VANUATU’S NEW KAVA LAW CALLED DISCRIMINATORY

VANUATU’S NEW KAVA LAW CALLED DISCRIMINATORY

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (RNI/PINA, Jan. 7) -Pentecost Island paramount chief, and former parliamentarian Vincent Boulekone is vowing to challenge the constitutionality of new legislation governing who can farm kava in Vanuatu.

The bill, which was passed by parliament at the end of last year, but is yet to be signed into law, bars all mixed race and naturalized citizens from farming kava.

They will be allowed to deal in kava, but will have to buy it from indigenous Ni-Vanuatu farmers, who will hold exclusive rights to farm the crop.

Boulekone said all mixed raced people and naturalized citizens living in the country are allowed the same rights under the constitution as the indigenous Ni-Vanuatu.

The government bill was introduced to end the domination of a handful of mixed race and naturalized citizens who have been successful kava farmers and exporters.

January 8, 2003

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