The President of the Republic, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan received the Final Report of the Truth Reconciliation&National Unity Commission (TRNUC) in a live ceremony held at State House this morning.
The report was presented by the Chairperson of TRNUC, Mrs. Gabrielle McIntyre accompanied by the other members of the commission; Mr. Michael Green Vice-Chairperson, Mrs. Marie-Therese Purvis – Commissioner, and Archbishop James Wong – Commissioner. This is in accordance with Section 11(2) of the TRNUC Act 2018.
Following the presentation both, the President and Mrs. McIntyre addressed the media and members of the public through delivery of live statements.
In his remarks, President Ramkalawan thanked the Commissioners for the final report, for their hard work and the diligence they have exercised in trying to uncover the truth and thereafter make their recommendations. He also commended the staff of the TRNUC for their devotion.
“I am happy that the Government has provided the required assistance to the Commission though at times it was not all possible due to financial constraints. I am happy that the country has witnessed the coming to an end of another chapter in the history of Seychelles. It is my sincere hope that we will achieve national reconciliation, however, I also share the same sentiments of the TRNUC Chairperson that in many instances this process could have moved much more smoothly but were sometimes hindered by certain resistance that sought to disrupts the work of the Commission,”
“For Seychelles to continue moving forward, we need to continue looking ahead, we are looking at democracy, and above all, we are looking at respect for the rule of law. As the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission this is what your role entailed; uncovering how the rule of law was not followed and how actions or decisions went beyond the rule of law. The disappearances, torture, beatings, exiled and all the other victims, the loss of business. All these were done outside the rule of law,” he said.
The President underlined the importance of the establishment of this Commission back in 2018 and that it was a bipartisan act between the then two parties in the National Assembly and later on by former President Danny Faure in assenting to the Act to seek national unity. President Ramkalawan also underscored the need for every act to be done in accordance to the rule of law.
“Today seized the accomplishment of a task that we set out in 2018 and the final report of the TRNUC will tell us what not to do in the future and not to be repeated. I am happy that the Commissioner of Police and Chief of Defence Forces are here when the report is being presented and these are the shoulders on which the new Seychelles we want to see depends on. I will recommend both senior officers to also read the reports to ensure that members of your respective forces never fall back on the practices that you will see in these reports. The rule of law must be above everything that we do at all times,” he said.
On her part, Mrs. McIntyre said that it has been a privilege for her to have been able to lead the work of the Commission as Chairperson over the last three years and seven months and to work with the National Commissioners in the discharge of the mandate of the Commission. She noted that their work has not always been easy with many challenges but that the Commission managed to successfully overcome them. She underlined that she is extremely proud of the work achieved by the Commission in exposing the past in Seychelles, of the closure it has brought to many of the complainants, and of the stepping-stone it has created towards a better future for all Seychellois.
“I am extremely grateful to all those who put their trust in the work of the Commission, the complainants, the perpetrators who came forward, and the many witnesses who assisted the Commission in its work. I am also extremely grateful to those staff of the Commission who worked in the interests of the Commission as an independent and impartial institution,” she said.
She continued, “Yet while the Commission anticipates it will be criticized, it also expects that it will be applauded and that that applause will drown out any unjustified criticism made. As its Final Report will show, the Commission has acted beyond repute in the carrying out of its mandate. It has always maintained its independence and its impartiality and it has closely guarded its integrity. It has made decisions that it had to make on the evidence adduced; even knowing that to do so may bring disappointment or potential retaliation.”
The final Report of the Truth Reconciliation&National Unity Commission will be accessible to the public as of today 31st March 2023. During the ceremony this morning, President Ramkalawan also presented a copy of the report to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Roger Mancienne.
Also present to witness the handing of the report was the Vice-President, Mr. Ahmed Afif, the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly, Hon. Bernard George, the Attorney General, Mr. Frank Ally, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ted Barbe, the Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Gervais Henrie, and the Secretary of State for Cabinet Affairs, Mr. Mohammed Afif.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of State House – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles.