Friday, April 30, 2010

Enough is enough!


The ongoing debate on the various blogs and ‘Facebook’ recently has been about the political situation in Seychelles. With less than one year to go for the much anticipated presidential elections, the judge, jury and executioner (Seychellois electorate) will make a pronouncement on the performance of James Michel’s administration. As he seeks his third and final term in office, there is much talk about JAM being a lame duck candidate who is groping at straws and holding on to the horde of riches and prized assets that he has been mandated to protect at all costs. He has now roped in the bank accounts of his new found investor friends such as the Russians, the Chinese, the Indians, the South Africans and the beloved Arab Sheiks. He does not even care if he has to part with what is left of our patrimony just to maintain the life support for himself and his cliques. "Sell Baby Sell"!

In his bid to maintain the status quo (protecting ‘nou bann aki’), he has built various empires in all sectors of our country and society. The media empire has been bolstered by new laws such as NISA. The business community has been hijacked by his head honcho Ramadoss. The Big Boys Club of the Savy brothers, old SEYPEC Captain and ex-governor Sosis are lording over their kingdoms. Mooky is savoring his role as the guardian angel of Per Fondater’s Emerald investments as well as his own reserves. SIVA and Khalifa have carved up the country and have become our new colonial masters under James Michel’s shameful ‘Sell Baby Sell’ policy! The IMF gets jester treatment when they visit regularly and wax lyrical about the ‘resounding successes’ of our economic reforms. We are punch drunk on the daily doses of praise for the doings and dealings of our dear leader. The sudden invasion of foreigners and their bulging bank accounts is displacing the majority Seselwa into second class citizens. The greed & self-indulgence of ‘our’ government breeds corruption, moral decay and decadent vices. The young professionals are being hoodwinked into an Equator Institute to keep them running around in circles. Committees here, foundations there, institutes here, agencies and enquiry commissions there; while the youths are being used as the sacrificial lamb over the Jj Spirit political altar and Lepep is totally disillusioned and asking – where is our future? Where is our money?? Plus ςa change, plus c’est la meme chose!

It is now common knowledge both locally and overseas that James Michel and the SPPF / Parti Lepep have failed this country for over 30 years. This bunch of unscrupulous, audacious and arrogant minions has overstayed their welcome. They will try all the tricks in the book to cling on to power. The (shameful) ‘Man of the People’ has too many skeletons in his closet and lacks the vision to see us through this morass. ‘Sesel Pou Seselwa’ and the $ 2.5 billion that has been siphoned out of the country under his watch will forever haunt him.

The populace is fed up of this fiasco and blunders champion and his team of morons. They are saying, Enough is enough! Sesel Pou Seselwa! Koze Sesel! Nou pou repran nou pei?
Where is Michel’s famous Indian Ambassador at large SIVA?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sivasankaran

Chinnakannan Sivasankaran (proud to be a Seselwa!!)

‘He has a net worth of more than $2 billion’

We will recall all the brouhaha in the national assembly sometime last year about the famous Indian Ambassador at large saga. James Michel’s candidate for such a job was Seychelles first president, James Mancham. This nomination was shot down from Maison du Peuple by the Per Fondater via his proxy Mrs. Potty the LGB in the assembly. Michel had to back down and bow to the demands of his big boss and accept his choice of candidate.

In a slap in the face of all the Seselwa, the SPPF / Parti Lepep rubber stamped and approved the appointment of Indian national SIVA as our ‘large’ Ambassador. He had descended on our little islands, (in collusion with his blood brother Ramadoss) and bought his way through the country’s administration with Seychellois citizenship and passport in hand. The new breed of nouveau riche had arrived and he snapped up most of the valuable properties and assets that were for sale for peanuts. His greed would have made him the owner of almost 40% of our territory (remember the controversies over the selling of Coetivy and the whole of Grand Anse Mahe to him?). Luckily the pressure that we exerted on the government got them to back down.

SIVA is also alleged to have given the cash to Joel Morgan to pay for the release of the Seychellois hostages held in Somalia last year. So we would like him to advise us (he is now our Ambassador and therefore accountable to the People of Seychelles) how much he gave to Morgan in that briefcase and how much was really paid for the release – as there are rumors that the bulk of it went into the SPPF coffers. We want accountability as we do not want to be faced with another scenario like the bogus Dubai construction company that short changed Morgan of US$ 4.5 million of OUR money!

Today we ask James Michel and his bunch of cronies in the assembly – where is the Indian Ambassador at large SIVA? What has he been doing for Seychelles since his appointment? Has he made any significant contributions to the progress of this country other than filling his own pockets and massaging his big ego? What has he contributed to the local economy to benefit the little Seselwa? Or has he been the main kingpin promoting James Michel’s “Sell Baby Sell” policy of shame?

The country is on its knees thanks to the total fiasco of the Michel administration. We have to go begging for every single infrastructure project that we want to implement to benefit our people. We lack proper energy resources, we are thirsting for water. Our health and education systems are crumbling. Our populace is under the stranglehold of drugs, lapire, baka… Our institutions are collapsing. Our roads and other infrastructure are dilapidated. BUT what has the Indian Ambassador at large done to help alleviate these problems? Where is Michel’s famous Indian Ambassador at large SIVA? Enjoying the trappings of his riches and diplomatic immunity like Sheik Khalifa? Or perhaps too busy rubbing shoulders with the ‘mighty and powerful’ clan of Rene & Michel’s crony society to think about the lowly ‘pti Seselwa’ who have been relegated to rot by the roadside as second class citizens...

We would recommend that James Michel’s government should bring back the old Albert Rene policy of acquiring land from "foreigners" who have not developed the large tracts that they are lording over! SIVA now owns Ile Therese and Conception and even the old Mahe Beach Hotel (plus much more land on Praslin & Mahe) but letting those prime tourism properties go to waste when they could be working and creating jobs for our people. He is purely a property magnate buying up our patrimony on the cheap. He is a pure speculator and SPPF has given him all kinds of permissions that are not available to our own Seychellois. And to bestow the post of Ambassador at large on an Indian magnate is simply not right. Once again, we have sold our citizenship for peanuts and we have been taken for monkeys!!!

Can Mrs. Potts and her bunch of howling hounds give us an account of what the large Indian Ambassador at large has done for the benefit of this country and its people? What has he done (apart from snapping up prime real estate) that has alleviated the hardships and sufferings of this people in these hard economic times? Will it not be wise to strip him of his current status and bestow this accolade unto someone who has proven his dedication and ‘lanmour pou Sesel’?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

KOZE SESEL!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT - THE SCCI SAGA...

Dear friends,


SCCI Board election of the 9th. April 2010

The pre election period to the above mentioned election was strange and amusing in that it was very energetic and hectic but sad as it promised all the wrong outcome. Would such energies be itself an outcome of the past one year of the functioning of the SCCI and would it have as final aim to have a better Board to deliver better results for this coming year for which it would be mandated?
The post election period was that of anger and frustration in most quarters and feeling of triumph in the other camp.
Was the anger and frustrations justified??

And the feeling of triumph, is it a triumph of having have achieved a very divided association. A triumph of ego over normality, over harmony!

How could that division help the association?

Clearly the greatest mistake was to bring in politics in an association. One just cannot bring in politics into everything, especially here in the Seychelles, unless one wants to divide and frustrate others.

Now that this whole saga has been politicized, what next?

Attached please find some reflections, which reflect the input from a number of people, on this subject.

Happy reading.

Regards

Viral

I would like to share these Lessons from nature with you.

Lessons Learned from Geese
When you look to the sky this fall and see the geese migrating South, remember the following:
When you see geese flying in a "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what scientists have discovered about why they fly that way.

1. FACT: As each bird flaps its wings it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
TRUTH: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the trust of one another.
2. FACT: Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
TRUTH: There is strength and power and safety in numbers when traveling in the same direction with whom we share a common goal.
3. FACT: When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
TRUTH: It pays to take turns doing hard jobs.
4. FACT: The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
TRUTH: We all need to be remembered with active support and praise.
5. FACT: When a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until the crisis resolves, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their group.
TRUTH: We must stand by each other in times of need.

