History of Seychelles

Arab navigators and other sailors doubtless knew of Seychelles for many centuries. However, the recorded history of Seychelles dates back to the fourth of the Portuguese India Armadas led by Vasco da Gama. On 15 March 1503, the scrivener Thomé Lopes noted the sighting of an elevated island, doubtless one the granitic islands and almost certainly Silhouette Island. The first recorded landing was by the men of the English East India Company ship Ascension, which arrived in Seychelles in January 1609. The islands were claimed by France in 1756. Seychelles remained uninhabited until the first settlers arrived on board the ship Thélemaque, which arrived on 27 August 1770. Captain Leblanc Lecore landed the first colonists, comprising 15 white men, eight slaves and five Indians. The Seychellois Creole language developed as a means of communication between the different races. The British frigate Orpheus commanded by Captain Henry Newcome arrived at Mahé on 16 May 1794. Terms of capitulation were drawn up and the next day Seychelles was surrendered to Britain. Following the fall of Mauritius to British forces, Captain Phillip Beaver of the Nisus arrived at Mahé on 23 April 1811 and took possession of Seychelles as a permanent colony of Britain. The Seychelles became an independent republic in 1976. Following a coup d'etat, a socialist one-party state ruled the country from 1977 to 1993. The subsequent democratic Presidential elections were won by candidates of the same party.

Seychelles History Museum
The Seychelles History Museum in Victoria, Seychelles, the former Supreme Court building.

Pre-colonial history

The early (pre-European colonisation) history of Isle de Séchelles or Seychelles is unknown. Malays from Borneo, who eventually settled on Madagascar, perhaps lingered here circa 200-300 AD. Arab navigators, on trading voyages across the Indian Ocean, were probably aware of the islands, although they did not settle them.

Arabs were trading the highly valued coco de mer nuts, found only in Seychelles, long before European discovery of the islands. The rotted-out nuts can float and were found washed ashore in the Maldives and Indonesia.

Age of Discoveries

On 15 March 1503, Vasco da Gama, crossing from India to East Africa, sighted what was almost certainly Silhouette Island and the next day, Desroches Island. The granitic islands began to appear on Portuguese charts as the Seven Sisters.

In March 1608, a trading fleet of the English East India Company set sail for India. Lost in a storm, the Ascension's crew saw "high land" on 19 January 1609 and headed for it. They anchored "as in a pond". They found an uninhabited island with plentiful fresh water, fish, coconuts, birds, turtles and giant tortoises with which to replenish their stores. The Ascension sailed, and reported what they had found, but the British took no action.

Towards the end of the 17th century, pirates arrived in the Indian Ocean from the Caribbean and made a base in Madagascar, from where they preyed upon vessels approaching and leaving the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

The French had occupied the Isle de France (now Mauritius) since 1715. This colony was growing in importance, and in 1735 an energetic administrator, Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1699–1753) was appointed. His brief was to protect the French sea route to India. La Bourdonnais, himself a sailor, turned his attention to making a speedier passage from Mauritius to India. To this end, in 1742, he sent an expedition under the command of Lazare Picault to accurately chart the islands northeast of Madagascar.

On 21 November 1742, the Elisabeth and the Charles anchored off Mahé at Anse Boileau (not Baie Lazare, later mistakenly named as Picault's landing place). They found a land of plenty. In fact, Picault named the island Ile d'Abondance. Picault's mapping was poor, so in 1744 he was sent back and renamed the main island Mahé (in honor of his patron Mahé de La Bourdonnais), and the group the Iles de la Bourdonnais. He had high hopes for the Iles de la Bourdonnais. However the islands were once more forgotten when La Bourdonnais was replaced in 1746.

French settlement and rule

The outbreak in 1754 of what would become the Seven Years' War between England and France reminded the authorities on Mauritius about the islands. Two ships were sent to claim them, commanded by Corneille Nicholas Morphey. He renamed the largest island Isle de Séchelles in honour of Viscount Jean Moreau de Séchelles, Minister of Finance during the reign of Louis XV (later Anglicised as Seychelles). This name was later used for the island group, whilst Mahé was again used for the largest granitic island. Morphey took possession for the French king and the French East India Company on 1 November 1756.[1]

The end of the Seven Years' War, with France's loss of Canada and its status in India, caused the decline of the French East India Company, which had formerly controlled Mauritius. This settlement, and thus Seychelles, now came under direct royal authority. The new intendant of Mauritius, Pierre Poivre (1719–1786), was determined to break the Dutch monopoly of the lucrative spice trade; he thought Mahé would be perfect for spice cultivation.

