Friday, July 31, 2015

ROUND ISLAND FOR SR1 A YEAR; SEYCHELLES CORRUPTION!

1.1   SR Million Seychelles Rupees was paid for Round Island - Where has the money gone if declared at all?

We learn that Round Island is on lease for 60 years with an annual rent of a mere Sr1 per year.


 Will the local Seychellois be able to afford a night stay at the Hotel?

Are Seychellois really benefitting from this 5*****+ hotel on Round Island?


The Reservation Office is in Dubai not Seychelles, is this how we improve our economy? How will this increase national earnings from our natural resources???

How can this be tolerated?

Who are the individuals behind this project???
 
The Good Life



Government needs to answer these questions for the public? 

SOURCE:Sun Extra Vol 14

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

OUTCRY OVER LIFE SENTENCE; SEYCHELLES IN DISARRAY AGAIN!

Seychelles made history on Monday when the Supreme Court sentenced two men to life in prison for trafficking of cannabis. The overwhelmingly negative reaction to this news suggests it might be dubious history indeed.


News that Judge Mohan Burhan had on Monday sentenced two men, Jean Francois Adrienne, a 34 year-old farmer and carpenter from Anse Royale, and Terrence Servina, a 42 year-old driver, also from the same area, to life imprisonment, was met by many with incredulity.

 “Why are people only punished severely when they are found with cannabis and never when they import heroin?” In substance, this was the question that many callers put to this newspaper.

 The two men were arrested on April 9 last year by the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) with 47kg of cannabis at an isolated farm in the Anse Boileau area. The men, the NDEA said in a press release yesterday, were “the subject of NDEA attention for a considerable time. This attention culminated in an NDEA search and seizure operation that was carried out on 9 April 2014”.

They both pleaded not guilty but the NDEA said they were convicted “on the evidence before the court which included technical and forensic evidence that was recovered from the scene. The life sentence is the first to have been imposed in this country since the repealed section of the act was enacted in 2012”.


The agency also says that the drugs that had been recovered “were contained in a collection of barrels and bags, concealed underground to avoid detection”.

 The consignment is believed to have come from Madagascar and brought over to Seychelles “a short time prior to their discovery and seizure”. The NDEA also believes that “the evidence found at the scene had all the signs of an industrial distribution centre for illegal drugs”.

This is the crux of the matter. According to the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2012, trafficking of drugs in excess of 250 grammes carries a sentence of “up to life sentence”. In other words, while the penalty is severe for those found with a certain quantity of cannabis, sentencing is at the judge’s discretion. Mr Burhan could have sentenced the two men to any number of years in prison but chose to send them to jail for life.

Lawyer Alexia Amesbury says Judge Mohan Burhan, the head of the Criminal Division, “is known for his excessively high sentences”.

Asked whether she thought this particular sentence was excessively high, Mrs Amesbury explained that she believes a message is being sent by the Judge when he opted for life sentence, a first in Seychelles for a drug related offence. What’s more, the lawyer confirmed that in this case, a life sentence means just that - life. “There is no remission for drugs”, she said.

“Is there a message that is being conveyed? Who is this message addressed to?” she also pondered. But the “message” was received by the layman was largely laced with incredulity. All too aware of the ravages drugs are causing to society, the public nonetheless makes the distinction between cannabis and heroin. “If someone can be convicted for life because of cannabis, what is the sentence going to be for trafficking of heroin?” a mother of four asked.

“Presumably, the authorities understand that heroin is more dangerous than cannabis. If this is so, what would be a more severe penalty for those who sell heroin”, a man asked. But over and above the issue of fairness and proportionality, there’s a very practical question that arises: that of an already overpopulated prison having to make space for two more detainees for a very long time. A prison officer told this newspaper that the facility at Montagne Posée is so overcrowded it has become almost unmanageable. “And most of the inmates are in for non violent crimes like possession and trafficking of cannabis”, he said.


 But while the issue of depenalisation of marijuana has been the subject of much debate all over the world - with several states in the US having even legalised cannabis and Australia being on the verge of legalizing medical marijuana - the matter does not seem to have reached our shores yet. Although mere possession of cannabis does not carry a mandatory prison sentence, the severity of the law with regards to cannabis shows there is no set policy on the matter.

SOURCE:Today 

RACIAL PROFILING IN SEYCHELLES

"SEARCHED BECAUSE I AM BLACK", DISGRUNTLED TOURIST CLAIMS

 A Kenyan banker reconnoitering a wedding venue to surprise his fiancée with her dream beach wedding changed his plans after being subjected to "humiliating" experience at the airport.

Samali Rotimi Joseph, a banker with Diamond Bank Plc, is a man on a mission. Or rather he was when he recently set foot in Seychelles in search of the perfect location for his fiancée's dream beach wedding.


This was what brought him to Seychelles on 7 July on board Emirates flight EK 707 from Dubai. The plan was to scout a wedding location in Seychelles, starting from the hotel he was staying at – Kempinsky Seychelles at Baie Lazare.

