Vanuatu daily news digest | 8 September 2014Posted: September 8, 2014
The Supreme Court as directed by Justice Harrop has thrown out the court application of the Opposition to revive their motion of no confidence. Opposition simply did not have the numbers.
Vanuatu helped considerably in setting up the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference PM Natuman said on his return from the big international UN Conference on SIDS in Apia. Natuman told the media of the history of Vanuatu’s involvement with the UN on the matter, starting with our first full time representative in the UN, Robert Van Lierop, and continuing through the 1992 Rio Environment Conference, VBTC News pointed out. Daily Post concentrated on efforts of the PM to have the Commonwealth Secretariat assist in political reform in Vanuatu. A Commonwealth representative is to be in Vanuatu next week to pursue the matter in government efforts to enable stability, Natuman said. Some 28 representatives from government, the private sector, NGOs, women and youth organisations, from Vanuatu, attended the conference in Samoa.
The amazing Ark Peace of China , the world’s second largest floating hospital, treated 7,512 people in Port Vila. The ship alone saw to the needs of 3,045 patients with a further 1,322 being seen at Mele and 1,935 at the Chinese Club and 1,210 at Vila Central Hospital. Prime Minister Natuman acknowledged the "tremendous job" of the Ark Peace which has now continued on its Pacific medical mercy tour to PNG, Post reports today.
Chinese enterprise continues to assist Vanuatu in many helpful ways. However, questions continue to be raised concerning the Convention Centre project which the former Vanuatu government decided to examine (in its so-called "100 day list") when it came into power in March 2013. This review was later revoked by the Council of Ministers. Government had contracted the China Jiangsu Provincial Construction Company to build the centre and Vanuatu was assisted by the Chinese Government to the extent of 16 million US dollars worth of funding. Dr Charles Kick asks whether there has been any public screening of the design of the building to ensure minimal future maintenance costs and whether there is any independent oversight of its construction. There have been reports of children at the nearby school suffering from applications of anti-rust treatment used on scaffolding.
Daily Post reported 52 workers being re-instated at Le Lagon Saturday after industrial action which saw them being laid off on Friday. The general manager flew in to Vanuatu Friday night. The Vanuatu National Workers Union National Secretary Ephraim Kalsakau pointed out that hotel staff had walked out of a Friday meeting and Police were called in. Unpaid wages and allowances led to the dispute at the hotel which had a convention centre constructed for it for the ACP-EU parliamentary meeting of 2013 here in Port Vila and for which the convention centre near Parliament is unlikely to be ready come the next such meeting.