The Eighth Lapita Conference introduced the Lapita-related families from Taiwan to New Zealand as "one big, gouty family" this morning. The migrating Lapita families from South-East Asia to Polynesia demonstrated obesity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lifestyle diseases, according to their remains which have been meticulously studied throughout the region. It was especially interesting to learn, however, that the most recently discovered remains from Vanuatu’s Teouma Lapita showed a diet low in fats and sugars. The Lapita people were those who most likely introduced dogs, pigs and chickens into the areas they colonised, taking them as far as Eastern Polynesia. Their burial practices, often involving the famous fired pots which from Lapita, New Caledonia, give these people their name, ensured a post-mortal interest in their migrations a millennium before the Christian era. The pots were often used as reliquaries for the bones or cranial remains of their owners, from Indonesia and Borneo to Teouma, Vanuatu.
Prime Minister Kilman brought his take on Indonesia into a prayer breakfast over the weekend as Daily Post points out today. Kilman insists that Indonesian membership of the MSG is good. It was his first explanation of his stand which saw him ignoring the visit of the West Papua United Liberation Movement representative with the petition of 150,000 West Papuans seeking independence. "Our freedom as independent nations and people must also accommodate Indonesia," Kilman told Post’s Jonas Cullwick.
Kilman was also critical, in Radio Vanuatu News today, of the Vanuatu Opposition, for not allowing debate on the motion of no confidence last week. He said the Opposition’s action in this regard further increased the costs of instability.
Karen Blixen gave us "Out of Africa". The "Out of Taiwan" model gave us the Austronesians, and then all sorts of others got involved – Polynesians, Micronesians and the Melanesians. And presumably someone will one day write "Out of Teouma" to draw attention to the Lapita people, rapidly becoming better known to anthropologists around the world. "Out of Teouma" they probably weren’t, but your blog editor is only a journalist, and he is delighted to have a listener / reporter’s place in the 8th International Lapita Conference this coming week at the Emalus Campus of USP and knows he will learn a lot about these remarkably different people whose largest community to date was discovered just a few miles east of where the conference is taking place. No scholar, your editor is likely to abridge or delay reports of all events in Vanuatu for the next week simply because the Lapita people are so fascinating and have such a lot to tell us. Pre- and post-Lapita are to be of special interest at this conference. And, as well as the conference, a special exhibition is opening at the Cultural Centre. And the Bastien Foundation is exhibiting the works of regional artists and scholars (both young and old) to show what Lapita means to people of the Pacific – or elsewhere.
And elsewhere is probably where most journalists would today prefer to be when Daily Post headlines "Gov’t eyes media regulation law." The head of government has reportedly said people were taking excessive liberty and putting out what he characterised as "extreme statements" on talkback shows and the Yumi Toktok Stret Facebook group. And so on and so forth. This would seem to be a primary interest of our new PM.
And in another story Kilman also says Transparency International must not advocate political instability by questioning the government stand on West Papua as on the TIV page this week.
Sela Molisa is being recalled as Ambassador to China. His predecessor was recalled by a previous PM but then went on to become Ambassador in Jakarta, a place which seems to feature more and more in ministerial calculations. Why?
The Erakor Chief will not be charging for extensions over water in the lagoon areas, Chief Denny Kalmet advises in Port today.
And The Independent has the two breweries moving their operations off-shore before long. Both want to see an excise reduction.
The principal news of yesterday came out late afternoon and here it is again in case you missed it …
The Vanuatu Parliament met late Thursday afternoon in accordance with court orders. Movers of the motion of no confidence in PM Sato Kilman, the MPs Edward Natapei and Ham Lini Vanuararoa, citing a lesser number on the Opposition side of Parliament, then decided to withdraw the motion against PM Sato Kilman. Parliament immediately closed. Daily Post tells us today the numbers were Government 29 and Opposition 23.
If you have difficulty finding the Digest for any reason, just remember when you search the net for it as vanuatudaily.wordpress and receive the email of the day, you should then click on "Like" at the bottom of the email. The same text reappears but with a space for you to fill in your email address. It then comes daily to you, automatically. No need to search for it.
