Monday, May 31, 2010

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

Post Mortem on Michel’s Failure in Tourism

I have had a busy Tourism related past Two (2) weeks, if you will. It started out with a meeting on La Digue, then the next day, a meeting on Praslin, followed by a meeting with Eden Island top boss Mr. Craig Heegar and Mr. Smith, his financial arm and numbers man.

Last Friday the Seychelles Hotel and Tourism Association (SHTA) had an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and I was re-elected as a member of the Executive Board of the Seychelles largest and most prominent NGO. The Executive Board is made up of many leaders of the Tourism Trade and we meet regularly with the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the IMF when they are in town and conduct extensive briefings on the economic situation of the Seychelles. The Executive Board also interacts extensively with Government of Seychelles, on policy issues that affect the Tourism Trade.

Crime and Tourism
When crime went out of control from 2007-2009, it was SHTA that took the lead to bring crime down, as the Police department changed Deputy Commissioners and Commissioners. On Praslin, SHTA company agents spend over Scr. 25,000 per month on fuel bills for patrols. The Seychelles Police has a budget of Scr. 10,000.00. Today crime in Cote D’Or and other areas adjacent to it are virtually nil.

In the past, the area competed with Beau Vallon for the coveted infamous title of highest crime area of Seychelles. The Public Safety Committee of SHTA chaired by myself, in my opinion can bring crime down in all of Seychelles, against Tourist and establishments, but Mr. Michel must take a position and address Deputy Commissioner Naill Scully, and ask him to clarify if he is ex-Irish Army or ex-Irish Police as the last Deputy Commissioner Fitzgerald. Mr. Scully of course, is ex- Irish Army and must go; he has no Policing experience, aside from what he has learnt in Seychelles. He is too timid to deal with NGO’s concerned with crime, and Seychelles being a micro state, with limited human and financial resources that is simply not acceptable. The margin of error, we place on Mr. Naill Scully curbing crime in Seychelles and making Seychelles a safe destination for our visitors is highly risky if left to him solely to do the job without private sector providing a civil structure to curb crime on private properties and impart information on to the Police, and check the Police performance.

We Have Serious Problems in Tourism
While Alain St. Ange has done a fabulous spearheaded effort, with the help of the SHTA and Mr. Louis D’Offay the Chairman, to keep tourism visitor arrivals up on par with previous year’s performance, the yield of the total arrivals are down -25% in 2009 and in 2010 we expect the yields to go to -30%. These dark numbers no one dare speak of in public, as they will cause alarm, and blame will then follow, panic will set in. I state them because we need to wake up to the urgency of the challenges before us as a People. Challenges will become defeats in the silence of the night, if we are not made aware of the gravity of the hour we face as a Nation.

Responsibility of these low receivables for Tourism cannot and should not be shouldered by Mr. St. Ange or Mr. D’Offay or even the Tourism Trade. The problem is political in nature. The buck stops on Michel’s desk, whether or not he uses it.

Michel Answers My Plea of Removing Politics in Tourism and Industry
Recently Mr. Michel has taken the bold step of posting on his Facebook wall a plea that we take politics out of Tourism and Industry. Fine words from the guilty, however late they may be. Mr. Michel’s JJ Spirit cheerleaders applaud him for the lovely words, but they pose no substantive questions. Hence, making the Facebook medium a complete joke for a sitting President. The Advisor that tricked Michel into doing this exercise should be sent to sort out the illegal hotel on Farquhar Island and set up a guard post while there for Five (5) years.

Before we see that politics is taken out of Tourism, Michel will have to remove the political figures in Tourism management that affect us all and the bottom line.

Who Gets The Boot?
First to get the boot, will have to be the full time golf player and avid game fisherman, who tokes on Cuban cigars, even though his official government salary possibly could not allow for paying for the Havana’s he puffs.
We are of course referring to Maurice Lousteau Lalanne. He is nothing but dead weight at STB. His heavy handed policies of regulating Seychellois hotels, has earned him the highly infamous persona of being one of Tourism’s most disliked personalities. He has become the Rodney Dangerfield of Tourism, no respect.......he cannot get any respect.
While Mr. Lalanne has run STB he has also been involved through his wife, as a shareholder of bare foot charter boats and other interests. He is also Chairman of the Seychelles Island Foundation (SIF), the non profit organization that built the concrete monstrosity in the Vallee De Mai, with Greek Columns positioned less then ½ meter from the main road. Recently, a nurse ran into the columns on a rainy day, and broke 3 ribs, arm and suffered head injuries. It is illegal to build a structure within Three (3) meters of a public road.

The concrete building has recently been used as a garage for a new 4x4 truck and visitors have to walk around the truck to get to the Vallee De Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which we charge €20.00 for entrance. I have more details, but I will save Mr. President further embarrassment. But time is ticking.

The next in line that must go in order for politics to be removed from Tourism will of course, have to be, unconditionally, Captain, Colonel David Savy, who heads Air Seychelles.
Under the leadership of Colonel Savy, Air Seychelles has gone from one crisis to another. In the process, the national airline carrier has simply lost its raison d’être.
No longer does Air Seychelles solely focus on bringing visitors to our shores. It now cattle herds oil rig workers to the Falkland Islands for the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom, and does some sort of return back to Port Louis business with Mauritians that live in the UK, on one of its UK flights to Seychelles, that does an onward bound connection to Mauritius.

Sixty percent (60%) of those seats on that flight from the UK are presold, to the Mauritian market, and potential visitors to Seychelles, are left at the airport in the UK looking for another destination. The pictures of Seychelles on the London taxi cabs, now remind the British holiday maker how difficult it is to get to the Seychelles in 2010.
The net result of Colonel Savy’s poor business judgment is that while Ephélia Resort opens 330 rooms and can take 700 people at once, we have no additional flights and additional seats available into Seychelles. Other hotels in Seychelles remain at the lowest occupancy rates since the mercenary coup. I have personally witnessed prime hotels on Praslin and La Digue suffering from low occupancy levels due to Colonel Savy having no foresight to handle the extra demand that the Ephélia Resort would create. The pain these operators face is griping.

To make matters worse, Colonel Savy took it upon himself, to raise the price of visitor tickets from Mahe to Praslin in January to Euro 80.00 one way, making a 15 minute Twin Otter hop fuelled by kerosene cost as much as crossing the United States in low season. The pricing is discriminatory as some past articles highlighted. That is bad for business as any business marketing professor will tell you.

I put it to Mr. Michel; we cannot take politics out of the Tourism Industry, if we have to deal with excess political baggage. Lead the way, clear the excess political baggage.

If Alain St. Ange did not perform with flying colours as he took over the marketing department of STB, he would have been booted out in no time. Now, why does Seychelles have to carry excess political baggage to our detriment in the Tourism Industry?
The time to clean up house is now, for tomorrow will be too late, some will say.

I say, today, Mr. Michel, you are already late as usual. Shake up the Air Seychelles Board. They have become a melting pot of lackeys except for one (1) Board member. Inject the Board with professionals and business minded individuals. Waste not a second, for you are at the midnight hour of destroying the Tourism Industry, much like you were on October 31, 2008, when you waited till the last second before the Seychelles ran out of fuel, for you to admit that we were bankrupt and needed to adopt an IMF Standby Arrangement to pay our fuel bills in order to keep the pumps going the very next day.

Your government is already operating a 12 month year on a 6 month year. What are you waiting for, to operate a 12 month year on a 3 month year? The function of government cannot be accomplished with re-runs like Antoine Onezime has done on SBC when he has no money.

