NATION

Bainimarama, Rabuka Pay Tribute To Late Qarase

While differences exist in politics, respect was never lost between Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the late former Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase.
26 May 2020 13:29
Bainimarama, Rabuka Pay Tribute To Late Qarase
Late former Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase.

While differences exist in politics, respect was never lost between Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the late former Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase.

In a tribute to Mr Qarase made in Parliament yesterday, Mr Bainimarama said: “Mr Qarase and I did not personally see eye-to-eye on issues I have always believed bore fundamental importance for every Fijian, but that does not diminish my respect towards him for his service to this nation.”

Mr Bainimarama was responding to a motion by the Leader of Opposition, Sitiveni Rabuka, who moved that Parliament expressed its gratitude to the Mr Qarase for his service to the people of Fiji.

Mr Bainimarama said Mr Qarase passed away in the midst of a challenging chapter for Fiji.

“Despite these difficult times, my Office of the Prime Minister found a way to manage Mr Qarase’s funeral arrangements as safely as they could be done in a manner that afforded dignity to the late prime minister and his family, and honoured his years of service to the nation.”

The Office of the Prime Minister chartered a Fiji Link flight from Suva to Vanuabalavu to transport Mr Qarase’s body, and also funded the transportation of his family on the MV Veivueti government ship.

“As per his final wishes, the former prime minister was laid to rest in his village of Mavana on Vanuabalavu Island.”

Mr Rabuka thanked the Government for the kind gestures in the use of its assets.

“Especially for the relaxation of restrictions on inter-island shipping and inter-island flights, which enabled his remains to be transported to Vanuabalavu and for his relatives to be transported and accord him his final rites as a chief and former head of government,” Mr Rabuka said.

He said apart from being the public servant and politician that Fiji acknowledged, Mr Qarase was a visionary development enthusiast and a great son of Fiji.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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