PM Salwai’s Lini Day address pays tribute to leaders who “broke the horizon” for independence

Walter Lini signs the Vanuatu Constitution, 30 July 1980

Walter Lini signs the Vanuatu Constitution, 30 July 1980

Prime Minister Salwai paid a moving tribute to the late Father Walter Lini’s leadership at the Anglican Church, Tagabe, this morning. The anniversary memorial service was also attended by the Head of State and other community leaders. PM Salwai had just returned from the home island he shared with the country’s first Prime Minister and regretted that there was  no national body in place to determine how we should keep such anniversaries as Lini Day and Constitution Day and vowed Government must see such an institution created. Lini Day he averred would be the day to mark leadership. The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the Anglican Church for organising the service of worship in the company of Mary Lini and other members of the Lini family. Father Walter’s breaking through a particular horizon was PM Salwai’s main theme. This action guaranteed independence and the freedom we hold good today, said Salwai. “We must stand up strong to continue to maintain our independence into the future as this is what we want. ” PM Charlot Salwai saw it as equally important to pay tribute to the others who also “broke the horizon” to achieve Vanuatu’s independence and those who have carried the ideals of Independence forward until today. Mr Salwai  spoke of an issue still to be resolved: that of Vanuatu’s borders. We resolved that of the Solomon Islands last year, but still remaining are the frontiers with Fiji and New Caledonia. “They are still part of the struggle for independence which must be completed”, said Salwai.

Border surveillance between the Solomons and Vanuatu has recently proven very successful with the SOLVAN maritime surveillance exercise – a joint operation of the Police Maritime Wing and Solomons Maritime Unit. Nine vessels were fined for infringing maritime regulations even though they had valid licences to fish within Vanuatu waters. The Acting Commander of the Vanuatu Maritime Wing, Eddie Kalokul, paid a tribute to the Australian Government’s assistance in enabling Operation SOLVAN.  Australian High Commissioner Jenny Da Rin paid a tribute to the good work of the defence of the economic zones of the two countries through the joint exercise. “We are stronger when we walk together”, said the High Commissioner.

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