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This presentation is about Seychelles, the people, our hopes and our dreams.  It is from the people and for the people and about our heritage.  It is about our families, our children and what we all strive for.  It’s about our future and about our Islands, our Home.
It’s about Our Country writes Seychelles Business Man Basil J.W. Soundy, managing director of BODCO LIMITED,  a leading construction company on the island. He continues in his address:
The people of the Seychelles Islands trace their ancestry back over 240 years, some families going as far back as six or more generations, to ancestors who were from France, Reunion, Mauritius, India, Madagascar, and elsewhere. These Islands are our country, our home, including Assomption, Aldabra, Astove and the Cosmoledo Atoll.  We are One People.
Mr Basil Soundy

Throughout our history we have welcomed people from around the world who wish to share our way of life.  We are proud of our links with Europe, India, Africa and beyond, and we are proud of our diversity and heritage.  Our cosmopolitan ancestry makes us a nation of people without racial bias or prejudice. We are One Seychelles.


We are a small nation with big achievements and even bigger prospects and despite our size we get on and do everything a country needs to do.  We have a diverse society and the potential for a thriving economy, based upon tourism, fishing, the off-shore sector and the Blue Economy as well as mineral exploitation and the country’s potential oil and gas in our exclusive economic zone.
Britain liberated us and granted us our independence on the 29th June 1976, just 43 years ago.  Britain gave us the means for our economy and community to flourish, which has formed the basis of our national passion for our country to do well.  We are all proud to be Seychellois Islanders and despite the events of the 5th June 1977 and the years which followed under the political doctrine of the SPUP/SPPF/PLP/US, our determination to succeed makes us stronger and will help us to build a better future for all Seychellois as One Country.
We must build a philosophy, all of us, to unite the country and people to become self-reliant and hard working, to produce our own green and organic products, we have the land and the islands to do this.  We must also become responsible managers of our natural resources, of our fisheries in our waters, ensuring that we protect these resources from the exploiters from the EU and elsewhere.  We need to develop our own fishing fleets, purse-seiners and exports of value added fisheries products.    We   need   to   protect   these   resources   for   our  future generations and
Our Country. Our Islands are truly “another world” so let us keep them that way WITHOUT militarization of the sanctuary of some of the rarest flora and fauna, and the most spectacular natural beauty on earth!
We must develop and manage the potential oil exploration industry with good environmental credentials, which engages our community and human resources.  Many areas off-shore are now covered by licences and the Seychelles geological potential is excellent for petroleum and gas exploration.  Seychelles must welcome the cooperation with international companies and institutions in this sector.  However, we cannot allow our paradise islands to be spoilt by mismanagement.
Today our population is about 100,000. For us to attain the necessary economic stability and fundamentals, Seychelles needs to be open for business and reach out to new business partners, to new markets and to create a welcoming business environment to both local and foreign investors alike.  We must all support these goals to enable more equitable business opportunities.
It is the wish of the people of Seychelles to ask their government to introduce measures to give all Seychellois citizens, both resident and abroad, as well as future residents and entrepreneurs all the support they need to undertake investment in our country.  We need simple procedures and more straight forward information for investors, be they local or foreign.  We need to welcome back our Seychellois brothers and sisters who are living and working overseas and help them resettle in Seychelles.  They must be able to vote as citizens in elections too, no matter whereabouts they live in the world.  We are One People and One Seychelles.
The business environment must be open and welcoming, and help with essential information to favourably assist all individuals and investors in establishing themselves in Seychelles, thereby contributing to the harmonious development and future prosperity of the country.
Seychellois have allowed politics to divide us.  We must now use politics to unite us.  I firmly believe we have a great future to look forward to and remain committed to matters of national importance.  Seychelles is our home and we are ALL the custodians of our islands for future generations. Our heritage is our future.  Let us keep it peaceful and pristine.  We are One Seychelles.

https://www.eturbonews.com/252690/one-country-one-people-one-seychelles-tourism-but-no-militarization/?fbclid=IwAR2JcRffArto--z8MIo6u2_yn8pdrEkBLXwEvG0xgvs5AIfTKqVzc75WHBc


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The two met to discuss their differences over the salary increment for the public sector workers that is due for payment at the end of April 2019. It is now certain that the increment will not be included in the pay package for end of (April) this month. The Executive and the Legislative are still at loggahead about how the 62 million rupees should be divided between the work force. The law that is in force make alowances for a 5% increment accross the board. However, the Leader of the Opposition used his majority in the National Assembly to block an amendments to the Public Service Salary Act that would have made the 5% increment a reality.

