In the Seychelles, there have been celebrations marking the country's second anniversary as a socialist republic.
LV Flags and bunting in streets of Victoria, Seychelles
SV Schoolchildren wearing Seychelles' colours collecting free food and ice cream
GV PAN Crowds gathered in stadium (3 shots)
LV AND CU President France Albert Rene standing during anthem (2 shots)
SV AND LV President inspecting troops (4 shots)
GV Balloons carrying national flag in sky
SV Police slow-marching past Rene and other guests (2 shots)
SV Liberation Army marching past (2 shots)
SV Military cadets marching past (2 shots)
CU Militia women marching past as crowd watches (2 shots)
SV Young pioneers carrying wooden rifles goose-stepping past
SV Civilian contingents marching past
TILT SHOT FROM aircraft flying overhead TO band marching in stadium
In March this year, President Rene told the United States that a decision by that country to set up an Indian Ocean task force would affect relations between the two nations. The US Defence Department had previously announced it was considering designating a new fleet to operate in the Indian Ocean in an attempt to improve stability in the Gulf area. President Rene said such a force would intensify the region's power struggle and delay efforts to establish a zone of peace.
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Background: In the Seychelles, there have been celebrations marking the country's second anniversary as a socialist republic.
SYNOPSIS: The Capital, Victoria, sported festive decorations for Liberation Day on Tuesday (5 June) - a day of free ice creams for a schoolchildren and celebratory dinners for adults.
Crowds gathered at Victoria Stadium for the day's main events; a parade by civilian and military groups, an air display, and an anniversary address by President France Albert Rene.
The Seychelles has adopted a policy of non-alignment, but maintains a people's militia and an army. After reviewing the troops, President Rene said some of his people did not see the need for trained soldiers in the islands - but he claimed they were essential to defend the gains of the revolution. "We will continue to defend our independence," he said, "and our right to express our views without any external pressures."
President Rene came to power on 5 June, 1977 when he led an armed coup against the then Head of State, James Mancham, who was in London for a Commonwealth conference. Mancham's Seychelles Democratic Party (SDP) had favoured the integration of the colony within the United Kingdom. President Rene's Seychelles People's United Party (SPUP) demanded immediate independence.
The march towards a new socialist society had not proved easy, President Rene said. But he claimed that important gains in agriculture, education and health had been made during the past two years.
Equality for all Seychellois - including the women - had been one of the Republic's priorities. But the President noted, there had been difficulties in overcoming the country's legacy of a capitalist and unequal past.
The Seychelles are famous for their excellent climate, scenery and beaches. The Rene government is determined to expand the tourist potential of these advantages, but has laid down strict laws to govern the building of hotels and to protect the environment. For - says President Rene - the Seychelles' land area is small and therefore precious and the Seychellois have a firm commitment to creating their own society without outside interference.