Vanuatu daily news digest | 31 January 2015

Daily Post today carries the first news of the VP, NUP, PPP, MPP Reunification Group moving forward. The meeting being late on Friday meant it was difficult to have a full report today. This will likely emerge over the weekend. Daily Post will surely carry more for Monday’s paper.

Another occasional paper is out this weekend. In addition to The Independent, Vanuatu Times and Vila Times we now have Yumi Toktok Stret second edition. The majority of the main news delivery still remains with Daily Post and, to a lesser extent, as they grapple with their internal, political and managerial problems, Radio Vanuatu. However, we wish YTS well and hope it can continue to pack a typographical punch as it periodically does online from its internet home.

One field in which YTS has been leading the way is the allocation of grants for tertiary studies. It has to be admitted that the rules of the game have quite likely changed. Until now the vast majority of the scholarships have been issued following on the results of the senior secondary examinations for which adequate standards have been established. So many other, and possibly more mature students, however, have settled into USP foundation classes and distance learning courses, and it behoves the education establishment to create new criteria for awards. This news source, however, feels incompetent to deal with the issue whilst remaining brief in its bulletins.

YTS is properly and interestingly concerned with issues rather than breaking news although it has involved itself in the matter of the "Multi Millionaire Investor looking to suing Vanuatu Police Force for Millions of Dollars". This rich investor is also he who seemed to be expecting controversy in starting business here such that he had installed CCTV which was able to ensure the attempt on his or any family member’s life would be filmed, as indeed it was. A conviction was established. There’s quite enough crime in the other papers without YTS going that way. For example …

The Independent begins today with seventeen committed in the "double hanging case" on Akham. Witchcraft, nakaimas, arson and gruesome murder are all involved in the horrific events. And then the Indy goes on to double its page one shock / horror value by adding "Priest on multiple sex charges, page 2 "Duo to appear over rape of student," and "Men to trial for sex attack on expat" on page 3. Sex and violence sometimes seem to be the only newsworthy events. The reality is quite different. The Independent does have the Tenders Board saving VT 500 million in four years.

Important manufacturing news not yet mentioned (Daily Post had it Friday) – Fibreglass Vanuatu is now producing at Luganville. Together with Polytanks, they will introduce a range of products from tanks to boats and septic tank items.

Transparency yesterday in Daily Post pointed out that there is no requirement for the Council of Ministers’ decisions to be publicised. And it goes on to observe that "Because the Leadership Code is not enforced, internal discipline of ministers by the Prime Minister is also weak", as seen recently in the cases of Harry Iauko and Don Ken. This is something YTS could well take up and campaign about in its next issues.