it media-corruption, forced-corruption or otherwise. We all know that the topics are chosen for a reason, but the truth never seems to come out by the end of the show, and the summaries leave you empty and wanting for more. We are all aware that most of the invitees are from the top echelon of our society, are respected members of our society, and are supposed to be some of the best brains in the country. So why are the discussions so shallow that rhyme, reason and reality take flight whenever the show begins? In fairness, we do get a glimmer of hope every now and then, such as when Captain Adam of Sepec stated that his company had not been audited for 10 years, or when Docklands Supermarket owner Radley Weber stated that everyone is buying money on the black market, or better yet, when car-hire owner Ferley Etienne stated categorically that the problem is not too many cars on our roads, but that Government should build more roads since they had been collecting millions in road taxes and high import duties. Such inspiring moments are few and far between, and one has to seriously wonder where the problem really lies.

Now we also know that the show is taped, so probably Mrs. Moustache-Belle and her boss Mr. Afif edit the tape, send it to State House for approval, and the important, incriminating points that are made by the invitees are removed so that the public is not influenced in any way by seeing the “juicy bits”; or the truth so to speak.

Maybe this is simply the way SBC operates, as its mandate, motto or “Modus Operandi” seems to be “suck up to the President and his Government” and edit everything so that it makes Michel, his party and his Government look like good guys. With or without the teleprompter! Remember that Michel is the person in charge of the Information Ministry, and we have seen enough staged Michel and Antoine Onezime’s interviews to understand who is the real boss, let alone the recent interview with Per Fondater Albert Rene. So what should we really be expecting? A free media? Didn’t the O’Reilly report recommend that the state media become more independent? Since Michel took over from Rene, have we seen a more independent media? Or have we regressed and seen that SBC Radio, SBC-TV and even the state-controlled newspaper “Nation” have all been hijacked by State House to push forward their own agenda?

I believe the way forward is to have the show broadcasted live and in front of a studio audience. That way, we can see a real debate taking place, we will hear non-edited responses from the invitees, and the reaction of the audience would bring an element of reality to the show. Maybe the audience could also participate by asking a few questions at the end of the show. Something similar to the Doha Debates which can get quite heated at times. And it would be great to see Moustache-Belle replaced as host now and then with a hard-hitting “line of fire” type of interviewer. That might get some corrupt Government worker to sweat and actually spill the beans, although I would personally prefer a lie-detector test. Now that’s a thought!

Back to the corruption debate in Seychelles, I wish that Jacqueline would have invited me on the show. With that privilege extended to me and with all of Seychelles listening in anticipation, my closing statement would have gone something like this:

In regards to corruption, I would urge the Attorney General to start with a financial and forensic audit of the last 30 years of the ex-SMB, its previous Chairman Mr. Albert Rene and its Managing Director Mukesh Valabhji, as everyone in the country say that these 2 people have stolen millions of dollars through corrupt deals. So let us start at the top of the corruption chain.

This would be followed by Central Bank and its previous Governor Mr. Francis Changleng, as many millions more have gone missing during his tenure.

I would ask the AG to start the investigation of IDC and its Chairman Mr. Glenny Savy as Seychellois are quite wary of these island deals that have gone down for nearly 3 decades.

Then it would be the turn of Nouvobanq, DBS and Savings Bank given that banks are well-known to have colluded with corrupt officials. Especially in regards to foreign exchange transfers.

Then on to Air Seychelles and its current CEO Mr. David Savy, then to STB and its previous management including Mr. Francis Savy. While we are at it, let us look seriously into this Ste. Anne island One Rupee lease deal and see if this was not a corrupt deal.

I would then put a team onto Mr. Dolor Ernesta, the previous Minister of Land and Habitat. He has certainly been accused of many shady land deals and he was known to have signed numerous land sale transactions favouring a few Government officials and foreigners.

Onwards to Sepec since it handles billions of rupees of annual transactions, and also investigate those oil tanker deals even closer. I would also look into Intelvision for allegedly getting numerous duty-free tax concessions, and then to Minister Joel Morgan for the alleged US$4.5 million dollars which disappeared under his watch.

I would also investigate the ex-SIDEC officials and find out why the allocation of all these wonderful plots of land on the Providence reclamation went to high-ranking Government officials, Mrs. Rene’s Emerald companies and others friends of the SPPF.

