14 Aug 2006

Vanuatu minister says family cannot be banned from island

6:26 pm on 14 August 2006

High level talks are planned on Santo in Vanuatu at the end of this week to try and diffuse tensions over moves to banish a family from the island.

The Ulas family, which is thought to number 40 to 50 people, has been ordered to leave the island by the end of the month in a decision made by traditional chiefs.

Members of the family are accused of provoking violence and five were removed to Port Vila and charged two weeks ago.

Howver Internal Affairs Minister, George Wells, believes the chief's action is unconstitutional and is seeking a legal opinion from the State Law Office.

He says he will then lead a delegation to have talks with the parties' involved.

"We will be going down with the high ranking officers of the force - police and military - just to have some discussions with them and find some solutions, etc"