Vanuatu daily news digest | 29 August 2014

The Daily Post report today on the resolution of the Vanua’aku Pati (VP) elections yesterday is the clearest available. Natapei retains the party leadership as President, and as the VP Constitution does not require the President of the Party to become PM, the parliamentary business already dealt with (the election of Natuman to the leadership of government) will be honoured by all. Post also reports the Iauko Group (so ready to split at the Tongoa Congress) being ready to re-unite with the Vanua’aku Pati. Daily Post lists other executive positions now filled without further concern over the electoral process.

Head of State Iolu Abbil leads the Radio Vanuatu News with a call on all leaders of the country today to honour the Independence vision of the founding fathers of Vanuatu – the foundation of the nation of Vanuatu. "The strength of the country and our independence greatly depend on that foundation," he said. He was speaking in advance of the election which will choose his successor in the near future, his term ending Tuesday.

The first National Green Export Review Workshop is reported by Radio Vanuatu News as having learned that the quality of copra exported by Vanuatu must – as always – be a matter for concern as claimed by the private sector at the meeting.

A Chinese navy ship will make a goodwill visit to Port Vila from the weekend until 7 September (except September 3 when a cruise ship is in port) all media report. Chinese doctors and medical teams on board will be available to conduct examinations of persons wishing medical advice. At certain times the professionals will be available at the Chinese Club, downtown, and at others they will be in Mele village.

Today’s Daily Post Transparency page carries a full report on the unlawful granting of citizenship to Juris Gulbis Saken (a name we thought had dropped from this news blog for ever.) It shows the need for ongoing vigilance in the matter of citizenships. Gulbis Saken had been "adopted" (although he was of mature years) by a Santo family. This is an unsatisfactory basis for adoption. Transparency also applauds the establishment of the Police Professional Standards Unit which will look into police actions claimed to be unethical.

Post reports conflicting information about the detention of Vanuatu Ferry. The full story will undoubtedly come to light in the not distant future.


Vanuatu daily news digest | 28 August 2014

Hi Bob,
Is it just coincidence or are these Digest stories that also appeared in today’s Daily Post?
If they are from Daily Post then I haven’t seen Vanuatu Daily Post acknowledged here.

Royson

From: Bob Makin <bobmakin22>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:21:08 +1100
To: saxo416zoxe <saxo416zoxe>, Donald Paterson <donald.paterson>, "S.Baereleo" <s.baereleo>, Microsoft Office User <news>
Subject: Vanuatu daily news digest | 28 August 2014

The process being used for the election of the officers to the executive of the Vanua’aku Pati at its Congress in Port Vila was yesterday queried. A halt was called to the election (for which a secret ballot was held) and the election continues today. This is just as well (to get it right) considering the problems which stemmed from the Tongoa VP elections last time and which – after an ongoing hiatus – are still determining the shape of nationalist politics today. MPP’s Minister Esmon Saemon has been attending in the Congress giving delegates to understand that the party formed with the Sope split from VP is already reconciled with the parent party. VP President Natapei yesterday stressed the need for VP MPs to maintain regular contact with their constituents. He pointed out that this is essential for the strength of the party which, Natapei admitted, had dropped, as seen with the last election results. All sub-committees have reported to the Congress as required. Minutes of the Panita, Tongoa Congress were accepted. Natapei was reported as saying that the presidency of the party should not be continually occupied by one person: flexibility is required and everyone should accept this. He also made a plea for room to be given to new, young leaders.

The first national stakeholder workshop for the National Green Export Review took place yesterday with the support of UNCTAD, the UN conference which concentrates on trade and development. Deputy PM Ham Lini addressed the conference and pointed out how cocoa, coconut and sandalwood are Vanuatu’s premier three green exports. "Sustainable opportunities now exist," he said, "for Vanuatu producers to increase value-added and diversify markets for these products." Such green production is also expected to lead to a cleaner worldwide development path and is considered a global imperative in view of climate change. UNCTAD’s Secretary-General is attending the workshop.

Vanuatu Ferry is being detained by police orders with Customs and other departmental interests involved. The vessel was stopped from traveling Monday night.

The Big Blue dive operation has staged a massive cleanup of areas of the Vila Harbour and been assisted in their work by Nambawan Cafe personnel and the Boatyard management. Plastic bags and bottles contributed most to the 400 kg of waste collected.