Get moving man, double time, make up the lost time. You are at your last hour before a major collapse that will destabilize the entire Tourism Industry and Seychelles.

Tourism Has No Five(5) Year Plan
Be not fooled by the politeness in the cocktail parties or the interviews on SBC.
Seychelles is in a financial economic quagmire. Fishing Industry is part of that and so is the Tourism Industry. The projected 4%GDP growth IMF said Government has indicated is based on Sheik Khalifa projections as a new pillar of the “Sell Baby Sell” economic policy.
In Tourism, there is no plan. Every destination has a Five (5) year Integrated Tourism Development Plan (ITDP).

In Seychelles, we have no plan. We cannot have a plan. Why? Because the Michel Administration does not have the political courage to make difficult decisions in order that Seychelles can have a Five (5) year plan.

What Does No Plan Mean?
No plan means we go around in circles. We make mistakes, and shoot from the hip on the main hard currency earner for the Nation.

No plan means Colonel Savy can make his own plans and fly to the Falkland Islands if he likes. It means that Colonel Savy can bus tourists to Mauritius if he likes, instead of bussing them to Seychelles. It means Colonel Savy can charge any rate on a charter to Bird or Denis Islands at his own whim. If he has a buyer for those islands, he can raise the charter price per flight, bankrupt the proprietors, finish them off, and cause a sale. It means he can do the same to all the hotels on Praslin, before Raffles Hotel opens, or on La Digue, before Felicite Island now known as ZIL PASYON opens, which is owned by his brother the Eminent Highness His Excellency Francis Savy, who is credited for destroying the marketing image of Seychelles, when he turned us into a black and white destination. Now he excels in his business ventures after positioning himself to our demise as a destination, destroying the natural beauty of Felicite Island forever.

No plan means Mr. Lalanne can create a grading system to close down hotels in a downturn. Then he can secure buyers for prime properties if he chooses. No Five Year Plan means he can play golf while our revenues dip -25% or -30% in Tourism. No one will ask a question, because there is no plan to base a question on. He can play golf because that is his only plan. Between swings, he can sell a property going belly up and perhaps take a sellers commission for the sale. As he is in government, he may even ask for an advance payment.

Eden Island Factor
No Plan means Eden Island can be conceptualized as a retirement home or second home market purchaser’s product, then when times get tough, apply for a change of use and operate a pool of apartments that violate the policies of STB, which the rest of the trade is held to respect. What prevents the residents of Roche Caiman low income housing estate from operating a similar apartment pool as Eden Island, across the street? There is no plan.

Hence Eden Island cuts into the tourism pie, without programming an increase in arrivals, dictating that it is in Seychelles interest to allow a change of use of apartments. No plan means Eden Island has no hotel built, but is operating a hotel, without a hotel license to help it’s developers get through the tough times of the world economic downturn. “Fish cannot keep whales from drowning”- ancient Seychellois saying.

No plan means Eden Island uses the Victoria sewage connection and faeces overflow between Eden Island and the treatment station regularly. It means Eden Island build apartments and has no water reservoirs on its island, and drains the La Gogue Dam early in the dry season. It means Eden Island uses electricity from our grids, instead of setting up a separate substation on the Island. Our local residents load shed, to keep Eden Island lighted. No plan, means no contribution to increase our grid capacity, water capacity or sewage treatment capacity. With the 2800 illegal Indians down the road, even Eden Island will be screaming no plan in no time, when the faeces makes its way to its apartment villas. No plan means the Minister of Lands said they will send the faeces out to sea by large pipes, instead of treating it at the Victoria sewage treatment plant.

Never has one single investor as Sheik Khalifa brought so much shit to Seychelles, in exchange for so little.

Eden Island will tell you that no plan means they keep Air Seychelles landing in South Africa, with bank guarantees of $ 300,000.00 to pay for their fees, since they have trouble settling bills there. The nightmare is endless, with the no plan thing. Eden Island is a victim in a way, but it has also been a player enjoying the no plan scheme. Now the game is up.

The International Airport
No Five (5) year plan means Ministry of Lands gives Sheik Khalifa, prime adjacent international airport property to house 2800 illegal workers, and stifles the Seychelles International Airport ability to expand and meet demand requirements caused by the increase in total amount of beds in the country.

In case you did not know PP, when you have an increase in beds nationally available, you have a corresponding increase in demand for airline seats, fuelling, parking, taxiing, of airplanes. I bet you never thought of that PP.

Now that we know you have no Five (5) Year Plan for developing Tourism, PP, what are your plans, PP?

The answer is: “Sell Baby Sell”, the only Five (5) Year plan you ever really had! You repeat it every Five(5) years.

I have a message for you PP:

“Sesel Pou Seselwa”
If you no longer believe it, then it is time for you to go, ask Dolor!

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

Visit MSR on Facebook and sign up to join the Seselwa brother & sisters determined to have their voices heard! ttp://!/profile.php?id=100000886674421

Sunday, May 30, 2010

SHTA elects new board of directors at 2010 Annual General Meeting

Friday, May 28, 2010


Eden Island adopts La Misère viewpoint
27.05.2010 - Seychelles Nation
Edito: Sad that it takes Eden Island to do the work of Land Transport and Tourism. Both Minister Joel Morgan and STB Chairman Maurice Lalanne who live just up the road should be ashamed! Don't forget that Minister Meriton & V.P Belmont go up and down the same road daily! We really have our priorities wrong! With Eden Island donating bins for Victoria and 'adopting' spots all over Mahe we expect that the next move will be to clean up the Independence House surroundings (especially at night) or perhaps look after the upkeep of State House garden?

The popular La Misère viewpoint – from which much of Mahe’s east coast and the inner islands can be observed – will soon be a busy spot for Eden Island workers.

The Eden Island Company has officially adopted the site for restoration and upgrading work, and will afterwards officially hand it back to the Landscape and Waste Management Agency (LWMA) while continuing to maintain it.

A short ceremony took place at the viewpoint earlier this week, when LWMA chief executive Lena Desaubin handed it over to Eden Island chief executive Craig Heeger. Also present were representatives of both parties.

An Eden Island landscaping team was already on site and, as the first part of the project, had started cleaning up the surprising amount of litter and trimming bushes blocking the view.

The others phases will involve putting in indigenous plants, as well as a table and benches, and replastering the walls.

Notice boards will also be put up with pictures and details of the nearby islands that can be seen.

The centrepiece of the area will be an encased image, which will depict and explain the entire view and give information about everything as far as the eye can see.

The ground area will be resurfaced by the Land Transport Agency, and more bins will be placed around the site.
“We plan on making the site very user-friendly for everybody,” said Mr Heeger.
“It is a plus for us that Eden Island can also be seen from the viewpoint, and it will be labelled just like the other islands.”

Mr Heeger said this is another example of the partnerships the company enjoys forming with the community.

Mrs Desaubin said the viewpoint is of enormous value, especially since it offers such a spectacular view as well as being a much-loved site for visitors and locals alike.
During the time it takes for the work to be completed, the site will remain open to everyone. The project is expected to be completed by the end of June, when it will be handed back, but the Eden Island Company will continue to maintain it on a daily basis.

Mr Heeger said the initial cost of the project is expected to be around R70,000 to R100,000, but it will be “money well spent”.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Seychelles Comedy - State House Anytime Now

Frivolities & liabilities of the highest order

It’s the season again! Time to splash out and raise the hopes of our people! IMF gave a good report card and we can now celebrate in style. There are plenty of new projects seeing the light and the President wishes to clock in the mileage. Praslin needs some particular attention as both Ramadoss and Ramka are playing on his turf. He needs to blow the whistle and get Mitzy to call everyone to order...

