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Seychelles' President Ramkalawan to meet with Pope Francis this week

Victoria, Seychelles | March 14, 2024, Thursday @ 11:13 in National » GENERAL | By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 2929
Seychelles' President Ramkalawan to meet with Pope Francis this week

Ramkalawan gave a live presidential press conference for the first quarter of 2024 at State House on Wednesday. (State House)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan has been invited for a meeting with the Roman Catholic Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome on March 16.

Ramkalawan made the announcement in his live presidential press conference for the first quarter of 2024 at State House on Wednesday.

He was answering a question on if he will attend a conference being organised by the Association of Victims of the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission (TRNUC) taking place on March 15.

"No, I am not going to attend because, on the 14th of March, I will be leaving Seychelles after receiving an invitation from Pope Francis to meet him. On the 15th of March, I will be at the Vatican and I will meet the Pope on the 16th,” he said.

Military or Police explosives at the Civil Construction Company (CCCL) storage facility at Providence Industrial Estate

The President refuted claims made by Wallace Cosgrow, a proportional member of the United Seychelles, the main opposition party in the National Assembly on the presence of explosives for either the police or military at the CCCL. This is the site where the explosion happened on December 7 that caused massive damages to businesses, buildings and houses in the vicinity.  

Ramkalawan said, “What they have heard is that there was a key of a container kept with the military and this is because the military and the police supervise these explosives."

Appointments of two foreigners in two key posts

Recently, two foreigners were appointed to top civil service positions, South African Varsha Singh as the new commissioner general of the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC), and Mauritian Li Fa Cheung Kai Suet as the chief executive of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

"There were vacancies advertised for both positions and we had to choose among the applicants the best one. The interview was done by a panel using international standards to look at the qualifications and the ability of the person to do the job. To raise the level of the two institutions it was important to appoint the person best qualified," said Ramkalawan.

He added that in both cases, Seychellois are being identified as understudies.

Re-appointment of Caroline Abel as the governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles

"There were a series of amendments that the Central Bank was considering and among them was that a governor can have a maximum of two six-year terms but these amendments have not yet been made into a law. That is why I re-appointed Caroline Abel as per the recommendation of the board because the amendment has not been made," the President said.

Development works on Assumption island

Ramkalawan confirmed that works are being done on Assumption although the Environment Impact Assessment has not been approved yet for the hotel project.

He said work for the extension of the airstrip has started and that Indian technicians are working on a coastal surveillance radar system already in place on the island.

With the support of the Indian government, in 2016, the surveillance system which comprises of six radar stations was installed on five different islands: Mahe, the main island, Alphonse, Farquhar, Astove, and two on Assumption.

The aid was given to the Seychelles Coast Guard and the Defence Forces to get a better maritime picture of part of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters.

Ramkalawan said the one on Farquhar was damaged by the Fantala tropical cyclone and is being replaced. 

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Tags: TRNUC, CCCL, Seychelles Revenue Commission, National Bureau of Statistics

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