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EDITORIAL: What A Grand 48th Anniversary We Celebrated

The Fiji Day celebrations around the country yesterday was definitely a sight to see. Yes, that’s right! Labasa’s Subrail Park, Levu­ka and Albert Park in Suva were filled with Fijians,
11 Oct 2018 17:10
EDITORIAL: What A Grand 48th Anniversary We Celebrated
Fiji Day celebrations in Levuka. Photo: Manhar Vithal

The Fiji Day celebrations around the country yesterday was definitely a sight to see.

Yes, that’s right! Labasa’s Subrail Park, Levu­ka and Albert Park in Suva were filled with Fijians, young and old, celebrating the nation’s 48th year of our independence.

 

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For Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote, our President, this was the third year he addressed the nation on Fiji Day.

Thanks to the introduction of the Walesi free-to-air digital television platform nationwide, President Konrote’s message was viewed more widely than ever before. This year, President Konrote attended the national celebrations in Labasa – the first time in our history that Fiji Day was celebrated in the North­ern Division.

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And yet again we are making history, as we did last year, by celebrating it in the West.

Rotating the venue spreads the opportunity to watch the main event across the country. What we have become in the last eight years or so is an inclu­sive nation.

Mr Konrote said every year he watched with ever-increasing pride and optimism our nation reaching new and greater heights; realising achievement that only a generation ago would have seemed unimagi­nable. There have been challenges, surely.

“But with every setback we have encountered, to­gether, Team Fiji has overcome,” he said.

 

WOMEN IN BLUE... From left: FijiFirst provisional candidates Susana Tuilau Hirst, Ateca Laveti Ledua, Anne Dunn, Leader of the Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa, Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar and Ela Sayed-Khaiyum on October 10, 2018, during the Fiji Day celebrations at Labasa’s Subrail Park.

WOMEN IN BLUE… From left: FijiFirst provisional candidates Susana Tuilau Hirst, Ateca Laveti Ledua, Anne Dunn, Leader of the Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa, Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar and Ela Sayed-Khaiyum on October 10, 2018, during the Fiji Day celebrations at Labasa’s Subrail Park.

 

“Every opportunity in front of us, we have seized for our benefit. And like any good team, every mem­ber of Team Fiji has been key to our victories and has shared equally in our successes.”

This year, we have witnessed even greater, unprece­dented prosperity sweep across the country, bringing us our ninth consecutive year of economic growth, bringing us new jobs that have brought unemploy­ment to its lowest point in decades, and bringing us new opportunities that have entered the lives of all Fijians, everywhere in our country, especially for our young people.

 

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More Fijian children are in school than ever before. In fact, we have achieved universal access to primary and secondary school education now that education is finally free for all students in Fiji. Those who are vulnerable, and those on the margins of society are being cared for by a vastly expanded network of social security. And families in Fiji, the heart of our society, are receiving a level of support that is unparalleled in Fijian history.

 

Celebrations in Levuka.

Celebrations in Levuka.

 

Mr Konrote rightly said our status as the pre-emi­nent nation in the Pacific is stronger than ever.

We are the hub of trade, finance, communications and innovation, and we have joined hands with our neighbours to fight together on the issues that mat­ter most to our citizens.

Blue, blue, blue in Nadi.

Blue, blue, blue in Nadi.

 

The world has been guided by our leadership in con­fronting some of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced; including that of climate change and the preservation of our oceans.

And, as we have welcomed our prosperity, we are seeing the benefits of that success felt widely, by all of our people, in every corner of our country. Our development is reaching every division.

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In urban centres and in the most remote and rural pockets of the country, we are seeing new and up­graded roads, new schools built to higher standards, new and better government services, greater flows of trade and investment, and higher paying jobs coming to Fiji, that give our people the chance to do more, earn more and learn more valuable skills in our modern economy.

 

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As an independent nation we continue to make our mark on the international stage.

MARAIA VULA

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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