National Chiefs Day celebrated with opening of new Malvatumauri nakamal

The new Malvatumauri nakamal under construction last month. Photo © Vanuatu Daily Digest

The new Malvatumauri nakamal under construction last month. Photo: Vanuatu Daily Digest

National Chiefs’ Day was being celebrated yesterday, and this year’s highlight of the celebration has been the reopening of the rebuilt Malvatumauri nakamal, the National Council of Chiefs’ meeting hall in Port Vila. Prime Minister Salwai handed over the keys of the Malvatumauri to the chiefs there gathered.

The role of chiefs in keeping traditional values alive throughout the country was the main point of the address of the Head of State for Chiefs’ Day yesterday. Too many aspects of Vanuatu’s culture have been lost, said President Baldwin Lonsdale. He called on chiefs of the country to maintain their traditional role and he urged the government to promote the responsibilities of chiefs.

The candidacies for provincial government elections in Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea were yesterday announced on Radio Vanuatu. Penama has 62 candidates for 16 seats. Malampa has 60 candidates for 21 seats, Shefa has 18 seats being contested by 82 candidates and Tafea will see 63 candidates for 19 seats. The total of candidacy applications granted for these 4 elections is 267. Campaigning has now begun.

Vanuatu has launched the first government-owned booking portal in the South Pacific, Bungalow operators throughout the country will sell their micro, small and medium enterprises through the site. Tourism Minister Natuman at Saturday’s launch said this was being done to empower the small operators. He added “Vanuatu is moving forward in a big leap”. (Daily Post)

Seven students received overseas scholarships from Lands Minister Regenvanu last week in his scholarship awarding program. All awards were based on merit, but another factor was recognised – the financial difficulties of the families of those being awarded. Twenty-five applications were received.