Saturday, November 29, 2014


By George Chang-Tave

I fully support the motion to reinstate the 1976 Seychelles National Flag. I strongly believe this should get louder and louder and we should never give up on it. The 1976 Seychelles National Flag is the only true legitimate flag of Seychelles. No-one, no matter which government should ever be allowed to change or tamper with it. There is no question that the Flag our Seychelles flew on the day of its independence, the day of the birth of the Seychellois Nation, should remain forever its National Flag. Seychelles Independence Day is and should forever remain the greatest day in the history of Seychelles; there is no doubt about it.

Everything pertaining to this day of such importance should never be allowed to be torn apart from it. Doing so would mean tearing apart the very fabric of the Seychellois Nation. Furthermore, to tear apart any of the attributes of the Independence day 1976, amounts to the worst insult to the dignity of Seychelles. It is all part of the act of treason committed on Seychelles on the 5th June 1977. These were the first things, that were attacked and attempted to be distorted immediately after the coup d'état anyone responsible of such crime should be tried for treason. The Seychelles National Flag 1976 represents so much of Seychelles history and its people.

Albert Rene swearing allegiance to the First Republic; only to commit treason 11 months later
The National Flag should be the most sacred emblem of any nation. The current flag represents a political party. Just like the SPUP->turned SPPF->turned PL, they've changed the flag along as they've disguised themselves (it makes sense you see - there is consistency - the changes SPPF did to their party, they also changed the nations national emblems to suit their needs - everything may not have happened on the same day, but it transpires to be so). The National Flag should be far above partisan politics.

If you look around in the world, in most decent countries (democracies), like the US, UK, France, Holland, Sweden, Germany, India, Kenya, Jamaica even Mauritius, (except in some banana republics) whenever they make political changes, they NEVER EVER change their flag, because their flag is their nations' identity. When a country changes its National flag too many times, it suggests their nation's foundation is not solid. If you look around in the world, you will notice that the well established democracies have had their flags for centuries. Moreover, most of the countries that changed their flags after it was taken by force, are now returning to their original flags, like Libya, Tunisia, (the Syrian opposition use the country's original flag) the former eastern bloc countries that became part of the larger communist federations, such as Ukraine and Georgia, and all the former Yugoslav federation nations etc. to name just a few, have all gone back to their original flags. To return the Seychelles 1976 National Flag is one of the most important transitions Seychelles needs to make if it wants to make a first step to uniting the nation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


“Democracy at work”. After all the recriminations that characterised Saturday’s meeting at Port Glaud between the promoters of Emirates’ Cap Ternay resort project and members of the public, this was the only positive way government officials could described the exercise. A meeting overwrought with emotions and tension where members of the public clearly expressed what seemed to be a non-negotiable objection to the project.

To describe the meeting as full of tension and of animosity would be to fall short of all the emotions that were on display on Saturday at the Port Glaud community centre. But the authorities has prepared for such an eventuality – a police officer was on standby in case a riot broke. And back up was ready and waiting at the Port Glaud police station in case things got out of hand.

And getting out of hand, they did. The meeting started with murmurs of disapproval towards the project followed by loud objections whenever a member of the panel spoke. The panel consisted of principal secretary (PS) for the ministry of Environment and Energy, Wills Agricole, the director general (DG) for Wildlife Enforcement and Permit Division at the same ministry, Flavien Joubert, local project managers Dereck Rioux and Shane Kleinschmeit as well as the project team members Dene Murphy, Bill Pujin and Derreck Steinhobel.

Barely five minutes after the meeting started, an elderly man stood up and cried out to Wills Agricole “Mr. Agricole, you are the principal secretary of the ministry of Environment, you are government too, how could you let the Arabs do this to us?”

The frustration went crescendo after questions – albeit hostile ones – put to the panel found no answers. After a presentation by Mr Joubert to help the public better understand why the meeting was part of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process, the public was told that issues put forward during the meeting will be included in a report which will be made accessible to the public for review and comments.

 At this point during the meeting, an inhabitant suggested that the report be uploaded online for comments and Mr. Joubert said that the 2008 version of that project was already posted but that he would make note of the suggestion.

 Mr. Murphy was next on the agenda to present the project to the public but he appeared to only frustrate people further. Many people said they could not understand the purpose of the meeting since it appeared that the project had already been approved. To which Mr. Joubert vaguely explained that his ministry was simply making the project a Class 1 one and that this had for requirement the elaboration of an EIA report.

This, however, was only one of the very few questions that actually got an answer. Faced with allegations that the project has already received approval from the powers that be, ministry officials affirmed that they were not aware whether or not the project had already been placed in the hands of contractors.

