By Ricky Binihi
Persistent rumours that the National United Party, would field two candidates in Port Vila were confirmed this week with the endorsement of former Port Vila Mayor Patrick Crowby as its second candidate. .
A special NUP executive meeting Thursday afternoon last week approved the name of the politician considered by many political commentators as a threat to the re-election of the current six Port Vila MPs.
His running mate in Port Vila is NUP's first choice candidate Finance Minister -Willie Jimmy.
The son of the first ever woman MP Maria Crowby the 49-year-old politician won the hearts of Port Vila citizens arguably when he transformed the city of Port Vila in what was then known as the Port Vila Beautification Project. He also built dispensaries in the Port Vila suburbs.
Although Crowby created some political enemies during his seven years as the First Citizen of Port Vila it never transpired into his dislike by the Port Vila electorate. He was among the very few Port Vila Municipality councillors who consistently amassed the highest number of votes each time the Municipality went to polls.
A former' Union of Moderate Parties strategist, Crowby defected to NUP in 1998 and was welcomed by the then NUP President, the late Father Waiter Lini. His political credentials that he brought with him to NUP made him National Coordinator of the NUP Congress that following year in 1999.
When Crowby was the president of the UMP Port Vila Region in 1982 he was able to prepare the ground work for the biggest Vanua'aku Pati upset ever in Port Vila when three of his UMP candidates; Maxime Carlot Korman, Willie Jimmy and Maria Crowby were elected into Parliament five years later in 1987. .
Crowby also played an important role in Port Vila during the 1991 elections that eventually saw the UMP sweep to power that same year.
I n 2004 the current government spokesman and chairman of the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation of the board of directors was the campaign manager for both Minister Jimmy and VP President Edward Natapei in a join NUP /VP campaign team.'
When asked about his endorsement Mr Crowby said he is humbled by the decision of the NUP executive and thanked them for their faith in him.
He refused to make any predictions about the September 2 elections although he said Port Vila would be one of the toughest constituencies since it has three MPs that are presidents of three different parties.
Mr Crowby however added that the future Port Vila MPs are those leaders who can connect and relate with the people.
By Royson Willie
An outspoken individual from Pentecost, David Huri, has questioned why the Prime Minister has not disciplined the minister for health," Morkin Stevens, for his repeated accidents in ministerial vehicles under the influence of alcohol.
Huri who is related to PM Ham Lini stated that the inaction of the Prime Minister to discipline his minister, as well as no statement from the government leader following the recent killing in Port Vila has forced him to raise his concerns.
He said it is difficult to understand why the Prime Minister cannot discipline one of his ministers who is directly under his jurisdiction but was swift to recommend the termination of two former Government Department Directors for the Public Service Commission to terminate.
"Precedents have been set in the past and one fine example is that of the late Father Waiter Lini.
"During the reign of Fr. Lini he disciplined one of his ministers, late Willie Korisa, who was also the minister for health at that time.
"Late Korisa as a state minister at that time was disciplined under the same situation of involving in a single traffic accident.
"I understand the life of parliament will soon end but the current minister for health has repeatedly been involved in traffic accidents but he was never disciplined.
"There have been other individuals who were also swiftly disciplined by the then Lini government in the 1980s for similar incidents," Huri said.
He said even Prime Minister Lini was quick to recommend in a letter that had his signature on it last year for the termination of former Youth and Sports Director, Mr Ture Kailo and former Acting Director General for Public Utilities, Mr Johnson Binaru.
But this time, Huri said the Prime Minister has remained silent after repeated accidents by the minister who is directly under him and even the recent killing in the Capital has seen no public statement by the head of government to assure the public of law and order.
Huri said while he respects the Prime Minister as he is related to him and regards him as a father, after hearing so many complaints about the weak leadership at the helm of the government he had to make a comment based on an old saying in Pentecost that says, 'a father can teach his son and the son can also teach his father'.
Huri's concerns were echoed by the Leader of Opposition, Moana Carcasses, last week on Friday over the inaction of the Prime Minister to discipline his minister as well as no public statement following the killing of Chinese investor, late Mrs Tak.
The peaceful public march called to show unity against government's lack of action on crime, has been cancelled due to security issues.