ANALYSIS

Dear friends,


The aftershocks of the SCCI elections are still being strongly felt. In the days that followed the ‘reinstatement’ of Dr. Ramadoss as chairman of the SCCI, much has been written. Much anger and frustration have been vented in some papers against the ‘coup

D’état‘in the SCCI. Even more was said in private. What was all the hype about? Were they justified? And from other quarters; from people who are very concerned with the long term effects of the ‘manipulative‘and ‘arm twisting‘methods of the doctor, there is some serious appeal to reason to salvage the credibility of the premier business association that SCCI is and also to prevent the imminent danger of permanent damage to the country‘s image and social coherence.

Regardless that some gurus would say that it is already too late and that permanent damage had already been done and even if there may be some truth in that; it is imperative that we all together as a nation work to preserve the national social fabric. Four months of this year are yet to pass and already there is so much appeal for unity and cohesion. Bishop French Chang Him talks about it in his ― A New Seychelles‖ which appeared in the ―L‘Echo des Iles‖ publication of the 1st April in which he shares his pain of witnessing and living in a divided society that is ours. Also according to Bishop French, and in the same article he sees similarity and a common theme of unity and togetherness in this year‘s pastoral letters of both Bishop Denis Wiehe (entitled ―Give new life to the church‖) and that of Bishop James Wong ―Quo vadis‖ – where are you going Seychelles? And to the National theme for 2010 ― noun pare pou demen‖.

Any dividing force or action (the SCCI election of the 9th April 2010) therefore cannot go down well with the populace and there-fore cannot be condoned. The government‘s silence on this issue (the election of the SCCI board and counselors on the 9thApril 2010) is most deafening! One would hope that they would be working behind the scene on damage control. Others have basically apologized for venting their frustration and anger. It must be noted that one does not have to apologize for having an opinion; and opinions are there to be expressed. It is in fact withholding one‘s opinion that could be more damaging to the country‘s image and social coherence. Having and expressing an opinion is o.k. That is known as a “fair comment defense/ opinion”. It is really O.K. to do what‘s right! No need to apologize. However, it would seem that apart from venting anger and frustrations not much else is being done even when this situation is very opportune to right so many wrongs.

LUNGOS cannot do much as SCCI is not a member of it. LUNGOS would have in private mentioned its dissatisfaction on how the 9th April SCCI elections were carried out, but would not have put out a press release to that effect. I think it needs to! Same for the Government! But then can the Government be seen to openly say anything against the doctor? I understand he was asked not to stand as Chairman or at least not to campaign ‘illegally‘ as he did. One only wonders! Besides, neither can or should the government interfere with the running of any association; however when the very cohesion of the social fabric is threatened neither can one understand the government‘s silence. But when he, the doctor, ‘ignored‘the government on both counts what did the government do? What could they do realistically? –for he is sacrosanct, is he not? Of course if there was such a request in the first place. If nothing else, this election of the SCCI board would have shown the people how the general election in the country is always played. – having more votes than voters!! I for one would never have accepted the results of the last elections!

Voting and the media
Voting was irregular. Something was drastically wrong. This was clear to all very early during the voting on the 9 April 2010. The constitution is silent about this wrong doing. Was the battle cry taken up then by supporters of the doctor to justify the show of hand to accept the unholy voting result? That the constitution was silent about this and other situations is only because the constitution does not recognize the legality of any other way of getting oneself elected apart from that which it stipulates.

The SCCI election of the 9th April 2010 is indeed a very dark chapter in the history of the SCCI and in all likelihood in that of the country itself. The official government media, you would have noted, were very conspicuous in that whilst reporting some serious voting irregularities deliberately chose to let this very embarrassing event die a quick death, except that all would have miscalculated the temperature around this election and the anger and bad blood it has helped create. They would have deliberately chosen not to interview anyone of the hundreds of dissatisfied souls who would have felt cheated at the SCCI election. Is such situations one misses Radio Freedom even more! For then we could have expected some balance reporting. Apart from the Reunion and Indian Ocean commerce and industry chambers expressing dissatisfaction at the way the SCCI elections were held, would other associated bodies in Africa, Europe and Far East not made and put out comments? Can these be viewed?

The racial and communal card - more polarization

By playing the game, he would have played, to be elected with His Team; the doctor would have brought politics into an association on an unprecedented and unacceptable level. It is definitely neither good nor wise to bring politics into just everything.
In the above referred article of Bishop French he mentions that deep down we are the same little nation that we had always been. At events outside the political arena, events like funerals and other events (first communion; baptism, weddings...) we are bound together. Outside the political arena, unlike the National Assembly deliberations which shame us; there is everything that binds us.

So please keep politics out of as many thing as possible, definitely the associations. The need for a transformation for the better; both of the self and of the society in general has been recognized and called for in many instances. This call was made initially after the near collapse of the local economy which was then on the brink of insolvency and the near simultaneous but unrelated collapse of the world economy, nearly two years ago.

There has also been call for seriousness in the deliberations of the National Assembly as well-- all too often all these calls are made by the same people who would not realize that transformation and seriousness should start with themselves first, if it is at all to succeed. And the recent and desperate calls against the xenophobic traits now more visible than ever in our society, feels more like a load of hot gas with the 9 April 26, 2010 SCCI election in the form the election took two weeks ago. They could not have orchestrated a bigger danger if they had tried.

Like anything else, change starts in the mind, and unless one is mentally ready for what they call for, we are likely to see a lot more hot air being released. The importance of transformation, seriousness and the dangers of xenophobia in and for our society cannot be over emphasized. It applies to all, those calling for it as well as for those on the receiving end. Now the fact that the scenario surrounding the election of the 9 April 2010 is politicized, makes the election (of the doctor and his Team) a different ball game altogether. The only way to remove politics from the association now is for the politician to be involved and to openly do so, unless of course that was their end game. Unless addressed, we are likely to see a solidifying of the currently dividing position amongst the business community and worst still, having racism and communalism as a legitimate item on the agenda.

ANYONE GOT PROBLEM WITH THE DOCTOR AS CHAIRMAN?
But what would be the problem in having the doctor as Chairman. All the association needs to have is its r chair person. The doctor would have been as good as any. I do not believe that anyone would have any objections with that if only his play was ethically and morally played. A chairman, any chairman for that matter, automatically undertakes to work hand in hand with other members of the association elected to the board. That elected body, would then, in the case of the SCCI be known as the SCCI team. If his ego got the better of him, then the doctor could refer to that team as his team. But campaigning and having ‘his team’ elected is just not on as by having a ‘team’ i.e. elected on one‘s platform, it is understood than one‘s loyalty is to the person/party on whose platform one is elected and as such, cannot operate independently. Furthermore, certain members of ‘his team‘had absolutely no knowledge of the association and what it stands for and does. Now of course they do. For some saying ‘Yes Sir! ‘Yes Sir‘ has never been difficult. Their subscription form ‘filled in‘ and dues ‘paid for them’ and told to be on the doctors electoral list and/or to surrender their voting rights ( take up proxies) can only mean one thing. Of course the consequences will also be theirs to cope with.

Such a list of ‘friends’ does not necessarily have to ensure the representation of all sectors of the economy. One could take all councilors from a single sector and ignore the rest of the sectors which is why so many members feel they are not represented.

Theoretically the election at G.M. of associations allows for removal of any office bearers; either whilst in office or at the next elections but should such opportunity fail to manifest itself, because of pre electoral and electoral procedures, then there is something fundamentally wrong. Having a campaign list and securing proxy voting rights could ensure that the doctor would be a life chairman. Some Mugabe, another doctor, of sorts! Furthermore the way members were obtained and whose proxies for voting were obtained is totally unethical. It has always intrigued me how these guys from distant lands vote for democracy within a well defined and structured campaigning electoral process in their lands but vote for dictatorship and at best only for a semblance of democracy here in Seychelles.
The Promises
The doctor would have stated what his mission consists of:

1. That he would have a building up in no time as he got the necessary land from the government. The question which begs to be asked is who was given the land.—the doctor or the SCCI?? But the question that is posed is does the SCCI really need a building of its own and that too at ‘Ile Perseverance’, well away from the business world. As it is it finds it to occupy even 4 small offices and has to sub rent other 3 it has on the same floor. It is most likely to end up being another expensive white elephant. Be it that a building is done and that too by the doctor, one expects that the construction will at least go beyond the construction of the framework shell.

