1. PRESIDENT VISIT TO COMMUNITY BRINGS RELIEF – HIS Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has assured Fijians of Vanuatu descent that they are all Fijians and are entitled to call Fiji their home.
2. “BE JUST, BE FIRM AND STEADFAST” – PM BAINIMARAMA – The determination of young army recruits to complete their training was commended today by the Prime Minister and Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Voreqe Bainimarama.
3. NO SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED FROM FNA: HEALTH MINISTRY CLARIFIES – The Ministry of Health has clarified that they have not received any submissions in regards to the pay increments by the Fiji Nursing Association.
4. CHINESE FILM WEEK TO DEVELOP FIJI’S OWN TALENT – The launch of the Chinese Film Week last night is an opportunity for talented individuals in Fiji’s audio-visual sector to develop their own talent and skills.
5. ALL CHINA WOMEN REPRESENTATIVES WELCOMED TO FIJI – The Minister of Social Welfare and Women Dr Jiko Luveni yesterday welcomed into the country, representatives of the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF).
6. FIJI ENVOY HOLDS TALKS WITH MALAYSIA EDUCATION MINISTER II – Fiji’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ratu Meli Bainimarama met this week with Malaysia’s Minister of Education II Dato’ Seri Idris bin Jusoh to look at ways of boosting relations through the education sector.
7. NEW BOAT FOR LOMAIVITI TO ENHANCE SERVICE DELIVERY – More than 17,000 Fijians in Lomaiviti Province are set to benefit from the newly launched and refurbished fibre glass boat, Eastern Division 1, which will be used to enhance government’s service delivery in the region.
8. FIJIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ADDRESSES GLOBAL LEADERS AT BALI FORUM – The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola is in Bali for the 6th Bali Democracy Forum, an initiative by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia now in its 6th year.
1 PRESIDENT VISIT TO COMMUNITY BRINGS RELIEF
HIS Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has assured Fijians of Vanuatu descent that they are all Fijians and are entitled to call Fiji their home.
During his visit to the descendents living in Caqiri settlement in Valelevu, the head of state made it clear that they had the same right as all other communities including the i-Taukei to call Fiji their home and make a living here.
Vanuatu descendent community spokesman, Mr Ruben Takona said there were many petitions written by the community in the past but it fell on deaf ears, which was why many of them had become “shy” in seeking Government assistance.
“Not only is this the first time the head of state is visiting the descendant community but it was a huge moment of relief when we were assured that we are all Fijians,” he said.
Ratu Epeli’s visit is a follow-up to the request from the chiefs in Vanuatu to look after the affairs of their descendents who are settled here in Fiji, which was made during the President’s official state visit there two weeks ago.
Some of the issues raised during the talanoa included land, access to proper amenities provided by municipal councils and assistance to their children in the form of scholarships.
Mr Tokana said they were happy to receive a positive response from the President on almost all the concerns they raised.
Fiji’s non-resident High Commissioner to Vanuatu Mr Romanu Tikotikoca and Vanuatu’s Acting High Commissioner to Fiji, Richard Bolul, accompanied Ratu Epeli during the visit to the community.
Representatives from Muanikoso, New Town and Caubati where descendents also live were also present for the face to face meeting with the President.
2 “BE JUST, BE FIRM AND STEADFAST” – PM BAINIMARAMA
The determination of young army recruits to complete their training was commended today by the Prime Minister and Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Voreqe Bainimarama.
More than 200 young Fijians passed out today at the RFMF Force Training Group grounds after a three-month training program.
“In trying times, the RFMF plays a vital role in maintaining law and order in internal security situation,” PM Bainimarama told the young recruits.
“There are many obstacles in our path, and your enlistment into the RFMF today is of great assistance to our cause.”
The head of government added that the RFMF had intensified its role and contribution to the nation since 2006 citing basic developments such as infrastructure, roads, bridges and schools as examples.
“The RFMF has provided the vision and the will to move reforms, eradicate corruption, rebuild and reshape our nation,” PM Bainimarama said.
“Let me, therefore, remind you that greatness in the RFMF is not measured in your years of service or the rank you attain, but you will be measured by the sacrifice one is willingly to make for the good of our nation.
“As members of the RFMF, it is your duty to keep the oath of allegiance which you have affirmed to uphold at all time.”
PM Bainimarama also urged the new recruits not to allow themselves to be easily manipulated by external forces.
