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Kava Culture Director of Vanuatu Daily Post refused work permit


Kava Lover

Dan McGarry, a Canadian expat, has been refused a work permit renewal after 16 years of nonstop work in Vanuatu. He’s married to a niVan from Pentecost. Dan is the chief editor of the Daily Post as well as a director at Buzz96 FM.

More details thanks to /u/nilnz on reddit follow below...

Media Association blong Vanuatu -·facebook post on 7 November (also tweet by DanMcgary)

The Media Association of Vanuatu is saddened by the Government decision not to renew the work permit for the Dailypost Media Director Dan Mcgary.
The MAV feels that available options to deal with its grievances relating to articles published by Dailypost that implicates the Government in possible violations of human rights issues have not been visited.
The MAV and its 89 Members who are Journalists, Broadcasts and Print Technicians, Online Content creators and Communications Officers, is urging the Prime Minister Right Hon. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas to re-look at all the contributions the Vanuatu Media Industry has done and all that Dan Mcgary played in promoting the development policies and projects over the last 4 years of this government.
The freedom of the Media and the right to information is one major contributor.
MAV maintains that silencing the Media and Journalists will only affect the good relationship Media has with this Government. This relationship is at a level never before experience by Media Industry. MAV is therefore asking the Hon. Prime Minister to ensure Mr. Dan Mcgarry has the liberty to pursue all the legal process available to him in order to have his valid documents organised.
'Attack on the media': Vanuatu newspaper boss has work visa refused https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...-vanuatu-newspaper-boss-has-work-visa-refused
Vanuatu: Media freedom questioned https://www.abc.net.au/radio-austra...nistrative-process-stifle-free-media/11685082
Vanuatu Daily Post director has work permit rejected https://www.rnz.co.nz/international...-daily-post-director-has-work-permit-rejected
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The Kaptain of Crunk
KavaForums Founder
Sounds like he needs to contact Reporters Without Borders. It also looks like this isn't the first time the state has pulled this sort of thing according to this.


Kava Enthusiast
This has been happening since the Daily Post (formerly Trading Post) started in the early 90s. The founding editor was put on a plane out of the country with a few hours notice by the govt a few times in the 90s and early 00's, after reporting on something that embarrassed the Govt.
Now Vanuatu government is more and more under chinese influence this kind of censorship is likely to get ever more common unfortunately

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk


Kava Lover
This has been happening since the Daily Post (formerly Trading Post) started in the early 90s. The founding editor was put on a plane out of the country with a few hours notice by the govt a few times in the 90s and early 00's, after reporting on something that embarrassed the Govt.
Now Vanuatu government is more and more under chinese influence this kind of censorship is likely to get ever more common unfortunately

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
The founding editor, Marc Neil-Jones just wrote this piece: https://dailypost.vu/news/work-perm...cle_9dcd8248-027c-11ea-a333-e7ae407be3b3.html

In case the Daily Post loses the article, I’ll copy it below.
- - -

Work Permit cancellation a dangerous precedent
By Marc Neil-Jones, Director, Trading Post Ltd Nov 9, 2019.

The decision by the Labour Commissioner to officially refuse and revoke the work permit of Dan McGarry as Media Director of the Vanuatu’s largest private media company, quite clearly raises real concerns over who is advising Labour as they need to check their facts.

Trading Post Ltd is 100% locally owned and employs over 50 staff. We are being blatantly forced to localize a very senior expatriate position in our 100% Ni Vanuatu owned company. This is direct government interference in the running of a private company in direct competition to their own VBTC and makes a mockery of private sector led growth. This action will clearly compromise our ability to develop our company as we wish and will be perceived as a direct attack on media freedom.

The government will say this is simply an administrative decision by Labour to localize the position after four years and that the Media Director’s job can be handled by our female newspaper editor. It cannot as the roles are totally different.

The Media Director is answerable to the directors only and is responsible for the development of print editions of Daily Post, The Vanuatu Business Review and Life and Style monthly magazines, the management and development of five web sites, four social media platforms and a growing digital signage media. The position also requires a detailed knowledge of radio broadcast technology for our radio station development, media law, human resources management, etc. Suffice to say we would localize this position if we could as with the ever increasing work permit fees we would save money.

We believe the real reason for government cancelling McGarry’s work permit is because they are not happy with some of his news items. It has nothing to do with localization. We know Minister Emelee, Napuat and the Prime Minister have all criticized McGarry.

We stand 100% behind concerns he wrote about China sending in people to arrest and deport Chinese residing here with Vanuatu passports without following the laws of this country and not allowing them access to lawyers is perfectly valid and if the same thing had happened in the developed world, the media reaction would have been far more vocal.

Similarly, this country needs more intelligent analysis of economics, business and Acts passed by parliament that McGarry has a reputation for handling in a professional way. He also has written for the UK Guardian newspaper which is proof of his credentials.

The private sector would be foolish to not support more localization but only if we have the local resources to do so. Government decisions like this may help the government in the six month run in to elections with it’s localization policy but with an economy in free fall according to many long term investors, new VIPA applications down, unemployment rising and investor confidence low, decisions like this will only create further problems as a free media not interfered with by any government is absolutely integral to democracy.

We urge this government to not use this Work Permit Amendment Act to get rid of expatriates they do not like and as this precedent is dangerous and opens up the doors to abuse.

We ask that Minister Napuat uses his power to reverse this decision on Appeal.


Kava Lover
In an interview with Radio Australia, Dan McGarry said that he expects to become a full Vanuatu citizen in just a few weeks. This makes me wonder about the timing of his labour permit. Citizens don’t need permits, after all.

And (someone please correct me if I’m wrong) but there’s no limit to how long any citizen from a Commonwealth country may reside in Vanuatu. So, Dan’s not getting kicked out of Vanuatu. He’s just being locked out of work. If his niVan citizenship comes through he might be OK financially, though who knows if there will be troubles with that as well. One gotcha could be that you have to have a job in order to gain citizenship

Further optimistic thinking: as a private business, the Daily Post could, at their own discretion, theoretically, reinstate Dan’s lost wages once he becomes eligible to join the labour force again. Wishful thinking perhaps, though it would likely be cheaper than trans-Pacific airline tickets for his whole family. Maintaining Dan’s presence in Port Vila, even while unemployed, is likely the best way to sort this out smoothly while helping everyone save face. Tingting ia hemi 2vt blo mi nomo.

Kojo Douglas

Kava Connoisseur
I am a humanitarian aid and development worker, so obviously I don't face journalistic hurdles. I have residency in Ghana (where my wife and children live) and do everything in my power to be as respectful and unabrasive as possible. After all, it isn't my country and while its politics affect me I am not the one who needs to speak truth to power. One thing I do know, however, is that if you're a foreigner and you're laying foundations for a family and career in an underdeveloped country then you need to be very cautious about how you speak about the government. This may be difficult for a journalist to do, but it's right at the intersection of his two different goals and aspirations - being a good journalist and starting a (local) family in the country he is reporting on. If the main thrust of your reporting career is about exposing the government or trying to embarrass them, then you can very well expect their immigration services to be weaponized against you. Many countries don't hold the same ideals about free speech, due process, and constitutional purity. In fact, representative democracy and free speech also present complications that can discriminate in their blessings. While I feel sorry for this guy, I also think he might have taken some all-too consequential risks in his balancing act that won't pay off. Anyway, bula to them sorting it out.
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