27 Jan 2012

Vanuatu media forced out of meeting

3:01 pm on 27 January 2012

Local media in Vanuatu are puzzled over why they were forced out of a meeting involving the country's Heads of Mission.

Local media were invited to the two-day annual meeting but after the opening ceremony on Wednesday the Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfred Carlot asked journalists to leave as everything discussed was off the record.

A freelance journalist and the President of the Media Association of Vanuatu Evelyn Toa says media returned the next day only to be made to leave again.

"That gave us the impression that maybe they want to hide issues that are critical to our people and our nation, so we don't know but that's our first impression. I'm speaking on behalf of local media here because I was with crews from national television and a Daily Post reporter."

Evelyn Toa says new legislation on Vanuatu immigration and passports were topics on the government's agenda.