2. That he was putting up a statue for the Apostolat de la Mer and that too in no time after the same was requested. The truth is if anyone else was allowed to have businesses exempted from paying any taxes whatsoever, then these businesses would have had statues and more donated to every district. That he will ensure that the regional commercial meeting to be held here this later this year would be a success. I understand that this forum would have now been cancelled, only because the way the SCCI election was held. It is wonderful for regional partners to take position. That might help us wake up and do the same.

Somehow it does look as if there is going to be a very big bang. The higher one goes, the bigger the bang when they fall. I would know enough about life to know that any discord within the family is a very sore thing and not at all desirable. I would also know enough about life to know that if such a discord cannot be sorted out amicably; cannot be resolved within the context of the family unit; then the best thing to do, as it so often happens, is for the various parties concern to go their own way. Once that is done and the concerned parties would have found their independence and a voice, if at all desirable they then find common ground to reconciliation.

What Next?
1. Clearly, the current board as it stands does not represent most of the active members. Accepting the status quo is therefore not an option. Both LUNGOS and the Government are quiet on this. Frankly they cannot be seen to be otherwise.

2. Going to court to challenge the SCCI election and the doctor‘s campaigning and the election itself? It is doable. This route could take forever, in view of the speed at which our judicial system operates. Then also one assumes its impartiality! It would also be understood that if the court decides in favor of the current status quo; for there is always a chance that the court would rule in favor of the doctor; then that would be acceptable to all, in spite of knowing that the current board does not represent most active members. Going to court is therefore not an option to me.

3. There exists another business organization in the country. It is known as ‘The Employers Federation’ which is currently dormant, dying or dead. Maybe all who believe are not represented by the current SCCI board could become members of that association en masse and let SCCI to the doctor and his companies and lackeys. If this way out is chosen, I would suggest that the move be a serious one and not just use the existing organization simply for convenience sake and then at a later date to move out, again en masse, when the dark clouds move from over the SCCI. Becoming members of the existing Employers Federation and operating from that base remains a distinct possibility but my preference remains the fourth.

4. This option would be to create a new association. In my opinion, that would be best and the articles, even if they mirror those of the SCCI would take into account the short coming of the same. I would suggest having as at least as many counselors as sector within the economy and that only members of that sector vote for their sector counselor. Like that you would not have a barber, someone making ‘gato piman’ or a small retailer voting for voting for counselor to represent the hoteliers for example. In this design only certain key positions (like chair and vice, treasurer and secretary...) would be elected by all members. Maybe we should also do like for example, the Alliance Franςaise and have that a person can only be proxy of only ONE other member. Like that we would not have persons voting 13; 17; 23… times like I witnessed on the 9th April.

One added advantage of having a new association is to immediately have all the sectors of the economy represented something that the current, since 9th April 2010, SCCI board cannot claim to be doing. Unfortunately the country is politically polarized. The very least we now require is further divide! And a racial divide at that; which the last SCCI board election promises to be.

It is all well and good to be doing something but one must do the right thing or as is usually the case, in the end it could be all pain and no gain. For that, it is imperative that all who feel cheated and not represented by the current SCCI board to come together in a meeting and finalize the way forward. Like this, one would know, those concerned would know, who and how many are on board.

Regards,

Viral

alliance.voices@gmail.com
Your constructive comments to rectify this sore situation would be most welcomed. You may choose to express your views through Alliance.
It is also be o.k. to remain incognito and anonymous, for those who are afraid of the wrath of the doctor

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

Strange Bed Fellows in Civil Suit

(Part 1)
The shameful man of the people James Alix Michel, is back in the limelight after what appears to have tacitly hosted some shady dealings, with his key men facing a lawsuit in Ireland in civil court.
Most recently, the dirty laundry has been aired to expose the stink and the rot of how our sovereignty has been used to over ride private interests for the profit of a few government employees.

These transactions cannot be undertaken, in any country, without the colour of law, endorsing and protecting such activity. What are the transactions exactly is unclear. However, arms dealing have not been ruled out at this time. I call on the Government of Seychelles to come clean and make an appropriate press release on the matter. Clear the air, before the bubbles become a volcanic eruption.

The lack of back bone and concrete, focused action when faced with internal malpractice and corruption, is..... what is wrong with the Michel Administration. The lack of action by Michel Administration in these types of cases, is the single issue that discredits his integrity as a leader. We do not have to discuss the bankruptcy of a Nation.

Michel’s Irishmen Accused Defendants In Ireland
Two (2) men currently employed with the Michel Administration have been named as Defendants in a civil lawsuit in Ireland 2009/2845 P filed in the High Court of Ireland. They are: 1. Naill Scully, former Ireland Army and current Deputy Commissioner of the Seychelles Police, 2. Declan Barber, former Ireland Army, and current head man at the FIU or Financial Investigative Unit based at State House, Victoria, Seychelles, in President James Michel’s office.
No named person has yet to deny that they are Defendants of this suit. As Public Servants of the Government of Seychelles, they are duty bound to all Seychellois to declare their interests and concerns in the litigation.

Other accused in the case include Ex Governor of the Central Bank Mr. Francis Chang Leng who is a known close collaborator of James Michel, even after resigning as Central Bank Governor. At one point Chang Leng, was said to be in full control of the Seychelles, and Michel was his puppet. The arrival of Jean Paul Adam and exit of Alain Butler Payet changed that, to Jean Paul Adam’s credit.
Mr. Chang Leng has not denied being a Defendant to this suit the events of which, took place when he was the Governor of the Central Bank.

According to the official press release from State House at the time of his “resignation”, Mr. Chang Leng resigned from the Central Bank for “medical and health reasons”.
But it is now common knowledge that IMF was insisting on his removal as Governor of the Central Bank, before any reform program could be considered to assist Seychelles after going officially bankrupt under the Michel Administration. At the time, Mr. Chang Leng had wiped out our currency reserves, and we had less than $3 Million in the Central Bank, according to sources inside the glass building. This amount of reserves represented not even enough money to buy fuel to run vehicles in Seychelles for one day.
Numerous articles written by myself, highlighted the need to have Mr. Chang Leng vacate the Central Bank glass towers.

The articles also showed the need to prosecute Mr. Chang Leng, but the Michel Administration has lacked the political courage to take on serious corruption in Seychelles, especially cases involving Mr. Chang Leng.
The Irish for their part, in the Police force, focus on arresting drug addicts in the streets and fill the prisons with patients. The Irish contract workers in the Police Headquarters, build up the statistics of a job well done, while evading capture of the heavy drug traffickers in Seychelles, or ESCOBARS as Michel likes to refer to them.

As a consequence of Michel favouritism towards the Irish, numerous good senior Seychellois Police have left the force, preferring to move on to private security then to be subjected to being given orders from 1. An Irish , 2. A non police trained political officer of State House.
It has been alleged by Police Officers that Naill Scully has no police training, but currently occupies the post of Deputy Commissioner of Police in Seychelles. This allegation has not been denied by Mr. Scully. Silence is deemed acceptance in the press.
As Chairman of the Public Safety Committee of SHTA, I have had numerous meetings with the Seychelles Police, for years now, and have met Mr. Naill Scully for one Three (3) hour meeting. My efforts have resulted in a lower crime rate for Praslin, and this has lowered crime rates through out Seychelles on a per annum basis. I am no stranger to crime incidences in Seychelles.

I can confirm, in my opinion, Mr. Scully cannot be a Ireland trained police officer, as he demonstrated to me in my meetings with him, his lack of legal knowledge, and lack of understanding of how crime is prevented effectively, not to mention his lack of professionalism and sense of intimidation when faced with serious questions.

If Mr. Naill Scully is has Police training in Ireland, I ask that he make this information public as many Seychelles Police officers and the community are now questioning his fundamental training.
If Mr. Scully is an Army officer of the Ireland Army, please do advise us, we can then urge the President to adjust his salary from the alleged SCR 135,000 per month to Scr. 3,000.00 commensurate with his training and ability for the Police Force, while he remains in employment of the Michel Administration.

