Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 5 October 2015Posted: October 5, 2015
The Head of State urged people to respect the Constitution at the official 36th anniversary celebration at Constitution Place this morning. President Baldwin Lonsdale listed the signatories who had passed on and those still with us and upheld the importance of following the laws of the nation. "The Constitution laid a foundation on which the country could build," he said, and "a united and free Republic was thus guaranteed on 5 October 1979," for Independence which was finally obtained on 30 July the following year. President Lonsdale upheld the values of the makers of the Constitution, which values are enshrined in the document.
It is alarming to learn from today’s Daily Post that we have not yet legislated to ensure adequate protective abortion laws. 36 years after the signing of our National Constitution giving everyone security of the person, "unsafe abortion is not fully illegal." Security of the person follows immediately after life and liberty as our third fundamental right. The Director of the Vanuatu Family Health Association, Arnold Bani, this week launched a booklet containing the results of a survey on health issues such as the rise in sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. The survey found that unsafe abortion is becoming a big problem in Vanuatu. "Contraceptive services and care must increase," said Bani. "Unsafe abortion is not fully illegal and we need to re-look at the laws associated with abortion."
Today’s Daily Post also carries news of the Chamber of Commerce assisting the Ministry of Lands through an Economic Land Reform Policy Initiative Committee. This Committee wants to see the Customary Land Management Act of 2013 and its Amendment of 2014 repealed. These are both legally enacted laws of the Parliament of Vanuatu. The Committee says that most of the 19 resolutions of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs on the subject are not adequately addressed by this legislation. And amendment is also needed to the Malvatumauri Act.
Land issues are also discussed by the young VKS lands desk officer Anymio David in Daily Post. Governments see land as money, he says, as do parents in need of funds for school fees or a truck. "We are actually giving away our power for our right to a lease title number," says Anymio David.
And a judgement concerning Ifira Trustees and the legality of their meeting at Le Lagon on December 13 2014 is reported as "entirely reasonable, sensible." Aspects of the meeting are considered contentious and it is thought an appeal may be intended.
Happy National Constitution Day.