Vanuatu daily news digest | 3 October 2014

Volcanic activity has increased on Ambae, Radio Vanuatu News points out for Geology and Geo-Hazards. The area concerned is in the vicinity of Lake Manaro and visitors are urged to be careful and not go too close to the lake. Similarly, warning was given yesterday as regards Marum and Benbow on Ambrym, a hundred kilometres away, visitors being asked to stay away from the craters.

"There needs to be improvement of the management of the Vanuatu Shipping Registry," Prime Minister Natuman says, in order to maximise the return to government. The Prime Minister praised the work of the registry, saying, however, he wanted an improved performance to enable more ni-Vanuatu to work on ships of the registry. He made this point when he visited the registry headquarters in New York, Radio Vanuatu reported this morning. Daily Post also takes up the story on the front page today. There is likely to be more news on this topic in The Independent tomorrow, which, though run as a national charity to provide alternative print news, was also set up by the founder of the registry in order to be certain to have a means to answer any criticism of VRS operations.

Also in Daily Post today, and worth purchasing the newspaper for, is Supreme Court Judge Fatiaki’s disagreement that custom prevails over the law. He made the comment when sentencing a pastor from Motalava for an indecent action with his daughter for which the pastor pleaded guilty. Jutice Fatiaki pointed out that there are two aspects to every crime or offence: a public order community element and an individual victim aspect.. "Both are affected by criminal behaviour and both must be corrected and atoned for," he said.

Transparency’s Yumi Save Stopem Korapsen page in Daily Post today takes up the matter of vessels polluting Vanuatu waters – notably the MV Kimbe and the MV Lycianda. And that paper also has a very long letter of great density from the Vanuatu Financial Services Commissioner, George Andrews, attacking comment on the CIIP Plan made by one JT Earl.

Tomorrow Saturday sees the start of full operations of the ACTIV Handicraft Centre at the Stella Marae subdivision. Labelled a ‘fair trade’ or a ‘trade facilitation’ service, ACTIV has been trying to maximise returns to local artisans in bringing their handcraft and traditional products to the market in an attempt to promote work from the more remote places to the capital as the country’s main tourist destination and for export overseas. Launch groups of women from Ambae, Futuna, Nguna, Maewo and Erromango will join carvers from Ambrym, Efate and Paama, and there will be items on sale from other islands which demonstrate the originality and wealth of Vanuatu cultural creation. Starting tomorrow, when the greatest variety of items will be on display, ACTIV will be very active from 7.30 to 4.30 on weekdays and 7.30 to 12 noon on Saturdays.