His Excellency President Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote’s Fiji 50th Independence Day Message

Bula Vinaka and happy Fiji-50 Day. 

I began our 50th Anniversary celebrations in Levuka, Fiji’s first capital under the colonial government. There I journeyed through history, visiting the 1874 Deed of Cession site, speaking with those who lived through our independence in 1970, and spending some very happy time with Levuka’s children –– just some of the young Fijians who will forge Fiji’s future. All the while, it was pouring rain on the island. And when it came time for our tree-planting ceremony, it was still coming down hard. 

No matter –– we headed out into the downpour to kick-off our Fiji-50 celebrations with smiles on our faces. We knew the rain could dampen our celebration, but never our spirits –– nothing ever could. 

My fellow Fijians, the challenge of this year has been more serious than any bout of bad weather. Even though Fiji may be the safest place in the world from COVID-19, the closure of our borders has made the pain of this pandemic personal for all of us. But today is our day–– our Fiji-50 Day –– and no virus, no once-in-a-century crisis can temper the love we share for our nation, our people, our home. 

We are keeping COVID-safe, so we will not be breaking any attendance records at the RFMF parade in Suva’s Albert Park.  Indeed, most of you are watching this from home among friends, family, and neighbours, perhaps with a Fijian flag flying from the roof of your home, held in your hand, or draped around your shoulders, with a lovo or curry cooking in the back. Some may be mixing kava. 

No –– this Fiji Day will not be remembered for being lavish. But it will be remembered. History will tell that today, despite the great adversity we faced, our spirits were not broken. In good spirits and good health, Fijians in every city, town, community, including our most rural and maritime regions, proudly celebrated our 50-year journey as a nation. 

Together, over these five decades, Fijians have risen to heights some never imagined, but which we always saw for ourselves. We are a major contributor to peacekeeping in the world, and a world leader in the fight to combat climate change and protect our oceans. We are the economic hub of the South Pacific, the leader in aviation, finance, telecommunications, and technology, trade, and commerce. We have vastly expanded our networks of infrastructure. We have put the ills of the past behind us. Today all Fijians share common and equal citizenry and equal votes of equal value, along with a vast array of political and socioeconomic rights in our Fijian Constitution. 

Our ruggers have come home from the Olympic Games with gold around their necks. We have played host to major international meetings and sporting events. While our borders may be closed today, we are still one of the world’s most desirable tourist destinations. 

Our success is not owed to luck or chance.  It has come because our people, with their diverse strengths and skillsets, have together propelled Fiji forward, both knowingly and unknowingly. Because we have united, because we worked hard, and because we have pooled our talents, we have built a great nation; we have defined what it truly means to be a Fijian. And what is that? To be a Fijian is to have courage and optimism. To be a Fijian is to love this country, love your neighbours, and look after your fellow citizens, irrespective of their background. Because to be a resilient people, we must be a strong people, a caring people, and a united people. Together we have done great things, and together we will do more great things in the next 50 years.”

Nowhere is that hope for our future more visible than in the aspirations of the youngest among us. That is why, this year, we asked the students of Fiji to tell us: “What makes Fiji Special?”

We asked, and the bright, hope-filled children of Fiji gave us wonderful answers: Our many languages. The many ways we worship God. Our many proud traditions. Our love of sports like football, netball, and, of course, rugby. Our untouched reefs, beaches, forests and waterfalls. Our rights and freedoms as Fijians. Our Fijian Constitution. Our music. Our sugar. Our fruits and vegetables. Even our lovos and our curries. 

But my favourite answer came from Alexandra Surendra and Ana Maria Tovate from the Saint Joseph’s Secondary School. They told us that regardless of our country’s spectacular scenery and our exceptional experiences, it is the Fijian people who together make our journey complete.

My fellow Fijians, Alexandra and Ana Maria were right, and are clearly wise beyond their years. The past 50 years have proven that it is our people who, together, have made Fiji the most special place on Earth. 

No matter how we arrived here, no matter who our ancestors are, we all make Fiji special, we all make Fiji stronger. When we stand together, as friends, as family, as fellow Fijians, there is no challenge we cannot overcome, there is nothing we cannot achieve. So, to every Fijian, wherever you are, however you are celebrating, I thank you for all you do to make Fiji special, and I wish you a very happy Fiji-50 day. 

God bless you. 

Call for Designs: 9th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM9) Logo

The public is invited to submit designs for a logo to represent PALM9, including in pamphlets, posters and other promotional and event-related materials. The design should evoke Japan’s friendly and prosperous relationship with the Pacific Island Countries, to which it is bound by geography, history and values.The selected logo will represent PALM9, including in pamphlets, posters and other promotional and event-related materials.

The submission should be sent via email to palm9-logo@mofa.go.jp by November 30, 2020.

Created electrically with its explanation (around 50words long). Judges selected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan will evaluate the designs and identify a winner. Please refer to the following website for more details: https://www.mofa.go.jp/a_o/ocn/page23e_000593.html

Opportunities in Fiji’s Health Sector – Investment Webinar, Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Meet Fiji’s Health Experts

Join Mr. Craig Strong (CEO of Investment Fiji), Dr. James Fong (Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health) & Mr. Pramesh Sharma (BSP Life – Chief Investment Officer) for an exclusive webinar on “Opportunities in Fiji’s Health Sector”.

Learn more about the opportunities & incentives available for investors along with a success story from private healthcare investor – BSP Life (Oceania Hospital). 

Event Details

Date & Time: Tuesday 29th September 2020, 4.00pm – 4.45pm Fiji Time

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/5316008093948/WN_6o8xaCaYQLyXZj8akJFe_Q

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email which contains information about joining the webinar.