JenPa: Bonzour Sesel! Oh I feel so high today; I wanna touch the sky! We are masters of our own destiny. It is invigorating to see you with so much energy and enthusiasm Sir. You are the best role model for all the youth and you are looking so evergreen...

Mr. President: Yeah, I’m happy that I have finally joined the Facebook revolution. I am the most popular guy in Seychelles and I need to be in their faces on all fronts. There is plenty of material to upload but please I do not belong to the past. I am a man of the present and I have another five years into the future. I will be out by 2016 so when ‘Stratezi 2017’ is due, I am out of here. My spin doctors’ team came up with the idea anyway. The little book had several grandiose ideals which our economic dilemma could not sustain.

JenPa: Indeed Sir. We have come out with your speeches book in the meantime. Your good friend Jim has embraced this and has appointed himself the chief marketing man to promote it. He is a bookworm so we need to finally reward him with his much awaited compensation. He has promised to keep MSR at bay if we finally give him back the toys Ton Albert stole from his pram in ’77.

Mr. President: He is a good bloke and has supported me through thick and thin. We need to show him the respect he deserves. How about letting him take centre stage for this year’s Independence Day?

JenPa: No Sir. He is a global citizen. You are the man of the people. You led the struggle for independence. You hold the trump cards for all things independent. It is not in our tradition to dish out independence just for the sake of it. Look at SBC. We control it. Despite all this talk of delinking, we are always linked on all fronts. Let’s keep the lid on or otherwise the brew might blow up in our faces... err book face...

Mr. President: Yes JP. ‘Je suis l’état et l’état c’est moi!’ It has been our fundamental principle and we are not about to change it. This is why we did the coup d’état. Now we have ushered in a new dawn. Everything can be done above board. We can invite who we want to partake in our development. We are here as facilitators to spur on this new era of maturity. It is normal for us to take good care of ourselves and our factions in the process. FAR has feathered his nest pretty well. We need to emulate him.

JenPa: Indeed Sir! Everyone is dependent on you. Full control! Your strategy of starving them and coming to the rescue is a great one. They become forever indebted to you. Look at our latest donation of the cameras to SBC. Your patronage of the Jj Spirit has responded to their call. They are over the moon and promised to make good use of these new tools to ensure better coverage of your trials and tribulations. We shall not divulge who our overseas partners are in this deal.

Mr. President: We can however no longer control the way our people think. Freedom of speech seems to have taken root. So we need to press on with total control of the airwaves.

JenPa: We have to continue to get you out and about boss. Ramadoss did the rounds and went door to door to all his shopkeeper fans to thank them personally for his dubious election to the chair of SCCI. He was acting presidential with a bevy of bodyguards and motorcade. Wavel was also spotted aboard the Cat Cocos with a couple of pumped up ‘lapire induced’ henchmen. They are all wooing ‘Ile des Palmes’ to try and wrestle this jewel from your crown.

Mr. President: Pa pou pase lo mon ros mon dalon! Mitzy has got it all sewn up. I had the honor to unveil the plaque at the new Pension Fund building. I live up to my promise to deliver. Praslin now has a modern complex and its own state of the art cinema. This is to the tune of over $45 million. We have also taken care of our own and my darling secretary has her second beauty shop.

JenPa: It is time to do some spring cleaning Sir. You have been in this house for more than two terms and the Escobars are still at large. You unleashed NATCOF on Intelvision and the public is so grateful. It is high time you start clipping some more wings as these little empires are getting out of hand.

Mr. President: Incidentally I have a new strategy for the war on drugs. We will enlist the help of the Vatican to tackle those evils. I am sure that with the Pope’s blessing we will get some funding and rid ourselves of these scourges once and for all.

JenPa: Sir the ‘commandante’ of buccaneer affairs is here for his weekly update.

 The charming PA ushers JoMo in...

JoMo: A big hello my good Esquire! Madame Baroness Ashton was not very impressed with her welcoming at the airport as no high official bothered to make the detour. She is however happy with our tough stance against the corsairs. She almost mistook me for Capt. Henry Morgan!

Mr. President: This is a very dynamic cooperation that we have engaged with the EU JoMo. We made up for our diplomatic faux pas with a lavish banquet on the state house lawns. She has been quite impressed with our hospitality I must say. I even gave her an autographed copy of my latest book.

JoMo: Our conference had a very positive outcome and she has pledged more funds to help alleviate the financial burden of this noble fight. We have spent more than 40 million. You see boss, at least I am making up for the $4.5 million that slipped away.

JenPa: OK! Enough of these shenanigans! We already got Danny Boy to cover up on that one. You need to do some damage control with DSTV to try and cover up Muskesh at Intelvision. We have better fish to fry... Go help yourself to a nice cup of Arabica coffee and some fresh dates that got in on this morning’s Antonov run, the courtesy of Sheik Khalifa...

JoMo heads for the lobby, ‘tou kagou-kagou’...

Mr. President: Hmm... You seem to be taking on a ‘Blackbeard’ demeanour JP. You need to go easy on him. He is my ‘joker’ when I deal the hand in the next reshuffling pack. He has been a faithful servant and taken on additional portfolios without flinching. I like his lap dog attitude. Bodes well for the future...

 June is upon us again. We need to face the music of division that is the 5th holiday. The president will give the adoration of the 'Tin Man' a miss again this year - will delegate the VP. He is preparing for the much anticipated house cleaning but can’t wait to be up in the air again to take to the stadiums in SA with his footie mad babes... Super Diski!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Foreign hotels eating up the small fish
Over the years and throughout our history, the SPPF / Lepep government have been the prime architects killing the goose that lays the golden egg. From the infamous ‘gold card’ to the biased concessions handed out to foreign investors, they keep making the same blunders! They are now hell bent on starving the Seselwa out of the taxi, car & boat hire businesses. The latest trick is Duty Free Cars and Boats given to foreign owned hotels.
 How can anyone be that subservient to foreign groups at the detriment of their own brothers and sisters? Our little country was a colony until 1976, but that era is history and those in charge must move on and continuously remind themselves that our 'Masters' are gone and that we are now claiming to be free of our 'colonial past'.

A hotel is a tourism establishment and not a defacto taxi company, nor is it a car hire or a boat charter company. If that is the expected norm why would Maurice Lalanne of the STB support such absurdities? Our tourism industry will never be stable until our people are left to benefit from that industry. Giving away the country's crown jewels (prime land and beaches), the obvious side benefits of our tourism industry must be left for Seychellois. But do they want to strangle the ‘pti Seselwa’ who are trying to make a living from their country’s prime industry? These are the reasons why today in Zimbabwe, they are moving to get existing businesses to donate to the locals 51% of their business. This solution may seem farfetched, but when you are allowing big businesses to milk the country's main industry with no care for the country's small people, extreme solutions are brought in sooner or later as corrective measures. In fact, this was also the case in Seychelles where investors have to go into such investments with Seychellois partners.

Taxis Services must be left for Seychellois. Car Hire businesses must be left for Seychellois. Boat Charters must be relooked to ensure that Seychellois benefit from that business. Defacto maneuvers of hotels getting involved into these services are also unacceptable and the concessions given to hotels to have big luxury duty free cars & duty free boats are measures allowing them to partake into these activities deemed protected for Seychellois – at our very own detriment.