Then I would seriously look into the case of the Meridien Barbarons and the Fishermen’s Cove hotel-land sales, given that Mr. Mukesh Valabhji was again involved in those deals. Then have a team investigate The Plantation Club Hotel and the ex-Tracking Station sales to Arab Sheiks.

Then move on to Abhaye Valabhji to find out why Government only bought cars from their company for over a decade. Then check out Space95 and find out why they received an order for a thousand notebook computers from the Government without a tender; and do not forget to check out that multi-million dollar contract they received for an Electronic Government Project that was scrapped before it got off the ground. In fact, since Mr. Bernard Moutia is an ex-Central Bank employee and his sister Danielle is married to Mr. Francis Changleng, I would extend the investigation to both Mr. Moutia and his sister.

And Mr. Attorney General, I would suggest that you set up a different task force to deal with the alleged corruption that has taken place on La Digue, Praslin and our other islands as well, including Anonyme and Long Island.

I would also take a chance and investigate one of our new Seychellois, Mr. Siva. Find out how he managed to get a passport so quickly, and do check all records of financial dealings with our Government and high-ranking officials.

And last but certainly not least, I would start an investigation of Mr. Brigadier Leopold Payet and all the other top brass who has controlled the Armed Forces finances for the past 30 plus years. ”

Now, the Attorney General’s office will definitely be inundated with just those few cases I have mentioned above. But then, Mrs. Nair did mention that her job was to ensure that there is no corruption and to dismiss the “perception of corruption”. If the Attorney General’s office comes out after these serious investigations and tell the people of Seychelles that all the above companies and individuals came out squeeky clean, then we will surely know for a fact that there is ZERO corruption in Seychelles, and that all along, it has really and simply been the “perception of corruption”. After all, Mr. Rene did tell us once that he had “tres peu de sous”, and many Seychellois people actually believed him.

On the other hand, if only one or two corrupt individuals are prosecuted and sent to jail, we might have dancing in the Victoria streets and Jacqueline can revel in the fact that it all started with her show.

In the end, I believe the past rather than the future holds the key to the corruption problem and those missing millions or billions of dollars. And not even Jacqueline, her Face-a-Face show, her guests, nor the audience will ever know the truth or the lies that are currently buried in our Central Bank vaults, or more probably the vaults of offshore banks.

I simply cannot wait for the next show… really.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Seychelles Comedy - State House Anytime Now

Cameras, lights, teleprompter, and … Cheap politics

This dreaded month of June is here again. The OLD dictator aka Per Fondater has finally given up on the struggle. President James Michel of Seychelles is now figuring out how to end his own legacy. Caught between the rock of ’77 and the hard place of a plundered Seychelles in ’09, he has to add some shine and gloss to his presidency and savour all the great moments despite all the shortcomings. This Michel presidency has inherited only bad times it seems but he will not go down in Seychelles history as the poor president. It is time to usher in the era of cheap politics…

Mr. President: How are you on this lovely morning JP? I must congratulate you and your steering committee team for such a great handling of all the events at our national day. I am amazed at how stage management can change things around. I was basking in the spotlight and I am starting to get used to the teleprompter. Except that it keeps me turning my head left, right, left right… It puts me in the same league as the great political orators of our time like Obama. But I was so disappointed with the turnout. Obama can galvanise the masses but we cannot pull a decent crowd at our national day! Even with the 45 free buses on hand. What shall we do at our future rallies? The people are starting to see through our lies JP. We need to be more on the offensive.

JenPa: Sir we still have some adjustments to make with this teleprompter, as the lights of the device keeps reflecting in your spectacles. We will have to get this one fixed. Perhaps you should go for contact lenses and we will have no more glare. Or better yet, maybe eye laser surgery which is as simple as the plastic surgery you had a few years ago to make you look younger. Anyhow, we missed out on the surprise behind the golden curtain at the stadium. Morgan spoiled the show as he had a briefcase load of fake dollars delivered to the pirates and they had already got wind of his US$ 4.5 million scam. So they did not buy into his latest trick and therefore you looked more like a fool after we had revved up the crowd.

Mr. President: The verdict is that the ceremony was very bleak, despite my attempts to sound more like the old man. His scare tactics used to work in the days of one party state. I tried to absolve myself by blaming all those who were not present. It is the best way around all our problems. If we are failing today it is thanks to an opposition that is trying to slow us down. You see JP, by calling ourselves ‘Parti Lepep’ we can at least try to convince the few odd supporters to stay on board. When they cannot make a distinction between a government and a party, the choice is clear. We obliterate the opposition!

