Today is World Press Freedom Day. This morning, the Media Association of Vanuatu (MAV) organised a march in support of media freedom through downtown Port Vila. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai addressed the journalists and producers in attendance. A free press is critical to a functioning democracy, and something worth fighting for.
The retrial of the Conspiracy case has been adjourned until 6 June. The former MPs Read the rest of this entry »
“Our investigation shows that the caretaker Prime Minister owes the people of Vanuatu 13 million vatu (140 thousand US dollars) and we have proof, we have evidence, and he cannot use politics to humiliate or intimidate our journalists.”
— Media Association of Vanuatu President Evelyn Toa, responding to threats to curtail media freedom in Vanuatu made by caretaker Prime Minister Sato Kilman’s political advisor, Richard Kaltongga
The Caretaker First Political Adviser to the PM, Richard Kaltongga, threatens the media over the PM Sato Kilman’s absence from the approved candidate list. The lengthy rant claims that Caretaker PM Kilman had indeed paid his large outstanding debt to Government. That Kilman came into office with any debt to Government at all says a lot about his credibility and his ethics. Kaltongga makes no mention of the other PPP candidates whose names are not on the list, nor does he offer to pay their outstandings.
Kaltongga bangs on about irresponsible reporting and threatens all media with “stringent legal controls” after the next election. Those are fighting words, Kaltongga, and not very wise. Do the citizens of Vanuatu aspire to live under a dictatorship that represses their freedom of expression? We don’t think so.
In his response, Daily Post Editor Royson Willie promises the public that they will keep transparency and good governance issues in the public eye. So will we. Read the rest of this entry »