Failing that, I urge President Michel that the Police Force must be run by Seychellois. As you employ Irish army to run our force, you are compromising our sovereignty as a Nation and demoralizing the Police Force.
This act violates the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles.
Send the Irish home Mr. Michel, and go back and recruit those good police officers, the Irish pushed out of the Police Force, so they could have their own little “Curragh Gang“ running Seychelles and milking us while they run us broke.

Strange Bed Fellows For a Law Suit
What a Central Bank Governor and a Deputy Commissioner of Police, a head of a financial fraud investigative network would be doing in the same civil suit as co defendants would alert any head of government to take immediate action to protect the integrity of his government.

Since this matter has been made public, James Michel and State House has remained silent. It would be in order for any Government to announce the suspension of these men, immediately, without pay, until this case has been adjudicated. It would certainly be grounds to terminate the contracts which are alleged to involve between Scr. 84,000.00 – 135,000.00 per month for Irish workers who have no police training.

How Much Money-Michel?
I ask the Michel Administration to make public the Irish pay packet in whole. Secondly, disclose to us their full involvement with Francis Chang Leng in this Ireland law suit. If there is any Ultra Vires action like arms dealing, conducted by them, while in the line of employment with Government of Seychelles, take action if you do not condone such action, be it civil or criminal.

Condone or Condemn
If you do condone arms dealing by government employees, then we will know this is your government’s policy. Seven (7) days is sufficient time for the Michel Administration to disclose the dealings of this case and accept or deny the allegation in the Public’s interest that these agents of the state, of the Republic of Seychelles, were or were not involved in arms dealing.

I bet you cannot wait to read Part 2 of this article...

Sesel Pou Seselwa!



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

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KOZE SESEL!

Seychelles Servant President

Since James Alix Michel got elected as president in 2006 many supporters of the opposition were enraged with the thought of yet another 5 years of SPPF rule, myself included. Nevertheless, my thoughts were that he should be given a chance to show what he was good for and prove what he was made of. I believe several felt the same way wether is was due to optimism or the though that 'things couldn't get worse'. They did.

When elected, Michel has already been in power a short while after his predecessor France Albert Rene had bailed out leaving his lomg time deputy at the rudder of the small ship called Seychelles. Taking command over a sinking vessel is no easy task and to say that Michel didn't know that the ship he now was captain of was taking in water and had been doing so for a while is to my opinion as naive as believing that the Americans are interested in helping out a nation without oil.

Back then, the country was already under forex restrictions and had been for a while, itself a clear sign of desperation from its leader(s). Shops were empty and the little goods available there were at a price that made even wealthy European visitors wonder how hte local population could make ends meet. We can therefore conclude that James Michel is either plain stupid or knew very well about the state of the nation's economy, but led the people behind the light in order to stay in power. Job well done.

With a Cuba-educated minister of finance, the position James Michel had before he was served the president title on a silver plate, the country's true econimical situation was indeed kept hushed. We all remember that many housing loans to the government were reduced, some altogether, in order to win votes. Those who were fooled by the SPPF's kindness knew little that they soon would have to pay interest at a rate that would make them shiver even in the hot climate of the islands. Little did they know that the loans the government that had kindly reduced were financed by other loans. In other words Michel's government had used one credit card to pay another or to put in another way: Borrowed from Paul to pay Peter.

Michel held the post of Minister of Finance for years before becoming prezident, a teacher turned colonel overnight after fireing a few bullets in the 1977 coup d'état and protegé of a ruthless dictator, thief and murderer we all know as France Albert Rene. Michel was in other words a simple common man and thought accordingly, i.e like a simple common man. We have proof of that in our economy as he handled the country's economy the same way many of us would if we were given the his then position. Some say economics is merely addition and subtraction plus the odd percentage or two, which it is if one is talking about domestic economy. You work, you get your paycheck and after you've paid the house, PUC and the credit you took at the local malbar store the previous month what is left is what you have till you get your next paycheck. Michel knew that as he'd grown up in Seychelles and on numerous occasions also gone the malbar store for provisions purchased on credit. So where did he go wrong?

When taking credit from the malbar, he notes the amount in a little orange or red book and at the end of the month he summarizes it all up and you pay up or ask for more. As lon as you keep on paying your credit is pretty unlimited and what you owed last month you still own this month as the malbar never charged interest. Michel as Minister of finance had therefore obviously no clue of the word or its meaning and until he recently realized what financial JAM he had led the country into, he got a crash course in finance terminology. Some say Michel was only the puppet of France Albert Rene and didn't have any choice when given orders. Well, the nazi officers operating directly under Hitler said the same during the Nürnberg process, but nevertheless they all got the noose. If he saw and knew about the irregularities, he should have resigned there and then. He didn't. Instead he took part of it and continued to make things worse.

The country's debt escalated durirng the years, mostly due to loans that were badly invested and some even pocketed to finance huge private houses and private owned farms in Australia not to mention shares in cement factories in Indonesia. Money that was loaned for development purposes was used to build an army, not a well needed coastguard to protect our shores and vast marine territory. Money loaned to develop industry, was used to build luxury apartments and houses in projects like eden Island. As the debt escalated, the foreign exchange reserve shrank accordingly as creditors impatiently knocked on our door. Our leaders, with James Michel as minister of finance took to drastic measures in an attempt to get some forex.

In pure desperation, forex restrictions were introduced. All forex was to go the CBS via other local banks and having forex was a criminal offence. Michel's naiveity, or stupidity, led him to think that the Seychellois would have cleaner conscience than himself and his predecessor. Wrong again! A black market emerged out of nowhere and flourished as it pushed prices sky high bringing the cost of forex up to three times its CBS rate. Businesses had the choice of purchasing their forex through the bank and getting a limited amount out or buying it on the BM at an exorbitant rate and having to push up sales prices accordingly in order to maintian a profit. The alternative, thanks to the government, was to shut down completely. Always good to have a choice, but with the SPPF in power the choice was often between one disease or another. There is of course no need to mention that the SPPF kept the SR at an artificially low level, in fact pretty much at three times it real value, so that the likes of Rene could get more for their SR when they exchanged it all prior to moving abroad and investing it all there.

As the forex restriction scheme proved to be a failure like most SPPF schemes, the regime desperate needed to find other ways to make quick cash so the void spaces could be filled in. Someone in the system had a brainwave that could give quick short term profits so the EDA was set to life, this despite international concern about what kinds of people it would attract. And it did. Russian mafia, ex Yugoslavian war criminals and other low lives with high limit credit cards and suitcases full of USD, EUR etc came to launder their money in Seychelles which offers 'full confidentiality' without any obligations to allow any foreign power to view SIBA businesses' accounts. Seychelles became a haven for crooks, money launderers and other tax evaders worldwide. We had become a banana republic who has to import its bananas.

The SPPF benefitted well from its EDA investors. People like Radovan Krejcir were not only given Seychellois passports, but also other priveleges like being able to avoid prosecution for crimes that would have sent the average Seychellois to a long vacation at Long Island, the former site of the national prison. These investors truly invested i Seychelles by paying off bribes and supporting election campaigns so to get immmunity in return and not least a place in the sun whilst they cast a dark shadow over the Seychellois.

Another scheme to get quick money was selling off land for peanuts. Several attractive plots of land were sold off to foreigners for teh price of a chewing gum at a local store. This giving away of land was supposed to bring jobs and other prospects to Seychelles as its new owners would invest in the country, but no conditions were made and new companies(hotels etc) employed more foreign labour than Seychellois in addition to operate with foreign bank accounts for their bookings and general payments making only 30-odd percent of their cash pass through the CBS, all with the blessing of the SPPF under James Michel as minister of finance and later president.

Then came the financial crunch and Michel found that it was time for change, that the SR would float so it could be more dynamic as we now were a part of a global village. This could now be done with the blessing of Rene wh had stashed away enough to live happily ever after on his ranch purchased with money that cannot officially be acocunted for. It is amazing that a person on a president's salary in Seychelles has managed to become as rich as Rene. The floating SR drifted and eventually docked at its previous BM rate and has since stayed there. Salaries have pretty much been unchanged since the 80s as prices have risen making it still difficult for the average family to make ends meet.

