Kastom in contempt of court, or is court in contempt of kastom?Posted: October 21, 2016
Daily Post knew it was on to a controversial issue. Today they say Justice Chetwynd’s decision has become the talk of the week as many comments by members of the public supported the defendants’ right to dress in their kastom attire in court. Yesterday we reported Daily Post saying Chief Viraleo Boborenvanua was removed from court in Port Vila under the orders of Justice Chetwynd for appearing in court in kastom dress to lodge a plea. This is in relation to his arrest and that of others on Pentecost ten months ago. The group were to reappear, and they did so yesterday in their red Pentecost mats. And this time Justice Chetwynd insisted they have to find someone to represent them. Their plea hearings are now scheduled for Tuesday. Social media and national and commercial radio stations have all picked up the issue which many people will see as something entirely customary, like the disagreement over the allegedly wrongful harvest of sea cucumber, at base of the case, which resulted in conflict and then turned into arson and death threats. Others will see the matter as political, though hardly party political, in view of the number and identity of voices involved.
The second public consultation on income tax is reported by Daily Post as having a better attendance, more diverse views and spirited debate. Enough said for the Vanuatu Daily Digest to report in summary. To report in full, the weekend would not be long enough.
Civil society organizations in the country are stated by Pastor Alan Nafuki of the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association to be united with the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organizations (PIANGO) stand on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination alleged to be seen in West Papua as directed by the UN Committee concerned with such treatment of people. (Daily Post)