Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

But Have No Water, No Electricity, Roads Are Breaking up, Bridges Collapsing!
This past week was totally amazing. James Michel was in Spain with Alain St. Ange, looking for investments. Danny Faure, Cuban trained minister was with Peter Sinon and Craig Heeger of Eden Island Development, in New York on what they called: “Seychelles Economic Forum”, looking for investments and according to the press releases, “telling the world Seychelles is open for business”.
Communists Just Do Not Get It!
All this hoopla about business would make sense if the reality on the ground made sense. It does not, of course. Being a bunch of communists, they think that being open for business everyone will listen because it is the leadership that is saying it. This is where SPPF-PP get it wrong. Nobody different will listen to a bunch of communists with rescheduled debts that still amount to $500 Million in external debt and God only knows how much domestic debt we have hiding in the closets with the skeletons.
Left Show on Right Foot, Left Foot No Shoe in New York
Minister Danny Faure, in New York said, “Seychelles has been successful in the economic reforms, and is open for business”. Who in New York will listen to a Cuban educated political scientist?
Minister Faure obviously does not understand New York. Millions of people, from all corners of the world dream of these fancy speeches they want to deliver in New York, the world financial centre. Every year, millions of people make it to New York to try to deliver their version of panacea and utopia, hoping to sell the bull to a bear market. The New Yorkers have seen it for forever, and Minister Faure, will be in for a rude awakening. Craig Heeger, the Eden Island Ambassador at large, and solicitor of bank financing will be in for a rude awakening as well.
People in New York do not listen to communists. People in New York do not listen to lackey communist Ministers. People in New York do not listen to project managers of projects going bad, in a communist country.

Investment From Spain, Wow!
Now James Michel trucked on to Spain, with Alain St. Ange. You need to have some empathy for St. Ange. He is really trying his best. After the visit, a declaration was made: “we are opening up a Spanish tourism office”. How many times have we heard that? How many times are we going to open and close tourism offices in European capitals? As I said, you need to have some empathy for St. Ange, he has inherited the nightmare.
Now we have a Tourism Office open again soon in the country of the EU with the highest unemployment of 22%. What we need in Spain is a direct flight Boeing 747, because in spite of the 22% unemployment, people is Spain will love to come to Seychelles on holiday, especially now that our five star hotels are selling less than theirs per night, thanks to Mr. Presidents cerebral knock out idea, to allow Ephelia hotel into the market, without additional flights and to allow Eden Island into the market illegally, to wipe out the room rates per night, overnight.
Anyways, last year it was Korea, Japan and China. Nothing happened with those markets.
Don’t you think for a moment that the place where Seychelles should be opening offices and focusing is in Sweden, Switzerland or Germany? Come on guys. Those countries are doing well and are carrying Europe, not sinking her. Wake up.
Back on The Home Front
This week I attended a seminar hosted by CEO of PUC Joel Valmont. This guy is really smart and really down to earth. He faces our realities everyday so we do not have to. Mr. Valmont presented in the seminar the findings of top engineering consulting company GIBBS. Mr. Gerard Lafortune was their local ground man. Basically, these gentlemen called the leadership of the country for a meeting to advise us that there isn’t enough water in Seychelles to handle a 1.5% population growth rate, taking into account the projects on line, in the near future. We will have a deficit of water supply by 10,000 metric cubes per day soon then by 2020 the deficit will reach over 21000 metric cubes . This is a crisis at hand, according to the technicians, who the SPPF and PL today, have ignored until now. Mr. Valmont promises to truck his professionals up to State House this week, to see to it, that they read his lips: “No money, No Water”!
Down under In Anse Aux Pins
Fabrike contractor Ramadoss of RAMSON was issued the tender for building back up the Anse Aux Pins Bridge. PL could not get a local Seychellois contractor to do this job for ½ the money? Really guys?
Aside from that bridge collapsing, the Anse La Blague road, and causeway which had a large hole in it for over 10 months, had finally got some sand in it. But by Monday, much of it had been eaten out from underneath, with high tides.
Many road works are under threat, from lack of maintenance. Much like the PUC pipes that are now 50 years old, beyond use.
Not Enough Electricity Grids and Capacity
Mr. Valmont did not present us the shortfalls of the electricity grids. I hope he does so soon. I am sure it is just as bad as the water pipes, aged, and costly to operate.
Now a Lesson For The Communists For Free
Rule: A country, regardless of size, cannot maintain and secure economic growth, especially GDP10% per annum, without water, electricity, road infrastructure in place to guarantee the maximum output of its people and correspondingly insure a high quality of life for them.
Test: To See If You Are Still Communists For The New Yorkers That Met You.
Question: At Ile Preservans, where you promised 5000 public houses, did you provide for ample water capacity and ample electricity, and proper roads, sewer lines, before you roofed the houses?
Answer: No.
Test Result: You are still 100% bunch of Communists. The suits and ties do not fool us! 

Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Eyewitness News

In a new twist to the Malo arms deals, James Michel's blunder prone governemt, has dealt another blow to the reputation and credibility of Seychelles on the international stage. As he takes his nomadic delegations across the world with begging bowl in hand, the secret murky dealings with the mafiosi continues unabated. And sooner or later it blows up in his face like a powder keg.
Herewith is an extract ofthe  Michel government's dealings with Willem "Ters" Ehlers, a kingpin master kingmaker who had close relations with no other than Mafia boss & Albert Rene confidante, Mario Ricci. It is well known in Seychelles that the Malo Arms deal was brokered by Glenny Savy, the CEO of IDC (official post) and local kingpin in several business deals fronted for his stepfather Rene. 
The Malo Arms deal is now part of a UN investigation into the genocide in Ruanda...
Glenny Savy - The Seychelles Link

Herewith a short extract from Mail & Guardian Newspaper

How SA company oiled Iran's war machine

A company co-owned by a close aide to former apartheid president PW Botha helped Iran evade American sanctions by sneaking a James Bond-style speedboat through South Africa last year.

Willem "Ters" Ehlers, a former navy officer and Botha's private secretary, is no stranger to apartheid-era embargo-busting. Now his company has shipped the speedboat to Iran, where the elite Revolutionary Guard is mass-producing it as an attack craft armed with torpedoes and missiles......

Who is Ters Ehlers?
A navy commodore seconded by apartheid defence minister Magnus Malan to PW Botha's office as private secretary, Willem “Ters” Ehlers went straight into murky international trade after Botha was deposed in 1989.

Ehlers was employed by GMR, a group formed by shady Italian Giovanni Mario Ricci. GMR is widely held to have helped bust sanctions against the apartheid state by using the Seychelles as an entrepôt after "superspy" Craig Williamson founded its local branch in the mid-1980s.

A 1996 United Nations report into arms sales to Hutu forces responsible for Rwanda's genocide contained Ehlers's admission that he brokered an arms consignment from the Seychelles to Goma, a Congolese town bordering Rwanda, in June 1994 during the genocide.

Ehlers claimed the supply of 80 tonnes of rifles, grenades and ammunition did not violate a UN embargo as he believed it was destined for the Zairean army. 

The UN report showed that Ehlers’s "Zairean" customers were Rwandans.

In 1996 Ehlers was embroiled in further controversy when Namibia impounded a Russian cargo plane allegedly flying fuel illegally into Angola, where the rebel movement, Unita, was under UN sanctions.

A Namibian deputy minister told the Mail & Guardian that Ehlers had approached him to smooth the way for the flights. Ehlers acknowledged "applying" on behalf of the aircraft owner but denied involvement with the cargo or flights.

Extract of a comment on the mail & Guardian site - The ubiquitous role of South Africa in shenigans with Seychelles never stop. A recent scandal of South Africanx selling black market arms to Seychelles asassins has recently been uncovered and is the subject of a military investigation in Ireland. See:

Seychelles Cartoon

Who do I tackle first? Juan Carlos or Zapatero? I'll have a delicious plate of criadillas Su Alteza!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Seychelles Comedy - State House Anytime Now

(A political satire based on actual events as portrayed through the state controlled media)
Chorizo, flamenco, tapas, paella & Viva Espanã !!

The travel bug has bitten again and the President gathers his new bandwagon and heads to the land of the torero to try his hand at the corrida. He has brought along his team of matadors headed by JoMo and Rama and they intend to wrestle the Spanish bull to the ground...

Lizzy: Hello Sunshine! I am glad that you have finally gone on a La Misere stroll. It was high time you came out of hiding on that one. We have now visited another 3 families. We cannot only ride on the positives when it comes to the districts. We also need to sympathize and make as if we care. You see I also shape your agenda

Mr. President: Oh well sweet pea, I did turn this into a positive and the few families that agreed to receive me were quite intimidated by my entourage. Damage control has been taken care of by the riot police and now we are sweet talking them. I have disbursed more than three hundred thousand to replace the pipes so that our little treasures will no longer endure stress. Their makeshift clinic is also up and running.

BAWI: Indeed Sir. We are making the news all over the world to the point that it has affected our Highness’s health. I did send a get well soon message to him in the hope that he does not get a fresh dose of the shit water on BBC or CNN. In fact, CNN has been in touch and wants Srdjana to file in a piece of the issue for world report. But we have already lost out to the postings on i-report.

Mr. President: Well she is too busy with Dr. Roff handling the onslaught in cyberspace. Several worm cans have opened and we need to contain the early birds. It seems that our youth is not convinced that UniSey will take them anywhere. But my spin doctor, Nobel Peace prize winner, young global leader, foundations inventor, PhD Royal Geographic Society fellow, expert environmental policy researcher and world authority on conservation will get it right. You see I surround myself with brains and men with titles...

Dr. Roff: Sir, we have indeed taken on a mammoth task. We now have a unique university with faculties containing an average of five to six students. This is the highest per capita in the world. Another first for Seychelles! I must admit that I have spent most of the budget traveling the world to set up this venture and there are hardly any funds left.

BAWI: Well at least we have some of our key figures such as Lizzy here who is furthering her studies in communications. This is not too difficult a subject matter since JenPa and I are her mentors. She is the PS for Presidential Affairs and was a teacher herself after all. She has great political acumen and I am taking a lot of advice from on tourism matters.

Lizzy: Well Bawi, I will soon be taking on a more important leadership role once I get my Masters in Leadership and Strategic Management. I will outsmart both you and JenPa. With my killer looks and superior dress sense to all the leading ladies, pa pou pase lo mon ros!

Mr. President: OK now, let’s come to our senses. Please see in JoMo so that we can start the debrief on the Spanish trip and tackle all other outstanding matters at hand. We got the ear of Zapatero and Juan Carlos despite the visit being unofficial with no state dinner...

The wiry JoMo makes his grand entrance in his spritely mood. He is in 7th heaven as he is now one of the key members of the President’s nomadic delegation

BAWI: Hasta Lluego Senõr Don Quijote de La Mancha! Oh my Cuban exposure did come in handy on this trip. We outsmarted them as I could understand all their babbling in Spanish huh?

JoMo: Buenos dias. No comprendo! Sir, if we do not watch out, those Cubanos will take over but I will guard the home affairs portfolio and ensure that they are kept at bay. The Spanish will help us remain green. I have signed some milestone MOUs in renewable energy, defense, fisheries and piracy. It is mission accomplished on my side.

BAWI: Well I managed to get my tourist office back on its feet. We will soon be pushing for a direct flight. Ramadoss has bagged a whole contingent of entrepreneurs who are itching to plow some of their precious Euros into our fledging economy. Our IMF troubles will soon be a thing of the past. Upesi Bwana, elections are round the corner…

Mr. President: You see I have never doubted the performance of my 4x4 agents. With you by my side and Danny Boy taking care of financial matters, I am the luckiest president around. My KKK philosophy is well engrained with sharp guys like you.

BAWI: Well Sir, Danny B is shining in New York. He will be elected on some other boards soon as they really need an expert in bankruptcy to provide sound advice. Ton Peter is also crisscrossing the world. We will see an invasion of the Korean species on our shores.

JoMo: And my aquaculture project with the Spanish will add another dimension to our tourism product. With the dwindling marine life, we can now propose snorkeling excursions in our ‘basin pwason’. You see Bawi, we have caught two fish with one hook! With the Spanish & French seiners depleting our fish stock, we will be able to replenish them so that we can keep our canning factory afloat.

Mr. President: Indeed, this is the best compromise. We will never be able to have our own fleet of fishing boats so we might as well remain the supplier.

JoMo: Sir, the reorganization of the home affairs portfolio is now in full swing. We have done another round of shuffling and musical chairs. Sheedy is out and Scully is back in at NDEA. Miller will modernize and we are identifying a new deputy Compol. We have made the offer to Ramka since he has some past experience in the force and waiting on his decision.

BAWI: Sir, this man is the real designated minister material. He is your left-hand man and far more competent than Meritus. He has turn Coetivy into a rehab center and educational reform island where prisoners can improve their confidence and self esteem by doing fishing trips and confronting pirates first hand.

Mr. President: I salute his resolve. He is indeed hardnosed and doing a good job. He is giving a new spin to the adventures of the little pin nut boy. I am amazed by his staying capacity building.

JoMo: Sir, on the prisons front, I have blown the budget again. With our Gurkhas, ‘Montany Poze’ is now a fortress. We now have a Dutch prison governor with experience in the Balkans conflict. This will be further reinforced by another governor from the UK with experience from the Isle of Wight. Our incarcerating institution is now more important than the Central Bank.

Dr. Roff: We can incorporate a degree in correctional facilities management at UniSey so that we can prepare our youth to replace these expatriates Sir. We need to find ways to incorporate all the prisoners to contribute towards our ecology by getting them to clean all our polluted marshes and rivers.

Mr. President: Brilliant idea Roff, especially now in our times of need whereby we have barely 40 days and 44% of water supply left in our tanks. I will soon be visiting our water sources with my newly acquired wheels.

JoMo: Sir, I will soon need my BMW as I am tired of this old fart Subaru Legacy. It keeps breaking down and I have to resort to car hires. Now that JenPa is riding around in style, I also need some status. By the way, how was the test drive of the new burgundy red X3?

Mr. President: This is my latest addition to the fleet courtesy of his Highness. I will use it when I hit the campaign trail. I had not driven in a while and it is so sophisticated that I felt I was piloting a plane. I tell you this is the life. Our good Sheik is slowly teaching me the how to act like a prince.

BAWI: Indeed Sir. I can already picture ‘Bonkestyon Onezime’ sitting atop it hugging and kissing your picture! He has performed well since taking over at SBC and kept the spotlight permanently on the trivialities of this abode.

JoMo: Sir we need to seek the final solution to the La Misere disaster. The s..t has hit the fan in the overseas press big time. The torching of the lady’s wheels and the resignation of Georgie has added a new sinister twist to the saga.