Unlicensed accommodation establishments were addressed last week when we aired the Farquhar Island dilemma where a Mauritian tourist, Mr. Felix Maurel, is believed to have disappeared and now presumed dead. These establishments are a time bomb for the Seychelles tourism industry and one that is waiting to explode. Farquhar lost one tourist; more will happen if Mr. Lalanne, Mr. Moncherry and their group of inspectors refuse to act to close them down. Why clamp down on the small Seychellois trying to have a change of use for their small establishments when the big boys, including the Government’s (IDC) Farquhar Island are allowed to operate illegally? Isn’t that shameful?

Well today we bring another foreigner who has joined Farquhar Island's illegal practice. Foreigners are now taking to the gravy train of doom being piloted by James Michel. They can all grab a piece of Paradise for a few pieces of silver, build a mansion, convert it to a tourism establishment, advertise it overseas, collect all the revenue overseas, dodge all taxes, seek Seychellois citizenship, laugh all the way to the bank and enjoy permanent retirement on a beach under the sun! This is happening before our very eyes! And yet, Maurice Lalanne turns a blind eye and would rather enjoy another round of golf instead of dismantling this racket that is robbing the real Seselwa of the little crumbs that this government leaves them. Yes, Mr. Lalanne! Here’s a website for starters: . A Czech who is flaunting all the rules and regulations that are supposed to govern and regulate our tourism industry… We realize that Mr. Nalathamby is now unable to react because the precedence is set by Farquhar. What a disaster!

Air Seychelles gets greedy?

The domestic arm of Air Seychelles has increased its charter rates to private islands such as Bird and Denis raising a few eyebrows. This matter is puzzling because nobody serious in the tourism industry can increase their charges by over 50% and expect to be taken seriously. If their costings were wrong for all those past years then those responsible MUST be fired for wasting public funds. If they have just gone hungry for quick cash they SHOULD be fired for hurting our country's tourism industry reputation, because the hefty new increase in their charges is exactly what they are doing. Discussing the matter at Pirates Arms this week, everyone just laughed saying that such decisions by Air Seychelles is what can be expected. Today they are in India, tomorrow they are out; tomorrow they are in Malaysia and the day after they are out again. No concrete plans, no management, just a joke everyone believes. Now they have forgotten the need to bring tourists to Seychelles and are flying British Army personnel to Falklands and ethnic Mauritians to Mauritius. The question is - do we need a French woman to market such a comedy? Do we need 6 French Managers in France to manage that 'theatre'? Do we need a Mauritian Doctor to be the 'metteur en scene' of such a performance?

Our Seychellois can do all these jobs and our airline and our country would be much better off if only David Savy can learn to believe in Seychellois. When the likes of Conrad Benoiton and Freddy Karkaria managed Air Seychelles all those foreigners were not involved and the airline was working for the interest of Seychelles and turning a profit. Today, it is total confusion with all these expatriates. We should expect more of these disasters. And by the way, Rama Sithanen is out of a job in Mauritius and we should not be surprised if David Savy invites him for another stint by his side to help save his skin…

Next week we shall look at the staffing at Air Seychelles and why Seychellois employees are today so unhappy and many looking at leaving.


Exclusive Photos of the demolition of Plantation Club Hotel
The darling of Seychelles Tourism which has provided employment for over 200 Seychellois is no more! It is with deep sadness that the owners sent us these pictures of the 'grande dame de l'hotellerie Seychelloise' being axed. Presumably to make way for another exclusive resort owned by Arabs. There has been no public presentation of the plans of the new hotel which will probably end up as an upmarket playground for the rich and famous and their friends, where they can indulge in all their vices with impunity.
It is ironic to note that the demolition is being carried out by a company (UCPS) owned by local magnate Joe Albert who also happens to own a local tour operator!

Monday, May 24, 2010

With Mukesh at the helm, we should not be surprised

The complaints are finally seeing the light of day! The crony monopoly that is Intelvision is now under the spotlight as being the company that provides the lousiest product and services to the public. NATCOF has finally grabbed the bull by the horns and is trying to wrestle it to the ground to give it a good dose of customer service medicine. But will it swallow this medicine? It is more like a bull in a china shop that sends everyone to hell because it has a monopoly and it is part of the Rene Crony Society cartel.

Televizyon par grap!
This telecoms behemoth was created in very bizarre circumstances some years back when chief architect Albert Rene and his chief engineer Mukesh Valabhji hijacked the property (assets) of Global Vision, a satellite cable company with UAE/Kuwaiti investors. So with the usual scams, Global became Intel and a new bogus company was formed with Mukesh, Indian directors and other silent partners (some claim Minister Joel Morgan is also a shareholder). The location of the company is also of prime significance as it sits on reclaimed land at Providence which is owned by Mrs. Sarah Rene who collects the hefty rent along with the Airtel phone company just next door. Airtel by the way was also concocted by Mukesh and co with the collusion of the Karimjees of Mauritius. The story goes further into hotel investments on how Mukesh took a good slice of Cosproh to make more deals with the Karimjees with the likes of Le Meridien Hotels … The two strongmen eventually acquired (stole) the land that has now been sold to Sheik Khalifa (in addition to the land at La Misere where he has built his massive 7 storey burj). All the equipment belonging to Global Vision was ‘seized’ and the company conveniently lost their case in court and left empty handed. Intelvision was expediently created and handed over the monopoly on Cable-TV. Other local telecoms companies such as ATLAS and Cable & Wireless (who had applied for licenses well before Intelvision) were refused a license to operate cable television. When Global Vision was seized, there was no tender put up for the sale of its assets and contract. This was instead handed over to Mukesh Valabjhi as his ‘retirement’ package (together with managing all the business deals of his ‘tres peu de sous’ billionaire partner Albert Rene). There are also rumors that Joel Morgan became a shareholder and the large tract of land made available at Providence where the buildings of Intelvision were put up in record time are of dubious status. At the height of his political campaign Albert Rene promised ‘televizyon par grap’… He was indeed hinting at one of the many spoils that he was adding to his war chest!

Lousy Customer Service
Today, Intelvision has migrated to a fully fledged telecoms company offering internet and telephony products. The telephone lines are very often down. The internet connection is the worse in Seychelles – tortoise mail at best!
They were obviously marketing masters at the game as they lured customers with very low rates to beat the competition unfairly and then use whatever excuse under the moon (GST, rupee floatation etc) to increase their prices. The latest batch of decoders that they are supplying are the most archaic we have seen and can be bought for $15 in China. One cannot even block channels for parental guidance and therefore our kids are getting their training into bad moral values when the parents are at work (are you listening “Mrs. Let- Us- Protect- Our- Children” Sarah Rene)?

Now let’s have a look at what Intelvision promised in their fancy adverts with nice local smiling girls, football and celebrity icons. Obviously there was an initial installation fee and a decoder to fork out. There were several ‘bouquets’ on offer which started off at reasonable prices for most of the local homes that were tired of seeing the same BS on SPPF B……. Corporation (SBC TV). These range from Sr. 145 to Sr. 790 per month. Most of them broadcast reruns or repeats. Some channels are not even worth the money while others are just there in name.

“We back up our products with superior quality customer service” is the company’s pledge! Talk about false advertising! ‘Thank you for calling Intelvison… Press this, press that’ and when you do manage to reach someone after a while it seems they cannot assist as they do not know what the freak they are doing! NATCOF has confirmed that Intelvision has the worse customer service record and as such, we should boycott the service entirely! Well can one really boycott something when we have not much of a choice? The company is ruthless in disconnecting customers that fail to pay their bills. What we are requesting is that our CONSUMER RIGHTS are respected and NATCOF should make a case for the company to REFUND its subscribers every time Intelvision fails to provide the service they advertise.

