The official film of the Royal Visit to Fiji, made for the Fijian Government. A comprehensive coverage from the welcome to the departure, including traditional ceremonies, formal and informal visits, and impressive singing and dancing.
The official film of the Royal Visit to Fiji, made for the Fijian Government. A comprehensive coverage from the welcome to the departure, including traditional ceremonies, formal and informal visits, and impressive singing and dancing.
I love island music! Hope you enjoy Israel’s Hawaiian pieces. Mike
Israel “IZ” Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole; (May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997) was an accomplished Hawaiian musician.
He became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993. His medley of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” was subsequently featured in several films, television programs, and commercials.
Through his ukulele playing and incorporation of other genres (such as jazz and reggae), Kamakawiwo’ole remains one of the major influences in Hawaiian music.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
What A Wonderful World
Source: Fred Wesley – The Fji Times
Monday, October 10, 2011
Today we mark 41 years of independence from Great Britain.
Our early history is marked by many significant events, most of which shaped the perceptions of people and the colony.
There was the signing of the deed of cession on October 10, 1874 when our chiefs handed over Fiji to the British Crown.
There was also a dark side to our history, one best forgotten. It involved cannibalism.
There was the blackbirding period when labourers were brought in from the New Hebrides (now known as Vanuatu) and the Solomon Islands to work on cotton plantations here.
The indenture period was an important part of Fiji’s development.
From 1875 to 1916, 87 shiploads brought in over 60,000 labourers to work on sugarcane plantations around the country.
It forever changed our socio-political landscape.
Men from Fiji joined the allied campaign during World War Two and we were again at the forefront of the Malayan campaign.
Our soldiers moved on to enlist in the British armed forces and gained a reputation as capable and feared men of war.
October 10, 1970 was the day we gained our independence as a young nation, free from the authority of the British Crown.
We were given the right to lead our nation the way we saw fit.
That became the platform for us to grow as a nation.
Today, wherever we are, let us consider this as reasonable motivation to be thankful for who we are.
We have obviously come a long way from pre-independence days. It hasn’t been easy going. We have stumbled along the way, but as would any committed person, we persevered as a country, learning from our mistakes as we came through the past 41 years.
History can either be kind on us, or ruthless, but the important thing is, in a sense, we are the leaders of our own destiny.
However as we celebrate this very important date in Fiji’s history, let us do so because we care for our country and its future.
Today should be about reflection.
It should be about acknowledgement of where we were, where we are now and where we can be in the future.
Today, let us believe in ourselves as a people and let us continue to do what we do daily, keeping in mind our contribution, however little it may seem, could have a positive impact on the development of our country.
We wish you a happy Fiji Day.
The Fiji Association of South Australia, Inc. (FASA) Charity has been actively fundraising for containers from Adelaide to Fiji benefiting hospitals, institutions, persons with disabilities and the medically disadvantaged in Fiji.
Recently, FASA developed a working relationship with Donations In Kind (DIK) in Adelaide, a Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) program that sources surplus goods and products within Australia that have no further use here. Goods and products that include everything from books, school materials and stationery to medical equipment, hospital furntiure and medical supplies that are collected for distribution to needy countries.
FASA’s next container will be its 21st to the Fiji Islands!
I am making a formal request to Rotary in Fiji for the sponsorship of this container [20 or 40 footer] specifically loaded to the “WISH LIST” of the Viti Spinal Injuries of Fiji [VSIAF]. Our association will coordinate the loading with at the DIK Warehouse here in Adelaide.
I attach a PPS presentation on our Charity project for your perusal.
VISAF Request to DIK – Click Here
VISAF Wish List – Click Here
Thanking you in anticipation.
Fiji Association of South Australia
Charity Project – Coordinator
To make a donation to Project No. 2 – The BULA Project FASA – Click Here
Ni sa bula vinaka and warm greetings to you all from the Government and people of Fiji.
May I take this opportunity Mr President, to congratulate you on your election to the Presidency of the General Assembly’s 66th Session, and pay tribute to your predecessor, His Excellency Dr Joseph Deiss.
