Letter to the Editor - ‘Understanding the past is vital to understand and appreciate today and tomorrow’

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Letter to the Editor - ‘Understanding the past is vital to understand and appreciate today and tomorrow’ Empty Letter to the Editor - ‘Understanding the past is vital to understand and appreciate today and tomorrow’

Post  Sirop14 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:12 am

Letter to the Editor - ‘Understanding the past is vital to understand and appreciate today and tomorrow’

13-July-2015

On Saturday I was glad to have had the opportunity to watch a repeat of the SBC much talked about documentary entitled Seselwa which was in fact an attempt to portray our march to nationhood.

I was glad to see how my look has changed over the years – from a clean shaven young man to a middle-aged man with black beard which subsequently became a white beard. I was glad to see the faces of some of my departed colleagues – Chamery Chetty, Philippe Moulinie, Robert Delorie, Justin Pragassen, Andre Uzice, among others. May their souls rest in peace.

A better understanding of the past is indeed most important to understand and appreciate today and tomorrow.

At this time I am glad that as a result of the democratic lattitudes existing under the government of President James Alix Michel SBC was allowed to show this controversial documentary. But I am equally glad that under today’s government I am allowed to freely comment upon this film without fear of arrest or retribution.

Firstly, the narrator of the film made a point to state that after Independence my popularity was on the decline. How did he gauge that? If this indeed was the case then the perpetrator of the coup should have waited for the next elections to assume power constitutionally in a democratic way.

Secondly, there were many songs, particularly with a revolutionary flavour, within that film. Sadly, we never heard the echo of ‘Lendepandans pa nou ki ti demande’ although that song was so popular that it was banned after the coup in 1977.

Thirdly, there was a propaganda-type argument supporting the decision to turn Creole ‘C’ into Kreol ‘K’ without pinpointing the fact that we were moving into an era of technology with a young generation having to meet the challenge of the computer and mobile age and that the time had come for us to move away from the ‘tik tik dan kwen’ situation and get ourselves as well versed in the English and French languages which were the languages of most reference and technology books.

The fourth point is to do with the television. There was a lot of comments concerning the fact that television arrived in Seychelles during the one-party state government without of course mentioning that soon after Independence, we had started discussing about opening a TV station and that a project for same was in progress when it was aborted after the coup d’État. Had there been no coup d’État, Seychelles could have had a TV station as early as 1979, four years before the one-party state government decided to open one.

Fifth point: We speak about the developments which have been materialised over recent years. We are impressed with the buildings that have gone up as well as the different housing projects. We are all proud of our new Seychelles. But let us never forget that all these changes came about following the return of multi-party democracy and the spirit of national reconciliation which I had introduced. Let us accept the fact that few developments took place and few hotels were built during the 15 years of one-party rule. This is the truth which cannot be denied and as the documentary reveals most of the new buildings are newly built.

Sixth point: This point concerning the thousands of people who sought political refugee status outside Seychelles at the time of the one-party state government could be followed by a seventh point which itself could be followed by an eighth and a ninth point, but let us forget these points in the interest of ‘La Reconciliation Nationale’, so important for the national unity that President James Michel is working for.

James R. Mancham,
Founding President of Seychelles

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=246030

Sirop14

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