But what should have been a fun adventure quickly turned into a nightmare as the Kenyan national made his way to the arrival lounge at the airport. He found himself being detained for an hour and a half, during which time, he says, he was subjected to the most invasive manhandling of his life.

Worse, the banker stated that he believed he was singled out for this search because "I am a black, unmarried man visiting Seychelles for the first time". Asked why he attributed the search to his race, he said it was because no other passenger on his flight was searched. "I was not carrying any drugs so what would make them look at me and decide I am the person they should search?", he asks.

Recounting the incident, Mr Samali said it happened "just after I presented my passport for inspection at the first point of clearance, where passports are viewed and a few questions asked. There were dogs present. I was the only person who was searched. I went through the most embarrassing ‘search’ performed on me, and I literally mean ‘performed’.” he said.

 According to Mr. Samali, his ordeal began outside the arrival hall where he was searched for methamphetamines - or “ice” as it is commonly known - before being ushered into two different rooms where the search continued. Five officers searched his luggage more than once before asking him to strip down to his underwear. When Mr. Samali asked why he was being searched, he was informed by an officer that he was a suspect. Any further questions from him were ignored, he claims.


When the search produced no drugs, Mr. Samali said he asked for an apology for the way he had been treated. Not only no apology was given but "they would not even tell me why suspected me. And after the search, one of the officers even had the cheek to ask me if he could keep my complimentary Emirates card!"

He added that he was also cautioned by an officer who told him that he was "lucky not to have been insulted as well". Whether or not that counts as “luck”, the experience at the airport has changed Mr. Samali's plans.

“The initial plan was for me to scout places before I return with my fiancée sometime at the end of the year. I have other plans now,” he told this newspaper. "What bothers me is that other passengers on board were not subjected to this treatment. In fact, the way I was picked out, felt like I was being picked out from a lineup of convicted killers! I have never been this humiliated in my life", he says.

Mr Samali's visit was a short one; he left Seychelles three days later but his experience left a sour impression on him. "The folks at the resort had to make extra efforts to change my already tainted opinion of Seychelles", he added, saying he had no plans of coming back here despite the fact that he thinks the country is lovely.

Following Mr. Samali’s claims that he was treated in this way because he is black, TODAY contacted the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) where a representative was quick to deny any racial profiling.

“As an organisation, we never pick out someone to be searched depending on the colour of their skin. There is no racial profiling of any sort that takes place. We do not have set procedures that we use to carry out searches. A search happens depending on circumstances and general information received,” an official from the NDEA told this newspaper.


 What information did the NDEA have about Mr Samali in that case? The Kenyan says he regrets not having written down the name of the woman who started the search. "I did not pay attention to the tag because I was watching the other officers very attentively to make sure they didn’t slip anything into my bag".

Source:Today

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

THE GODZILLA OF SEYCHELLES

A National Day Address reply

From the Party for Social Justice and Democracy


Yes, President Michel 39 years ago, our little country became an independent state. It was indeed a glorious event, so historic it was a moment of joy. That moment of glory, that moment of hope which all Seychellois had been waiting for, when we would become the masters of our destiny. How little did we know at the time that 39 years later we would not be the masters of our destiny, how little did we know that in our country we would have no value because when foreigners would flood our shores asking for a “hand’ you would give them our arms, our legs, our stomachs, our land, our jobs, our houses and our beaches.

At midnight on the 29th of June 1976, President James Mancham and Prime Minister Albert René – the two persons that would betray Seychelles and the Seychellois Nation but in different ways and for different reasons, held hands and waved to the exuberant crowd. We were aware that the road ahead would be long and difficult but we did not expect it to be treasonous. We were aware of the challenges ahead, but we did not expect the blood of innocent Seychellois to be spilt, neither did we expect an exodus of our people from our shores. We were filled with the hopes of a free and independent people. Even on that night, one man knew that our hope of freedom and independence was going to be short lived and our nation would be doomed and cursed because no land flourishes when it is watered with blood. Cleanse our land and our country President Michel!


 In your speech you talk about participatory government would that be an indication that you realize that there should be a diffusion of power so that it is no longer concentrated in the hands of a few “because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Hence the decision to “involve them in governance, in decisions that concern their everyday lives. Give people the power to manage their communities, their districts, in ways that are democratic, free and efficient?” For your information President Michel, in 1949, there was the creation of the first District Council by Sir Percy Selwyn Clarke one of our colonial governors.