In 1768, Nicolas Dufresne arranged a commercial venture, sending ships to collect timber and tortoises from the Seychelles. During this expedition, French sovereignty was extended to cover all the islands of the granitic group on Christmas Day.

In 1769, the navigators Rochon and Grenier proved that a faster route to India could safely be taken via the Seychelles, and thus the importance of the islands' strategic position was realised. Meanwhile, Poivre had finally obtained seedlings of nutmeg and clove, and 10,000 nutmeg seeds. His attempts to propagate them on Mauritius and Bourbon (later named Réunion) met with little success, and he thought again of Seychelles. It was considered fortuitous when Brayer du Barré (unknown-1777) arrived on Mauritius with royal permission to run a settlement on St Anne at his own expense.

On 12 August 1770, 15 white colonists, seven slaves, five Indians and one black woman settled on St Anne. Du Barré stayed in Mauritius seeking funds. After reports of initial success, he begged the government for more money. However, reports reached the authorities that ship captains could get no supplies of fresh produce from the islands. Du Barré's appeals for help to Mauritius and Versailles fell on deaf ears. In desperation, he went to the Seychelles to try and rescue the situation, but to no avail. A ruined man, he left for India and died there shortly afterwards.

In 1771, Poivre sent Antoine Gillot to Seychelles to establish a spice garden. By August 1772, Du Barré's people had abandoned St Anne and moved to Mahé or returned home. Gillot worked on at Anse Royale, establishing nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and pepper plants.

When British ships were seen around Seychelles, the authorities were spurred into action, despatching a garrison under Lieutenant de Romainville. They built Etablissement du Roi (Royal Settlement) on the site of modern Victoria. Gillot was nominally in charge of the civilian colonists, but had no real authority over them. Mauritius sent as replacement a man of stronger mettle, Jean Baptiste Philogene de Malavois, who assumed command of the settlement in 1788. He drew up 30 decrees which protected the timber and tortoises. In future, only sound farming techniques and careful husbanding of resources would be tolerated.

The British frigate Orpheus commanded by Captain Henry Newcome arrived at Mahé on 16 May 1794, together with the Centurion, the Resistance and two prizes. An officer was sent ashore to request provisions and water. Quinssy proposed that, having no means to oppose the enemy, the colony should surrender. Terms of capitulation were drawn up and the next day Seychelles was surrendered to Britain. The Centurion returned to Seychelles four years later in September 1798 and renewed the capitulation. ==The Quincy era==

In 1790, as a result of the French Revolution, the settlers formed a Colonial Assembly, and decided they would run their colony themselves, according to their own constitution. Land in Seychelles should only go to the children of existing colonists, who should dispose of the colony's produce as they chose, not as Mauritius dictated. They deemed the abolition of slavery impossible, because they believed that without free labour, the colony could not survive.

The British conquer the Seychelles - 1794, 1 Rupee
1969 stamp commemorating the British occupation of 1794

Jean-Baptiste Queau de Quincy (1748–1827) took command of the colony in 1794. A wily man, he used skill and expediency to steer Seychelles through the years of war ahead. Seychelles acted as a haven for French corsairs (pirates carrying lettres de marque entitling them to prey legally on enemy shipping). Quincy hoped this might go unnoticed, but in 1794 a squadron of three British ships arrived led by the frigate "Orpheus" commanded by Henry Newcome. Quinssy proposed that, having no means to oppose the enemy, the colony should surrender. Terms of capitulation were drawn up and the next day Seychelles was surrendered to Britain.

The British made no effort to take over the Seychelles; it was considered a waste of resources. The settlers decided that unless they were sent a garrison, they could not be expected to defend the French flag. Therefore, they would remain neutral, supplying all comers. The strategy worked. The colony flourished. Quincy's favourable terms of capitulation were renewed seven times during the visits of British ships.

