28 Jul 2014

Vanuatu Independence celebrations underway

2:41 pm on 28 July 2014

Police in Vanuatu are on alert this week to ensure the country's 34th Independence Day celebrations go smoothly.

Its Independence Day, which commemorates its freedom from British and French rule in 1980, is on Wednesday but celebrations began last week.

Our correspondent, Len Garae says food stalls and areas for speeches and music have been set up in a number of public spaces around Port Vila.

He says all police officers are on duty and are expected not to drink any alcohol this week.

"Independence is always a time when people celebrate and sometimes people tend to over-celebrate, and laws are broken. So the commisioner of police Mr Arthur Caulton has made it clear to his officers to pull up their socks and allow the public to enjoy themselves."

Len Garae says the beginning of celebrations have been marred by the deaths of three people, two involved in a car crash and one involved in a fall.