JenPa: Sir, we need to tread carefully. We have done a series of faux-pas recently which has eroded your already waning popularity. The populace is starting to complain about your aloofness and the fact that you have to travel around with an army of aides and bodyguards and a security detail that even Zuma or Obama do not have. Is this an indication of popularity? I do understand your concern about security but everyone seems to be saying that you are more obsessed about it than Ton Albert. Do you have that much to hide, or are you really that afraid of our Seychellois people?

Mr. President: Of course I’m afraid! Albert and I have so many enemies, and many families want revenge. Why do you think Albert has a whole Army at Barbarons watching over him? And now that he has dumped all the dirt on me, I need protection JP. Don’t you know how things operate in the mafia world? The bigger the “Don”, the more elaborate the security details. But you have a point. I need to also play the cool guy and try to mix more without being scared for my life right?

JenPa: Precisely Sir. We need to start implementing a weekly stroll through the streets of Victoria to feel the pulse of our people. We have lost that bond and need to re-connect. Remember that all our James Bond spies on the streets are reporting back with not so encouraging news. So you should do like Obama and go out and buy some fast food… maybe show up at Madame Yunas’ King Neptune takeaway at lunchtime and buy a chicken and chips. Or even Ramadoss’ Pirates Arms for a pizza? Hmm, or even Marine Charter or Yacht Club for a Curry & Rice, although I don’t think it is a great idea since you have sold their sites to these Arabs from Oman.

Mr. President: Oh yes, I had forgotten about these Omani guys. We better stay away from Marine Charter and the Yacht Club then as the members hate my guts. Plus I’m not much of a boating person, and I just insulted those fishermen as well in my speech, as well as the taxi drivers. So we have to be really careful if we go on any walkabouts in town. I might get a bottle smashed on my head from one of those dustbin hunters; or one of those heroin drugged-up hookers in the precinct of the Independence House might strangle me with her g-string or throw a high heel at me.

JenPa: Sir, we need to find ways to conceal our lust for power. These mega bikes did not go down well in these hard economic times. We should have asked the Moroccan government for some lampposts or even one ambulance. We are on a collective guilt trip now and the people are judging us by our actions. There is already a petition out that the seven super bikes need to be allocated to the doctors in the districts so that they can provide a mobile home visit emergency service. The machine is big enough for the doctor to travel with his nurse and there is plenty of storage space to fit a small pharmacy…

Mr. President: That’s an idea JP! Perhaps we can convert them as such and call it the fleet of SOS Medecins! We could even throw in the Rolls Royce as well. Then we will be bringing the service right to the doorstep of our people. You know, I also think that two bikes would have been enough and seven is a bit too much…but boy, between you and me, I wouldn’t mind taking that hot Serbian chick for a ride on that big vibrating machine… Oh JP, where has my youth gone?

JenPa: Sir, I am sure Srdjana would go for a ride with you because after all, you are the President of Seychelles. And if the machine fails (wink wink), you can always pop one of those little blue pills Rama sends to you and Big Boss every month. But Sir, this is no time to be thinking of younger chicks as you need to be focussing on your popularity ratings which is dropping at an alarming rate. You know, it was not a very good idea to point fingers at our taxi drivers, merchants and fisherman, let alone talk about cheap gutter politics. I know it has always been Ton Albert’s style to have a dig at them but it is costing us some vital votes. We have now alienated about two thousand voters.

Mr. President: Well I had to make reference to all the cheap politics. I am getting beaten at my own game. You see politics is really an art. It is also a dirty game and we should leave this to the politicians who know how to play it.

JenPa: Sir, I admire your resolve in comparing yourself to the Michelangelo or Picasso of the political world. I would put the art more in the league of great veteran actors such as Clint Eastwood, John Wayne or Bruce Lee. After all these years practicing this art, you are the true master. These youngsters trying to take you on cannot and will never master the true art of cheap politics like you do.

Mr. President: Yes, I’m like an old Kung Fu master and that’s why I am a great admirer of Ton Jim who has Chinese blood running through his veins. This is why I am trying to imitate him. You know JP, I am starting to see the light of 1976 and Ton Jim’s ingenious and artful ways. I even borrowed a line from him when I mentioned in the speech that we are tired of politics and need to put the country first. I do feel a sense of apathy in Lepep…and maybe next year we can use “Our Country First” as our new motto. People are just not buying into this “Koste Seselwa” B.S.

