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Seychelles to recognise acts of devotion, bravery and generosity with National Order of Merit award

Victoria, Seychelles | February 16, 2022, Wednesday @ 16:30 in National | By: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 15404
Seychelles to recognise acts of devotion, bravery and generosity with National Order of Merit award

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is spearheading the setting of the award. (Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychellois citizens and other individuals who have made significant contributions to Seychelles and its people, will receive a National Order of Merit award starting June this year, said a top government official.

The National Order of Merit which was approved by the cabinet of ministers in January will recognise distinguished services or acts of devotion, bravery, generosity and commitment to Seychelles and its people.

This is the first such medal to be introduced in the Seychelles since the archipelago gained its independence for the United Kingdom on June 29, 1976. Since June 2015, the day is celebrated as the Seychelles' National Day.  

Jacques Belle, the director general of the protocol, consular and diaspora affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told SNA in an interview that “the award does not bring any financial gains or special privileges but is just a token of appreciation from the government.”

Step to establish one of the highest honours that Seychelles may bestow on its citizens and those from other countries has already begun, so that the first recipients may receive their medals in June.

Shortlisted candidates will have to meet a set of criteria such as bravery, generosity and other significant commitment they have made to Seychelles in various areas including arts and culture.

A nomination committee made up of five members will be established to identify individuals who deserve the accolade.

“The members will then determine whether the individuals meet the set criteria and make recommendations to the chair of the committee – also called the secretary of the order,” said Belle.

 He added that the National Order of Merit has no intention of creating a new class, as all citizens will be eligible to take part provided they meet the set criteria.

With the introduction of its own order or merit medal, Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, joins other commonwealth nations in recognising citizens who have made tremendous contributions to their countries.

Neighbouring island state, Mauritius, has its own Most Distinguished Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean which was established in 1992 to recognise those who have contributed to social progress in the region.

Seychelles’ former President James Michel was awarded the Mauritian merit in 2012 as the medal is also awarded to no-Mauritians. Other Seychellois to also receive medals are Calixte D’Offay and late former president James Mancham who was awarded a Knights Commander of the British Empire in 1976.

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Tags: National Order of Merit, National Day

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