Melanesian solidarity scores big win with Vanuatu-Solomon Islands border treaty

PM Salwai and Solomon Islands PM Sogavare at the maritime boundary treaty ceremony in Mota Lava last week. Photo: Solomon Islands Govt

PM Salwai and Solomon Islands PM Sogavare at the maritime boundary treaty ceremony in Mota Lava last week. Photo: Solomon Islands Govt

The efforts to create a Melanesian style border treaty with Solomon Islands are described as historic. “Melanesian solidarity” is certainly visible. Head of State Baldwin Lonsdale was at Motalava for the event and for a Temotu–Torba cultural festival heralding the much greater exchange of goods and ideas expected between the two provinces. Prime Ministers Sogavare and Salwai each led delegations to a natangura faréa where the border document was signed. Solomon Islands PM Sogavare will be assisting Vanuatu with border questions for Vanuatu relative to Fiji and New Caledonia. The ceremony took place with background music of the bamboo bands so common in both Banks and Temotu cultures. Solomon Islanders from the Santa Cruz Group have for a long time sought to come to Vanuatu to work in Luganville where the wages were always greater than in Honiara and the distance needing to be travelled to home shorter. However, it is not yet known if immigration procedures are going to be changed with the new border treaty. (Daily Post) Read the rest of this entry »

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MUSIC VIDEO: Filmed in Vanuatu, The Black Seeds ‘One by One’

Fest’Napuan international dub reggae act the Black Seeds, a New Zealand group who performed at the 2007 festival, filmed this music video around Efate while they were here in Vanuatu.

Some trivia for you: the Black Seeds’ vocalist is none other than Bret McKenzie of musical-comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, who Read the rest of this entry »


Video : Fest’Napuan ! La musique au cœur du Vanuatu

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Rize of the Morning Star shine at Fest’Napuan

Now that the dust has settled on another year’s Fest’Napuan, let’s take a look at this year’s stand-out performers — Rize of the Morning Star. Here’s our favourite images of them by Graham Crumb—more on his website imagicity.com — it’s full of beautiful images of Vanuatu, so go and take a look.

Papua Merdeka!

Lea Rumwaropen of Rize of the Morning Star at Fest'Napuan 2012, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Photo by Graham Crumb/imagicity.com

 during Rize of the Morning Star's performance at Fest'Napuan 2012, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Photo by Graham Crumb/imagicity.com

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West Papuan independence activist concerned about Indonesian attempts to influence election

West Papuan activist Andy Ayamiseba voices his concern in today over a group of Indonesians expected to arrive in the country in the run-up to the election period. His anxiety focuses on the possibility of electoral campaign contributions for the PPP arriving with such people. Australia will not issue them visas. A group of Indonesians who arrived recently in Vanuatu without visas were illegally permitted entry by the Prime Minister’s Office. Under Sato Kilman, Vanuatu’s long-standing support for a free and independent West Papua has been thrown out the window for (probably a lot more than) the proverbial thirty pieces of silver.

Illegal arrivals are also the subject of the Transparency International Vanuatu page in the Daily Post today, calling for a high-level investigation into the issuing of passports — both diplomatic and ordinary — and citizenship. We have learned of the issuing of illegal passports this week from Foreign Minister Read the rest of this entry »


Fest’Napuan 2012 is here!

String band performers at Fest'Nalenga, Saralana, Port Vila, Vanuatu 26 September 2012

String band performers at Fest’Nalenga, Saralana, Port Vila, Vanuatu 26 September 2012. Photo by Graham Crumb.

It’s officially music festival season here in Port Vila. Fest’Nalenga opened the six-day music Fest’Napuan festival last night with a showcase of Vanuatu’s best string band music.

More pics by Graham Crumb on his website.


Nation loses foremost trade negotiator Timothy Sisi

VBTC Radio News this morning began with notice of the death of Vanuatu’s foremost trade negotiator, Timothy Sisi. A message was received from the director of Trade, Sumbwe Antas at the Forum meeting in the Cook Islands drawing attention to Sisi’s career and schooling at Malapoa College: his position in Customs until joining the Department of Trade. Antas pointed out that Sisi was involved with the Pacer and PICTA trade agreements as well as the MSG.

Daily Post began with the news that Read the rest of this entry »