A spokesperson for the group calling itself Community Against Crime, said police were unable to guarantee security for last week's march, and are still concerned if the march was to go ahead, it could turn into a riot.
The group, which organised the march, said it is left with no option but to cancel.
Police told the group they had information the march would be under threat from small factions in the community, and being emotionally charged, could turn into a riot very quickly.
"Due to the numbers involved, including school children, we had no option but to cancel," said the spokesperson.
"Community safety is our priority.
"We are pursuing some options, including a public petition for everyone to sign."
By Thompson Marango
A 3 day training on the promotion of gender equality in the European Commission Development Cooperation took place last week at the Sebel aimed at increasing the participation of women in social, economic and political life of the country.
The training brought together EC delegations from PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu, including representatives from government institutions, public institutions, and NGOs.
The training was timely as parliament passed the Family Protection Bill recently.
"Gender equality is a common principle of the European Union and has been enshrined as a fundamental principal since the European convention on Human Rights was signed in Rome in 1950," said Program Officer of the EC delegation, Adrien Mourgues, ACP countries including Vanuatu and other Pacific Island countries have established cooperation with EU through the Cotonou Agreement which has a strong commitment to gender equality.
It also recognizes equality between men and women as a central human rights issue and calls for positive actions in favour of women.
The agreement also calls for the strengthening of policies, strategies and programmes that improve, ensure and broaden the equal participation of men and women in all spheres of political, economic and social life at every level of development cooperation, including macroeconomic policies, strategies and operation.
EC focal persons from the participating countries are also participating in the workshop and will consequently ensure that concepts are adopted and implemented.
"It is our desire as well to invite participants external to the EC in order to share, exchange and learn more on this very important topic", Mourgues added.
On behalf of the Government First Political Advisor to the Ministry Justice and Social Welfare, Mrs Leiasmanu Cullwick also addressed the participants and said the "promotion of gender equality is a cross cutting issue to reduce poverty, manage globalization and address social issues".
By Lora Lini
Police have confirmed that some inmates who escaped from the Correctional Centre have surrendered during the weekend and Monday morning.
Deputy Police Commissioner, Major Arthur Caulton from the office of the Police Commissioner said that Sam Koilo, Sandrino Paul and Faty Jimmy have surrendered 10 Police.
"Paul and Jimmy came in on Sunday while Koilo came in al 1.30pm yesterday," Major Caulton explained.
He said as it stands the other escapees still al large are Jacky Saul, Markwin Kassimir, Lee Tamata, Kenneth Aluary, Tom Black, Philip Andrew, Charley Don, Sam Beau, David Bill, Mavi Willie, Abel Napovin, Philip Avock, Awen George and Hiu Jack.
Major Caulton said Police and VMF continue to appeal to these escapees to surrender and are urging especially the families of the inmates to bring them in if they are approached.
The Deputy Police Commissioner refuted rumours and claims that one inmate was shot by VMF and Police saying this was not true.
VMF arrested Peter Iakoli who allegedly shot Mrs Russet at Switi and also arrested Maxime Lewawa.
After a raid on one of their hideouts in Ohlen last week VMF also retrieved a .22 rifle and 3 pistols.
Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Bong is currently the Acting Director for the Correctional Services, replacing Morris Kaloran.
Daily Post also understands that Lieutenant Colonel Bong is on a mission to find out exactly what is going on in the Correctional Services Centre.
Bong is commissioned to find out why there has been an increase in the number of jail breakouts this year.
The office of the Police Commissioner also advised that statements to the media will only be issued by the Police Commissioner's office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
"This is so that there are no duplications and especially with so many rumours going around, it is best that media get information only from the Police Commissioner's office or the Ministry for Internal Affairs," said Major Caulton.
A staunch critic of the World Trade Organisation in Port Vila John Sa long has said only drunk men would choose to restart Vanuatu's Accession to the WTO and throw another S million vatu after bad.
He made the statement as a response to the news that the Vanuatu Council of Ministers had opted to restart _he accession discussion into the WTO and that observer status fee alone was going to cost Vanuatu Vt5 million.
Salong said: The five million vatu could have been invested in more scholarships to the USP Law School or assist poor women in Vila who are struggling to adjust tight household budgets that have been hit by the recent price rises in public transport, cost of rice and flour and electricity rates.
"Instead the drunk men decided to throw S million vatu into the WTO - a garbage bin for the developing countries", he said.
He said the WTO is an abject failure that Vanuatu ministers would be able to discern if they were sober.
"The Doha round which was supposedly the "development round" collapsed in 2006 because Developed Countries will not stop protecting their farm sectors. Nor will the same developed countries commit to supporting developing countries achieve economic justice by adjusting the world trade system.
"The whole WTO negotiation process is top-down, exclusive, lacks transparency and is fraught with the opportunities of pressures and manipulations by the rich countries. The legitimacy of all outcomes of the WTO are questionable
"It is questionable what kinds of advice the Vanuatu government is getting from the WTO "Yes Men." All WTO "Yes Men" have suspended their critical thinking, if they had any, and will say yes to everything that the WTO says," said Mr Salong.
He went on to say that "Vanuatu has proven that it can withstand the impact of the "US sub-prime mortgage meltdown" because of the underlying Custom Economy.
Furthermore, Vanuatu will continue to be strong if the focus is on "labor mobility." The gains to the international economy from labor mobility will be quantum leaps above the volume of gains from liberalizing trade in goods and services that the WTO is on about according to World Bank estimates."
"Vanuatu has strengths that need to be the focus of government investment.
"Vanuatu government must focus on investing in Vanuatu's human resource through investment in scholarships.
"It must focus on developing more lawyers as we have the law school of the Pacific. It must focus on more Accountants and Financial Advisors as we have the vibrant Offshore Finance Sector in the Pacific that is sometimes viewed by Australia as an inhibitor to advancing "Australia's National Interest" in the region.
"And Vanuatu can be the "Diplomatic Capital of Australasia because of French and English." Moreover, Vanuatu should invest in ensuring the success of the RSE scheme with New Zealand and positioning itself to take advantage of Australian horticultural work once Australia opens up.
"Stop wasting people's money to accede into a corrupt and useless organization. Wake up and know that you are throwing money after bad. Get over the drunken stupor you are in and forget about the WTO, it has produced nothing for Solomon Islands, produced nothing for Tonga, produced nothing for PNG and will produce nothing for Vanuatu," said John Salong - a WTO critic in Port Vila.
A small group of Ni-Vanuatu living in United States and Canada has come together to form a strong Vanuatu community.
Reports reaching the Daily Post say the group felt that in the 21st century it is very difficult for Ni-Vanuatu living abroad.
"The way of life in other countries is very different from the way we used to live in Vanuatu. Because of the challenges that we face, it is very hard to balance a life that represents both the world we live in and Vanuatu culture. The only way we can instill the important cultural aspects of Vanuatu life that we want our children to have is to form a strong community of people from Vanuatu living nearby.
"On the 21st of June the group held our very first picnic in Washington State, (not Washington D.C.) that brought us together, representing locals from Ambae, Pentecost, Efate and ex Peace Corps Volunteers. Some of us have lived and worked abroad for a good number of years and have married here, some couples that have lived and worked in Vanuatu but have now returned back to their homes in USA and Canada."
The highlight of the picnic was the Bunia that two mama's stayed up late through the night to prepare.
"The men were not going to let this opportunity pass them by therefore they ate to their hearts content.
"'Considering the lack of ingredients and tools which are hard to come by and finding the right stones to use, laplap leaf and local crops at the nearest Asian market made the preparation of Bunia a real challenge.. In addition, building a fire outside your home in United States is illegal. However both mama's used their wits and were able to find a safe place to build a fire to make the bunia.
"The families had a great time visiting with each other and exchange stories while the kids played and had fun on the playground or taking a nap on a mat near by.
"This is the very first time that any Ni-Vanuatu living in U.S.A. and Canada have ever come together to build a community. As both the U.SA and Canada are very large countries, every family had to travel by car up to 400 kilometers to attend.
"The new America Vanuatu Association" will be meeting twice a year from now on in different places in the western United States and Canada. Anybody travelling or moving to the west coast are welcome to visit with us," a statement from the group said.
