Thursday, April 30, 2015


“Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities” – Pope Francis

As I read about the President’s third visit to the Vatican with his usual large entourage to visit the Holy See, I fail to understand why President James Michel is still in “search of inspiration and wisdom” when he has visited the Vatican on two previous occasions. Were the previous Popes not wise or not forthcoming with inspirational thoughts, or is this not just another camouflaged visit in search of a photo opportunity with Pope Francis, following which President Michel can start manufacturing new clocks at taxpayers’ expense to donate to his own Parti Lepep flock of sheep before the election?

In search of inspiration and clocks
If indeed it is “inspiration and wisdom” that this globe-trotting, multi millionaire President seek, then as a devout and humble Catholic, I believe it is my duty to guide our President by reminding him of the 10 laws handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai by our Creator GOD. Those 10 commandments were gifted to mankind to show us how to live a better life and how to please our Lord forever, and when handed over, was accompanied by smoke, earthquakes and the blast of a trumpet to emphasize the importance of these laws. Moses recorded God’s words in Exodus 20:2-17. A reminder of some of the 10:

-You shall not murder.
-You shall not commit adultery.
-You shall not steal.
-You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
-You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.

As he seeks wisdom and inspiration and hopefully redemption as well, I would kindly ask the President to pay particular attention to those supreme laws.

By A.Pierre


They moved to Seychelles because they had fallen in love with the country and wanted their nine year-old son to grow up here. But an argument with a neighbour on Praslin escalated into a situation fraught with danger and intimidation. Faced with the authorities’ reluctance to help and protect them, Carine and Alain Gagneux left Seychelles for good on 16 April. This is their story.

Carine and Alain Gagneux have been coming to Seychelles for the past 22 years. Over the years, the French couple had developed an attachment to Seychelles but more particularly to Praslin, where they go every time they visit the country. The couple’s nine year-old son practically grew up here. The young family speaks and understands Creole, has many Seychellois friends and every year when the time to leave Seychelles comes, they find that they are more and more reluctant to go back “home”.

 So they decided to take the leap they have been dreaming of for years by making a permanent move to Seychelles. In March, they arrived in Seychelles with big hopes packed in their suitcases. They rented out a house at Anse Kerlan, Praslin. They didn’t know the area particularly well, having stayed at Grand Anse, Mont Plaisir and Ste Anne during their previous visits.

 On 18 March, they moved into their new house and began procedures to start a business there, hoping that their investment would allow them to apply for a residence permit. On Saturday 4 April, their neighbour and two of his friends walked onto their land and started throwing cut grass and dead plants onto the lawn. When Alain Gagneux asked what the act of aggression was about, the three men started insulting Mr Gagneux, accusing him of dumping the dead plants on his property.

What should have been a civilized conversation among neighbours turned into a heated discussion complete with death threats and xenophobic remarks. The couple insisted that they did not dump anything in their neighbour’s garden but still promised to have it cleaned, in the name of keeping the peace.

 Except that the men would not calm down. Instead, according to the couple, they left with a chilling threat: “In three days, you will leave Seychelles in tears. You will cry. You will cry”. The next day, the men came back with a machete. When Mrs Cagneux told them that the gardener would arrive shortly, one of the men shows his machete to the French woman before making obscene remarks. Scared, the couple decided to call the police. When the law enforcement officers arrived on the scene,  they called the neighbours in an attempt to reconcile the two parties But it all went frightfully wrong for the couple who found themselves accused of threatening their neighbours! When Mrs Gagneux told the police that she had been threatened with a machete, the neighbours denied that a weapon had been used to threaten Gagneux couple. And the police chose to believe the neighbours. When Mrs Gagneux told the authorities that she had photos to prove her claims, the police made her delete the evidence.

The Gagneux’s neighbour’s machete is clearly visible.
 The days that followed were, according to the French couple, “a nightmare”. They were forced to leave their house and seek refuge in a hotel. The police, they say, refused to take them seriously and every time they made a trip back to the house, fresh threats were made by the neighbours. At some point, the couple, tired of being afraid and anxious that the situation would prove too traumatic to their child, decided that righteous anger would be a more effective weapon. So they decided to go back to the house they had rented for five years. One night there was enough, Carine Gagneux stated. They had to barricade themselves in the house because the neighbours kept walking up to the house to scare them.

The next morning, they left never to return. But they faced a dilemma : should they leave Praslin and Seychelles or alert the authorities? They decided to go for the latter. Emails were sent and phone calls were made to the ministry of Tourism, the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ministry of Home Affairs as well as to the French embassy. Contacts were made with newspapers. But somehow, according to the Gagneux, no one came to their help.

