Ambassador to China recalled

Vanuatu’s Ambassador to China, Mr. Sela Molisa

The Sato Kilman-led Government has terminated and recalled Vanuatu’s Ambassador to China, Mr. Sela Molisa.

A veteran Vanua’aku Pati (VP) politician, VP Secretary General, former Minister of Finance and Santo MP, Mr. Molisa received his diplomatic appointment as Vanuatu’s Ambassador to China on February 4, 2014 for a three year term, this after three decades as a Member of Parliament.

It remains to be seen whether Mr. Molisa will legally challenge his termination as his three year term has yet to end.

At this stage, nothing can be confirmed as to who is succeeding Molisa to oversee the interest of Vanuatu’s relations and to promote that relationship with the government and the business community in China.

Prior to the change of government in June 2015, former Prime Minister Joe Natuman terminated then Minister of Foreign Affairs Sato Kilman and alleged MP Kilman tried to lobby for Mr Dennis Nai, a former Vanuatu Ambassador to China who was terminated by the last Moana-led government, to become the new Ambassador of Vanuatu in Jakarta, saying Mr Nai has questions to answer over some of his activities while serving in Vanuatu’s Embassy in China.

But this was refuted by the incumbent Prime minister’s spokesperson, saying Mr. Nai’s termination from the Beijing Embassy was advised as “illegal by the State Law Office under the previous administration and the government was faced with a hefty claim of compensation.

“State Law Office advised that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should negotiate with Mr. Nai for an out of court settlement and part of that settlement in discussions with Mr. Nai’s lawyers was that he would be given another appointment in return for a major reduction of his compensation claim.

“Mr. Nai had already been appointed Vanuatu Charge D’ Affairs to Indonesia by a previous Minister and his appointment as Vanuatu ambassador to Beijing was also by a previous Minister.”

It was in December 2012 that Mr. Nai was appointed Ambassador to China. In April 2013, the government under then Prime Minister Moana Carcasses recalled Nai over allegations of extravagant spending.

At this stage, sources say it is unlikely Nai will take up the position of Ambassador in China but another diplomatic post is the answer.

It also remains to be seen if the government is also recalling the first resident High Commissioner of Vanuatu to Fiji, Mr Nikenike Vurobaravu, a veteran VP politician who was appointed around the same time as Ambassador Molisa.

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