CAPTION: HE the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau meets with a students of Marist Champagne Institute.
1. FIRST CITIZEN URGES STUDENTS TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES– His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau continues his visits to various schools around the country in an awareness campaign for HIV/AIDS.
2. NEW GOVERNMENT PREMISES TO BE BUILT IN THE WEST– The Fijian Government through the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Office of the Commissioner Western will be building new office spaces and quarters in the West as part of Government’s efforts to improve working conditions for public servants and its commitment to reach out to ordinary members of the public in rural and remote areas.
3. MINISTRY CRACKS DOWN ON ILLEGAL SALE OF TOBACCO– The Tobacco Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Health has booked 74 people in the Central Division for breaching the Tobacco Control Decree.
4. FIJIAN STUDENTS ARRIVE SAFELY IN GEORGIA– The six Fijian students who left this week for Georgia to pursue studies in medicine have arrived safely and are learning to adjust to their new environment.
1. FIRST CITIZEN URGES STUDENTS TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES
His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau continues his visits to various schools around the country in an awareness campaign for HIV/AIDS.
The students of Marist Champagnat were overwhelmed by the presence of H.E President Nailatikau who took the time to emphasise government’s efforts to support HIV/AIDS victims .
Ratu Epeli Nailatikau also outlined that the need for more HIV/AIDS education and called for stronger collective contributions from various stakeholders.
“HIV Education begins at home, from your parents. Parents must be responsible to play their part that is crucial to our response.
“HIV/AIDS will only be eradicated by our combined response in educating family first and communities about this deadly epidemic for which is NO CURE,” President Nailatikau said.
As Fiji’s Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau urged the students to always make good judgment and make the right choices.
“To you the youth of the country, THINK and use common sense and avoid getting HIV as there is no cure for HIV. This is what you must do because you have your whole future in front of you,” Ratu Epeli said.
Marist Champagnat Institute principal, Mr Francis Varea said that the informative address by the President was a boost to the morale of the students.
“The visit is an empowerment to this institute. We teach life science in the school and part of the subject is Sex Education and we highlight to the students risks of contracting HIV knowing that there is no cure.
2. NEW GOVERNMENT PREMISES TO BE BUILT IN THE WEST
The Fijian Government through the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Office of the Commissioner Western will be building new office spaces and quarters in the West as part of Government’s efforts to improve working conditions for public servants and its commitment to reach out to ordinary members of the public in rural and remote areas.
Public Service Commission (PSC) permanent secretary, Mr Parmesh Chand said that at the moment, expressions of interest are being sought from interested developers and investors for the design, building and maintenance of two new Government premises in the Western division.
“The first property will be office space built on State Land and will be located next to the Office of the Commissioner Western in Tavewa Avenue, Lautoka. The second property will be the construction of residential apartments,” he said.
Mr Chand said the 40 single unit residential apartments will comprise of shared facilities in a multistory complex situated next to the Lautoka Hospital.
“This complex will accommodate nurses, doctor interns, on call doctors and other emergency service staff.”
Construction on the works of the buildings is expected to begin around later this year. The expression of interest is due at the close of business on Thursday, March 28, 2013 with delivery/receipt of submission to the Permanent Secretary for Public Service, Public Service Commission, PO Box 2211, Government Buildings, Suva.
3. MINISTRY CRACKS DOWN ON ILLEGAL SALE OF TOBACCO
The Tobacco Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Health has booked 74 people in the Central Division for breaching the Tobacco Control Decree.
This figure is for the first three months of this year and 50 percent of these bookings were for selling single cigarette rolls.
The Ministry has expressed concern that people are not taking heed of warnings which is the cause of the marginal increase in bookings this year.
The total booking for whole of last year stood at 159.
Minister for Health Doctor Neil Sharma says with barely three months gone this year, the 74 bookings was a worrying sign.
“Worrying in the sense that people continue to breach laws and are ignoring advices. Awareness programs are conducted throughout the year to inform the public of the dangers of drugs, tobacco and other illicit substances. Research indicates three commonly used drugs by people are yaqona, alcohol and tobacco,” he said.
There were about 10 school students who were booked for smoking in amusement centers and public places and this is a cause for alarm.
These bookings largely included children smoking in billiard shops and another seven individuals were booked for smoking in public transports.
Those who were selling single rolls were fined $1000 while those caught smoking in public places were fined $200.
All these fines must be paid within 21 days or the matter will be taken to court.
The Ministry has warned the public that under the Tobacco Control Decree 2010 it is mandatory to place prominent notice notifying the prohibition of selling tobacco product to persons under the age of 18 years, something which was adhered to by the seven people who were booked for not complying.
Officers from the Tobacco Enforcement unit will be carrying out operations in Western and Northern Division to clamp down on those who are breaching the law.
4. FIJIAN STUDENTS ARRIVE SAFELY IN GEORGIA
The six Fijian students who left this week for Georgia to pursue studies in medicine have arrived safely and are learning to adjust to their new environment.
The students were offered scholarships by the Government of Georgia. They are partially assisted with airfare and allowances by the Fijian Government.
Public Service Commission (PSC) permanent secretary, Mr Parmesh Chand said the students will be studying at the Tbilisi State Medical University in Georgia.
He said that feedback sent via email from one of the scholarship recipient, Katrina Shute, revealed that they had arrived safely in Georgia and were all in good health despite the long and tiresome journey.
The students left Fiji on Monday, March 18 for Incheon Airport in Seoul, Korea, then onto Istanbul, Turkey before arriving in Georgia on Tuesday afternoon.
Ms Shute said that despite the cold weather they are experiencing in Georgia, they are adamant at finding proper accommodation before school begins.
She said that Georgia is a developing country and they are pleased to have been given a scholarship to study there.
“We are happy to be here. To come out of our comfort zone and experience the reality faced by others here will definitely be a wonderful journey we are all looking forward to. We have each other’s back, our bond has become stronger, we smile at our fears and know with God by our side we can conquer anything in our way,” Ms Shute said.