President Lonsdale calls for more responsibility, less selfishness from political leaders

President Baldwin Lonsdale.

“The security, rights and needs of people must predominate in leaders’ thinking”, says President Baldwin Lonsdale.

The Head of State made Vanuatu’s security the cornerstone of his address in opening the second ordinary sitting of Parliament yesterday. “Leaders must understand that they must take action to avoid violence and corruption proliferating and become aware that people are fearing for their lives”, said President Lonsdale. “The security, rights and needs of people must predominate in leaders’ thinking, and people want to express themselves on these issues, and be heard.” President Baldwin Lonsdale inspected a guard of honour before officially opening the second ordinary sitting. (Radio Vanuatu)

The Speaker of Parliament Esmon Saimon withdrew two Private Members’ Bills from the agenda of the current Parliament sitting yesterday. He stated that they had not followed the correct procedures. They are the Bill for the Custom Land Management (Repeal) Act and Bill for the Land Lease (Amendment) Act. The MP for Efate Rural, Joshua Kalsakau is the MP responsible for their placement before the House. This leaves 23 Government Bills before the sitting, including the 2017 Estimates. (Radio Vanuatu) The tabling of the bills did not comply with the Constitution and the law. Actually, the Speaker was in error to allow them to be listed, which he admitted in his address.

Vanuatu is improving its disaster response with a training session run by Department of Geohazards and the United States Forest Service. Participants were impressed by the US Forest Service’s incident command system for dealing with disasters. With training materials to come, it is planned to ensure an incident command response will be available for all emergencies in any province. (Radio Vanuatu)

Daily Post lead yesterday with the allegations of misuse of VAN2017 funding to enable the former Sports Minister, his wife, and first PA, to travel to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio earlier this year. In a complex story, it is suggested that this may have resulted in 2017 South Pacific Mini Games funds being mis-used for the purpose. Final statements in the matter are still awaited. (Daily Post)

The Teaching Service Commission has suspended the Principal of the Vanuatu Institute of Teachers Education, Jack Matariki, in relation to vehicle accidents. The VITE vehicle was said to be seriously damaged. (Radio Vanuatu)

Vanuatu’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Laurent Parenté, claims a leading role in bringing together the heads of Maritime and Energy delegates for the meeting held last week in Port Vila. He sees an exemplary role being maintained by the Vanuatu International Shipping Registry in maintaining IMO regulations on foreign shipping in Vanuatu waters. (Daily Post)