“Tomorrow, we will live again, the day that the Seychellois people took their destiny in their own hands. We will relive that special moment when the people of Seychelles watched the Union Jack being lowered and the flag of the first Seychellois republic being hoisted for the first time.
“Thirty four years ago, at the stroke of midnight, we took our first breath of freedom. The colonial era became a past that we wanted to forget. We witnessed the first step in the evolution of the Seychellois people, to become the proud nation that we are today. It was a first step towards the construction of the social pillars, which today, allow us to enjoy a privileged status in the world.
“Tomorrow, we, the people of Seychelles, will celebrate our independence as a sovereign nation. It is an appropriate moment to thank all those who are involved in the defence and safeguarding of our country.
“It is also an occasion to reflect on the struggle we have been through to gain our independence. It was a veritable struggle for freedom, justice, and dignity. Today, some of the pioneers of that struggle are still with us, and some, unfortunately, are no longer with us. We thank them for their hard work.
“We thank them for inculcating in us, a solid belief in a cause that is noble and just; a cause that continues to inspire us. We wish to pay homage to their contribution and to thank them.
“My fellow brothers and sisters,
“Our struggle and our victory, has brought us freedom. Freedom, however, comes with responsibility and hard work. The birth and development of a nation depends on a unified direction. It depends on a direction which is responsible and visionary. This, in fact, is what has held us together all these years and has kept us proud and free.
“The Seychellois nation has known what hard work is, and we keep on working hard. This is a Seychellois nation who is adapting to globalization, who is a success on the international scene, and who knows the worth of our freedom.
“Together, let us reflect on the direction which our country is taking – or more precisely, the direction in which we are taking it. The difficulties we have faced these past few years have made us stronger, more resilient, and determined. We have met these difficulties head on. We have not shied away from the necessary reforms – but in doing so, we have never lost sight of the vision for which we fought for independence.
“Today, we can safely say that we are over the worst. We have crossed the most difficult frontiers. As we succeeded in our struggle for independence, in this, too, we have succeeded.
“We have succeeded because the Seychellois people have rallied under the banner of unity and patriotism to face the challenge. It is by facing challenges that we have progressed and that we will be able to create a better future for the children of Seychelles.
“It is our patriotism and our unity, in spite of our different origins and beliefs, that form the heart of our nation, that defines us as a unique people in a world that is faced with severe challenges. It is those values that we must keep on nurturing and reinforcing. It is those values that constitute the soul of the Seychellois people. It is those values that allow us to say, “I am proud to be a Seychellois!”
“It is sad but true that today we are faced with certain factions who are drifting from this path of unity and patriotism. Some are motivated by egoism, vengeance, and jealousy, and they are trying to destroy the good values we have nurtured. The Seychellois people, however, is a mature people who have taken their destiny in their own hands and who are determined to push their country forward. It is not in our nature to be racist and to spread hatred and xenophobia. We, the Seychellois people, we spread love, tolerance, harmony, patriotism, and unity.
“Dear brothers and sisters,
“This is my message to commemorate our Independence Day. Let us continue to cultivate these good values and inculcate them in our children. Our future as a nation depends on it. The progress of our motherland is founded on these values.
“On the 29th [of] June, 1976, we left behind our unpleasant memories of colonialism. Our progress as a nation has never been based on bad memories. We have built our nation with determination, resilience, tolerance, hard work, unity, and love. We constantly remind the world of our unity as a nation. We do not believe in division. We will never let this proud and blessed nation become divided.
“I wish all the Seychellois people, here and abroad, a happy Independence Day.
“May God continue to bless us. Thank you.”