In your speech you also emphasize upon the small and medium enterprise sector, saying that its development is a key element of the strategy and plan of your government to make available more opportunities for our youth, and generally, to empower our people. We have already put in place the tools, and we will continue to introduce all the measures which help the development and blossoming of small and medium enterprises in a harmonious and equitable manner. Wonderful words Mr. President so I will list below one company so that the people of Seychelles can see for themselves how you have “helped small and medium enterprise in a harmonious and equitable manner” by creating and allowing the creation of a mammoth Godzilla type conglomerate called “Corvina Investment Company Ltd”


Corvina Investment Company Ltd is their main holding company, the vehicle by which they hold interests in many companies of which a few others are also listed here: Societe Seychelloise de Navigation Ltd – Silhouette Cruises Ltd - Presafe Services Ltd. Mahe Investment Ltd - McKenzie (Seychelles) Ltd - Liquid Air (Seychelles) Ltd - Indian Ocean Marine Ltd - Kingsgate Investment Ltd - La Domaine Ltd. Forgive me for saying that your words no matter how wonderful are yet another ruse to delude the voters to give you another mandate, with no substance. The activities of Corvina quoted above are at least 9 years old, if its real interests and activities were updated and published what would really be left for the “small to medium enterprise” to engage in? Picking pet bottles, grass cutting, road cleaning agency to name but a few that are left for “small to medium enterprise”? Added to the above are the several activities and companies of IDC.

WE ARE FREEING THE HANDS OF SEYCHELLOIS!
As from next year government will subsidise the installation of solar panels for families that meet certain criteria, mainly the collective household income. It will also be compulsory for every new house and building to have its own solar panels installed. Here, too, a certain level of subvention may be applicable, depending on set criteria. Mr. President we all know what the “set criteria is’ Are you with Lepep or are you a member of the Opposition? it is the continued use of the specific criteria that has reduced the vast majority of the people to surviving on the poverty line.

 Mr. President in 2004, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that lays out seven ‘essential elements’ of democracy, including:
•Separation and balance of power
• Independence of the judiciary
• A pluralistic system of political parties and organisations
• Respect for the rule of law
• Accountability and transparency
 • Free, independent and pluralistic media
 • Respect for human and political rights; e.g., freedoms of association and expression; the right to vote and to stand in elections.

After 39 year of independence does Seychelles meet the above criteria? In your view, based on the above is Seychelles a democratic State?

The promotion and protection of all human rights is a prerequisite for a democratic society, political systems with a mere façade of a multi-party system, which disguises a pattern of state-sponsored domination of one or several parties, fall short of this core element of democracy.

The freedom of political debate, along with freedom of association and assembly, are at the centre of the concept of democracy, essential elements of which include fundamental freedoms, inter alia, freedom of association and peaceful assembly and of expression and opinion. The right to freedom of expression has wide-ranging implications on the access of opposition parties to state controlled media, for election campaign regulations, media legislation and citizens’ rights to access to information. Freedom of assembly protects intentional, temporary gatherings of several persons for a specific purpose and has a clear democratic function in the process of forming, expressing and implementing political opinions. Freedom of association is indispensable for a democracy, because political interests can be effectively championed only in community with others (as a political party, professional interest group, organisation or other association for pursuing particular public interests).


All the above President Michel, are enshrined in our Constitution.


Alexia Amesbury & A.Pierre

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

ANOTHER $5 MILLION GONE MISSING!

Seychelles lost an estimated $5 million in the sale of the explantation Club hotel back in 2008 according to documents recently made public.

The political pamphlet of Lalyans Seselwa, ‘Sun Extra’ first published the transaction of the hotel sale receipt on 13th July.

 The former Principal Secretary for Finance, Ahmed Afif, later appeared in the Seselwa Annou Koze channel on Youtube to give further details about the deal in an interview with John Denis.

Ex Governor/PS Finance Francis Chang Leng

 He maintained that Seychelles has been cheated of $5.7 from the deal.

 “There’s been no justice in this case. Up till now those who were majority shareholders in the hotel are still seeking clarification about the deal before the Court and they are not yet satisfied,” he said.

 Mr. Afif went on to explain that a possible explanation for the missing sum would be because confusion in the exchange rate. “That argument doesn’t hold water because at that time the rate was fixed by the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) and the rate was fixed at R8,” he said.

 To date there has been no official reaction from the government about this latest accusation of misappropriation of funds.

 It follows the claim made by the same party last month that $50 million went missing from the CBS coffers 12 years ago. According to the Leader of LS Patrick Pillay, a sum of $50 million was transferred from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital, Abu Dhabi to a Seychelles’ Government’s account at CBS and later wired to an account in the London Bank of Baroda branch.

The $50 million is said to have disappeared in 2002. That makes a total of $55 million over a span of six years.

 In an email reply to LSH earlier this month, the new Minister of Finance, Jean-Paul Adam, said: “As the current Minister for Finance I do not have on hand information of the transaction which supposedly took place 12 years ago referred to in your email. We are liaising with the Central Bank to clarify this issue.”

Accusations of corruption and mismanagement of public funds are stacking up against the ruling Parti Lepep (PL) and up till now they have offered little and very unconvincing answers to the Seychellois public.

A recent PL political pamphlet, People Plus issue suggested that the $50 million was used by the former Seychelles Marketing Board (SMB) to buy essential commodities for the country.

