- FIJIAN DEFENCE MINISTER RECEIVES US ARMY PACIFIC -DEPUTY COMMANDER – The Hon. Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence Timoci Lesi Natuva today received a delegation from the United States Pacific Army led by its Deputy Commander, Major General James Pasquarette.
- NATIONAL COMMITTEE AIMS TO COMBAT CHILD LABOUR IN FIJI – A National Coordinating Committee on Children (NCCC) spearheaded by the Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is working with other agencies to combat all forms of child labour in Fiji.
- NEW WESTERN HEALTH CENTRE TO BENEFIT 7,000 RESIDENTS – The newly completed Cuvu health centre is expected benefit close to 7000 residents in the Nadroga/Navosa district.
- FIJIAN DEFENCE MINISTER TO TOUR VITI LEVU ESTABLISHMENTS – The Hon. Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence Timoci Lesi Natuva will this week commence a weeklong tour of Police Stations, Military Establishments and Immigration offices around Viti Levu.
- Fijians celebrate 69 years of Banaban arrival – Fijians of Banaban descent today celebrated the 69th anniversary of the arrival of the first Banabans to Rabi in 1945 and spent the day reflecting of the progress they have made on foreign soil then but now their home.
1 FIJIAN DEFENCE MINISTER RECEIVES US ARMY PACIFIC -DEPUTY COMMANDER
The Hon. Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence Timoci Lesi Natuva today received a delegation from the United States Pacific Army led by its Deputy Commander, Major General James Pasquarette.
Minister Natuva welcomed the General to Fiji and reaffirmed the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all Fijians through the respective roles that the Ministry, Police, RFMF and Immigration play.
General Pasquarette commended Fiji for her contribution to global peace and security through its peacekeeping contributions and re-affirmed their commitment to assist Fiji’s military and defence sector in the areas of peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance and risk reduction. They also discussed other areas of cooperation focusing on training and capacity building.
Earlier in the day General Pasquarette paid tribute at Fiji’s War Memorial Site at Battery Road Hill in Suva.
2 NATIONAL COMMITTEE AIMS TO COMBAT CHILD LABOUR IN FIJI
A National Coordinating Committee on Children (NCCC) spearheaded by the Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is working with other agencies to combat all forms of child labour in Fiji.
The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Sofia Akbar says that this Committee which includes the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and various Non-Government Organisations, is looking at thorough measures and strategies to address child labour in Fiji.
“The renaming of the Ministry with a children’s portfolio is a big step taken by the Fijian government to improve child care services in Fiji. Currently this Committee is identifying children who are supposed to be in school as per government’s education policy and yet, they are used by their parents to supplement the family income. The Ministry does understand that there are families who face financial difficulties, but then again using children to earn a living is not responsible parenting.
“At the offset, it is very important to understand that Children’s Ministry is not the only Ministry that is looking after the welfare of children. A collaborative approach has been taken to address child labour in Fiji, whereby the Ministry has field officers working together with Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Education to see how many children are not in schools and reasons behind it,” Minister Akbar said.
Minister Akbar said that the Committee offers counselling services to families and also financial assistance through the Ministry’s social welfare programs.
“The government’s free education program, free textbook program and free bus fare scheme have provided needed financial relief for parents. The Committee, however, is identifying families whose children are seen into street begging, to find the root of the issues.
“The Ministry will do everything within its means to ensure that the child is put in school, and if families fail to defy the advices we provide, then the Ministry has powers to remove the children and place them within our institutional care homes, keeping in mind the best interests of the child is of paramount,” Mrs Akbar explained.
The Committee, she said is currently, carrying out a profiling exercise throughout major cities and towns to determine the total number of children found into street begging.
Minister Akbar emphasised that the Fijian government is signatory to the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and as such Fiji is duty bound to fulfill its obligations outlined in this Convention.
“In September this year, Fiji presented its 2nd, 3rd and 4th Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) report to UNCRC Committee in Geneva. Furthermore, the Article 41 of our Constitution specifically makes provision for the protection of children from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, any form of violence, inhumane treatment and punishment, and hazardous or exploitive labour or detention,” Mrs Akbar added.
3 NEW WESTERN HEALTH CENTRE TO BENEFIT 7,000 RESIDENTS
The newly completed Cuvu health centre is expected benefit close to 7000 residents in the Nadroga/Navosa district.
Acting divisional commissioner Luke Moroivalu said services that would be provided at the centre would take over some of the workload provided at the nearest main hospital, the Sigatoka hospital.
“With this new health centre people, living the tikina of Malomalo, Nadromai and Tuva will be able to access this health facility.”
He added that establishing health facilities in the area would also compliment Government’s reforms in the tourism sector by providing basic essential services.
“When investors come too invest in this place, their focus is on the essential services like hospitals, good roads and water supply,” Mr Moroivalu said.
Assistant Roko Nadroga/Navosa Rusiate Raidaveta said the new centre would be welcomed by those Fijians who have had to travel long distance to access basic health services and facilities.
The health centre cost $1.3mllion and includes residential quarters for staff that will work there.
4 FIJIAN DEFENCE MINISTER TO TOUR VITI LEVU ESTABLISHMENTS
The Hon. Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence Timoci Lesi Natuva will this week commence a weeklong tour of Police Stations, Military Establishments and Immigration offices around Viti Levu.
The main intention surrounding his visit is to gain an insight with issues on the ground that members’ of both disciplined services and the Immigration Department face on a day-to-day basis. The Minister’s visit will be a ‘morale booster’ as members of Fiji’s disciplined force will be working throughout the festive holidays.
The Minister in both his Maiden Speech and Budget Address in Parliament stressed the important role that law and order and security play in ensuring that a conducive environment is provided for socio-economic development and that all Fijians live a life that is safe and free.
During this tour, the Minister will visit the National Command and Coordination Center in Totogo, major Police Stations in the Western Division, the Duke of Edinburgh Barracks in Lautoka and the Blackrock Project in Nadi. He will also visit the Immigration Office at the Nadi International Airport.
This weeklong tour will culminate in his officiating at the Pass Out Parade for Police Recruits in Nasova on Friday December 19, 2014.
5 Fijians celebrate 69 years of Banaban arrival
Fijians of Banaban descent today celebrated the 69th anniversary of the arrival of the first Banabans to Rabi in 1945 and spent the day reflecting of the progress they have made on foreign soil then but now their home.
The Hon. Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou was chief guest at the celebrations in Lautoka today bringing together Banabans from the whole division to the Sugar City.
The Hon. Minister said the Fijian government acknowledged the immense contribution of the Banaban people to the Fijian community and the economy.
“Your contributions to the Fiji community and economy couldn’t go unnoticed and on behalf of the Fijian Government, I wish to acknowledge your presence in Fiji, you are very much part of Fiji’s multiracial society,” he said.
“We are all Fijians now and that is your right under the Constitution. As you’re aware of in 2005, more than 500 Rabians were granted citizenship nearly after sixty years of their arrival,” Hon Tuitubou added.
“Government in the past eight years have included Rabi Island in most of its development plans. This will continue into the future. As citizens of Fiji, you will continue to enjoy our freedom and the services provided by Government in every form.”