Press release

Bon voyage, President Michel

August 6, 2008

There is a school of thought that President James A. Michel should not be leaving Seychelles at this time of financial crisis to attend the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

I could not disagree with this argument more.

It is true that the ever-increasing price of fuel and the lowering, during the weekend, of our sovereign credit rating by Standard & Poor’s put us in a grave and difficult situation – but it is also clear that the President shares my own viewpoint, and that of countless others, that “faith looks to the future – fear only sees the present”.

This is a time for the display of national leadership.

To appreciate the importance of a leader, try to work without one.

By going to Beijing, President Michel is confirming his support for the concept of “fair play” which underlies the spirit behind the Olympic Games.

“Fair play” is important if Seychelles is to get more than US $16 million from the US $1.4 billion worth of tuna exported from its economic zone.

“Fair play” is also equally important within Seychelles if we are to find the reconciliation and unity which we need as a nation to face today’s challenges with dignity and move forward with optimism in an honourable way.

I therefore wish the President “bon voyage” and a speedy return home.

James R. Mancham