Mr. Afif rejected the claim saying neither the CBS nor the parastatal in question has declared the money on their receipt book.

 “One way to find the truth is to verify the Federal Reserve records in New York.” Those best placed to answer questions about the two deals are former President Albert Rene, his then Minister of Finance James Michel and the CBS Governor, who had the dual responsibility of Principal Secretary of Finance Francis Chang Leng.

PLANTATION CLUB HOTEL BACKGROUND

In August 2008 the Seychelles Supreme Court ruled in favour of winding up Ailee Development Corporation Limited, the owning company of Seychelles largest tourist resort at the time, the Plantation Club Hotel & Casino. The Seychelles Government as a company minority shareholder, with its 8 percent shares convinced the Court to order the liquidation of the company arguing that it was not making any profit; it was not paying its taxes and that the establishment has poor hygiene.

Case No 27 of 2008 before Justice Perera has since created legal history by paving the way for minority shareholders to call for liquidation of companies.


 Critics still maintain that without the stat interference in the judiciary the plantation saga would have not happened. Representatives of the 92 percent shares holding are still seeking recourse before the Court over the matter.

Source:LSH

LALYANS SESELWA WRITES TO ATTORNEY GENERAL

The opposition party has addressed a letter to Ronny Govinden requesting that his office initiate three investigations to look into its allegations of financial mismanagement and worse.

Following its claim earlier this month that, in 2003, USD50 million briefly transited through the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) in provenance of the United Arab Emirates before landing in a bank account at a London branch of the Bank of Baroda belonging to a local parastatal company, Lalyans Seselwa (LS) last week sent a letter to the Attorney General and board member of the CBS, Ronny Govinden, requesting that he open an investigation into the matter. This allegation prompted the Minister of Finance, Jean Paul Adam, to state that there was no trace of such a transaction in the system, but LS believes that “the competent ministries [should] liaise with the relevant authorities in the UK and with the Bank of Baroda’s Headquarters to facilitate this investigation, as the account belongs to an organisation of the Seychelles Government”.


The correspondence, dated “Thursday 16th July 2016”, also included requests from the leader of LS, Patrick Pillay, that the AG initiate investigations into the controversial sale of the Plantation Club Hotel and into the accounts of Indian Ocean Tuna (IOT) since 1965 in order “establish how much profit if any profit the IOT made during the period and how said profit was distributed amongst the shareholders, which again include (sic) the Seychelles Government’. On the same day that the letter was dispatched to the Attorney General, Sun Extra, a free sheet published by the LS’ treasurer, Vaithinathasamy Ramadoss, alleged that government, despite only being a minority shareholder in the company, had for years subsidised IOT’s electricity bills and wages to the tune of millions of euros to the benefit of the majority shareholder, MW Brands SAS, a French “société anonyme”.

On the issue of the government- driven sale of Plantation Club Hotel in controversial circumstances in 2008, Mr Pillay had this to say: “this inquiry should clarify the exact amount for which the hotel was sold and how much did the shareholders and other parties, amongst whom was the Seychelles Government, get from the sale”. Despite only possessing 8% of the company that owned the hotel, government took steps to wind the entity down following the Seychelles Licensing Authority’s decision not to renew its operating license and ended up selling the property to the lowest bidder. “Lalyans Seselwa and its members are most concerned about these issues and feel that by conducting these investigations, the best interest of the Seychellois public will be served. Lalyans Seselwa trusts in your impartiality and in your dedication to honour and uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles”, the letter concluded by saying.


It remains to be seen how much traction the opposition party’s requests will receive from the “competent authorities”.

Source:Today in Seychelles

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

ANONYMOUS VOTE


Which Political Party will get your vote?

Lalyans Seselwa - Patrick Pillay
Seychelles National Party - Wavel Ramkalawan
Seychelles Party for Social Justice & Democracy - Alexia Amesbury
Parti Lepep - James Michel
Independent - Philippe Boulle
Independent Conservative Union of Seychelles - Jona Alcindor
Seychelles United Party - Robert Ernesta
People's Democratic Movement - David Pierre
Not Voting





Poll Maker

Friday, July 10, 2015

RADOVAN KREJCIR CLAIMS EX-PRESIDENT ORGANISED HIS FALSE SEYCHELLOIS PASSPORT

Czech fugitive speaks up in court, he explains how he got his two Seychellois passports.

On Wednesday 8th July in South Africa, Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir took the stand to support his fifth bail application at the Germiston Magistrate’s Court in connection with the murder of Lebanese businessman Sam Issa. Led by his lawyer Annelene Van den Heever, he told the court in slightly accented English that contrary to the correction made on the record earlier, he had only been convicted in absentia in the Czech Republic on three cases, not four, and that two more were either pending or on appeal.

Krejcir
 He confirmed that he fled that country because he feared for his life after his father was murdered, allegedly by the government of the time. This is when he came to Seychelles and then, matters became slightly confusing. Earlier during the procedure, Prosecutor Lawrence Gcaba lifted up two maroon-coloured Seychelles passports - one in Krejcir’s name and another in the name of Egbert Jules Savy.