This year, it was my honour to open new Fijian Missions in Indonesia and South Africa.
The Fiji High Commission in Pretoria is our first diplomatic mission on the continent of Africa and we see it as a gateway to that great continent.
Our new Embassy in Jakarta is intended to strengthen our warm fraternal relations with Indonesia.
In the same spirit, I journey next week to Brazil to open Fiji’s first Embassy on the South American continent.
In May this year, Mr President, Fiji had the privilege of being admitted to membership of the Non-Aligned movement. We have pledged to play our full part in the Movement’s activities, particularly in the area of South-South Co-operation and Sustainable Development.
These positive developments complement the Fijian Government’s “Look North Policy” and our intention to expand relations with non-traditional partners. We believe such expansion of outlook is essential to our national development and our full participation in Fiji’s global rights and responsibilities.
Here at the United Nations, we are active members of the Asia-Pacific Group, and along with our fellow Pacific Small Island Developing States, we greatly appreciate the support given to us by the members of this regional group.
Fiji’s guiding document, the People’s Charter for Change, Peace and Progress, has given our nation the task of enhancing Fiji’s international relations, both bilaterally and multi-laterally.
In pursuit of this task, since the beginning of last year, Fiji has formalised diplomatic relations with 37 countries, bringing to a total of 114 the number of countries with which Fiji has formal diplomatic relations.
Fiji is firmly on the path of formalising our diplomatic relations with all member States of the United Nations.
Fiji remains steadfastly committed to the work of the United Nations in safeguarding world peace, including all international counter-terrorism efforts.
In 2006, Fiji voted in favour of the preparation of a robust Arms Trade Treaty and we commend all those who have shown commitment to preparing this Treaty for signature in 2012.
Fiji’s commitment to the Charter of the United Nations remains steadfast.
Our tradition of service in the blue helmets of UN Peacekeeping began in 1978 in Lebanon with UNIFIL, in which the Fijian battalion served for 24 years.
In 1982, when the Multinational Force and Observers were deployed as peacekeepers in Sinai, a Fijian battalion was amongst them and has remained there to this day.
In Iraq, the United Nations Guard Unit of UNAMI has been manned by Fijians since 2004. With the planned withdrawal of the US Forces from Iraq this year, the United Nations saw fit to increase the size of its UNAMI Guard Unit, and after due process Fiji was selected to provide the extra personnel.
We thank the United Nations for the confidence shown in our servicemen and servicewomen.
In addition, Mr. President, Fijian servicemen and servicewomen are currently stationed in Peacekeeping Missions in South Sudan, Abyei, Darfur, Liberia and Timor Leste.
I pause here, Mr President, to profess my country’s recognition and respect for the selfless service given by UN Peacekeepers in the troubled regions of our world, and to pay tribute to those of them who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Mr President, Fiji is currently the chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, the MSG, whose membership includes Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the FLNKS of New Caledonia.
This year, the MSG was pleased to admit Indonesia and Timor Leste to Observer status. Fiji wishes to commend the work of our brother MSG Missions at the United Nations in bringing Melanesian concerns to the attention of the UN Special Political and Decolonisation Committee.
Through its membership of the Decolonisation Committee, Fiji will continue to call for the Committee to conduct effective monitoring and assessment of the progress of New Caledonia’s Noumea Accord.
In this regard, we would welcome the establishment of arrangements for closer co-operation and information-sharing between the UN Secretariat and the MSG Secretariat.
We also express our gratitude to the Government of France for its co-operation and assistance to this end.
Mr President, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. (MDG) continue to inspire our economic development efforts. In Fiji, we have concentrated our focus on national infrastructure development under our Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development.
Under this Roadmap, priority has been given to rural electrification expansion, access to clean water, and to national roading development.
This focus is with the view to create the bedrock required for sustainable economic growth.
Since the reform of Fiji’s laws to bring them in line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, further progress has been achieved.
