NATION

Qarase Family Thank PM, Government

The family of the late former Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has acknowledged the Government for mobilising its resources to assist in granting Mr Qarase’s wish for a Mavana burial.
26 Apr 2020 10:57
Qarase Family Thank PM, Government
The wife of former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, Leba Qarase is consoled by Sainiana Radrodro, who was part of the Vanua o Naitasiri delegation visited the Qarase family in Suva on April 25, 2020.

The family of the late former Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has acknowledged the Government for mobilising its resources to assist in granting Mr Qarase’s wish for a Mavana burial.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun yesterday, family spokesperson Mesake Koroi, said Leba Qarase and the family were grateful for the assistance.

“We are really thankful and grateful to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his government for providing us with a chartered flight and a Government vessel that will ease the burden of transportation to Mavana Village, Vanua Balavu, on Monday and Wednesday,” Mr Koroi said.

“We would like to place on record our appreciation for the Fijian Government’s decision to lift the ban on inter-island travel.”

Wife of former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, Leba Qarase (middle), with Opposition Member of Parliament Aseri Radrodro (left), and Sainiana Radrodro (right) who visited the Qarase family in Suva on April 25, 2020.

Wife of former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, Leba Qarase (middle), with Opposition Member of Parliament Aseri Radrodro (left), and Sainiana Radrodro (right) who visited the Qarase family in Suva on April 25, 2020.

Mr Koroi said the Government vessel, MV Cagivou, and Lomaiviti Princess 9 would transport relatives and friends of Mr Qarase on Monday.

“The Goundar shipping company is offering a concession return fare of $100. Mr Qarase’s body will be flown over to Vanua Balavu at 8am on Wednesday.”

A statement from the Prime Minister’s office yesterday said there would be a chartered Fiji Link plane to fly the body of Mr Qarase from Suva to Mavana, and his family would be transported via a vessel from the Government Shipping Services.

“Following my announcement of the uplifting of restrictions for interisland/maritime travel beginning tomorrow –– Sunday, 26 April 2020 –– Cabinet has endorsed the mobilisation of Government resources to facilitate the funeral arrangements for the former prime minister, Mr Laisenia Qarase,” the statement read.

“The Fiji Police Force will provide Police escort from Suva to Mavana Village, and –– with our ongoing COVID-19 containment measures in mind –– help promote a safe and healthy environment throughout the journey.

“The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will also be screening those who will travel from Suva to Mavana Village for the funeral.

“Together with the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, my office is in close consultation with the family and the vanua to ensure that the arrangements are carried out appropriately and respectfully.

“I extend my condolences to the family of Fiji’s sixth prime minister in this difficult time, and hope that this gesture from the Government he once served helps lift the burden of their grief.”

Tribute

The Board of Directors and Management of the Vanua Balavu Vision Limited also paid tribute to Mr Qarase as their founding board chairman.

Incoming chair of Vanua Balavu Vision Limited, Kiniviliame Keteca, said the 79-year-old leader led a life of service with immense distinction for the good of his community and that of his country.

Mr Keteca said: “The life of Laisenia Qarase was one of service for the betterment of others, expending oneself for the benefit and the empowerment of his vanua, be it his village of Mavana, his district of Mualevu, his island of Vanua Balavu, his province of Lau, or for the wider good, that of the nation of Fiji.”

Mr Keteca said from those humble beginnings, Vanua Balavu Vision Limited now has a paid up capital of $3.5 million with total assets worth $10 million.

Mr Qarase succumbed to a short illness on Tuesday at the Oceania Hospital in Suva.

He is survived by his wife Leba Qarase, seven children, 27 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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