Krejcir explained that there had been an attempt on his life in Seychelles and explained why he had the second passport. ‘’That was for security reason because the Czech Republic government tried to kill me in Seychelles,’’ he said. Due to his health, he needed an MRI scan and at that time the country did not have that equipment. So, another passport was issued for him in the name of Savy. His wife and sons were also issued Seychellois passports.


However, he was put on the spot by Prosecutor Lawrence Gcaba, who wanted to know how the Seychelles Government, which he claimed had persecuted him, would have organized a new identity for him. Krejcir then further clarified by saying that the Savy passport, with its altered picture, was issued before he was persecuted by the Seychelles government and was “organised by the Ex President of the Seychelles for him”.

VICTIMISATION! PRESIDENT OF SEYCHELLES STILL AT IT

By A.Pierre

James Michel has terrorised over 20,000 Seychellois out of their own homeland after the treasonous coup d’état in 1977. Today he`s still terrorising the citizens of Seychelles.

James Michel the terrorist
The Michel administration has gone out of control; they are targeting political opponents and in particular the main financial backer to Lalyans Seselwa, Dr Ramadoss. Michel was himself the main backer of Dr Ramadoss in the past; his regime provided him with Seychellois citizenship and appointed him the treasurer of Parti Lepep. When Dr Ramadoss had a change of heart, all forces have been mustered against him and all is being done to cripple his business.

Government is making life extremely difficult for Ramadoss to operate in a bid to deny him the financial muscle as a political adversary. All government printing contracts have been terminated with Printec Press Holdings and transferred to NISA. All of Dr Ramadoss’ business empire is under tight scrutiny and dirty methods being used to shut them down.


In the latest move, they have given Amusement Center only three months to relocate; an unacceptable time frame for any business. They have moved fast; intelligence officers have been busy at the casino trying to identify under aged individuals within the premises which will lead to his gambling licence being revoked.

Apparently the agents have managed to do just that. Dr Ramadoss is required to show cause why his licence should not be revoked in front of the Board of Directors of the SLA today at 2 pm.


This is political victimization at its worse.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

SEXUAL SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN SEYCHELLES

“BLONDE, BLUE-EYED WOMEN TRAFFICKED IN SEYCHELLES”

Says the Leader of Lalyans Seselwa Patrick Pillay in a recent interview shown on the youtube channel, Seselwa Annou Koze, who claims that foreign women have been brought into the country as sex slaves under the Government’s watch.

“Women are being abused by supposed friends of the President”. This loaded statement comes from Patrick Pillay, a former Minister within the government of President James Michel. The claim of human trafficking is not new in Seychelles. However, what is new is that someone who previously formed part of the same establishment and in the know is now revealing all the secrets. Matter of fact, were one to type ‘sex slaves in Seychelles’, one is bound to bump into an article or two about such claims.


According to Mr. Pillay, young women have been tricked into coming to Seychelles under false pretences. These women were brought in from such countries as South Africa, Albania, Macedonia, Italy and the United Kingdom. They were housed at such hotels as the Plantation Club and Kempinski to name a few. Refusing to go into details, Mr. Pillay says that he is ashamed to describe what happened there, but some girls had attempted to commit suicide by jumping into nearby boulders.

In 2008, Patrick Pillay was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In his capacity as the Minister, there were several instances where he had to deal with reports of women being brought in and trafficked. From all indications, Mr. Pillay is aware of who was responsible for bringing these young women in – “as the clientele, the Arabs, requested blonde, blue-eyed girls”. On one such occasion, an advert was reportedly placed in South Africa, where girls under 18 were offered the opportunity to come to Seychelles to learn how to be Receptionists. It was only after they arrived in the country that they realised that they had been brought in to provide sexual services, albeit against their wills. One such blonde, blue-eyed girl, who was 16 at the time, who was housed at a hotel, screamed for assistance and she was assisted by employees of the hotel to get back home, as her passport had been confiscated. Upon her return, the girl’s father went to the police in Pretoria, South Africa and the Seychelles Ambassador in that country was contacted. An investigation was opened into the girl’s claims.


By Mr. Pillay’s account, human trafficking has been going on for more than 10 years in Seychelles. Who are the accomplices? The airport workers and those who work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who see what is going on but refuse to report such cases for fear of retribution. Mr. Pillay concluded by saying that these “women are being abused by supposed friends of the President” – if our country is cursed today, it is because of our leaders’ choices, that go against our culture and values, all because of greed.

In 2014, the US State Department upgraded Seychelles to Tier Two. This category is for countries whose “governments do not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA)’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.” According to the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, Seychelles is listed as being at risk in areas such as trafficking of children, foreign women being sexually trafficked and foreign men being trafficked for labour.



It is to be noted though, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently conducted a Trafficking in Persons campaign. Said campaign touched on the areas that had been mentioned in the report.

