27th June 2022
By Lewis Betsy We’ve come a very long way to get where we are today. So on the eve of another national celebration, let me wish the people of Seychelles at home and abroad a Happy Independe... more...
New challenge: Kevin Betsy has been made manager of Crawley Town Football Club
9th June 2022
by Lewis Betsy The outstanding career of Seychelles-born footballer Kevin Betsy has taken another major step forward.He has been appointed the first-team manager of Crawley Town Football Club, We... more...
Victims Group
11th May 2022
By Lewis Betsy The work of the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission is slowly drawing to a close.It has been an emotional time.People have given heart-rending testimonies, with som... more...
A family strong together: Carlette with her sons Fazal, Jafar and Hatim
28th February 2022
By Lewis BetsyFamily and friends have been paying tribute to Carlette Ball, “The Iron Lady of Seychelles”, who has died aged 77.Carlette, nee Tall, like many others suffered terribly under... more...
Carlette Ball: She loved Seychelles
26th January 2022
We are saddened to announce that Carlette Ball, a brave Seychellois who loved the islands, has died.She passed away in the early morning of 26th January, 2022.Carlette, nee Tall, was born on the 7th A... more...
Plea for unity: Lewis Betsy, Publisher of Seychelles Life
20th December 2021
By Lewis Betsy I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.But while I want you to look forward to a better 2022, I also think a glance back on the past fe... more...
Tribute: President Wavel Ramkalawan speaks at the Foundation launch
2nd December 2021
 By Lewis Betsy The Gerard Hoarau Foundation was launched in an emotional ceremony at Beau Vallon that was marked by both pride and sadness. Pride that Gerard’s efforts and sacrifice a... more...
Honouring a Seychellois hero: Colin Dyer
16th November 2021
By Lewis Betsy It is rewarding that in the country of his birth Gerard Hoarau is at last being being recognised for his courage in trying to bring about democracy to Seychelles.Gerard was assassi... more...

Assumption Island protests break out after Faure signs deal with India

13th February 2018

Outcry: Demonstrators gather at the Clock Tower in protest at the deal
Outcry: Demonstrators gather at the Clock Tower in protest at the deal

Picture: Courtesy of Cyril Lau Tee

Protests have greeted the decision to allow India to build military facilities and what is said to be a naval base on Assumption Island.

President Danny Faure, who signed the agreement with India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, said: “This project is of utmost importance to Seychelles, and it attests to the kinship and affinity that exists between our two countries. We are proud to have India as a partner in realising our development aspirations.” 

However, 50 protesters bearing placards gathered at the Clock Tower in Victoria to oppose the 20-year deal.

One placard read: “Sell coconuts or guano – Do not sell our islands.”

Ralph Volcère, editor of The Independent newspaper, had called on “all concerned citizens” to support the demonstration.

He said: “This agreement is not being supported by the people of Seychelles. We do not know any details, what is the arrangement? What are the costs? Our problem is that Seychelles cannot get involved in conflicts of superpowers.” 

He went on: “We need to remain non-aligned; 'friendly to all – enemy to none', to quote former President James Mancham. This facility will place Seychelles at great risk should a military conflict involving India ever happen.

“We are therefore demanding the National Assembly reject this agreement, when it is finally brought before parliament for ratification.”

One demonstrator, Vicky Lanza, said: “Assumption is close to the Aldabra Atoll – which has rich biodiversity, unique plants and animals and an abundance of birds. We need to protect the atoll. Once there is a military base, there will be an element of control and locals will not have access even in the vicinity of the island.”

The original agreement was signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Seychelles President James Michel in 2015, but, it was not ratified by the Seychelles Parliament. It came at a time when India was attempting to consolidate its presence in the Indian Ocean region in the face of China’s rising influence. 

In August last year, Mr Faure stated that the agreement had some "issues" and it would have to be re-negotiated again. 

The new agreement reportedly states that the infrastructure India has to build includes renovating the airstrip, upgrading the jetty and constructing quarters for the Seychelles Coast Guard. This will allow the island to be used by the Coast Guard as a base to patrol for illegal fishing and drug running.

The agreement clause allows for other countries to use the facilities “subject to concurrence of both parties”. There is also a clause to make it clear that India can’t use the facilities on Assumption Island during a war.

Latest News

Unity for a purpose: the way Seychelles can progress and enjoy peace and harmony
27th June 2022
By Lewis Betsy We’ve come a very long way to get where we are today. So on the eve of… more...
Kevin Betsy kicks off a new era with football’s Red Devils
9th June 2022
New challenge: Kevin Betsy has been made manager of Crawley Town Football Club
by Lewis Betsy The outstanding career of Seychelles-born footballer Kevin Betsy has taken another… more...
Hope for fairness and justice as the Truth Commission moves into its final phase
11th May 2022
Victims Group
By Lewis Betsy The work of the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission is slowly… more...
We will miss this brave woman who was truly the Iron Lady of Seychelles
28th February 2022
A family strong together: Carlette with her sons Fazal, Jafar and Hatim
By Lewis BetsyFamily and friends have been paying tribute to Carlette Ball, “The Iron Lady… more...
Our brave sister Carlette has died
26th January 2022
Carlette Ball: She loved Seychelles
We are saddened to announce that Carlette Ball, a brave Seychellois who loved the islands, has died.She… more...
Seychelles needs to work more on unity to help its people progress further in 2022
20th December 2021
Plea for unity: Lewis Betsy, Publisher of Seychelles Life
By Lewis Betsy I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New… more...
Pride and sadness as the Gerard Hoarau Foundation is launched
2nd December 2021
Tribute: President Wavel Ramkalawan speaks at the Foundation launch
 By Lewis Betsy The Gerard Hoarau Foundation was launched in an emotional ceremony at… more...
Foundation established in Seychelles to pay tribute to the life and courage of Gerard Hoarau
16th November 2021
Honouring a Seychellois hero: Colin Dyer
By Lewis Betsy It is rewarding that in the country of his birth Gerard Hoarau is at last being… more...
July's News
News Archive