JenPa: Sir, the month of June is surely a nightmare for us. It divides our people more than it unites them. As long as the old Per Fondater is alive we will not be able to change the course of this county. He is so obsessed with the 5th of June. He gave us the 18th as a compromise and it still does not work.

Mr. President: Well JP, let us hope for the best. Albert said that he has a few more years to go, and he is like an old Aldabra goat that one. But let us just hope that by the next elections, he will be senile and you and I can chart a new beginning….a renaissance of some sort.

JenPa: Sir, we have received some royal congratulations from the extremely rich Sultan of Brunei. Perhaps we can approach him to get some money to wipe out our debts. Here’s my 10 point action plan to tap into this new contact:

1. Invite him to Seychelles

2. Kiss and hug him

3. Give him a coco de mer

4. Sell him an island & snub Glenny by sending him to run PDF to increase the water supply on Praslin

5. Give him Desroches to develop as the South Africans are simply too slow

6. Take over Ste. Anne from Francis as he has shelved his Zilwa hotel and marina project

7. Give him a casino license to wipe out Ramadoss who has become a huge liability

8. Let him take over Air Seychelles to rid us of David who can go run SPTC with Joel

9. Give him a mountain to strip like we have done with Prince Talal on Praslin Raffles

10. Invite him to bring a few of his megayachts into our waters to distract the Somali pirates.

Mr. President: Great food for thought as usual JP. We need to look into wooing more royalty now that I am emulating them in our own little kingdom. I need company as I am feeling too lonely up at top…

The President is already contemplating what to do next in order to placate a disgruntled populace. Perhaps a historic meeting with Mancham to pick his brain on how to best celebrate our Independence Day (he has vast experience in frequenting royalty). This will surely do the trick and raise his profile as a caring and sympathetic leader… Or is it apathetic?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Seychelles Cartoon - Bwat Koripsyon

Seychelles Cartoon - "Bwat Koripsyon"

James Michel & Cheap Politics in Seychelles


During the June 18th Seychelles National Day speech, using brand new teleprompters that SBC continues to hide from the public, James Michel delivered one of the most appalling speeches ever heard in the history of Seychelles politics.

While struggling to impress the public with his speaking abilities via the teleprompter, the supposedly President for all Seychellois had the audacity of informing us (the people of Seychelles) that we are tired of cheap politics, and that the taxi drivers, fishermen and other politicians who have been denigrating our country should stop doing cheap politics!

What a statement from a gun-toting traitor who has used Gutter Politics all his life, and continues to use SBC to fool the few remaining red voters who still cannot see through his antics and emperor with no clothes presidency! How disgustful and low can you get Michel, given that all your party does is take every opportunity to lie to the people with the state media colluding in the process. Nation, People, Rising Sun, Isola Bella and SBC are all accomplices in your own “cheap politics” charade.

And speaking of cheap politics! How low can you go Michel, to try and use our sacred National Day to play cheap politics with our unfortunate Seychellois sailors who were taken hostages by Somalian pirates many weeks ago? To plan their release to coincide with our Seychelles National Day, and your plan to parade those poor hostages and their families in the stadium so that you can get more political mileage is simply repulsive and nauseating! These poor hostages should have been flown back already and taken directly to their homes to be with their families; not paraded through a stadium so that you and your pathetic Le Pep party can look good at the expense of these brave Seychellois souls who have been in captivity for over 2 months! Cheap politics indeed!

And what about asking those young people who won the Presidential Awards to take part in the parade as if they were part of the Young Soldat Rene group? Cheap politics or NYS flashbacks?

And what about “Bon Question” Onezime lying through his teeth on SBC-TV prior to your grand arrival telling the viewers that there were hoards of people still waiting outside the stadium, when we all knew that the crowd was very thin and that there was not a soul outside the stadium apart from your hundred bodyguards? Cheap politics or ghost voters?

All we can say Michel is that the CHEAP POLITICS is your SPUP/SPPF/LE PEP party’s invention, and you will continue to use these same tactics because you have never, ever told the truth in your life. From the Coup D’Etat to the killing and disappearance of our own Seychellois brothers, to the corruption and drug scandals, to the selling of our motherland to Arabs and your cronies, you have lied to our nation right from the start. And as the bible states, you speak with a “forked tongue” just like a poisonous snake.

