Looking to the big J for justice; Police Commissioner Taleo fined for driving offences; new doctors return

The Graon mo Jastis Pati – GJP – is doing a lot to bring to everyone’s attention the deficiencies in the services which relate to law and order and the judicial system. As far as your editor-at-large can tell, GJP is the only party running a daily-updated website. Having previously established a legal framework for land law reform (the ‘G’ of GJP) now the Party is looking to the big J – justice. The GJP website says the party wants the justice system seriously enforced to bring the country to a state of good governance and transparency which will see a massive cutting down of the festering corruption. GJP is also strongly against corrupt practices in the selling of citizenship of which we are experiencing a tsunami. Find out more on their website.

The Melanesian Progressive Party – MPP – is against dual citizenship which it sees as a means of allowing corruption to escalate. A commentary on this will be published here in coming days.

The Police Commissioner, John Taleo, was fined vt15,000 for careless driving and vt20,000 for reckless driving yesterday. In taking care of a situation of ongoing inability for any commissioner to unify the uniformed forces and command discipline, the Caretaker Prime Minister, himself a former commissioner, was yesterday reported as Read the rest of this entry »

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PM Kilman suspends senior policeman; HK immigration program a ‘miserable failure’

Caretaker PM Kilman has suspended Supt. Jackson Noal from a very senior position in the Police Force. This occurred less than a week after Noal questioned lack of action concerning the Supreme Court convictions of Police Commissioner Taleo. Noal had written to the Police Service Commission over this matter. Daily Post reported the suspension this morning and yesterday covered the Caretaker PM’s Office investigating what is said to be an impersonation of the caretaker PM on the Facebook page of Yumi Toktok Stret.

The caretaker PM is also reported in Post today as saying the country is ending the financial year with “the biggest fiscal surplus ever recorded in Vanuatu history.” This occurred despite cyclone Pam and the much publicised Capital Investment and Immigration Programme called CIIP which Kilman said “failed miserably to meet its legal requirements contained under the signed agreement.”

Radio Vanuatu News reported this morning the CPM handing over a television licence to the Digicel company to provide television through the internet.

The Meteo Department has suggested El Niño may ease by mid-2016. This is definitely good news, as is the forecast for today of likely showers.


Vanuatu daily news digest | 18 December 2012

A man from Tongoa, hospitalised following a serious road accident in the Agathis area at the weekend, has died, Acting Deputy Police Commissioner John Taleo has announced to the media. The story is both sad and serious and has led to clashes between young men of several communitie, and Taleo is anxious to prevent the violence from spreading. The incident began as a road accident, but the media have reported that the bus was stoned by island-based gangs taking matters into their own hands. Homes have been damaged too. However, Taleo is quite right to insist on dealing with the matter as a traffic accident. The driver is being held by the police, according to VBTC midday news. He is certainly safer with them. However, look at how readily the South Tanna versus West Tanna dispute has enlarged.

The administrator of the South Pacific Fishing Company Claims Association, Mr Remy Kuaunuan, has told Daily Post that 1,000 fishermen are still awaiting their wage claims which date back to August 1989. The amount involved is huge, and many of the fishermen who spent years at sea with the SPFC company have not received any of the wages for which they worked hard for during their long and uncomfortable years at sea. Many have already died. The Council of Ministers has this year approved a commission of inquiry to look into the matter of the claims of each individual claimant. Mr Kuaunuan and his members question whether the commission has actually been formed. There has been no feedback from CoM at all about this matter.

Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the European Union Roy Mickey Joy has expressed his displeasure with the Pacific leaders in the ACP Group (the Asian, Caribbean and Pacific collaboration of developing countries) for not sending a Pacific leader to the current meeting of ACP heads of state in Equatorial Guinea. The ACP Group is due to expire with the Cotonou Agreement in 2020 and, Mr Joy is castigating his Pacific colleagues for not sending a president or prime minister. Meanwhile, Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot has been attending a meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People in Marrakech, Morocco.


Vanuatu daily news digest | 12 December 2012

The Electoral Commission has announced that the date for the four planned provincial elections is to move from 8 January to 12 February 2013. Chairperson of the Electoral Commission John Taleo announced the new date for the Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea provincial elections on Radio Vanuatu News. He said that the previously-proposed date was too close to both the national election and the festive season, and too many people would be absent from their electorates. The cost of each provincial election, he says, is VT 7 million.

Vanuatu Police force members carry Minister Harry Iauko's coffin from the Sanma Chiefs' Nakamal in Luganville, December 11, 2012. Photo by http://www.facebook.com/khnzly.micha

Vanuatu Police force members carry Minister Harry Iauko’s coffin from the Sanma Chiefs’ Nakamal in Luganville, December 11, 2012. Photo by khnzly.micha

A state funeral will take place today at Parliament House for Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities Harry Iauko Iaris who died yesterday. The nation’s leaders and public service heads will attend. Iauko’s body will then to be flown to Tanna for burial. Dr Sala Vurobaravu of Luganville Hospital said the cause of Iauko’s death was unclear. He was taken to the hospital around 10:15am yesterday, and resuscitation was attempted but he was declared dead at 10:40am. To learn more, an autopsy would be necessary, said Dr Sala, but this was not requested. The management of Deco Stop motel where the Minister was staying told Daily Post that Iauko had breakfasted and then taken a swim in the pool. Cleaning staff later discovered him slumped in a chair on a verandah.

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Vanuatu daily news digest | 3 December 2012

Four backbenchers from the Kilman government have joined the Opposition in support of the motion of no confidence to be debated in the coming days. This gives the Opposition 28 votes to the Government’s 24. The electorate at the last election voted for change, unhappy with the way national affairs were conducted by the previous Government. Change would be guaranteed if the Motion of no confidence passes. On Radio New Zealand International, some coalition backbenchers said the Prime Minister had failed to keep his promise to give them ministerial portfolios.

The Vanuatu Times reports the suspension of VBTC senior journalist Antoine Malsungai following his talkback program on Prime Minister Sato Kilman’s vt13M debt to Government. This matter could determine the legitimacy of Kilman’s candidacy in the last election. Shock, horror! Malsungai has “breached the VBTC’s guidelines”. Shame that the guidelines are not actually available to the public for scrutiny. VBTC, of course, sits inside the Prime Minister’s portfolio, which seems to indicate direct censorship by Kilman of the state-owned media outlet.

The whistlestop visit of the DG of the World Trade Organisation Pascal Lamy gave a chance for Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Ham Lini to ask for “special and differential treatment for Vanuatu as a Least Developed Country and as a Small Island State.” Lamy said his visit here was a “testament to the importance of all WTO member countries, irrespective of size.”

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Supreme Court strikes out police mutiny case

The Supreme Court has struck out the mutiny case against the former chairman of the Police Service Commission and three senior police officers. It sat on 6 October to hear the bail conditions of police officer Ron Tamtam, and following this application, struck out the mutiny case. The case was between the Public Prosecutor and defendants, the former Chairman of the Commission (Tony Arthur), the Acting Police Commissioner (Arthur Caulton), Commander Southern Region (Pierre Carlot), Police Commander Maritime (John Taleo) and two other officers.

The court reconsidered certain counts under the penal code, and based on information the court had already Read the rest of this entry »