The empire keeps expanding
It is to be noted that that the Intelvision management and a lot of their employees are non-Seychellois (Indians in fact). How about that for a slap in the face! But then, remember that Mukesh is the only one in Seychelles with Gurkhas for bodyguards! James Michel wants to clean up the excess expatriates on our books and help feed the hungry Seychellois? This is where to start main man! You wanted to break up the little empires right? We will judge you by your actions!

Intelvision enjoys not only a monopoly but it has tax exemption. It does not pay a cent in taxes. It paid nothing for the cables and equipment (they were seized from Global Vision) and they are not paying a single cent to PUC for the use of the electricity poles for its cable network.

The main kingpin (Mukesh) is expanding the empire even further. Capital City is now owned by Intelvision with Mrs. Mukesh (Laura) looking after this newest venture. But times are tough. The building must be haunted by the Seychelles Club ghost as it has remained empty except for the Intelvision office and a few others…

With Joel Morgan as the main distributor for DSTV satellite dishes and decoders, is there a ‘perfect’ synergy between his company and Intelvision? The complaints box at Intelvision has burst with gripes about the reruns, poor quality / frozen pictures, poor signal etc… And the latest excuse is that the satellites are changing their position! Perhaps this is what happens when you ‘tap’ into the signals illegally! We call upon DSTV / Multichoice in South Africa to look into Intelvision's unfair practice (since they are an affiliate company) of gouging customers and giving extremely poor service. We call on NATCOF and Jules Hoareau to challenge them or SHUT up and close down indefinitely.

What is the best way for Seychelles?
Today Seychelles is supposed to have a more liberal economy. How can monopolies still exist? We call on the Government to open up this market and allow for competitors in order to provide the consumer with more affordable choice and push the providers to compete and offer superior products and services. We have seen the proof in the telecoms business. With more than 3 companies operating in that sector, the customers are the ultimate winners.

Why not give SBC the chance to compete with Intelvision in providing cable services so that they can be self sufficient and use the money from this side business to upgrade their own services and equipment. This will allow them to be less dependent on handouts from government. This will finally allow SBC to break free of its shackles to become INDEPENDENT to report the news in an unbiased way and educate our people out of the darkness imposed by James Michel.

Number Cruncher

These are the salaries as voted by the National Assembly after the austerity measures were announced in the wake of the IMF economic reforms in 2008.
The compounded effect (taking into account the annual gratuity and the end of term payout) on the tax payers are as follows:
  • Sr. 71,500.00 per month for the President (James Michel)
  • Sr. 61,500.00 per month for the Vice President (Joe Belmont)
  • Sr. 50,750.00 per month for the Designated Minister (Danny Faure)
  • Sr. 59,050.00 per month for Ministers
  • Sr. 59,500.00 per month for the Speaker (Patrick Herminie)
  • Sr. 49,000.00 per month for the LGB (Marie-Louise Potter)
  • Sr. 49,000.00 per month for the Leader of the opposition (Wavel Ramkalawan)
  • Sr. 24,500.00 per month for the Deputy Speaker (Wilby Lucas)
  • Sr. 23,750.00 per month for the Members of the National Assembly
  • Sr. 32,200.00 per month for the Electoral Commissioner
Even more mind boggling:
As soon as they retire from the National Assembly irrelevant of age the MNAs will collect a pension of at least 75% of their last salary provided they had completed five years in the Assembly. In the case of MNAs who have served 3 terms (several Lepep & a few SNP) that's a cool Sr. 9,750 as monthly pension plus a gratuity bonus of Sr. 585,000. In the case of the leader of the opposition (Wavel Ramkalawan) this is a whopping Sr. 21,000 monthly plus a cool gratuity bonus of Sr. 1,260,000. If he lives for another 20 years then he is expected to hit the jackpot of over Sr. 10 million. Imagine what Patrick Herminie, who has served already 3 terms as MNA and two terms as speaker is pocketing?
The cabinet of ministers, president, vice and designate are all set for the cushiest lifestyle under the Seychelles sun. Who wants to be a millionaire??


Of Harrods and Seychelles Rs.1 Public Land Deals

Did the Editorial Committee of the Seychelles Nation all attend a special school with the extraordinary merit in dulling its patrons’ sense of discernment between the obvious and the obfuscate?

Our local daily published a ‘contributed’ treatise titled “The lesson from Harrods” (Sat 22/05) over the transfer of that iconic London shopping stop from Al Fayed to a Qatari investment group! For the contributor, “news of the sale was announced as if it were the most natural thing. There were no recriminations. There were no condemnations, even though the property changed hands and passed from a resident to a non-resident”.
 It went on to wonder “if such a transaction in Seychelles would have been greeted with the same intelligence and wisdom.”

Happy in having closed in on an unsuspecting public, the contributor revealed its target : a jibe at our local political opposition. “For recent history has shown that the moment that the government disposes of a property, a plot of land or assets a public outcry ensues. Is it due to ignorance, an issue of race, or simply bad faith? One is sorely tempted to believe that it is a combination of all three.”

The contributor (along with the nation’s Editorial Committee) missed out on an important point which rendered all the arguments of the article void. The point for public concern is not one of residency or non-residency in so far as the law allows for non – resident ownership.

The point is that Harrods is a private enterprise. That the British Monarchy along with others, high or low on the socio-economic-political ladder, have shopped in there, did not give it, (barring consumer pressure) one bit of say in the matter, in so far as the transfer did not transgress national and international laws.

There is obviously no comparison possible between the transfer of Harrods and the transfer of Seychelles Public assets by the Seychelles Government to private individuals.

The Seychelles Government is bound to account to every Seychellois how it manages each public asset.

No Government can ‘dispose’ of a 120000m² public property for Rs.1 (or another 40,700m² for Rs.60,000) in far-from crystal clear conditions, and not expect a public outcry. Beyond any immediate political capital to be gleaned from denouncing Government’s action over transfer of public assets, the local political opposition is for the moment the sole credible voice against what often appears as the Government’s pimping of our national assets.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seychelles Cartoon

Our President has called upon the 'professionals' to give his administation ideas on how to run the country!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Inspirational Quote!

The great thinker, philosopher and promoter of logic and democracy has a few words of advice! All believers in Seychellois Truth, Accountability & Reality need to focus on the common good that unites us! SPPF / Lepep is the scourge that we need to remove from power. It is only after this noble cause is achieved that our beloved Seychelles will be able to break the chains of economic servitude, mental slavery and false promises that has enslaved us for more than three decades...

A common danger unites even the bitterest enemies
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Open letter from the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association
Here we share a letter that was sent to the members of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association by its chairman, Mr. Louis D’Offay:

This issue of our industry's e-News is the final one before the annual general meeting of our association. I start by taking this opportunity to thank everyone for their support for our industry's board during their year of office. Our united effort has paid dividends and today we are, not only the respected body representing the industry, but we are becoming the government's partner in the continued consolidation of our industry.

It is that new-found cooperation and understanding between the government as the facilitator, and the private sector as the economy's motor, that will make the real difference for our industry and in so doing for Seychelles.

Together we must now rally our individual efforts for our common good. We have, as an industry, managed to hold our visitor arrival numbers, but we now need to be united in our drive to better our yield. Many ideas are being floated, but this will need to be a united drive. Our "one island, one hotel partners" serviced by Air Seychelles are complaining about the recent increases in the airline's charter rates to connect these islands to Mahe. These islands are an integral part of our country's tourism infrastructure and as your association's representatives, we have taken the matter up with the minister of finance. Air Seychelles and its board of directors are looking at themselves as a commercial entity, and they decide their own path for the future, but Seychelles also needs to protect its main industry and enable that industry to develop and prosper. Today, it has become evident that the survival of the national airline and the consolidation of different other commercial entities will need to be looked at together. If the time has arrived for opening the airspace for the connecting of our islands, then so be it, and we need to be brave enough to do so. This will encourage local businesses to get together to open a second domestic airline, and as a result, both the Seychellois and our tourism industry will benefit.