The Honorable Ramkalawan is proposing that the 62 million rupees be divided in equal amounts between all the public sector workers, irrelevant of position or responsibility. The LDS majority has also quashed an SI that would have made it possible for the Executive to proceed with the said increment of 5%. The President threatened legal action but it seems that he is backing down from carrying out his threat.

The meeting was on Thursday 11th April and Ramkalwan was spotted going through the gates at State House at around 7am, he was accompanied by the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and the President was assisted by his Secretary of State for Cabinet Affairs. However, the LGB was nowhere to be seen. He will have no say in the matter apart from rubberstamping any deal reached between the parties. According to a press communique the meeting was set up to exchange points of view regarding the proposed amendments to the Public Service Salary Act. The business of the people being conducted behind closed doors; transparency was placed on hold for an hour.

Both Danny and Wavel are now stuck in a mess of their own making. If this situation about the increment of salary for the public sector workers, is not brought under control soon, through a consensus the end result will be catastophic for the local economy. The private sector workers are watching development closely to see how it will affect their position and the business community is also very nervous about this situation. It is creating uncertainty in the work place both in governement offices as well as in the private sector.

‘The President said that the meeting had been very useful in helping to reach a common under-standing of the issues involved. He would be appointing a technical committee to continue discus-sions on the matter, and to reach a consensus for further consideration by the National Assembly.

The President emphasized that Government would back pay public service employees based on the agreed Salary Table from 1st April 2019. Mr. Ramkalawan has also asked the workers to be patient and that a deal will be reached soon.
Independent
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On Wednesday in the National Assembly, the listening public witnessed a typical case of a dying man clutching at straws. It came in the debate on a motion by the elected member for Baie St Anne, Praslin, Mr. Churchill Gill. The motion was asking the Executive to consider the teaching of the Seychelles Constitution in the schools. During the morning session Hon. Basil Hoareau had questioned the legitimacy of granting Seychellois Citizenship to El Materi. The Tunisian who was exiled in Seychelles some years back.

 In the afternoon session, the Hon Wavel Ramkalawan took full advantage of this situation and jump on this life raft, from Basil Hoareau, to try and save his political life. It was good to hear a so-called political heavy weigh gasping for political oxygen. Wavel forgot that he was a priest; he went after the nun and the two priests who had been given Seychellois citizenship just before El Materi was awarded with naturalization. We all know that this was cover to grant the Tunisian citizenship. However, before yesterday no one in the National Assembly had queried the decision by President Faure to grant citizenship to members of the clergy. Wavel lashed out at the Anglican Bishop as well.

We know that he is not happy with him, for stating that the regional council should have been elected. Both, Bishop Wong and the Catholic Bishop were granted citizenship as a sign of recognition for their contribution to society. And, is he targeting the nun and two priests because they are from black Africa?

We all know about the scandal that have engulfed the leader of the opposition, in regards to accepting money to keep silent over the granting of citizenship. Mr. Patrick Pillay had challenged the Holy Father, who is the chairperson of the FPAC to call him (Pillay) before the National Assembly, so that they can get to the bottom of that scandal about receiving hush money. So far Wavel has failed to accept the challenge. On Wednesday, Wavel without putting his head into gear opened his mouth and caused further destruction to his already damaged reputation. Now, absolutely no one trusts him.


We can all remember, when Basil Hoareau threw Wavel Ramkalawan a lifeline Wavel asked the question (PNQ) on the status of the Tunisian in the country, in 2017. He was informed by Minister Larue that El Materi, his wife and children had been granted citizenship. He never objected and all the other LDS members in the assembly were muted on the matter; an indication that they were complicit. They saw nothing, heard nothing and said nothing. This is how hypocritical these people are, it is a big example to the country that LDS, like PL cannot be trusted in any manner or form. It is a total disgrace to have so-called honorable people behaving in such a way. God help Seychelles.
Independent
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The schism in the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) Alliance has effectively turned into open warfare as Pat Pillay, the Leader of Lalyans Seselwa and Wavel Ramkalwan, Leader of the Seychelles National Party (SNP) traded insults and accusations over the social media. It will be recalled that the two parties along with two other smaller parties joined forces to contest the second round of the last presidential election and the ensuing legislative elections under the banner of Linyon Demokratik Seselwa. The rough and tumble between the two men got rougher after Pat Pillay resigned as Speaker of the National Assembly and withdrew his party from the LDS Alliance.

