VANUATU LANDS MINISTER ISSUES WARNING OVER LEASEHOLD LAND ABUSE

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (November 20, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Vanuatu's Minister for Lands, Silas Hakwa has issued a strong warning to all leased-holders in the two urban centers of Port Vila and Luganville on Espiritu Santo, to honor the terms and conditions of their lease.

The Minister's warning was made following reports that a number of businessmen in the towns are operating commercial businesses --such as trade stores, motels, restaurants, cafe and bars-- without first obtaining approval of the Minister to change the use of their respective leasehold properties from residential to business.

He warned that any such activity amounts to a clear breach of the terms and conditions of the leases and anyone found guilty is liable to have his or her leasehold interest forfeited.

Mr. Hakwa has instructed the Lands Department to check all current leases within urban areas to ensure and verify all leasehold properties are being used for the correct purpose.

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