The drive for us to open new tourism markets was seen as necessary when the "European ash crisis" closed all the European airports. La Reunion, India, China, South Korea, East & South Africa are all markets we have, as an industry, been working hard to open and to develop further, and this with the support of the government. The week-on-week statistical figures have shown that our country's arrival numbers have held during the week's disruption caused by the "Ash Crisis," because we had arrivals from other countries outside of Europe. Our strategy as an industry is working, and it is such a broad view of our industry that will make the real difference for our country. This is why we also need to open up to the world with more air access from or to areas that Air Seychelles is not flying.

The Seychelles Tourism Industry is disappointed that the SCAA have decided to block Emirates Airlines from introducing their 7th flight to Seychelles, because that latest flight would clash with the arrival time of an Air Seychelles flight from Mauritius. Can our country really afford to miss the opportunity of being advertised with daily landings by Emirates at 7:00 am, and this flying in from anywhere in the world? Yes, Air Seychelles was using that slot before, but what is in the interest of the country as a whole, what is in the interest of the tourism industry as a whole, and what will bring in more benefits to the Seychellois as a whole?

Seychelles may now not have the daily Emirates Airline landing in Seychelles, because we want them to land in the afternoon on that one day, and in so doing force our visitors (tourists coming to holiday in Seychelles) to sit in Dubai airport for some five hours while in transit. We appeal to Mr. Gilbert Faure of the SCAA, and to Mr. Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, the chairman of both the SCAA and of the STB to look beyond the file on our desk and to look at the economy of the country. Let us urgently review that decision that will seriously hamper our country's new-found tourism drive. The decision is yours and the effects will also be from your hands... because we will not be able to ask why other destinations are zooming ahead while we are stuck with our 150,000 arrival numbers!!!

I am ending this message by encouraging every tourism and hospitality industry member to make a special effort to be present at our AGM in May. Come and listen to where we are and what is still outstanding from our "to do list."

Much has been achieved over the past year, however, there is still more to be done; our demand for the industry to be represented on key board, i.e., Planning Authority, Praslin & La Digue Development Boards, the Management Boards of our USPs - SIF for Vallee de Mai & Aldabra, Botanical Gardens, and Marine National Parks is still outstanding. Our country is too small to have such key bodies operate with no input from the industry that remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy. It is our hope that we will succeed this year in convincing government such requests are for the good of Seychelles.

Thank you to President James Michel and to his government for their trust in our industry and in our association, thank you to all our industry's members for their continued support and friendship, thank you to all the SHTA board members for your loyalty and support, thank you to the tourism industry at large for the spirit of togetherness that is so apparent and which is so encouraging.


Wilderness sells North Island

Source:The Botswana Gazette

The North Island, situated in the Seychelles and owned by Wilderness Safaris is up for sale, the tourism outfit has announced. The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed company last week cautioned its shareholders to exercise care when dealing in the company’s shares until a further announcement is made.

In a statement released last Friday, shareholders were advised of a transaction that could potentially affect the company’s share price. Shareholders were further advised that the transaction pertains to the sale, by an associated company of the Wilderness Group, of North Island situated in the Seychelles, and as such the transaction is subject to a number of conditions. “Shareholders of Wilderness Holdings are advised that an associated company of the Wilderness Holdings group has entered into negotiations which, if successfully concluded, may have an effect on the price of the company's shares. Accordingly, shareholders are advised to continue exercising caution when dealing in their Wilderness shares until such time as a full announcement was made.”

In addition, the directors announced that Wilderness has concluded a joint venture agreement in respect of Duba Plains Camp in the Okavango Delta. “In terms of this agreement the camp will continue to be marketed by Wilderness Safaris (Pty) Ltd but henceforth will be managed by Great Plains Conservation. The assets of the business have been sold and the proceeds of US$4.5 million were received, thus improving the group’s cash resources and balance sheet accordingly.”

Wilderness Safaris, established 26 years ago, operates over 60 camps and safaris in Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Seychelles.

On the local bourse, Wilderness Holdings is reported to have been one of the biggest movers during the week. Motswedi Securities reported that Wilderness Holdings moved for the first time to 425 thebe since the company listed on the BSE on April 8. The tourism operator will also be releasing its maiden financial results to the market on May 31.

Wilderness came into Seychelles almost 7 years ago and built one of the most ecologically friendly resorts in the world. It has now become one of the most sought after tourist spot, catering for the very high end clientele paying more than Euros 3000 a night. Their philosophy was to 'turn back the ecological clock'. A mission which they stated would take more than 20 years to achieve. Have they abondoned their mission so soon? Are we on the verge of seeing another filthy rich Arab or Russian or South African magnate snapping up one of our most beautiful islands?
Watch this space....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Prime La Digue property on ‘Sell Baby Sell’ list
The Great Greg Getaway

Ninety (90) million €uros for the King of La Digue! Yes, Pep Seselwa! The main man wants to retire. And good old Greg wants out! He is prepared to part with the spoils from his war chest but it will come at a hefty price. Gregoire Payet is the kingpin of the major deals that were done with a certain first lady on the newly acquired ‘Providence’ prime sites under the aegis of ‘Emerald Holdings’! These include properties such as – apartments, Airtel, Intelvision and the shell of a ‘hi-tech’ hospital.

Wonder why the main man wants to sail into the sunset and put up his prized properties for close to €100 million. The list consists of a top end supermarket (Little Dubai), pizzeria, La Digue Lodge hotel, self catering apartments and perhaps his palace overlooking La Passe as well.

While he lets go, he leaves us with an eyesore at the Vacoas Village!

The boys are cashing in! Zafer y sal?

Seychelles Comedy - State House Anytime Now

Ghosts of the future passed

With IMF in town, the President made his quick getaway to the Expo and was back in time to welcome the invite to court Shiva. He has now taken on a new lofty role of brokering deals with the rising superpowers. But if we are to become the gateway to Africa, we need to shake off this genocide curse. The ghouls are lurking. A squeaky clean image is a must in these diplomatic high jinks...

JenPa: Good morning Mr. President Sir! Before we get down to serious business, I have some important Facebook news to report. My friends circle has ballooned to just over 2,400. I am the most popular guy in Seychelles together with our night owl MC. He will be an MNA candidate for the forthcoming elections! Come to think of it, we could have a back up ticket in case MSR throws a spanner in the works of your bid for a third term. We could have the Spirit in action. I can be the ghost and MC the vampire! Jg instead of Jj - that's close enough!!

Mr. President: Well and good son. What happened to my page? I heard from the PR section that it disappeared? I have to get on this Facebook thing as it will help me to really gauge my popularity. Those calamities that ‘gremlined’ us recently do not do justice to my relentless slogging. Come to think of it, we need to find something to douse the ‘Sesel Pou Seselwa’ bonfire that is engulfing us.

JenPa: Sir it is probably better to turn all your foreign friends into citizens. Then there is no issue right? We are one big happy family living in absolute harmony. We are a multi ethnic society – the united nations of the Indian Ocean. We already have a global citizen in ‘Papa Labarb’ but we refuse to make him ‘large’. We need to ensure that we have at least one representative from each country. We should even invite Patrick Xeno back to join us.

