CAPTION: Ambassador Mara with HE President Mr Joachim Gauck.
1. PM COMMENDS FIJI STUDENTS’ SUCCESS – Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was delighted to hear that four Fiji students studying in the Republic of Korea will be rewarded for their academic effort through the provision of financial assistance by the Woojung Cultural and Education Foundation of Korea.
2. FIJI’S AMBASSADOR TO GERMANY WARMLY RECEIVED IN BERLIN – The President of Germany, His Excellency Mr Joachim Gauck conveyed his best wishes to the Government of Fiji in the current constitutional process after being briefed by Ambassador Solo Mara earlier this month at the Presidential House in Berlin.
3. ENVIRONMENT TRAINING FOR NAVAL OFFICERS – Fiji’s Navy officials were today encouraged and challenged to learn more about security and enforcing laws at Fiji’s maritime borders.
1 PM COMMENDS FIJI STUDENTS’ SUCCESS
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was delighted to hear that four Fiji students studying in the Republic of Korea will be rewarded for their academic effort through the provision of financial assistance by the Woojung Cultural and Education Foundation of Korea.
The students, Abel Chandra, Shiu Kumar and Rajeev Piyare, all master’s students of Mokpo National University and Sunia Soko Loga, an undergraduate of Kosin University were selected following the submission of their applications to the Woojung Foundation by the Fiji Embassy in Korea.
“These are very good beginnings for 2013 especially coming out of Korea as we had only opened our mission here last year”, Prime Minister Bainimarama said.
“With the offer of scholarships by Kyung Hee University and now the financial assistance by the Woojung Foundation, I have no doubt that our Fiji students studying in Korea will be well looked after”.
Fiji’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Filimone Kau said that students were selected by the Foundation after consideration of their academic results of last year and on a needs basis.
“Our students studying at Mokpo were not only selected because of their excellent academic results but also because as students pursuing Master’s Degrees in Electronic Engineering, the scholarship will enable them to purchase their hardware components and research stationeries to aid their studies.”
“For Sunia, he is a private a student and his academic results speak for itself and I have no doubt he deserves this assistance for living expenses and also his studies,” Ambassador Kau said.
Ambassador Kau also acknowledged the offer by Woojung Foundation saying it showed the confidence that were shown for Fiji students studying in Korea.
“We appreciate with deep gratitude the Woojung Education and Culture Foundation’s level of commitment to assisting tertiary education in small island states and developing countries, particularly Fiji through its offer of support for 2013.”
Through the assistance, the students will receive KRW3,000,000 a semester allowance from the Foundation.
The Prime Minister was in Korea on official engagements before departing for France to inspect progress works on Fiji’s newest airbus fleet for Fiji Airways.
2 FIJI’S AMBASSADOR TO GERMANY WARMLY RECEIVED IN BERLIN
The President of Germany, His Excellency Mr Joachim Gauck conveyed his best wishes to the Government of Fiji in the current constitutional process after being briefed by Ambassador Solo Mara earlier this month at the Presidential House in Berlin.
Ambassador Mara was in Berlin to present his letter of credence formalising his appointment as Fiji’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Ambassador Mara highlighted in his brief the implementation of the Roadmap to Democracy and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development to bring about a constitution by 2013 that promotes social & racial equality, political inclusiveness and provides for equal economic opportunities for all Fijians.
In receiving Ambassador Mara, President Gauck acknowledged the areas of cooperation between Fiji and Germany in international forums like the UN, particularly on the important issues of climate change, disarmament and sustainable development, and look forward to seeing new areas of cooperation being developed to strengthen further the healthy bilateral relationship that currently exists.
Prior to meeting the President, Ambassador Mara spent two days briefing senior German Government officials on the socio-political and economic reform agendas currently being implemented in Fiji and discussed ways and means of exploring and increasing closer cooperation in 2013. An area of interest raised by Ambassador Mara was the existing regulatory restriction on the importation of Kava for use in the pharmaceutical market in Germany, which is currently the subject of a court case instigated by the German Herbal medicine industry against the German food safety regulatory authority.
Whilst in Berlin Ambassador Mara also briefed members of the German-Asia/Pacific Business Association on the various government initiatives to promote trade related economic activities in Fiji. There were positive interests expressed in the areas of agro-business, fisheries, renewable energy, mineral exploration, film production and tourism.
Ambassador Mara also spent a day visiting Fiji nationals in the British Army stationed in Germany and briefed them on the political and socio-economic developments in Fiji. Many of those to be affected by the current redundancy program have expressed an interest of returning home to start small business ventures with their redundancy packages in economic sectors promoted by government’s tax-free initiatives.
3 ENVIRONMENT TRAINING FOR NAVAL OFFICERS
Fiji’s Navy officials were today encouraged and challenged to learn more about security and enforcing laws at Fiji’s maritime borders.
A joint workshop held today by the Department of Environment and the Fiji Revenue Customs Authority focused on how the Fiji Navy can assist various agencies in addressing illegal activities at our borders.
The Department of Environment principal officer Mrs Elena Tokoduadua highlighted that one of the issues faced was to control illegal activities from poaching Fiji’s marine species including endangered species.
“The department of environment has been mandated by government to enforce environmental laws to protect and ensure that human activity will not harm our natural reserve so in turn we need to educate our partners of the importance of these reserves,” Mrs Tokoduadua said.
“Through this education drive, they are well equipped with information and while out at sea, they can enforce these laws of people attempting to poach endangered species or plant.”
Mrs Tokoduadua highlighted that traditional obligations have forced the sale of derivatives of endangered species or plants such as the ‘tabua’ or tooth of the sperm whale which itself is classified as an endangered species.
“That is reason why we have enforced the law on the sale of whale tooth in pawn shops with efforts of saving our endangered species from being exploited.”
Meanwhile Captain Ilaitia Tuisawau of Fiji’s Naval Forces commended the objective behind the workshop saying that most of these environmental laws are new concepts for their naval officers.
“These workshops are a great platform to develop their knowledge in being good environment stewards and how to enforce laws at a national level,” Captain Ilaitia said.
“We are first point contacts at marine borders, so this workshop will help our officers identify any illegal activity like fishing vessels fishing in our waters without proper authorisations.”
Tuisawau stressed that this training will not be the first for Fiji Navy but field exercises will be organised for officers to have a clear understanding of the species that are endemic as well as protected marine reserves.
The two day workshop will focus on other areas like handling of harmful gases by fishing vessels and disposal of wastes in Fiji’s marine environment.