On World Press Freedom Day, PM Salwai pushes for Right to Information Bill

World Press Freedom Day 2016

World Press Freedom Day today has heard messages from the Prime Minister and the CEOs of several media organisations. PM Salwai’s most pressing media matters are the Right to Information Bill which will go before an early Parliament, and the concern of many radio listeners that they are unable to have the full cyclone information available by broadcast. There will be more of the topics being covered today, after a PM-led march through downtown, tomorrow.

More MPs of the International Group of Parliamentarians concerned with West Papua have signed the West Papua Declaration. Vanuatu’s representative is Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu. He told Radio Vanuatu that the group’s concern yesterday was the 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’ examined from an academic, legal and human rights perspective. The group of Parliamentarians has called on every government through the United Nations to enable every West Papuan to decide democratically concerning his future, based on international standards of human rights, principles of international law and the United Nations Charter.

A West Papua civil society parallel forum is being held in Port Vila at the Owen Hall. It is trying to have West Papua designated a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. The Vanuatu Free West Papua Association and Re-Unification Committee has taken on the responsibility of presenting the ideas of civil society to the MSG leaders. (Radio Vanuatu)

Daily Post yesterday reported negotiations being near for the second phase of the Tanna Roads project with Chinese engineering company CCECC. Phase 1 is the 30km from Tanna International Airport at Whitegrass through Lenakel to Green Point, tar-sealing being imminent. Phase 2 covers south Tanna to the Yasur volcano.

Today Daily Post reports what is understood to be the first petition on ‘indigenous land rights’ filed against the State. Government is alleged to have denied the legally recognised rights in custom of a legally recognised and constituted council of chiefs. The Belbarav land includes Pekoa Airport. The petitioner is Thompson Wells of Santo.