Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited of Fiji has announced its purchase of Telecom Vanuatu Ltd. The deal still needs the approval of the Vanuatu authorities including the Telecommunication Regulator. The agreement for the sale was signed by Mauritius Telecom Ltd and MT International Ventures PCC for the purchase of 100% of TVL. ATH’s two largest shareholders are the Fiji National Provident Fund (58%) and the Fijian Government (35%). ATH owns Fiji’s national telco Telecom Fiji Limited and mobile network Vodafone Fiji, amongst other businesses.
There was good news for Government finances this morning. Read the rest of this entry »
The Head of State made Vanuatu’s security the cornerstone of his address in opening the second ordinary sitting of Parliament yesterday. “Leaders must understand that they must take action to avoid violence and corruption proliferating and become aware that people are fearing for their lives”, said President Lonsdale. “The security, rights and needs of people must predominate in leaders’ thinking, and people want to express themselves on these issues, and be heard.” President Baldwin Lonsdale inspected a guard of honour before officially opening the second ordinary sitting. (Radio Vanuatu)
The Speaker of Parliament Esmon Saimon withdrew two Private Members’ Bills from the agenda of the current Parliament sitting yesterday. He stated that they had not Read the rest of this entry »
Prime Minister slams Financial Intelligence Unit for freezing 2017 Pacific Games bank account, confirms full Govt support for VAN2017Posted: December 10, 2016
A new statutory body has been created to enable VAN2017 to resume its management of the 2017 Vanuatu Pacific Games, due to take place this time next year. VAN2017 was set up as a charitable organisation, but the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) froze their bank account, seemingly arbitrarily, following a series of Council of Ministers decisions which appear to aimed at wresting control away from the organising committee and back to the Government.
Daily Post reports today that Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has strongly criticised the FIU’s actions, writing in a letter to the FIU Manager that “there is no clear evidence that VAN2017 has been engaged in any fraudulent actions or that state funds have been misused in any way… I am deeply concerned that Read the rest of this entry »
Parliament was adjourned 24 hours yesterday to give enough time to all MPs to study the Bills for debate as it was argued there had been insufficient time for this. It seems the extra time was insufficient for Opposition MPs – none turned up for the sitting this morning. No other explanation reached the House as 24 Government MPs waited for the 2nd extraordinary sitting to begin. Nor was any further explanation given in VBTC lunchtime news. Without a quorum, Parliament was obliged to further postpone the sitting, until 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. (Radio Vanuatu)
The new MP for Malo/Aore, Uri Warawara of the Graon mo Jastis Party, was sworn in yesterday.
Government believes the Read the rest of this entry »
Today’s post is a bit of a catch-up. The various Daily Digesters are all enjoying the holiday season immensely, and have got a bit too relaxed. Notable news items in Vanuatu’s media this week:
From the weekend: VBTC News and Daily Post on Saturday told us that the 2017 Pacific Games will be held in Vanuatu. Notably, the Minister responsible for Youth and Sport, Steven Kalsakau, was also the Minister responsible for selling off the Government land which was promised by Minister Ham Lini to the international committee as the area for the Games Village. Talk about shitting in your own nest. Games CEO Joe Carlo has four years to sort this out.
Government will review education policy, said Prime Minister Sato Kilman in his New Year address to the nation. He told Radio Vanuatu News there are policies which need a quick review to answer many “concerns” and “issues” which have arisen. He also wants to share the educational responsibilities with NGOs to ensure Government “focuses on the main areas of work.” We can only hope ordering school stationery is not one of these “main areas”.
Yesterday: we revealed in this post that a lease over customary land belonging to the people of Mangaliliu and Lelepa, leased out to Kalorip Poilapa of Mele by the then Minister of Land Steven Kalsakau in September last 2012, has been resold. The present Minister of Lands, James Bule, authorised the sale of the lease to Michel Monvoisin and Ludovic Bolliet for the pitifully small sum of VT 2 million, a few days before Christmas last year. Merry Christmas, indigenous people of Vanuatu, with love from your own Government! xoxoxo
Daily Post lead with a rundown of the support Government has from the 12 parties and three independents affiliated with PM Sato Kilman. There is a list of Ministers and their parties including new Minister Tony Nari of the Iauko Group. Another Daily Post story has MP Tony Wright urging PM Kilman to talk with the Opposition. Wright feels that the small political groupings “hold the government to ransom.”
And finally, from today’s media: The Government promised that the Auditor General’s report on the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) would be made public last Monday. The report has not been released by Government, and the VNPF website has been taken offline. No news is good news, it seems for the VNPF management and the Vanuatu Government. The report was commissioned by the previous Kilman government to examine allegations of mismanagement within the nation’s superannuation fund. The VNPF, according to the last available VNPF Annual Report from 2011, is responsible for more than Vt 14 Billion of member’s funds.
As a “waiting and eager financial member” observes in today’s Daily Post Letters, one suspended executive is receiving vt346,154 of members’ funds fortnightly while suspended pending the outcome of the Auditor General’s report.
International criminals, are looking for a safe and pleasant jurisdiction to run your operations, free from pesky law enforcement types? Then why not come to Vanuatu, untouched criminal paradise! Interpol, the international global police network, no longer has any official connection with Vanuatu’s police force, another casualty of Vanuatu’s retaliatory deportation of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) following Australia’s imprisonment of dodgy Sato Kilman aide Clarence Marae. The Daily Post story also notes that Vanuatu has never been a member of Interpol, which links the police forces of over 190 member nations, significantly enhancing the ability of a national police force to combat transnational crimes such as drug smuggling. Vanuatu has always had to rely on foreign police forces to assist with transnational criminal investigations. So much for self-reliance.
Perhaps the international criminals who will no doubt flock to Vanuatu on hearing this news will find companionship with international war criminals, who can also find a safe haven here in Vanuatu. Is Vanuatu’s Government actively working to attract international criminals to our country? It certainly seems like it.
Vanuatu retook the Melanesian Cup of Surfing title from New Caledonia last week at Pango. Here’s a great image of one of Vanuatu’s up-and-coming talents in the sport. Vanuatu yes!!!