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Public meetings   |06 June 2023

Public meetings   

Yesterday’s meeting at Baie Lazare  

‘Ban on balloons will not be lifted,’ says President Ramkalawan


President Wavel Ramkalawan has reiterated that his administration will maintain a ban on balloons, despite calls for it to be lifted as it is seen as unjustifiable and illogical.

The head of state made the comment during yesterday’s public meeting in Baie Lazare when addressing a plea for the ban to be lifted.

“My administration will not lift the ban. I do not think that balloons will turn children into good kids,” stated the president.

A large crowd had assembled at the district’s administration office to listen to the president and his cabinet of ministers along with the district’s elected member of the National Assembly, Hon. François Adelaide.

Similar to other districts, several questions raised were related to lands, way leave, road access, services offered by the Public Utilities Corporation, unavailability of bin sites and bus stops as well as limited bus service.

One concern raised was the construction of a health centre for the district. According to Mr Ramkalawan this was already catered for in the budget and “if everything goes well, we will hopefully see the beginning of the project this year”.

A mother and grandmother expressed her concern over the lack of catechism classes in schools, which she claimed was undermining moral values.

Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin, informed the meeting that the issue was a complex one and the ministry was reviewing the way this was being done in school so as to target all students.

“We are looking at the best way that it can become a spiritual period that can be accessed by all students,” he said.

For his part, President Ramkalawan said the religious landscape has changed over the years and with over 200 religious denominations registered in Seychelles, it was crucial to find the right balance to ensure no one was left behind.

There was also a proposal to introduce helpers at district level to attend to the elderly who do not qualify for a carer but still need assistance with some daily chores such as cleaning and maintaining their homes. The proposal was welcomed by the head of stated who called on the minister responsible for Home Care Agency to give it due consideration. 

The issue of lack of lighting in certain parts of the district was also broached, to which Mr Ramkalawan said provision would be made in next year’s budget.

Access to Val Mer beach was also a point of concern, with one resident claiming they were being barred from using an old footpath next to a tourism establishment. The head of state reminded residents that access to the beach was every citizen’s right.

The cost of living was also raised, to which the president said there is a continuous debate on the matter, which was a worldwide concern. “We are still looking at places where we can buy food at a lower price,” he stated, citing various causes leading to a hike in food prices such as the current war in Ukraine.

One proposal called for all civil servants to be identified by their name tags, to facilitate follow-ups in government offices. The proposal was welcomed by the head of state who said his administration was already looking into a similar proposal made in a previous meeting, which had requested a reward system for civil servants by the public they serve.

The issue of moral values and respect were also raised by some speakers who stated these had been eroded in the country, to which the head of state appealed to parents to manage their children and create a conducive environment for their upbringing.

Baie Lazare was the 18th district for the public meeting. Today the president and his cabinet of ministers will be in Pointe Larue.


Patsy Canaya




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