President James Michel's Message for the New Year 2016

31 December 2015 | State House

Dear Fellow Seychellois,

During the last few months, and in particular in the last few weeks and days, we have lived – each one of us in our own way – moments of great intensity.

Despite all, it is the people of Seychelles who have emerged victorious in this testing exercise of democracy .  And I remain persuaded, even after all we have heard and witnessed, Seychellois remain united in spite of the diversity in their opinions.  It is our  diversity – through respect for each other – which strengthens our unity as a people.  Which is our wealth.  Which makes us love Seychelles.

The new year approaching gives us the opportunity to rededicate our efforts to the continuation of the construction of a better Seychelles, in peace and unity.  It is the time to heal wounds.  To open our arms in a gesture of solidarity and fraternity with our Seychellois brothers and sisters, irrespective of our opinions.  The time for reconciliation and peace, more than ever.

The year 2016 represents all this, and more.  It is the opening of a new chapter in our personal lives, in the life of our nation.  It presents us with new opportunities but also new challenges.

The New Year before us is, above all, a powerful symbol which embodies hope.  Hope for a better Seychelles.  A better future.  More progress and wellbeing for our people.  But also more responsibilities.  A new year of hope.  A year in which I will make fundamental and radical changes.

Change in peace, order and tranquility.  Change which will preserve our accomplishments.  Change which will create more opportunities and offer greater hope for all Seychellois.  Change, also in a climate of tolerance and respect.

Respect for ourselves, for our families, for each other, for our country and all its institutions.  Our country can never go forward if we do not have respect for each other, for diverging opinions and beliefs, for our democracy and institutions  of state.  We must trust and respect the independent institutions provided for by the Constitution to protect individuals and the collective interests of our society.  Insults and incitement to disorder will not take us far.  Grudges and vengeance -- disguised as "diverse opinions” -- will tear us apart.  On the contrary, we want to develop a society which is ever more tolerant, with greater harmony, transparency, order, peace and respect.  A society which our children and grandchildren will be proud to inherit.

I consider it my role and responsibility to guide the people of Seychelles towards this new stage of development of our country.  Give them hope to move forward in their everyday lives, help to improve their social situation, create even more opportunities for Seychellois to take ownership of our economy, give them a helping hand where needed.  Address all the ills which are gnawing away at the soul of our society.  Establish a new style of governance.  A government which not only continues listening to our people, but also views them in a different way.  A Government which will work even harder, which will make an even greater effort, to improve the standard of life of the people of Seychelles in 2016.

In my State – of - the - Nation Address, I will deal with these questions in greater detail, and propose concrete measures.

But tonight I want to give you my commitment that I will implement the changes which you have asked for in this new mandate you have entrusted me.  Changes which I will implement, actions which I will take in my first 100 days in office, to give you a clear indication of the direction I intend to take.  Together and forever with you.

My government and I cannot do this alone.  We shall need the help and support of all Seychellois.  We are all part of this Seychellois family.  There is no place for division in our family.  It is the interests, the happiness, the moral, spiritual and material welfare of our Seychellois family which matter above all.  I say to you tonight: join me to make Seychelles blossom!

People of Seychelles,

As you will recall, the national theme for 2015 has been I Love Seychelles.  It was the year during which we took stock of where we had reached.  And we concluded that we had made much progress.  Progress especially in the empowerment of Seychellois through the creation of a multitude of small and medium enterprises.  Progress through the ownership of our economy.  It is clear that Seychellois are taking opportunities to better their lives, live more productive and positive lives.

But let us not measure progress just in terms of wealth and material things, or social status.  It is also important – and very important – to continue to strengthen our moral and spiritual values, and inculcate those values in our growing children.  It is also important for us to show solidarity with others, show compassion, participate fully in the development of Seychelles for the benefit of all Seychellois.  It is also important for us to maintain our roots whilst striving for growth.  And it is important for us to continue showing our love for Seychelles.

It is for this reason that – after much consultation and reflection –I have decided to retain the national theme I Love Seychelles for the year 2016.  It evokes all that we believe in -- our values, our hopes, our unity as a people, the beauty of our country, the harmony among our people.  It evokes strong feelings of attachment to our country, for our people and our progress.

Despite us being a small country, our ambitions and our aspirations are as varied as immense.  To realize them we must, at all costs – and more than ever before – preserve our national unity and social cohesion.  We all have a role to play in the development of country – each in his or her own way.  Let us take our responsibility.  Rally together to reinforce our bonds, support each other, to work together in the national interest, to show love and solidarity for Seychelles and our compatriots.  Let us never allow our differences of opinion to divide us.  Let us preserve the unity which prevails among us.

More than ever, the theme I Love Seychelles will continue to inspire and motivate us to do better and more for our country.  We are working towards a single objective: the creation of a modern dynamic nation, which works hard, and a model of peace, unity and stability in the world over.

Together, let us proclaim with pride: I LOVE SEYCHELLES!

I wish all Seychellois, at home and overseas, and residents and visitors in our country, a very Happy New Year 2016.

May God continue to protect and guide us, and shower his blessings on our Seychelles.

Thank you.

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