On 11 July 1801, the French frigate Chiffonne arrived with a cargo of French prisoners sent into exile by Napoleon. Then HMS Sybille arrived. Quincy had to try to defend the Chiffonne, but after a brief battle, the Chiffonne was taken. Captain Adam of the Sybille wanted to know why Quincy had interfered, in contravention of his capitulation terms. Quincy managed to talk his way out of the difficulty, and even persuaded Adam to agree to Seychelles' vessels flying a flag bearing the words "Seychelles Capitulation", allowing them to pass through the British blockade of Mauritius unmolested.

15 September 1801 was the date of a memorable sea battle just off the settlement. The British ship Victor was seriously disabled by damage to her rigging, but she was able to manoeuvre broadside to the French vessel La Flêche and rake her with incessant fire. La Flêche began to sink. Rather than surrender her, her captain ran her aground, torching her before abandoning ship. The opposing commanders met ashore afterwards, the Englishman warmly congratulating his French counterpart on his courage and skill during the battle.

The British tightened the blockade on the French Indian Ocean colonies. Réunion surrendered, followed in December 1810 by Mauritius. In April 1811, Captain Beaver arrived in Seychelles on the Nisus to announce the preferential terms of Quincy's capitulation should stand, but Seychelles must recognise the terms of the Mauritian surrender. Beaver left behind a Royal Marine, Lieutenant Bartholomew Sullivan, to monitor the Seychelles situation.

British rule

There was little Sullivan could do alone to stop the settlers continuing to provision French frigates and slavers. Slave ownership was not then against British law, although slave trading was illegal. Sullivan, later given the title of Civil Agent, played cat and mouse with the pro-slaver colonists. Once, acting on a tip off, Sullivan was rowed over to Praslin and was able to confiscate a cargo of newly landed slaves. It was but a small triumph amidst many frustrations, and Sullivan, complaining that the Seychellois had "no sense of honour, shame or honesty", resigned.

The first civilian administrator of the British regime was Edward Madge. He had a bitter feud with Quincy, who remained in the administration as Justice of the Peace. In the following years, the islands became a backwater ticking over quietly. Seychellois landowners had a pleasant life, though making ends meet given the fickle markets for their produce was not always easy. The British had allowed all customary French practices to remain in place. The administrator may have been British, reporting to London, but he governed according to French rules. The biggest grievance the colonists had with their new masters was the colony's dependence on Mauritius.

The other cloud on the planters' horizon was British anti-slavery legislation. In 1835, slavery was completely abolished. The plantations were already in decline, their soils exhausted by years of cultivation without investment in renewing fertility. Some planters took their slaves and left. The liberated slaves had no land, and most squatted on the estates they had tended in bondage, and the colony entered a period of stagnation. There were no exports, and no money to pay for new infrastructure.

The situation was only improved when planters realised they could grow coconuts with less labour and more profit than the traditional crops of cotton, sugar, rice, and maize. Soon, they also had a source of virtually free labour once again. The British took their anti-slavery stance seriously, and operated patrols along the East African coast, raiding Arab dhows transporting slaves to the Middle East. Slaves liberated south of the Equator were brought to Seychelles, and apprenticed to plantation owners. They worked the land in return for rations and wages. Over a period of thirteen years from 1861, around 2,400 men, women and children were brought to Seychelles.

The town, called Victoria since 1841, began to grow. Licences granted in 1879 give some idea of the range of businesses in the town. There was a druggist, two auctioneers, five retailers, four liquor stores, a notary, an attorney, a jeweller, and a watchmaker.

There was a disaster on 12 October 1862, when torrential rain and strong winds hit Mahé. An avalanche of mud and rocks fell on the town from the hills. It has been estimated that over 70 persons lost their lives.

Albert Street Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Albert Street Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Church Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Church Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Clock court treasury Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Clock court treasury Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Post office clock tower Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Post office clock tower, Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Postcard Mahe 1903

Postcard Mahe 1903

Queen Victoria Memorial Seychelles 1900s

Queen Victoria Memorial Seychelles 1900s.jpg

Royal Street Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Royal Street Victoria Seychelles 1900s.jpg

Supreme Court Seychelles 1900s

Supreme Court, Seychelles 1900s

Victoria buildings Seychelles 1900s

Victoria buildings, Seychelles 1900s

Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Victoria, Seychelles, 1900s

Victoria Street Victoria Seychelles 1900s

Victoria Street, Victoria, Seychelles 1900s

Library of Seychelles opening 1910

Library of Seychelles opening 1910.jpg

Victoria Clock Tower Seychelles

Victoria's clock tower after 1925

Crown Colony

Flag of Seychelles 1903-1961
Flag of Seychelles 1903–1961

Seychellois officials wanted Seychelles to organized as a separate autonomous colony within the British Empire, and the authorities in the mother colony, Mauritius, supported them. Sir Arthur Gordon, the Mauritian governor, sent a petition on their behalf to London. Concessions were made, but Seychelles did not become a Crown Colony in its own right until 1903, when its first Governor, Sir Ernest Bickham Sweet-Escott took office. Befitting its new status, the colony acquired a botanical gardens, and a clock tower in the heart of Victoria. The French language and culture remained dominant, however.

The British, like the French before them, saw Seychelles as a useful place to exile troublesome political prisoners. Over the years, Seychelles became a home to prisoners from Zanzibar, Egypt, Cyprus and Palestine, to name but a few. The first in the line of exiles was Sultan Abdullah, a sultan in Perak including Lela Pandak Lam, the ex-chief of Pasir Salak in Perak who arrived in 1875 after their implication in the murder of the British Resident of Perak, JW Birch. Like many of the exiles who followed, they settled well into Seychelles life and became genuinely fond of the islands. Sultan Abdullah's son took home with him one of the popular local French tunes by the islanders la rosalè , and incorporated it into the national anthem of his country. With new words, it later became Negaraku, the national anthem of Malaysia.

Perhaps the most famous of the political prisoners was Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus, who arrived in 1956. He likewise fell in love with his prison. "When our ship leaves harbour", he wrote, "we shall take with us many good and kindly memories of the Seychelles...may God bless them all."

World War I caused great hardship in the islands. Ships could not bring in essential goods, nor take away exports. Wages fell; prices soared by 150 percent. Many turned to crime and the prisons were bursting. Joining the Seychelles Labour Contingent, formed at the request of General Smuts, seemed to offer an escape. It was no easy option however. The force, 800 strong, was sent to East Africa. After just five months, so many had died from dysentery, malaria and beriberi that the corps was sent home. In all, 335 men died.

By the end of World War I, the population of Seychelles was 24,000 and they were feeling neglected by Great Britain. There was agitation from the newly formed Planters Association for greater representation in the governance of Seychelles affairs. After 1929, a more liberal flow of funds was ensured by the Colonial Development Act, but it was a time of economic depression; the price of copra was falling and so were wages. Workers petitioned the government about their poor working conditions and the burden of tax they had to bear. Governor Sir Arthur Grimble instigated some reforms, exempting lower income groups from taxation. He was keen to create model housing and distribute smallholdings for the landless. Many of his reforms were not approved until World War II had broken out, and everything was put on hold.

The Planters Association lobbied for the white land owners, but until 1937 those who worked for them had no voice. The League of Coloured Peoples was formed to demand a minimum wage, a wage tribunal and free health care for all. During World War II, a seaplane depot was established on St Anne to monitor regional shipping. A garrison was stationed in the islands and a battery built at Pointe Conan to protect the harbour. Some 2,000 Seychellois men served in the Pioneer Companies in Egypt, Palestine and Italy.

At home, Seychelles had turmoil of its own. The first political party, the Taxpayers Association, was formed in 1939. A British governor described it as "the embodiment of every reactionary force in Seychelles", and it was entirely concerned with protecting the interests of the plantocracy. After the war, they also benefited by being granted the vote, which was limited to literate property owners; just 2,000 in a population of 36,000. At the first elections, in 1948, most of those elected to the Legislative Council were predictably members of the Planters and Taxpayers Association.

In 1958, the French bought back the Glorioso islands from the Seychelles.