Using a fake profile by the name of Ray Cat, SNP accused Ton Pat of corruption and embezzlement of funds. Ray went as far as to state that the acquisition of citizenship by the Tunisian, Sakher El Materi, son in law of the deposed Tunisian President, Ben Ali, was an act of corruption in which Pat Pillay benefited considerably financially. An irate Pat Pillay took exception to the accusations and hurled back with allegations of his own. Not only did he deny the statement, but insinuated that the Leader of the Opposition, Wavel Ramkalawan, was the one who benefited from the transaction. Pillay maintained that El Materi has records of conversations and emails between himself and Ramkalawan as proof that indeed Ramkalawan did financially benefit from the acquisition of citizenship by El Materi.

Pillay, went even further to challenge Ramkalawan to summon him and El Materi before the National Assembly’s Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of which Ramkalawan is the Chairperson, so that the truth be known.  Ramkalawan, has in the past been overzealous to call his opponents to FPAC on the flimsiest allegations, and all aired out on the national TV network, to have them humiliated. The last case in point was that of the former Speaker Dr. Patrick Herminie, who legally sold his shares in a private company to the shareholders of a company doing maintenance at the National Assembly. The final report was a total distortion of the deliberations, and to all and sundry was obviously a witchhunt. Others who have been publicly humiliated by Ramkalawan and his friends, on FPAC included Min. Jean-Paul Adam, Alain Butler-Payet and Lise Bastienne, all of whom are Parti Lepep stalwarts.

So will Ramkalawan accept the challenge? Will he call in El Materi and Pillay to prove his innocence to the Seychellois public? The general public is more than anxious to watch this slinging match. Most political pundits agree that Ramkalawan will chicken out as emails circulated on Facebook earlier this year seemed to indicate that the allegations by Pat Pillay may after all be true. Sources close to Ramkalawan told us that Ramkalawan is even more fearful of Pat Pillay’s call to have forensic accountants from the offshore jurisdiction of Cape Verde brought in to thoroughly investigate Ramkalawan.  It makes one wonders what exactly does Pat Pillay know about the dealing and wheeling of Ramkalawan?

But the whole saga also points to another worrying trend in the existing co-habitation; a systematic cheating and thieving at the highest echelon of power in the country. Will May de Silva of the Anti-Corruption Commission take note or will she once again turn a blind eye because it involves her friends. Has Ramkalawan been caught with his hands in the cookie jar?? This is the question.
Independent
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The nominated councilors by PL and LDS will receive 7500 rupees each per month and the chairperson will each get 10,000 rupees. There are 42 members in all with an additional 7 chairpersons. This will cost the taxpayers SCR385, 000 per month, which will add up to SCR4, 620,000 over twelve months. Many people are not happy about this situation, since, most of them are in fulltime employment and already earning big salaries.

A closer look at the people appointed will reveal that they are all practically activists of LDS and PL. It is fair to say, that the two political parties have used this opportunity to reward their loyalists. This is another crime against the people, by LDS and PL. It is also proof, if it was ever needed that these two parties are very similar in nature; they don’t practice what they preach. The LDS is showing its true colours, and that if they get power one day, nothing will change in a fundamental way the country is being ran today. They will only replace PL and it will be business as usual.

This is a great shame for the people, who had expected that things was going to change, with a victory for the opposition in the 2016 National Assembly election. The “Ek nou pa ek nou” philosophy is still being used to manage the masses by both PL and LDS.

It was a great shame, to see both Sebastien Pillay and Roger Mancienne in a News Extra programme trying to justify their actions. They said, that the people voted for their district council representatives when they voted in the National Assembly election in September 2016. We couldn’t believe what the two rocket scientists said in the programme. They looked like unwilling participants, in this charade to try and fool the viewers.

LDS with PL have trampled on our democratic rights to choose our representatives at district level. They have forced their party activists onto the district councils, to keep a whole on political patronage in the communities. This is not the only time that LDS has departed from what they said they stand for… it seems that when they get a little power they want to keep it all for themselves like PL. The same scenario played out when the Mayor of Victoria was appointed, they screamed and shouted and cried. However, when their man gets in unelected LDS just stays silent and celebrate. Food for thought!  

 heir salaries: This is how the taxpayers are being robbed: 42 MEMBERS   7 CHAIRPERSON 42 MEMBERS @ 7500scr ALLOWANCE PER MONTH = SCR315, 000 7 CHAIRPERSON @ 10000scr ALLOWANCE PER MONTH = SCR70, 000 TOTAL PER MONTH = SCR385, 000 TOTAL FOR ONE YEAR = SCR4,620, 000.
Independent
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We are all familiar with developments in regards to the joint military facilities with India on the Assomption Island. In March 2015, an agreement between Seychelles and India was signed here in Seychelles for the first time, during a state visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This agreement never saw the light of day under President James Michel, even if Parti Lepep had an absolute majority in the National Assembly, up until September 2016. When LDS won the National Assembly elections by 15 seats to 10. The new political landscape meant that India had to cultivate the majority leader in the National Assembly for the ratification of the new agreement; signed in January 2018, between Seychelles and India, with Danny Faure as President.

