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The important role India had in Seychelles Independent Day

PTI
PTI
Written by Alain St.Ange

Seychelles celebrated its Independence Day anniversary on June 29th. This was also the anniversary of the return of its three islands of Aldabra, Farquhar and Desroches, which had been transferred from Seychelles in November 1965 to form part of the new British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

Seychelles celebrated its Independence Day anniversary on June 29th. This was also the anniversary of the return of its three islands of Aldabra, Farquhar, and Desroches, which had been transferred from Seychelles in November 1965 to form part of the new British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). During this same week of June 2018, news broke from India that Seychelles could now lose its Assumption Island, in what is being called “India’s drive for a strategic advantage in the Indian Ocean Region”.

Seychelles President Danny Faure was on a six-day official visit to India and from New Delhi on June 25. It was reported that:- “India and Seychelles today agreed to work together on a project to develop a naval base at the Assumption Island keeping each other’s concerns in mind after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Danny Faure. India also announced a USD 100-million credit to Seychelles for augmenting its defense capabilities. “With this credit, Seychelles will be able to buy defense equipment to boost its maritime capacity,” Prime Minister Modi said in his joint media statement with Faure. On the project to develop a naval facility at the island, which would give India a strategic advantage in the Indian Ocean Region, Modi said, “We have agreed to work together on the Assumption Island project based on each other’s rights.” Faure, in his remarks, said the Assumption Island project was discussed and the two countries equally engaged to work together bearing each other’s interests”.

These declarations are contrary to all that Seychelles had been assured. The Indian Military Base was deemed dead after the last Press Conference chaired by President Danny Faure. The island’s National Assembly had confirmed on its part that this proposed deal would not be entertained in the Legislature. Seychelles was told that its concerns about the closeness of Assumption Island to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra had been noted, and the objection for an Indian Military base raised by the Seychellois had been heard. The visit by President Danny Faure in India has dealt another blow to every peace-loving Seychellois with the Assumption Island affair, as India seeks a strategic advantage in the Indian Ocean Region.

It is now the People of Seychelles as a whole who will need to work as one to save their island of Assumption and their UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra.

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About the author

Alain St.Ange

Alain St Ange has been working in the tourism business since 2009. He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel.

He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel. After one year of

After one year of service, he was promoted to the position of CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.

In 2012 the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands regional Organization was formed and St Ange was appointed as the first president of the organization.

In a 2012 cabinet re-shuffle, St Ange was appointed as Minister of Tourism and Culture which he resigned on 28 December 2016 in order to pursue a candidacy as Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation.

At the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu in China, a person who was being sought after for the “Speakers Circuit” for tourism and sustainable development was Alain St.Ange.

St.Ange is the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine who left office in December last year to run for the position of Secretary General of the UNWTO. When his candidature or document of endorsement was withdrawn by his country just a day before the elections in Madrid, Alain St.Ange showed his greatness as a speaker when he addressed the UNWTO gathering with grace, passion, and style.

His moving speech was recorded as the one on the best marking speeches at this UN international body.

African countries often remember his Uganda address for the East Africa Tourism Platform when he was a guest of honor.

As former Tourism Minister, St.Ange was a regular and popular speaker and was often seen addressing forums and conferences on behalf of his country. His ability to speak ‘off the cuff’ was always seen as a rare ability. He often said he speaks from the heart.

In Seychelles he is remembered for a marking address at the official opening of the island’s Carnaval International de Victoria when he reiterated the words of John Lennon famous song… ” you may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. One day you will all join us and the world will be better as one”. The world press contingent gathered in Seychelles on the day ran with the words by St.Ange which made headlines everywhere.

St.Ange delivered the keynote address for the “Tourism & Business Conference in Canada”

Seychelles is a good example for sustainable tourism. This is therefore not surprising to see Alain St.Ange being sought after as a speaker on the international circuit.

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