Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 14 April 2015

Some of the stories missed during the absence for a week of your Digest editor …

Saturday 4 April, farmers were being advised of the dangers in genetically modified (GMO) seeds being handed out as cyclone relief assistance. The dangers, as pointed out by STOP GMO Pacifique, include dependence on particular varieties of non-indigenous seeds. These often require the addition of pesticides and chemicals to our organic soils.

Later in the week, the Director of Bio-Security Vanuatu, Tekon Timothy Tumukon, answered that all seeds being imported are required to be GM free.

The Labour Commissioner has requested Australia and New Zealand to increase the number of workers in such as the RSE scheme.

MPs have had a million vatu released to their private accounts to assist their constituents overcome some of the difficulties presented by cyclone Pam.

To assist communities affected by Pam, the Chinese funded Tanna road construction has begun – some 30 kilometres to be covered from the airport through West Tanna. Simonsen wharf in Luganville has also been given priority in order to take advantage of the income earning potential of the northern island.

The West Papuan Unification Committee (the recently formed ULMWP) has opposed the moves of the "President of the Federal Republic of West Papua" to join the MSG. It is claimed Indonesia is using the Federal Republic of West Papua to play the old colonial game of "divide and rule".

The Vanuatu Christian Council was reported as asking the Government to allow the tax exemption period, following cyclone Pam, to be extended. Bishop Jean

Bosco Barames, VCC Vice Chairman, made the appeal to the Internal Affairs Minister