Govt, Minister Carlot hold press conferences to “clarify misconceptions” over Phocea, dodgy land dealingsPosted: September 19, 2012
Government is engaged in a headlong rush to hold press conferences to ‘clarify’ misconceptions which they claim have been generated by the media. VBTC News and Daily Post both report on what was said at these press conferences.
Neither news source has yet reported the huge loss to Government on land lease sales. Daily Post has partially reported the Café du Village story, writing that the Ministry of Lands sold the lease to the Café du Village site for the pathetically low amount of Vt 500,000. Vanuatu has lost up to Vt 150 million on what was claimed to be “unmanageable” public land, but which is actually prime, commercial real estate. When will Government hold a press conference to explain this? We are holding our breath.
Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot yesterday “broke his silence” with his press conference over the Phocea. Yes, he, Carlot, was invited on board the yacht Phocea with a formal invitation, as were all Ministers. “Mr Carlot says Pascal Anh Quan Saken has helped him out a lot financially”, reports Radio New Zealand International today.
Carlot has known Pascal Anh Quan Saken, self-proclaimed owner of the mega-yacht Phocea, since they went to kindergarten together in Vila. It hasn’t been revealed how and where Pascal Anh Quan Saken made so much money after his kindy years, or how he could so quickly and easily achieve citizenship and ambassadorial status for Vietnam, or become Vanuatu Special Envoy for Peru. Foreign nationals must reside in Vanuatu for 10 years before they can become citizens of Vanuatu, the law of Vanuatu states.
Pascal Anh Quan Saken is, however, now in pursuit of that other local ‘Saken’, businesswoman, Te Moli Venaos Moi Saken Thi Tham Goiset, on fraud and forgery charges through his Polynesian agents, Michael Tangataolakepa and Hira Matiupage Donald. And then there is the question of the 100 cattle Saken lost, allegedly sold to the VNPF to keep on their Bouffa farm, for which cattle Vt 30 million was paid and then borrowed by “a ni-Vanuatu businessperson”.
Director General of Internal Affairs, George Bogiri, also held a press conference where he attempted to spin the sale of permanent residency visas in Hong Kong as a financial bonanza that will help finance the government’s mysterious budgetary over-spend this year. Vt 200 million from such visas will go towards meeting the unexplained Vt 700 million budgetary deficit, Bogiri claims. Bogiri says that the usual Vanuatu immigration laws apply for anyone granted permanent residency. The media recently learned in court that middlemen are used to speed up the process of citizenship for people arriving here, despite the efforts of Citizenship Commission employees trying to stamp out this illegal practice. Perhaps Vanuatu can expect an avalanche of foreigners unless we vote in a Government willing to actually enforce the laws of Vanuatu, instead of arrogantly flouting them.
A headline of a lengthy story in Daily Post says “Public Prosecutor replies to criticisms”. Kayleen Tavoa has a lot to say, but nothing by way of an apology for her shameful non-attendance in court, keeping the judge and a court room of people waiting for the Kalsakau fraud case hearing, amongst others. A reminder, Public Prosector: not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.
The candidacy list of Edward Natapei is the only Vanua’aku Pati list that will be accepted by the Electoral Commission. Harry Iauko’s candidates will not be accepted, says Daily Post.