NEWS

PM Slams Kepa Flag Boycott

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday criticised Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa for boycotting the process to choose a new national flag. “I was surprised when I returned from Geneva to
10 Mar 2015 10:55
PM Slams Kepa Flag Boycott

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday criticised Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa for boycotting the process to choose a new national flag.

“I was surprised when I returned from Geneva to find that the Opposition is boycotting the national panel of citizens we are setting up to choose a new design for our flag,” Mr Bainimarama said.

He spoke to the Fiji Sun during the opening of the rebranded Fiji Maritime School at Laucala Bay, Suva, yesterday.

Ro Teimumu said she would not name her two nominees for the panel because they wanted a national referendum to let the people decide whether to change the flag or not. She has defended the existing flag.

But Mr Bainimarama said: “I don’t understand why the Opposition wants us all to continue to honour the symbols of the Colonial power that has been gone from Fiji for 45 years.”

He said Fiji “is a young nation in every sense and most importantly because most of the population is young people who have no recollec- tion of colonial times beyond what they read in the history books.”

“They deserve to honour symbols we can all relate to as Fijians – genuinely, authentically and proudly Fijian.”

He also urged the Fiji Maritime Academy staff and students to also enter the design competition of the proposed new Fijian flag.

“I’m sure you will all agree that the new symbol of the Fiji Maritime Academy – its new flag – is one that everyone who passes through this institution in the months and years to come will honour and hold in the highest respect.”

Government, he said, was proud to be part of the upgrade of the institution which included the provision of $2million to fund the bridge and engine room simulators that were transforming the learning experience of every cadet.

Fiji as a whole, he said, was proud that the academy had received certification from the ISO – the International Organisation for Standardisation– which told the region and the world that this was a place of excellence and worthy of international respect.

The competition for a new design has already been launched and a national committee will go through the entries after May 1, when the competition ends.

The Prime Minister had announced that the winner would raise the new flag on the 45th anniversary of the Fiji’s independence on October 10.

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: