BLaCK MaN TOwN

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

VANUATU: Beauty pageant not such a winner

Saturday night saw a world first, the crowning of Miss Vanuatu Tourism
2005. The newly crowned winner, 22 year old Glenda Laban, paraded
through the streets of Port Vila on Monday, but not everyone is
celebrating her success. The National Council of Chiefs say they don't
believe the quest is culturally appropriate.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

>> VANUATU: Silver Jubilee celebrations get underway

Vanuatu kicks off its Silver Jubilee celebrations today, with the
opening of a special exhibition in the Espace Culturel Francaise in
Port
Vila. It's the first of many events sheduled over the next two weeks to
mark 25 years as an independent nation. The organising committee, which
is made up of representatives from government and the private sector,
expects about 60 thousand people to take part.

VANUATU: Import tax exeptions reviewed

Vanuatu's department of Customs and Inland Revenue is cracking down on
businesses found to be exploiting lucrative tax exemptions. Acting
Director of Customs John Shing wants to streamline the process to stop
the sale of tax free consumable items being resold on the black market.
Some of those items include curtains, linen, televisions, moveable
furniture, and building materials.

>> VANUATU: President removes police commissioner

Vanuatu's President has formally revoked the commission of former
Police
Commissioner Robert Diniro, who was suspended from his position last
September. As Head of State, President Kalkot Mataskelekele formally
appoints or removes the commissioner, but the removal of former
Commissioner Diniro was blocked by a court challenge. Last month, the
President finally revoked Mr. Diniro's commission, opening the way for
the recruitment of a new head for the country's police force.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

>> VANUATU: Debt forgiveness unlikely to succeed

A call from a Vanuatu cabinet minister to have the country's debt
cancelled is unlikely to be echoed in other parts of the Pacific,
according to an academic specialising in development issues. Professor
Vijay Naidu, Director of Development Studies at New Zealand's Victoria
University, was commenting on a plea by Vanuatu's Trade, Commerce and
Tourism minister, James Bule.

Speakers: Professor Vijay Naidu, Director of Development Studies at New
Zealand's Victoria University

Friday, July 08, 2005

*VANUATU: Lapita cemetry discovery a world first*

Archaeologists at a dig at the Teouma Burial Ground in Vanuatu have
found a cemetery once used by the Lapita people, famous for their blue
pottery. The discovery, the first of its kind in the world, proves the
three thousand year old skeletons found in the area are the first
settlers to the country. Until now scientists have not been able to
agree on the origins or date of arrival of the Lapita people in the
Pacific.

Click here to see the photos of Our Trip To Australia

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

*VANUATU: All Government vehicles to convert to biofuel from July 1*

From the start of this month, the Government of Vanuatu has begun
converting all its vehicles to run on home grown bio-fuel. The
change-over is being made in response to the soaring global cost of
oil,
and also to assist Vanuatu in meeting its obligations under the Kyoto
Protocol on climate change.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Chamber of commerce supports tariffs

*VANUATU: Chamber of commerce supports tariffs*

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it doesn't support a
government ban on Fiji's Cabin Biscuits, a ban which has sparked a war
of words between the two countries. However, the Chamber has reaffirmed
its belief that the government should protect small local industries -
including biscuit manufacturers - by continuing to place tariffs on
imports. Chamber General Manager John Aruhuri has also criticised the
terms of free trade agreements under the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

VANUATU: Controversial investment bill withdrawn

Vanuatu's Prime Minister, Ham Lini, has announced the withdrawal of a
controversial bill to amend the country's foreign investment
legislation. The bill would have given Ni-Vanuatu an exclusive right to
own and operate all tourist accommodation, as well as all wholesale,
retail and general merchandise stores with a turnover of less than 100
million vatu a year - that's around A$1.2 million. Critics said the
move
threatened 1000 jobs and would affect all but the very biggest
businesses in Port Vila.