Opinion: a call for a tolerant, understanding and caring Vanuatu

A call for a tolerant, understanding and caring Vanuatu

By Michael Taurakoto

MP Andrew Napuat’s recent statement on the supremacy of Christian principles in Vanuatu society raises important issues that leaders throughout Vanuatu should deliberate and consider carefully.

It is true that the founding fathers and mothers of this country were primarily Christian. This is a testament to the important role Christian churches played in educating and training the leaders that would take the then colony of New Hebrides to independence in 1980.

It is understandable then that our national motto and the preamble to our Constitution make specific reference to God as the inspiration behind the struggle for political independence and freedom.

What is also true is that these same founding fathers and mothers crafted and enacted a Constitution which guarantees fundamental individual rights and freedom from discrimination on the basis of, among other things, religious beliefs.

Today, Vanuatu is a diverse country. While Christianity is still the dominant religion, making up 82.4% of the population (2009 Census), we have to acknowledge that the rest of the population, totalling over 40,000 citizens, do not necessarily share the same Christian beliefs as the majority of us. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gender violence and retribution a tragic mix as another death rocks Vila venue

Recently there was the violent attack that resulted in the death of Alice Karis, a staff member the War Horse Saloon. She was allegedly the victim of domestic violence. Then last weekend at the Saloon nightclub there was the beginning of another similar story ending in death. It is believed that Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu’s women again denied justice as culture of male violence goes unpunished

Photo by Mich-McConell-Wilson

The weekend press was full of stories of violence. The Independent: Killer gets seven years in jail. Daily Post: Lengkon Assault: three drivers acquitted. Saturday’s Daily Post also had a Man charged over alleged attack on expat chef. Today’s Daily Post: Alleged Assault – an expat pilot claims he was assaulted by drunken police officers.

Today’s Daily Post has Chairperson of the Women Against Crime and Corruption Jenny Ligo saying the acquittal of the bus and taxi drivers confirms Vanuatu has many dishonest individuals. However, there was a lack of sufficient evidence to strengthen any case against the drivers. Ligo claims “women will continue to be denied their right to justice.”

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Tougher penalties for sexual offences proposed; Maewo gets connected via telemedicine

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History made as Vanuatu marches in opposition to violence against women

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The protest march sets off from Vila’s seafront. Photo: Mich McConell-Wilson (via Facebook)

In an outpouring of popular protest today, several hundred women, men and children marched in Port Vila and Luganville to demand an end to violence against women Read the rest of this entry »