In summary, the majority of people in Seychelles have seen through you, your lies, your metamorphic SPUP/SPPF/LE PEP party and your extremely CHEAP POLITICS! And your comment that “Politics is an art..” does not make you a Picasso. So go ahead, do keep on painting your lies, do keep on practicing your own cheap politics, and we will be waiting for you at the ballot box.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

European Union Cash Scammed

Recently, the European Union gave a grant of Euro 5.9 Million to the communist ruling party SPPF in Seychelles, with no conditions attached to the grant. Within a month, the communist party changed its name to "Parti Le Pep", the People’s Party.

After the name change took place, the new party, Parti Le Pep, brought a second supplementary budget request to the National Assembly for Seychelles Rupees One Hundred and Eighteen Million (SCR. 118,000,000). Based on the average rate of exchange of Twenty Rupees to a Euro, the Euro 5.9 Million ironically amounts to the supplementary budget request of SCR 118 Million exactly! Quite a coincidence!

I wonder Where They Got The Cash?

The scam lies in the reason for the supplementary budget: to fight against piracy. This is a boiler plate heading that brings the funds under the Ministry of Defense, and is not audited nor was it justified reasonably, before the National Assembly. The gun boats are in port.

In the same week, the Seychelles government successfully engaged the European Union to also extend its ATALANTA mission against piracy in the Gulf of Aden and into the Seychelles. Hence, the European Union is already expending millions of euros in fuel, hardware, manpower for ships and surveillance planes to monitor and defend the Seychelles from future piracy attacks. It is as if the European Union is not only defending Seychelles territory, but it is financing a communist regime to stay in power.....all for a few tins of tuna and protection of the EU tuna fishing fleet plundering the Seychelles waters.

How Low Can The EU Go?

The additional budget supplement is suspicious at best and in practice, what has happened is the Ministry of Defense just got a boost of funding which is not audited and falls under the direct control of the President of the Republic, James Alix Michel.

The Defense budget will go from the current allocation of SCR 89 Million to a whopping SCR 207 Million, making it the largest European Union slush fund the communist government in Seychelles has ever slurped up! What a gift for Democracy! And to think that this is the same Europeans who were kicked out of Seychelles by Albert Rene and James Michel when they took over the country in a bloody, treacherous coup on the 5th of June 1977.

No Money For Hostages

The Leader of Government Business, Mrs. Marie-Louise Potter, has said categorically that this money will not be used to pay for the ransoms demanded for the release of the Seychellois hostages and that her government does not believe in paying ransoms.

The European Union should take note that the communist “Le Pep” government in Seychelles does not place a value on human life beyond the ransom demand for the ten Seychellois being held by Somalian pirates. Settlement of the demand for the safe release of the hostages was not for lack of funds, since the Seychelles Government had appropriated SR 300 Million for contingencies in the current budget.

The EU gave Seychelles Euro 5.9 Million or $8.6 Million to potentially solve this predicament for the families of the hostages. But of course, the EU gave the money in an unprecendented "no strings attached" declaration.

As the European Union cut all strings to the Euro 5.9 Million, the communist government now has a free for all in disbursement of that money, that made its way from collections originating from free Europe, and is now in the hands of communists in the Seychelles. Meanwhile, some of our poor Seychellois sailors remained locked up in some Somalian prison camp while Michel, Rene, Belmont, Joel Morgan and the entire Le Pep communist gang eat foie gras and drink French wine, courtesy of the European Union.

Where Will The Money Really Go?

The European Union is advised, that judging from today's situation in Seychelles, that money will very likely be used to fuel a snap election, pay off voters, or fund the Le Pep Party 2011 election campaign in order to keep the communist party in power. This, sadly at a time when Seychelles is suffering gravely with -30% receivables from the Tourism Industry and similar disheartening figures from the Fishing Industry.

While the EU offers money with no strings attached, it seeks to guarantee its supply of tuna in tins at the expense of prolonging the communist hold on power on a peaceful, but not free, people. As members of parliament holiday in the sun on the sparkling beaches, remember, we have endured 32 years of a communist regime hold on power, do not forget, when you would rather grab a cocktail at sunset.

We all yearn to travel to Europe for wise lessons on Democracy and how to do things properly. We have much to learn, and we will be sure to bring along a tin of tuna, especially when this “blue gold” seems to open many doors and cash boxes… with no strings attached mind you!

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