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Moving On In Unity, Harmony And With Confidence, Message By President James A Michel On Constitution Day, 18 June 2015

Wed, 17 June 2015

We are celebrating our Constitution Day, a vital event and a landmark in the life of modern Seychelles. It gave us the Third Republic, our beloved, united, peaceful and common home.

At 22 years old our Third Republic is today on solid foundations. Its democracy vibrant. The economy dynamic. The patriotic flame burning stronger in our hearts.

Our Constitution is the guarantor of our fundamental human rights and freedoms, from the right to dignity and right to participate in government, to freedom of expression and freedom of movement and association.  It is the set of basic principles and other provisions to which laws and government activities conform for the common good of all. It controls the power of government. It allows for limitations of the rights and freedoms, as may be necessary in a democratic society.

It defines us as a nation. Part of the preamble of our Constitution says we are aware and proud that as descendants of different races we have learnt to live together as one Nation under God and can serve as an example for a harmonious and multi-racial society.  In our Constitution we express our desire to build a just, fraternal and humane society in a spirit of friendship and cooperation with all peoples of the world.

The Constitution ushered in new symbols – various modern institutions, the inspiring words of our national anthem, the motivating colours of our national flag. These are powerful symbols that rally us to defend our motherland, to defend Seychelles' honour and strive for her glory wherever we may be.  Symbols that are engraved in our hearts, to proclaim that we share the same homeland, that we are all children of these beautiful islands.

In our Constitution are values, rights and obligations that link us, that make us a determined and hardworking nation.  Our population may be small, but we have accomplished the goals of big countries. Because our heart is big. With accomplishments and a way of life that have earned us greater respect in the world, that have brought us human dignity and liberty.  Enabled by our Constitution.

That is why we are today grateful to our Constitution for nurturing the environment that has also given us our unity, democracy, rule of law, good governance, participation in national affairs, development, and aspirations to continually build a better Seychelles. In our country today our elderly citizens are able to live in dignity and comfort. The youth of this country can realistically aspire to accomplish their dreams. We have a strong social conscience which is reflected in our housing, education, health and welfare systems. We have a high level of human development. We are an upper middle income country.

On the anniversary of the Third Republic we always celebrate the strengthening of our national unity and the New Seychelles. We will always look for ways to bring all our people closer, because national unity is essential for progress. As we aspire for greater accomplishments, we are ever mindful that our Constitution gives every Seychellois the space to make a contribution to our common progress.

Each stage of our progress as a people has contributed to nation-building, reinforcing the feeling that we are united as a country, inspiring the love for our dear Seychelles, fostering of inclusiveness, all our people joining hands on the road to the better future. Every step we have taken, we have proven that we can rise above our differences. That is why we have made great strides in our development.  The adoption of our Constitution was such an important step.

We are now building the New Seychelles. A time of new challenges, new commitments.  The time, more than ever before, to derive strength from our differences, to harvest unity from our diversity. To draw lessons from our history.  Moving on, with confidence, towards the future. For our children. And for their children.

I wish you all a Happy Constitution Day!

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