India – Seychelles uproar on friends of all and enemies of none

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The uproar surrounding the deal between India and the Government of Seychelles continues unabated because of the closeness of this proposed military base by a foreign power to Aldabra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the conscious decision to continue to militarise the India Ocean at the time of heightened tension between super powers.

On 24th February, after weeks of peaceful protests in the heart of Victoria, a panel was set up to address the people on the rationale behind this deal. Mr. Barry Faure from the Department of Foreign Affairs, and incidentally the brother of the President of the Republic, vehemently tried to defend the project, amidst open criticism and backlash from the gathered crowd. He claimed that India needs Seychelles, and further stated that the military base on Assumption Island would be a gift to our small Nation (prompting a dramatic walk-out by a lawyer in attendance and much derisive laughter by the congregation).

A unanimous request for a referendum on the matter was called for at that meeting, to give the People of Seychelles a say before our small Nation throws away the “friends of all and enemies of none” status it has diligently maintained since 29th June 1976. Mr. Faure later gave an interview on SBC news, thereby quashing this request by the people

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.