Political leaders in Tafea province abandon UMP for Prime Minister’s RMC party

Flag of Vanuatu's TAFEA province

Flag of Vanuatu’s TAFEA province

An interesting political development… Tafea Outer Islands leaders until now of the formerly heavyweight grouping of the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP) are turning to the Prime Ministers’ Reunification Movement for Change (RMC). They are from Erromango and Aneityum. The decision was taken last week, says Radio Vanuatu, after the court decision relating to eligibility to participate in the Tafea Province elections this coming Thursday. Four provinces are voting this week. In advance of the announcement of the intending candidates to move to PM Salwai’s party, commonly understood to be trying very hard to achieve unity, Leader of the Opposition Ishmael Kalsakau was on Tanna to try to unify the UMP political groupings, some following the former Chairman Serge Vohor and others following a leader chosen when Vohor was convicted in the bribery scandal, Jacques Mariango. The location of the very heart of the so-called moderate parties may well be Read the rest of this entry »

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Prime Minister slams Financial Intelligence Unit for freezing 2017 Pacific Games bank account, confirms full Govt support for VAN2017

Logo of the 2017 Vanuatu Pacific Games

A new statutory body has been created to enable VAN2017 to resume its management of the 2017 Vanuatu Pacific Games, due to take place this time next year. VAN2017 was set up as a charitable organisation, but the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) froze their bank account, seemingly arbitrarily, following a series of Council of Ministers decisions which appear to aimed at wresting control away from the organising committee and back to the Government.

Daily Post reports today that Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has strongly criticised the FIU’s actions, writing in a letter to the FIU Manager that “there is no clear evidence that VAN2017 has been engaged in any fraudulent actions or that state funds have been misused in any way… I am deeply concerned that Read the rest of this entry »


Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific visits; Supreme Court ruling in conspiracy case due

Australian Senator Fierravanti-Wells visited the Malampa handicraft centre in Lakatoro today and saw how Australian aid has assisted women in small business on Malekula. Photo: Australian Govt/Twitter

Australian Senator Fierravanti-Wells visited the Malampa handicraft centre in Lakatoro today to view how Australian aid is assisting women in small business on Malekula. Photo: Australian Govt/Twitter

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Level 1 Volcanic Alert for Vanua Lava volcano; By-election for Malo/Aore on 29 June

Image of Vanua Lava taken from 398km above the Earth. Suratamata is at the top centre. Photo: NASA

Image of Vanua Lava taken in 2003 from 398km above the Earth. Suratamatai is at top centre. Photo: NASA

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Video: Giving disabled children a voice in Vanuatu

An uplifting story, for a change: Vanessa, a young disabled girl, describes her life in a rural village in Vanuatu.

The video was produced by Project Zero, a global organisation that looks for ways to improve the daily lives and legal rights of people with disabilities.

According to Project Zero, children like Vanessa

“often experience communication barriers, and data suggests that as a result they experience significant disadvantages, including: diminished rates of school attendance, retention, and advancement; lower rates of employment; increased poverty; and poor access to health care and assistive devices. Furthermore, governments and service providers do not seek the views of children with disabilities because they are often viewed as too hard to engage.”

In response, Project Zero has been helping give children with disabilities the means to communicate about their life priorities and about human rights issues affecting them, using information and communications technology (ICT).


Life of West Papuan freedom fighter Dr John Ondawame honoured at memorial service

All daily media have covered the funeral of the late Dr John Otto Ondawame yesterday in Port Vila which was attended by many leaders. Sincere tributes were paid to the West Papuan freedom fighter, resident for a number of years in Port Vila, for his attempts to secure self-determination for his countrymen. The Vanuatu capital is to be the location of an upcoming forum of all the freedom movements for West Papua in the near future. Ondawame’s role in that event would have been of great importance. He will be sadly missed by his wantoks.

The Transparency page in Daily Post today reports the review of Vanuatu’s adherence to the UN Convention Against Corruption and thetwo-day workshop which has followed the Vanuatu review. Mark Bebe of the Ministry of Justice pointed out Read the rest of this entry »