The financial crisis was the ultimate proof of the SPPF's failure and ignorance. Sworn supporters say that it was entirely the fault of the Lehman Brothers, but I cannot imagine that the Lehman Bros ever forced any SPPF official to sign under papers and endebting the country even deeper into the quicksand that the country was already up to its its chest in. Blaming others for one's own fault is a cowardly act indeed as is taking power by other means that through the ballot box. Then again, that is SPPF in a nutshell: If I can't get it by asking I'll take it by force!

The SPPF had no choice but to call in the IMF in order to perform damage control. Naturally the measures advised helped and slowly the economy got a bit better and inflation sunk from a whopping 60% to more sustainable levels giving families some well needed breathing space. Property prices sunk by half according to sources and projects like Eden Island, another SPPF white elephant, ceased although claims that all aprtments are sold are spread to the public. The IMF didn't however help without conditions so Michel had to start a desperate campaign against corruption, the same kind his predecessor practised at a higher level, but that had now reached the lower levels of our society. Every sector of public service from PUC to the morgue practiced corruption of some sort. Who to blame? Well, people do tend to follow their leaders example right?

The drop however that may have made James Michel's 'Bucket of political sins' to overflow was however his relation with his master Sheik Khalifa. the selling of land at La Misère for one SR and the special priveleges given to the sheik, priveleges Seychellois can only dream about have enraged the public to such an extent that Michel has since been balancing on a thin line. The water pollution incident was perhaps the final straw and never before in the history of Seychelles has the SPPF government taken such a protest as seriously as this one. So serious did they take it that several ministers met the public to explain the situation and perform 'political damage control'. It didn't help as the mess led to a lawsuit and a case that is still ongoing.

A sworn SPPF/PL says that James Alix Michel is no ordinary President. His style of Leadership is ‘Servant Leadership’. The person claiming this attacks anyone who questions the doing of the teacher turned presiden and his allies, i.e he is a typical SPPF old school sterotype as we know them, the type that use verbal abuse followed by physical abuse when opposed. Well, two things are well said there:

1) James Michel is no ordinary president as ordinary presidents work for their people, not for themselves and their friends.

2) James Michel does indeed practice ‘Servant Leadership’, but not the type he wants us to think:

A president is indeed nothing more than a public servant, elected to serv the people, even those who didn't give him their votes. Our president is indeed a servant president, but alas not for the people that elected him. He is however the servant of a small handful of people whom he shows a loyalty to that his own people do not have the privelege of being shown. This handful consists of Albert Rene, The Savy Bros amongst others and Sheik Khalifa. So powerful is the latter that upon command James Michel banned the use of our national immigration stamp, the Coco-de-Mèr that is a symbol of our nation and central in our crest. Our servant president is so loyal to his foreign master that he removed a part of our national indentity, hence a central part of us Seychellois.

So folks, an election is coming up and the ‘Servant President’ will most probably be running for re-election unless he re-shuffles his government and does the same as his predecessor by placing one of his trustees in charge so the people think that the PL has been filled with fresh blood. I won’t be, I can assure you that. Put Faure, Morgan or Jean Paul Adam in charge, it’ll still be the same ‘Servant Leadership’ we’ve seen, the same one that has run the country into economic ruin and will continue doing so, with or without the IMF.

So if you all want to keep losing your national identity, see your rights as Seychellois get surpressed by foreigners who will bypass you, see one beach after another get barred off then keep supporting the PL. If you really want to see Seychelles get taken over by the likes of Ramadoss and get walked over by the Khalifa’s of this world, then by all means vote for ‘Servant Leadership’. And if you want to see the land of your forefathers sold at a price that neither you or your children will ever be able to afford because it is unrealistically high as rich foreigners have ‘bought’ land for SR 1 and sold it for SR 10 Million, then go for ‘Servant Leadership’ and before you know it we will all be servants for foreign masters.


Patrick X

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

DEFENDING THE TOURISM INDUSTRY
THE MAIN PILLAR OF OUR ECONOMY

Air Seychelles Domestic:
Last week we again received a lot of positive feedback. We appreciate all your views and as yourselves, we remain Seychellois, and we only want to see our Tourism Industry flourish for the benefit of our country. We agree with all the points put forward by all our readers and in the coming weeks we shall bring them out in our articles.

We also thank the Air Seychelles employees who have written in with their own views and discontent about the happenings at our national airline. We sympathize with you all and we feel for you. Things will change as we get the country to bring our airline to become truly Seychellois once again. So bear with us and spread the news for everyone to read this weekly column. It is in your interest and for Seychelles that we have taken up this noble task.

As promised, this week we want to touch on the domestic sector of Air Seychelles. Simply put - what a disaster! Every predecessor of Capt David Savy managed to make a success of that sector, so much so that it paid for the bulk of the expenses of Air Seychelles’ international sector. So what went wrong along the way under the captain’s watch?

Before the creation of Air Seychelles, we had two domestic airlines namely Air Mahe and Inter Island Airways. They had local Seychellois investors with skilled and experienced local staff. These companies were profitable and in direct competition with each other operating islander and trilander aircrafts. The service was impeccable, with timely schedules and friendly staff who were well paid and fully dedicated. These companies were hungry for business and they were just simply well run. The competition ensured that they were constantly improving and innovating their services and products. The clients had a choice. Tickets for the flights were sold on Mahe, Praslin and even La Digue. It was no other than professional Seychellois running these domestic airlines.

What do we see today? More than 37 years later, a Mauritian CEO is heading our airline and the once profitable domestic airline which has a monopoly is losing money. It is no longer the cash cow that subsidized the other operations of the airline. With the bulging head office expenses and fat salaries of the top echelons of its management including its executive chairman David Savy and his Mauritian CEO (and that of his wife because she is also now employed by Air Seychelles!), the domestic sector’s profitability is being forfeited. Coupled with old dilapidated planes that break down on a daily basis, huge overheads and very unreliable schedules, the Air Seychelles domestic has simply lost its way. Passengers have shunned this lousy service and opted for a more reliable maritime ferry service.

We need to take our hat off to the capable Seychellois men and women who were pioneering domestic air travel at Air Mahe and Inter Island Airways many moons ago. Please come back and take over Air Seychelles and let us show real Seychellois administration and entrepreneurship at work.

We did not need a pilot to make it work in those days; we did not need a Doctor Professor coming from Mauritius to make it function as a professional and profitable business. We just needed plain dedicated common sense and business acumen. The managers were focused on their business and gave it their undivided attention. They were not involved in other side businesses or sitting on other boards to increase their salary & bonuses package.

The popular reaction in the country today is to separate the domestic airline from the international sector. Two competing companies are necessary because that will immediately turn our domestic airline into a profitable company and will stop David Savy and his Mauritian CEO from bleeding Seychellois and our tourists with exorbitant prices for the 15 minutes flight from Mahe and Praslin. We have so many highly skilled and qualified Seychellois administrators who can manage that small airline with great success. Why should our country continue to let the Board of Air Seychelles pass over all these failures? They need to hand over the management structures of Air Seychelles to the people of Seychelles. This current deplorable situation cannot continue and President Michel will be judged by his actions in this existing scenario. A scenario where he seems to be powerless. A situation whereby every Seychellois taxpayer is being forced to subsidize the large salaries of the upper crust of the airline’s management including the Mauritian CEO & his wife of Air Seychelles. We can no longer accept such lousy management. It is a sad state of affairs…

The staff of Air Seychelles Domestic must be involved in the decision making of Air Seychelles. How many knew that their small operation was being made to subsidize the main operation of Air Seychelles? As David Savy and his Mauritian CEO will soon be moving to spanking new BIG offices at the airport, the Domestic Airline staff continues to operate in tight quarters. Is that fair? How long will they continue to be the poor little handicapped child of the airline?

We repeat our call for a total restructure of the Air Seychelles operation. We do not need a Mauritian CEO & his wife on fat salaries after all these years of operation. Nor do we need a chairman with an astronomical pay package with a ‘genius complex’ calling the wayward shots. Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Conrad Benoiton and Freddy Karkaria did not need a Mauritian (or foreign) CEO when they were in charge of Air Seychelles. And they did not make deals to take Mauritians from London and fly them to Mauritius at cheaper fares than Seychellois or tourists to our country were paying. Let us all open our eyes and press for the much needed changes at Air Seychelles.