 Members of the panel could also not say why or how the dredging of the sea would happen except for “creating a bathing experience for the clients”. They also could not explain why access to the beach was presently restricted in spite of the presentation guaranteeing beach access to the public once the hotel was open. They could not say why they had to “restore strategic areas such as the marshes” even if there was nothing wrong with it in the first place, they could not answer where they will be getting the sand to re-profile the beach, they could not justify the destruction of marine life - with the dredging activity - and finally could not explain why those answers weren’t available.

 Notwithstanding this, Mr Murphy to whom TODAY spoke to after the meeting, told this newspaper that he remains hopeful that the project is one that will materialize and more importantly, said that “there has already been a commitment, an agreement between the Seychelles Government and the Emirates”.
Dene Murphy described the meeting as “a heated one with a lot of emotions”. He said he was “well aware of the objections on social media” leading up to the meeting as well as the hostility towards the project.

“I believe that we have to listen to what everybody has to say. I am only the developer of Emirates and I have been forthcoming with all the information I was in possession of,” he said adding that he could “understand the emotions but that is why we have these public meetings, in fact I won’t take anything negative out of it rather the positive.” He estimated that the project may be developed over a two-year period but would not reveal the actual cost of such an investment for “confidentiality issues”. He nonetheless confirmed that it was a substantial sum of money and the next step for him and the project team would be to complete the scoping exercise. “The real purpose of the meeting is indeed to get public participation, and to take note of what they have to say. From there we will include these in our final assessments to the ministry of environment,” he told this newspaper.

 Hence it is not known if the promoters and the authorities will go on with their plans of destroying private property to make way for the hotel.

 Dr. Nirmal Shah of Nature Seychelles is an inhabitant of the Port Glaud district and his property lies in close proximity to the project. He was particularly concerned that his property was very likely to be used as a “car park” in the eventuality that the beach access through the hotel was used.

 In this regard, Mr. Murphy said that the access road to the hotel needs to allow for easy transportation of building materials and will thus be enlarged by two metres. He also mentioned that there would be some walls that will be demolished to allow for the new enlarged road.

 Mr Murphy however ignored the fact that the enlargement would mean the demolition of some private properties including that of Dr. Shah. For his part, Dr. Shah said that “to come up here and say that you will demolish these walls when they are clearly private properties” was disrespectful to him and other owners.

 There was no reaction to the point made.

The panel unsuccessfully tried to convince people that the project should create jobs for some 400 Seychellois. But some people said it was “clear that these positions would be filled by expatriates”. Mr. Murphy guaranteed nonetheless that the operators would recruit and train as many Seychellois as possible as they have done in their other hotels in the Bahamas for example. Moreover, he said that the Dubai international airport had more passengers going through it than in long-established Heathrow in England. According to him this would be a great advantage to the Seychelles’ tourism industry. The point did not appear to calm people down as the main contention seemed to be the destruction of so many natural habitats.

“Restoration means making something better. What you are doing is called destruction,” one young lady said.

 The meeting adjourned on a very sour note. Kisnan Louise from Port Glaud district told the panel that they needed to come back with another presentation in another meeting since they had not been able to address any of the questions raised by the public. Mr. Joubert said that there would indeed be other opportunities to harvest other opinions. “Make it your responsibility to review today’s discussion and know that your points have indeed been noted,” he said.

 As for PS Agricole, he concluded that “what is important is that we are once again reassured of your commitment towards the environment of Seychelles. You have all raised valid points that the promoters should definitely consider. What we have seen today, this is real democracy at work.”


Monday, November 24, 2014


The police have no prior information about man who was stopped after he bolted upon seeing a police vehicle.

The chief interpreter of the judiciary, Danny Michel was arrested on Thursday afternoon at La Promenade in the English River district, the police have confirmed. The man has been closely involved in the Charita case.

Mr Michel was in possession of an undisclosed amount of cannabis at the time of his apprehension. The arrest happened by happenstance when the police was conducting a random patrol in the area. They saw a man run the minute he saw the police. He also threw the bag he was carrying as he ran – behaviour that indicated to the police that something untoward was going on.

The police secured the bag and gave chase to the man. The bag contained an undisclosed amount of cannabis and the man was later identified as the judiciary’s chief interpreter, Danny Michel, 48, a resident of Port Glaud.

Unconfirmed sources say that it is suspected that the drug comes from the Charita case in which Mr Michel is responsible for producing drugs seized in the case as exhibits in court. Juliana Esticot, the Registrar, chose not comment on these allegations nor on the fact that a court official has been arrested. Mr Michel appeared before Magistrate Samia Govinden yesterday morning and was remanded to custody until December 2. He has not been formally charged yet.

Mrs Esticot told this newspaper however that she would not be making any comments on this latest development unless she has the “management’s green light”. Acting Chief Justice Karunakaran’s office would also not comment, referring this newspaper back to the Registrar.

