Anniversary of Vanuatu’s reclamation of Matthew and Hunter Islands celebrated today

Vanuatu's flag flies over Hunter Island, 9th March 1983. Photo: Bob Makin

Vanuatu’s flag flies over Hunter Island, 1:30pm, 9th March 1983. Photo: Bob Makin

9 March is Matthew and Hunter Day. At 1:30 pm on that day in 1983 the Vanuatu flag was hoisted on Hunter Island, known to the people of Aneityum as Leka, and the national anthem sung as the active volcano was reclaimed for Tafea, Matthew and Hunter being uninhabited remote outliers of the southernmost province.

The two islands had been administered by France from the French Residency, Port Vila, during Condominium times, but as became apparent when the Dunkerquoise threatened to fire on Euphrosyne as the Vanuatu government vessel reached Matthew in 1983, France was determined to hold on to the two outliers as if they belonged to New Caledonia.

But the flag had been raised — on Hunter Island, the previous day.

It was thought a ceremony was to be organized for the day today, but Read the rest of this entry »


PM Salwai’s Lini Day address pays tribute to leaders who “broke the horizon” for independence

Walter Lini signs the Vanuatu Constitution, 30 July 1980

Walter Lini signs the Vanuatu Constitution, 30 July 1980

Prime Minister Salwai paid a moving tribute to the late Father Walter Lini’s leadership at the Anglican Church, Tagabe, this morning. The anniversary memorial service was also attended by Read the rest of this entry »


PM Salwai to launch new national sustainable development plan for next 15 years

Vanuatu 2030 development plan

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai will be launching Vanuatu 2030, the country’s new Sustainable Development Plan next Wednesday 18th at 4:30 (not to be confused with the launch of the draft version of this report, which happened back in November last year). The Department of Strategic Policy Planning and Aid Coordination has been working on the plan for several years and was greatly aided by consultations with the people of all islands. A validation summit was held in November and the document is the successor to the Priorities Action Agenda of 2006. The new document has a strong foundation in culture. Vanuatu 2030 aims to chart the country’s vision and will serve as an over-arching policy framework for a sustainable, stable and prosperous Vanuatu.

Government is considering re-opening Palekula fishing base at Santo. Studies undertaken are said to have proven the idea Read the rest of this entry »


Cuba’s late leader Fidel Castro remembered fondly in Vanuatu for his support at UN for independence for New Hebrides

Fidel Castro, President of Cuba addressing the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York in 1979. Photo: UN/Yutaka Nagata

Fidel Castro, President of Cuba addressing the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York in 1979. Photo: UN/Yutaka Nagata

Cuba and Vanuatu have been engaged seriously in more ways than just the training of ni-Vanuatu doctors to keep ni-Vanuatu healthy. The death of the Cuba’s premier statesman, Fidel Castro, and his assistance during the independence struggles of Vanuatu have been acknowledged by Vanuatu’s former PM Barak Sope as the news of the Cuban leader’s passing is heard around the world. Sope and Castro were indeed friends back in the 1970s, and Cuba’s support for Vanuatu at the UN Decolonisation Committee was greatly appreciated here. Anyone going to the Vila Central Hospital is these days still impressed at Read the rest of this entry »


Making its own way: Vanuatu in the world [book review]

Pacific Ways

Vanuatu last week signalled its support for China’s position on the South China Sea territorial dispute, a move described in overseas media as “predictable” and a “classic Vanuatu” diplomatic move. Likewise, PM Salwai’s recent calls for procedural integrity in the selection of a new Director-General for the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat and Vanuatu’s long-standing defiance of Indonesia over West Papua together portray a distinctive approach to political affairs. Vanuatu’s political style is one of many documented by Victoria University Press’s new edition of Pacific Ways: Government and Politics in the Pacific Islands. Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu misses out on Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam; World War II museum gets go ahead in Luganville

Traditional canoes at yesterday's opening ceremony of the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts in Hagåtña, Guam. Photo: Edward B. San Nicolas via Facebook

Vanuatu should have been represented: Traditional canoes at yesterday’s opening ceremony of the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts in Hagåtña, Guam. Photo: Edward B. San Nicolas via Facebook

Politicians are blamed for the loss of the budget for Vanuatu to attend the 12th Pacific Arts Festival taking place in Guam. Cultural Centre (VKS) Director Lazaire Asal tells Jonas Cullwick in today’s Daily Post that the budget Read the rest of this entry »


410th anniversary of European arrival; Solomon Islands and Vanuatu agree on MSG

De Queiros' cartographer Don Diego de Prado's map 'The Great Bay of St Philip and St James in Espiritu Santo', published in 1608

De Queiros’ cartographer Don Diego de Prado’s map ‘The Great Bay of St Philip and St James in Espiritu Santo’, published in 1608

Read the rest of this entry »