?DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATIONFIJI NEWS SUMMARY16/10/155:00PM

1. PRESIDENT AWARDS MEDALS – His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today awarded medals to distinguished individuals under the 2015 Honours Lists.

2. NEW MINISTER TAKES OFFICE – The newly sworn-in Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau looks forward to continuing the commendable work of his predecessor.

3. PRIME MINISTER SENDS CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO NIUE – Prime Minister Hon Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory message to the Premier of Niue, Hon. Toke Talagi on the 41st anniversary of Niue?s self-governance.

4. MINISTER KUBUABOLA IN VANUATU FOR MSG – The Fijian Government is committed to the future of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), says Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

5. GOVERNMENT FOCUSED ON QUALITY EDUCATION – The Fijian Government will incrementally contribute funding to rural, remote and maritime schools over the next four years to ensure all students get quality education.

6. YOUTH CLUBS RECEIVE MUSICAL BOOST – The Ministry of Youth and Sports this week handed over musical instruments to youth clubs of Yadua and Vunaqoru villages in Nadroga.

1. PRESIDENT AWARDS MEDALS

His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today awarded medals to distinguished individuals under the 2015 Honours Lists.

At an award ceremony held at Government House this morning, the Head of State recognised the contributions of 25 individuals who have distinguished themselves in various spheres of society.

The awardees, which included many prominent names, have served in fields such as foreign service, education, environment, sports, health, women empowerment, finance and child advocacy amongst others.

The following recipients were awarded in the various categories? under the Officer of the Order of Fiji, Member of the Order of Fiji and Medal of the Order of the Fiji.

OFFICER OF THE ORDER OF FIJI (OF)

Sir James Michael Ah Koy

HONOURARY OFFICER OF THE ORDER OF FIJI (HON.OF)

Mr.Takayuki Moriyais

Dr. Ankim Veera Swamy

MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF FIJI (MF)

Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere

Mr. Samisoni Vua?alau Waletuis

Mr Pusp Raj

Mr Mohenesh Singh

Ms.Senimere Dresa Rauluni

Dr. Maria Barbara Doton

Ms. Litia Naitanui

HONOURARY MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF FIJI (HON. MF)

Mr.Kenneth Lloyd Barasch

MEDAL OF THE ORDER OF FIJI (MOF)

Mr.Atunaisa Ralagi

Mr.Mohammed Salim

Mr.Krishan Prasad Vilash

Mr. Ajay Kumar

Mr. Kamlesh Kumar

Ms. Jagindar Dayal Kaur

Ms. Neelam Rekha Chand

Ms. Bulou Lavenia Cabebula Yavala

Ms. Sera Ratulaveti Ligairi

Ms. Esther Molly

PRESIDENT?S CROSS

Mr. Peter Amputch

PRESIDENT?S MEDAL

Mr. Jotame Seli

Ms. Emi Mata Navitio

The Fiji Honours and Awards System, established in 1995 recognises the outstanding contribution of Fijians to community and national development including the promotion of positive attitudes and a sense of unity in Fiji?s multicultural society.

 

2. NEW MINISTER TAKES OFFICE

The newly sworn-in Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau looks forward to continuing the commendable work of his predecessor.

The former Government whip was today sworn-in by His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, at Government House in the presence of Acting Prime Minister, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Cabinet Ministers.

Mr Koroilavesau said he was humbled and honoured to be singled out and although he did not expect the appointment, he will take up the challenge of trying to keep up the work done by his predecessor, President elect Jioji Konrote.

?I have to keep up with the work (done) and try to emulate his (Mr Konrote) achievements in the last 12 months,? Mr Koroilavesau said.

The Minister said as Government whip he had to be in Parliament three out of four weeks a month attending Parliament sittings and Standing Committee meetings but it will have to be extended further.

?The Government has done very well, we have a caucus of 32 and there is comradeship despite the challenges thrown our way,? Mr Koroilavesau said.

The first order of business for the new Minister, who was accompanied by his wife and two children at the ceremony, is to be briefed by his permanent secretary before he gets into the role of the Ministry head.

 

3. PRIME MINISTER SENDS CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO NIUE

Prime Minister Hon Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory message to the Premier of Niue, Hon. Toke Talagi on the 41st anniversary of Niue?s self-governance.

In his congratulatory message the head of government said that the Fijian Government looks forward to working closely with Niue in pursuing areas of mutual interest, one of these areas being Climate Change.

?We in the Pacific know all too well the adverse impacts Climate Change has on our way of life, some of which we are already facing. With the rising sea levels and extreme weather events, it is imperative that the global community takes decisive action now.?

The Prime Minister also used the opportunity to call on their support in the Pacific?s final efforts in persuading the global community to address the crisis at the World Climate Summit in Paris in November.

PM Bainimarama highlighted that it was clearly articulated in the Suva Declaration issued at the end of the Pacific Islands Development Forum in Fiji that binding cuts in carbon emissions are needed to limit the effects of global warming.

