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Truth, Reconciliation, and National Unity Committee to hold reconciliation symposium Sunday

Victoria, Seychelles | May 6, 2017, Saturday @ 10:53 in National » GENERAL | By: Daniel Laurence Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 2733
Truth, Reconciliation, and National Unity Committee to hold reconciliation symposium Sunday

About 265 complaint forms have been submitted to the committee set up with an overarching view to settling past political divisions.  (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Setting a foundation for Seychellois to transcend the divisions of the past, and develop a framework based on reconciliation and peaceful co-existence will be the aim of a public symposium on Sunday, said the chair of the Committee on Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity.

Wavel Ramkalawan said Friday that the committee has made remarkable achievements such as devising a clear road map to work on for the betterment of the country.

The committee was established earlier this year in the National Assembly with an overarching view to settling past political divisions since the 1977 coup d’état and uniting the country around a common agenda for a future where every Seychellois will have a sense of equal ownership and value.

Seychellois who felt aggrieved by past events such as acquisitions of land, illegal detention or murder are able to submit grievance forms.

“After receiving the complaint forms, we have sat down to discuss on different subjects to find the way forward. We have adopted a bi-partisan approach and we want to be in continuous dialogue with the public to understand their grievances,” said Ramkalawan.

About 265 complaint forms have been submitted to the committee focusing mainly on the acquisition of land, illegal detention, loss of business and murder.

Next on the committee’s programme is a national symposium which will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS) where people will be able to voice their grievances. Suggestions can be made on how to best move forward.

During the symposium several presentations will be made and an overview and findings of the committee will be provided to the general public.

“We are going to give feedback and take recommendations from the floor after which a law will be prepared for the executive. They will use the ascended law to establish a commission on Truth and Reconciliation and National Unity,” said Ramkalawan.

The chair of the committee said from there the hearing process on the individual cases can start.

“We want to shed light on those events and find solutions and closure for individuals affected, so that the country can move forward in unity” said Ramkalawan.

He added that: “As for the perpetrators, we want to make known their fate by granting them an opportunity to relate their own account of the event so that they too can relieve themselves from burden.”

The Zonm Lib monument, which commemorated the day of the coup  d’état when late President James Mancham was ousted. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY

The committee has established a cut-off date, which shall be a date after June 5, which was the date of the coup d’état in 1977, in which the late president James Mancham was overthrown and former President France Albert Rene took over power.

Ramkalawan said, “We do not only aim to achieve individual closure, but we aim to establish national recommendations whereby we can say that we the people of Seychelles are now ready to open a new chapter in our history.”

He added that they already have a model of law that they can use for the establishment of the commission.

On June 29, which is the day when Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, got its independence from Britain, the final report from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee as well as recommendations approved by the National Assembly will be presented to President Danny Faure.

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Tags: Committee on Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity, National Assembly, 1977 coup d’état

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