March planned to support West Papua’s full membership of MSG; Virgin Australia likely to resume Port Vila flightsPosted: April 19, 2016
Friday 29 April will see a demonstration march through town, from Fatumauru Bay to the MSG Secretariat at Independence Park. It will be a civil society event, Chairman of the West Papua Assn., Pastor Allan Nafuki, told Daily Post. The peaceful demonstration is to demand the MSG Leaders give full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group to the people of West Papua in the Leaders’ summit planned for 3rd May here, hosted by the Vanuatu Government. This follows mass demonstrations in cities and towns across West Papua in support of West Papua’s full membership of MSG, and in opposition to Indonesia’s attempts through Fiji and PNG to gain membership.
Virgin Australia, one of the airlines who pulled out following the debacle over Bauerfield’s runway, has indicated that is prepared to resume its Port Vila route, reports Radio New Zealand International.
Vanuatu Tourism practitioners plan a big marketing drive in Australia and New Zealand, to get tourists back to the country, post-Cyclone Pam and runways running down. The Chairman of the Vanuatu Hotels and Resorts Association, Brian Death, told RNZI that the tourism industry had suffered hugely when Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia suspended flights. (VBTC)
Airports Vanuatu Limited – AVL – continues in lead news items, not for anything to do with runway repairs, nor board memberships, but concerning legal proceedings to which they are a party. The Appeal Court has set aside restraining orders preventing former AVL staff being investigated. (Daily Post)
The matter of the whereabouts of 50% of the monies received by Vanuatu Registry Services – VRS – for Vanuatu citizenship matters in Hong Kong has again hit the headlines, the Opposition Leader attacking the Prime Minister regarding the PM’s suggestion that the Leader of the Opposition should know where these funds are located, presumably because Kalsakau was Attorney-General at the time of their disappearance. (Daily Post)
The Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC) is seriously considering the possibility of ward councils in areas of the town along the lines of the area councils in provincial local government regions. Mayor Sumptoh spoke of the development when the Minister for Internal Affairs, Alfred Maoh, visited the Council last week. There would be 5 ward councils. This would need changes in the local government legislation, he said. It would also require the employment of ward secretaries as a link to the town council. Volunteers are being recruited to do this in the first instance as the experiment proceeds. (VBTC)