BAWI: Hey, we have managed to attract yet another Czech fugitive in our midst. We can milk Tomas Pitr dry and teach him the same lesson we gave to Krejcir. We’ll use all these mafia funds to compensate the shit water victims and remove this headache from his Highness so that he can enjoy his diplomatic immunity status.

Mr. President: Don’t forget that we also have our Russian friends who are investing more than $35 million in the Beau Vallon hotel project. I will be adding a Ruskie touch to the Seychelles Brand with an additional 200 rooms. They have agreed to cough up the funds for the election campaign to cover all the north Mahe districts.

JoMo: OK my good folks! I have some pressing issues concerning the underdevelopment and neglect of Praslin that I have to tackle. Hasta la vista! Baby!

BAWI: Thank you, thank you! Great to see that I am still held in high esteem! And who said I should retire? All I need is a good break so I am out of here for the next two weeks (mentally at least!).

JenPa suddenly makes a grand entrance in the company of the high powered delegation including press-release guru “The Saint”. They are all in a buoyant mood as they rubbed shoulders with the movers & shakers and Fortune 500 elite in the Big Apple. A lot of updating for the boss…

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eden Island Seychelles Illegal Hotel Pool Director on

Economic Forum Trip to New York

Craig Heeger, the Director of Eden Island Development, that also runs Eden Island Management and houses an illegal hotel pool operation, has recently gone to New York accompanying the Minister of Finance Danny Faure on a Seychelles promotional trip to entice more business to Seychelles.

It is believed that Heeger is seeking funding for the Phase II portion of his development. Barclays Bank has declined to finance this portion of the project, the reasons unbeknown.

The Eden Island project has ended up in hot water lately as STAR and Weekly have exposes its scheme to allow property owners to run illegal businesses, renting our villas to make money on the back of Seychellois tourism industry tax payers. This blatant and arrogant scheme has been silently condoned by James Michel and his cabinet of morons who are now at the mercy of all so called investors who have them by the nose. They have bankrupted Seychelles and are desperate for their own survival. They will resort to any means to keep themselves afloat.

Eden Island is now both in damage control mode with Heeger on the world wind tour, beggars bowl in hand. The famous project has indeed backfired as it is more than four years behind schedule. In its desperate attempt to salvage itself Eden Island has overstepped the line and now has to face the wrath of the local tourism industry up in arms over their dirty deals. Deals that are close to putting some licensed accommodations out of business. Deals approved by the Michel administration to keep them afloat. It gets murkier by the day…

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

UK Telegraph, AFP, Wall Street Journal Report on

Sheik Khalifa, La Misere Gross Negligence Case

This week, the UK Telegraph reported on the La Misere Gross Negligence case. Last Week, the Wall Street Journal reported on the same case. Two months ago, I gave an interview to Associated Free Press (AFP) on the matter and it reached virtually every syndicated newspaper with AFP around the world over a weekend.
From a sleepy and seemingly powerless base, the La Misere residents made their protests; the word reached the outside world over the issues surrounding their plight in quick time. Just a few years ago, it would be unthinkable that information on victimization and abuse of power in the paradise islands of the Seychelles could make its way around the world. How times has changed.
Star Leads on Democratic Access To Information
All the reporters that have contacted me and I have forwarded them to other parties in the La Misere case, all read STAR (Seychelles*Truth*Accountability*Reality). They all told me that they read the blog regularly as part of their coverage of the African region. They also read the comments under the articles.
They follow TIKLO with his threats of death regularly.
On STAR the Administrator does not censor information. In line with the internet revolution, the paramount point of departure is to make as much truthful information available to the Public and the World, as it is possible. The availability of information and analysis, allows the Public and the World to form an opinion, but it also places the government of the day under pressure to perform that it traditionally would not have to face.
On the other hand, it calls those that are sleeping on the job or are limp to swallow political Viagra pills, to get to work or get off the stump of complacency, which they have sat on for Five (5) years, filling their pockets.
First The Papers, Then the Cameras
Now that the world newspapers have caught the Sheik Khalifa, Ascon, Gross Negilgence case, of full unfettered accountability, it is only a matter of time before the cameras catch wind. On MSR Facebook page, one investigative report series 60 Minutes, run by CBS has registered as a “like” MSR community and is undoubtedly following the Sheik Khalifa-La Misere story. It is just a matter of time, before they arrive in Seychelles, and start questioning the Government of Seychelles over 1800 GOP permits free of charge issued to Sheik Khalifa, and the Council of Ministers overturning the decision of the Planning Authority to refuse the building permit for the super structure to Seychelles standards. They will call on the sanitation department, Ministry of Environment, Health, and see why they never inspected the site, until 1800 residents had already drank diesel water, faeces water, for over eight months. They will meet with Joel Morgan, (the John Wayne styled Minister in mind, but resembles Pinnochio in body) and ask him how could his government allow a contractor to do structural works in Seychelles, without a license. They may call on Danny Faure, the Minister of Finance and ask him why his ministry does not tax Sheik Khalifa for all the goods he imports. This customs bill is approaching $300 Million in taxes, when compared to the pittance of donations Khalifa has made since the gross negligence case surfaced.Those taxes if collected could pay most of Seychelles external debt.
PL Blames Us For Exposing Them
In good communist, irrational, even criminal logic, the victim is always to blame. The perpetrator is always innocent. According to the PL logic, which is evident on Facebook and the People, for example, Miss Lydia Jumeau deserved to have her car burnt. Miss Jumeau is at fault for others burning her car in her garage. She did it to herself, they seem to infer. Those sick and demented people that propagate this type of deception are what drives us to expose them for what they are. We have no intention of reliving June 5th, 1977 again. Further to the UK Telegraph posting on STAR this week, the first PL collaborator comment came in:” Christopher Gill’s name was mentioned, the writer said “Riot” this how you show love for Seychelles?”
This is another example of the good communist irrational criminal logic at work. The person that sounds the alarm on a critical issue is blamed. Now, PL communists, if you allowed for fair rebuttals in the press, on SBC Television, the nation’s broadcasting company, and permitted constitutionally respected rights to peaceful protest, do you think you would have to deal with AFP, UK Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, 60 Minutes & BBC? I doubt it very much.
Communists Are Out of Fashion
The world is changing and it intends to leave all you Communist behind. Even Fidel Castro today has revealed that his intestinal infection nearly cost him his life and he regrets incarcerating gays and lesbians in the 1970’s for their sexual preference.
While Kim Jong Il takes an armoured train to China to introduce the PRC to the next leader of North Korea, the PL have been on an economic forum show case effort. James Michel was in Spain, attempting to lure the Spanish to Seychelles, with a new tourism office, after closing the last one himself, but with no direct flights to Seychelles in place. So he thinks these potential tourists will transit in Doha or Dubai and loose up to three (3) days holiday in transit than do a long haul flight. It’s his spoke and wheel thinking at play.
Minister Danny Faure was in New York with the newly appointed junior Ministers Peter Sinon & Jean-Paul Adam and other officials from investment, offshore and tourism sectors. A surprise member of the delegation was no other than Craig Heeger (CEO Eden Island), apparently tagging along desperately, looking for bank financing for Phase II Eden Island, which Barclays dumped, telling the world that Seychelles is open for business. But ironically we are still rationing water, have insufficient electricity grids, our airport is at capacity, and it is only now that the Five (5) Year Plan for Tourism, Five (5) Year Plan for Water Management, Five (5) Year Plan for Airport, Five (5)Year Plan for Fisheries, is being considered in draft..........after Five (5) years of James Michel, Msye STATEZI 2017, himself.
The communists have been running Seychelles without a plan all this time and the residents of La Misere wonder why the Government says one thing today, and another thing tomorrow, and nothing on the third day?
Answer: They have no plan to settle anything, unless Khalifa wakes up.

Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Breaking News - Update

Daily Telegraph UK

Seychelles riots over role of UAE ruler

Street protests have erupted in the Indian Ocean island of Seychelles after a palace complex built for the leader of Abu Dhabi polluted surrounding rivers by discharging effluent from a sewage system.


Monday, September 20, 2010



Czech businessman Pitr moving firms to Seychelles - press
Prague - Fugitive Czech businessman Tomas Pitr, now in extradition custody in Switzerland, has moved the focus of his business activities from the Caribbean to the Seychelles with the help of his partners, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes today.

Pitr was afraid that the Caribbean Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, from where he had controlled his business through Czech companies, stopped being safe for his finances, LN writes.
"This is true, the Caribbean has stopped being fully safe for business. He had some problems with local authorities," an unnamed Pitr's collaborator told the paper.This was confirmed by some Finance Ministry senior officials.

"Recently, the trend prevailed that the tax paradises in the Caribbean have started cooperating. They at least provide the information on who has what property and what transactions are carried out there," a Finance Ministry senior official told the paper.
"It may easily happen that under the influence of the information,Pitr made himself registered elsewhere, where he considers this safe," he added.

The firm ASAJA Corporation was registered in the Seychelles. People close to Pitr say he controlled most of his companies in the Czech Republic through it.
Pitr himself has never been in the trade registry as the direct owner of "his" firms. Their boards are filled by former elite police officers Ludek Zakovec and Pavel Srytr, whom Pitr installed there after fleeing the Czech Republic three years ago, HN writes.

Swiss police arrested Pitr on the Sankt Moritz resort on July 26. The Czech Republic sent and official request for Pitr's extradition on August 9. The Swiss Justice Ministry has been assessing the request since then.

Pitr did not turn up to serve his five-year prison sentence for tax fraud and he was hiding abroad since June 2007. Earlier this year he was punished within another case, concerning bargaining with shares.
Czech media write about Pitr's long-term cooperation with the controversial Czech businessman Frantisek Mrazek who was murdered in 2006 and who was considered "the king of the Czech underworld."


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

Obstruction of Settlement of Gross Negligence

Case of Sheik Khalifa, Ascon
The Government of James Alix Michel has implemented a systematic strategy of staggering the settlement of the victims of the La Misere gross negligence case involving the contamination of the main water source with faeces and diesel fuel. The systematic obstruction of the settlements have left the residents frustrated, and left with a sense that their government does not look after their best interests, but after the best interest of Sheik Khalifa Bin Al Zayed Nayan.

Stack The Committee
The La Misere Committee is stacked with public servants, from District Administrators to Ministry of Foreign Affairs drivers. In our political culture, we all know that District Administrators do the job of the government of the day. If they do not, they are fired. Hence, when push comes to shove, the DA will stagger proceedings and side with the Government of the day when called to do so. Drivers for ministries are no better. Few retain any political independence, back bone or courage to do the necessary aside from drive according to instructions. Residents of La Misere and all Seychellois, must open there eyes.

Block The Protest Site With Armed Men
Last month the La Misere Committee said that they would continue their protests at the entrance of Kennedy Road if a reasonable path towards settlement was not taken. Ascon directors had been sent to Seychelles, only to leave.
The Government had promised that no ASCON workers would enter the Sheik Khalifa compound, until a settlement was reached. This was then revoked by the Government of Seychelles, and Sheik Khalifa’s monstrous building site was allowed to be painted a color between canary yellow and sunset orange.
Subsequently, the La Misere victims vowed to take back to the protest line. As a pre-emptive measure, the Government of James Michel sent the Commissioner of Police to contravene the right of peaceful assembly and protest of the citizens under our constitution only one day after the Feast of the Assumption of the Immaculate Conception.
The Commissioner of Police Quatre was given air time on the national television station SBC and he then told the residents that “if they insist on protesting at the entrance of Kennedy road, force will be used”. There was no rebuttal opportunity to this statement allowed the residents of La Misere.

Use of Force Over Claim For Damages
The next day, Commissioner Quatre sent 40 men armed with AK-47’s, tear gas, grenades, in plastic bags, riot gear to face down the humble residents of La Misere. It was a case of might makes right put into practice in paradise.
Worse, it was a case of use of the communist tool of the threat of violence and intimidation packaged in fear tactics, to set back the progress of the residents, to appease pressure mounting on Sheik Khalifa, Bin al Zayed Nayan, ruler of UAE.
On the Starblog, supporters of the government claim that focusing on Sheik Khalifa is racist. Supporters of the James Michel government say we must focus on the Americans violation of planning rules and so forth.
Michel is known to traditionally be very anti American, and only recently curried their favour in the fight against piracy in the region. The issue is not racism President Michel. The issue is making the residents of La Misere, affected by the faeces water and diesel water, whole again, and compensating them for moral damages as well.
Inclusive in the settlement the residents must not forget the loss of their properties values since no one will volunteer to live at La Misere today, a once prime location of abode for the well healed.
Hence the residents are totally right to elect a much higher settlement then offered by ASON and Government of Seychelles. There is no racism in the claims. America, Mr. Michel is made up also of Arabs. However, they pay their way, as anyone else. In Seychelles Sheik Khalifa must pay his way for damages proximately caused by his use of an illegal unregistered construction company.
Such blatant disregard of the laws of Seychelles, in spite of State House overlooking them, does not abate the gross negligence. It only infers that State House is also culpable.

They Start Burning Cars Again
Remember the good old days when Bill Pomeroy’s mini minor was set ablaze, to instil fear in the hearts of Americans at the tracking station and citizens alike? Well, this time the culprit has set the car of Lydia Jumeau ablaze in her La Misere garage at the wee hours of the morning, to set fear into the hearts of the residents of La Misere that seek justice for their claims and seek to be made whole again. Miss Jumeau is a key activist of the settlement case. She has been a key player in mobilizing residents to stand up for her rights.
Remember the car bombs? Or the bomb at Reef Hotel? Who uses bombs to take care of business?

Appeal To People of Seychelles
People of Seychelles, open your eyes. The Pp under James Michel is implementing the same fear tactics today that Rene taught him in 1970. We must all unite to face down this fear tactic. Help each other, stand up for each other. Put petty debates aside, for the benefit of the future of Seychelles.
At this time, I call again, on all the leaders of the Opposition to unite to face the politics of fear and intimidation. Clean house, come clean, and open your hearts to work for change in Seychelles. Change is possible when we unite, but it is not possible when we are divided.
I call on Wavel Ramkalawan, to stand up and be a hero to us all. Call for a conference to unite the Opposition. I have made this appeal for two years now.
If you are out of steam as a leader that does not mean you cannot play an important meaningful role to bring about change. You can and all of Seychelles is looking towards you to unite the Opposition, even if it means stepping back a little.
If you believe it is extremist that carry the banner “Sesel Pou Seselwa”, then retire, because your banner is only "Pa Les Tombe", and you have already let go!
We do not believe "Sesel Pou Seselwa" is extremist. Today, it is reasonable, as always. What is extremist is a government and opposition saying “Sesel Pou Seselwa” is extremist.