The Honorable Leader of the Opposition, Wavel Ramkalawan, was subsequently on a trip to India, and he waslooked after in a way that he had never experienced before; he was treated like an Indian King (Maharaja). Judging by articles published in the Indian’s press at the time, it didn’t take the Indian Government long, to convince Ramkalawam to side with them. However, on returning to Seychelles the Honorable LOTO was met with a barrage of opposition from the natives. In the end, having realized that the people will never accept this arrangement with India, the Honorable LOTO said that, “the LDS will not ratify the agreement in its present form”. This statement left the door open for India to sugarcoat the deal, which has now been done behind closed doors.

The people of Seychelles rejoiced in the belief that the deal was dead. The people assumed that the final nail in that coffin, was when President Danny Faure, said during a live press conference (early June 2018) at State House that Assomption Island will not be on the agenda during his state visit to India and he also said that the deal was dead.



Access to Assomption Island military facilities for India still a reality

It is also important to highlight, that at the same press conference, held before the President left for India, The President had said that we will build the facilities on Assomption Island without outside assistance. Money for the project will come from the National Budget for 2019. The President had said.

President Danny Faure went to India with a begging bowl and a wish list in June, which was fully and unequivocally accepted and granted by Prime Minister Modi. The item on that list, which stood out above the rest was a grant of 100 million dollars for military spending, you would think that Seychelles is preparing to go to war. And contrary to what President Faure had said, Assomption Island came up in the discussions with Prime Minister Modi.

The Honorable Leader of Opposition, has not spoken a word about this situation and the grant (credit line) for 100million dollars. Prime Minister Modi said that India will also assist in the construction of military facilities on Assomption Island. Both, President Faure and the LOTO have not made their position clear, nationally, on the latest development for India to help with building the facilities. This new arrangement with India will not have to be ratified. It is a deal being done in obscurity between President Faure, Honorable Ramkalawan and the Indian Government.

Presently, there is no information being made available to the general public, for us (Seselwa) to back this project. The representatives of the people in the National Assembly, must not approve the budget for this project, until such time that the details are made public and the views of the people sought on the new arrangement with India. Honorable Wavel Ramkalawan, have met twice with the Indian High Commissioner for Seychelles in the last ten days (unofficially); the first meeting was on Thursday 19th July at around 6.30pm at the Four Seasons Resort according to eye witnesses, and also on Tuesday this week in Victoria. Can the LOTO provide us with the topic of discussions in the spirit of transparency? And why he is meeting in secret?

The LDS majority in the National Assembly, is not asking questions on the latest development regarding the construction of military facilities on Assomption Island. We hope it is not on the instruction of Honorable Ramkalawan. The new arrangement for Assomption Island, is a backdoor deal aimed at achieving what India had intended in the first place; a strategic military post, to monitor Chinese naval activities in the Mozambique Channel and to spy on China. It is of paramount importance, that we do not interfere in the power games between this two nuclear power. There is a very high price to be paid for this stupidity.  
Independent
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Robert Ernesta aka "Gato Lagres Of Seychelles Weekly 
Just as the contrived tribunal into alleged misbehaviour of the Chief Justice is about to start, the dirty tricks brotherhood is launching their Plan B attack on her.

The Chief Justice, Dr Mathilda Twomey has been accused of corruption by the Editor of Seychelles weekly.

The article sited that the Chief Justice bought a piece of land with SHDC in 1999 and then disposed of it for a profit months later.

At the time most returning graduates were able to apply for  loans from SHDC for the purchase of land to build their properties.

Mrs Twomey, who was simply a fresh young graduate, together with Patrick Bonnelame, Roger Gedeon and Charles Lucas were all entitled at the time as they were all returning graduates.

The truth of the matter is the Mrs Twomey's loan was SR 180,000 from SHDC.  In those days the properties was not transferred to these individuals until the loans were paid in full.

