Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
Fiji Day Celebration Speech, Fiji House, Jakarta, 8 October, 2011
Dear Friends and fellow citizens of Fiji..
Ni sa bula vinaka and welcome to our very small and modest gathering this afternoon.
As we all know Monday October 10 marks the 41st anniversary of Fiji’s independence. For this year Government has decided on the theme, “One Nation, One Destiny” to guide our reflections. The theme I am sure should give us encouragement as nationals and friends to join and participate with Government, one way or another or through our respective vocations, in its quest to build a better Fiji for all its peoples.
As you are all probably aware the Fiji Government is doing its best to deliver for the people of Fiji, especially for those at the grass-roots, through the implementation of its Roadmap for Democracy and Socio-economic Development based on the guiding principles of the Peoples Charter for Peace, Change and Progress. A lot of grounds have been covered and Government is on track to satisfy its reform agendas under the Strategic Framework for Change which clearly anticipates full implementation of the Public, Social and Economic reforms by 2012 from whence the Political reforms will begin to guide and lead the nation to a general election no later than September 2014.
Our nation through the Fiji ‘takia’ or ‘drua’ has sailed through both calm and turbulent patches of waters during the past 41 years. As islanders we only know too well that such experiences can only help to bring out the best in us. With a positive and mature disposition maintained all the time, together in unity as ‘one nation’ and ‘one people,’ and with fortitude and resolve we can and shall strive to arrive at that ‘one destiny,’ a better Fiji for all.
The Fiji Mission in Jakarta, officially opened by Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama on April 6th, is only six months old as you know and being a part of Government we also have a responsibility towards the noble goal of building a ‘better Fiji.’ The Fiji Government’s Look North policy has made our presence here possible; and we would like to build on this to strengthen the cordial relations we have had since 1974 when we first established diplomatic ties with this great and beautiful country of Indonesia. Such a pursuit has its rewards in the politcal, economic and social spheres which our people ulitimately would benefit greatly from. And with that strong and enduring relations with Indonesia as a basis we also hope to align Fiji and reap similar rewards from what is shaping out to be a vibrant and ever-growing South East Asia through the ASEAN Grouping.
I believe that you, our friends and fellow nationals who are here this afternoon can help us achieve that mandate given your knowledge of this great country and networks built from the few years you have been here. It is with that in mind that we thought we could not only come together and celebrate Fiji Day, but perhaps utilise the ocassion to meet and know one another and based on that agree to plant the seed for what I hope can later become an ‘Indonesia-Fiji Friendship Association’ which will be essential in forging the ‘people-to-people’ relations that is a vital ingredient in healthy and vibrant relations between friendly countries. I am pleased to inform you that some groundwork has been initiated already with one or two friends of Fiji both of whom unfortunately cannot make it this afternoon because of prior engagements. On that note I am pretty certain that you will not mind if we should call on some of you to help us set this Friendship Association off the ground in the next few weeks or months.
I shall stop there but allow me on behalf of the staff and families of the Fiji Embassy to thank you all very much for accepting the very informal invitations sent out to you. We are in deed happy that you have been able to make it, which for one or two of you meant changing flight schedules just to be here, Vinaka vakalevu.
If I may, I would request that when you find the time to kindly fill in our visitors/address book if you have not done so, so we know where you are for ease of contact. And we also have our name/contact cards available which you can keep.
In closing, no doubt you will all wish to join me in extending to our Leaders, His Excellency President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama good health and continued success. And to our fellow nationals and friends who have called our beloved Fiji home we wish you abundant blessings and lasting propserity from God Almighty.
God bless you all and God bless Fiji.
Vinaka vakalevuTerima kashi
(Photo caption:the Fiji Nationals at the Ghim Li Factory in Batam with His Excellency Ratu Tui Cavuilati, may also view here)
(Speech is also available here for download)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji