Gabriel McIntyre handed the commission’s final report to President Wavel Ramkalawan. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) – The chairperson of the Seychelles Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission (TRNUC), Gabriel McIntyre, handed the commission’s final report to President Wavel Ramkalawan on Friday.
This was done on March 31 in conformity with the second extension granted at the end of last year by the National Assembly.
Ramkalawan handed over the report to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Roger Manciennne, who will be in charge of beginning debates on the recommendations.
The TRNUC was established in 2018 to work on settling past political divisions and grievances that were a result of the coup d’état in Seychelles on June 5, 1977.
One of the biggest concerns is the compensation that the victims are asking for.
The chairperson of the TRNUC Victims Committee, Barry Laine, said that the monetary reparations will vary from up to SCR 1 million ($77,400) for harassment and other acts to up to SCR 20 million ($1.5 million) for killing or disappearance.
“There are people who are saying that we as taxpayers should not have to pay for the damages and instead get the perpetrators to do so themselves,” said Ramakalwan when accepting the document at the State House.
He added that “this is why I have decided to make the report public as of today and hand a copy to the Speaker of the National so that work is necessary now that we have the report in our hands,” he said.
It was in August last year that the commission handed President Ramkalawan an interim report as the final document was yet to be completed.
Present at Friday’s ceremony were the Chief of the Seychelles Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette, and the Commissioner of Police, Ted Barbe.
“It is important that we have the representatives from the Defence Forces here so that they too know what it is in the report and that those events in our history are never repeated,” said the President.
Gabriel McIntyre said that now the final report is public, the commission “anticipates that it will be criticised and it accepts that such criticism is part of the course of the work of truth commission’s the world over.”
She said that criticism will be made regardless of its veracity and that the report will not satisfy every Seychellois.
With TRNUC’s work completed six months later than usual, McIntyre said 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”.
Ramkalawan said that the establishment of the TRNUC and the laws governing it was a bi-partisan act with the intention of guiding the people and bringing them together.
Now that the commission has completed its mandate and presented its report to the President, it has also issued six amnesty letters to perpetrators – who have confessed to their crimes before the TRNUC.
The work was completed later than initially planned as the commission was unable to complete its mandate, it was granted an initial extension by the National Assembly until December 2022. The government was informed in November 2022, that considerable investigative challenges meant that the commission would not be unable to complete all of its determinations under the extension granted.