We are experiencing increasing participation by women in local decision making bodies, thereby empowering rural women, increased enrolment of women and girls in tertiary education, gender mainstreaming within the Government system, and increased welfare assistance provision to the marginalised, including single mothers.
The Domestic Violence Decree, which came into effect last year is now being effectively implemented by the law enforcement agencies in conjunction with civil society groups. Its regime of restraining orders is intended to deter perpetrators of family violence from inflicting further violence, whilst allowing families to remain together in peace.
This decree recognises the difficulty experienced by women and children in gaining access to the justice system, because of family, community, cultural and attitudinal barriers.
In order to address the MDG’s HIV/AIDS goal, the Fijian Government approved a new law this year that, amongst other things, safeguards the privacy and rights of persons infected or affected by HIV. The HIV/AIDS decree is based on the United Nations International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS, and on the Declaration of Commitment to a human-rights based approach to dealing with the epidemic. The decree has been acknowledged as one of the most progressive HIV laws in the world.
Fiji participated in and was represented by our Head of State, H.E. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, at the HIV/AIDS High Level Meeting that was held in this hall in August this year.
In addition to the HIV/AIDS decree, Fiji this year passed the Mental Health Decree, a decree based on WHO guidelines on best practice for mental patients; and the Child Welfare Decree which creates a system that requires mandatory reporting of child abuse by doctors, police officers and lawyers to the Ministry of Social Welfare.
Fiji is determined to provide to all Fijians enlightened and progressive laws on health care, access to health services and justice. A large percentage of Fiji’s population is at risk of contracting Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD), or lifestyle diseases, including cardiovascular or cancerous diseases.
We welcome the high level commitment of the international community to address this crisis and the successful completion of the High Level Meeting on NCDs this week.
The Fijian Government has taken key actions to address NCD issues, including being the first country to sign and ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
It is also one of the first countries to pilot the salt reduction programme.
Mr. President, the economic reforms undertaken by the Fijian Government have produced positive mid-term results.
Last month, we were heartened to learn that Fiji’s economic standing was assessed at a higher level by the credit-rating agency of Standard & Poor’s.
This improved rating is also attributed to the strong support of all our development partners, including the private sector, who have worked closely with the Fijian Government. I wish to take this opportunity to thank them for their co-operation, assistance and collaboration.
As a Small Island Developing State or SIDS vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, Fiji has a strong desire to see positive and concrete outcomes achieved at the UNFCCC meeting in Durban later this year.
We hold firm to the hope of a successful outcome from the UNFCCC negotiations.
However, the urgency of the situation for many small islands and low lying coastal States, and the real threat posed by sea level rise, prompted the Pacific SIDS to draw the attention of the UN Security Council to the security implications of climate change.
Fiji hopes that the Presidential Declaration adopted by the Council in July this year, at the end of the open debate on the security implications of climate change, will enable the council to look further into the plight of those countries that are most at risk of losing their territory to climate change.
Mr President, as the first signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Fiji has kept its oceanic obligations at the core of its foreign policy.
With the increasing interest in seabed mining and to avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ by countries wishing to exploit the untapped mineral resources on the ocean floor, it is imperative that the International Seabed Authority remains vigilant in safeguarding the environmental integrity of the world’s seabed.
Fiji has invested much time and resources to responsible consideration of seabed mining and thus welcomes the Advisory Opinion of the Seabed Disputes Chamber on the responsibilities and obligations of State parties with regards to seabed mining.
We also welcome the decision by the Council of the International Seabed Authority in approving the application by Tonga and Nauru for the exploration of polymetallic nodules in the Mid-East Pacific Ocean. We see the Pacific Small Island Developing States as legitimate participants in this oceanic resource.
The Pacific Ocean is the mainstay of our country’s livelihood, our food security and our economy.
Fiji views the Blue Economy as an essential element of the Green Economy. In this regard, we consider the 2012 Rio de Janeiro UN Conference on Sustainable Development critical to protecting this economy.
Mr President, since I last addressed the United Nations General Assembly, Fijians have been benefitting from the nation’s Strategic Framework for Change. This Framework set in place the roadmap that takes Fiji to the holding of national elections by September 2014.