3 NO SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED FROM FNA: HEALTH MINISTRY CLARIFIES
The Ministry of Health has clarified that they have not received any submissions in regards to the pay increments by the Fiji Nursing Association.
“Regular meetings have been held between the Ministry of Health and the Fiji Nursing Association, no formal submission was provided, in relation to pay increments” Permanent Secretary for Health Dr Eloni Tora said.
Dr Tora said the issue of overtime was subject to fund availability however the introduction of the 12 hour shift has reduced some of the overtime
The Ministry is extremely grateful to all those health workers including nurses around the country who continue to show dedication despite challenges.
4 CHINESE FILM WEEK TO DEVELOP FIJI’S OWN TALENT
The launch of the Chinese Film Week last night is an opportunity for talented individuals in Fiji’s audio-visual sector to develop their own talent and skills.
This was highlighted by the Ministry of Information permanent secretary Sharon Smith Johns, who said that the Film Week was an opportunity for Fijians to be exposed to global cinema including the rich history of Chinese cinema.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to be exposed to a range of films that we would otherwise not have the opportunity to see. And of course, it is also a window on China itself- a country with a great history and an even greater future as it assumes a leadership role in the world and plays a more important part in our region,” Ms Smith-Johns said.
Highlighting Fiji’s long and valued diplomatic ties with China since 1975, Smith Johns said that this relationship has become much closer as Fiji could rely on China.
Delivering the key address at the event, she said that Fijians would have a better chance of understanding and learning about the vibrancy of Chinese culture through films.
“Quite apart from Fijians of Chinese descent and the increasing numbers of Chinese people living in Fiji, the exchange of visitors between the two countries has never been greater.
“So it’s only natural that we want to learn more about each other and our respective cultures. And cinema provides us with a wonderful opportunity to do that,” Ms Smith Johns highlighted.
The Chinese Film Bureau was represented last night by its deputy director-general, Mr Luan Gouzhi, who said the film week would go a long way in building understanding between Fiji and China.
“We are the pioneers for the film exchange between china and Fiji and I am very proud to be the first delegation to Fiji. Through these five films the audience could understand more about the Chinese people and its culture and the people’s lives. It will also help to build understanding between the two countries and promote our relationships,” Mr Gouzhi said.
“There is a possibility to make movies in Fiji and I hope there will be a chance for both producers from the two sides to talk about the projects together and find a good story.”
The film week involves the screening of popular Chinese movies at the Damodar Village Cinemas till this Sunday.
5 ALL CHINA WOMEN REPRESENTATIVES WELCOMED TO FIJI
The Minister of Social Welfare and Women Dr Jiko Luveni yesterday welcomed into the country, representatives of the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF).
The team is in the country to look at ways of strengthening relations with the Fijian government and to look at empowerment programs for women in Fiji.
The five member team from the ACWF were led by the Vice- President of All China Women’s Federation Mrs Zhao Donghua.
Minister Luveni said the Federation has made its mark in the development of rural women in Fiji with a total donation of 1,600 sewing machines.
“To have representatives of the world’s biggest Women’s organisation into the country is indeed an honour and a privilege,” Dr Luveni said.
The five member ACWF team yesterday accompanied the Minister of Social Welfare and Women yesterday visiting the women’s group in the village of Korobebe and Nagado in the district of Sabeto in Nadi.
Today the Federation (ACWF) was received by the Ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Josefa Koroivueta at the ministry’s main office.
The delegation was briefed by staff of the Department of Women about the progress of programs carried
out by the ministry.
Mme Zhao Donghua, Vice President and Member of the Secretariat (ACWF) was very pleased with the introductory brief of the women empowerment programs undertaken in Fiji and called for continuance partnership with the federation.
6 FIJI ENVOY HOLDS TALKS WITH MALAYSIA EDUCATION MINISTER II
Fiji’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ratu Meli Bainimarama met this week with Malaysia’s Minister of Education II Dato’ Seri Idris bin Jusoh to look at ways of boosting relations through the education sector.
High Commissioner Bainimarama briefed the Minister on the Fijian Government-sponsored students
studying in Malaysia including the programmes they were pursuing. The Minister was also advised of some of the challenges new students to Malaysia faced this year, especially with visa processing. The Minister assured High Commissioner Bainimarama that this should not be a problem next year adding that the Malaysian Government was currently piloting a project that would see entry visa for Government sponsored students’ processed separately from those for private students.
