District meetings |22 May 2023
‘Travizory is here to stay’ – President Ramkalawan
President Wavel Ramkalawan has said that the e- border control system Travizory is here to stay.
President Ramkalawan said this while answering a question on Saturday afternoon during the public meeting held for Glacis residents at the district’s community centre, that the system is preventing Seychellois from entering the country.
“Today Travizory is just an immigration form that has to be filled and the only difference is that it is now being done online. It is as simple as that. It forms part of our border control and people have to understand that quite a bit of time is needed to fill in the form. Those who are complaining are those who are in the habit of waiting till the last minute to do things and this is why they think it is a problem,” said President Ramkalawan, who noted that the system is not preventing any Seychellois to enter the country but rather to facilitate quick entry.
President Ramkalawan added that Travizory will continue to make changes to the on-line immigration system and will very shortly allow for a Seychellois with a valid passport to be approved and cleared automatically upon forwarding the dis-embarkation form.
He advised all Seychellois travellers to make sure that they fill the form well in advance given that the pre-travel application window, which is free for Seychellois, has been extended to 10 days instead of 72 hours.
For his part, Vice-President Ahmed Afif added that the system brings a lot of benefits to the country and among them is helping to screen and identify people entering the country on false pretext, including drug traffickers, long before they enter.
Another question asked during the meeting was when will government allow Starlink to operate in the country given that its prices are very competitive and the speed is much faster than those being offered locally. Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by American aerospace company SpaceX, which offers high-speed, low-latency service made possible via the world’s largest constellation of highly advanced satellites operating in a low orbit around the Earth.
In his answer, Vice-President Afif said that government is assessing the consequences and impacts that Starlink will cause given that its services require no investment for the country’s economic benefits.
He added though that government has allowed Starlink to offer its services in the boating sector, including on the outer islands but it will see how it can contribute in certain aspects of their operation, as a form of investment, if it is to be allowed to operate on land.
Speaking on drug issues among school children, President Ramkalawan said that the battle against the illegal substance will intensify and parents have to make sure that their children are not implicated in any drug dealings or are used to front police officers when they come to raid suspected areas connected with drugs.
“There will be times when the police will have to use force in this kind of situation and parents have to protect their children by making sure that they are not present when the police are conducting their operations,” said President Ramkalawan, who noted that he deplores the fact that children have been used to front police officers during police raids.
President Ramkalawan also mentioned that while many children have been arrested in connection with drugs, the use of alcohol among them is becoming an alarming issue.
He called on parents to take their responsibility, especially when socialising at home, to ensure that their children do not have access to alcohol.
He also called on the community to do their utmost best to protect children from being abused and to report any form of child abuse to the authority.
He added that amid patrols by police, government will ensure that the Glacis police station reopens to assure security of the inhabitants and other clients.
Regarding the sale of land to foreigners, President Ramkalawan said that a moratorium is in place on the sale of residential land to foreigners. He noted though that they can buy land through specific land projects such as Eden Island.
Other topics of conversation between the residents, President Ramkalawan and his delegation included
right of way, access to housing, playground for children, assistance for the fishing community, waves affecting traffic and the environment, a better public service, facilities to assist foreigners married to Seychellois, issues regarding foreigners holding Seychellois nationality, loan to farmers, health issues, tourism environment tax, streets lights on secondary roads, policy for senior citizens, as well as education and health issues.
Before the start of the meeting President Ramkalawan called on the residents to pray for Bishop French Chang-Him who is very sick at the Seychelles Hospital. In his career as a priest, Bishop French has for a period of time, served the Anglican community, including other faith believers in the district.
Meanwhile, the public meetings in the districts continue today as they enter their second week. For the coming week starting today until Saturday May 27, the districts where the public meetings will be held are as follows:
- Monday May 22, Grand Anse Mahé - community centre, 5pm;
- Tuesday May 23, Les Mamelles - community centre, 5pm;
- Wednesday May 24, Au Cap - Domaine de Val des Près, 5pm;
- Thursday May 25, Cascade - primary school hall, 5pm;
- Friday May 26, NO PUBLIC MEETING;
- Saturday May 27, Bel Air - community centre, 3pm;
All the public meetings are being live streamed online via YouTube and Facebook and are also being aired on SBC3.