Eviction put on hold

THE mass eviction that was issued to move the Mele Waisisi people has been put on hold pending a judgment that will be handed down on Thursday this week.

Lawyers Less John Napuaty and Edward Nalyal had filed an urgent application prior to an eviction that was issued by the Supreme Court to evict more than a thousand people from the area near Mele golf course, who are mostly from Tanna Island.

Arguments surrounding the urgent application of the appellants is that there was a title numbered 008 issued by Mele trustees and instead Chief Simeon Poilapa and his legal counsel Felix Lumae filed for another title numbered 107 in which the former title is likely to have been issued illegally.

The State Law also admitted that the title must have been issued mistakenly.

Since the people of Waisisi are looking forward to the Thursday’s judgement with high hopes, The Independent Online news was told that after the court, they moved back to the village and announced the good news to the rest of the community, who stayed back at home this morning with other Mele men who were backing them, including the former President of the Republic of Vanuatu George Sokomanu.

The family Masai – who have previously challenged Chief Poilapa over ownership of Mele land – were supporting the people of Mele Waisisi.

Acting Police Commander South Jackson Noal thanked the people of Tanna who have kept the peace until today even though they knew about the date of the execution of the court orders.

Mr Noal pleaded for the peace to be maintained.

The future of the Presbyterian church at the same location appears to be safe.

Most of the villagers have already dismantled their houses but after the judgment they have renewed hope they may be back home.