DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 23/10/15 5:30PM

1. PRIME MINISTER CONGRATULATES TURKEY ON FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY- Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory note to his Turkish counterpart on the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

2. MINISTER CLARIFIES SCHOOLS FUNDRAISING-The Minister for Education Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy has clarified that communities intending to fundraise for schools must not levy students.

3. UN WOMEN WORKS WITH MINISTRY-Market places are central to the livelihoods of many Fijian households and strong contributors to the national Gross Domestic Product.

4. OFFICIALS SCOPE FOR POTENTIAL AIRPORT SITE-Government officials and staff from Airports Fiji Limited (AFL) yesterday looked at possible sites for an international airport in the Northern Division.

5. MINISTER AKBAR PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR PINKTOBER-Government has called for more collaboration between agencies to support the fight against breast cancer. This was highlighted by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar at the opening of the Pinktober Symposium organised by the Fiji National University in Suva today.

6. STUDENTS CELEBRATE CULTURE AND ARTS CELEBRATION-Students from seven schools, parents and teachers gathered at Saint Joseph the Worker Primary School to celebrate Cluster Arts and Culture Show today.

1. PRIME MINISTER CONGRATULATES TURKEY ON FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory note to his Turkish counterpart on the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

In his letter to the Turkish Prime Minister Hon. Ahmet Davuto?lu, the Fijian Prime Minister commended Turkey?s growth and position on the global stage.

?Today, the Turkish people can rightly be proud of their nation, of their history and their developments. Turkey is a strong nation, an important player in the world and a close friend and partner of Fiji?, Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said Fiji intends to strengthen bilateral relations with Turkey since diplomatic relations were established between the two countries in 1975.

?On behalf of the Fijian people I also extend to the people of Turkey an assurance of our continued friendship and of our desire for the prosperity and success of Turkey.?

?Congratulations once again Your Excellency on the celebration of this significant occasion.?

 

2. MINISTER CLARIFIES SCHOOLS FUNDRAISING

The Minister for Education Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy has clarified that communities intending to fundraise for schools must not levy students.

He clarified the issue while addressing managers from primary and secondary schools in the Lautoka, Yasawa and Nadi districts at the Natabua High School.

?Any community that wants to fundraise for their schools can fundraise but it should be noted that no levy should be placed on any student,? he said.

?Teachers should not be involved also and the community must fundraise separately and then bring the amount fundraised to the schools through the management.?

 

3. UN WOMEN WORKS WITH MINISTRY

Market places are central to the livelihoods of many Fijian households and strong contributors to the national Gross Domestic Product.

Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Parveen Kumar Bala today received a cheque of $871,866 from the United Nation Women to improve three markets in the country.

Minister Bala said this was a partnership between Government and UN Women that will ensure improvements in the market facilities in Ba, Lautoka and Labasa.

More importantly, Minister Bala said, it would ?be an improvement for women market vendors? since they make up close to 60 per cent of the total.

UN Women Representative, Aleta Miller said through their Markets for Change project they were presenting the cheques to co-fund market infrastructure projects in three councils- Ba, Labasa and Lautoka.

?With this commitment, and together with the efforts of the Ministry of Local Government, the working environment for market vendors of Ba, Labasa, and Lautoka in the marketplace will substantially improve,? she said.

?Consultations with female market vendors regarding their needs in the marketplace have been fully integrated into the planning and design of the market infrastructure.?

Ms Miller said the UN Women, the Ministry and the municipal councils were working together to build a safe, thriving and inclusive markets across Fiji while acknowledging the Australian Government for its efforts towards gender equality and women?s empowerment in Fiji and across Pacific countries.

Minister Bala has also called on UN Women to consider the women vendors selling at the roadside as it was not just women in urban areas who need assistance.

The cheques handed out to the councils saw Ba Town Council receiving $26500, Lautoka $237,201 and Labasa with $210,875.

Minister Bala said this is the first phase and it will be followed by second and third phase in the future.

The UN Women Markets for Change project targets 10 markets throughout Fiji.