GERMAN NATIONALS UNHARMED AS CHARTERED CATAMARAN CAPSIZED IN SEYCHELLES

Efforts are underway to salvage a catamaran that capsized off Cap Lazare in the south-western part of the main Seychelles island of Mahé on Wednesday afternoon, with no casualties.


The Lagoon 440 ‘Zebra Moon’ belonging to the Seychelles fleet of Dream Yacht Charter, which has offices on Mahé as well as on the second most populated island of Praslin, was carrying five people at the time.

Pascal Durand, the manager of Dream Yacht Charter in Seychelles, confirmed  that the five people, who are all German nationals were able to come out unharmed.

According to Durand, the catamaran was heading from the south-western part to the north-western part of Mahé and that the incident was reported at around 2 pm (local time) yesterday.

The Seychelles police, Coast Guards and Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA) were all informed about the incident.

The Director General of the SMSA Captain Joachim Valmont said that they were informed that the five people aboard the vessel had immediately used their dinghy to get off the catamaran within five minutes after they had noticed that it was taking on water and quickly starting to sink.

His clients explained to the police that they were all at the helm station upstairs when the boat's electronics suddenly stopped working, soon followed by the engine.“The skipper decided to go down and noticed when he entered the boat that it was taking on water… they just grabbed the life jackets and decided to put on the water the dinghy…” read the statement.

The five persons then received the help of some local fishermen nearby to get back to shore.

Durand explained that only the front part of the hull was visible when they reached the location about an hour and a half after the incident was reported.

He adds that steps were taken including the setting of mooring lines to ensure that the boat did not drift further away throughout the night considering the sea was a bit rough at the time.
The sunken catamaran was reportedly secured at a distance of about one nautical mile from the shore until this morning when work started to assess the situation and plan the salvage operations.

Dream Yacht Charter, which started operations in the Seychelles in 2001, has over 400 boats operating in over 30 locations worldwide.

The exact cause of the incident is under investigation by the boat charter company.


DRUGS INTERCEPTED BY SEYCHELLES ANTI-NARCOTICS AGENCY AMONG $1 MILLION DRUG BUST

SPDF MEMBER IMPLICATED IN HEROIN DRUG BUST.

Two men appeared before the Court yesterday in relation to possession of drugs. wo suspects arrested by the NDEA in connection to a heroin drug bust of 1.2 kilograms were brought before the Magistrate Court yesterday afternoon, accompanied by their lawyer Basil Hoareau. The two men were remanded into custody and the court will rule on their bail application today.


Reporters who were present for the hearing with the approval of the Magistrate Brassel Adeline were later asked to leave after the lawyer objected to the presence of the media in the room. According to the communiqué received from the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), the drugs were “concealed in a vehicle drive shaft that had recently arrived in the country from Dubai.”


Prior to the court hearing, attempts were made to get detailed information from the Police, the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) as well as the Seychelles Peoples Defence Force where one of the two men are alleged to be working. Mr. Liam Quinn of the NDEA did confirm that “at least one of the men worked for the SPDF” and while there are allegations that the men worked at State House, Ms. Srdjana Janosevic, the Chief Press Secretary within the Information and Press Department at State House, stated to a newspaper that the two men had never worked at the State House.

It is to be noted that this is not the first time that members of the Seychelles Peoples’ Defence Force have been implicated in cases involving the illegal importation of drugs. Last month, the NDEA arrested several crew members of the naval vessel Andromache as they returned from an operation in Madagascar.


 The NDEA communiqué also reported several other arrests and drug seizures, including 13 grams of heroin recovered at an operation in Les Mamelles, 350 grams of heroin seized from a consignment concealed in the wing mirror of a truck imported from Dubai, 149 packages of heroin recovered from a 23-year old male suspect at Anse Royale plus the discovery of 1,384 cannabis plants at Grand Anse Praslin.


COUP D’ÉTAT AGAINST DEMOCRACY AVERTED IN SEYCHELLES

As for now Seychelles does not have a Public Order Act after the Constitutional court took a unanimous decision yesterday that 19 sections of the document are unconstitutional as they violate different Articles of the Constitution of Seychelles.

Public Order Act assented by irresponsible President of the Seychelles

Summarising the 78-page judgment, acting Chief Justice Durai Karunakaran said sections 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9(2), 9(3), 9(4), 9(6), 11, 13(2)(a), 13(3)(a), 14(1), 22(3), 24, 29(2)(a), 29(2)(b), 29(2)(c)and 29(3) are unconstitutional.

Judges Gustave Dodin, Bernardin Renaud and Crawford Elliott Mckee also sat on the bench for the case.

The decision makes all the 19 sections of the Public Order Act, 2013 void, and representatives of both the petitioners and respondents have declared the decision as “historic”.
Yesterday’s judgment concerned the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Public Order Act, 2013 after two cases of similar nature were brought before the court.

