Kava exporter produces evidence to counter tampering accusations


Peter Colmar, owner of Santo kava export business Sarami Plantation has responded to criticism of what were labelled as his “tainted” kava exports a week ago. The allegations of impurities in Sarami shipments were made by European kava expert Dr Mathias Schmidt in Germany and Vanuatu’s European Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy in Belgium. Colmar has angrily rejected the accusations of a week ago as “lies”, Daily Post reported on the weekend, and he produced gas chromatography data showing that his exported kava was a derived from a noble variety and contained only roots. There was some sympathy shown for Sarami and the Colmar position by the Agriculture Minister when contacted by Daily Post. He felt a cancellation of the exporter’s licence was not appropriate if the kava exported was of good quality. However, he said Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

PM praises involvement of citizenry at launch of new national sustainable development plan ‘Vanuatu 2030’

PM Charlot Salwai and attendees of last night's official launch of Vanuatu's new national sustainable development plan, 'Vanuatu 2030' at the National Convention Centre. Photo: Vanuatu Government

PM Charlot Salwai and attendees of last night’s official launch of Vanuatu’s new national sustainable development plan, ‘Vanuatu 2030’ at the National Convention Centre. Photo: Vanuatu Government

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai says the Government’s new sustainable development plan Vanuatu 2030 is an important document that will guide the government for the years to come. This is the plan for sustainable economic development of the Republic which replaces the Government’s Priority Action Agenda. The PM was especially pleased with the contributions received from every sector of the community as groups and individuals were keen to make known what they feel are the important development issues. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai was also pleased with the work of the team which had sought out all possible views during 6 months of communicating with people in the islands. The PM launched Vanuatu 2030 yesterday evening. (Radio Vanuatu)

Download the english language version of Vanuatu 2030 National Sustainable Development Plan 2016 to 2030 (PDF, 1.4MB) here, ou télécharger la version française de Vanuatu 2030 plan de développement national durable 2016 à 2030 (PDF, 1,4Mo) ici.

PM Salwai, in his discussions with the Solomons PM Sogavare here earlier this week, has pointed out to the MSG Chairman how Read the rest of this entry »

Govt coalition parties agree that expenditures must be reviewed before new taxation measures can be considered

File picture of PM Charlot Salwai (L) and Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaiah. Photo: Moses Stevens

File picture of PM Charlot Salwai (L) and Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaiah. Photo: Moses Stevens

Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaiah has elaborated on the Leaders Party of Vanuatu’s stand on income tax. He agreed it was a government initiative, but added that communities still had to be consulted and the process of involving the people had not gone very far yet. He said “after some consultations it is apparent most of our supporters are hesitant about the income tax policy.” He added “our position is the government should wait for the Expenditure Review Report to come out and see where government can save money, cut down on unnecessary expenditures and also look at policies that will make doing business in Vanuatu easier before we decide on the future of income tax.” Minister Seremaiah said he spoke with PM Salwai Read the rest of this entry »

Vt 200 million extra revenue expected by Ministry of Lands this year, says Regenvanu

Website of Vanuatu's Ministry of Land and Natural Resources

Website of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Land and Natural Resources

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources hopes to significantly increase revenue this year, Minister Ralph Regenvanu said on the lunchtime news on Radio Vanuatu today. About Vt 200 million extra revenue is expected this year, while expenditure will increase by about Vt 50 million. “And revenue is always growing,” confirmed Regenvanu, saying that this is confirmed by Read the rest of this entry »

Victims of conman still unpaid, 10 years after Supreme Court ordered Vt 10M returned

A Tanna chief complains the services of justice are not reaching his people. The Iata versus Hocten Supreme Court case required a payment of Vt 10 million for persons swindled by one Michael Hocten (a family name that has been in the news again more recently) to pay some ten million vatu a decade ago. Not one vatu has yet been received by those owed.

Thompson Marango of Daily Post has another crime story on Read the rest of this entry »

Calls for kava exporter’s licence to be cancelled after US discovery of 60 tonnes of tainted kava

Tainted kava threatens Vanuatu's kava industry. Shown here is ground Vanuatu kava for sale by a US retailer

Tainted kava threatens Vanuatu’s kava export industry: shown here is ground Vanuatu kava sold by a US retailer

Adulterated kava exporting hits the headlines again. The Agriculture Minister and EU Ambassador are both calling for the kava export licence of Peter Colmar’s Sarami Plantation to be terminated. EU Ambassador Joy reports some 60 tonnes of tainted kava being shipped to four companies in the United States last year. It was all non-noble and non-root material. The ambassador’s research has been assisted by German kava expert Dr Mathias Schmidt who helped in having the EU ban on kava from island countries lifted.

Len Garae reports Dr Schmidt saying as much as 28 tons of ground leaves and stalks went to one US importer, Kumars Import. Schmidt is quoted saying “I thought the Vanuatu Kava Act had been changed, but if someone like Sarami Plantation can sell such quantities without any consequences, there must be more than just one person closing their eyes. We need to stop this before Read the rest of this entry »