The Chairman of the Port Vila Town Council of Chiefs, Isaac Worwor, is calling on people with dual citizenship to take part in the programmes of the islanders in their areas – "the surest way of being welcomed and accepted into the community," he observes. They should also take an interest in the cultural life of the community, rather than just coming here for whatever kind of personal gain, he says.


Vanuatu daily news digest | 28 August 2014

The process being used for the election of the officers to the executive of the Vanua’aku Pati at its Congress in Port Vila was yesterday queried. A halt was called to the election (for which a secret ballot was held) and the election continues today. This is just as well (to get it right) considering the problems which stemmed from the Tongoa VP elections last time and which – after an ongoing hiatus – are still determining the shape of nationalist politics today. MPP’s Minister Esmon Saemon has been attending in the Congress giving delegates to understand that the party formed with the Sope split from VP is already reconciled with the parent party. VP President Natapei yesterday stressed the need for VP MPs to maintain regular contact with their constituents. He pointed out that this is essential for the strength of the party which, Natapei admitted, had dropped, as seen with the last election results. All sub-committees have reported to the Congress as required. Minutes of the Panita, Tongoa Congress were accepted. Natapei was reported as saying that the presidency of the party should not be continually occupied by one person: flexibility is required and everyone should accept this. He also made a plea for room to be given to new, young leaders.

The first national stakeholder workshop for the National Green Export Review took place yesterday with the support of UNCTAD, the UN conference which concentrates on trade and development. Deputy PM Ham Lini addressed the conference and pointed out how cocoa, coconut and sandalwood are Vanuatu’s premier three green exports. "Sustainable opportunities now exist," he said, "for Vanuatu producers to increase value-added and diversify markets for these products." Such green production is also expected to lead to a cleaner worldwide development path and is considered a global imperative in view of climate change. UNCTAD’s Secretary-General is attending the workshop.

Vanuatu Ferry is being detained by police orders with Customs and other departmental interests involved. The vessel was stopped from traveling Monday night.

The Big Blue dive operation has staged a massive cleanup of areas of the Vila Harbour and been assisted in their work by Nambawan Cafe personnel and the Boatyard management. Plastic bags and bottles contributed most to the 400 kg of waste collected.

The Chairman of the Port Vila Town Council of Chiefs, Isaac Worwor, is calling on people with dual citizenship to take part in the programmes of the islanders in their areas – "the surest way of being welcomed and accepted into the community," he observes. They should also take an interest in the cultural life of the community, rather than just coming here for whatever kind of personal gain, he says.


Vanuatu daily news digest | 27 August 2014

The most interesting news today was provided in the Toktok Blong Ekonomi on Radio Vanuatu at 6.45 am in which Vanua’aku Pati President Natapei explained the difficulties confronting the VP with the party splits which have taken place and which are now being overcome with the Nationalists’ Reconciliation. Since this plan involves leaders who seem determined to make re-unification work – whilst learning from their own mistakes and each others’ which have all become well-known – the success of the strategy seems certain. Their sincerity is palpable.

The reconciliation of the Vanua’aku Pati (VP) and Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP) is well covered in today’s Daily Post following a ceremony on Monday evening. Strong Independence fighter, Barak Sope, Chairman of MPP, was pleased to bring an end to the differences of 26 years, declaring "We are now one party [again]" to the participants at the Malfatumauri nakamal two days ago.

Lands Minister Regenvanu yesterday signed an agreement for a new subdivision at Ohlen to accommodate those families which are needing to be re-housed because they have previously been permitted to settle in the zone which should be kept free of human habitation. Their exclusion from this zone is for purposes associated with protection of the Port Vila water supply. New strong rules apply as to what is permitted in some three different protection zones.

Foreign Minister Kilman, who formed part of PM Natuman’s delegation to China last week, has continued overseas on visit to other Asian countries in which Vanuatu maintains an interest. He sees the region offering "huge opportunities for trade, investment and tourism" and mentioned specifically ASEAN, Japan and Korea and Vietnam.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development – UNCTAD – Secretary General, Mukhisa Kituyi is to visit Vanuatu later this week according to Post. This is because of this country’s graduation from Least Developed Country status, expected in 2017. He will also attend a workshop of the Vanuatu National Green Export Review which is organized by UNCTAD to embrace the green export products such as coconut, cocoa and sandalwood. He will meet ministers and the PM.