Mr. President: Yeah but I would rather have more of our leftist friends join us. Converted Marxist-communists are the best business partners. They have perfected the art of clan & nepotistic economics. Our red friends from the east have shown us the way. Our economic recovery is modelled on Cubanomics. We have a nice little contingent of Czechs, Russian and even Serbs. Look at our press secretary! A pure specimen of this immigration revolution. Now we need to further embellish this bouquet and add some exotic plants from places like Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and why not Borat himself...

JenPa: Well Sir it is more like a pot-pourri. I would much prefer Brüno Gehard (the lord gayness himself). We need to add some panache to our mix – LGBT power to the people. Or perhaps even Ali G would be delighted to find his little place in Paradise. He would make a good pair with our main man loud mouth MC. It is important to show off our Pride!

Mr. President: Nah JP. We do not want to see any rainbow ribbons parade. Let them lie in the closet as our best kept secret weapon. We have a huge following among this happy few as you know. Let’s get down to some serious business now. How did you find my Ephelia walkabout?

JenPa: Very well orchestrated Sir. And SBC managed to give some brilliant coverage. We have to start blowing our trumpets when it comes to investment as we need to show that our economy is buoyant even though not much cash is coming in. We talk about creation of wealth but we have nothing to show as we roam the world to beg or borrow. But it was great to see ‘Ton Guy’ showing off his latest gem. You see the Adam’s family is always by your side in your time of need. The good Captain put on a virtuous show with the teeny-weeny tanker at Baie Ste. Anne and now he has given us the largest resort in the Indian Ocean.

Mr. President: Indeed my son. I really stressed the fact that it is a success story for Seychelles as it represents close partnership between foreign and local investors. We have to nurture the Corvina clan as they are major players in this economy. So we can look the other way even though not much dosh comes ashore. At least we have some assets to show.

JenPa: Yeah despite all the complaints of our staff being treated unfairly, at least they have been given jobs. I loved the photo op with the kids at the hotel day care.

Mr. President: The charm offensive is on my dear friend. I am being linked again with the Malo arms deal and the Rwanda genocide. Need to counter with some tender moments and hit them straight to the heart. The Oppo is slipping up and our green acre friend is still searching for his running mate. The ‘escale’ in Brussels was not that fruitful. Diplo in London has thrown in the towel and his mansion is up for sale for a million dollars. You see times are tough all round. Sometimes the best strategy is to fake it and lie low.

JenPa: Ya Papa! We need to keep lying low. Look at the La Misere saga. We have placated all the loud mouths and had the sin absolved when the bishops had their conference up there. Your pilgrimage to the Vatican has provided you with protection for life. We are truly blessed my good Sire.

Mr. President: Are we really? I still have this Malo ghost giving me frequent nightmares. I do not want to face any UN commission of enquiry. I do not want to end up like Milosevic. I will have to call in superhero JoMo to handle this with his Ghurkha troops.

The red hotline phone rings and JenPa pounces on it...

JenPa: It’s Danny Boy Sir. He wants to update you on the IMF delegation’s escapade in Paradise.

Mr. President: Hullo my designate. How did it go with Lib Dem? (Long pause) Oh that’s wonderful! They must have really enjoyed all the sightseeing and boat trips. Afif is taking good care of them? I see, you gave him the same treatment as Mathieu. That’s the way to go. I am sure that we will get a ‘flying colours’ report card again. Great job! Long live Cuba! Thanks for the update.

JenPa: Sir as you know our man in ADB has served his term so we need to perhaps reward him with a ministerial post at the next reshuffle. He has supported us in our times of need.

Mr. President: Hmm... We surely have a lot of rewarding to do. But there is always a carrot that comes with the stick. Have you noted how I clipped Glenny’s wings at IDC? I could not call on you as you are too busy with all the cyber wars. So I gave the carrot to Ti-Pat. He has been a key figure in all our land deals so we need to keep him happy in case he decides to squeal.

Now that we have flirted with Hu, we need to show some affection to Singh and maintain the Indo-Sesel bond. Main man Ramadoss will come in handy again as he will know all the doors to open in Delhi and Mumbai. Oh, it is perhaps best to take the prima lady along this time to avoid any aphrodisiacal misunderstandings. Oh, que la vie est belle!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

We Are Not Anti-Foreigner...We Are Pro–Seychellois!

In the State of the Nation for 2010, Seychelles President James Michel was quick to point out that there was a xenophobic movement taking root in Seychelles and he categorically defended the hiring of a number of Irish Ex-Army, as Police Officers, and as part of the Financial Intelligence (FIU) based at State House.

In the same breath, he defended his hiring of Australian tax agents which included the highly qualified and capable Mr. Rene Nusse. In that group of Australians were individuals like Mr. Simmon Hannaford, and Mrs. Fiona Powell at the Seychelles International airport and Port Customs who the Government of Seychelles, simply did not need to staff the Customs office of the Government of Seychelles. There is no debate there.

“Sesel Pou Seselwa in 2010”
In my first article on STAR for 2010, I announced that this year, the theme of my writings were departing the standard business , economic and social issues, and would refocus on the founding principle of the Republic of Seychelles: “Seychelles Pour Seychellois. The new translation under Rene’s KREOL is now: “Sesel Pou Seselwa”.

I am happy to note that the Leader of the Opposition took notes of the article and used a substantial portion of it in his rebuttal on the State of the Nation, though I never received any credit for it, or even a thank you card.

I could make out the faint call of “Sesel Pou Seselwa” in the speech as I heard it over the radio, driving through Victoria. It was weak, but at least he tried. Many have asked me why the sudden shift in gear in 2010. I will clear this up, today.

The reason I launched this year under the banner “Sesel Pou Seselwa” is simple enough to most of us, today, but it would have been overlooked completely if I had not taken the banner to task and raised it from the closets of history.

The SPPF, after the Coup of 1977, dropped the banner of “Sesel Pou Seselwa”. Since the Coup of 1977, the SPUP turned itself into SPPF and never looked back.
The SPPF turned thug criminal organization, abandoned the banner that united us all as one People. To stay in power, to run the country, as many highly capable Seychellois left Seychelles between 1977-1992, the SPPF imported foreigners to Seychelles, made them Seychellois (Seselwa Fabrikes), to the point that no one in Seychelles even questions the application of citizenship of these individuals, prior to my writings this year. Even in the State of Nation address, Madam Gamatis, said this banner, “Sesel Pou Seselwa”, is no longer relevant today.

I say, “Sesel Pou Seselwa “ will always be and remain relevant to Seychelles. Hence why, MSR founding and enduring slogan will remain: “Sesel Pou Seselwa” for generations to come, even long after, I am gone.

The SNP opposition remains silent on citizenship applications, though they call themselves the Seychelles “National” Party. They remained silent on who is a Seselwa for many years. With this in mind, why do they use the term: ”National”? Does it refer to National fan, to blow up and inflate their salaries solely, today?

As the Mouvman Seselwa Rasin (MSR) begins to take root in Seychelles political life, as a Nationalist movement, we will displace the middle of the road sleeping moderate, softy “national” party, that has taken to cocktail parties to lobby the Government of Seychelles run by PP. For whatever they want. The list over the years has been endless and much of it resolved over cocktails and shrimp tails.
MSR will work hard and tirelessly to remove PP. from power. Why? Because for Seychelles to succeed, they have to go, simple enough, nothing complicated in that assertion.

“Define a Seselwa”
The first intellectual challenge to lifting the banner of “Sesel Pou Seselwa” in 2010 has been to define who is and who is not a Seselwa, in the social quagmire SPPF created from 1977-1992 and beyond.

