Mutual support: Left, Shanna Charlette, Lewis, Jude Monaie and Rena Baccarie at the Quarantine Centre in Berjaya
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Popular figure: Rene “Chor” Laporte
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We can save our paradise for the next generation. But we must first deal with the serpents

15th July 2014

In the introduction to the first edition of Seychelles Life, publisher Lewis Betsy spoke of the dangers of drugs facing the youth of Seychelles. He said his son Kevin Betsy, like himself a prominent footballer, was setting up a Foundation to promote sporting excellence and give hope to youngsters from all backgrounds in Seychelles and the United Kingdom. Government Minister Peter Sinon was impressed. He said: “The youth of Seychelles appreciates and is proud of your and your son's achievements and I would like to do my bit to add wind in your sails to bring the Seychelles diaspora in UK closer to home. There are many like your son that can inspire and share in positive attributes and attitudes to set our youths on the right path. Thank you for this positive initiative.” Mr Sinon's attitude to life and philosophy on the future for Seychelles is expressed in this open letter to Mr Betsy...

By Peter Sinon, Minister of Natural Resources and Industry

Minister Peter Sinon
Minister Peter Sinon

I want to congratulate you for this initiative and look forward to follow and contribute to the spirit of what you are trying to do. I truly believe in the approach you have taken and the direction you want to go.

You are right – our small and beautiful pristine paradise is still very attractive. Yet we have a responsibility to deal with the many serpents in our paradise. We have to bring hope by doing whatever it takes to develop positive ambitions and attitude in our youth if we are to save paradise for the next generation – and for humanity at large.

Seychelles has come a long way. It has traversed its long walk from an inhabited paradise to settlement, to colonialism, through independence, a one-party state and finally a return to democratic dispensation in the Third Republic that will soon be celebrating its 21st birthday. The challenge that we face at this juncture is to deepen our nation's unity and common sense of purpose, and to set an example for the world while consolidating the future of our children to enjoy and be proud of a terrestrial paradise well preserved.

Our multi-cultural melting pot of sizzling cultures and traditions is but a mirror of our progressively globalised world where anywhere and anyone is today never too far away. The “out of sight and out of mind” syndrome that could once be relevant and practicable is no more. We are all but a click away. And I am certain that wherever we are and for whatever reason we find ourselves away from home, deep down we all wish the best for the loved ones at home.

The scourge of drugs and anti-social behaviour must be counteracted and the price for “unity of purpose” as a nation under God's sun must be won.

The world has shrunk. ICT as well as faster and more efficient means of transportation is progressively conquering distance and isolation. Yet fragmentation, conflict and all sorts of divisive platforms seem to be the order of the day leading to atrocious events such as the genocide in Rwanda 20 years ago or the ongoing conflicts that bedevil Syria or the Central African Republic.

There is certainly no room for that at home. We can and should do much better than that. In his effort to further promote national unity, President Michel has been at the forefront of the initiative to symbolically remove the iconic “Zonm Lib” from its central position in our Kreol Capital of the World to replace it by a National Unity monument. It is a significant and positive move. It will send the reconciliatory signal to one and all that we are one and it is only through unity of purpose that we will thrive and set a beacon of hope and harmony for the world to look up to.

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