FIJI NEWS SUMMARY

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  1. NON RESIDENT AMBASSADOR OF SWITZERLAND PRESENTS CREDENTIALHis Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today received the non-resident ambassador of Switzerland to Fiji, His Excellency Mr David Vogelsanger.

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  1. NEW PUISNE JUDGE AND RESIDENT MAGISTRATE SWORN-IN-Fiji?s judiciary welcomed another addition to its ranks following the swearing in of a new Puisne Judge and Resident Magistrate this morning.

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  1. MINISTER LAUNCHES NEW FLEET FOR TTF-Transportation service providers in the tourism industry need to ensure a high standard of service delivery and maintain a high level of ethics.

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  1. NEW CROSSING TO IMPROVE THE PROFILE OF BAGovernment maintains its steadfast commitment to improve the lives of ordinary Fijians especially those living in rural areas.

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  1. MINISTER PROUD OF RWC ACHIEVEMENT-The Minister for Youth and Sports Honourable Laisenia Tuitubou has sent a congratulatory message to the Vodafone Flying Fijians after their last winning match at the 2015 Rugby World Cup against Uruguay.

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  1. MINISTRY OF EDUCATON HOSTS THANKSGIVING SERVICE FOR PRESIDENTMinister for Education, Heritage and Arts Hon. Mahendra Reddy and officials from his ministry hosted His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to a ?thanksgiving service in Nausori today.

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  1. NORTHEN DIVISION READY FOR FIJI DAY CELEBRATIONS –Fijians in the Northern Division are expected to converge in numbers at the Fiji Day Celebration in Subrail Park, Labasa on Friday.

 

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  1. NON RESIDENT AMBASSADOR OF SWITZERLAND PRESENTS CREDENTIAL

His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today received the non-resident ambassador of Switzerland to Fiji, His Excellency Mr David Vogelsanger.

The head of state welcomed the new envoy to Fiji as he presented his letter of credence.

Mr Vogelsanger obtained a doctorate in history and political science from Zurich University in 1986 and a Master?s Degree in 1979.

In 2013, Mr Vogelsanger was appointed by the Swiss Federal Council as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu with residence in Wellington. He also served as Consul General to American Samoa.

He served as Consul General in Milan from 2005 to 2010 and as Ambassador to Cote d?lvoire, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Liberia and Sierra Leone until 2014.

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  1. NEW PUISNE JUDGE AND RESIDENT MAGISTRATE SWORN-IN

Fiji?s judiciary welcomed another addition to its ranks following the swearing in of a new Puisne Judge and Resident Magistrate this morning.

Resident Magistrate Ms Deepika Prakash and Puisne Judge Mr Riyaz Hamza were ceremoniously sworn in at Government House before His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

Ms Prakash was Manager Legal at Carpenters Fiji Limited from 2009 until her new appointment as Resident Magistrate.

She had previously worked as a Barrister and Solicitor at Lateef & Lateef Lawyers from 2006 to 2009 and as a Legal and Compliance Officer at Colonial Fiji Life Limited from 2005 to 2006.

Ms Prakash has a Bachelor of Law, Professional Diploma in Legislative Drafting and Professional Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of the South Pacific.

Mr Hamza has a Master of Law in International Maritime Law from International Maritime Law Institute, Malta and a Master of Laws from the University of Colombo in the area of International Humanitarian Law, Law of the Sea and Constitutional Law.

He also has a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Policy from Open University of Sri Lanka.

The new Puisne Judge was admitted to the Bar as an Attorney at Law of the Supreme Court of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in 1992. He served as a Legal Counsel at the Attorney General?s Department of Sri Lanka from 1993 to 2012 and was promoted as a Senior State Counsel in 2005.

 

  1. MINISTER LAUNCHES NEW FLEET FOR TTF

Transportation service providers in the tourism industry need to ensure a high standard of service delivery and maintain a high level of ethics.

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Faiyaz Koya highlighted this today at the official launch of new buses for Tourist Transport Fiji (TTF) in Nadi.

Minister Koya said TTF, over the last 35 years had been a good example of how foreign expertise and local experience could work together to achieve exceptional levels of growth in business.

“TTF has not only invested in the economy but has also set high standards of service delivery in the industry. This latest investment increases total investment by Fijians in the economy by $1.9 million, another $1.3 million is in the pipeline for the coming months,” Minister Koya said.

Today’s launch saw an inclusion of six new buses to the TTF fleet, a specialised wheelchair accessible vehicle, a new and enhanced image of TTF in the form of a flower shell and new uniforms for the company staff.

TTF is set to add to its fleet new medium-sized coaches valued at $2.5 million next year.

“The tourism transportation providers need to be mindful of the changing needs of the client, hence provide tailor made services. TTF’s specialised wheelchair accessible vehicles are first for Fiji and I am sure our special needs visitors will appreciate this upgraded facility that will ensure them easy and convenient travels.

“Transportation is an integral part of tourism and has two main functions in this area. The means of tourists’ displacement from origin to destination and attractions and services to tourists,” Minister Koya added.

Minister Koya also called on industry players to work together and form an active Tourism Transportation and Tour Association, which would provide them a strong united voice when presenting proposals or recommendations to government agencies.

 

  1. NEW CROSSING TO IMPROVE THE PROFILE OF BA

Government maintains its steadfast commitment to improve the lives of ordinary Fijians especially those living in rural areas.

This follows an investment of $2.6 million dollars in the construction of two new Irish crossings in Vutuni, Ba that will benefit more than 2000 villagers living in the area.