“Sesel Pou Seselwa”!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!
The Time is NOW!
The talk of the town is, ‘will he or won’t he?’ Will Wavel Ramkalawan step down as leader of the opposition to make way for new blood? Or will James Michel announce early elections to try and catch everyone off guard and gamble on what he believes to be the crest of a wave that he is riding? The answer is blowing in the wind…

However, one thing is crystal clear. The SNP machine under the lame leadership of Ramkalawan is a spent force and has ground to a halt. He seems resigned to his noble task of unseating the Lepep government and therefore a change within the current crop in the opposition is BADLY NEEDED NOW! We cannot allow this government to continue perpetrating all these acts of ‘piracy’ with our country and stand by idly. We should not let them get away with it.

Seychellois have become second class citizens in this country and we are being invaded by modern day pirates with cases of dollars. James Michel has now sold our patrimony to Sheik Khalifa of UAE, Russian oligarchs and South African importing their 'apartheid policies into our country. His government (supposedly for the people and by the people) is committing its second act of treason. Social ills, corruption, malaise, lawlessness, prostitution and all the evils one can think of are upon us.

There is no doubt that we are today paying the dire consequences of a ‘revolution’ gone sour. The people of Seychelles are enduring the worst economic crisis of calamitous proportions. The ‘nouveau rich’ clique of the coup d’état perpetrators are getting richer and the poor are sliding into abject destitution. James Michel and his clique who are bent on a mission to ‘protez nou ban aki’ will ruthlessly cling on to power. Today we are living in fear in a ‘legitimized’ one party state with an arrogant government condemning the future of our country to economic foreign occupation. This financial colonization is evident in the dealings of James Michel & Co.

Survival of this SPPF / Lepep beast is founded on a divide and rule strategy. They do not have the country’s interests at heart and are masters at manipulating propaganda. This even extends to creating division in the opposition camp. Today, it is evident that they have annihilated the ‘main’ opposition threat by ‘silencing’ its ‘leader’ through various conspiracies. Michel & Co are now on the offensive to eliminate any dissenting voices who dare question this ‘red & green’ stalemate by branding them xenophobic, unpatriotic etc… As they cozy up to foreign patronage in their quest for political survival in this sea of economic & social uncertainty, both Michel and Ramkalawan have renounced the battle cry of ‘Sesel Pou Seselwa’. We are no more the masters of our own destiny it seems…

But the time is NOW! Seychellois will have to rise up to save our country from the shackles imposed by Michel in cahoots with Ramkalawan. Our country deserves better. Unity is our strength and we have a monumental task to rebuild this country for the future of our children. Let us throw confrontational partisan politics into the dustbin of history. If Wavel Ramkalawan is pig headed about uniting the opposition to eliminate the SPPF / Lepep scourge from our midst, then he will have to face the consequences and make way for a new vision. A vision that has the monumental task to unite a divided people for the common purpose of salvaging our beloved country from the wrath of a corrupt system that has bankrupted us and set us adrift…

People of Seychelles, we have a hard road ahead. Bold decisions have to be made. We will soon be called upon to salvage the ship of state that is in urgent need of repair and elect a captain that can steer it clear of these treacherous waters. We cannot afford further delusions. We cannot afford to have another round of a communist relic government turned capitalist that is solely interested in their own personal survival. We have lost our country to a new wave of foreign occupation where moral values and dignity are discarded for a few pieces of silver and gold.

Let us instill pride and eliminate fear from our people. Let us breathe new life into our country so that she can prosper and all its citizens can partake in this dream of a better tomorrow. And this new departure is (un)fortunately neither with the corrupt SPPF / Lepep nor with SNP who is too content with the trappings of sponsored subjugation.

SESEL POU SELEWA! Our children deserve better.

Saturday, September 11, 2010




Sheikh Abode a Sore Point in Seychelles

U.A.E. Leader's Mountaintop Mansion Contaminates Island Paradise, and Fuels the President's Political Opponents
9th September 2010
LA MISERE, Seychelles—The president of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates has sent millions of military and financial aid to this tiny East African archipelago, a longtime get-away for the rich and famous.
But it's the construction of his private residence here—a seven-story, mountain-top palace with a 360-degree view of the surrounding Indian Ocean—that's getting all the attention these days. More than 8,000 residents, claiming their water source was tainted by sewage and diesel runoff from the construction site, are demanding more than $10 million in compensation from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nayan and a Dubai-based construction company he hired to build the palace.
Sheikh Khalifa's Seychelles palace has ignited a scandal in the jungle-covered nation, which receives large amounts of aid from the U.A.E.

Local environmental and health officials call the contamination the nation's worst environmental disaster ever. Public anger has spread ever since, with activists and landowners claiming negligence by local officials. They accuse the government of letting the sheikh circumvent land-ownership laws and failing to enforce environmental and safety regulations during the construction, which has involved an estimated 2,000 foreign workers.
"Our paradise is lost, and our lives have been turned upside down," says Eddie Westergreen, a land owner and neighbor of Sheikh Khalifa. Mr. Westergreen's modest, low-slung bungalow—surrounded by flowers he grows commercially—is dwarfed by the partly-built palace that, when finished, will be the nation's highest-standing edifice. "Both our own government and Sheikh Khalifa are responsible for destroying it," he says.
The controversy has ignited a scandal in a political landscape typically as serene as the islands' jungle-covered landscape. Angry residents have taken to the street leading to the site a handful of times, blocking construction vehicles' access.
Fueled by the outrage, opposition politicians think they may be able to unseat the ruling party that has reigned here since independence in 1976. President James Michel has painted himself as a close friend of Sheikh Khalifa, and opposition leaders accuse his government of taking short cuts with the project because of the U.A.E.'s financial largesse to the government. Some opposition politicians are promising to overturn the La Misere sale if elected.
A U.A.E. official calls the contamination "unfortunate," and says Sheikh Khalifa's private office in Abu Dhabi, capital of the U.A. E., is working to solve the problem. The official blames the Dubai-based construction company.
Mr. Michel, the president, has also deflected blamefrom Sheikh Khalifa and onto the construction company, Associated Contracting & Consulting Ltd., or Ascon. Ascon is partly owned by Abdulaziz al-Ghurair, a businessman appointed by Sheikh Khalifa to run the U.A.E.'s parliamentary body. Ascon denies any wrongdoing. Company officials say the firm has become a scapegoat in a domestic political battle. Telephone requests for comment from Mr. Ghurair weren't returned.
"Determination of the real causes and extent of such pollution and the allocation of responsibility are questions of fact which fall within the jurisdiction of the courts of law," said Ali Jahubar, an Ascon director, in a written response to questions sent by The Wall Street Journal. "These issues have been subject to political debate and not to due legal process." Mr. Jahubar said last week the company was fired from the project. President Michel, meanwhile, has ordered construction halted. On a recent visit to the site, however, work was still under way.
In addition to his federal position atop the U.A.E. government, Sheikh Khalifa is the hereditary ruler of Abu Dhabi, the capital, as well as the richest of the country's seven semi-autonomous emirates. Seychellois government records show that since 1995, Sheikh Khalifa has spent $2 million snapping up more than 66 acres of land on the Seychelles' main island of Mahe, where the palace is being built. During the same period, the Seychelles' government has received large aid packages from the U.A. E.
In the last five years, the U.A.E. has pledged more than $130 million in social-service and military aid, including several patrol boats to boost the Seychelles' antipiracy efforts. In 2008, the U.A.E. came to the debt-laden government's rescue, with a $30 million injection. U.A.E. officials say the aid is in keeping with its commitment to assist the developing world.
Sheikh Khalifa paid $500,000 for the 29.8-acre site of his palace in 2005, according to the sales document.
Bernard George, a lawyer who negotiated one of Sheikh Khalifa's first land deals in the country, is an opposition member of parliament and one of the palace's harshest critics, accuses the government of ignoring local laws that required a public tender for the 2005 transaction."The sale was stitched up from the start," says Mr. George, a lawyer who also represents the La Misere residents fighting for compensation from Sheikh Khalifa and Ascon.
A Seychelles planning authority initially rejected the palace's building plans. But last year, Mr. Michel's cabinet overturned the decision.
Construction of the palace started last September. A month later, the national utility company warned that the site's plans posed threats to the water supply, according to Joel Valmont, the deputy chief executive of the company.
Joel Morgan, the Seychelles' minister of environment and an aide to Mr. Michel, said the government didn't tender the land because it wanted it to go to Sheikh Khalifa. He says "the letter of the law" might not have been followed in the land sale.
"The government made the offer to Sheikh the context of building up our diplomatic relations with the U.A.E., which is something that we value very highly," Mr. Morgan said in a recent interview. He declined to comment on the cabinet's decision to override the planning-authority veto of the plans.
Mr. Westergreen said that in October his household well was fouled with diesel runoff coming from the project. Government agencies ordered Ascon to clean it up.
Feb. 13, the sewage system set up by Ascon for workers building the palace, overflowed, sending rivers of waste through the region, home to some 8,100 residents. Mr. Morgan, the environmental minister, says ocal-government agencies and officials from Sheikh Khalifa's office responded quickly to the problem, sending in technical experts and engineers. Amid the local uproar, officials concluded that Ascon ignored health and building codes for their workers. Mr. Morgan says the government fined the company $81,000.
Ascon denies it violated any rules. "Unpredicted weather conditions," including heavy rain, Weather conditions outside the company's control, caused the sewage and diesel leakage, said Ascon's Mr. Jahubar, in his statement.
This spring, Sheikh Khalifa's presidential office offered to pay $15 million to replace the water-piping system for the mountainside. Recently, negotiations between the residents, the company and the U.A.E. have bogged down over terms of a settlement, according to members of the residents committee. Government officials and residents say Ascon has offered to pay roughly $8,000 to each of the 360 households that the government says have been affected by the pollution.
Residents, as well as Mr. Michel, have rejected that offer. Ascon declined to comment on the negotiations.

