Vanuatu daily news digest | 15 July 2014

The government has announced a review of eight state-owned enterprises, seven of which have "consistently recorded negative values" and are said to be continuing a downward trend. Air Vanuatu, AVL, the Agriculture Bank, the National Housing Corporation, Metenesel Cocoa Estates and, amazingly, the provident fund, VNPF, are all said be be going down in this manner. Finance Minister Maki Simelum is calling for legislation to put a stop to political appointments to the boards of these state-run instrumentalities, Daily Post reports today. He also cites poor management for their failures. Vanuatu Post is the only SOE showing a "healthy value" in its book-keeping.

Arnold Prasad is Acting Head of State presently and yesterday paid a tribute to the long standing benefits Vanuatu has derived from 108 years of the French language. He was speaking on Radio Vanuatu. Bastille Day was commemorated in Paris with special guests from both the Lycée and Malpoa College of Port Vila.

The owner of the barge which sank with the loss of four lives, and its captain, his deputy and the supercargo have all been charged with manslaughter and negligence of duty. The vessel had no radio equipment the Daily Post account of the incident yesterday pointed out. Additionally there were insufficient life jackets on board. Prime Minister Natuman was yesterday briefed on the tragic accident and relief operations carried out.

The Vaturisu Council of Chiefs of Efate has suspended two chiefs for witnessing the custom ordination in Mele of Chief Kalokai Masai which did not have the consent of the Area Council of Chiefs. Such consent will in future be required Chief Henry Manlaewia of the Vaturisu advised Daily Post. Lesser chiefs of Mele have been called to a meeting by the village spokesman, Ati George Sokomanu, to consider the suspension matter.

Nagriamel reports dis-satisfied lesser members of various lesser parties agreeing to sign a motion of no confidence in the government in which these parties are supposed to have ministers anyway. No reason is given for their so signing.

The Vanuatu Cultural Centre and Museum will next week be holding a public discussion on climate change and Vanuatu’s unique position in this regard. The El Niño phenomenon and its varying effects will be discussed along with traditional climate mitigation effects and customarily observed warning systems which have proved effective on Tanna and Pentecost.

Through Australian Defence Cooperation much needed repairs are being carried out to Cooks Barracks, Port Vila. The engineers of the VMF have directed the work and they were assisted by the low risk detainees as part of the prisoners’ rehabilitation. Such assistance was usual and effective for many decades. The Santo barracks is also to be assisted in this manner and with a large sum of Australian Aid.

It is to be hoped your full service to the Vanuatudaily news Digest can resume soonest with a restoration of the complete TVL internet provision to Tassiriki customers, Port Vila, which has been poorly explained to subscribers.