Next week we shall be taking up complaints from the inhabitants of Praslin and La Digue on the entrance fees at the Valle de Mai and at L'Union Estate. These articles we are publishing in our bid to protect our country's tourism industry. Please join us in our mission and help spread these articles to friends.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Seychelles Cartoon

Eyewitness News


Edito: We thought that going after the pirates on behalf of the interested parties is also quite a lucrative business when we are dealing with rogue states that are threatening our very livelihood.
 ***********************************************************
NORFOLK, VIRGINIA (The Borowitz Report) - Eleven indicted Somali pirates dropped a bombshell in a U.S. court today, revealing that their entire piracy operation is a subsidiary of banking giant Goldman Sachs.
There was an audible gasp in court when the leader of the pirates announced, "We are doing God's work. We work for Lloyd Blankfein."
The pirate, who said he earned a bonus of $48 million in dubloons last year, elaborated on the nature of the Somalis' work for Goldman, explaining that the pirates forcibly attacked ships that Goldman had already shorted.
"We were functioning as investment bankers, only every day was casual Friday," the pirate said.
The pirate acknowledged that they merged their operations with Goldman in late 2008 to take advantage of the laxer regulations governing bankers as opposed to pirates, "plus to get out share of the bailout money."
In the aftermath of the shocking revelations, government prosecutors were scrambling to see if they still had a case against the Somali pirates, who would now be treated as bankers in the eyes of the law.
"There are lots of laws that could bring these guys down if they were, in fact, pirates," one government source said. "But if they're bankers, our hands are tied." More here.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-borowitz/somali-pirates-say-they-a_b_550586.html

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Seychelles Cartoon

Prez on his monthly meetings with his Sheik brother!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

Eden Island Seychelles -The New Johannesburg

If you fly into the Seychelles International Airport on a clear day, you will be fortunate enough to get a peak of the landscape of Mahe Island from the air and you will see Eden Island. As your pilot takes your plane down for a landing, if you are coming in from the north, from St. Anne Island, you will see the 56 hectare plus coral man made artificial island below you just before you land at the Seychelles International airport.

The artificial island is named “Eden Island” is home to 450 house units and a marina, partially completed, but not quite and it will be a while, before the completion ribbon is cut. The project is now well behind schedule by years, not days. Parts of Phase one are complete.

Over the years, I have made this flight into Mahe countless of times, and I am always anxious to see the work progressing at Eden Island. The project concept is ambitious in itself in the best of times. It is now obvious to even a lay man that the World financial crisis has taken its toll on Eden Island as delays take on a compounded effect on the project.

Eight weeks ago, I received a call from Eden Island executive secretary to the CEO and was advised that an imminent press conference was to be held and I had been particularly invited to attend. The morning of the press conference, I received another call from the same person and was advised the press conference was cancelled, as the CEO had to fly back to South Africa immediately for urgent matters. No further reason was given and no press conference ever took place.

Behind the scenes it was being discussed by business players in Victoria that Eden Island had been seeking a loan to finance Phase Two of the project, which is made up of larger executive villas mostly. Apparently Barclays offshore has not been forthcoming for Phase Two financing.

It has been awfully quiet and the developers have not said a peep publically. But when I flew over last week, all construction in the Phase Two section of the island seemed to be on halt from my view of things, though they had been announced earlier in the year that Phase Two had started.

Phase one has been advertised as sold but I am unsure of that. Many Beachfront villas remain incomplete after a decade of conception to attempted realization.

When I did visit the Island a month ago, I was met a robust heavy Dutch accent middle aged lady in a safari suit in the coral-sand car park opposite the main office. I asked her where the restaurant was so I could enjoy a lunch with a view of Mahe with my wife. She told me it’s too far to walk. I said I could take a buggy there. She replied to me, “Look, let’s get this straight my boy, here, it is Johannesburg, across the bridge over there, is Seychelles”.

I was shocked by the assertion and tone of the loaded statement. In my mind, I thought , I have never been subjected to this level of arrogance from anyone in my life, through all my travels, now I am a “boy” in my own country, in spite of being a signatory to the Constitution of the same country. Without blinking an eye, she calls me her “boy”, I reflected? It was all astonishing and disturbing at the same time. However, inside my heart, I knew it was coming, sooner or later, knowing fully what the PP policy is.

In any case, her abrupt very un- Seychellois tone spoilt my wife’s curiosity to dine at the new restaurant and we decide to make our way to Sam’s Pizza, where you can still get the best pizza in Seychelles with a friendly smile and simple but very special Seychellois hospitality. It took me another month to convince her that we should go back and face the music on Eden and dine at the new restaurant, Bravo.

Predictably, the incident disturbed me for many nights, not because I was brushed the wrong way by someone I did not even know, but because in my mind, it became clear, that the incident was a small sample of how our island society is changing dramatically for the worse with leaders that tolerate this type of slighting of Seychellois. I am not the first, and similar incidents grow in number each day.

If our leadership in both camps sleep on this issue, I will not sleep. For the human head is not meant to lie on a pillow 24 hours in a day. If one chooses to lay to rest 24 hours a day, then they do not merit the salary of a CEO to look after our affairs as a people. Seychellois must open their eyes.

Freehold granted to investors
Although I do not have the documents before me, I understand that Eden Island is under a lease arrangement with the Government of Seychelles. However, on their website, they say that Freehold is granted to investors. How can you sell in freehold interest when you only have a lease? I ask Government to make the lease public in order that we may know what exactly are the conditions to the Eden Island lease.

The Opposition papers have remained quiet over this issue for many years now, enjoying the patronage of regular Eden Island advertisements. It is time to stand up to defend the interest of the Seselwa Rasin, Opposition.
We are servants of the people, not servants of foreign masters for a little advert here and there.Be forewarned, the stakes today are worth much more than an occasional advertisement subvention. If you have a conflict of interest in defending Seychellois-Rasin interests foremost, give back the advertisement money, come clean and get to work. Stop taking us on a joyride to just secure your salaries and perks.

Wake up! For to sleep now will result in dire consequences for Seselwa Rasin for generations to come.

Permanent Residency Granted
The Eden Island developers offer permanent residency status to the purchasers of houses or apartments on the island. On the Eden Island website, they say,” every owner and his family or immediate family can qualify for permanent residency of the Seychelles”.
The initial project conceptualization was to offer retirement homes to the world. But now the retirement homes have become hotel rooms.

Eden Island offers time share schemes. In practice that could mean one unit is owned by 4 or 6 families. This can translate into possibly 50 residency permits for one apartment. Compounded over 450 units, Eden Island can possibly produce 20,000 residents over the next Five (5) years. Eventually this figure will work its way to 20,000 new citizens, since the PP are known to sell passports for side money as a corrupt business practice.

20,000 New Residents cum Citizens A Political Time Bomb!
These 20,000 residents under the current laws can apply for citizenship, then like Dr. Ramadoss, they will be able to run for the Presidency or participate in the political affairs of our Country under a PP government.
In a phrase, Eden Island is a political time bomb to Seselwa Rasin interests in our country. The timer has been set, only political mobilization can stop it and reverse its imminent impact on all our lives.
Only Mouvman Seselwa Rasin (MSR) has the will to stop the timer. MSR’s
Creed sets out our clear, no fuss, objectives and intentions. The rest of the Opposition is silent or ambiguous on the issue because they are afraid to offend foreign interests that they take money from, even advertisements. How low can we go on like this?

The PP pulls in every hobo or vagabond for citizenship. They even pull in Ambassadors. For example, Michel Tretout former French Ambassador and cum PP deal maker, acquired Seychellois Citizenship last year. Ambassador Tretout can now become our President. He can run in an election side by side with Dr. Ramadoss or as his opponent.

PP is proud of this and defends the move, while Paris is ashamed of it and wants to act as if it never happened. This is a reality we face under the mismanagement of the SPPF/PP. Because PP fears losing power, it allows and encourages sympathetic, opportunist foreigners to our shores, to become citizens to improve the vote tally in its favour. The balance of power rests in this tally of foreign voters that we call “Fabrikes” (Fake Citizens).

