Port Vila Mayor Condemns Recent Spate Of Violence In Vanuatu Capital

Several recent murders cause for concern for city council

By Richard M. Nanua

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 30, 2017) – The Lord Mayor of Port Vila, Ulrich Sumptoh, said that the current council he is heading condemns all sort of killings that is happening in the city of Port Vila.

He made the statement in a press conference yesterday in his office conveying the counsel’s deepest sympathy to the relatives of the victims.

Mr Sumptoh said that the recent killings of the people in town have compelled his office to publicly denounce the violence in the city in light of the Pacific Mini Games which the country is about to host in December.

“A reason why our city was chosen by the Games Council for the Pacific Games is our friendliness and our resilience to violence, yet for the last two weeks Port Vila has been known to be a killing field,” the Lord Mayor said.

He said that a mother was reportedly killed, a man also killed, a toddler was thrown out the window of a bus and people do not respect other people’s properties were sort of the alleged offences happening in Port Vila recently.

He said that the action included some people damaging the newly upgraded Fatumaru Park facilities.

He said that a country like Vanuatu with a motto that states ‘In God We Stand’, people need to be reminded of the a commandment in the Bible that states that ‘Thou shall not kill’.

The mayor said that yet people could not stop committing such offences when they should fear the State and God.

He said that in a recent discussion with the new Police Commissioner, Albert Nalpini, it is clear that the State has a limited number of law enforcers and the Municipal has only a total 35 wardens who were just graduated from Police College.

He said that together, National Police and Municipal are not enough to control more than 60,000 people currently living in Port Vila.

He appeals to all parents, chiefs, pastors and community leaders to speak to their people about the rising crime rate and ongoing violence and to control their behaviors.

Mayor Sumptoh also said that Port Vila has an opportunity to showcase itself on December as the happiest place on earth twice voted by the New Economic Foundation Happy Planet Index.

“But the Vanuatu Christian Council, community leaders and parents need to iron out the security and safety wrinkles by speaking with their people before we roll out the red carpet for our visitors in December,” he said.

He also extended the call to all drivers to be careful while driving through town.

He said that it is about time for drivers to start thinking about their passengers and the pedestrians.

He said that they are now looking for a possible law to be imposed on whoever is involved in any fatal crash will have his driving documents removed for three years.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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