?I ask you for your support as we continue to press forward for the best interests and futures of our Pacific Island people,? PM Bainimarama said.

PM Bainimarama wished Niue well in hosting the upcoming Pacific Community 43rd CRGA at the end of this month and the ensuing 9th Conference in November.

The Prime Minister also said that Fiji looks forward to handing over the Chairmanship of the Conference to Niue for the next two years.

 

4. MINISTER KUBUABOLA IN VANUATU FOR MSG

The Fijian Government is committed to the future of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), says Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

The Hon. Minister is in Port Vila, Vanuatu for the MSG Foreign Ministers Meeting and says key governance challenges will need to be overcome for the MSG to realize its full potential.

The Foreign Ministers Meeting will today hear submissions from the Senior Officials Meeting on key strategic decisions. The Honourable Minister says the Fijian Government will continue to collaborate with MSG partners to ensure the sustainability of the secretariat to fulfil its key objectives.

The Honourable Minister thanked the host country, Vanuatu, for hosting the meeting and was confident it would find a solution to the current parliamentary impasse.

Also accompanying the Honourable Minister is Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Esala Nayasi and senior officials from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

 

5. GOVERNMENT FOCUSED ON QUALITY EDUCATION

The Fijian Government will incrementally contribute funding to rural, remote and maritime schools over the next four years to ensure all students get quality education.

This was highlighted yesterday by the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy at the annual prize giving ceremony of Wainimala Secondary School in Naitasiri.

Minister Reddy said the Ministry of Education has developed a four-year plan to renovate the infrastructure of schools in the interior and maritime areas of the country.

?We are committed to providing free and quality education to all Fijian students without any obstacles. No longer parents have to move away from Wainimala, Wainimakutu or Nadarivatu because they don?t have money to pay for fees. This Government believes in the value of education in terms of providing secure, stable and progressive future to our children,? Minister Reddy said.

?Government is very focused on infrastructure development in rural areas so that these schools are similar to those in urban areas. That is part of pillar three of the reforms undertaken by the Education Ministry.?

Minister Reddy said that the Fijian Government will take care of education from early childhood to university level.

?All the students have to do is to work hard and listen to their teachers. We need parents to push their children to go to school because most of the educational needs are being taken care of by government.

?We are establishing technical colleges for students who are interested in trade areas. Fees can be paid from Tertiary Education Loan Scheme (TELS) and students can pay back to Government when they start earning,? Minister Reddy stressed.

He added that this Government was all about investing in our children for a stable and secure Fiji.

Meanwhile, Year 13 student Vasemaca Mateiwai was awarded the Dux award for this academic year.

Vasemaca, a pure science student, said all her hard work for the year had paid off.

?We faced some challenges in terms of lack of proper facilities at the school but we overcame them through our dedication and hard work,? Vasemaca said.

?I have wanted to be a doctor from childhood so I am looking forward to pursue tertiary education at the School of Medicine from next year.?

Wainimala Secondary School has a roll of 167 students with 20 teachers and four ancillary staff.

Close to 110 students are boarders while 58 travel from neighbouring villages of Laselevu, Udu, Naqelewai and as far as Rewasau Village.

The school is targeting a 100 per cent pass rate in all external exams this year.

 

6. YOUTH CLUBS RECEIVE MUSICAL BOOST

The Ministry of Youth and Sports this week handed over musical instruments to youth clubs of Yadua and Vunaqoru villages in Nadroga.

The Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Honourable Iliesa Delana while handing over the instruments told the youths that ?it was the results of requests made to the ministry during his recent visitation to the villages earlier this year?.

?After careful scrutiny of your request, the ministry had concluded that your youth clubs were both active and involved in providing entertainment to the tourists that visited your villages weekly,? said Hon. Delana.

The Assistant Minister on Wednesday morning was in Yadua village to hand over two guitars and a ukulele and later travelled to the interior of Navosa to Vunaqoru village to hand over a 5-piece drum set, a 12 channel audio mixer, a mic stand and a high-end microphone.

?The Ministry will not hesitate to provide assistance to youth clubs that are active and maintain a good relationship with Government through monthly reporting,? Hon. Delana told the youths.

He added that the two youth clubs were seen to be active in providing entertainment to tourists two to three times a week during village tours apart from farming and other activities.

?The donated equipment was through the requests that were made to us; and the ministry believes that it will enhance your performance and also generate the necessary income to help sustain your livelihood,? said Hon. Delana.

Navitalai Matalau the drum player of the Nahiva Band of Vunaqoru village said ?We never anticipated the assistance to come so early.?

?We have been hiring drum sets from other bands when we attend to functions, but now we will save more money with our own set of drums,? said Mr Matalau.

Youth leader of Yadua village club Mosese Volavola shared similar sentiments saying that the ?instruments will enhance their performance as entertainers to the tourists every week.?

Hon. Delana has urged both the Yadua and Vunaqoru youth clubs to keep improving their performance and said ?You have to be creative and be consistent in your performance to ensure that you maintain your marketability in the entertainment and tourism industry.?