Vanuatu daily news digest | 30 January 2013

The Minister for Internal Affairs, Toara Daniel, responsible for Immigration, has said the Ministry responsible is not aware of the formation of Pacific Migration Consultants and that the Director General of Internal Affairs George Bogiri must resign because of the conflict of interest presented by his setting up of this company in his own name. Daniel did this following a press conference by DG Bogiri and Principal Immigration Officer François Batick yesterday morning. The Minister’s remarks were reported by Radio Vanuatu News. Bogiri and Batick were giving their explanation why ‘Government’ hired Bogiri’s company to handle all of Vanuatu’s visa applications. DG Bogiri rejected media reports regarding the creation of the business, saying they are “baseless and unfounded,” and explaining the business was formed because of the numerous public complaints about the bad work of the Immigration Department. Batick backed him up and added there would be other agents in future. Straight after the Bogiri press conference, his Minister met members of the media and questioned the self-interest of the DG in making such a move. Minister Toara Daniel said Bogiri must resign and the PM and Council of Ministers must closely examine the matter. The Minister responsible was never informed of the move to set up such a business and observed that policy is only a matter for Government.

Daily Post today begins detailing by the TVL network failure which yesterday affected many of the telecommunications in Vanuatu. The failure interrupted fixed phones, mobiles and internet communications for periods of many hours, and not all services were restored by the end of the working day. More explanation is expected soon. This blog apologises for not delivering a new post yesterday.

Roch Wamytan of FLNKS promised MSG leaders and pioneers at the Symposium last Saturday that FLNKS (Front de libération nationale kanak et socialiste> would help the regional organisation in many ways during the next two years of its (FLNKS’s) presidency. However, his address, as covered by Daily Post, makes it quite clear that for FLNKS, Independence in New Caledonia is Kanak Independence, not France entering into the MSG inside a New Caledonian Trojan horse. Wamytan reiterates Fr. Walter Lini’s vision that Vanuatu cannot be free and independent until the whole of Melanesia is free and independent. France is not Melanesia: Kanaky is.

The Vanuatu Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Ham Lini, performed a custom “face cleaning” ceremony of national apology last Sunday towards the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Leo Dion, following recent events in Port Moresby with the unexpected visit of the Vanuatu Foreign Minister, Alfred Carlot, to PNG. The apology was accepted, said Radio Vanuatu News, in conformation with the spirit of unity which has prevailed during the MSG anniversary celebrations. It was considered important because the Prime Minister Sato Kilman was not aware of Carlot’s visit to PNG, necessitating PNG PM Peter O’Neill’s statement that Carlot had lied in what he told the press.

Prime Minister Sato Kilman opened the Shefa Community Transformation and Healing of the Land Conference of the Efate Presbytery by extolling the importance of “genuine” business investment and development to improve the lives of the people. Furthermore, close and regular dialogue with genuine development partners is important in face of the many challenges which confront the whole world. Government has a duty to understand and meet the needs of its people, together with supplying the development needs of the country, economical and social, with due regard to custom and the Christian faith of Vanuatu, VBTC News reported Kilman as saying. Land can become a blessing if we manage it well, he said, but it can also become a curse if we neglect or damage it.

Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the European Union, Roy Mickey Joy, has declared that the work of the Embassy is to provide consular assistance to citizens following Vanuatu law and the countries in which he works. Vanuatu’s EU Embassy was mentioned in media reports last week following Ambassador Joy’s request for clearance for the private jet carrying the two so-called Sakens to land in Port Moresby to meet Vanuatu Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot. It will be recalled that cancellation of Vu Anh Quan Saken’s passport was ordered by the Prime Minister last year. The ambassadorial “clarification” was covered by Radio Vanuatu News.

The two Bulgarians who allegedly broke into the ATM of a Port Vila bank recently
have been remanded until next week
when their case will be heard after court sittings resume.


