First anniversary of the return of seven Seychellois hostages
Thu, 24 June 2010
Dear brothers and sisters,
Indian Explorer crew members Francis Roucou, George Bijoux, Patrick Dyer, Robin Songoire, Georges Guichard, Robert Naiken and Stephen Stravens,
Crew members of the Serenity and Galate,
Wilson Pilate from the Spanish vessel Alakrama,
We meet in prayers to celebrate the most sacred human value, which is freedom.
Your presence here today is testimony of the power of prayers and God’s love. Your presence reminds us of the determination and hard work of your compatriots for your liberation. It there was a moment when we really felt the emotion, the sense of belonging, the sense of patriotism, it was during the most difficult time when we were praying, negotiating, thinking about your security and visiting your families and reassuring them.
The whole of Seychelles was united in prayers. Our hope that you would return home safe and sound never lessened. Mathew chapter 17 verse 20 reminds us that anything is possible when we have faith. And this is what comforted your families, friends and all others who were engaged in one way or another in the efforts for your liberation.
It is already a year after your return home. It was un unforgettable moment. It was a highly emotional moment when we showed the true values which have always united our Seychellois nation. These are the family values, patriotism and compassion.
I take this occasion to once again thank the negotiating team and Minister Joel Morgan for their work which resulted in your liberation. I also thank all the members of the Seychelles defence forces who are doing an excellent work to defend our territory and provide security to our fishermen and sailors.
We count on you and we salute you for your courage and determination.
We thank God for the guidance and wisdom which led to your liberation. I join you in thanking all the people who shared your pain and joy. I join you in praying for Somalia, for the world to come together to find a solution for this shattered country.
May God continue to give our men and women in uniform the courage and health to carry on safeguarding our territory. We ask God for his blessing and that never again would one of our Seychellois brothers go through this experience.