Under the provisions of the roadmap, from September next year until 2013, our Nation must turn its attention to the development of a new constitution premised along the laudable principles set out in the People’s Charter for Peace, Change and Progress.
The roadmap clearly states that in the process, the new Fijian Constitution must do away with racial categorisation and discrimination; so that for the first time in Fiji’s history, Fijians will go to elections in 2014 on the basis of common and equal suffrage.
This will be real progress.
It will undo decades of undemocratic laws and policies inherited from our colonial past and entrenched in past Constitutions, which have impeded our nation’s progress.
This is a determined move to create a society based on substantive equality and justice, and respect for the dignity of all Fijians.
As we enter this formative two-year period in Fiji’s history, we recognise that inclusiveness will be an essential part of the process in the formulation of the new Constitution.
We also recognise our national responsibility at all times to ensure that the Nation’s overall peace, well-being and sustainable economic development must prevail over divisive factional interests.
The Fijian nation will prevail, and we have every confidence that our beloved country has the home-grown ability to pull itself up by its own bootstraps.
In this respect Mr President I am happy to inform this august gathering that electronic registration of voters for the national elections is scheduled to commence in January next year.
Mr President, we trust that our trading and development partners, friends, old and new, will give us the understanding, the space, and the assistance we need to ensure that true and sustainable democracy can take roots in Fiji.
In this regard, we have taken great heart from recent assurances of support from many of our bilateral and multilateral friends, not least of which is the United Nations.
Mr President, once again my congratulations on your election and best wishes for a productive 66th Session of the General Assembly.
I thank you.
Fiji’s Frank Bainimarama, in an exclusive interview with Graham Davis for Sky News, has proposed a summit with Australia and NZ to resolve the impasse over his refusal to hold elections for 5 years.
cialis prescription style=”text-align: left;”>Part 1 – May 2, 2009
From July 22 to August 3, 2010 I was privileged to travel home to the Fiji Islands to celebrate the 50th Jubilee of my former school, Suva Grammar School (SGS), with five decades of current and ex-SGS Scholars. The theme of the celebrations was “Give Back To Grammar”. I wanted to record my impressions.
Suva Grammar (the school motto “Seek and Ye Shall Find” remains the same) has an interesting history of 127 years, dating back to its forerunners, including the Suva Public School (1883) and the Girls Grammar School and Boys Grammar School (1917). Born in 1949, I attended both the Girls Grammar at Selbourne Street and Boys Grammar (“Quit Ye Like Men”) on Victoria Parade. I was therefore among the privileged students who got first use of plant and equipment at the new Suva Grammar School from 1960-1965. I recall I had to repeat Form 5 (as I was more focused on my first love than I was on study) and did not complete Forms 6 & 7 or become a prefect as Headmaster Mr. Webb had promised me should I have returned to SGS in 1966.
Nevertheless, the solid grounding in education I received at Suva Grammar was instrumental in me studying Year 12 maths and gaining entry to university in Australia on my third attempt when in my early 20′s. And yes, I later went on to complete accountancy, theology, and Master of Business Administration degrees, and a Doctor of Philosophy 40 years after leaving Suva Grammar. So it was with some emotion and pride that I revisited my old classrooms and reminisced with ex-scholars about the early days of my time at SGS. Mind you, I still cannot understand all these years later why we students in the 1960′s were taught French and not the Fijian and Hindustani languages. This, in my view, was a tremendous oversight in an age leading up to Fiji’s independence.
It was pleasing to hear the current Principal, Mr Waisake Ravatu, speak of restoring discipline and academic excellence to Suva Grammar. With current class sizes averaging at 45 and a school population of 1,437 students in 2009 (89% Fijian, 2% Indian and 9% minority) – compared to 452 in 1960 – Mr Ravatu was keen to let us know that the roll will be reduced in time to around a more manageable 900 students. His goal is to “…create a Grammar similar to the illustrious one many of (us) grew up in but tailored to suit its evolving state”. The school now has a Chaplain whose role is to work with the school’s current custodians to establish Christian values and ethical behaviour in students. Having sent my two sons to a Christian school in Adelaide, I concur that having a Chaplain to guide students and parents is a positive attribute of Suva Grammar.
