This morning, Seychelles national newspaper, NATION, published under the title “Nostalgy may not be what it used to be” – a letter from Seychelles’ founding President James R. Mancham alongside 3 photos concerning the visit of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Seychelles in 1976 when Sir James was President.
In its letter this morning, Sir James has congratulated NATION for headlining his letter under the title, “Nostalgy may not be what it used to be.” Sir James recalls that in 1976, India was an active proponent of the politics of “Indian Ocean Zone of Peace” alongside the former Soviet Union and openly opposed the US base in the Chagos archipelago.
Today, he points out, India is online with the USA. There is no more any criticism or outcry levied about the US base in Diego Garcia. In fact, according to Sir James, “the USA would like to see India playing a major naval and military role in the zone due to the ever-growing and active interest and influence of China in the area. It is interesting to note that most of the assistance to Seychelles offered by Prime Minister Modi has a quasi military dimension – gift of another Dornier aircraft; coast surveillance; radar system; hydrographic survey and the development of a Seychelles Defense Force base on the island of Assumption.”
According to him, “there are a lot of rooms for thoughts if Seychelles is to avoid itself being caught in the web of Indo-Chinese ambition and rivalry in the area.”
“There are certainly a lot of cross-currents around and therefore the need for careful navigation if Seychelles’s sovereignty and national interest is not to be impaired,” Sir James wrote.