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Responding to Government’s 2019 National budget, as presented by Finance Minister Maurice Lousteau-Lalanne Monday, opposition leader Wavel  Ramkalawan excelled at demagogy,

appealing to the prejudices of ordinary people, rather than using rational arguments.

He went all over the place, stating that nearly every measure contained in the budget is bad, but his proposals, on the rare occasions he voiced them, were hardly convincing.
According to Ramkalawan,  our youths face a gloomy future. On the contrary, it is obvious from this week’s gathering of graduates at ICCS,  that for those who are serious, the sky is the limit!
The ceremony attended by President Danny Faure, honoured  the 219 students who graduated since September 2017-2018. Of them, 139 pursued studies at UniSey and 83 others abroad.  No less than 150 students graduated with a Bachelor’s degree; 42 with a Masters and two with a Doctorate.
UniSey, an initiative of former President James Michel has produced over 500 graduates since its launching in 2009, when the concept was ridiculed by Ramkalawan and the opposition.
Presently, there are over 200 students  preparing for their future careers  in China, India, Japan, UK, Australia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Mauritius to name but a few. They benefit from scholarships, provided by the host countries or funded by the Seychelles Government
Seychelles is one of only a few countries where schooling is compulsory for 13 years. Everything is free as well as tertiary and university education. Almost R 200 million is allocated annually to fund scholarships.
After stating so often that  he is so patriotic, Ramkalawan  shocked farmers  and consumers  by saying he against taxes on imported pork and poultry. Such taxes, Minister Lousteau-Lalanne had said, “ is a bid to increase local production and give local farmers a competitive edge”. He added that that the measure should re-energise local industry  and provide some further leeway against cheaper imports.
Is Ramkalawan so patriotic that he wants to flood the country with cheap pork and broiler chicken from countries like Brazil, which have been injected with hormones and spent months in the chillers on several ships and during transshipments?
Ramkalawan’s talk is cheap is so many ways. But we shall cite another example. After backing  a Private Member’s Bill  by fellow LDS MNA Ahmed Afif, last year to  ease foreign investment  through Seychelles’ offshore jurisdiction, Ramkalawan went about bashing foreign investors.
According to him, there are too many hotels owned by foreigners, who he said send all tourism earnings abroad. Ramkalawan said we should emulate Mauritius, where he stated, nearly all hotels are locally-owned.
Ramkalawan who studied for the priesthood in Mauritius should know that the main investors there are people like De Chazal and other rich landowners who are re-investing billions made from the sugar cane plantations, from the sweat and blood of their fellow countrymen.  Is he thinking that a certain class of people should be running the country’s economy?
In other words, even if the descendants for the European settlers do not wield political power, they have more than their fair share of economic power.


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