Postcard of the lagoon at Cerf Island in the Seychelles, HMAS SYDNEY (II) refuelled there in January 1941 (27303623761)

Lagoon at Cerf Island, 1941

Port Glaud to Conception Island, the Seychelles (27098454390)

Port Glaud to Conception Island, 1941

Seychelles 25c stamp 1954

Postage stamp with portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1954

Independence

Seychelles Governor inspection 1972
Colonial Governor of the Seychelles inspecting police guard of honour in 1972
State House Victoria Seychelles
Victoria's State House in the 1970s

It was not until 1964 that any new political movements were created. In that year, the Seychelles People's United Party (SPUP, later Seychelles People's Progressive Front, SPPF) was formed. Led by France-Albert René, they campaigned for socialism and independence from Britain. The late James Mancham's Seychelles Democratic Party (SDP), created the same year, by contrast represented businessmen and planters and wanted closer integration with Britain.

Elections were held in 1966, won by the SDP.

In March 1970, colonial and political representatives of Seychelles met in London for a constitutional convention, with the Seychelles Democratic Party (SDP) of James Mancham advocating closer integration with the UK, and the Seychelles People's United Party (SPUP) of France-Albert René advocating independence. Further elections in November 1970 brought a new constitution into effect, with Mancham as Chief Minister. Further elections were held in April 1974, in which both major political parties campaigned for independence. Following this election, negotiations with the British resulted in an agreement under which the Seychelles became an independent republic within the Commonwealth on June 29, 1976. The newly knighted Sir James Mancham became the country's first President, with René as Prime Minister. These negotiations also restored the islands of Aldabra, Farquhar, and Des Roches, which had been transferred from Seychelles in November 1965 to form part of the new British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), to Seychelles upon independence.

Boy with coconuts Seychelles

Boy with coconuts Seychelles

Cinnamon quill maker Seychelles

Cinnamon quill maker Seychelles

Coconut oil making Seychelles

Coconut oil making Seychelles

Coconut plantation worker Seychelles

Coconut plantation worker Seychelles

Colourful Skirts at Seychelles Market

Colourful Skirts at Seychelles Market

Cutting coconuts Seychelles

Cutting coconuts Seychelles

Farmer house Seychelles

Farmer house Seychelles

Fish market Seychelles 1

Fish market Seychelles

Fisherman and his catch Seychelles

Fisherman and his catch

Fisherman Seychelles

Fisherman Seychelles

Fishermen pirogue Seychelles

Fishermen pirogue Seychelles

Mahé Beauvallon FishingOnThe Beach

Mahé Beauvallon FishingOnThe Beach

Market scene Seychelles

Market scene Seychelles

Seychelles man with fish

Seychelles man with fish

Seychelloise fish trap

Seychelloise fish trap

One-party state

France-Albert René, June 2014
France-Albert René, President of the Seychelles, 1977-2004

On June 5, 1977, a coup d'état saw Mancham deposed while overseas, and France-Albert René became President. The Seychelles became a one-party state, with the SPUP becoming the Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF).

In 1981, the country experienced a failed coup attempt by Mike Hoare and a team of South African backed mercenaries. The author John Perkins has alleged that this was part of a covert action to re-install the pro-American former president in the face of concerns about United States access to its military bases in Diego Garcia.[2]

The government was threatened again by an army mutiny in August 1982, but it was quelled after 2 days when loyal troops, reinforced by Tanzanian forces & several of the mercenaries that had escaped from the prison,[3] recaptured the rebel-held installations.

Gérard Hoarau (7 December 1950 – 29 November 1985) the exiled opposition was head of the Mouvement Pour La Resistance (MPR).[4] His opposition to the dictatorship of René was based in London and he was assassinated on 29 November 1985 by an unidentified gunman on the doorstep of his London home. Hoarau is buried in London.

In 1985 after the assassination of Hoarau, the Seychelles community in exile put together a program titled SIROP - Seychelles International Repatriation and Onward Program. Involving an alliance of CDU, DP, SNP and SNP it outlined negotiations for a peaceful return of the exiles supported by a strong economic program.

