“Vanuatu is not free until all of Melanesia is free”—Vanuatu Govt reiterates its support for Papuan independence to MSG leaders

Members of Vanuatu's Government including PM Charlot Salwai (centre, in bird of paradise headdress) with leaders of the Papuan independence movement yesterday in Port Vila. Photo: Jen Robinson

Members of Vanuatu’s Government including Prime Minister Charlot Salwai (centre, in bird of paradise headdress) with leaders of the Papuan independence movement yesterday in Port Vila. Photo: Jen Robinson

“Free West Papua” graffiti on cement walls around town sums up Vanuatu’s Christmas wish for its Melanesian brothers and sisters meeting now in Port Vila. Welcoming independence leaders from the Indonesian ruled territory, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai reiterated Vanuatu’s strong stand in favour of independence for West Papua—and for French Polynesia and New Caledonia. Vanuatu’s stance on decolonization remains as strong as it was during our own independence 36 years ago. West Papua campaigner, Benny Wenda, told Daily Post of the Melanesian spirit which binds the people of Melanesia in their attempt to be granted full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Demonstrations to this effect have been taking place in West Papua and it is reported that one demonstrator was killed and 528 arrested, recently, including six children of less than ten years of age.

It is good news to have Read the rest of this entry »


Public servants awarded for exceptional on-the-job performance

Vanuatu flag. Photo copyright © 2016 Vanuatu Daily Digest. All rights reserved

Seven public servants have won recognition for special efforts in “striving for excellence in the Public Service.” The winners are: Janelle Johnson (Finance), Levu Antfalo Boaz (Meteorology), Jenifer James (Early Childhood Care Education, Ministry of Education and Training), Camillia Garae (Geology), Solip Nato (PWD), Julie Rereman (Labour) and Lionel Kaluat (also Labour). Prime Minister Salwai congratulated the winners at a ceremony yesterday to mark the achievement along with Public Service Commission Chairman Martin Mahe. He encouraged all public servants to strive for excellence. Each winner received Vt Read the rest of this entry »

Opposition Leader as AG agreed to Act strengthening protection of customary land – but now wants to remove those protections

Dispute over Vanuatu customary land. Photo © 2016 Vanuatu Daily Digest, all rights reserved

One of the Bills to be brought before Parliament next Monday is a Bill to repeal the Customary Land Management Act of 2013. It is described as a Private Member’s Bill. It was, however, lodged by the Leader of the Opposition, Ishmael Kalsakau, who was Attorney-General at the time the Bill was first enacted. The explanatory note regarding the Bill to Repeal, which has not been readily obtainable, claims that the Customary Land Management Act of 2013 fails to enhance the application of the constitutional rule by enabling customary institutions to deal with disputes over land owned in accordance with the customary law of each particular place. The Leader of the Opposition has opposition backbencher support for his present campaign against the three-year old legislation.

A great deal of consultation took place to ensure that every means would be found to enable the Custom Land Management Act to ensure all proper customary rules were complied with, as the Honourable MP would be aware; after all, he was the AG originally enabled this legislation – and now wants repealed.

The Customary Land Management Act was enacted to provide greater protection to customary lands against improper land dealings, by ensuring that all dealings affecting customary land involved community consultation at the nakamal level.

Kalsakau has not been available for comment (he is overseas), but a spokesman said Read the rest of this entry »

Govt says contracts of five Director-Generals won’t be renewed in public service shake up

Vanuatu flag. Photo copyright © 2016 Vanuatu Daily Digest. All rights reserved

“No More DGs?” Daily Post asks, upon learning that the Council of Ministers had decided not to renew the contracts of some five DGs. Lands Minister Regenvanu admitted at the summit of Leaders for the National Sustainable Development Plan that a Council of Ministers’ decision had been taken as regards the five, whose contracts expire next week. They will not have their contracts Read the rest of this entry »

Government interference with Public Service hinted at in wrongful dismissal cases

Port Vila's roads – soon to get an upgrade. Photo: PhillipC/Flickr

Port Vila’s roads – soon to get an upgrade. Photo: PhillipC/Flickr

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Public servants debts to Govt over Vt 200 million; Former NISCOL executives to face court

The Finance Ministry has told VBTC that there are outstanding public servants’ debts to government amounting to Vt 200 million. This was revealed to VBTC by Finance DG Letlet August, reinstated to his post by court order as mentioned in the news yesterday and awaiting a further court decision. The debts are mostly Read the rest of this entry »

Rice growing trials prove successful; Public servants get training in auditing for greater accountability

Rice field. Photo: Quentar/Wikimedia Commons

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