Under the theme “Give Back To Grammar” some FGD$30,000 was raised under the auspices of the SGS Ex-Scholars Association and plans are in hand to donate funds to the school for much needed library books, school maintenance and other projects. One of my goals with The BULA Project is to raise $5,000 to assist with these activities. Over the next few years I would like to offer an Australian Gold Coast University Scholarship to one male and one female student in their final year at Suva Grammar. Please visit my Donations page if you would like to join me in “Giving Back To Grammar”!
Some people who attended the SGS 50th Jubilee:
Patron: Gerald Barrack
Teachers: Joan Eden, Jane Rickets, Janice Huddleston, Lesley Chapman
Others: Anne Barrack, Annette Lepper, Elaine Lepper, Walton & Roslyn Morgan, Tom Ricketts, Eileen Jack, Rona Bentley, Christine Bentley, Louise Bentley, Robin Yarrow, Michael Yarrow, Skipper Boyd, Milli O’Connor, Patrick Bower, Noelene Buchner, Caroline Sorby, Coleen Hurley, Lyndal Probert, Desmond Sanareive, Walleen Gough, Ricky Gothe, Beverly Curtis, Deloris Wedlock, Wayne Miller, Lesley Miller, John Sokia, Karen Hazelman, Shirley Hazelman, Sandra Hazelman, Herbit Hazelman, Ingrid Billings, Stan Whippy, Ellen Whippy, Denise McGowan, Craig Marlow, Raddock girl (?), Hedstrom girl (?), Robyn & Rosemary Mitchell, Ken Williams, Greg & Julie Watts, John & Betty Hunt and Mike Gosling.
Highlights for me were the walk by current and former Grammar students from Suva Market to Albert park on Saturday 24th July led by the Fiji Police band – awesome , the church service at Veiuto on Sunday 25th July with superb singing by students, the day at Nukulau with the 60’s generation, a night at the Golden Dragon, Zipping through the trees at Wainidoi (where I bought some fresh marsala from local growers), and the Jubilee ball on the final Saturday night attended by 1,200 Grammarians. It was just great to see so many folks dressed up like we used to for the RSYC New Year’s Eve Ball! And of course, I loved just being home in Fiji and enjoying the people, food and weather.
I was talking with a 74 year old Fijian gentleman (former civil servant) on the coach over from Nadi to Suva on my arrival in Fiji. Towards the end of the trip I asked him, “What percentage of people did he feel supported Bainimarama?” His answer: “When Bainimarama came to power 95% of the population was against him. Now, 95% of the people are for him.” “And why do you think this is so?” I asked. “Because people are getting the services they require from government, which they failed to get for so many years under previous governments.” Let’s give Prime Minister Bainimarama an A+ for uplifting the general level of happiness and functioning of government in Fiji! It was plain for all to see.
Suva city was clean, orderly, no army and few policemen to be seen. The Chinese are making their presence felt as small business and shop owners. Young people were registering their mobile phones by July 30 (something that Singapore brought in two years ago and which Australians seem to take offence at), supermarkets and Suva market were bursting at the seams with stock and local produce, respectively. Most cars seem less than 5 years old. SUVs and twin-cab Hilux’s were the order of the day.
Of the several Grammar events I attended they were packed with young well educated articulate people – the vibrancy of an educated society. Goodness knows where they all worked (some came from overseas I expect) but spending was quite free. Taxis cost $2 – $3 a trip in somewhat rattling cars, but with 6,000 cabs in Suva bringing each owner around $100 per day gross, the folks must have money to spend. Even house girls were taking taxis from our old home at Vuvui Road and not waiting for the bus. Suva to Veiuto was 70 cents bus fare. Supermarket food prices were pretty much the same as Australia, albeit at FGD$1.61 to AUD$1.00. And MHCC is such a fine store – on a par with Myer and David Jones in Australia, with a fabulous food court. A far cry from my days working in MH’s in Suva – how well things have progressed! Plus 45,000 Aussies a month are going to Fiji with 600,000 tourists expected in 2010. Go Fiji!