As Seselwa Rasin, it is our right to decide who owns and who runs our country. It is also our right to limit who becomes a citizen and who participates in the political affairs of our country. This right to define a people, and who participates in the political life of the country is the right of all people under the United Nations Charter. We will exercise our right.

Let me be clear, we welcome investors, but we want them to pay their fair share on the way in, and pay their fair share while here. We will not tolerate schemes to avoid taxes when due. While in Seychelles, foreigners are to stay out of our politics and respect the integrity of our citizenship. If you do not want to pay taxes, and you do not intend on respecting Seselwa-Rasin, then we will encourage you to leave Seychelles. Our people are not your doormat to be used to clean the soles of your soiled shoes. The stupidity of PP is not a license to evade taxes or offend our people.

Eden Island Offers Schemes to Avoid Taxes
The Eden Island scheme offers the best options to not pay taxes as advertised on the company website. We will have to put an end to this scheme. Money for house sales has to be banked in Seychelles, not in South Africa or Mauritius or elsewhere.

I call on the Government of Seychelles to audit the Eden Island apartment and house sales. Let us see how much money came into Seychelles. How much money has been paid into Seychelles accounts. Cause to be conducted an independent audit that will clear our minds of the doubts of viability and direct benefit to the People of Seychelles of these types of projects.

Eden Island Says Use International Business Company (IBC) To Buy
To avoid local taxes the Eden Island developers say on their website, that International Business Company’s (IBC) are the most popular and versatile type of offshore company for all forms of International Business, with no reporting (income), minimal record keeping.
The Promoters say that IBC are not subject to tax, or duty on income, profits. Shareholders are not subject to income tax on profits derived from an IBC. The inference reasonably drawn from this jargon is to encourage a buyer to buy property on Eden Island using an IBC to avoid taxes.
Additionally, it says, “income from long term residential income is not taxed, but short term rentals will be taxed”. How convenient an arrangement. Who monitors all that? Ministry of Finance does not have enough staff to implement its second generation tax reforms. How will it monitor Eden Island taxes? Well, it does not seem to be monitoring Eden Island. If it is, then the Ministry of Finance, should advise the public how Seychelles benefitted from the Eden Island project in terms of revenue over the last Five (5) years.

Eden Competes With Hotels
Most recently buyers on Eden Island have entered the hotel business by renting their units to tourists. You can find comments on Trip Advisor regularly. Under STB Policy, no hotel project can operate and receive guests unless the entire project is completed. Eden Island is far from completed, but these rentals are ongoing. They do not even have a license to operate as a hotel concern!

The initial project conception did not mention that the units would be converted to hotels. The project was pitched as a retirement colony and second home for the well heeled. Will Government of Seychelles allow Eden Island to operate as a hotel, even when not completed and when it goes beyond the project conceptualization and intended use?

When I built my hotel, I was subjected to very strict measures, rules and regulations. On Eden Island however, construction works go on daily in Phase One, many units are unfinished, but tourists are arriving daily as well. The place is a fully fledged construction site with a car park carved out of rubble and dust filling the air... It is unclear to me at this time who holds a license for hotel operations - the individual owners, or the Eden Group? How does the Government of Seychelles monitor the new Johannesburg, or does it, or can it? Or have they been paid off to ignore it?

The Hotel Industry in Seychelles is all onshore, run by companies registered locally – except perhaps some of those new arrivals that have been given carte blanche to import everything they wish and answer to no one. Apart from those chosen few, each legitimate hotel has a tax number. They are subjected to record keeping and audits. My company has been audited every single year since 2000, something unheard of in the civilized world. At one point a group of Australians came to visit me and they counted 150 lights at night from across the Bay. Even my lights have been audited.
Most of the individual interests on Eden Island are held by offshore companies, or IBC companies. They do not operate on the same field condition as the hotel industry of Seychelles, but they compete for the same clients. It is a great disservice by the P.P. to the industry, to allow Eden Island to enter into an onshore business, when most of its owners are IBC or offshore companies. The very nature of these businesses are designed to avoid taxes, not to pay their fair share as they prod along milking the infrastructure, and overburdening our roads, electricity grids, water catchments, environment and so forth.

Wake up PP you inbred Communists
I cannot believe the lack of grey matter between the ears of these SPPF, now turned P.P. You implement a project that taxes our infrastructure, the developers do not pay for it, then you let them operate businesses not approved, then they devise schemes to avoid taxes, publish it on the web, and you let it go on as if it is in the ordinary scheme of business.

Speculate No More
Eden Island is a highly speculative market investment product. Developers such as Eden can be here today, and gone tomorrow to the next boom town. When market economic bubbles are in expansion mode, Eden style developers turn up to the door. When market economic bubbles burst, they are on the next flight with one way tickets.
How can the Government of Seychelles forsake the Seychelles hotel industry and allow IBC offshore companies to compete with onshore, long term investments found in the Hotel Industry. This is simply beyond me.

Bubble Trouble
The bubble has now burst, so we will see what happens. With property values 60% less then what they were in 2008, today, the mush will all be surfacing soon enough. Buyers that are already in the trap have lost as much as 60% of their investments. Buyers coming in, may as well hold out and wait for the market to bottom out. The downturn will last Ten (10) years according to the experts. But that is for the United States and Europe, perhaps. How long will it last for Eden Island?

Eden Island a Source for Future Fabrike Voters
With this situation simmering today across the bridge to new Johannesburg, the Seselwa Rasins of this country have no time to waste. We must secure what is ours and what belongs to us only. We must draw a line.
We categorically advise all buyers of houses and apartments, villas at Eden Island, while this government may give you residency permits, do not expect Seychellois Citizenship and a passport in the future. Our Citizenship is not for sale.
A new Rasin government will cancel all passports that are purchased for hard cash. We will cancel all fraudulent transactions involving citizenship as the basis of purchase of property in Seychelles.
To the developers of Eden Island. I advise you to amend your terms and conditions with the Government of Seychelles and your Purchasers as follows: negotiate an “Investor-Residency Permit”, which categorically restricts citizenship for your purchasers in the future.
Our citizenship is not for sale. Do this voluntarily while you still can. If you have been given a Seychellois passport, give it back, and renounce your citizenship. Because if you do not we will cancel it . Again, our citizenship is not for sale.

I would not want your entire development to be jeopardized in the future, over the slight mishap of promising or inferring that your purchasers can obtain citizenship after permanent residency status. Come clean, and clean up the dark areas left open by SPPF-PP. You have too much to lose, and we have too much to lose to ignore this issue any longer.

Now if you have trouble finding tenants, you can always create what they did outside Johannesburg with vacant land space: a township in Phase Two (2) and give residency rights to the 400 residents across the street from your entrance that are doubling up in flats in a government public housing project built by Communist China.
A Final word to all, recall well the golden rule in real estate: “Location, Location, Location”.

Sesel Pou Seselwa!


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

Seychelles Comedy - State House Anytime Now

A Shameful “Man of the People”!

The Seychelles President has decided to welcome the advice of his spin doctors and add a glorious chapter to his ‘legacy’. The constant blunders that he has stumbled upon risk tarnishing his image so he needs something substantial to hold in his hands for this ‘intellectual’ photo op. Ahh yes! He will finally have a book to his name. The speeches will do as a memoir will have too many painful episodes…

JenPA: Top of the morning boss! The most significant event of this year has been the successful launch of your book Sir. Orderly and I have been crafting these speeches and burning the midnight oil for exactly six years. I need a Veuve Clicquot magnum to celebrate this milestone. Orderly is already quenching his thirst on this old Irish whisky and we need to refresh his palate in Jj spirit style!