In February 1992, Conrad Greslé (19 August 1937 - July 1993), a local accountant, landowner and advocate of multi-party democracy in Seychelles was arrested and charged with treason for allegedly planning to overthrow President René's régime with the apparent aid of foreign mercenaries and with supposed CIA involvement. Greslé died in Seychelles in July 1993 and is survived by his wife Sylvia, son Neville and daughters Natasha and Yvette Greslé.[5]

A number of Seychellois were displaced and exiled by the dictatorship. The Greslé family were one of a few landowners of largely French descent to remain after the coup d'état of 1977 - most had their land confiscated and were exiled. Any individual who publicly resisted the René régime was vulnerable to threats, intimidation, or exile throughout the 1980s. Disappearances and what appear to be politically motivated killing did take place but these are not officially documented or acknowledged. A number of Seychellois families are now calling for official acknowledgement of politically motivated violence subsequent to the 1977 coup.

Democracy

James Michel 2014
James Michel, President of the Seychelles, 2004-2016
Danny Faure 2013-04-23
Danny Faure, President of the Seychelles, 2016

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, at an Extraordinary Congress of the Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF) on December 4, 1991, President René announced a return to the multiparty system of government after almost 16 years of one-party rule. On December 27, 1991, the Constitution of Seychelles was amended to allow for the registration of political parties. Among the exiles returning to Seychelles was James Mancham, who returned in April 1992 to revive his party, the Democratic Party (DP). By the end of that month, eight political parties had registered to contest the first stage of the transition process: election to the constitutional commission, which took place on July 23–26, 1992.

The constitutional commission was made up of 22 elected members, 14 from the SPPF and 8 from the DP. It commenced work on August 27, 1992 with both President René and Mancham calling for national reconciliation and consensus on a new democratic constitution. A consensus text was agreed upon on May 7, 1993, and a referendum to approve it was called for June 15–18. The draft was approved with 73.9% of the electorate in favor of it and 24.1% against.

July 23–26, 1993 saw the first multiparty presidential and legislative elections held under the new constitution, as well as a resounding victory for President René. Three political groups contested the elections—the SPPF, the DP, and the United Opposition (UO)--a coalition of three smaller political parties, including Parti Seselwa. Two other smaller opposition parties threw in their lot with the DP. All participating parties and international observer groups accepted the results as "free and fair."

Three candidates contested the March 20–22, 1998 presidential election—Albert René, SPPF; James Mancham, DP; and Wavel Ramkalawan—and once again President René and his SPPF party won a landslide victory. The President's popularity in elections jumped to 66.6% in 1998 from 59.5% in 1993, while the SPPF garnered 61.7% of the total votes cast in the 1998 National Assembly election, compared to 56.5% in 1993.

In 1999, Mancham switched to the centrist liberal Seychelles National Party (SNP) which emerged as the major opposition party, losing to the SPPF in 2002 with 42% of the vote. In 2004, René turned the presidency over to his former vice president and long-time comrade, James Michel. Michel won the 2006 presidential elections against SNP leader Wavel Ramkalawan with 53.5% of the vote.

See also

References

  1. ^ Fauvel, Albert-Auguste. "Unpublished Documents on the History of the Seychelles Islands Anterior to 1810". Government Printing Office, Mahé, Seychelles, via the World Digital Library. Archived from the original on 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  2. ^ "John Perkins on "The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption"". Democracy Now. 5 June 2007. Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  3. ^ SABC (14 June 2011). "TRC Episode 74, Part 05". Archived from the original on 14 May 2018 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ "AROUND THE WORLD; Exiled Seychelles Leader Is Shot Dead in London". New York Times. November 30, 1985. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016.
  5. ^ James Mancham, Seychelles: Personalities of Yesterday (Seychelles: Mahé Publications, 2005).

Further reading

  • George Bennett, compiler ; with the collaboration of Pramila Ramgulam Bennett. (1993). Seychelles. Santa Barbara, California: Clio Press. ISBN 0-585-06169-6.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • William McAteer. (2000). The history of Seychelles from discovery to independence. Mahé, Seychelles: Pristine Books. ISBN 99931-809-0-4.
  • Francis MacGregor (2004). A parliamentary history of Seychelles. Seychelles: F.E. MacGregor. ISBN 99931-60-00-8.
  • Deryck Scarr. (2000). Seychelles since 1770 : a history of slave and post-slavery society. London: Hurst. ISBN 1-85065-364-X.