Mrs Twomey paid her loan in 1999 and the deeds were transferred on her name. She decided to leave Seychelles and settled in the Republic of Ireland and sold the property to Mr Faizal Suleman for SCR 400,000 to secure a home in Ireland for her family.

All these transactions were legal and registered at the Government Land Registry. At no point did Mrs Twomey break any law or involved in any corrupt practices.

If The Editor of the Seychelles weekly had any evidence of corruption, then he would have referred the matter to the Authorities a long time ago. Unfortunately he does not have any. Its only harassment and a dirty political campaign against her.

The big question is why does this brotherhood feel it is necessary to strip the CJ of security, and keep on framing her with frivolous accusations? Posted by Seychelles Reality Today
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The Honorable Leader of the Opposition is the greatest escape artist since Houdini, so he believes. This newspaper, and the majority of Seselwa are not at all fooled by his acts of treachery to this country and to the thousands of people who are supporting the LDS. Whenever, there is a scandalous political situation or a crisis, Wavel is never around to provide the public with an explanation and/or to answer questions from the press or to help find a solution. He is nowhere to be seen. It is obvious that he cannot operate under any kind of pressure.

Wavel (LOTO) chose to remain in Africa and not return to Seychelles to attend the 29th June, National Day celebrations, and no explanation was given by himself or his office, for his absence. This, is a big affront to this nation, when you think of the struggle that people had to go through to have our National Day reverted to the 29th June. It is alleged, that he had gone to Cape Verde after his official duties in mainland Africa, to check on his newly opened bank accounts, in the offshore sector of Praia. Wavel must clarify this allegation.

When President Faure visited India in June this year, and the Assomption Island discussion resurfaced during the state visit, even if the President had said it would not be on the agenda; Wavel was nowhere to be seen again. Roger Mancienne made a lacklustered statement in his absence, but, the people had expected to hear from the Leader of the Opposition on his return to Seychelles; nothing to date from Wavel. He, is remaining absolutely dead quiet on the matter. There are plenty of speculations on why Wavel is not addressing this pertinent issue, which is so close to the hearts of the Seychellois.

It must be remembered that during his visit to (Bihar) India in January (2018) to go trace his roots, Wavel Ramkalawan, had told the press in India that he was all for the military base on Assomption Island by the Indian military. He went as far as to blame the Executive for the delay in ratifying the agreement, which Seychelles had signed with India in March 2015. He promised the Indian Government that it will be done in the next few months after his visit. However, we all know what happened when the people said no to foreign military presence on Seychelles soil. He then stabbed India in the back in the cruelest way possible to earn political points; a major diplomatic “faux pas”, for a man who is seeking the support of India and the local Indian community to win the next Presidential election.

We are of the view that Wavel is now involved in a backdoor deal with India for the Assomption Island military facility, to recover his relationship with them, hence his complete silence on the matter. Wavel must also provide a fresh clarification on his position for a military base on Assomption Island by India. He has not even commented on the 100 million dollar credit line for military spending for the SPDF coming out of the President’s visit to India in June.

Wavel Ramkalawan is mandated by the people to represent them as the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, it is important that he pronounce himself on issues, which are of big concerns to the electorates. The country is in the midst of a fresh scandal in regards to the appointment of 7 Regional Councils. The Civil Society (Arid and Ceps,) are of the view that the whole process is not democratic and is against the Constitution of Seychelles. They have the backing of many people.

Once again, Roger Mancienne made a press statement and appeared in the rehash News Extra programme to defend LDS’s position in the matter. Wavel Ramkalawan was nowhere to be seen. He was not even present at the launching ceremony of the Regional Council on Saturday 13 June, at the ICCS. It was an attempt to try and shelter from the fallout of his actions. The country as a whole is now totally confused by his erratic behavior, and what he will do if ever he becomes president and is faced with a crisis. Can we ever trust Wavel Ramkalawan with the highest office in the land??                      
Independent
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The above is the dangerous mix that is killing this country. It is the Molotov cocktail that will burn down the Seychellois society as we know it. It was revealed in the National Assembly this week that there are 56 known financiers of hard drugs, 200 dealers and 300 black spots; peddling heroin and other dangerous substances at different locations in Seychelles. This information is more than is required to eliminate the drug epidemic. However, there are other factors at play that is making it extremely impossible to contain the impact of Heroin; it is corruption and politicians.

