Vanuatu daily news digest | 30 July 2014

Our founding leaders dreamed of freedom from colonialism and a state of their own – and a unity for these islands. They also wanted their land back. And Prime Minister Natuman emphasized in his official speech on Independence Day they wanted their custom and their cultural heritage to be respected and promoted. Access to health, justice and other primary services, like education, were wanted. And there must be the means to earn money even in the rural areas. This must be decided by man ples, PM Natuman reminded his hearers throughout the islands at the flag-raising ceremony at Independence Parka a short while ago.

Poverty was considered a primary enemy by PM Natuman today and at a Pacific Institute of Public Policy (PiPP) Face to Face for invited guests at Tuth Blong Pig at the Parliament area yesterday. The Face to Face brought together leaders of both sides – government and opposition – in which the opposition’s Serge Vohor saw a need less for politicians and more for leadership. The Face to Face was broadcast live and recorded for televisual re-broadcast.

The New Zealand High Commissioner Georgina Roberts signed a formalisation agreement with the Vanuatu Government’s PM Joe Natuman a week ago. It has been established to show how Vanuatu and New Zealand intend to achieve their shared ambitions through tourism and other sectors for Vanuatu. Tourism is the prtiority sector because it is the most important source of foreign exchange earnings and accounts for the direct employment of over 11,000 people, HiCom Roberts pointed out. "Estimates indicate that tourism expenditure contributes between 20% and 35% of the country’s GDP," the High Commissioner added. The first "Mama Market Ambassador Workshop" has been held to ensure mass produced foreign made articles are replaced as soon as possible by locally crafted work.

In a review of the year exactly (27 July) since Prime Minister Carcasses signed the country to a 350 million dollar aviation loan agreement, terminated General Manager Operations of Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) Kevin Abel points out how the Rentabau Airport plan should have proceeded in today’s Daily Post.

A new national youth services directory has been developed for young people by the Australia-Pacific Technical College and the National Youth Council. It is the Y-Connect Guide and is funded by the Australian Government and partnered by the national body and Pacific Youth Council.

Over a hundred fishermen were awaiting judgment in their case against government at 10 Monday at Dumbea court house. The hearing was, however, heard in chambers. Fishermen were not advised of the result and were dis-pleased. They were simply urged to remain calm by their President Remy Kunuuan.

Daily Post has as its Independence Day cover photo the flag being raised at Harvard by award winning master’s graduate Anna Naupa recently. Naupa won an award for academic excellence during her year at that university’s Kennedy School on a scholarship. She was chosen for the Lucius N. Littauer Award by the faculty and fellow students after focusing on the particular hardships faced by tiny developing island countries. She has this week taken up a new post at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as its Regional and International Issues Adviser.

This newsblog being a constant media source for, and on, the region, and possibly I am repeating here, the VBTC chairman Harris Naunun and deputy ditto Lorry Marango were removed recently. The VBTC Chairman is now experienced journalist Jennifer Kausei.

The Christian radio station Laef FM 90 is extending its listenership to the central and northern islands.

The Port Vila Municipality now publishes a newsletter.

The Essential Vanuatu is the title of a new book by Tiffany Carroll, used as a gift for visiting dignitaries by the PM’s Office and is available at the Post Office and leading boutiques. It is to be kept up to date and another edition is likely to be released by year-end.

Ombudsman Kalkot Mataskelekele and lawyer Heather Lini were to be married this morning.

Happy remainder of Independence Day everyone.,