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Late Dr Luveni Praised For Her Service To Fiji

The late Dr Jiko Luveni, Speaker of Parliament, was yesterday praised by people for her service to the country. Tributes began flowing, soon after news of her death was reported
23 Dec 2018 12:50
Late Dr Luveni Praised For Her Service To Fiji
The late Speaker of Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni

The late Dr Jiko Luveni, Speaker of Parliament, was yesterday praised by people for her service to the country.

Tributes began flowing, soon after news of her death was reported by Fiji Sun online.

Deputy Speaker Veena Bhatnagar has expressed her deepest condolences to her family.

Leader of the National Federation Party (NFP), Biman Prasad, who had exchanges with Dr Luveni in Parliament, said he was saddened by the news of her death.

“In fact just yesterday (Friday), I sent her an email wishing her a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. We have had some of the most robust exchanges in Parliament,” Mr Prasad said.

“She is somebody who we can relate to on many issues.”

He recognised “her contribution to Parliament, to the country and to the wider cause of humanity.”

Online reactions (see page 11) overwhelmingly paid tribute to her as a champion of women’s interests and a trailblazer.

Dr Luveni was well-known for her achievements in sports, dentistry and politics.

Dr Luveni was a women’s champion in table tennis and golf representing Fiji in three South Pacific Games in both events. She also served as a member of the Board of the Fiji Sports Council and the Tripartite Appeals Committee of FASANOC.

Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committees (FASANOC) chief executive officer, Lorraine Mar said: “We are really sad to hear the passing away of Dr Luveni.

“On behalf of FASANOC I send our condolences to her family.”

Dr Luveni is believed to be the first Fijian woman to graduate in dentistry from the Fiji School of Medicine in the 1960s.

After graduation, she worked for 20 years for the Ministry of Health, before joining the United Nations Population Fund as project manager for reproductive health.

Political Career

She was the Minister for Women,  Children and Poverty Alleviation before her appointment as the first woman Speaker. Prior to this, she was the Minister for Women in the interim Bainimarama Government.

Dr Luveni was re-elected for a second term as Speaker after the 2018 General Election.

She was unfazed by Opposition attempts to unsettle and rattle her. She passed the test and became respected by MPs from both sides of the House.

She took Parliament to the people through roadshows and educated them about the role and functions of the institution.

The Parliament Secretary-General Viniana Namosimalua confirmed her untimely death. She said details of the funeral arrangement would be announced in due course, in consultation with her family.

The cause of death has not been released yet, however, it is understood that she died after a short-illness.

Background

Dr Luveni was from Nukuni village in Ono-I-Lau, Lau. She is survived by her husband Inoke Luveni and their five children.

She was educated at Lautoka Fijian School and then at Nabua Secondary School in Suva, before enrolling at Adi Cakobau School in Sawani and the Fiji School of Medicine.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

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