Vanuatu daily news digest | 26 August 2014

Not a lot today, beginning with allegations of a forged Internal Affairs Minister signature wrongly applied to a foreshore development proposal. The story does not end here.

Daily Post also speculates on the VP Presidency about to be decided by voting at the VP Congress. The Digest will let you know the final result when it is announced.

Barak Sope adds his ideas to the VP / NUP / MPP / PPP re-unification agreement, essentially for political parties to be obliged to make party presidential terms of five years as in South Africa. He saw a need for leaders to be committed to the re-unification roadmap to achieve the intended results. Sope was signing the agreement for MPP.


Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 August 2014

There is good coverage of the opening of the Vanua’aku Pati (VP) Congress in Daily Post today, highlighting the party’s President Edward Natapei emphasizing the need for reform by unifying with break-away parties. Natapei appealed to Congress to endorse the agreement he signed with NUP’s Ham Lini, PPP’s Dunstan Hilton and MPP’s Barak Sope setting a road map for the parties to be unified by the 2020 elections after a much closer political relationship for the 2016 elections. Post today also provides comprehensive reporting of the signing of the so-called Nationalist re-unification agreement. There can be little doubt of the strongly held belief that this re-unification is necessary to fight corruption and poverty. Chairman of Congress and PM of Vanuatu Joe Natuman said "Reunification will be painful for many of us, but I appeal to all of us to make the sacrifice by being the first to forgive those who have wronged us or those we have wronged."

Post reports PM Natuman as describing the Hong Kong company Vanuatu Immigration and Investment Limited (VIIL) as "genuine". However, he insists the financial rewards Vanuatu will make from CIIP must be re-negotiated. The Prime Minister had just visited the new premises of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission in Hong Kong and was speaking to journalists at Bauerfield on his return.

In an interesting and valuable comment to the ongoing debate over Bauerfield, a reader of this blog professionally associated with AVL, reminds us that everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten that some 5 or 6 years ago, Ausaid approved funding for the upgrade of Bauerfield and had the necessary equipment and materials ready to start. But the Government of the day got into bed with various Asian partners and we now know how that has all turned out. The upgrade would have been completed well before now.

Professor Matthew Spriggs, the Honorary Curator of Archaeology at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, and a professor of the Australian National University in Canberra, has just received a grant of 2.4 million Australian dollars, over 5 years, to research the history of archaeological research in the Pacific, from the time of the early explorers and missionaries onwards. Daily Post says the grant will allow Spriggs to set up a research team of of postdoctoral fellows and PhD students to find the people who have created our knowledge of the Pacific’s ancient past, and source their ideas.


Vanuatu daily news digest | 24 August 2014

The Vanua’aku Pati is holding its Congress starting today at the Port Vila Lycée. Changes are expected at the executive level of the party, VBTC News advises this morning. The VP Constitution says the VP President becomes Prime Minister in any coalition led by the VP. Today the Vice President of the Party is, however, the PM whilst the President of the VP carries the rank of Parliamentary Secretary for the PM. This follows the moves, negotiations and agreements necessary for Parliament to remove the former Carcasses Government.

China is ready to help Vanuatu with airport developments, PM Natuman made clear on his return to Vanuatu Friday afternoon. He told Daily Post’s Jane Joshua that the Chinese President Xi Jinping has confirmed China is ready to assist Vanuatu in particular with Bauerfield Airport’s urgent and necessary repairs. President Xi also told PM Natuman that China is ready to help along with other development partners such as the World Bank.

Daily Post also carries an interesting interview with the former General Manager of Operations of Airports Vanuatu Limited Dick Abel, conducted by Jonas Cullwick. Abel makes it clear that if people in power had listened to the professional advice of those in AVL at the time, the Bauerfield upgrade would have been completed by mid-2015 rather than remain as presently, still awaiting financial partners for its repairs.

Vanuatu and Samoa have a special deal regarding trade established with China. Government is expected to consider how best to make use of this arrangement, VBTC News stated.

Vanuatu National Provident Fund leaders made it clear to the VNPF membership at Luganville on a tour to the northern town last week that VNPF members’ wishes are the guiding force in their policy-making as regards investment on behalf of the membership.

Expatriates not following the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) legal requirements have been fined VT 1.5 million recently Daily Post reports yesterday.

Apologies for no Vanuatu Daily News Digest yesterday.


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