Write to Margaret Coker at

Friday, September 10, 2010

Seychelles Cartoon

James Michel launches the "Seychelles Brand"
In a ploy to appease growing discontent in the local tourism trade, the new minister for tourism cooks up the 'Seychelles Brand' supposedly to 'empower' the Seychellois... more than 38 years since the dawing of tourism in our country!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eden Island On Publicity Juggling Act
Eden Island Development is on a timely as usual, publicity campaign to polish up its image as a key player in Seychelles economic development and paint a soft image of the brand to the local public and internationally any one that would consider having an interest in Eden Island.
The Eden Island News “The Inside Story”
SBC interviewed Mr. Heeger on Friday night and gave him access to the country. No counter rebuttal to what Mr. Heeger proposed was offered.
The Eden Island News, “The Inside Story” has been released and placed at the Seychelles international airport. It paints a sympathetic picture of the Eden Island project. The front page titled, “In the Beginning”, promoter Mr. Graig Heeger tells us about his frolics in Baie Lazare 20 years ago and the beginnings of Eden Island as a project conception in 2002.
If you read the newsletter with a naked, unassuming eye, you would not think for a moment, Mr. Heeger was making a pitch to become a Citizen of Seychelles or he is doing a fine effort at spinning the best possible story for Eden Island, to keep it alive, in real bad times for the entire world.
Fantastic Spin For Fantastically Bad Times
As things get worse, the spin gets more fantastic and the inference drawn is that Eden Island has not been touched by the world financial crisis. Mr. Heeger needs to spin to survive.
We need to see the spin to survive the same downturn that seemingly has not touched Mr. Heeger and company, but touches us and the World.
Where Is The Project Memorandum For Eden Island?
Mr. Heeger was polite enough to call me one day in early June 2010 for a meeting to address issues I had with the Eden Island Development project which I addressed in Two (2) articles in April 2010 to break open the issue publically, as the Opposition in Seychelles led by Mr. Ramkalawan has remained silent for almost Ten (10) years on the matter.
These issues are principally Two (2) issues: 1. Residency indemnity from citizenship application for all buyers to Eden Island; (2). The unauthorized apartment pool and defacto hotel operation Eden Island has been operating that is not according to the Project Memorandum of Eden Island, submitted to Government of Seychelles.
Mr. Heeger advised me in the meeting that he would have his financial controller Mr. Smith, get in touch with me and provide me with a CD of the entire project. Mr. Smith contacted me by e-mail once, and I replied, but never received an answer, waiting for the CD since June 2010, patiently.
Between serious people, respect of one’s word is paramount to handling matters privately. If matters cannot be dealt with privately, we go public. A simple, no fuss, no nonsense approach to life. This is part of our culture, in case Mr. Heeger did not know.
What I Think I Know
As I understand it, Eden Island has obtained approval to build a Sixty (60) room hotel. But it has not built that project yet, being tied down with the economic down turn.
Eden Management in the economic down turn, was created to generate as much cash as possible, handling the apartments sold to buyer that reside overseas to pump back into the operating costs of Eden Island Development. This is done through service fees and commission arrangements. Hence the management company is also a defacto Tour operator or DMC. They do it all.
The management company rents out the apartments to tourists through the internet and other inquiries system. They even Google self catering apartments in Seychelles, undercutting the entire Tourism infrastructure of Seychelles mercilessly. Eden Island is advertised on per day basis by owners, and the rooms go cheap, under Euro 50.00 at times. Trip Advisor, a Tourist portal has Eden Island present.
For his part, Mr. Heeger claims that he competes with Five (5) star hotels only. This is dishonest and nothing more than his spin on the issue, to keep our entire community off his back, as he undercuts the entire Tourism market and delivers an unfinished product, that undermines the “Seychelles Brand”, in direct contradiction of current policies.
This is highly counter cultural in Seychelles, which is a micro state with limited resources, including electricity grids and water supply. The practice is not even free market sensitive, as Eden has been given numerous concessions in the first place to compete unfairly with any other project, and now it cannot survive with all that help on the merits of its project memorandum.
On arrival guests arrive on Eden Island and are golf carted to their apartments. It is a defacto hotel operation, but there is no hotel in place. Sales centre for villas and apartments doubles as a reception lounge, it is also an access to the Bravo bar and restaurant. This can hardly be considered a Five Star reception.

