This article was first published in the Daily Post in early 2014 after TIV witnessed that fake man-made flowers were being adorned on the new Prime Minister at that time.

It is being re-published online surrounding circulating information that fake salusalu”s (flowers) and plastic cups as kava shells will be banned from being used during government functions.

It is part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s 100 Day Plan.


IT IS SAID that dead flowers represent disappointment or unhappy situations while a fresh flowers signify pleasure and happiness.Fresh flowers also represents commitment and satisfaction whereas dead or fake flowers portray laziness and a lack of respect.

Topics relating to flowers have appeared in the media from time to time, with disappointed tourist commenting on the sale of fake lays (salusalu) in the mama’s market, to discussions raised on whether foreign fake products replicating their local true originals should be banned for the good of our nation and our traditions. Realistically, to be greeted locally with a gift that is made from another country literally has little or no meaning and value at all except financial costs.

The election of the new PM (in early 2014) was considered by many as a step back to the beliefs and ideas that prompted us to begin our struggle for independence, whilst others see it as a waste of public funds and time, a process that denies voters their right to a full four year term government. Yet it had happened again, a motion that seemed most likely to fail has succeeded, thus proving that a motion with little fuss around it can become quite effective.

However, this article is not about the fuss nor the reasons behind motions, the point here is the symbol of the flowers that somebody went to a shop, or probably down to the mama’s market to purchase plastic made salusalu’s, foreign made products, at 150VT a piece to present, as a symbol of victory, to the newly elected head of the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu.

The talk on the street says that the high esteem that is inherited by each new legislature is slowly being devalued by the continuous change of governments, the fake salusalu’s on the new Prime Minister already proves that the same story is being told within the government itself.

Transparency International Vanuatu would like to remind everyone that the Prime Minister should never be adorned with fake salusalu’s. The position should be celebrated with fresh sweet scented natural flowers that were prepared by a committed individual, who would be proud to see that their hard work is being worn by an important person. Ideally, that same respect must be shown to Ministers, Senior Government Officials, to friends, families, and most certainly to strangers.

It is important to hold on to the values that our founding fathers held so closely to their hearts and fought so bravely for, a value that motivated them to overcome two colonial powers, the same values that makes our scattered island nation the happiest country in the world – RESPECT.

CLICK HERE to join in the discussions on facebook surrounding this topic.

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