A peaceful march is taking place in Port Vila this morning organized by the Port Vila Town Council of Chiefs (PVTCC) in association with the Nikoletan Council of Chiefs of Tanna against crimes

that result in the taking of another person’s life.

Other national and local organizations involved in the staging of the march are the Vanuatu Christian Council, the Vanuatu National Council of Women, the Port Vila Council of Women, Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs and youth groups.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Vanuatu Police Force have given permission for the peaceful march to take place. The Vaturisu council of chiefs of Efate and offshore islands also is said to be supporting the march.

The silent march will start at the Moorings resort at Melcoffee at 8.30am and end at the Chiefs Nakamal at Saralana Park where a petition will be presented to the Minister of Justice and Community Services, Ronald Warsal, and the Minister for Internal Affairs, Alfred Maoh.

Chief Isaac Worwor, President of the Port Vila Town Council of Chiefs (PVTCC), says following killings in the past months and years and the killing of a man recently at Erakor Half Road and the burning of houses.

The chiefs and their partner community organizations have decided to jointly appeal to the government to put a stop to these killings.

The petition will ask the government to make changes to the law “to apply maximum penalty for murders”.

In a letter signed by the representatives of the organizations spearheading the march, they say they will demand the government: “Revisit the correctional law with the aim of reinstating the prison law in Vanuatu; Enact a law to stop the planting and smoking of marijuana; Make national security its first priority; Provide office space, finance and other support to the chiefs; and urgently introduce effective community policing.”

Chief Worwor says the peaceful march will also include a reconciliation ceremony between the communities of Tanna and Ambrym to patch up longstanding animosity between the two peoples following a row that resulted in loss of lives and property to arson. READ MORE