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Police step in to control big crowd wanting to shake PM’s hands in sugar city JYOTI PRATIBHA About 1000 people swarmed around the Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama
19 Jul 2014 10:43

Prime Minister Rear Voreqe Bainimarama at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Lautoka Market extension yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

Police step in to control big crowd wanting to shake PM’s hands in sugar city

JYOTI PRATIBHA

About 1000 people swarmed around the Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama in a rousing welcome in Lautoka yesterday.
They cheered, clapped their hands and sang patriotic songs in a show of appreciation for developments he has brought to the sugar city and the West.
The spontaneous rupture of raw human emotions rang out across the city as he walked down from the second floor of Sugar City Mall to lay the foundation for the Lautoka Market extension.
Vendors sang the popular iTaukei celebratory song “Meda mai laveta na noda marau….” School children had to be restrained by Police officers when the crowd swelled rapidly. Many wanted to shake hands with the PM, take pictures of him or catch a glimpse of him as they gave him rock-star treatment.
They sang him the farewell song “Isa Lei” when he left.
Mr Bainimarama was in Lautoka to open the UN Women-funded accommodation for women vendors when word spread that he would be visiting the market.
Lautoka Market Vendors Association president Makereta Rika, who has led the association for 45 years, said politicians had come and gone and had been all talk and no action.
Speaking in the iTaukei language, Mrs Rika said: “The Prime Minister is the type of person who acts more and talks less.
“When I first told the Prime Minister of the hardships we women face, he had told me: ‘kua ni leqa Nau, ena tara na nomu vale ni vakacegu- (Don’t worry Nau, the accommodation will be built). Now we are witnessing that he ‘walks the talk’.”
“Now that he is going into the next development, this goes to show he really cares for us,” Mrs Rika said.




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