8 Mar 2007

Group of Vanuatu chiefs asks government to curb inflow of new settlers

11:49 am on 8 March 2007

The Vaturisu Council of Chiefs in Vanuatu has produced a resolution that will ask the government to encourage unemployed trouble makers from outer islands to leave Efate.

The Vaturisu council, which comprises Chiefs from Efate where Vanuatu's capital Port Vila is located, has made the proposal following the deadly tribal clashes there in the weekend.

The clashes between people of Tanna and Ambrym islands at the Blacksands squatter settlement on the fringe of the capital left three men dead, and several seriously injured.

Vaturisu president Kalkot Murmur says the council resolution would encourage unemployed outer islanders to get back in touch with their customary roots:

"Since there are a lot of people coming into Port Vila from all over the islands, and there are so many of us (already) here, a lot of them don't have any job to do, so they go around causing problems. So we thought how about if we go back to the system our ancestors were doing in the past, wher they have no money but they exchange goods like yams, bananas and taro."