|Posted by sirop14 on June 28, 2016 at 8:15 AM|
Sechelles Seychelles celebrate 40 years Independence with
25,000/30,000 exile/refugees nobody, none mentioned this.
Today Seychelles celebrates the 40th anniversary of its independence, the day the country ceased to be a colony of Great Britain. Independence Day on June 29, 1976 was the realisation of a dream of a group of Seychellois men and women who believed the country's destiny was the responsibility of the Seychellois people. The pioneers of the struggle for independence believed that it was the responsibility of Seychellois to ensure that one day all Seychellois would be able to live in dignity. They also believed that we as Seychellois knew what was best for our country, the aspirations of our people, and who were better placed to guide our development.
The road to independence however was not that easy as not all Seychellois at that time had the same belief, and not all of them had the confidence that Seychellois would be able to take the helm and rule their own country.
Today, 40 years on, it is with much pride that we take stock of what the country has achieved as a young nation. It is a time for deep reflection and soul searching and which we should use as a launching pad for the next stage of our development. As the country celebrates this milestone in our history, Seychelles NATION joins in the celebrations with this special issue and wishes everybody a Happy 40th Independence Anniversary.
It was also on June 29, 1976 that this newspaper got its name NATION and we will bring you a short history of the changes the oldest newspaper in Seychelles has gone through over the years.
Q1: Was it important for Seychelles to gain Nationhood?
JRM: After British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on a visit to South Africa announced on Mr ManchamFebruary 3, 1960, that the British government had decided to facilitate the move for independence of the colonies within its Empire, the United Kingdom government declared that it was committed to give effect to the ‘wishes of the colonial people’ and that those who wanted independence would get it. This sudden declaration obviously brought about internal debates within the remaining British colonies including Seychelles as to whether we should go for independence or not and if we do go for independence who will rule the country after independence?
Just around that time, Mr Ian Smith, leader of a political grouping of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) declared UDI - i.e. Unilateral Declaration of Independence, which meant that the country had become independent without the consent of the majority people and without the agreement of the United Kingdom to become an independent nation. Obviously, Mr Smith and his supporters did not want a situation of majority rule in the country. Obviously too, Mr Smith’s action was condemned by the international community.
It was around that time that I returned to Seychelles where and when a group of planters and business people working under the aegis of the Seychelles Tax Payers and Producers Association thought that it was a great idea for them to follow the policy of Ian Smith and secure for themselves political control of Seychelles before the introduction of adult suffrage. It was at the time that I established a nationwide popular base by opposing UDI in Seychelles. We have also to bear in mind that at that time Seychelles was entirely cut off from the rest of the world. We were an isolated colony surviving on grant in aids from the United Kingdom which herself had become eager to shed its colonial responsibilities in order to facilitate her entry into the European Common Market. We had no airline connection and no airport.
Next door to us, we had the island of ‘La Réunion’ which France had declared to be an Overseas Department and where consequently our cousins, ‘les Réunionnais’ were enjoying the same level of social and political security as the people of metropolitan France. At that time too, we were seeing a situation within Africa and the Caribbean where independence had brought about internal turmoil as new leaders started behaving as leaders for life.
Against this background, I had thought that the interest of the average Seychellois people resided in maintaining our association with UK. But as we know, Mr F.A. René had a different view on the subject. The internal debate on the issue sparked controversies and left the nation sadly divided into two camps – one led by myself symbolised by the blue colour of the then Seychelles Democratic Party and the other one the red colour led by Mr René of the Seychelles People’s United Party.
Note - After 35 years of stressing, writing, that there were alternative Force/political faction in then Seychelles who wanted an alternative Solution along the line of then Rhodesia and after 40 years we get former President Mancham mentioning them briefly here, nowhere in our hitory is this mentioned including British - in any other country the media and the public would have taken him to task and the social media. Those who stated formal request had been made to France for bilateral support/relation the reply had been negative - the use French technicians/military expertise for the police and defence not the problematic common functioning then . Hence they got cold feet. The then French government had been warned of what was to come - Yet, those Technicians who were well aware of this position/situation. In Mauritius the ultimatum to the British goverment on BIOT runs out Thursday 30th June 2016 - the above said those from the Planters Association who had in part wanted a Unilateral Independence from Britian because of BIOT and not written in History like many historic events of Sechelles Seychelles.
What he is not stating it the very large expat community their respective views on his person and politic and that of former President FA Rene - they were the investors, they represented the Small business we then had. They had travelled and were educated.
This said our politic have been very dirty - there are very many other individuals who have contributed to our Nation birth and existance nobody interview then and write about them. This is why we helped and drove the issues which helped and contributed to the global conectivity in information the WWW. Yet for the like of former president JR Manchan and President FA Rene it mean nothing. Just one question all those very important politician and their Institution involved in that SIROP are they mad, they did exist and their life yet how the like of President FA Rene, his media and President J R Mancham comport and those he is involved with. Further more had we not written that SIROP program President Mancham fate - he would have rotted in exile and life in exile was not very great/nice those who knew him and took pictures of his plight and life style.