International Day of Peace/Police Day |22 September 2023
‘Peace must reign in Seychelles’ – police chief
Peace must reign in Seychelles and the police force will continue to implement necessary measures against everything that disturbs peace and violates the right of others who wish to live in peace.
Police Commissioner Ted Barbe said this while addressing officers during a ceremony yesterday organised by the Seychelles Police to commemorate their day which incidentally coincided with the International Day of Peace.
This year’s International Day of Peace was celebrated under the theme ‘Action for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals’.
The activities organised by the police to mark their day yesterday started with a special mass at the St Paul’s Cathedral, after which they paraded through Victoria back to the Central Police Station for the main event.
The mass, which was presided over by Anglican Priest Reverend Bryan Volcère, was not only to celebrate these two occasions, but also the Feast of Saint Matthew: Apostle & Evangelist and present as not only a priest but as a former Police Officer, Reverend Fred.
He stated that the day is meant to thank God for His mission and vocation in bestowing the duty of being a police officer onto His children.
“They serve and protect the community and our country without ill-will,” he stated. “With a lot of interest and a lot of love, it brings peace and order in our society and citizenships.”
The mass was also attended by family members and members of the public who joined the police officers and civilian staff in the praise and worship.
Also present were the Minister for Internal Affairs Errol Fonseka and the Chief of Defence Forces Brigadier Michael Rosette.
Reverend Volcére also gave a special mention to the police officers who could not attend the mass due to them being on duty.
“If all police officers were here, there would be chaos in the community, so let us think about the officers in the different districts on Mahé and Praslin and La Digue. We pray to God to give them strength and even for those who are on holiday, that God will bless them as well.”
In his sermon, Reverend Fred noted that in the Bible there was peace and peace is the central theme of the day’s mass. However, he noted that there was division in the peace between the military and the police force a long time ago. He also cited Genesis 26, where there are potential confusions over the meaning of peace. Genesis 26 focuses on the Lord reassuring Isaac. God states that His relationship with Abraham, and its blessings, are for Isaac, as well. God appears to Isaac not once, but twice in this chapter. In both cases, the Lord restates and emphasises the covenant promises He had made to Abraham, and is now making to Isaac.
The mass was beautifully animated by the police choir. After the mass, the police officers, guided by the Seychelles brass band, headed back to the Central Police Station in quick march through Albert Street and round the Clock Tower to the parade ground.
In his address for the day, Commissioner Barbe, stated that it is every individual’s right to enjoy peace and harmony. “When there is peace, we are all in good health,” he noted.
The commissioner however noted that not everybody has the chance to experience peace in certain societies or communities that they live in. There are some communities which experience fighting, organised crime that families and individuals suffer from, which destabilises the society and the entire world.
“We make reference to our small country itself, where there are illegal activities that interrupt the peace and tranquility in the community. Certain individuals who are constantly looking for every way to bring in drugs and our youth are being destroyed by this with other grave consequences.”
He mentioned that many incidents of breaking and entering recently have also brought suffering to the residents of the houses.
“We also have other forms of nuisance such as loud music from vehicles on the public road, loud noises from establishments, and what’s more, loud music from households where they have no respect for their neighbours.”
He said that peace must reign in Seychelles and he gave his assurances that the police force will continue to implement necessary measures against everything that disturbs peace and violates the right of others who wish to live in peace.
Referring to this year’s theme, Commissioner Barbe stated that it is a call for everyone, both collectively and individually, to take responsibility and take the necessary actions to promote peace globally.
Delivering the Peace Day message, Sub Inspector Audrey Ally stated that this year’s theme is a call to action that recognises our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace. Fostering peace contributes to the realisation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and achieving the SDGs will create a culture of peace of all.
She quoted the United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres: “Peace is needed today more than ever. War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty, and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes. Climate chaos is all around. And even peaceful countries are gripped by gaping inequalities and political polarisation.”
2023 marks the mid-point in implementing the SDGs and the 2023 observance of the International Day of Peace coincides with the SDG summit (September 18-19) to mark the mid-point milestone.
For his part, as part of the continuous partnership between AMSA Seychelles and the Seychelles Police Force, the medical director, Dr Kenneth Henriette, stated that International Peace Day is celebrated because the country believes in Peace.
“We believe that we are the ones that make peace,” he stated.
“The officers work endlessly everyday, 24/7, to make sure that there is peace in Seychelles.”
He congratulated them and said he was proud that the officers where present to protect the citizens of Seychelles and bring peace, dignity and respect to Seychelles.
He continued to sing the praises of the police force before concluding by thanking them for the collaboration with AMSA.
“AMSA is not scared to collaborate with you, because you are part of the community as well.”
He said that this is just the tip of the iceberg of AMSA’s contributions to the public community.
During the event, there was a General Salute for the Commissioner led by Commander Assistant Superintendent of Police Vincent Marie. The police choir also sung ‘Rann Glwar’before a Tactical Display by the Public Order and Tactical Response Unit (POTRU).
Finally, the event rounded off with a beautiful poem by Linda Hoareau and a drill demonstration by an all-female platoon. For good measure, Superintendent Jean-Paul Ernesta sang an original song.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the event.
Photos: Contributed/Louis Toussaint