Seychelles founding president stands behind March carnival


Mr. James R. Mancham, founding President of Seychelles, recently sent a letter to the editor of Nation Publishing in Victoria, which was published and circulated throughout the islands. Here, eTurboNews shares with our readers, Mr. Mancham’s letter, verbatim, showing his support of the “Carnaval International de Victoria” to be held in March and the importance of providing funding for this event:

I read with interest in your issue of 22nd January, 2011 that a Carnaval lottery is being organized to raise fund for Carnaval International de Victoria, which should be rightly considered and promoted as an annual event falling within the framework of the promotion of the Seychelles tourism industry. But the idea would not be sustainable without adequate funding.

In this connection I have two suggestions:

(i) That the Government considers a special carnaval stamp issued that will be put on sale in the month of March or beyond. To start with, 6 stamps could be issue depicting the first carnaval in Seychelles organized in 1973. Some of these designs can already be seen on some promotional materials now in circulation to promote this year’s carnaval. The best six floats of Carnaval 2011 could be selected for the issue of carnaval 2012 and so one.

(ii) That the Government fully supports my initiative to create a special tortoise race that would become a special feature of the Seychelles tourism scene. Some years ago, I tabled a motion about the possibility of a tortoise race when I was the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly. Sadly, the motion was summarily defeated without much consideration.

In today’s world the gaming industry falls under a multiple number of ideas. You have the traditional casino operations, you have horse racing, you have dog racing, you have camel racing – and recently in Australia I participated in a crab race organized by one of the leading seafood groups in Queensland. So what is wrong with a Seychelles tortoise race?

I am at the moment in the process of registering a company to promote and organized tortoise racing in Seychelles and in this connection, I am interested to discuss possible participatory support from any seriously interested party. The idea is as follows:–

(i) Find a suitable area around Victoria which is accessible to public gaze.

(ii) Demarcate an area for say 10 tracks.

(iii) Get 10 tortoises to be sponsored by 10 different hotels or institutions.

(iv) Involve SBC radio – both MW and FM and television to actively support the race with regular coverage and announcements.

(v) The race could start at a certain time and finish at certain hour.

(vi) At finishing time, the tortoise who has advanced most towards the finishing line, would be deemed the winner of the race.

(vii) There will be betting and odds placed on the different tortoises.

(viii) People could bet on the tortoise of their choice through agents in Victoria.

(ix) The concierge facilities at different hotels would also act as betting agents and see the event as being the creation of an activity which could be attractive to the hotel clients specially on a rainy day.

(x) The radio will cover the race announcing every half hour which tortoise is in front. In between popular music of a carnaval nature could be played for the enjoyment of all, and also in between advertisements could be broadcasted.

These are some brief ideas under consideration – and I am mindful to consider other suggestions so that we can make the Seychelles tortoise race idea a permanent feature of our overall growing gaming industry – and what is more important, will be our commitment to hand over 30% or more of the nett profit to the fund supportive of Carnaval International de Victoria.

Best regards,
James R. Mancham