At this rate Fiji will regain its place as “The way the world should be”! I felt more safe personally in Suva this trip then I did for the RSYC celebration a few years back. Mind you the girls outside the Mecure Hotel in Martintar were pretty scary and as forward as ever!! I visited the RSYC three times but saw no one I knew, except for a 5-minute chat with a close friend who was dealing with his yacht racers.
Could I live in Suva, in Fiji? You bet! It would mean making a bunch of new friends and being pestered constantly by almost every shop keeper in Nadi town to “just come in and have a look”, but the weather and food were perfect, beer and dancing superb, and the realization that around 15-20,000 people have now been through Grammar, and they are as passionate about the place as we were in our day. Yes, the school needs more paint and the library more books. The toilets are bad. And Joe Nuku and Farnsworth would faint were they to see the poor state of the tech block. But Grammarians are a hardy lot and many have risen to the challenge to give back to their school in money and kind.
I’m so glad I went to the SGS 50th Jubilee celebrations. I had a ball! The office holders and committees under Jasmine Tan, President Ex-SGS Students Association, who organised the event and the many wonderful activities have my gratitude for running such a flawless program and all giving so generously of their time and resources. Vinaka vaka levu!
See you all at the next celebrations,
Mike Gosling (SGS 1960-1965).
By Graham Davis
Source: BBC/The Australian Thursday April 16, 2009.
1970: Fiji becomes independent with Ratu Kamisese Mara of the Alliance party as prime Minister.
April 1987: Indian-dominated coalition led by Dr. Timoci Bavadra wins election.
May 1987: Sitiveni Rabuka seizes power in bloodless coup with the aim of making indigenous Fijians politically dominant.
October 1978: Rabuka stages second coup, proclaims Fiji a republic. Ratu Mara appointed Prime Minister; Fiji expelled from British Commonwealth.
1990: New Constitution enshrines political dominance of indigenous Fijians.
1992: Rabuka becomes Prime Minister following general election.
1997: Fiji re-admitted to the Commonwealth after introducing a non-discriminatory Constitution.
1999: Fiji Labour Party wins election; Mahendra Chaudhry elected Prime Minister.
May 2000: Bankrupt businessman George Speight and retired major Ilisoni Ligari storm parliament, taking Chaudhry and his cabinet hostage. Fiji’s Great Council of Chiefs orders sacking of Chaudhry’s government.
June 2000: Commonwealth suspends Fiji.
July 2000: Chaudhry and other hostages released; Josefa Iloilo made President.
July 2000: Speight and 369 of his supporters arrested.
November 2000: Eight soldiers killed in failed military mutiny.
August 2001: Elections to restore democracy: Laisenia Qarase appointed Prime Minister.
May 2006: Qarase narrowly wins elections and is sworn in for a second term.
October 2006: Military Chief Frank Bainimarama threatens to oust Qarase after PM tries to replace him.
December 2006: Bainimarama dismisses Qarase’s government. Commonwealth suspends Fiji.
January 2007: Bainimarama takes on the role of interim Prime Minister.
February 2007: Bainimarama announces plans to hold elections in 2010.
February 2008: Bainimarama appoints himself as chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs after suspending it 10 months earlier.
July 2008: Bainimarama postpones elections promised for early 2009.
January 2009: Pacific leaders demand Fiji hold elections by the end of the year.
April 9, 2009: Bank Routing Number First Niagara Bank Appeal Court rules the military regime is illegal.
April 10, 2009: President Iloilo repeals the Constitution, appoints himself head of state, sets 2014 election deadline and sacks all the judges. He then appoints Bainimarama as interim Prime Minister.
Graham Davis is a Fiji-born award winning journalist who reported successive Fiji coups for the Nine Network’s Sunday program. He is now a principal of Grubstreet Media.