Vanuatu community organisations petition Australia over its support of Indonesian military units involved in killings of Papuans

Video still of Detachment 88 troops firing live rounds at civilians attending the Third Papuan People’s Congress, October 19, 2011. Photo: West Papua Media

Video still showing members of Detachment 88 firing live rounds at civilians attending the 3rd Papuan People’s Congress, October 19, 2011. Photo: West Papua Media

The Vanuatu’s leading national community-based organisations are petitioning the Australian Government to “stop the killing [of] Melanesian people in West Papua” by way of providing financial support and military training for elite Indonesian Kopassus and Densus (Detachment) 88 military and police units, made possible through Australian bilateral military cooperation with Indonesia. Apart from the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association, organisations signing the petition include the Malvatumauri, VNCW, VANGO and the National Youth Council. All bodies remain convinced that indigenous peoples have an inalienable right to freedom and sovereignty over their national territory. The Australian Government is petitioned to respect all the instruments on Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by the UN General Assembly. (Daily Post)

Government will ensure stability in the maintenance of services to the people. This was another of the points made Wednesday evening in the Prime Minister’s Read the rest of this entry »


Larger aircraft to be able to land at Bauerfield, thanks to additional funds from World Bank for Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project

The World Bank's Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project will enable long-haul Code E aircraft such as Boeing's 787 (above) to use Bauerfield International Airport

The World Bank’s Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project will enable larger, long-haul Code E aircraft such as Boeing’s 787 (above) to use Bauerfield International Airport. Photo: Boeing

The World Bank announced USD 14 million (Approx. Vt 1.5 billion) in additional funding to strengthen air transport and an expansion of works under the Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project yesterday. Vanuatu’s Finance Minister Gaeton Pikioune says  Read the rest of this entry »


VNPF inquiry learns of zero return from Vt300M investment in Club Vanuatu

VNPF Building, Port Vila. Photo: Jean Van Jean

VNPF Building, Port Vila. Photo: Jean Van Jean

The official inquiry into the Vanuatu National Provident Fund has learned that the VNPF’s failed investment in the now defunct Club Vanuatu cost the Fund over Vt 300 million and earned zero returns for members. There would appear to be a wide level of Read the rest of this entry »


Its Pacific cyclone season – please sign this petition and help save lifesaving shortwave radio to our islands

Animated satellite images taken from March 13 2015. Photo: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The ABC’s shortwave radio broadcasts helped many in Vanuatu during Cyclone Pam in 2015.

As you read this, a cyclone is forming east of Vanuatu. As people in Vanuatu are well aware, up-to-date information is critical when preparing for a natural disaster.

Unfortunately, in the middle of the Pacific cyclone season, Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, says it will end shortwave radio broadcasts to the Pacific Islands by 31st January.

This decision puts lives at risk in Vanuatu and the rest of the Pacific. The ABC’s shortwave service provide lifesaving information during cyclones and other disasters as well as playing an important role in ensuring media freedom. Here in Vanuatu, during Cyclone Pam in 2015, ABC shortwave broadcasts helped people outside of the range of FM radio and cellular phone towers keep up to date with cyclone warnings. The service undoubtedly helped ni-Vanuatu people prepare and may have even saved lives.

The Pacific Freedom Forum has organised a petition to let decision-makers in Australia know how vital the ABC’s shortwave radio services are for us in the Pacific. Will you please help?

Please click this link to sign the petition.

Thank you.


Vt 20 billion budget for 2017 approved unanimously by Parliament

Vanuatu Parliament budget 2017

Parliament passed the Government Estimates yesterday – unanimously. The 2017 budget is more than Vt 20 billion, a Vt 5 billion increase on 2016. The second ordinary sitting of Parliament resumes this evening at 6 o’clock, for today, and continues Read the rest of this entry »


Second no-confidence motion lodged against Government of PM Salwai

PM Charlot Salwai… to decide Vanuatu's position on PACER Plus shortly. Photo: Graham Crumb/imagicity.com (CC BY-SA 3.0)

PM Charlot Salwai. Photo: Graham Crumb/imagicity.com

The Speaker of Parliament has received a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, the second in two weeks. Nine MPs of the Opposition bloc lodged the motion yesterday. The Opposition was absent from Parliament yesterday morning, prompting a delay to next Monday of the second ordinary sitting. The Prime Minister, however, has asked for Read the rest of this entry »


Australian ministerial delegation visits Vanuatu — as end of Australian shortwave broadcasts to Pacific is announced

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, arrived today in Port Vila, leading a bipartisan delegation including International Development and Pacific Minister, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and their Opposition counterparts, Senator Penny Wong and Senator Claire Moore. Photo: DFAT

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, arrived today in Port Vila, leading a bipartisan delegation including International Development and Pacific Minister, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and their Opposition counterparts, Senator Penny Wong and Senator Claire Moore. Photo: DFAT

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, and the Minister for International Development and the Pacific Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells are visiting Vanuatu today and have been discussing the Australia’s development aid program with Vanuatu officials. An investment package of A$1.5 million (Vt 120.3 million) is also on the agenda and a new aid partnership agreement is to be signed. Management of health supplies and medicines is an important element in this regard. (Radio Vanuatu)

The visit of the Australian Government ministers responsible for the Australia’s relationship with the Pacific coincides with the announcement by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that their Pacific islands shortwave broadcasting service is to cease. Radio Australia which has served the region well over many decades. These broadcasts will terminate in Read the rest of this entry »