NATION

Cyclone Tino-Hit Fijians On PM’s Mind

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fijians, who suffered from the impact of Tropical Cyclone Tino, were on his mind as the Government worked to help them. Speaking at the celebration
20 Jan 2020 10:16
Cyclone Tino-Hit Fijians On PM’s Mind
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama participates in the Chinese New Year festivities at the Suva Civic Centre on January 19, 2020. Photo: Shalveen Chand

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fijians, who suffered from the impact of Tropical Cyclone Tino, were on his mind as the Government worked to help them.

Speaking at the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat, at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday, Mr Bainimarama said this was the time to reflect and move into the future.

He said for Fiji, this would start with putting affected Fijians back on their feet.

“My thoughts are with Fijians in the Eastern and Western Divisions who have borne the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Tino throughout this week,” he said.

“Disaster teams are on the ground working in affected communities to open access to flooded regions and restore critical services to affected Fijians.

“After this event we will actually return to leading the response to TC Tino. In the meantime I would like to take the time to urge all Fijians to remain vigilant until waters have subsided and please stay away from flooded areas.”

Mr Bainimarama alluded to why the Year of the Rat marked the start of the Chinese zodiac cycle.

He said during the Jade Dynasty, the rat led the race among other animals not because of his speed and size, but of his shrewdness.

“There is a refreshing quality about marking the start of the new year, it offers a chance for reflection, a chance to celebrate achievements and consider the lessons of history,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“Twelve years ago at the start of the last zodiac cycle, Fiji was in many ways, a vastly different country. Children did not know of the life changing opportunities born from free education. Our economy was yet to secure the historic streak of expansion and the level of stability we have today.

“Systems of birthright and patriarchal privilege reigned supreme over the proven right of merit-based recognition.

“Our people did not know of the common and equal citizenry which we now share. Our constitution was yet to be promulgated.

“These great Fijian victories have been wins for every member of the Fiji Chinese community, the same for any of your fellow Fijians.”

Mr Bainimarama said the future for Fiji was bright and required citizens to work together.

He urged citizens to reflect on where the nation had come from, where it was and how they could together contribute to an even better Fiji.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama hands a gift during the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Suva Civic Centre on January 19, 2020. Photo: Shalveen Chand

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama hands a gift during the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Suva Civic Centre on January 19, 2020. Photo: Shalveen Chand

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj



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