Vijay Takes Part of Eden
Guests today, are arriving to a construction site, boat yard, boat slip, and a commercial centre under full construction, still at foundational stage, owned now by Vijay Patel, multi millionaire contractor, who was owed money by Eden Island, and the commercial centre property was hocked in exchange of payment in part due to Mr. Patel. This was confirmed to me by Mr. Heeger, though reluctantly, in the June 2010 meeting.
Mr. Patel is an engineer by education, but I would guess, an excellent poker player if he has ever engaged in such past time.
Hotel Operation Not according To STB Policy
No hotel in Seychelles can operate until the entire project is completed according to Seychelles Tourism Board (STB). All local Seychellois business ventures have been squeezed to death over this requirement. If Seychellois can meet it, I do not see why Eden Island cannot, or why it must be an exception to the rule. The exception to the rule has been projects of family of the ruling communist party, such as Ephelia Hotel and Farquar Hotel.
Juggling A Deflating Ball
The Council of Ministers are contemplating what to do with Eden Island. In order to operate as a hotel, it will have to seek a change of use for each apartment. It is a dangerous precedence and will result in social economic turmoil if it happens.
Mr. Heeger is counting on a change of use to be granted, in order that his project does not go bankrupt.
Behind the apartment pool hotel scheme is the sales pitch Mr. Heeger’s Eden Island team tosses out to bright eyed potential buyers of villas and apartments.
If Mr. Heeger is honourable in his efforts as he says he is, it is time to present the project sales department of Eden Island with a viable sales pitch to the world that will be accepted here, in Seychelles. Failing that, this project will go belly up no matter what the Council of Ministers decide.
A Good Pitch is in The Wrist, Not The Arm
If Mr. Heeger needs help on what sales pitch he can pitch, I can lend him some free advice, as it seems he will need it.
In the post financial bubble world economy Eden Island has not been able to stick to its original project memorandum, which I understand focused on selling semi retirement homes to the well heeled of the world.
Today, the well heeled need to be able to rent out their purchase, to pay the mortgage, unlike the bubble days gone by, when they would not have a second thought over a mortgage on some artificial island in the Indian Ocean.
A Market Cannot legislate Business Success of a Bad Idea
We must live by the rules of fair play in the market, and not help along a sickly player, especially in a micro state as Seychelles. The more you help a bad idea, the quicker your entire economy will suffer from it.
A good Bubble Era idea may not be a good post Bubble-Burst Era idea. Eden fits this glove tightly.
Lehman Brothers taught us the lesson of helping a sickly player in the financial economy.
The player is sickly because its ideas were not thought out carefully, with due regard for market analysis and social economic digestive capacity of Eden Island in a downturn. Mr. Heeger and his partners thought in 2002 the sky was the limit like the men of Lehman Brothers crafting a financial Ponzi scheme. The Lehman Brothers men, never thought the sky would drop on them, it never happened in their lifetime, so they thought it never would.
It only happened in the Great Depression of 1934, before the Lehman Brothers men were born and Mr. Heeger. I was not born either, but I follow the economic financial cycles and do not ignore the historical lessons from them.
Do Not Throw Caution Into The Wind
In Seychelles, we must not fall into this trap with Eden Island. We Seychellois, be it the Tourism Trade, the population, the Consul of Ministers, must open our eyes fast. The financial future of this country, and the opportunity for recovery from a national bankruptcy announced in October 2008, now sits on a pendulum.
Eden Island cannot carve out, commercial retail segment, rent a car business, yacht charter, yacht management, real estate sales, food and beverage DMC, taxi service, landscaping business, all under one roof. If allowed a free for all, we will no longer have a viable population in this Bear Market. What will we do with the Tourism Infrastructure created over the last 34 years? Let it fall?
What message will that send to commercial banks in Seychelles who we need to co opt as partners to insure a recovery?

What If We Spit In The Wind Over Eden Island?
Investors to Eden must be liquid and not hang their investment on a prayer that they can indefinitely bank on a hotel apartment pool to pay the mortgage and guarantee the investment.
In this day and age, there are no guarantees for all of us. We are in an age of economic turmoil and stagnant downturn. The time to fake figures and statistics are over. We must face our reality for what it is.
If we over assist Eden Island, it is big enough to take us all with it, as it deflates. Can you imagine for one moment if Eden Island grew to become 25% of our GDP? The Seychelles Brand would have become a hostage of an artificial island? All our other islands would be turned into national parks, and our people as wardens.
In its pitch Eden Island claims 4%GDP and 9% FDI. As the pie shrinks, its percentages will increase if allowed to. It should not. We must let Eden Island stand on the merits and challenges of its project memorandum and its promise to us the People of Seychelles, that is: a semi retirement home community, that would increase the economic pie, not take what we were already doing, and take credit for it. Eden Island needs to go do some more homework to sell its product successfully, instead, of sponging off the Tourism Industry of Seychelles.
Seychelles does not need to be turned into the Kruger Park; we must stand strong and draw the line.
If we fail to unite on the Eden Island issue, chaos will reign in our Tourism Industry for years to come. Seychelles will lose hard earned, Euros and Dollars through an increase in financial flight of money earned in Seychelles.
As PL communist government helps Eden Island along, it will weaken the entire market and entire social economic strata of Seychelles. PL communist government must not do this out of favouritism and corruption. It is a bad precedence, and will be bad for Seychelles’ future and the “Seychelles Brand”.
What Will Happen When Ile Aurore Gets Up and Running?
Ile Aurore will be a $450 Million project with hotels, casino, apartment, villas and so forth. What will happen to Eden Island investments when that project gets up and running? Will we, as a micro state be tasked to provide subvention assistance to Eden Island and provide it with more cozy arrangements to keep it going? If yes, I would seriously begin to ask who is really behind Eden Island.
Living With A Smaller Pie
Fundamentally, what is happening at Eden Island today is that it is not growing the economic pie in Seychelles through a new industry, as it said it would, with the apartment pool defacto hotel operation, it is only taking from an existing market and industry in so far as Tourist and Visitors are concerned.
In addition, these guests that come in groups of 10 or 15 at a time and packs it into the artificial island take valuable limited seats on in bound planes that could be taken up by more lucrative paying guests Seychelles is use to receiving. They cram into bareboat yachts and poke about Praslin and La Digue, without paying room nights, and they destroy our coral formations with indiscriminate anchoring practice. This hurts the fish trap catch, as well as our eco tourist marketing efforts. Yacht charter revenues find its way overseas as well, like apartment revenues. Another hole in the financial ship of state taking water that needs to be plugged.
Why do we have more arrivals but less money?
The Money Is Banked Outside of Seychelles
Eden likes to play about with statistics to make their point. So do I. Our arrivals of visitors is 12% above last year’s figures, but our receivables in Tourism is -25% second year running. This is an alarming figure and provides little or no playing room for Eden Island types of schemes.
The reduction in receivables is due in part to discounting, but also in part to the prolific black market of guests houses and the bonkers practice of Government of Seychelles, allowing projects that permit funds to be banked overseas, which is fraudulent in itself.
In my view, Eden would fall under this as well. It is a recipe for disaster for Seychelles, not during the World financial bubble when liquidity fuelled spend- free habits, but today, during the post bubble economy and post financial crisis, where we are grappling over lack of liquidity, and lack of bank access. Hence no growth potential.
USA is facing the possibility of a double dip recession. With that, Europe may follow if USA double dips. If that happens, Eden Island will go into the fish trap business, to keep the lights on. Mr. Heeger knows that, now so must we.
Banks that financed Eden Island purchases are mostly overseas. Hence, it is likely that many buyers will use income generated from apartment rental, to pay down overseas bank loan debts. The bottom line is that most of the receivables will go back over seas and Seychelles will benefit very little in real terms to such an arrangement if legitimized by Government of Seychelles for now.
A Request To Council of Ministers
Now simply call Afif at Finance and ask him to do the numbers of renting out over 500 units at Eden Island on 75% occupancy. Calculate the tax and then calculate the revenue being banked overseas. Good. Then ask Afif to forecast, a Ten (10) Year economic downturn globally with reduced arrivals and reduced spending power, factor in some variables, and ask Afif for his take on what Eden Island will do with the Seychelles Tourism Industry and the “Seychelles Brand”, in Ten (10) years.
Remember, your decision is being made today, but your impact of the decision will be for 25 years or more.
Do not forget that one rule you round table people like to forget. Act now, but think ahead: forecast intelligently, look to the future, with knowledge of your reality, stop dreaming.
The legality of such legitimization of a change of use, that is not in the original project memorandum will pose legal issues, that could tie up Eden Island, Eden Management and Government of Seychelles in court battles for years to come. I can easily see boat charters, DMC’s, hotels restaurants doing a class action suit over the matter.
Check The Water Levels At Resevoirs
Beyond all these ideas, there is a basic point that Eden Island missed out on and so did the Government of Seychelles. We do not even have enough reservoir water capacity to entertain an Eden Island project. Who were we trying to fool all along? Five hundred villas will go up but not one litre of extra catchments?
During the past three (3) months I have visited Eden Island, and like many places in Central Mahe, the water was shutdown throughout the day, coming on only at 5.00pm. There is nothing Five (5) star about having no water.
What makes all the brains behind all the hoopla and spin effort think that projects can work without water catchments in place?
An Appeal To Mr. Heeger
In closing, I ask Mr Heeger to withdraw his apartment pool scheme to rent to short term visitors. Rent the houses and apartments out on a month to month basis and term tenancy to find a happy medium for everyone.
Personal enrichment at the cost of other people’s well being, is not a well regarded trait in our culture, which you claim to have become fond of. Do the right thing; you will be respected for it.
Publically agree to this request, and then privately agree to it with me. Secondly, don’t forget to agree to the indemnity to application of residents, for citizenship to Seychelles in the future.
Our citizenship Mr. Heeger, is not for sale, please advise your buyers as I have asked privately.
With that, I will stop writing about Eden Island, you can get on with your business and I can get on with mine.
Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Time To Fire The Board of Air Seychelles Domestic Airlines

