Settlements receive sanitation upgrade from Port Vila Urban Development Project

One of Port Vila's many informal settlements – a symptom of lack of urban planning at all levels of government. Photo: IOM

The Port Vila Urban Development Project (PVUDP) is improving the hygiene and sanitation of urban settlements. Settlements include the Seaside communities — Futuna, Paama and Tongoa, Tokyo Buninga plus peri-urban Ohlen Nabanga, Mele Waisisi and Blacksands Tongariki. The Vanuatu and Australian governments, the ADB are assisting, as are the people of the areas concerned who have done a lot to remove unwanted refuse and materials. Thirty-three junk collection trips have been made to the Bouffa waste site.

It appears there have been moves to unseat the CEO of the VAN2017 regional Mini Games, Clint Flood. Flood had his Read the rest of this entry »

New Police Service Chairman appointed, but not Police Commissioner

Vanuatu Police Force constables patrol Port Vila. File photo: Rob Maccoll/DFAT

Vanuatu Police Force constables patrol Port Vila. File photo: Rob Maccoll/DFAT

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Blanket censorship of social media announced for all Government workers

Announcment from PSC of blanket ban on access to social media for all Vanuatu public servants

Memo from PSC announcing blanket ban on access to social media for all Vanuatu public servants (english translation can be found below in the comments to this story)

According to Radio Vanuatu News today the Public Service Commission is forbidding government workers from accessing social media. This was decided in a meeting of 29 April. In an advisory note, the Acting Secretary of the PSC, Jacques Gedeon, says public servants will no longer have access to unspecified social media sites, and all requests must have the approval of the PSC Secretariat before the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) enables access. This website objects strongly to this position of the PSC. Social media are an important public sphere for debate in Vanuatu. The memo is also vaguely worded, and does not specify how ‘social media’ is defined nor what sites are to be banned. Many civil servants lack the means to purchase newspapers, others find it difficult to have radio coverage at appropriate times. Furthermore, as we have discovered in recent years, both the broadcasting corporation and governments have at times decided to terminate transmissions at certain levels to save costs. A Right to Information Bill is before Parliament and a blanket censorship of this kind should not be allowed by either the Public Service Commission or the Office of the Chief Information Officer, the more so because of the Prime Minister’s stated commitment to provide information to all and wherever they may live.

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Opposition joins Govt against terrorism; Business call for VAT exemption following airport failure

Arms smuggling enabled by Vanuatu's tax haven: Thai security personnel surround the cargo plane loaded with smuggled weapons at Bangkok airport on December 12, 2009. Photo: ICIJ

Arms smuggling enabled by Vanuatu’s tax haven: Thai security personnel surround a cargo plane carrying smuggled weapons at Bangkok airport, December 12, 2009. Photo: ICIJ

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A world first – this Vanuatu public toilet has its own website!

The best public toilet in the South Pacific – Paunangisu, Vanuatu
How many public toilets can claim that they have their very own, dedicated website? Only this one, located in Paunangisu, North Efate!  Read the rest of this entry »

Parliament to debate Budget next week; Minister warns VNPF on losing streak; Vila Wharf management plan ready

VNPF Building , Port Vila. Photo: Jean Van Jean

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Life of West Papuan freedom fighter Dr John Ondawame honoured at memorial service

All daily media have covered the funeral of the late Dr John Otto Ondawame yesterday in Port Vila which was attended by many leaders. Sincere tributes were paid to the West Papuan freedom fighter, resident for a number of years in Port Vila, for his attempts to secure self-determination for his countrymen. The Vanuatu capital is to be the location of an upcoming forum of all the freedom movements for West Papua in the near future. Ondawame’s role in that event would have been of great importance. He will be sadly missed by his wantoks.

The Transparency page in Daily Post today reports the review of Vanuatu’s adherence to the UN Convention Against Corruption and thetwo-day workshop which has followed the Vanuatu review. Mark Bebe of the Ministry of Justice pointed out Read the rest of this entry »