Vanuatu daily news digest | 22 May 2014

The new Opposition is doing quite a lot of talking this week and former PM Carcasses is on the front page of Daily Post saying he never promised the VT 10 million in MP allocations. He adds: "Members of the Capital Investment Immigration Plan Taskforce must have lied to the opposition and government back benchers but not me (prime minister)." He adds that this must have been used as an excuse to ensure CIIP becomes a reality because of the vast economic benefits it could bring Vanuatu. He questions Finance Minister Simelum still assessing CIIP when he agreed the government would continue to pursue it last week. Carcasses says he is pleased the current government will still support the Concession Agreement for Vanuatu Airports when Government is simply awaiting the Taaskforce report. He then goes on to blame Natapei for lying when the last mentioned can really only be praised for steadfastly trying to maintain the stability he saw as key to Vanuatu governance. The page 3 photo has Carcasses along with the Big Bay Free Trade Zone resident investors’ plan architects Serge Vohor and Willie Jimmy whose scheme for special residence and citizenship came unstuck with an Ombudsman report and allegations of gifts of USD 150.000 to these two for UMP. This plan also involved aviation and purchase of Air Vanuatu and many, many foreigners coming to Santo to take over 80,000 hectares of Santo garden land. You can read about it and the civil servants who participated on in the Ombudsman report which also implicates Stefan Mandel of Vanuatu Registry Services which is presently engaged in investor residence schemes.

Meanwhile also on page 1 Prime MInister Natuman is quietly and conscientiously warning against sales of citizenship. This blog feels he should be given every chance, together with colleagues of goodwill, to formulate policies for the good of the grassroots.

Good news – and possibly some new words – on which to end, has a new urology treatment being used at the hospital in Port Vila. It removes kidney stones fast from suffering patients. Dr Richard Leona and some 25 urology patients are thrilled with the painless and quick removal by the visiting team from Australia. They do it all by percutaneous neprolithotomy, PCNL for short.