On 16 April, exhausted by the tension and disillusioned by their experience, the French family left Seychelles for good. Asked by email what their future projects are, they say “to never come back to Seychelles. The threats were real and we could tell this wasn’t something that was going to go away. We were left defenseless, we realised that we couldn’t count on the protection of the police since they already told us there was no case against the people who threatened us. We had to leave because we cannot accept to live without justice.

Our nine year old son has suffered enormously from the situation”, the couple said. They also claim that the men who had threatened them “are known on Praslin for terrorizing people, especially foreigners and this is why the police are not doing anything. They too, are scared of them”. In a letter sent to the President of the Republic after their departure from Seychelles, the Gagneux couple said that, “we have come to a bitter realization – that this country, once so peaceful, is falling prey to alcoholism, drug abuse and violence. This country where one could sleep with the windows open, where people used to smile, where racism didn’t exist, where people were proud to be Seychellois. We would so have loved to become Seychellois and we would have been proud of it”.


Monday, April 27, 2015


Did President James Michel through Minister of Tourism, Alain St Ange,  orchestrate a fake terror plot by using the Carnival de Victoria to further their political agenda as their party`s popularity has completely crumbled? This is an old trick pulled by Governments around the world when popularity has collapsed; spread the fear and get the people to submit their rights to the government.  After all James Michel is an expert in fear mongering as was witnessed during the coup d’├ętat of 1977 and under the one party state era that followed.

It is alleged that St Ange together with the aid of released an article on Saturday April 25th claiming that “Seychelles authorities acted on an attempt to destabilize the country at today's carnival”. The article is still up on the website contrary to some claims. It has to be remembered STB PR and Marketing department have had very close links with ETurbonews for many years. It is apparent that STB pay a subscription to Eturbonews to push their press releases to Eturbonews worldwide audience.  Would this article have been released without prior knowledge from St Ange?


Twenty four hours later Eturbonews released another alleged sanctioned article titled “The president is attending: Seychelles shows resilience at the Carnival”.  This would have the effect of the President looking like a hero and boosting his crumbled popularity; a stage managed and manufactured show.

Michel strolling around carefree on the final day of the Carnival 
This was their final chance on a mass scale to spread fear amongst the Seychellois people before the upcoming elections; it has backfired and failed miserably. The Seychellois people must now turn around and show their discontent and vote out James Michel at the upcoming elections; Seychellois are fed up of being taken for a ride.

By A.Pierre

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I love my country just as much as any Seychellois and we all want the best for our beloved little islands. I do not need the President to tell me how I should express that love nor do I need him to impose his personal definition of patriotism on me. I do not need a national campaign and posters on every lamp post to remind me to love Seychelles! Let’s stop the circus and focus our energy and limited resources on addressing the real issues that our people and our country are facing.

I immigrated to England immediately after the 2006 presidential elections. I keep in touch with friends and family and I visit as often as I can. Through the online media, I follow what is going on. I must say that I’m dismayed at what I hear and read about and was even more depressed at what I saw when I returned home last December. How have we got there? Where did we go wrong? How have we allowed drugs and prostitution to get so out of control that we now need a national campaign - another one – to try and stem them out? How have we allowed our police service to fall into so much decay that people no longer feel safe in their homes? How can government pretend that the world is listening to little Seychelles when the leadership and government appear to be deaf to the voices of their own people; are oblivious  to our ever crumbling health service and education system; the ever widening social divide; the inadequacy of support for our youth and the hardship of so many people? I can list dozens of possible reasons for the mess the country is in today but they all ultimately boil down to politics, greed and the absence of leadership.

The disease that we contracted with the coup d’etat in 1977 is still alive and as strong as ever today as it was in the 70’s and 80’s: Politics. It’s gangrenous and permeates our daily lives. Everything in our little country ends up having a political connotation. If you complain about the weather, you’re bound to find somebody who sees it as a criticism of government. I suppose it’s because the Parti Lepep government wants us to believe that it’s thanks to them that it rains or shines! You have to prove your unreserved allegiance to the Party to get a job, a promotion, to get a government-funded house, an overseas scholarship or a small loan to start your business. The government’s influence even extends to employment in the private sector, as I personally found out in 2006 when I dared to stick my neck out in support of SNP. The situation is so bad that people with little or no other option are forced to resort to “zwe rol” just to get by. The very sad thing is that even part of the local business community have also ended up zwe rol “to protect my business”. The result is that people are employed and promoted, at times into very senior positions, not because of their qualifications, knowledge or competence but because of their political colours. Then we wonder why government service is dysfunctional, incompetent and staff morale is so low and why certain government ministries struggle to recruit and retain staff.

A new government will need to rectify this situation from day one. Politics have no place in the public service as it’s not government’s business to interfere in a private company’s recruitment process. Applicants for a job in the public service should be assessed solely on the requirements of the position applied for. The same should apply for promotions, which in my view, should be assessed by a panel. People applying for government-funded housing and any other service should be assessed according to their needs. There should be a place for everyone who wants to bring their contribution to the development of our country, regardless of their political or religious affiliations. Government needs to show proof of this through concrete actions.

