Gov’t Should Not Stop French Navy Ship: Opposition

The French Navy ship bringing in school building materials for new classrooms and renovations to its dispensary on the island of Aneityum should not have been sent back.

Leader of Opposition, MP Ishmael Kalsakau, made the remarks when answering questions from the Daily Post, Buzz FM 96 and Radio New Zealand reporters, yesterday afternoon.

He described the Government’s reaction as a juvenile attitude.

MP Kalsakau said the issue of Matthew and Hunter islands should be set aside, allow the French Naval ship to enter Vanuatu, go to Aneityum with the much-needed building materials for the constructions of the new classrooms and the renovations of the dispensary.

“Why didn’t the government acted immediately when one of the French Naval ships went to Matthew and Hunter sometimes ago and now it (government) stopped the naval ship bringing in much needed assistance for the schools and the students on Aneityum?” MP Kalsakau questioned.

The local media approached Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu, who indicated that a press release on the matter will be issued to the media (the response from the ministry is published on page 2).

In the meantime, Minister of Education, Jean Pierre Nirua, has assured the people of Vanuatu, especially the students of the bilingual school on Aneityum, that the issue will be resolved at the diplomatic level between Vanuatu and France, to pave way for France to carry out the project.

He affirmed the project is part of the program initiated by the Ministry of Education which has provided the similar assistance for schools on Vao, Malekula and other schools in the country.

“The project for the school on Aneityum will be carried out once the issue is taken care of at the diplomatic level between appropriate officials of Vanuatu and France,” he assured.

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