24 May 2016

No budget to send Vanuatu to Festival of Pacific Arts

7:54 pm on 24 May 2016

Political inteference has been blamed for Vanuatu being unable to send a team of delegates to the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts.

A performer at the Festival of Pacific Arts, 2012.

A performer at the Festival of Pacific Arts, 2012. Photo: SUPPLIED / Festival of Pacific Arts

The festival is now underway in Guam and is the largest cultural event in the region with 27 Pacific countries and territories participating.

The Director of Vanuatu's Cultural Centre, Asal Lazare, was removed from his post when former prime minister Joe Natuman was ousted last year.

He was reinstated after this year's elections.

Mr Lazare says a budget proposal for the event was put forward last year but never made it to the government's Ministerial Budget Committee.

"No funds has been allocated and I cannot go any further than that," he said.

"I regret that Vanuatu will not be participating in the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts because there is no funds to send a delegation or even the Minister responsible for Culture to participate in the Minister's meeting."