Compiled by Jane Joshua
Vanuatu can expect to have 17 new Ni Vanuatu doctors by 2013 according to a cooperation agreement, signed between Minister of Health Morking Steven Iatika and the Minister of Health in Cuba earlier this year.
The Cuban government has agreed to sponsor 17 Vanuatu medical students to undertake medical studies in Cuba.
Health authorities reported that 116 applicants applied for the scholarships but the process for the final selection of the 17 was at its final stage and the successful candidates will be receiving advice from the DG to the Minister of Health shortly.
The Minister of Health revealed that records indicated that there is an increasing interest among Ni Vanuatu thinking of becoming doctors but opportunities are very limited.
Thus the opportunity offered by the Cuban government is appreciated very much.
In the same agreement the government of Cuba has given the go ahead to sponsor 20 medical students next year 2009.
This will bring the number to 20 qualified doctors by 2014.
The increase in locals seeking higher qualifications is in line with the government's policy to see people from
Torres to Aneitysum have better access professional health service.
By Eleanor Waiwo
The President of the Chinese Association in Luganville Mr Valliant Leung suggested that inmates should pay a fee while serving their sentence at the Correctional Services in Port Vila and Luganville.
He 'made this statement with surprise to see that the Correctional Department with its current policy in housing inmates are not strictly adhered to by inmates.
Mr Leung said if leaders concern who want inmates to share an environment that is free at anytime, attending trainings and other leisure activities, then they should pay a fee since they are also classified as being kept in a boarding school to gain knowledge in different available trainings provided.
He also advised that concern leaders must provide a law that high risk inmates must be treated differently and have them disciplined hardly so that they can change behaviours as a result of being hardly punished.
Meanwhile, he expressed his deepest sympathy on behalf of Chinese people in Luganville to hear the loss of late Mrs Tak.
However, he urged the government and concerned authorities to act seriously on the matter and said if inmates are the ones to be blamed in the increase of crime and deaths in the country, then new correctional laws must be implemented to avoid future incidents.
By Eleanor Waiwo
The recent extra ordinary meeting for Nagriamel Movement in Fanafo village last week has seen the three important leaders plant name le plant to seal the movement's principles again after several years of working in two groups under the same name.
Franky Stevens represented the Stevens family, land owner Chief James Tangis who is the President of the movement's Ten Head Committee and Amos Bangabiti who represented the people of the different islands in Fanafo planted the namele plant to seal the movement's principles.
The planting took plate at the Nagriamel headquarters and was made before the leaders entered the two-day meeting last week.
By Eleanor Waiwo
Twelve nurses who deliver health services to Vanuatu citizens in remote areas in the provinces of Torba and Penama have completed a two-week management training at the Northern health conference room last week.
The training had turned out successful through the funding from AFD who also provided funding for Elode Roche and Agnes Dornano who are qualified nurses that facilitated the training.
They both will continue to run trainings in the next few weeks with nurses from Sanma.
The two-week training mainly covered topics that included review of first aid techniques, how to manage emergency cases, trucks and good setting of managing their own dispensaries and health centres.
Mrs Roche and Dornano are happy to train the nurses and have identified different problems that are classified as important issues for the ministry of health to seriously look at.
The main important problems that are common to all health centres and dispensaries in remote areas are management skills, communication and cooperation.
Meanwhile, the presence of the Northern Health Directorate Doctor Timothy Vocor during the closing of the training last week on Tuesday noted the participants' area of concerns in those areas.
However Dr Vocor said the Ministry of Health is so lucky to work with a unique funding 'agency as AFD because the NDH biggest project of the new technical platform to be build by AFD has already covered nurses trainings as well.
According to the Health Advisor from the Ministry of Health Mrs Annick Traore who is also the AFD representative, the main idea behind the project is to provide training in education and health for nurses in remote areas and at the main hospital of Luganville.
Also the project is continuing to fund trainings because the trainings will be very useful and needed to run the project that should be at the NDH doorstep this year.
Daily Post understands part of the management trainings has also included nurses in charge in the different sections of NDH to attend management trainings at the Devine Word University in Madang, Papua new Guinea.