Vanuatu daily news digest | 19 November 2014

Yesterday it was mentioned in this bulletin that Parliament had been adjourned until Monday to give MPs enough time to study the 22 Bills with which they have been presented.

In response to the Head of State having called on Members to consider that Independence was based on land being returned to indigenous custom owners, Prime Minister Natuman pointed out that there are many ‘blackbirded’ custom owners resident elsewhere who, as indigenous ni-Vanuatu, also have a right to custom lands in the areas from which they came when they have regained their citizenship. Radio Vanuatu News made this a lead point in their news bulletin this morning.

The President of China will discuss a variety of matters with Pacific leaders in the Nadi Summit this week Radio Vanuatu News pointed out. Subjects include education, training and infrastructure development. Eight Pacific island country leaders will meet with President Xi Jinping including PM Natuman.

The Daily Post has PM Political Adviser George Iapson dismissing Opposition Leader Carcasses’s claims that PM Natuman was begging at the United Nations. He was nowhere begging for money, Iapson said, just the rights of the people of such as West Papua and New Caledonia. And also the rights of those subject to international terrorists and threats such Ebola and climate change. Iapson further claimed that as PM, Carcasses requested China "to pump some money into the national budget" which is something China’s foreign policy does not allow.

The European Commissioner for Home Affairs is handing out a visa waiver agreement for 16 Caribbean and Pacific island countries in order to allow their nationals free access to the Schengen area. It is said to be likely to assist people-to-people contacts and business opportunities, the Commissioner said. Vanuatu is one of ten Pacific island countries affected.