Sayings of Seychelles Founding President Mancham become relevant

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The Seychelles National Assembly election which took place on September 8, 9 and 10, 2016 has left the nation almost politically divided into two equal forces. The “People Party” (PL) of President James Michel and the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LSD) which is an alliance of four parties – Seychelles National Party (SNP) of Wavel Ramkalawan, Lalyans Seselwa (LS) of Patrick Pillay, Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy (SPSJD) of Alexia Amesbury, and Seselwa United Party (SUP) of Robert Ernesta.

It is clear that unless the nation goes through a process of national reconciliation, that the stability of the country is menaced – how could Seychelles avoid civil strife and consolidate a situation of being seeing as “an oasis of peace and stability” in a world of turmoil?


This morning, Seychelles NATION devotes a full page to a letter from a well-known freelance journalist, Genevieve Morel, under the title of “Mancham’s sayings more relevant than ever.” These sayings were published in 2002 under the title “The Sayings of James R. Mancham” by Andy Pothin of the Seychelles Review.

“If we, in Seychelles, are ready and truly searching for lasting reconciliation, we will find Sir James’s sayings to be really and truly very relevant. I am personally so impacted with his words of wisdom that I have decided to make a French translation of it,” says Ms. Morel. She then proceeds by quoting some of Sir James’s sayings as follows:

• From the first day of my return to Seychelles, I openly, publicly and unequivocally declared that I had returned as the Apostle of National Reconciliation.
DP Congress – March 1995, Seychelles Review – April 1995

• Today we can take comfort in the knowledge that things have been able to evolve to get us where we are without us having been engaged in civil strife or loss of life. Personally I am a man of peace and I am proud of this.
Seychelles Review – May/June 1995

• A party may have a majority and be able to rule but that does not mean the ability to consolidate social harmony and ensure internal happiness and stability.
Seychelles Review – May/June 1995

• Confrontational Politics result in the creation and perpetuation of what I call ‘Political Tribalism’ – a situation where scarce talent and resources, instead of uniting for the common good and interest, are wasted in the creation of division and the promotion, at times, of artificial issues.
Seychelles Review – May/June 1995

• National Reconciliation is above all a healing process which is based on a genuine desire to promote more internal harmony and less social tension so that the overall national interest takes priority over partisan consideration.
Seychelles Review – May/June 1995

• In the pursuit of National reconciliation, some things are better forgotten than said. Silence sometimes becomes golden. It is however, recognised that there is no action without a reaction and that deeds speak louder than words. But above all, one must make it a point to avoid rubbing salt in old wounds.
Seychelles Review – May/June 1995

• For one thing, I only represent a part of the political equation of this country, and reconciliation cannot be a one way process if it is to be of a lasting nature.
Grand Coalition and Government of National Unity, Seychelles Review –November 1995

• National Reconciliation should not be regarded as an end in itself. It is rather a base from which to start. There is a tide in the affairs of a country which rises only on rare occasions. The importance is for the Leadership within a Nation to know when this tide is up and to seize it.
Grand Coalition and Government of National Unity, Seychelles Review –November 1995

• Unless we set the example of responsible behaviour, there will be great difficulties and problems when those who are mere politicians take over. I believe that as Leaders, we should not promote or perpetuate a situation which cries out: “Après nous le deluge”….
Grand Coalition and Government of National Unity, Seychelles Review –November 1995

• If you look at the world today, you will find that there are more conflicts within States than between States. Since there has always been strong support by Government and rulers for the concept of non-interference in the internal affairs of a country, then the only way left to establish internal stability, respect, peace and order is through the route of National Reconciliation.
Press Conference on National Reconciliation, Seychelles Review – May 1996

• We shall make the best of the 21st century if we learn the lessons of this one, in which political changes have left us with a world in transition. Transition is not easy but it is much harder for those countries moving from a command economy to free enterprise.
Message for National Day, Seychelles Review – June 1996

• Democratic freedom has its responsibilities. It solves problems but unbridled, it can also create others. An effective rule of law is vital. The truth is that order requires both justice and moral and social authority. We have to strengthen the institutions – the family, the courts, the National Assembly and the government in a way that they are not only accepted but also appreciated and respected.
Message for National Day, Seychelles Review – June 1996

• We have to recognise that the people’s role in a democracy does not end when they cast their votes. They have to live up to and apply the standards and values which are the characteristics and foundation of democracy.
Message for National Day, Seychelles Review – June 1996

• The paramount factor for success remains the quality of our people. How hard do we work? How much saving do we make? How powerful is our commitment to education and self-improvement, social discipline and our desire to do better for our families?
Message for National Day, Seychelles Review – June 1996

• If we want peace and prosperity, we must strive for national unity but there can be no unity without going through the process of National Reconciliation. It is the only way before us – but it cannot be a one-way road or a cul de sac.
Message for National Day, Seychelles Review – June 1996

• Winning the peace is of course another ball game because if you seek for lasting peace, truth must take over from propaganda and manipulation. Through our policy of National Reconciliation, I believe our Nation is going through a “healing process” which will enable the people eventually to think more as a Seychellois than as an SPPF or DP supporter.
Seychelles Review – September 1996

• I want to call for a partnership which comes more from the heart and less from political manoeuvring. I call for a Seychelles of greater fraternal harmony, more dialogue and social contacts among the players on the national stage. Let us sincerely and honestly collaborate to ensure that our common resources, our experience and goodwill work in harmony with the national interest.
Budget reply December 1996, Seychelles Review – Dec 1996/Jan 1997