External links

1977 Seychelles coup d'état

The 1977 Seychelles coup d'état was a virtually bloodless coup that occurred in the East African and Indian Ocean country of Seychelles on 4–5 June 1977. Between 60–200 supporters of the Seychelles People's United Party (SPUP), who had been training in Tanzania, overthrew President Sir James Mancham of the Seychelles Democratic Party (SDP) whilst he was attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, the United Kingdom.

1981 Seychelles coup d'état attempt

The 1981 Seychelles coup d'état attempt, sometimes referred to as the Seychelles affair or Operation Angela, was a failed South African–orchestrated mercenary takeover attempt in the country of Seychelles.

Action of 8 May 1941

The action of 8 May 1941 was a single ship action fought during the Second World War by the British heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall and the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) auxiliary cruiser Pinguin (Raider F to the Admiralty and Schiff 33 to the Kriegsmarine). The engagement took place in the Indian Ocean off the Seychelles archipelago, north of Madagascar. Pinguin slightly damaged Cornwall, before return-fire caused an explosion and Pinguin sank. One British sailor was killed and of 222 British and Indian Merchant Navy prisoners, captured from over thirty merchant vessels on Pinguin, 200 were killed in the explosion. Of the crew of 401 men, 332 were killed and 60 were rescued along with 22 of the Merchant Navy prisoners. Cornwall returned to Durban for repairs until 10 June.

Corneille Nicholas Morphey

Captain Corneille Nicholas Morphey was the commander of the French East India Company frigate Le Cerf.

On November 1, 1756, he took possession of the Seychelles in the name of the King of France and the French East India Company.

Flag of Seychelles

The flag of Seychelles was adopted on January 8, 1996. The current flag is the third used by the country since its independence from Britain on June 29, 1976. The colours used in the current flag are the official colours of two of the nation's major political parties–Seychelles People's United Party and the Seychelles Democratic Party.

Legends of the coco de mer

Nut and tree of the coco de mer, a rare species of palm tree native to the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean, is the subject of various legends and lore. Coco de mer is endemic to the Seychelles islands of Praslin and Curieuse. Before the Seychelles were discovered and settled, nuts of this species were sometimes carried by the ocean currents to distant shores, such as those of the Maldives, where the tree was unknown. These floating nuts did not germinate. The exceptional size and suggestive form of the nut, the circumstances of its discovery, and some unusual qualities of the trees have given rise to several legends.

Liberty Monument (Seychelles)

The Liberty Monument is an historic monument in Victoria, Seychelles. It was erected in celebration of the Seychelles' independence from Britain.

List of colonial governors and administrators of Seychelles

(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)

For continuation after independence, see: List of Presidents of Seychelles

Mathilda Twomey

Mathilda Twomey (née Butler-Payette) is a Seychellois lawyer and academic. She is the first female judge in the history of Seychelles and also the first woman to be appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Seychelles.

Mohamoud Ali Shire

Mohamoud Ali Shire (Somali: Maxamuud Cali Shiire, Arabic: محمود علي شري‎, Mahmoud bin Ali Shirreh Maxmud bin Cali Shire) was a Somali elder of the Warsangali clan. He bore the title Sultan (also referred to as Senior Akil) of the Warsangeli. He was centered at Las-Khorey.

National Assembly (Seychelles)

The unicameral National Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale, Creole: Lasanble Nasyonal) is the Seychelles's legislative body.

The National Assembly in its current constellation formed following elections held on 8, 9, and 10 September 2016, with a total of 33 members. 25 members are elected in single member constituencies using the simple majority (or First-past-the-post) system. The remaining up to nine members are elected through a system of proportional representation. Members serve five-year terms.

14 women occupy seats in the National Assembly (42.4%).The current Speaker of the National Assembly is Nicholas Prea, in office since March 2018.The current National Assembly was preceded by the Legislative Council of Seychelles from 1962 to 1970, the Legislative Assembly from 1970 to 1974, the House of Assembly from 1975 to 1976, the National Assembly 1976 to 1977 and the People's Assembly from 1979 to 1993.