Police spokesperson Jean Toussaint told this newspaper he not confirm whether the drugs actually came from Charita, saying that unless the court officially reported that drugs were missing from the Charita stock, the police could not make this assumption.

Court sources have told this newspaper that some of the drugs have indeed gone missing. If confirmed, it is not certain what effect this will have on the Charita case.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014


The brothers say they don’t understand why the police officer who killed their father has been released on bail while the man who killed a police officer has been accused of murder.

The irony is poignant. On October 30, Emanuel Malvina, 56, lost his life in a road accident as a police vehicle trying to overtake another car hit him head on. The driver, a police officer, was arrested but later released on bail. The police still have not confirmed the charge against the officer who hasn’t been identified.

On July 26, Constable Jules was fatally hit by a car while he was on duty. The young driver has been charged with murder – a very unusual charge for a road accident – and is still being held at Montagne Posee.

The children are still mourning their father and say they are at a loss to understand the way the police have treated this tragedy.

Ian Rose and Pascal Malvina both confirmed to this newspaper that they have not once heard from the police since their father’s death. “The last time we spoke to a police officer was when they handed over our father’s body to us for burial”, they say.

The brothers state  that a relative of the police officer involved in the accident, had approached them to ask them to consider removing the case, by speaking to an official at the Attorney General’s office.

“We don’t understand why he was released. Yet, the boy who killed the police officer in July is still being held at Montagne Posee prison. We hope the police officer will get the maximum penalty. All we want is justice especially since it was a policeman who didn’t respect the Highway Code and ultimately killed our father”, the brothers told this newspaper.

“The accident happened where there was an unbroken line on the road – a sign that says clearly that there should be no overtaking. Why is the police the only institution that gets away with not respecting the law?”, they ask.

The boys are even more aggrieved because they know that their father was generally very prudent on the road. “If you went to Takamaka on foot, you might’ve reached there before him!”, they say of their father.

Ian Rose also tells  that the driver who killed his father is well known to him. “He is about 74 years-old and he lives at La Misere and used to be an officer with the National Guard Unit. I cannot understand why a person his age would drive a police vehicle when I once approached this department for a part-time job and they said they didn’t employ part-time personnel”.


Monday, November 17, 2014


Alleged beating of Somali prisoner by officer

According to reports, a gurkha officer assaulted an 18 year-old Somali at Montagne Posée. The authorities have been mute on the subject despite attempts to obtain their reaction.

A Somali pirate imprisoned at Montagne Posée, going by the name Abid–Assen, was reportedly assaulted on Monday by a gurkha officer. The prisoner is believed to be around 18 years of age. Very little information is available about the incident so far. The prison authorities as well as the ministry of Home Affairs have refused to comment on the allegations.

Lawyer Nichol Gabriel is currently involve in the case and has written to the prison authorities to ask for a report of the incident. Mr Gabriel had not heard anything from the authorities.

Abid-Assen was admitted to the Seychelles hospital for one night after the assault on Monday. Unconfirmed sources say the man was vomiting blood before his transfer to the hospital.

According to witnesses, a gurkha officer going by the name of Harry, slapped the young man after which he reportedly passed out. After this, the officer allegedly kicked the unconscious prisoner.

It is as yet unclear why this particular prisoner was singled out.

This incident came to the attention of lawyer Nichol Gabriel who wrote a letter to the prison authorities, requesting the medical report of his client as well as a report from the prison authorities on the incident. Gabriel had not received any report from either the ministry of health or the prison authorities.

Mr Gabriel stated that what happened was “really unfair” and a direct consequence of the prison authorities’ failure to protect inmates. The lawyer further said that he intends to sue the prison authorities to prove the officer in question was at fault.

Contacted, Prison Superintendant Maxime Tirant has refused to comment on the incident. The liason officer for prisons at the ministry of Home Affairs also declined to comment.

Seychelles is among 21 countries worldwide that detain Somali pirates through an agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). According to an official document from the UNODC, the prisoners are supposed to follow a rehabilitation programme to prevent future crime at the Montagne Posée prison.

Source: Today

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Ian and Mike Melle say that they were aggressed by law enforcement officers in Roche Caiman on Friday night. The police however affirm that their injuries were self inflicted.

There are always two sides to every story. This saying is particularly appropriate when it comes to the altercation involving Ian and Mike Melle and the police last Friday night near Fresh Cut at Roche Caiman. The two brothers accuse the latter of having brutalised and sprayed them with tear gas for no reason before imprisoning them for the night. The authorities, on the other hand, affirm that the siblings were fighting when they were “spotted by police on patrol who intervened to arrest them”. In addition, police spokesperson, Jean Toussaint, told this newspaper that, “no official brutality or assault reports have been formally registered to the police by any of the two men”. For their mother, Eunice, however, it’s a case of the police abusing their authority.

