Life of West Papuan freedom fighter Dr John Ondawame honoured at memorial service

All daily media have covered the funeral of the late Dr John Otto Ondawame yesterday in Port Vila which was attended by many leaders. Sincere tributes were paid to the West Papuan freedom fighter, resident for a number of years in Port Vila, for his attempts to secure self-determination for his countrymen. The Vanuatu capital is to be the location of an upcoming forum of all the freedom movements for West Papua in the near future. Ondawame’s role in that event would have been of great importance. He will be sadly missed by his wantoks.

The Transparency page in Daily Post today reports the review of Vanuatu’s adherence to the UN Convention Against Corruption and thetwo-day workshop which has followed the Vanuatu review. Mark Bebe of the Ministry of Justice pointed out Vanuatu’s failures in areas of accountability enabling corrupt leaders to get voted back in to Parliament. We can all think of many. Transparency Vanuatu also hoped to strengthen accountability in this regard. John Ezra of the PM’s Office noted how corruption continually transforms itself in Vanuatu. It was said the government must draft an anti-corruption policy and legislation and strengthen the Ombudsman’s Act. The Transparency page also reminded readers of the politicization of the Electoral Office as spelled out in the Vanuatu National Integrity System (NIS).

Registration of commercial seagoing vessels of 10 metres in length is now required under amendments to the Shipping Act, now in force following the gazetting of amendments to that Act this month. The Daily Post article points out that vessels now required to register must also report any damage caused to or suffered by that vessel.

VBTC News this morning has the government ready to start work on Olal airport in Ambrym next year. Decisions over land ownership remain with the chiefs, and otherwise government’s plans in the matter will soon be finalised by the Development Committee of Officials (DCO) and Council of Ministers (CoM).

Waste management is being taken up in new and imaginative ways by Luganville eco-tourism businesses. A TVET workshop was held for personnel concerned and went to destinations as far away from the Canal as Port Olry, Daily Post says, where serious composting was studied.

Australia, Kiwanis, Air Vanuatu and Au Bon Marché have united to assist wheelchair access for the disabled in Vanuatu, Daily Post reports.