 

4. OFFICIALS SCOPE FOR POTENTIAL AIRPORT SITE

Government officials and staff from Airports Fiji Limited (AFL) yesterday looked at possible sites for an international airport in the Northern Division.

Divisional Planning Officer Northern Alipate Bolalevu said the North needed a potential site for an international airport as investors and developments were already taking place.

?Nothing is confirmed yet, we do not want to put people?s hopes up but yes an international airport in Vanua Levu is in government?s five to 20 year plan,? Mr Bolalevu said.

AFL Executive Chairman Faiz Khan said they are currently conducting preliminary investigations into possible sites and nothing will be confirmed yet.

?We are exploring possible options for an International Airport and the main reason we are doing this is because the Labasa and Savusavu airport do not have room for any expansion,? Mr Khan said.

Mr Khan said this was due to the way the airports were built in the past and currently AFL is working closely with government for a potential site for an international airport in Vanua Levu and a bigger area to accommodate Fiji Links and Fiji Airways as well.

 

5. MINISTER AKBAR PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR PINKTOBER

Government has called for more collaboration between agencies to support the fight against breast cancer. This was highlighted by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar at the opening of the Pinktober Symposium organised by the Fiji National University in Suva today.

Minister Akbar also pledged $2000 towards the Pinktober and affirmed her Ministry?s commitment to raise awareness and support for women?s wellness.

The theme for the event is, ?Breast Cancer Made Simple,? and it will bring together doctors, officials from Government, FNU staff and Non-Government Organisations to learn, share and deliberate on ways to address breast cancer.

Minister Akbar said that breast cancer has become a global concern and people can no longer shy away from it.

?The World Health Organization recognizes that Cancer is a major public health problem. With over 100 different types of cancer accounting for 13percent of all deaths or 8.2 million people in a single year, confirms its public health importance. Breast cancer on its own is the leading cause of death for women globally, with 1.5 million people being diagnosed in 2010.

?These are alarming numbers that switch the red alert on. The 2014 Annual Report of the Ministry of Health revealed that the leading cause of cancer in women in Fiji is breast cancer followed by cervical cancer. Breast cancer accounts for close to 60 per cent of cancers in Fijian Women,? Minister Akbar said.

Minister Akbar also applauded the efforts of FNU management on taking a lead role in raising awareness on breast cancer.

?Symposiums such as this are important and beneficial to the people of this nation. Particularly for the women, men and families who have suffered and are suffering from cancer. I therefore commend your commitment to this vital cause. Let us not ignore the fact that this deadly disease affects families including children.

?The need for social support for patients with breast cancer is a must. The fears in survivors must be addressed through support networks and even with readily available information. This Pinktober symposium is a great opportunity for people to learn and share valuable information. Breast cancer is everyone?s concern.

?More dialogue is needed within families, communities and within society; so that people are able to fully understand this disease. ?Get past the fear and Let us change our mindset and stand to fight Breast Cancer,? Minister Akbar reiterated.

 

6. STUDENTS CELEBRATE CULTURE AND ARTS CELEBRATION

Students from seven schools, parents and teachers gathered at Saint Joseph the Worker Primary School to celebrate Cluster Arts and Culture Show today.

While opening the show, Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy said Fiji is rich in its culture and tradition.

?We are a small country and that smallness gives us the unique strategy to merge together this diversity of culture and tradition,? Minister Reddy said.

Minister Reddy said government?s vision is to work with the current generation and build a knowledge based society to rise above factors of ethnicity, religion or caste system.

?We need a national movement to settle, accept and deliver onto the ideology of one nation, one people and one destiny,? Minister Reddy said.

?Education is about developing the wisdom about how we prepare the children to be better members of the community where we all live happily and grow and which needs to be developed and delivered in order to contribute to a better knowledge based society.?

Saint Joseph the Worker Primary School Teacher, Alisi Raqica said it is important for students to know their identity and the different cultures of Fiji.

?Not only do the students benefit and learn through the Nakasi Cluster Culture and Arts celebration but they also get to make new friends,? Mrs Raqica said.

?The celebration creates more awareness on how to appreciate other cultures and live together in harmony.?