National Youth Service (Seychelles)

The National Youth Service (NYS) was a heavily criticized program implemented by the government of Seychelles. It was formerly compulsory and included traditional educational curriculum, political education and paramilitary training. The Seychellois opposition opposed the program on the grounds that it allegedly indoctrinated young adults with the ruling Seychelles People's Progressive Front's socialist ideology and that it rarely allowed its participants to visit their families. Pressure from international organizations forced the government to make the program optional. The NYS campuses were located on Ste. Anne Island, and at Port Launay and Cap Ternay on Mahé island (though the Sainte Anne campus was closed later).

Students in the NYS lived at NYS campuses at Port Launay and Cap Ternay on the northwest coast of Mahé. The campus was made up of houses or dormitories known as "clusters" (where the students lived) and the school area. The campus was divided in two, with male-only and female-only clusters separated. There were nine boys' clusters (from B1 to B9) and nine girls' clusters (from G1 to G9), with each housing approximately 40 students. Education and other activities were mixed-gender. Students wore special brown and beige uniforms with red scarves.

In addition to academic training, the students received practical instruction in gardening, cooking, housekeeping, and livestock raising; one of the aims of the program was to reduce youth unemployment. Initially, they were expected to produce much of their own food and cook their own meals, though this was impractical and was phased out during the later years of the program. Self-government was practiced through group sessions and committees.From the time the NYS program was instituted in 1981, it was met with heated opposition and remained highly unpopular. During the early years of the program, students spent the entire period away from home, with parental visits permitted only at designated times at intervals of several months. The number of parental visits and home visits were increased in later years. Many considered the quality of education to be inferior, with the indoctrination in the socialist policies of the SPPF part of the curriculum during the beginnings of the NYS. Nevertheless, failure to attend the NYS made it difficult to proceed to more advanced study.

In 1991 the NYS program was reduced from two years to one year. The total enrollment in that year was 1,394, with roughly equal numbers of boys and girls. Those who left school but did not participate in the NYS could volunteer for a government-administered six-month work program, receiving a training stipend below the minimum wage.After completing their NYS program, students could attend Seychelles Polytechnic (1,600 students in 1991) for preuniversity studies or other training.The NYS ceased operations in November 1998.

Outline of Seychelles

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Seychelles:

Seychelles – sovereign island nation located in the Indian Ocean and comprising 115 islands of the Seychelles Archipelago, some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of mainland Africa and northeast of the Island of Madagascar. Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west, Mauritius and Réunion to the south, Comoros and Mayotte to the southwest, and the Suvadives of the Maldives to the northeast. Seychelles has the smallest population of any sovereign state of Africa.

Postage stamps and postal history of Seychelles

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Seychelles, a 115 island nation spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. Seychelles was administered as a dependency of Mauritius from 1810 to 1903. Independence was granted in 1976.

Seychelles Football Federation

The Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) is the governing body of football in the Seychelles. The current president is Elvis Chetty and it was founded in 1980, and affiliated to FIFA and to CAF in 1986. It organizes the Seychelles First Division and the national team.

Seychelles National Archives

The Seychelles National Archives is the national archive of Seychelles and is located in Mahé. Their mission is to "collect, preserve and make accessible archival documents of enduring value through the use of the latest information technology."It was officially created in 1964.

Seychelles National Movement

Seychelles National Movement was created by the Exile Seychellois leader Gerard Hoareau who was based in London in the 1980s. The movement was the follow up to the MPR or Mouvement Pour La Resistance which was an underground movement again created by Gerard Hoareau when he was still living in the Seychelles. The MPR was a direct response of resistance to the newly installed one party government of Mr.France Albert Rene who seized power on 5 June 1977.

Slavery in Seychelles

Abolition of slavery in Seychelles was a gradual process that became increasingly powerful in the early nineteenth century and finalized in 1835.

Whaling in Seychelles

Whaling in Seychelles was established in the early 19th century, coming largely to a close by 1915 due to declining prices for sperm whale oil, as well as the lack of materials and freight congestion due to the onset of World War I. The primary quarry, sperm whales, were generally caught near Bird and Denis Islands, and towed to a whaling station on Saint Anne.

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