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First Navy Woman Gets Chinese Scholarship In The Officer Ranks

First Navy Woman Gets Chinese Scholarship In The Officer Ranks
From left: Commander Navy Captain Humphrey Tawake, Midshipman Samuela Logavatu, Midshipwoman Esita Batiniqila with the Chinese Ambassdor to Fiji Qian Bo at the Chinese Embassy in Suva on September 10, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua
September 11
09:42 2018

For the first time in the his­tory of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Navy arm, a female officer has been offered a scholarship to pursue further studies overseas.

Midshipwoman Esita Batiniqila, who leaves on Monday, received her four-year scholarship to study Naval Ship Service Command and Naval Military Science from Da­lian University in Liaoning.

She and a colleague were handed their tickets and necessary docu­ments during a ceremony at the Chinese Embassy in Suva yester­day.

“Being the first female to be given such a huge opportunity was an honourable moment for me.

“It is a challenge for me especially being one of the few officers to be given this opportunity and I know that I have to prove myself well so other officers can be given the op­portunities as well,” Midshipwom­an Batiniqila said.

“I want to learn on the strength of women in the Chinese Navy so I could come back set an example to the 25 other female navy officers in the RFNS.”

This year has been a historic one for the Navy having succeeded in its long overdue bid to recruit women into its ranks.

Commander Captain (Navy) Humphrey Tawake said the schol­arships were an opportunity to enhance the co-operation between China and Fiji along with the de­fence relationships between the two countries.

“We are grateful to the People’s Republic of China for providing us with an opportunity through these scholarships for our officers,” Cap­tain (Navy) Tawake said.

“We sincerely appreciate China being our genuine partner in the defence relations.

“It offers us equal opportunities for professional training not only in the Navy but also in other mili­tary departments.

“It is the first time we are sending a female officer to study the initial officers training, which has the professional development compo­nents of training.

“Both officers will undergo four years of study for a Bachelor’s De­gree.”

Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Qian Bo said the scholarship pro­gramme was another area of co­operation between the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

“China and Fiji enjoy an excellent relationship. The military-to-mil­itary cooperation is an important part of our bilateral relations,” Mr Qian said.

“Over the last decade, China and Fiji’s military-to-military relation­ship has developed smoothly and greatly.”

He said over the past years, there were many officers from Fiji who went to China for training and edu­cational programmes.

Midshipman Samuela Logavatu also received a four-year scholar­ship to study in China.

He said: “It is a privilege and hon­our to be part of the two officers to study in China. I am really looking forward to the scholarship.

“I am hoping that my study and the scholarship will benefit the Fiji Navy and the defence force.

“My family was really proud of the opportunity that I got and en­couraged me for the great future that lies ahead for me in the navy with the new trainings and edu­cational skills I will be attaining from the university I will be study­ing in.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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