Vanuatu daily news digest | 28 January 2013

Friday’s press conference by the First Political Adviser, Prime Minister’s Office, Richard Kaltongga, still features prominently in the media. Radio Vanuatu continues to emphasize the perceived need for the Government to regain lease titles to land which were not properly alienated. Government, together with the Department of Lands and Public Service Commission, is investigating. The Kilman Government of 2013 appears to be investigating the Kilman Government of 2010 to 2012, as only Ministers of the earlier Kilman Government could have authorised such transactions, and it is the Council of Ministers in 2010 which issued the ban on the sale of leases to Government lands. The example already been given was restated: some 90 hectares of Vanuatu Livestock Development land was transferred to a private individual for an unstated lease premium. Similar land at Narpow Point is said by Kaltongga to be selling for 30 or 40 million vatu per hectare. The same sort of thing, says Kaltongga, goes on at Luganille. Kaltongga says if it is not careful, Government will lose all its land if this corruption continues.

Use of government vehicles is also being investigated, says Kaltongga, in other VBTC reporting. Only the Minister or his driver are entitled to drive ministerial vehicles. Once again there is denial by Kaltongga, of PPP or Prime Minister Sato Kilman receiving funds from Pascal Anh Quan Saken.

Daily Post concentrates today on Kaltongga, pointing out that both Australia and Vanuatu want security boosted, and that is why the Australian Federal Police should “come back with their aid money but [also] with specific instructions of what is expected of them.” It is hard to imagine that there were not previously “specific instructions” in place. Radio Vanuatu said the AFP will help to bring back discipline to the Police.
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Vanuatu daily news digest | 27 January 2013

Prime Minister Sato Kilman has not made any statement concerning Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot or Pascal Anh Quan Saken through the mainstream media in Vanuatu yet. This comes about when their partnership is the most discussed topic in the media and nakamals of the capital. Opposition Leader Edward Natapei, in the Daily Post on Friday, insisted the PM terminate Carlot. Natapei sees Carlot’s involvement with Saken as detrimental to Vanuatu’s international credibility.

VBTC News this weekend carried a complaint by Immigration officers over the establishment of a new company, Pacific Migration Consultants, by the DG of Internal Affairs, George Bogiri. The Principal Immigration Officer, François Batick said the new company will be able to earn over Vt 200 million annually.

The President of the Vanuatu Vietnamese Association, Dinh Van Than, says Pascal Anh Quan Saken was born in Vietnam and lived there until he was 11 years old. He then moved to France for 15 years and became a French citizen, he says in this weekend’s Daily Post. “It was a lie that Pascal Saken went to school in Port Vila as I would have known him. Instead Pascal Saken went on to live in Bangkok to this day”, Than told Daily Post. Dinh Van Than was born in Vanuatu in 1944 and has lived here ever since. Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot had told freelance journalist Hilaire Bule, when the Phocea was boarded in July last year, how he came to know Pascal Anh Quan. The Minister replied “While you were still playing in your jungle [on Pentecost], I was going to school with him in town.” Than says Saken did not attend any school, in town, and it is a lie to say he did.

Pascal Anh Quan Saken sees himself as the deputy head of the Vanuatu European Union embassy in Brussels. He claims he still holds a valid Vanuatu diplomatic passport, even though the Prime Minister’s Office cancelled it and advised the Commissioner of Police that the passport was cancelled last year. Radio Vanuatu News yesterday morning carried a report based on an interview Pascal Anh Quan gave Radio New Zealand International on Friday. Saken claims to have been the victim of bad publicity while in Papua New Guinea and says that reports are all untrue and just aimed at damaging his reputation. He is still working hard for Vanuatu, he says. He is hoping to work more with Europe and the United States to build the structure of his country, Vanuatu. Saken says he cannot come to Vanuatu because his sailing boat Phocea is still being held by the Government on suspicion of carrying arms or drugs. He says he has heard all the allegations against him. While in PNG, he could not meet the US Ambassador as planned, but hopes to go back to PNG next month. He has also heard his passport was revoked by PM Kilman last September, but he believes the passport he holds is still valid.