Not a lot of world shattering news today …
Radio Vanuatu started with the Electoral Commission checking candidacy applications for the Luganville Municipal elections.
The Independence celebrations budget for the year is just VT 3 million, to economise in view of the huge outgoing as a result of cyclone Pam.
Daily Post has the Australian Governor General visiting Vanuatu’s post-Pam disturbed spots and thanking the volunteers. He also calls on that significant receiver of Australian assistance, the Vanuatu Women’s Centre.
Post also has Police intervening in a beachfront dispute between expatriates at Havannah Harbour.
And it reports Marcellin Abong being re-appointed to his old post as Cultural Centre Director, after a week or two as First PA Home Affairs, after his ministry has terminated the old Cultural Council board and set up a new one to reappoint Abong the same day as the new Board was announced. No interviews.
The Vanuatu Parliament met this afternoon in accordance with court orders. Movers of the motion MPs Edward Natapei and Ham Lini Vanuararoa, citing a lesser number on the Opposition side, then decided to withdraw the motion against PM Sato Kilman. Parliament then closed.
The big issues today are the appointment of the new Public Prosecutor, the Malvatumauri claiming the Government is interfering politically in custom and culture and the Lapita Conference all of next week. Daily Post has all three.
Vanuatu’s new Public Prosecutor is Josiah Naigulevu. Head of State Baldwin Lonsdale made the appointment last week. Naigulevu is a Fijian, until now based in the United Kingdom. The appointment of acting Public Prosecutor John William Timakata lapses early next week. He has not been dismissed as rumour tries to suggest.
The Malvatumauri Chairman Chief Senimau Tirsupe is filing a case against the Minister of Internal Affairs in court for interfering politically in matters of custom and culture. The Minister has terminated the services of many, if not all, on the Vanuatu National Cultural Council illegally, or not in conformity with the VNCC Act of Parliament. The newly appointed Cultural Centre Director Lazre Asal has also been terminated. Since that news yesterday, in Post today, it has now been rumoured about that the former Cultural Centre Director, now First Political Adviser in the Kilman Government, Marcellin Abong, has been appointed to the directorship.
Over a hundred delegates are expected for the Lapita Conference taking place all of next week. Held every four years, the event this time is the first here after the discovery of the most important Lapita site at Teouma. The conference hopes to "get back to Lapita basics" and learn more about the societies in the region before and immediately after the Lapita people. A permanent exhibition sponsored by the French Embassy is also being held at the Museum.
And, of course, today’s big news has not yet happened. It’s the Motion of No Confidence in the Kilman Government in Parliament at 4 pm.
Not a lot of news today …
Radio Vanuatu News is now confirming Parliament will be recalled to meet tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm.
The Port Vila Municipality and Vanuatu Women in Business Development have signed a partnership agreement, VBTC also tells us.
Post has a China Civil Engineering CCECC) camion being burned out on Tanna. Facts relating to the Monday night incident are still being gathered, but there is a suggestion vandalism occurred because of works taking place on disputed land.
And Daily Post has Solomons Minister Bobo Dettke raising VT 13 m for materials for 250 houses, post-Pam.
Post also has Erakor charging lagoon-side residents for property extensions into Erakor waters.
Today there was the suggestion that the appeal concerning Speaker Pipite’s closing of Parliament early might be heard tomorrow at 9 am. This will not now occur. Judge Aru has declared that all parties concerned have consented to the following orders:
1. The Judgement issued on 24 June 2015 be stayed until 4.00 pm on Thursday 2 July.
2. The First Respondent [Speaker Pipite] shall prosecute his appeal and have it determined by Thursday 2 July 2015 before 4.00 pm. 3. In the event that the appeal is not determined by the date and time set out in paragraph 2 above, the speaker shall convene Parliament at 4.00 pm on Thursday 2 July 2015 to debate the motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister Hon. Sato Kilman Livtunvanu.
4. Parties to bear their own costs.
Daily Post has learned today that the appeal cannot be considered as possible tomorrow at 9 am or by 4.00 pm on Thursday so Parliament must be reconvened and the motion will be debated on Thursday.