- FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER Meets Indonesian Minister for Security Affairs – Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama met this afternoon with Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs Hon. Djoko Suyante in Nadi.
- INTERNATIONAL SUGAR MEET RECEIVES BOOST – The International Sugar Organisation Conference today received a financial boost of $20,000 from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) Fiji for the 43rd ISO Council Session.
- New judge comes with vast experience – Fiji’s judiciary has welcomed a new addition to its ranks following the swearing today of a Puisine Judge to the Fijian High Court.
- REGIONAL WORKSHOP TO ADDRESS EFFECTIVE SEARCH AND RESCUE PLANS – A week-long regional workshop is currently underway in Suva to assist Pacific Island States in the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation’s instruments and standards.
- LABASA STUDENTS LEARN ANCIENT LANGUAGE – Students at the Labasa College recently undertook a week long course learning the Sanskrit language by a professors from the Gujarat University in India.
1 FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER Meets Indonesian Minister for Security Affairs
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama met this afternoon with Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs Hon. Djoko Suyante in Nadi.
The meeting was to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries following the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to boost relations.
Currently the Fiji Police Force and its Indonesian counterparts have an MOU while the National Fire Authority (NFA) is working towards finalising one soon with its Indonesian counterpart.
Also present at the meeting was Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and Indonesia’s Ambassador to Fiji His Excellency Chandra Salim.
2 INTERNATIONAL SUGAR MEET RECEIVES BOOST
The International Sugar Organisation Conference today received a financial boost of $20,000 from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) Fiji for the 43rd ISO Council Session.
Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Pio Tikoduadua while accepting the cheque from ANZ CEO Fiji and the Pacific, Vishnu Mohan said that government was grateful to the bank for its assistance in the sugar industry which is one of the critical areas of national development.
“The government and the nation is appreciative of the ANZ’s bank efforts in assisting us with growing the sugar industry,” Tikoduadua said.
Mr Mohan said that the ANZ was priviledged and honoured for the opportunity to assist government with the prestigious ISO meeting which will be opened tomorrow by the Chairman of the International Sugar Council, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
Highlighting other assistance rendered to the sugar industry, Mr Mohan added that the ANZ will continue to support the sugar industry as agriculture was one of its key focus areas of activity.
“We will continue to help the industry move forward,” Mohan said.
Tomorrow’s opening starts the official beginning of the week-long meeting which will see more than 100 delegates from around the world look at ways of promoting sugar exports and sugar prices especially for developing states.
3 New judge comes with vast experience
Fiji’s judiciary has welcomed a new addition to its ranks following the swearing today of a Puisine Judge to the Fijian High Court.
Sri Lankan’s senior State counsel, Mr Mayadunne Corea, was sworn in by the President, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today at Government House.
The head of state welcomed the judge to Fiji after he took his oath before senior members of the judiciary.
Prior to his appointment to the Fijian High Court, Mr Corea was with the Attorney General’s Department of Sri Lanka and has extensive experience in many areas of law.
While a graduate of the Sri Lanka Law College, Mr Corea has experience in the areas of commercial law, land law, intellectual property law, law of contract, company law, public law, labour law and many more.
He has also represented the Sri Lankan Government in litigations and provided advice on the constitutionality of Bills to be presented before Parliament.
4 REGIONAL WORKSHOP TO ADDRESS EFFECTIVE SEARCH AND RESCUE PLANS
A week-long regional workshop is currently underway in Suva to assist Pacific Island States in the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation’s instruments and standards.
The biennial Search and Rescue Workshop is funded by IMO and organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and will focus on marine environment protection and maritime safety
SPC’s Ship Safety Audit Adviser Transport Programme, Bruce Tweed said the objective of the workshops is to bring the Pacific Island Countries together in an effort to improve search and rescue operations at the national as well as regional level.
“Part of the reason for this workshop is the increase in tourism now, which means there are bigger and larger ships, as well as more and more planes flying into the region. The ability to execute a rapid and efficient search and rescue operation is very important,” Mr Tweed said.
“Our goal is to help improve that by assisting the countries to develop national search and rescue plans and provide expertise in plotting out where an incident may have occurred and how to do proper search and other technical aspects of search and rescue.”
Mr Tweed said Fiji fares very well as far as search and rescue operations are concerned.
“Fiji has a computer capability for generating search patterns so once they have identified that an incident has occurred, they can plug in what they know into their computer model so it will put out these computer models.
The computer models will follow the existing currents and wind direction and help to delineate where a search area would best be done. It expedites the amount of time that takes a rescue unit to the site to assist people,” Mr Tweed added.
He highlighted that a primary focus during the workshop would be the new National Search and Rescue Plan that Fiji is working on.
“The other area that we’ll discuss is the Mass Rescue Operations. It is pretty well understood within a Pacific that a true mass rescue operation will be a regional response. It will also have an impact on the island that it occurs near.
“Authorities will have to figure out what is to be done once people are rescued or brought to the shore. They will be safe but still you’ll have to figure out how you are going to provide medical capabilities across, as well as general immigration,” Mr Tweed explained.
Mr Tweed said the national plan Fiji is developing is comprehensive as it involves aviation, maritime and land rescue coordination. The workshop will include developing SAR Exercise (SAREX) scenarios involving a small boat and a downed aircraft.
Meanwhile, while opening the workshop this morning, Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration acting permanent secretary Osea Cawaru said search and rescue is a distinctive challenge for the Pacific region given the vast tracts of ocean that separates the island states coupled with the increased number of maritime stream of traffic.
“Having an effective and an efficient system will not only mean better services to member countries but it will also mean that donor agencies and countries will be enthused to contribute and work with states for the improvement and development of their respective systems,” Mr Cawaru said.
5 LABASA STUDENTS LEARN ANCIENT LANGUAGE
Students at the Labasa College recently undertook a week-long study course learning Sanskrit language by a professors from the Gujarat University in India.
The Ministry of Education permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal commended the students for willing to take up the classes and also thanked the 2 university staff for working with the students to learn this ancient Hindi language.
“I am thankful to Dr Gajendra Pande and Dr Jharna Pande for volunteering to teach important aspects of Sanskrit which is fading away among young people today,” said Dr Lal.
“If students can speak and translate in five days, that shows they have a heart to learn” said Dr. Pande.
To display what they had learnt, the students carried out poetry recitals, drama, hymns, and mantras from the teachings of Sanskrit Language during the appreciation ceremony held recently.
“Through this program I am happy to learn my mother tongue and to teach others this wonderful language,” said Shweta Chand a form five student.
“Students should take pride in their language and cultural teachings,” Dr Lal said.