The first petition was brought by the Seychelles National Party and Others against the Government of Seychelles and another. It challenged the constitutionality of sections 3(1), 3(2), 6, 8, 11(1), 12, 24 and 29 of the Act, seeking a declaration that those sections are unconstitutional and hence void.

The first case was entered on March 14, 2014 by the first petitioner, the Seychelles National Party represented by its president Wavel Ramkalawan; the second petitioner the Seselwa United Party represented by its then president Ralph Volcère, and by the third petitioner, Citizens Democracy Watch represented by Gelage Hoareau.

The first petitioners were represented by Learned Counsel Anthony Derjacques.

Viral Dhanjee, a citizen of Seychelles, brought the second petition against President James Michel and the Attorney General. Mr Dhanjee challenged the constitutionality of the entire Act due to the extent to which it contravenes the Constitution of Seychelles.

Viral Dhanjee and Alexia Amesbury
According to the judgment, in his pleadings, Mr Dhanjee specifically challenged the following provisions: sections 3(2), 5(1)(a,b), 5(), 6(1)7, 8(3), 8(4), 8(5), 9, 10, 12, 13(1)(b), 15(1), 15(2), 16(1-5), 17, 18(1) and 3, 19(1)(b), 19(4-6), 20(1), 21, 2, 24, 26, 27, 29 and 33 of the Act.

Mr Dhanjee’s case was entered on March 27, 2014. He averred that he had, and continues to have political aspirations in terms of Article 24 of the Constitution which gives him the right to participate in government, and that the Act contravenes and is likely to contravene his rights under the Articles enumerated in paragraph 9 of his Petition, but more specifically Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution.

He was represented by Learned Counsel Alexia Amesbury.

Attorney General Rony Govinden aided by Mr Anand represented the respondents.

Speaking to the local media, Learned Counsel Alexia Amesbury said the decision is “historic as for the first time in 22 years the Constitutional Court has used powers given to them under the Constitution to declare an Act inconsistent with the Constitution and to declare it void”.

She added: “The interesting thing about this particular piece of legislation is we had the Public Order Act 1959 which was before our Constitution, so the Public Order Act 2013 was supposed to have brought the 1959 Act in line with the Constitution, but instead it violates the Constitution even more than the 1959 Act did.

“The two rights that have been most violated are Articles 22 and 23 – the freedom to assembly, and the right to the freedom of expression. If a country does not have those two rights it cannot call itself a democracy, because those two rights are fundamental and are cornerstones of a democracy. Without those two rights we have no democracy. It is surprising that our country is referred to as a democracy and yet we have the Public Order Act 2013. The Constitution says you cannot amend chapter 3 without a referendum and this Act sought to amend chapter 3 through the backdoor. That is why this judgment is historic and I hope the legislature and executive take note of this judgment and when they bring in the new Act they will implement the observations that the court has made.”

Learned Counsel Anthony Derjacques had this to say: “It’s a great day for Constitutional and fundamental human rights in Seychelles. I felt deeply that Articles 22 and 23 – freedom to assembly, and the right to the freedom of expression – were being infringed by the Public Order Act and the judges have acted in a very authoritative and wise manner in striking down those sections of the Act.
 Now we have to relook at the whole area and I believe this time the executive and the legislature have to consult with all parties and come up with a modern democratic Act to replace the Public Order Act.”


For Attorney General Rony Govinden, he said “today is a historic day and a great day for our democracy. It shows the system is working.  It shows there is a separation of powers and the court independently considers laws of the executive and eventually if it feels there are some provisions in them that are not constitutional  it will rule on these matters and give orders. The courts are there to rule on the constitutionality of any laws that the government passes”.

Mr Govinden added that “it’s the first time and it won’t be the last time because the court obviously looks at the development aspects of laws, how the jurisdiction has changed and interprets and imposes it in our democracy. It then gives a ruling if it finds it partly unconstitutional”.
So what is the next step?

Attorney Govinden explained that it will take some time to scrutinise the judgment and see what are its options.

“There are two alternatives: either we appeal the decision through the Court of Appeal which is the highest court, or we go to the National Assembly with a revised Public Order Act. But both will take time. In the meantime, there are other legal provisions in the penal code and other laws, Police Force Act, which I am sure the law enforcement authorities will be able to use for crowd management in public places,” said Mr Govinden, who added the country needs a Public Order Act to manage and relegate public gathering.

He went on to say that in some other jurisdictions laws have to go to the Constitutional court first before they become law, what is called à priori vetting. But in our system this is not the case as the law goes into the statute book first and then to the Constitutional court.


