Vanuatu daily news digest | 21 May 2014

New PM Natuman vows to go back to the nation’s grassroots was a significant headline in last weekend’s Independent. This was part of his statement after last week’s surprise election, and supported by Ham Lini of NUP and Ralph Regenvanu of GJP it left no doubt as to the majority belief that the Carcasses Government had lost its connection with the people of Vanuatu. Natuman said: "I want to go back to the roots and redirect the country. I want to ensure that we live within our means to end unnecessary spending which led us to so-called overseas fund raising such as selling our passports and citizenship."

Daily Post today speculates on whether floor crossers from previously held ministerial positions might try to overthrow Natuman. However, it also points out that the Natuman Government is likely to introduce a leadership and integrity bill which would ban MPs from crossing the floor.

Monday’s Post also had Santo MP Kalva Moli calling on government to cancel all passport matters and to expand taxation. He suggested a "compressed income tax policy" firstly targeting MPs and civil servants.

Yesterday’s Post had Finance Minister Simelum still supporting the CIIP programme of the government of Moana Carcasses. Presumably the jury must remain out on this one in view of the fact that the Bill to set it up was withdrawn from the Parliament which ended last week. Many of the budget heads presently being created must depend on CIIP, the Finance Minister is likely to maintain. Rejection of the Bill when it finally gets to the House may make a big difference. However, Minister Simelum also seems to be one of those who clearly supports the changes seen to be necessary by the incoming government.

Today’s Daily Post also highlights the sad loss to the media of James Moli of Studio 5 North. President of the Media Association of Vanuatu Evelyn Toa speaks of the pain shared by all media personnel and companies in this loss of a well respected national broadcaster, long-serving in VBTC, especially as head of the Santo service. "The sympathy of all of us goes out to Jocelyn and his family," she stated.

The Independent also had Tanna chiefs saying the Nikoletan Council of Tanna Chiefs states that gang rapists must be prosecuted regardless of a ‘kastom solution’ being presented. This would seem to be the view of the police as well. Insp. Gray Vuke pointed out that customary settlements can only be taken into account, by law. They do not in any way oblige prosecution according to the law to be dropped.

Labour Commissioner Kaluat says a national Human Resource policy is long overdue. "We are 33 years behind with this important policy that Vanuatu needs to drive the economy forward," he said. He called for training that would address all the country’s needs. He sincerely regretted the demise of the Trade Testing Scheme, introduced by the ILO shortly after Independence but abandoned in the mid-1980s, its building recently destroyed in the works accompanying the sell-off of the land at the Haos Blong Kranki Man. Commissioner Kaluat was speaking to Daily Post’s Godwin Ligo.

The Namatan Film Festival winner was Roselyn Tari’s film True Colours. It was a film with a message that violence in the home is always wrong and never the fault of a child. Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer spoke of the high quality of the 11 films in the festival which ended last week.

Poor visibility caused a Twin Otter from Tanna to land at Takara airfield, North Efate on Friday. The World War 2 airport has proven itself yet again.