(Seychelles News Agency) – “You have a lot of stories to tell and when you die it will go with you, and a lot of people have not understood your philosophy of reconciliation (…) you have a duty to write about it, so you should put in perspective your philosophy of reconciliation,” Seychelles founding president James Mancham told SNA, in an interview to talk about his new book quoting what he was told by his son.
Mancham who has written several books already said it was one of his sons Richard who encouraged him to write this new publication.
‘Seychelles – The saga of a small nation navigation through the cross-currents of a big World’ is the title of this latest publication by Mancham, which SNA has learnt will be launched on September 12, 2014.
According to Mahé Publications Ltd, the publisher of ” Voice of the Indian Ocean and Arabia Sea), which shall be distributing the book, the first copies are expected in the Seychelles during the first week of September.
Mancham’s latest book is being published by a company based in St Paul, Minneapolis, USA, Paragon House that has already published two of his book: ‘War on America, as seen from the Indian Ocean’ in 2002 and “Seychelles Global Citizen: The Autobiography of the Founding President’ in 2009.
In this new publication that will hit the shelves next month, one can read stories of Mancham’s childhood, education, political life and life in exile.
According to a ‘Foreword’ released by Gordon L. Anderson, President Paragon House Publishers and Editor in Chief of ‘International Journal on World Peace’ as pre-publication review, the review of publisher Anderson, the book is divided into 7 parts, each covering topics of his life and insights into political, cultural and economic wisdom.
The first part is the story of Seychelles from the colonial times to independence. It covers the lives of the three Presidents; James Mancham, France Albert Rene and James Michel.
Part two is an overview of Michel’s government and the goals of his government. Reading this part, according to the publisher, one can “become an international expert on the current politics of the current Seychelles government.”
The next part provides an overview of the relationship of the Seychelles to other nations important to it. Here, one can learn about the plight of small nations amidst the struggle for world power among large nations – from the Cold War to our multipolar world, with the rise of China and India.
Part Four contains a description of the most important outlying islands of Seychelles, including who owns them. Reading this part, one can become acquainted with some of the most pristine and exclusive travel destinations in the world. This is followed by an account of international organizations that Mancham has been actively involved in, often in a leadership capacity.
Master of telling anecdotes, Mancham’ many stories convey an understanding of leading figures, he has known personally; ranging from Charles de Gaulle of France and Pierre Trudeau of Canada, Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth 11 of UK to CIA handlers and the notorious Ugandan tyrant, Idi Amin. They convey glimpses of life with the rich and famous, conferences in developing countries and glimpses into human nature.
There are also concluding thoughts on the future, taking into account the limitations of current forms of governance and human nature. It contains an epilogue that emphasizes national reconciliation that downplays the role of political parties and emphasizes the importance of all in a nation moving forward.
The book of over 400 pages also contains a photo gallery that documents much of the stories told.
After reading this book, one cannot but help conclude that Mancham has lived a rich life and learned a great deal of wisdom, that is useful of all nations, large or small, as the navigate through a complex and uncertain future,” states Anderson as he concludes his review.
“In a world dominated by politicians and bureaucrats seeking primarily to profit personally from a position in government and ethnic groups, religious groups and political parties trying to twist the power of states for their own use, Mancham stands out as one of the few statesmen that can be said to put the interests of all people above the interests of specific individual and group interests.”
Mancham has told SNA that his latest publication though being launched slightly later than originally scheduled coincides with his 75th birthday which he celebrated on August 11.
“We had a deadline to submit all the manuscripts for the book in May so that it can be reviewed in time to be launched to coincide with my birthday, so my staff and I had to work overtime to do all the research,” said Mancham who told SNA that this is certainly not his last publication.
“I still have a lot of stories to tell.”
Born in Seychelles on August 11, 1939 Mancham studied at the Seychelles College before he was sent to London to study law by his father.
After becoming a barrister, he made a steady rise in Seychelles politics, under British rule- as a legislator, party leader, Chief Minister, Prime Minister and then as first elected President of Seychelles on June 29, 1976.
After only 11 months in office, at the height of the Cold War, Mancham was ousted by his former classmate and Prime Minister France Albert Rene, in a coup on June 05, 1977 and remained in London where he lived in exile.
Following the collapse of the USSR, international pressure was exerted on all single party states, including Seychelles and Rene invited Mancham to return after 15 years in exile in London.
Mancham returned to the Indian Ocean archipelago in April 1992 and was involved in the process that lead to the country’s return to multi-party democracy in June 1993.
In 2005 he stepped down as leader of the Democratic Party which he founded in 1962, and has since become a leading advocate for peace and reconciliation at international conferences.