31 Oct 2011

Vanuatu delegation visit to Queensland overshadowed by death threats

5:05 am on 31 October 2011

The president of a group representing Ni-Vanuatu in Australia says a recent visit to Queensland by a delegation from Vanuatu was a complete sham and accuses its organiser of making death threats.

The delegates visited historical sites in Queensland connected to the 19th century trade, which involved mostly young Vanuatu men enticed to work on the sugar cane plantations, and was paramount to slavery.

A Vanuatu opposition MP David Abel helped organise the visit.

But the Vanuatu Australia Connections president, Daniel Awiyawi, says the trip was overshadowed by Mr Abel making threats.

"The threat also was to a girl that was doing part time secretarial work for our organisation. She was from Vanuatu. One of the things that was made by Abel David to this girl Felina was that if she didn't marry him he was going to burn the church down. With her family in it."

Daniel Awiyawi says he is encouraging the young woman, who has worked as a secreatary for Mr Abel, to take the matter to the police in Vanuatu.