Vanuatu daily news digest | 11 December 2012

Radio Vanuatu begins its news coverage today with the violence between Port Vila Tannese communities spreads to Tanna. Stores were damaged in Lenakel on Sunday. Vanuatu Mobile Force officers were flown to Tanna yesterday to help the police presence there. The VMF personnel took reports and witness statements from several places on the island. A meeting with a police and VMF presence was arranged by chiefs of the areas concerned.

Daily Post today leads with news of the defeated motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Sato Kilman and comment from veteran politician Willie Jimmy Tapangararua about the floor crossing of certain MPs who had signed the motion but who returned to the Government side for the vote on it. He describes their action as “based on personal interest” and says the MPs who  crossed just want to be ministers. Speaker George Wells closed the sitting of Parliament for the Christmas recess after the debate on the motion.

Internet service providers in Vanuatu met yesterday to agree to a big improvement to the way they connect to the internet, reports Radio Vanuatu News. This is apparently the first time in the Pacific that ISPs have joined forces in this manner. The Vanuatu Government, Digicel, Telsat Pacific, CanL and SPIM are all parties to the agreement.

Daily Post carries further news of the DG of the World Trade Organisation, Pascal Lamy, meeting with the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce. “He explained that he was in Vanuatu to ensure that the post-accession framework was in place. He did not explain exactly what that meant”, Daily Post says. Vanuatu’s exports of kava, tuna and financial services were mentioned at the meeting. Kava will need to be better defined, said Lamy. The tuna industry remains, with the 150 international shipping vessels flying the Vanuatu flag, Lamy said, but the EU demands compliance with their standards, which is outside the remit of the WTO. In relation to financial services, Lamy said all WTO members have the right to exempt certain products to protect their own economies.

The well-respected Dr Willie Tokon, recently terminated early from his managerial role at Vila Central Hospital, reports receiving a second death threat via SMS text message. He has advised the police and has sought legal advice in the matter. Dr Tokon says he knows who is sending the threatening messages.