Minister Kalsakau breaks chiefs’ hearts
“This action by the Minister in signing this lease looks like an abuse of Ministerial Power given that there was no custom landowner dispute over the land,” said the Legal Advisor in the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, Siobhan McDonnell.
“I have advised the chiefs to seek legal advice, request a caution and begin legal action against the minister.”
The chiefs have expressed extreme disappointment at the action by the minister in leasing their land. The head of the Mako family, Richard Matanik, who represents custom landowners of the area spoke about the numerous sites he has worked to protect in the area, and his wish to save the land for future generations; “It’s a big, hard thing for chiefs to give their land to the people. We did it to save the land for our children. Now our heart is broken by the minister’s action. How could he take our land?”