While commissioning the bridge, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon. Parveen Kumar said the rippling effect of positive opportunities of this infrastructure that will bring upon the residents daily lives is stupendous.

?These two new crossings will support the harvesting and transporting of approximately 5,000 tons of sugarcane, boost vegetable and livestock farming in the area through improved connectivity,? Minister Kumar said.

?Our 2013 Constitution has put aside divisive policies of the past to ensure that all Fijians have access and equal rights to government services whether you live in the remote villagers in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu or in our furthest maritime islands.?

Minister Kumar adds the construction of the two new crossing is an enabling tool, which the people of Ba must utilize for their maximum benefit.

Fiji Roads Authority, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Neil Cook said the Irish crossing is designed to last over 50 years.

?It is designed to stand floods due to its resilient infrastructure,? Mr Cook said.

?We have delivered a high quality built product that will stand the test of time.?

Government has injected another $12 million in the construction of Rakiraki Bridge to ease traffic flow into Rakiraki town and which will be commissioned in a few weeks? time.

 

  1. MINISTER PROUD OF RWC ACHIEVEMENT

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The Minister for Youth and Sports Honourable Laisenia Tuitubou has sent a congratulatory message to the Vodafone Flying Fijians after their last winning match at the 2015 Rugby World Cup against Uruguay.

?On behalf of Government and the whole nation, I congratulate the Vodafone Flying Fijians team for their overall performance at the 2015 Rugby World Cup,? said Minister Tuitubou.

?Statistics and rugby commentators all agree that Fiji made a huge impact at this year?s RWC in every aspect of the game,? said Hon. Tuitubou. ?We met with three top ranked teams in a span of 14 days and we gave them all worthy competitions.?

?Even though the scoreboard didn?t reflect their gallant efforts, the last winning match against Uruguay was a well-deserving one.?

Hon. Tuitubou was full of praise towards the patriotism and sacrifices showed by the overseas-based players and their efforts to come represent their country.

?These overseas-based players have not only made Fiji proud on the field but they have also contributed effectively towards Fiji?s economy like every Fijian sportsmen and women playing in other countries around the world,? said Minister Tuitubou.

Minister Tuitubou was also full of praise to the coaching team headed by John McKee, Tabai Matson, Mosese Rauluni, Allan Muir and Frans Ludeke.

?The nation also acknowledges the coaching panel efforts in proving to the world that Fijian rugby players can match the top rugby nations in every aspect of the game,? said Hon. Tuitubou.

Hon. Tuitubou reiterated that Government will provide assistance to the Fiji Rugby Union in ensuring that McKee and his coaching team are retained to ensure Fiji?s rugby development from where we left off at the 2015 RWC.

He was also elated at coach McKee?s comments after the Uruguay game that he is ?for Fiji rugby and he?s committed to Fiji?.

 

  1. MINISTRY OF EDUCATON HOSTS THANKSGIVING SERVICE FOR PRESIDENT

Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Hon. Mahendra Reddy and officials from his ministry hosted His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to a ?thanksgiving service in Nausori today.

His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau commended the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts for their work towards nurturing the future leaders for the future.

Ratu Epeli urged students and teachers present at the thanksgiving service to advocate more on the fight against HIV/AIDS.

?We need to continue to advocate on HIV/AIDS to safe guard our children from contracting these diseases,? His Excellency said.

?I have always enjoyed visiting schools around the country in advocating the message to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and learn more about this killer disease.?

Minister Reddy acknowledged the contributions made by His Excellency in his commitment to advocating the fight against HIV/AIDS.

?A lot of activities have been undertaken by His Excellency in advocating the fight against HIV/AIDS in the schools around the country, we commend him for the great work,? Minister Reddy said.

?Considering the geographic locations of the 170 schools around the country nationwide we must express our deepest appreciation to His Excellency for his passion to contribute to the empowerment of our future leaders.?

Minister Reddy encouraged parents to make sound decisions at their homes to ensure that children are brought up in a conducive environment.?

 

  1. NORTHEN DIVISION READY FOR FIJI DAY CELEBRATIONS

Fijians in the Northern Division are expected to converge in numbers at the Fiji Day Celebration in Subrail Park, Labasa on Friday.

Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea said that Labasa will host this year?s celebration for Vanua Levu.

He said the theme ?Togetherness in Harmony for a Prosperous Fiji? is dedicated to celebrating Fiji?s achievements, encourage patriotism and nation building and to promote our hopes for the future.

?It illustrates the need for individuals to rise above our differences and focus on what we have in common and what unites us, this land called Fiji.

?The theme had been chosen to lift the vision of the nation as we move forward in this country,? Mr Vocea said.

?I want the Northern Division to all rise above our differences and focus on what we have in common, acknowledging what truly unites us as one people,? Mr Vocea said.

Mr Vocea has encouraged the people of Vanua Levu to attend the celebration in numbers.

?The government is optimistic that we can build a better Fiji by changing our mindset and respecting other ethnic groups that call Fiji their home.

Mr Vocea said given the Government?s Look North Policy, which the Government and its partners are vigorously pursuing, he is encouraging all Fijians to do all they can to ensure that the Government?s vision of a developed Northern Division is realized.

Celebrations in the North begin with a march from Y-Corner to Subrail Park ground on Friday morning and will see the participation of all government departments and schools including the Fiji National Council for Disabled Person (FNCDP) and the Labasa Special School.

Fiji National Council for Disabled Person (FNCDP) coordinator Niumai Marama said the inclusion of the FNCDP youths is highly acknowledged.

?This is the first time for them to take part in the celebration and to be included in the celebration program will be an exciting moment,? Ms Marama said.