The Citizenship Commission has announced that adult “adoption” does not entitle the adoptee to Vanuatu citizenship. The Citizenship Commission will continue to expect new citizen applicants to have resided in Vanuatu for more than ten years. Read the rest of this entry »

Pascal Anh Quan Saken’s CV

We didn’t realise that Charles Henry University was teaching creative fiction, but a source has kindly located a copy of Vu Anh Quan Saken’s curriculum vitae, which makes for fascinating reading. No idea what the other flag is. The flag above the Vanuatu flag is the state flag of Peru. Click on the image below to download the full PDF (3Mb). He gives his birthplace as “boulevard,efate,Vanuatu” [sic] and gives his residence as Paradise Cove, Pango, Efate.

Pascal Anh Quan Saken's curriculum vitae.

Pascal Anh Quan Saken curriculum vitae. Click on image to download the full PDF (3Mb)

Sato Kilman’s candidacy for general election in doubt as Vt 13 million in outstanding rent goes unpaid

Radio New Zealand International last night said had Caretaker PM Sato Kilman still owes about Vt 13 million on outstanding rent on the house which has recently been given to him by Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau for just Vt 900,000. This therefore remains a debt to the Vanuatu Government by its leader which should disqualify Kilman from candidacy in the October 30 election. Veteran ni-Vanuatu journalist Hilaire Bule says Treasury personnel report holding four unpaid invoices showing the debts Kilman needs to clear. The Caretaker Finance Minister and Caretaker PM are in different political parties.

Caretaker PM Kilman seems more concerned with the fraud which he expects to happen in the five days between 24 October, when campaigning ends, and 30 October when we go to vote. He did not mention his alleged outstanding debt in the broadcast. “The long period between the end of campaigning and the election date can mean Read the rest of this entry »

Pascal Anh Quan a.k.a. Vu Anh Kuan a.k.a. Ahn Quan Saken

Not only does he dabble in biotechnology and farming, Anh Quan, or Vu Anh Kuan as he also calls himself, is also the illustrious chairman of the yachting charter company Billionaire Yacht Club, or so his claims his website:

[Billionaire Yacht Club] was formed by Mr. Vu Anh Kuan, founder of Mangusta Yachts Singapore, the exclusive provider and official brand of Shanghai Billionaire Club, also founder of Luxury Cruiseline Co., Ltd. Mr. Vu Anh had built “Meditation”, which is a custom 130 foot luxury yacht and is co-owner of the shipyard “Tango” in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and former owner of Elite Modeling Agency Singapore.

This explains his penchant for luxury mega-yachts. But given such experience with the yachting industry, one would think he would know all about quarantine, customs and immigration clearance upon entry into a port, no?

One thing he does appear to know is the value of collecting a slew of name variations across a range of jurisdictions…

Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau acts against interests of kastom land owners in Mangaliliu land sale

Map showing customary land area leased by Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau against the wishes of the people of Lelepa and Mangaliliu

Map showing customary land area leased by Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau against the wishes of the people of Lelepa and Mangaliliu

Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau has approved a lease over large area of the customary lands of Lelepa and Mangaliliu (Lelema) to a Mele man for 75 years, against the wishes of the customary land owners. Mangaliliu Chief Mormor said at the time of the creation of a customary lease application for their own lands,  back in May: “We want a custom land lease ourselves, over our land, to protect ourselves and our land”. The North Efate land owners now have to protect themselves from the Minister of Lands. Daily Post leads with this story today. It covers how the chiefs of North Efate wrote to the Minister requesting a halt to all further land dealings in their area after nearly two years of consultation and mapping and for six community leases to be issued so their lands could truly remain theirs in perpetuity.

Lelepa and Mangaliliu chiefs signing an agreement to protect their customary lands in May 2012

Lelepa and Mangaliliu chiefs signing an agreement to protect their customary lands in May 2012

The Land Reform Act [Cap 123] gives the Minister for Lands the power to approve leases on behalf of customary owners if the land is in dispute. However, the Lelema lands are not under dispute and are unalienated. Minister Kalsakau here is acting in breach of the Act and against the letter of the Constitution. There is speculation too that the Mele lessee is just a front man for powerful foreign business interests.

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