As Ian, a 26 year-old cook from Roche Caiman, recounts the story, his brother and him were simply walking to the shops when the trouble started. According to him, the events unfolded between 9.30pm and 10.00pm when the siblings were intercepted by a red Terios. “The officers asked us what we were doing and wanted to handcuff us”, alleges Ian Melle. And when they resisted, they copped a face full of tear gas, he avers. Despite this, he continued to struggle against the officers who wanted to bundle him aboard the Terios. After having cuffed one of his hands, the police then proceeded to push him to the ground before “hitting me on my back and arms”, he says, displaying numerous bruises and scratches on his neck, arms and back to drive his point home, Eunice Melle avers that her other son, Mike, was hit in the face.

The police however affirm that, “during the process, Ian assaulted a constable in the face and damaged his glasses”. The marks on their bodies were inflicted during the altercation between the two brothers, Mr Toussaint states: “The police reported that as a result of the fight between Ian and Mike, a cut was observed on Mike’s lips while Ian had scratches on his neck. They were both under either the influence of alcohol or drugs”. A second patrol car came to assist the first one and the brothers were transported to Mont Fleuri police station (Mike was later taken to Central). Ian even alleges that he was sprayed again with tear gas in his cell later that night. The brothers were released the next morning after having been charged with “affray, damaging property and assault on police officer”.

Ian admits that Mike and himself had perhaps been speaking loudly, as brothers are wont to do, and had had a drink or two, but is adamant that the reaction of the authorities was completely unwarranted. He has been “depressed” since the incident. “All this because two kids were talking”, she states. For his part, Mr Toussaint reiterates that the police have an “Internal Affairs Bureau to investigate public complaints against members of the force”.

Source: Today

Thursday, November 6, 2014


The national human rights commission (NHRC) has taken a whole year to respond to a simple letter of complaint on human rights violation and illegal arrest. This shows the incompetency of the chairperson of the NHRC who earns over SCR70,000 a month. Her actions are highly detrimental to the promotion of respect for human rights in Seychelles.

On top of that the letter was dated 12th September; left the Office on the 24th October, received by the post office on the same date and delivered that very same day. From the moment the letter was typed on 12/9, it took the NHRC six weeks to have it posted on 24/10; an impressive record of inefficiency. If only the lawyers would be as efficient as the postmen. They are also unaware that for over a year The New Democratic has changed its name; although the two offices are practically next door. Thorough investigation!

The letter from the chairperson could easily be construed as a national joke. It devalues Seychelles society and it is a travesty to our nascent democracy. How does Dora Zatte get away with that kind of mediocrity?

The lady, a lawyer herself, makes a mockery of the interpretations of the law by stating that she is of the “opinion that the police were acting within the remit of their powers, more specifically that of arresting and detaining members of the public in the prevention of the commission of an offence” What total gibberish especially remembering the fact that the illegally arrested were in fact invited to the police station.

The people, who sat on the wall by the clock tower with banners around their necks reading “Annou repran nou pei” on the 30th September were exercising their constitutional rights-plain and simple. They had not broken any law and should not have been interfered with by the police. NO CRIME WAS COMMITTED.

The complainants were never approached for their version of events by the NHRC and yet they stated that it was a lengthy investigation; who did they speak to?

The stance as taken by the NHRC on this particular incident gives rise to the belief that Seychelles in 2014 is still being run by some like the days of the one party era.


Six scrounging cabinet ministers are being accused of cheapening their ministerial offices after it emerged that they had accepted an all expenses overnight stay at the Eden Bleu Hotel on Eden Island.

The ministers in question and some family members spent one night as guest of the hotel management on the opening night of the islands first business hotel.

Gossip about their overnight stay surfaced on social media after some relatives posted pictures of themselves in the hotel rooms and boasted about it.

Seychelles Ministers with Angolan General

It can be confirmed that other than the rooms offered to them personally, at least two of the ministers asked for extra rooms for their relatives, with one minister requesting three rooms!

The scroungers have been criticized for breaching Section 91 of the Penal code which covers official corruption which prohibits anyone employed in the public service to corruptly receive such favours.

Anyone found guilty of this felony is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

The public reaction found the ministers` action as an embarrassment to the government and to the country because it creates the impression that they can be easily bought.

“To me if those high officials had their country and people at heart they would have gone to the opening and then gone home. This would have made a point that they cannot be bought and that they are worth more than a night in a hotel” said a comment on social media.

It is not the first time that ministers have been embroiled in such scandals leading to critics labeling them as “scroungers”.

The only two cabinet members who did not accept the offer were Vice President Danny Faure and Minister of Tourism, Alain St Ange. Minister Pierre Laporte and his colleague Peter Sinon were not present at the opening of Saturday 18th October.

Source: Le Seychellois