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President Wavel Ramkalawan’s message on the occasion of the new year, 2022

31 December 2021 | State House

Seychellois sisters and Brothers and all visitors,

Already 2021 is on its way out and we are entering 2022.

365 days have passed by really fast and many of us are perhaps wishing that we had been able to do much more for our families, our communities and for ourselves. This in itself shows us that we must at all times to be conscious of our abilities, objectives, and make appropriate plans, because time waits for no one. We must never look at life as a game of chance, but rather one where success accompanies good planning and resolve.

It is this that gives us the courage needed so that we may know our purpose, have a goal and seek the means to accomplish them.  Waiting for fortune to fall on our laps, as our elders say, should never become the philosophy of life for us Seychellois.

When I look back at the year that is elapsing, I want first of all to thank God for the way He has protected us.  Despite the challenges and hardships, we have succeeded in protecting our families, remain in employment or become employed, which has permitted us to put food on our family’s table.

Our health has allowed us to get up, work, and our country Seychelles has been spared great calamity.

Of course, we have gone through moments of difficulty and sadness. Here, I think first of the families who have bidden farewell to a loved one, or more than one through COVID or other disease and circumstances, people who have discovered grave illness, families which have broken up and the children who have been affected, the sexual abuse of our children, people who have lost their jobs and many other circumstances where individuals did not receive what they had expected.

Once again, as a nation which believes in an Almighty God, we turned to Him for consolation and the strength to stay upright, despite life’s sufferings.

At the beginning of this year which stretches before us, not everything is known to us. But there is much that we, each one of us as individuals, can drive to make happen.  Certain elements let us leave in the hands of God, but what we can do, let us ask Him for the courage, strength and resolve to accomplish.

Let us lay our plans before Him and let Him sort them out for us so that we will use our strength to accomplish only what is right and what is good for our fellow men as well as for ourselves. It is with this spirit that I invite the people of Seychelles to approach the year 2022.

First of all, I wish to invite each child of Seychelles to work hard to improve themselves. Remember that all commences with you as an individual.  It starts with our children. Know the priorities for your age, and make your studies your number one priority. You are in school, so your priority is to develop good manners, that is, the proper behaviour towards your parents, your teachers and everyone around you. Those who have forgotten how to say good morning, please and thank you, learn again how to do so and this will bring you to the second stage to focus on your studies.

Like all athletes and other youth, give your all, go further and you will make yourself, your family, your friends and your country proud. This is the Seychellois Kreol spirit.

Workers, 2022 is a consequential year. Your workplace expects the best of you. If each worker took their role seriously, frustration would be eliminated and we would move forward faster and our people would be happy. I expect all government employees to become true servants of this people, and this starts with me, the ministers, MNAs, Judges, CEOs, Principal Secretaries, the others in positions of authority as well as all workers.

I expect the same within the private sector. Consider delivering the best service for a more reasonable price instead of setting the highest profit as your principal objective.  If the public and private sectors are able to develop an excellent relationship during 2022, nothing will be able to stop our small country, Seychelles.

Second, I wish to invite all Seychellois to become more aware of what is going on around them, and to see what I, you, as an individual, can do to improve my community. For one minute, think of your family, your community and your country. Do you not see at least 3 things which need improving, which if you succeeded in doing, your children would be happier, your community would be safer, and your country would be better off?  What are those things that make you unhappy? Which makes you reluctant to go home after work?  Or which makes you angry and want to destroy everything, including your own life?

Brothers and sisters, sometimes it is those little things that are easiest to change, but unfortunately it is either because we lack the courage to do so or we are simply negative that stops us from making those changes. We must change that attitude and consider that we, each one of us, have the possibility and the strength to bring about that change where we are living.

Maybe at the beginning you will be looked at in a certain way, but like all that is good and right, slowly it gets accepted, its effect becomes contagious and everyone realises its importance and takes care of one another; this encouragement brings about widespread transformation.

When we discover ourselves, improve our situation, give more towards real progress, each of us will find out that it is humans who will determine how 2022 will be. So, with these two vital elements, it is we, each Seychellois, who will contribute in eliminating these scourges which are today suffocating our communities, destroying our children and our workforce, bringing immorality and making us waste so much money that could be used to provide a better system of education, health, social wellbeing, sports programmes and allow us to live healthy lives.

Third, are we going to carry on the same way year in, year out? Is 2022 only going to be a continuation of 2021 with a Corgate Estate, Plaisance, Marie-Jeanne, La Passe, Kosovo, NE Point, Baile Lazare, Cap Ste Marie or Chetty Flats where our youth live on drugs? Will fishing boats continue to bring in more drugs than fish? Are those who work at the airport going to continue to let through poison destined for our youth and conceal money on planes?

Do these traffickers who import those poisons not realise that building Seychelles is also their responsibility?  I invite them to change their ways, to leave the avenue of destruction that they are on and dragging our society into. When will they return to being conscientious citizens? What I am looking for is as simple as that. And I ask our communities to reclaim their tranquility and their serenity.

The time has once more come when we should not ask ‘What is government doing for me?’ but ‘What should I be doing and am capable of doing for my country Seychelles?’ If we come to agreement on these three principles, I honestly and sincerely believe that 2022 will bring us towards greater prosperity as a people. More importantly, not only will we be claiming our rights as citizens, but we shall walk with greater pride as a family, a community and a country because we will know that each human being on our islands is of great value.

Seychellois Brothers, Sisters, let us, today, give our country back its pride through what we are doing and with our aspiration for a better tomorrow. It is important for us to attach ourselves to good values, such as honesty, sincerity, love, hard work and unity at all times.

Today as we start a new year, let us please reject selfishness, criminality, destruction of our fellow man, hypocrisy and all vice that destroys instead of building.  Let us continue to take all measures to protect ourselves, especially against COVID which continues to ravage our country and our islands. Seychelles has given every Seychellois a free gift called a vaccine. Take it and save lives. Come down and protect yourself with this gift that God has himself gifted humanity. Seychelles is fortunate because God has blessed us, so make good use of that blessing.

Brothers and Sisters, I approach the year 2022 with enthusiasm and the hope that it will be a good year for all of us. I have no doubt that the strength of each Seychellois will grant the great transformation that we need. Our country will truly become that land of prosperity and joy for each Seychellois child.

With joy in my heart, the unity of our people in my mind, courage in my entire being and resolve as my compass, I invite you to accompany me towards the creation of our Seychelles, to raise our flag, and to proclaim aloud ‘This is my Seychelles!’

Linda, our family, and all the ministers join me in wishing you and your loved ones a happy year 2022. My profound prayer is that our living and Almighty God will bless us tomorrow, as He has protected us in the past.

Lord, pour your blessing upon our country Seychelles and bless all her children.

Happy New Year 2022!

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