Mr. President: Ahh you boys are made of the rare stuff! It is in your DNA. I am so proud to have you on my dream team even though ‘old boss’ wanted him fired. He is still close at hand. This is how it’s done. In public we portray ourselves to be doing the right thing in order to placate the critics and in private we continue with the show. I did the same with Mookie and Sosis! Soon I will come up with a plan for David & Glenny. Air Seychelles and Farquhar is starting to be too much of a headache for me to bear…

JenPA: Oh, talking of Ton Albert, he was conspicuously absent at our book vernissage. The message coming from Anse Polite is that you jumped the gun as he was planning to release his memoire soon, whereby you play the significant role of second fiddle. He has reached the chapter where all the covert operations of bugging, torture, murders of Hassan Ali, Simon Desnousse, & Morgan, ‘konplo 412’ and assassination of Gerard etc... But he has drawn a blank! He needs you to refresh his fading memory.

Mr. President: No, I do not want to go that route. I am in a full swing image makeover to become the real Man of the People and I cannot be tainted by my past. My life history will start at the passing of the baton when I vouched to be my own man. I need to exorcise all these ghosts and throw away all those skeletons in my closet. Have you heard the famous Irish expression of ‘throwing away the baby with the bathwater’? This is my mission JP.

JenPA: Well and good Sir. We have done well with the 70 minute reportage on SBC TV and the colour centre spread in the Nation. Now you are in the same league as your good friend Mancham who has a ‘plume par excellence’! You have definitely ‘added a human touch to the country’s politics’. Even our rent-a-crowd spiced up with some old Irish has-been friends did their best yodelling. Who said that politics is cheap??

Mr. President: You are the best spin doctor that this country has ever known. Even better than your old mentor Orderly. You orchestrated this whole event to perfection. I will have to bestow a medal upon you or give you a much deserved raise. We are permanently on the campaign trail and I will consider giving you one of the brand new X5s gifted to us by His Highness. I did say judge me by my actions but since I have few actions to show other than shaking the hands of dignitaries and chasing away pirates, we better revert to the words. Action speaks louder than words but my teleprompter has made us overcome that.

JenPA: Indeed Sir. Success on all fronts but we have failed to convince Gaddafi about this pirates scourge upon us for him to wipe out the rest of our debts. He is convinced that the Somalis as freedom fighters defending the bread and butter of their children. I just love his exotic tents. We need to get one to pitch on the State House lawn to receive our dignitaries in style.

Mr. President: Yes, and we have made a wonderful coup at the SCCI with Ramadoss. I did throw a banana skin in the path of the old guard to divert attention and make this race look legitimate. But they did not realise that we would take it by storm. We now have our firm grip on everything to do with business in this country. It will make the IMF and all our bailout partners proud.

JenPA: Sir the book has now inspired most of our cabinet members and I have just received a list of the books that they would also like to have published to mark their own legacy. Here goes:

Joel - Imported chicken & the mysterious $ 4.5 million, Volume I “Memoirs - The War on the Somali Pirates" (targets international market) plus a book on the ‘secrets of Lapire making’!
Dugasse - "How to Turn Toilet paper into Castle Beer & sell the country on the cheap".
Mondon - "How to destroy the Tourism Industry through Labour Laws overnight"
Belmont - "Playing Mr. Nice Guy amongst baddies"
Danny - "Faking Bankruptcy" the mysterious disappearance of $ 2.5 billion and the S 800 million black hole.
Sham-Laye - "Crumbling Education System 101"- a Text Book Analysis
Meriton - "Stay Fit Without a Budget & pulling a fast one in the community"
Marie Pierre Lloyd - "Killing Them Softly to Reduce Hospital Budget”, a fictional tale.

Mr. President: Well they will have to wait for their turn as I do not like sharing centre stage with anyone. I have lived all my life under the shadow of FAR and now it is time to enjoy some delectable JAM! We need all the publicity stunts to boost my ego and prop up my deflated image. We do not seem to be able to shake off this curse of putting my feet in my mouth. On day it’s the left foot, one day it’s the right. Luckily we have some foreign friends such as the Irish and Dr. Fitz to sing my praises as I cannot count on the local contingent to do so.

JenPA: Ahh the Irish Sir. This has become another hot potato. We are now confronted with so many political footballs and the game is getting more complicated to play. The Jj Spirit foundation cannot cope with the influx of members who solely want to milk the loans and grants being offered. We are trying to enlist them to go on the campaign trail but to no avail. Some are even asking for a BMX X5 to do the job!

Mr. President: We have to look for the most opportune moment to call these elections JP. I wanted to do this in the wake of our Topaz victory over the pirates but we were still licking the wounds of the La Misere saga. By October time we should have more money pouring in and the IMF will hopefully give us a clean bill of health. By that time the Sheik issue will have died down and all compensation settled. I will then ride the wave to this landslide victory and finish my last mandate in style.

JenPA: Indeed Sir! Come to think of it, I wonder how we survive. But you have the best PR team in the history of this country and I take my inspiration from Queau de Quincy. His spirit guides me and talks to me…

Mr. President: Ok JP! Enough of your day dreaming! I need to get out of here for a longer break instead of these short one day trips. I had to see Colonel Gad for some inspiration just like I did with Comrade Raul last year. You have to renew the vows so to speak. As for the turnaround to Abu Dhabi, it is a family thing you see. Have to lend the moral support in order to keep the Dirhams pipeline flowing.

JenPA: Not to worry Sir! Shanghai is on the cards. The expo will be massive and we have to make our presence count. I have already ordered Onezime to have the travelling press team in place for this one. We will beam live from Asia! We will bring along lots of coco de mers to give away. The Chinese do not have a problem with their sexuality. Come to think of it, they love the butt side of Paradise!

Action speaks louder than words! It’s time to wake up from the slumber of the flowery language. Advisers run no risks. There are still a lot more questions than answers. But who cares? At least JenPA is somebody at this famous abode. All cats are grey in the dark. But when you are a fat cat you command fear and respect. This is what his beloved boss has taught him from the AK 47 101 lessons… S.O S!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WHERE IS OUR MONEY??

The bleeding of Air Seychelles

There has been a lot of debate following our recent articles on Air Seychelles. There seems to be some ‘agents’ adamant in spreading confusion about how a parastatal company should be run. Even to the point of advocating that it is the sole prerogative of the President to decide what to do as he has the ‘mandate’!!

We will be starting a series of articles under the headline “Where is our money?” to put the spotlight on all the white elephants, failed experiments, spillage & wastage that helped bury this country into the deep financial hole that it finds itself in today. But do our leaders have the humility to look back on the past blunders to try and do better? On the contrary, judging from the series of howlers that this current administration champions, we are following a path of arrogant self fulfilment - led by a ‘Pathetic Man of the People’.

It is high time we educate our people that a government, headed by an executive body is responsible its people, the taxpayers. It is the taxpayers who are ultimately the rightful collective ‘owners’ of this country with all its assets. So it is a god given right for them to seek answers to questions. It is their fundamental right under our constitution to demand that the elected office bearers are held accountable. Clean government is not one that has a modus operandi modelled on ‘manboulouk’ deals. He wanted to be judged by his actions and this is a far cry from the transparency, accountability and good government that was promised. Our current ‘leader’ and his bunch of ‘yes men’ are solely motivated by greed, backed by a massive propaganda machine that is in overdrive to mask all their incompetence. We are being fed daily doses of hot air. Big words, borrowed jargons, ‘creolised’ English words to sound pompous! And yet very little substance!

Let’s take for instance the case of the monsters called ‘parastatals’ created during the dictatorial one-party era. Today, they are being kept on life support just to please a chosen few. They are bleeding to death as they burn huge holes in the pockets of us taxpayers. Air Seychelles, IDC, Seypec, SMB/STC have all been under the microscope recently. Audits were supposed to be carried out but we have yet to see the results of such findings. Is it because the time is still not right to privatise them? No big fish has stepped in yet with cases of dollars to line the pockets of those at the top?

Here is a case in point. Last year there was a lot of hoo-ha in the national assembly over a Sr. 30 odd million bailout plan for Air Seychelles. We were told our national airline was bankrupt and needed protection. Today we see a massive building at the airport about to open its doors that has cost the airline almost the same amount that was sought for the bailout! They are really taking all of us for fools these soi-disant ‘brainiacs’ who have been entrusted to run the affairs of this country. That’s precisely what you get from communist-trained economists who have become ‘plus royalist que le roi’

Until when are we going to continue taking all this lying down?
 The new Air Seychelles building that cost the taxpayers a 'bailout' plan late last year, while the airline is on life support...