Air Seychelles Domestic airlines, is a national air carrier for interisland connections and is run by a Board of Directors. As a national air carrier that is tasked with insuring efficient, cost effective transfers to Praslin with onward ferry transfers to La Digue, Denis Island, Bird Island, Desroches Island and other islands, Air Seychelles Domestic plays an integral part in the Seychelles Tourism Industry.
What Happened To Cost Effective Service?
In theory, if Air Seychelles can provide cost effective inter-island transfers, and do so efficiently and meet demand at an acceptable cost, the interisland domestic section should flourish. If it does, it means that the inner islands and outer islands should flourish.
Unfortunately, it is not the case. Apparently the Board of Directors of Air Seychelles Domestic only has excuses as to why the domestic arm of Air Seychelles does not work.
There are no answers, only excuses and a systematic blame game in play. But at the end of the day, when all the excuses have made the round table, it is the Board of Directors collectively, that is responsible for decisions and the lack of them.
Basically the buck falls right on their table collectively. They cannot pass the buck. They are coward to blame each other, and they are coward to blame the staff of Air Seychelles Domestic. Air Seychelles Domestic fails, while they fly Pearl Class and sip on Moet Champagne and bite into little breads covered in caviar in the skies of the World, at our expense.
Because they the Board of Directors of Air Seychelles Domestic cannot take necessary decisions to insure that Air Seychelles Domestic works and works well for the Tourism Industry, they should be fired, sacked, be given their marching papers, and possibly seek a post on the Board of Directors of SPTC, if the SPTC would have them. I doubt SPTC would waste their time.
IMF AUDIT of Air Seychelles Domestic
This year the IMF concerned itself via accounting tool called: AUDIT of Air Seychelles Domestic after concerns of the Tourism Trade on pricing of interisland flights were addressed. I attended these IMF consultations, to help my country.
It is suspected that the pricing practice of inter-island flights had the impact of prejudicing interisland destinations like Praslin, La Digue, Denis Island and Bird Island. Tickets to these destinations had increased by as much as 50% while the price of fuel dropped by the same percentage on the world market due to lack of world demand and over supply, corresponding to a drop in world production as factories went quiet in most countries.
Fuel Cheap But Paper Clips Expensive
Air Seychelles I am told attributed the higher costs to increase in administrative costs and increase cost of maintaining a fleet of aging planes. I have been told that there is a substantial costing- factored into general administration of the dinky little operation of 4 or 5 planes on any day at the most. However, because I cannot access the audit of Air Seychelles Domestic, I cannot confirm that for you.
Hide The Audit, Pin Tail On The Donkey!
The Audit has been hidden from the Public, allegedly because the Air Seychelles Domestic section of the Air Seychelles books is in such a mess, that if we were to hold the Board of Directors of Air Seychelles fully accountable for the morass, they would all face personal bankruptcy. Some may even face jail time if put to task. Now, the People of Seychelles would not have that.
In a democracy, wherein the public purse and interest is placed in the hands of a few glorified seat warmers that do not produce positive results, if AUDITS are not made Public, then the seat warmers in the case of the Board of Directors of Air Seychelles Domestic, must be fired. We can only reasonably assume it is a mess, since the Board of Directors cannot do anything about it.
If We Keep Them - What?
If we keep them, then we accept failure of the Tourism Industry as a fait accompli and we may as well ask the banks to move in, take over the Front Desk of hotels in Seychelles.
Che Guevera Acknowledges Failure of Revolution 2 hrs. Before We Run Out of Fuel in 2008
Late bloomers to Freedom and followers of the Free Market have trouble understanding how the Free Market works. When they jump on board the Free Market bandwagon, they shout and scream Free Market everywhere, so people think they have changed. But the Free market, in its totality has an instinct to it; many Che Guevara’s of the world do not understand or trust that instinct. This is the source of their failures, when they do try to change the world over.
Seychelles is not an exception to this mistrust and is the cause of deep failures unless addressed. In Seychelles, our Che Guevara (James Alix Michel) took us to 2 hours before we ran out of fuel to declare that Seychelles had in fact gone bankrupt on October 31, 2008.
Today, our Che Guevara is doing the same thing all over again with Air Seychelles Domestic: taking the failure to the last 2 hours, before total collapse of a public transport system.
The same happened to SPTC before the Sheik Khalifa gave us some buses to keep moving.
The same will happen to the interisland ferries, if they are not recognized as indispensible public transportation sector in the prolonged downturn we are going through, and given some reasonable tax credit on fuel consumption, to keep the service on time, every day, numerous times a day, at a reasonable price, that is acceptable to the entire market. Air Seychelles Domestic is no different.
What Next Comrade Che?
My advice to Che is this:
1. Fire the Board of Air Seychelles Domestic;
2. Hire a New Board, with mandate to secure and enhance quality of service of Air Seychelles Domestic, by seeking new venture capital fully bona fide Seychellois national interests- open share subscription to the public now make them a part of Air Seychelles Domestic, so they stop taking the boat;
3. Do not sell Air Seychelles Domestic to Emirates, Qatar, or ITIHAD, please;
4. Make sure the New Board is made up of men and/or women with brains and back bone;
5. If one component is missing, do not make the appointment to the Board;
6. Separate Domestic from International and let it fly!
After you have replaced the Air Seychelles Domestic with men/women of back bone and brains, do the same at Air Seychelles International I am sure the problems are the same, over paying for paper clips.
If they are the same people and same problem, just kill two (2) birds with one (1) stone. Same people, same problems? Only another AUDIT will clear that up.
Put on your combat gear and on your bike Che!

Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!