MSR took on this challenge early in the year 2010. We knew we would face opposition in the definition of who is a Seselwa. But we did not waver and came up with a plausible definition, which made sense and the People of Seychelles are grasping it quickly. The exceptions include naturalization applicants, individuals married to Seselwa –Rasin, and humanitarian grounds if we miss any one unfairly through a loophole.

Repeatedly, I have asked the SNP to define who is a Seychellois. They refuse to take any political risk and do not define who is a Seychellois in Seychelles today.
This political posture of the Country’s main opposition, only gives the PP a Carte Blanche to go on doing what it has done for the last 34 years, sell passports, to anyone who will buy them, and make a citizen anyone who will remain loyal to them.

With that in play, the voters list is stacked, with defeat for the Opposition becoming a permanent rule to the democratic process in Seychelles.
SNP ignores the 10,000 odd residents of Eden Island, citizens in the making, as they ignore SIVA’s Ambassadorship and Citizenship, because it is profitable to do so.
We need to find an acceptable medium status for these people. They have invested in Seychelles, and we need the investments. But we do not need to sell our citizenship, and they have no right to participate in the political affairs of our country.
The Eden Island residents should be granted investor residency status, an appropriate amendment made to the laws and constitution allowing for the status with caveats on citizenship application. No exceptions.

The Sivas of the world, are many, they buy passports and buy status and must be sent a strong message from the People of Seychelles: “ we will not honour such deals made with PP or SNP”.

On Facebook page “Sesel Pou Seselwa”, created by SNP to override the MSR ideology, I have repeatedly asked the administrator, no less than 3 times, to define who is a “Seychellois”. The administrator has remained silent, preferring to allow all that register to believe what they want in their minds.

Another page by SNP’s Pauline Ferrari has been started in response to MSR ideology and it is called: “Sesel Pou Tou Seselwa”. This gives us an idea of what the SNP are up to.

They accept everyone as a Seselwa under their nationalist ideology. I suppose as long as the incoming new citizens pay their way, much like SPPF and PP today. In one article in Regar, they suggested that economic benefactors to Seychelles should be allowed citizenship. If that is not a political sell out ideology, I do not know what is. I find it grossly unacceptable. Some of their spokesmen have made the same comments on STAR Blog.
It is a recipe for national disaster.

Silence Is Deemed Acceptance of an Allegation By Public Figures
It has been alleged and never denied, that Mr. Ramkalawan received euro 150,000.00 to remain silent on the SIVA Ambassador at Large nomination, while Mr. Mancham’s nomination for the same post was taken off the order paper of the National Assembly. Silence is deemed to acceptance of an allegation.

Too Much Wood to the Fire
Recently, the Seychelles Weekly has written a strong anti–foreigner editorial. One article written even said “Foreigners Go Home!” I personally do not write in Le Nouvo Seychelles Weekly, and deny any involvement in its Editorial or its policies in 2010. Le Nouvo Seychelles Weekly does use some articles that are posted on STAR, and they have asked permission to do so. We do not object to that.

MSR and all the writers, and journalists of STAR and mouthpiece Lavwa-Seychelles are not anti-foreigner. We are all pro Seychelles and pro Seychellois, and this is the bond that brings us together from all political party colours be it former Reds, Greens, Blues and Yellows.

To preserve Seychellois interest and rights in Seychelles, large commitments are forthcoming from common citizens who love their Country. The recent pledges made to me are nothing short of heart wrenching to see patriotic Seychellois, coming forward one by one to support the MSR movement. MSR thanks them all for the voice of support.

We Are Not Fools!
In October 2008, Seychelles went officially bankrupt under the Michel Administration. Today, we are undergoing a Three (3) years IMF Reform Program. How will Seychelles come out of national bankruptcy if we are anti foreigner?

We need foreign investment in Seychelles. The process for investing must be streamlined and made easier for foreigners, in areas that Seychellois cannot obtain adequate financing. What we do not agree with, is granting of favourable concessions to foreigners because of under the table deals have been struck.

All foreign investors must contribute to the infrastructure of the country through Development Impact Fees, and not get concessions that give them an unfair advantage over Seychellois investors. Priority should be given to Seychellois that have a proven track record in development and business. Foreign investors should take on Seychellois partners in all development, to maximize Seychellois participation in the development of the country.

Additionally, we will not tolerate the victimization of any Seychellois business or individual in Seychelles, while foreign investors get carte blanche from the PP. Large projects, need to have a corresponding large investment in education, and training to boot strap our young people, as not to displace them in the development process.

Our people have no free lunches; investors should have no free lunches as well. The grossly favourable treatment of the Sheik Khalifas of the world is completely unacceptable as a mode of seeking out investments. This type of investment, Seychelles does not need. Under no circumstances, must Seychellois have to go on their knees to please any investor, and cover up his misfeasance and malfeasance to the extent that our sovereignty is compromised, not even for a scanner, or a building that has a scanner.

As Seychelles faces a downturn, we will have to regroup and reset our economy with Seychellois at the helm. We do not need foreign investors that destabilize existing investments. New investments must be carefully analyzed to assess impact and consequence on earlier gains.

Example what use is a 440 room Emirates hotel, if Air Seychelles does not allow additional flights in bound? If you allow the new foreign investment and do not allow additional flights, Government destroys existing Seychellois investments.

Additionally under the MSR Creed, we do not accept that a foreigner should work in any management position of our Army, Police, Defence Forces, or occupy any managerial post of the Government of Seychelles. Foreigners are free to work for the private sector, under GOP. While here, they cannot apply to become citizens of Seychelles, unless they fall under an exception.

The management of our governmental affairs must always remain Seselwa Rasin managed and run.This provision of our CREED is not anti-Foreigner, it is pro-Seychellois. Why? Because there are more than enough capable Seychellois to occupy the leadership positions of the Government of Seychelles. However, that does not mean they will work for PP, under existing conditions. This being the case, the conditions will have to change.

Wise Up PP
PP will have to become more transparent and it will have to allow the managers of government affairs to operate openly, and freely, without fear or favour, towards PP cronies.
For example, the Police Force has more than enough capable officers the Irish have fired, that could be brought back to run the Force effectively. Mondon, Simeon, Mousbe, Tirant, are all highly capable and better qualified then Mr. Naill Scully an Irish ex Army not ex -Police, to run the Seychelles Police.

If Conditions Do Not Change?
If conditions do not change, then the imminent collapse of the Government of Seychelles and the PP will take place, just as the imminent collapse of the Seychelles economy has taken place and I provided SPPF with ample Three (3) year advance warning. Here is your second advance warning. Then What? Then capable Seychellois, will rebuild Seychelles, without PP.

We Are Not Xenophobic
We fear no foreigners and welcome and accept them all, as long as they are not part of a corruption scheme to disenfranchise Seselwa-Rasin of their motherland and rightful place in it.

With MSR ideology, you are more than welcome to Seychelles, but regularise your status and do not buy it from PP. Pay your taxes, obey the laws and be respectful towards our people, however disenfranchised you may find them to be, after 34 years of Communism and Cronyism. 34 years of mafia rule and Marx, has its disadvantages on a People.
Just remember one thing. Before June 5th, 1977, we were not like this.

I cannot speak for other political entities in Seychelles, they appear to be in a toss of confusion between money received from SIVA and doing a Robert Mugabe on us all. But I believe I have made a sincere effort, to clearly state the position of MSR on foreigners in Seychelles.

Sesel Pou Seselwa!

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

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