On Tuesday the Designated Minister was in Parliament to answer an urgent question posed by Hon. Charles De Commarmond. The Designated Minister had brought with her an entire delegation to the National Assembly, which included the Commissioner of Police. At one point in the debate the Honorable elected member for Cascade moved that the National Assembly should go in committee stage so that the Commissioner of Police could help with answering the questions and to clarify other matters that concerned the police force. The motion to move in committee stage by Hon. De Commarmond was seconded by Hon. Jude Valmont; it was a positive development in the right direction to try get to the bottom of the heroin issue and what the police was doing about it.

The whole country was shocked when the Honorable proportionally elected Leader of Opposition blocked the motion by refusing to support it, all the others in LDS fell in line like a pack of sheep behind Wavel and voted against the motion. This move by Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan meant that the Commissioner of Police was protected from answering any question on the fight against heroin, WHY?

This was a corrupt move on the part of the Leader of Opposition; he stood in the way of transparency, accountability and good governance. This is a man who wants to be president of Seychelles; he is too dangerous, he cannot be trusted with the highest office in the land - His move in the National Assembly on Tuesday was in the interests of the 56 known financiers. They have benefitted from the protection accorded to the Commissioner of Police on Tuesday by Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan. This means that the work to curb heroin sales in the country will become harder with the knowledge that the National Assembly is now providing the Escobars with cover. This is a very worrying sign, Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan owes the people an explanation for his action on Tuesday in the National Assembly.

The foreigners who are working here and their employers have realized that the politicians are weak and corrupt in Seychelles. They know that the ministry of employment/ immigration/civil status is a corrupt institution and many of the people in the private sector abusing the process are big supporters of LDS. LDS wants money and political support from them; LDS is a dog that will only bark and not bite. They are corrupt like PL. The business community is exploiting this situation to the maximum and the fact that only a few people are willing to speak out against the dependency on foreign workers and the abuse of the GOP system. The train will just keep rolling at breakneck  speed to Auschwitz.
Independent
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                                      Ramkalawan and Ferrari remain mute


The whole country was in a state of total shock once the urgent question put by the Leader of Government Business on drug trafficking has been disposed of this Tuesday in the National Assembly. Honorable Charles DeCommarmond wanted to know how much heroin has been intercepted since the New Commissioner of Police (Compol), previously the head of the National Drugs and Enforcement Agency, has taken over the country’s efforts to reduce the supply of hard drugs.

The Minister Responsible for the Police, McSuzy Mondon, was lost for words to establish some semblance of competence and good performance by Kishnan Labonte, the new Compol, whose only remarkable achievement thus far has been the reinstatement of several septuagenarians in the Police Force. The statistics did not add up and the nation was shocked to learn that the police knows of the existence of 256 narco-traffickers out of whom only 8 have been convicted. It was further revealed that there exist 300 blackspots where heroin is openly sold. Only one has been closed thus far and the police has managed to intercept only two kilograms of heroin for the whole of 2017. The whereabouts of the heroin are, however, unknown.

An attempt to turn the Assembly into a committee so that the Commissioner of Police could be directly quizzed by Members was effectively blocked by the Leader of the Oppositon, Wavel Ramkalawan, for reasons best known to him. It was a stark contrast to the grilling of the Secretary of State for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation, Dr. Patrick Herminie, went through only two weeks ago. Corruption or politicking?

Matters got more perplexed when the Assembly was informed that after more than 10 years of existence, the Anti-narcotic Unit needs more than 58 million rupees to purchase equipment for drug detection. Important issues raised by Hon. De commarmond, including the introduction of the Unexplained Property Order in our legislature to put the burden on traffickers to prove that their gains are not ill-gotten otherwise the State would confiscate them was deliberately ignored by the Minister. It was more than obvious that the Minister was trying to cover up the corruption and hypocrisy that have for so long been responsible for the proliferation of drugs in this country. Both the police and the anti-narcotic unit are shamefully in cahoots in a trade that is driven by money.

What was even more stunning was the fact that the two most vocal members of the opposition, Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan and Hon. Jean-Francois Ferrari failed to ask a single question. This has raised eyebrows up and down the country. Whilst it is understood that Ferrari did not want to rock the boat because of an impending heroin case involving his main campaigner in his constituency, it is still bewildering why Ramkalawan chose to remain silence. People in the know, however, claim otherwise and maintain that it would have been surprising if Ramkalawan had lambasted the narco-traffickers, most of whom are staunch supporters of his party.

All in all, it was yet another charade in the National Assembly as our country slowly but surely becomes a banana republic and a narco-state all in the name of co-habitation.
Independent
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