• Paradise cannot be divided against itself. God did not give us this most beautiful of all countries for us to behave like cats and dogs conditioned by a “blue and red” politics which has lost relevance in the world today. Today we must live on our own resources, not on polemics or slogans. Today, we must face the truth and not be manipulators of divisive propaganda.
DP Convention November 1996, Seychelles Review – Dec 1996/Jan 1997

• The process of National Reconciliation is an attempt to bring forth as high a level of national cohesion as possible so that, united as a people, we can seek what is best for the nation and not just what is best for the Party. It is obvious that political division has deprived us with the opportunity of reaching a higher plateau of national grandeur and prestige. We can therefore either continue to swim in the lake of mediocrity or seek to swim in a lake with a larger and better vista.
In the search for Grandeur and Unity, Seychelles Review – May 1997

• The politics of National Reconciliation carries with it a reservoir of goodwill – but goodwill tends to evaporate in an atmosphere where there is no reciprocity.
In the search for Grandeur and Unity, Seychelles Review – May 1997

• A ‘first past the post victory’ of the Democratic Party will not be worthwhile from a national standpoint if such a victory is achieved in a climate of perpetual hatred, bitterness, division and retributions.
The political Chess Game, Seychelles Review – Oct/Dec 1997
• After the result of the last general election was announced, I said that the Democratic Party has lost a battle not the war. I do not think that everybody quite understood the sort of war I was fighting and intended to continue fighting for. It was not a war based on physical violence or aggressive confrontation or the conquest of power at any cost. It was a war motivated by a sense of noble enlightenment with the view of achieving a fundamental transformation in our society and in the way our people behave and think.
Seychelles Review – Jan/Mar 1998

• Whoever wins the election, new approaches and new initiatives will be necessary if stability is to be consolidated, bygones to become bygones and the Seychellois is to enter the next Millennium as a united Nation.
Seychelles Review – Jan/Mar 1998

• The glory I am seeking would not come today or tomorrow but in years to come; when I emphasised that for me the achievement of National Reconciliation would be more important than the role of the President itself.
Seychelles Review – April 1998

• At the moment we think of ourselves, then about our political party and our country comes in the third place. So long as we continue to think in this order of priority – the Seychelles will remain divided and we will dwell in the abyss of more problems, more difficulties and more confrontations. Today we have no choice. The time has come to think of ‘Seychelles First’.
Launching of the Seychelles First initiative – 17 June, 2000

• In a human world we will surely find difference of opinion which tends to divide us, but we must have sufficient vision to ensure that the things which unite us prevail.
DP Gala 2002

• Of course ‘paradise’ being a domain associated more with God than the devil, must be a friendly place where everybody is made welcome and feels at home. Greed must be left to a minimum and reconciliation must defeat confrontation. Tolerance must be the order of the day, Sex must remain a private affair and men and women of goodwill must be allowed to acknowledge the greatness of God under whatever name they choose to call him but this being a democratic society, everybody must also recognise and respect the value of the prevailing Christian faith which has been embraced by the majority of our people.
Seychelles Review – Feb 1997

• No island is an island by itself. It will always be part of the Globe. Let us therefore never neglect any island for if we do so, we would be neglecting a vital part of the Globe.
The Federation of Island Nations for World Peace (FINWP) New York – Jan 2001, Seychelles Review – Feb 2001

• No country is too small if it is surrounded by the sea.
The Federation of Island Nations for World Peace (FINWP) New York – Jan 2001, Seychelles Review – Feb 2001

• In Seychelles we have a society which constitutes a living laboratory of successful multi-racial living which, in a world plagued by tribalism, communalism and racism is no mean achievement.
The Federation of Island Nations for World Peace (FINWP) New York – Jan 2001, Seychelles Review – Feb 2001

• In this world of rapid changes and conflicts towards an unknown future; in this world which has become a global village with men having the ability to ignite it into flame; in this world divided by those who have too much and those who have far too little, where, lies the future of humanity, if those of us who are categorised as leaders fail to attend to the urgent task of peace on earth and goodwill among fellowmen?
‘Serving the Nation Serving the World’ Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP) New York – May 2001, Seychelles Review – June 2001

• Machines were invented to be in the service of men. Today men have become slaves of machines – and what is even sadder is that many of us are living like machines – duly programmed to show little feelings and emotions to the ongoing turmoil before us. However no gun can destroy the voice of the poet of truth and reflection as he calls for peace and reconciliation.
‘Serving the Nation Serving the World’ Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP) New York – May 2001, Seychelles Review – June 2001

• The task before us is not going to be an easy one because there is still around us too many gutter politicians, who it would appear, have a vested interest in the politics of hate and division preferring to see the people fighting among themselves rather than be united by a common vision of what is right and what is wrong what is true and what is false. You who today represent the new and upcoming generation and whose future is involved must tell to these people that enough is enough.
My ultimate effort for beloved Seychelles – April 2002

• It is somewhat unwise to dwell for too long within the realm of bygone memories for the urge of today finds little satisfaction in yesterday’s souvenir.
Adages of an Exile – December 1991

• Trumps tower in New York is a magnificent symbol of man’s achievements on earth – but the green creepers which have been planted to adorn its tall walls, remain a perpetual reminder of Nature’s great force and of God’s overriding power.
Adages of an Exile – December 1991




President Michel has announced that the new National Assembly should meet for the first time on Tuesday 27th September, 2016 when the Assembly will elect a Speaker, a Leader of Opposition and a Leader of Government Business.