Opportunities in Fiji’s Agriculture Sector, Investment Webinar Session- Tuesday, 15 September 2020

To register for this webinar, please click on the link below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkfuGsrz4vHtXiLOaT4U06A4NPdD1VfdRY

Once your registration is successfully completed, each participant will be sent a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information regarding the webinar, please send your queries to info@fijiembassy.jp

STATEMENT FROM THE ACTING PERMANENT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AND MEDICAL SERVICES

Bula Vinaka.
 
Earlier this week we assured the public the arrival of repatriation flight GA7280 from New Delhi to Fiji on the 27th of August was dealt with in line with our border quarantine protocols –– which are the most stringent anywhere in the world. As some of you may be aware, several New Zealand citizens on board that flight continued onwards travel after spending about 30 minutes on the tarmac of Nadi Airport. Five of those passengers went on to test positive for COVID-19 upon arrival to New Zealand. As per our infection control protocols, all areas of Nadi Airport accessible to passengers from that flight have been hygienically deep-cleaned.
 
As per Fijian border quarantine protocol, all disembarking passengers from that flight were tested for the virus. Following the confirmation of cases in New Zealand, we did expect some test results to return positive. Two passengers did indeed test positive for the virus. They are both male Fijian citizens, one is aged 55 and the other is 22. These confirmations bring Fiji’s total number of active border quarantine cases to five.
 
Both gentlemen have been hygienically secured in the isolation ward at Nadi Hospital. Neither were displaying symptoms at that time of testing. Again, these tests were run as part of our standard border quarantine process.
 
All 83 other passengers on board the flight have returned negative results. These passengers have each been entered into mandatory 14-day quarantine period in a government designated quarantine facility under supervision from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. If any develop symptoms, they will be tested for the virus. At the end of their quarantine period, we will test them once again. If they return negative results, they will be discharged. 
 
The frontline border staff that were directly involved in the arrival of the passengers on this flight have also all tested negative for COVID-19.
 
Once again, I must emphasize: Our border quarantine and infection prevention control protocols are as strict as they come. So long as they are upheld there is no risk to the Fijian public from border quarantine cases.
 
Thank you.

The Fiji Embassy Tokyo, in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society, Donated more than one thousand library books to two Schools in Fiji

FET-ALFS-Report-Aug-2020

Latest Travel Advisory for Fiji Citizen(s)/ Fiji Residents(s)/ Other Permit Holder(s) Intending to Travel to Fiji

The Fijian government through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has issued the latest upgraded travel requirements relating to Fiji Citizen(s), Fiji Resident(s)/ Other Permit Holder(s) intending to travel to Fiji with immediate effect. The new test requirements include the format of the COVID – 19 test result that everyone traveling to Fiji has to adhere to. MHMS have requested that the following new procedures be implemented:

i. The Fiji Citizen(s)/ Fiji Residents(s)/ Other Permit Holder(s) must produce a recent negative COVID-19 RT-PCR or Cepheid GeneXpert (Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2) test (for a nasopharyngeal sample taken not more than 72 hours before departure) following which approval will be granted to depart for Fiji.

ii. The test result must be in the form of the complete report from the laboratory that performed the test – on the laboratory letterhead. ( example attached)

iii. The Fiji Citizen(s)/ Fiji Residents(s)/ Other Permit Holder(s) with symptoms prior to boarding at port of departure will not be permitted to board the plane.

iv. All Fiji Citizen(s)/ Fiji Residents(s)/ Other Permit Holder(s) must undergo temperature and symptom check upon arrival at the airport. If symptoms are present a nasopharyngeal swab sample will be collected for a COVID-19 RT-PCR test at the cost of sponsor or individual returnee. The MHMS protocol for dealing with suspected cases will be applied. If the test is positive, he or she must remain in isolation under the care of MHMS but if the test is negative, he or she will be released to complete the mandatory quarantine in the designated Government quarantine facility. Attached below id the format of the report that Fijian authorities will be requiring all intending travellers to bring to Fiji.

v. The Fiji Citizen(s)/ Fiji Residents(s)/ Other Permit Holder(s) will be transferred from the airport to Government quarantine facility for a mandatory 14-days quarantine in a vehicle, driven by a local driver who will not come in contact with the principals and will wear Personal Protective equipment (PPE).

vi. The vehicle will be escorted by Republic of the Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) personnel from the airport to the Government quarantine facility at the cost of the sponsor or individual returnee.

vii. The 14 day quarantine period at the Government quarantine facility will be under the constant supervision of the RFMF and MHMS.

viii. While Fiji Citizen(s)/ Fiji Residents(s)/ Other Permit Holder(s) is/are in the Government quarantine facility, they must adhere to all quarantine requirements. MHMS officials will conduct regular temperature and symptom checks. If symptoms are present a nasopharyngeal swab sample will be collected for a COVID-19 RT-PCR test at the cost of sponsor or individual returnee. The MHMS protocol for dealing with suspected cases will be applied. If the test is positive, he or she must remain in isolation under the care of MHMS but if the test is negative he or she will be released to complete the mandatory quarantine.

ix. If the Fiji Citizen(s)/ Fiji Residents(s)/ Other Permit Holder(s) remain asymptomatic a nasopharyngeal swab collected at the end of the quarantine period for a COVID-19 RT-PCR test at the cost of the sponsor or the individual returnee. A negative test result will be required before release from quarantine. The sponsor or the individual returnee will meet all the cost associated to quarantine for which they must directly liaise with Government quarantine facility.

x. The MHMS will make the final determination to release the Fiji Citizen(s)/ Fiji Residents(s)/ Other Permit Holder(s) from quarantine.

Suva City Council – Expression of Interest (Public Private Partnership) – Development of Former “Raiwaqa Market Property”

EOI-RaiwaqaMarketSitePPP-1