Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 2 June 2015

Radio Vanuatu lunchtime news (there was no early morning news today) was the first to bring news of the government plan to re-introduce discipline to the police and mobile forces by enabling legislation to permit the appointment of a foreign police commissioner. Prime Minister Natuman pointed out that in 2010 Parliament had agreed to legislate for the commissioner to be a citizen. The discipline of the forces diminished under the commissioner in recent times and the formation of factions. Advertisements for commissioner vacancies will in future be notified in the foreign press as well as locally. Opposition Leader Carcasses claimed commissioners were terminated because of political motivations despite a Police Service Commission’s responsibility.

Daily Post revealed that the United Development Bank of the Pacific had not been licensed to operate locally. Finance Minister Simelum revealed this in Parliament yesterday. The bank whose chairman was recently arrested in Thailand. Further information is being sought in order to suspend the international licence of UDBP. This is the bank which intended to open an eight-storey headquarters opposite the Club 21 premises overlooking Iririki.

The supplementary budget following cyclone Pam was approved in Parliament yesterday daily media reported. The government’s decision to obtain World Bank disaster insurance and appropriate benefit was also revealed by Finance Minister Simelum. The premium of approximately 5 million vatu was paid for each year. Simelum made immediate application for funds under this policy and within a week the World Bank had sent 1.9 million US dollars.

Post also reports Lands Minister Regenvanu enabling the cultivation of private plots for food gardens on public lands. The plan has the enthusiastic support of Agriculture Minister Tosul who has established an urban gardens initiative.