There should be place under the sun for all of us. Our country is full of too many wasted talents. As far as I’m personally concerned, I would rather put my knowledge and experience at the service of my country rather than being in a foreign country, working for a foreign company, however great the company may be.


Monday, April 20, 2015


Government policy is that only residential houses can be constructed on land bank properties.

The residents of St Roch Estate, Au Cap, set up a petition a month ago to ask that the construction of flats and villas at Upper St Roch Estate by a contractor be stopped. We wanted to remind government about its policies concerning constructions on land from the land bank. But, to our surprise, two days later the District Administrator came to visit the site and informed the residents present that she can’t do anything as construction had already started. An adviser of the ministry of Land Use and Habitat also visited a few days later. To our surprise, he told us that the owner will continue with the construction and that we should not interfere as the owner can do whatever he wants; even construct a hotel if he wants.

Just to inform the people of Seychelles, the said contractor built up a high rock retaining wall without planning approval and it was only after completion that officers of the Planning Authority came to visit and approve the plan onsite. The residents of the Upper St Roch Estate are very upset with the situation especially with the comments made by the representative of the MLUH. The Indian workers on the site are also using river water for their bath, etc., the same water that the residents use for drinking and for other domestic uses. Note that there isn’t any treated water in this area. The estate’s residents have been calling on government for over ten years to address the water situation in vain.

SOURCE:Letter in Today

Monday, April 13, 2015


V17925 is 1955 square meters and has been transferred to the stepson of Glenn Savy for only SR226,000. Dupouy is the son of a Mauritian woman Glenny Savy is now married to; this guy is a Mauritian who came to Seychelles because Glenny married his mother. It seems he is now Seychellois by naturalisation. This is fine, but how can Dupouy get a prime piece of land  in the Morne National Park, when thousands  of Seychellois have been waiting forever to be allocated a piece of land on which to build their house?

Why was V17925 not put on tender to provide all Seychellois with the same opportunity to purchase this plot of prime property? Why was the sale of V17925 not gazetted? This is favouritism at its worse from President Michel. And who has given planning permission to Glennys stepson to build in the national park? The people want to know.

Christian Lionnet now the Seychelles Minister for land and planning was at the thick of the action. He signed on behalf of the Government to give away Seychellois land to a person who does not deserve it. This transaction is totally underhand done between friends behind closed doors. President Michel is tolerant to these types of corruption; in fact he loves it.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


“They may kill me but they will never kill the idea of freedom” – Gerard C Hoarau

On a cold winter’s day on 29th of November 1985, Gerard Hoarau the exiled head of the MPR and President of the SNM was walking home from visiting his doctor on the relatively quiet streets of Edgware in London. He was on his own and probably deep in thought. On his shoulders lay the hope and aspirations for freedom of the Seychellois nation.

He was just about to put the key into the lock of his door to go in when ...a cowardly assassin suddenly opened fire from behind emptying thirty two bullets from a sterling sub machine gun into his body with a few smashing into the front door of the house shattering the windows and wooden frame. Gerard crumpled to the floor under the hail of bullets as the assassin melted away never to be seen again.

Andre Laporte his close friend with whose family Gerard shared a house, came out in a state of shock to see Gerard lying on the door step in a pool of blood. He bent down on his knees and tenderly held Gerard’s head in his hands. As Gerard gurgled and fought for breath, Andre urged his dear friend to hold on as he tried to reassure him that the ambulance was on its way. Gerard, his pained eyes wide open but unable to speak, blood pouring out from his multiple bullet wounds; the bridge of his nose shattered by one of the bullets; looked up at his friend and from the corner of his big blue eyes, tears started streaming down the blood soaked cheeks of his face. “It was as if he was trying to speak with his eyes”, Andre recalls as he describes the scene that he says will haunt him for the rest of his life. Gerard’s favourite thick, dark green corduroy coat, a present from his mother and father was completely blood soaked and literally shredded to threads by all the bullets that had peppered his body.

Minutes later Gerard was taken away in an ambulance still fighting for his life. The bullet that eventually killed him had entered in the back of his neck exiting through his nose.

On that fateful day, a peoples’ hero; a cherished son and brother was brutally murdered by cowards, but a martyr and a legend was born. In his own small way Gerard has joined an august band of martyrs such as Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther-King, and John F Kennedy not forgetting his own martyred Seychellois countrymen, Hassan, Simon, Mike, Alton, Son, Jean, Bernard, Tony, Michel, Gilbert.... Today their stars shine brighter than ever in the skies of the Seychelles.

By Josette Hoarau