During their talks, High Commissioner Bainimarama advised that the Fijian Government would sponsoring more students for studies in Malaysia next year as part of its “Look North” policy. In view of Fiji’s initiative to send students to Malaysia, Minister Dato Idris requested his officials to consider Fiji for some of the international scholarships that Malaysia would be offering in 2014.
High Commissioner Bainimarama also advised the Minister that Fiji was currently sending retired English teachers to Pacific Island Countries under its volunteer scheme. He advised that such teachers could also be sent to Malaysia, under a similar arrangement. Minister Idris acknowledged the offer and directed his officials to liaise with the High Commissioner on the matter.
“The meeting provided a good platform for Fiji to continue to engage with Malaysia on education issues. And the outcome was a useful and meaningful base to continue that dialogue”, said High Commissioner Bainimarama.
The meeting took place at the Ministry of Education Complex, Putrajaya and saw the participation of Fiji’s High Commission Counsellor, Pita Tagicakirewa.
7 NEW BOAT FOR LOMAIVITI TO ENHANCE SERVICE DELIVERY
More than 17,000 Fijians in Lomaiviti Province are set to benefit from the newly launched and refurbished fibre glass boat, Eastern Division 1, which will be used to enhance government’s service delivery in the region.
Speaking at the launch of the $70,000 boat at the Suva Yacht Club today, Minister for Defence Joketani Cokanasiga said the provision of the Eastern Division 1 is timely and it will essentially serve the people of the eight islands in the Lomaiviti Province.
Mr Cokanasiga stressed that working diligently towards rural and maritime development in order to raise living standards of all Fijians is a priority for the government.
“Of all the four divisions in Fiji, the Eastern Division is the most geographically remote and I believe that at times, the services offered by Government is somewhat hampered due to logistical and administrative challenges,” Mr Cokanasiga said.
Mr Cokanasiga said the provision of the new boat is in line with government’s commitment to making services more accessible, effective and efficient as well as facilitating development in the province of Lomaiviti.
“The provision by government of the Eastern Division 1 will greatly enhance the capability and capacity of the Commissioner Eastern’s office to serve the various communities and will also contribute to the fruition of the much anticipated development projects within the division.”
Some of the major ongoing development projects for the province include:
– Upgrading and maintenance of roads in Ovalau
– Assessment by the Fiji Roads Authority for the Qarani Jetty project
– Extension of electricity grid from Cawatara to Rukuruku in Ovalau, and
– Seaweed farming in Gau, Batiki, Nairai and Moturiki.
There are also future plans for development which include:
– Climate change adaptation programs
– Development of agriculture projects
– Rural electrification, and
– Water supply and sewerage projects for Ovalau, Nairai, Batiki and Moturiki.
Divisional planning officer (Eastern Division) Seremaia Waqanisau said the boat and its operations will be fully funded by the government.
“It will be used by government officials for evaluation, implementation and monitoring of projects on the islands ranging from capital projects to agricultural growth,” Mr Waqanisau said.
8 FIJIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ADDRESSES GLOBAL LEADERS AT BALI FORUM
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola is in Bali for the 6th Bali Democracy Forum, an initiative by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia now in its 6th year.
Minister Kubuabola delivered a statement pursuant to the 6th BDF Theme, “Consolidating Democracy in a Pluralistic Society.”
He emphasised that this year’s theme is apt and pertinent as far as Fiji is concerned given that a fundamental flaw that has resulted in Fiji’s chequered history has been the apparent disconnect between the reality of our pluralistic society on the one hand and the misrepresentation of such in democratic ways in the life and institutions of Fiji’s political, social, economic and cultural systems on the other. Fiji’s new Constitution has thus provided the framework to address such anomaly. In that regard Minister Kubuabola reiterated the Fijian Prime Minister’s intervention at the recently-concluded UNGA in New York making reference, among other matters, to Fiji’s 2013 Constitution as providing the basis for a genuine democracy that upholds the legal and moral basis of a common and equal citizenry without denying anyone’s individuality or culture.
At the periphery of the BDF, Minister Kubuabola took the opportunity to hold bilateral talks with counterparts from Georgia, Netherlands and Iran. A special meeting was also organised by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the host Government, Dr Marty Natalegawa with the representatives of the the MSG Countries present, namely PNG and Solomon Islands. The Secretary General of the MSG, Mr Peter Forau was also present. The meeting was in relation to the proposed visit by the MSG Foreign Ministers to be led by Fiji, in December.
Minister Kubuabola is accompanied by Fiji’s Ambassador to Indonesia. HE Ratu Tui Cavuilati.