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All quiet on Rotuma

June 14
10:33 2013
Still considers himself as a military man ... Major-General George Konrote.

Still considers himself as a military man ... Major-General George Konrote.

Major-General Konrote:
Politics far from agenda

By ROSI
DOVIVERATA

On Viti Levu politics is in the air. Not so in Rotuma.
On Rotuma, people are cut off from the hype in Suva, so the majority of people here live a very laid back life-style, says Major-General George Konrote.
“Politics is far from their agenda,” he said.
However, many on the island are grateful for the developments carried out by the Bainimarama Government.
“Schools and roads have been repaired, electrification is in progress, the airport runway is better – so we are grateful.
“We’ve also had visits from the President, Prime Minister and other Ministers.”
Rotuma’s population according to the 2007 census was under 2000.
Major-General Konrote  considers himself a military man.
But he is more than that.  He is a former diplomat and politician.
He now spends most of his time on his home island of Rotuma and has become an expert in fishing and farming.
A career soldier, Major-General Konrote was recognised for his contributions in the military. He was awarded with the UNIFIL Peace Medal in 1978, the Military Cross (United Kingdom) in 1982, the Order of Merit (Italy) in 1997, the Order of the Cedar (Lebanon) in 1999 and was made an Officer of the Order of Fiji (Military Division) in 1997.
From 2001 to 2006, Major-General Konrote served as Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia.  After his appointment he was asked by elders in Rotuma to stand in the 2006 general elections.  He stood as an independent and won.
Major-General Konrote said he stood for the sake of the Rotuman community.
“I went in to serve.”
He was given the Minister of State for Immigration and Ex-servicemen portfolio – which lasted only six months.
For the future, Major-General Konrote says he has no political ambitions.
“More young people should get involved in politics,” he said.
He wished the country every success in the election.
Then he chose politely not to talk anymore politics.
It was back to fishing and farming.

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