A draft of the Public Order Act was sent to the National Assembly for consideration on November 28, 2013, approved by the National Assembly on December 6, 2013 and assented to by the President of Seychelles on December 31, 2013. The Act consists of 39 sections of law. The main operative sections of the Act seek to grant the Commissioner of Police and the Police Force with certain powers to control public gatherings, public meetings and public processions in order to maintain law and order across the Republic of Seychelles during non-emergency and non-war times.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

THE ABUSE OF POWER CONTINUES; SEYCHELLES MUST VOTE IN A NEW GOVERNMENT

BANK LICENCE STORY DARKENS

While Intershore Banking Corporation is battling a court case to reverse the decision of the Central Bank to refuse a banking licence to the company for the reason that the Central Bank believes that the Beneficial Owner and Board of Directors lack integrity, the Central Bank has been dishing out licences to other companies which appears insulting to the all Seychellois Intershore Banking Corporation.


It will be recalled that the beneficial owner of Intershore Banking Corporation is Philippe Boullé, who is also Charmian of the company and is a lawyer and former Chairman of Barclays Bank, and the other Directors are Ahmed Afif, an economist and former Principal Secretary for Finance and former Director of Nouvobanq, Mr Bernard Pool a senior Chartered Accountant and Auditor, Mr Ayub Suleman, a prominent businessman and Mr Steve Lalande, until recently the CEO of Lungos.

After refusing to grant Intershore Banking Corporation a licence, the Central Bank proceeded to grant a licence to the Bank of Ceylon under controversial circumstances and soon after it was revealed in the media that the Bank of Ceylon had failed to obtain the required permission from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

It has been brought to attention that a couple of months ago, through a publication in the Gazette that a banking licence has been granted to a company named NIBUR International Ltd and records at the Registrar of Companies reveal that the shareholders are Mrs Danielle Chang Leng, wife of the former Governor of the Central Bank (85% shareholding), Mr Peter Tankov, and Mr Silvan Hurlimann, (joint owners of 15% shareholding) and the Directors are the same persons as the shareholders.

The Puppet Governor and Chairman of the Seychelles Central bank
While it is common practise for the Seychelles people to be taken for fools, one hopes that Mrs Caroline Abel (Governor and Chairman) and the other members of the Board, namely, Mr Ronny Govinden, Mr Wilfred Jackson, Mr Errol Dias, Mr Bertrand Rassool, Mrs Wendy Pierre, who are responsible for granting banking licence will have a good explanation when the time comes for transparency, accountability and integrity in this country.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO MICKEY LESPERANCE?

By A.Pierre

Back in September 2010, two men who went missing during a fishing trip off Coetivy were found with their boat, but a third man in the group was never unaccounted for.

The official story went as such. They left Coetivy Island in a 32ft white fibreglass boat Trial at about 7am on a fishing trip and were expected back at around 3pm the same day; 1st of September 2010. However they did not return. The men that were on board were George Athanase, Wilhem Laurette – both Islands Development Company workers – and Mickey Lesperance, an inmate on the Coetivy prison. Yes a prison inmate allowed to go on a fishing trip; this is most odd in itself.

The three missing men. From left to right: Laurette, Athanase and Lesperance
On being alerted that same evening, the IDC launched a major search-and-rescue operation, both by air and sea, involving IDC planes, a military plane and the coast guard patrol ship Topaz.
Not soon after George Athanase and Wilhem Laurette, both IDC workers, were found by the Seychelles Coast Guard vessel Topaz.They were flown to Victoria hospital for further observations and were released almost immediately.

Mickey Lesperance, a prison inmate from the Coetivy prison was never found. The police started an investigation on what really happened to him but still to this day, nothing!

Mickey Lesperance
The strange unsolved case has many unanswered questions. Why was a prison inmate allowed to go on a fishing trip? Why was he not accompanied by prison guards? What were the duties of the 2 IDC workers? Was the official story a lie? Why has the prison not made a report public? Was Mickey Lesperance murdered? The people of Seychelles want to know the truth!

Source: http://www.seychelles-enews.com/September%205,%202010/soc1_two_missing_men.html

OUR BEACHES BEING RAPED UNDER JAMES MICHELS` WATCH

The beach being excavated
The new hotel nearing construction at Bel Ombre has caused considerable damage to the adjacent beach and the surrounding environment. In an attempt to rehabilitate the beach, they have encroached on part of the beach well below the high water mark. Seychellois will no longer be able to enjoy that part of the beach at high tide; logs being laid will be the new frontier between the hotel premises and the area to be used by local picnickers. The Seychellois are the losers in this game.

The natural flow of the stream has been blocked
What was once a beautiful extension of Beau Vallon Beach is now deserted with heavy machinery doing all the picnicking. The stream and marsh which flowed through the area have been reinvented to meet the architectural design of the builders; the estuary has been blocked and the once turquoise clear water where the sea merged with the stream is a filthy mess; small fishes are no longer to be seen. It is a sad sight. Has part of the beach been sold to the owners of the hotel?

Wooden poles being erected where Seychellois traditionally relaxed at picnics
 
                            The encroachment; well below the high water mark



Sadly, the narrow walkway built to allow locals access to the beach is still without lights; a sad reminder that the safety of Seychellois is not a priority for government and the developers.

Narrow access to the beach for locals