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Archived News: May 2009

From Fijitimes Online (27 May 2009)

Local held by pirates

By Elenoa Baselala

Vamarosi Mausio, 59, is comforted by her eldest son Joseph, at their family home in Vesivesi, Kinoya yesterday

THE Fiji Government will approach the international community for assistance as the mother of Somali hostage and Fiji national Wayne Suliana pleads for his release.

Foreign Affairs acting deputy permanent secretary Sila Balawa said the Fiji missions in London and Brussels would be alerted to contact ACP and European Union counterparts for assistance in the release of Mr Suliana and the 11 Tuvaluans that were being held hostage by Somali pirates for a ransom of $31million (US$15m).

The ministry was unaware that the Fiji national was among the 24 sailors on the German cargo ship Hansa Stavager that was seized on April 5 on its way to South Africa.

Mr Suliana's mother, Vamarosi Mausio, has come to the media with her plea after her 31-year-old son failed to call in the last two weeks.

"He usually calls on Sundays and it lasts for three to five minutes," she said.

"But his last call, he told me not to worry about him but I could tell from his voice that something was wrong.

"Whenever he called, he would say they would be free soon but the last time he called I knew he was not convinced when he told me."

Mrs Mausio, a mother of three sons, was informed of the hostage taking by her son a few days after the incident.

"He called and said that his ship had been seized and they were keeping the crew hostages," the widower said.

"In his calls, he tells me that he is fine, that they were being given food and water but it was often not enough.

"For the first few days, they were allowed to sleep in their own rooms.

"Most of the time he would not finish what he wanted to say because the pirates would cut off the conversation and say time is up."

Emotionally wrecked Mrs Vamarosi said her son had told her not to do anything because they would be freed soon but with no word from him in the past two Sundays, she had to do something even if Somalia was so far away from Fiji.

Like any mother, she is worried whether he was being fed as Somalia was strife with poverty and violence.

Mr Suliana, a former Marist Brothers' High School student left Fiji in 1997 to study at the Amatuku Maritime School in Tuvalu.

Though, he completed more courses at the Training Productivity Authority of Fiji, Mr Suliana chose to be a seafarer among the Tuvaluans traveling the globe through stints with various shipping companies.

The last time he was in Fiji was last September on route to board the Hansa Stavager.

Early this month, the German government pulled back its elite combat force GSG 9 from storming the ship amid fears it would end in a blood bath.

A weekly magazine Spiegel reported that the force was on the US helicopter ship USS Boxer and were ready to board the ship when they were told to turn back.

It reported that a US government permission was needed to launch the operation and this was not issued.

As Somalia is one of the poorest, most violent, least stable countries anywhere on earth, piracy has become a source of income for many former fishermen.

Last year, shipping firms paid out close to $270m in ransom.

From Fijitimes Online (26 May 2009)

Rotuman man among pirate hostages

By Irene Manueli

In pirate waters ... Wayne Suliana, the Fiji national among the hostages

IT's prayers and sleepless nights for the family of Wayne Suliana, the Fiji national on board the German container ship Hansa Stavanger which was seized by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa in east Africa last month.

The 31-year-old ethnic Rotuman is a fitter-and-turner among the 24-member crew onboard the 20,000-tonne container vessel.

Mr Suliana's surviving parent, Vamarasi, and his two brothers are nearing the end of their tether after almost two months since his capture on April 5.

"We simply don't know what's happening," said his eldest sibling, Joseph Fesaitu, in Rotuman.

"We can't even contact the local agent and there has been no word from them either."

The pirates are reportedly demanding a ransom of US$15million (FJD$31.57m) for the foreign seamen, which includes 11 Tuvaluans, five Germans, three Russians, two Ukrainians and two Filipinos.

Mr Fesaitu said the family, who are originally from Ut'utu Village in Noa'tau, did not go public with their burden because they feared for their brother's safety.

"He told us not to do anything because negotiations were ongoing but it's so long now," said Mr Fesaitu.

The family is in touch with Mr Suliana for a minimum of 3 minutes every Sunday.

"He tells us he is okay and not to worry but we understand that he can't tell us anymore than that," he said.

"We hope the situation will soon be resolved and thatWaynecan safely return home."

Comments have been sought from the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Tuvalu Embassy.

Tuvalu Transport Minister Taukelina Finikaso told a Pacific Maritime Ministers meeting in Tonga last week that it was seeking the support of Pacific countries to put pressure on the Government of Somalia to release the hostages.

According to overseas media reports, an attempt to free the Hansa Stavanger shortly after its capture ended in failure after the pirates managed to flee to a harbour on the Somali coast.

Germany has reportedly sought the US Government's help because of its tactical expertise in such rescue missions.

From Fiji Daily Post (20 May 2009)

State looks to invest in renewable resources

WITH Fiji importing petroleum products, local prices of fuel depends largely on a number of factors including the world market prices of fuel making it vulnerable.

Based on that the Department of Energy says ensuring sufficient energy sources to support national and local economies is crucial to achieving sustainable development.

“To reduce our vulnerability to these changes it is important that we develop and use our available resources,” media liaison officer for the Energy Department Moape Waqa said in a statement yesterday.

“Developing renewable energy resources is the key to this,” Waqa said.

Highlighting lots of untapped potential with the renewable resources available in the country, Moape says that this needs to be assessed and quantified for development purposes.

Waqa adds that renewable energy projects are ongoing and targeted at consumers, the communities at large whether it be rural or urban.

The Department of Energy has installed more than 1000 Solar Home Systems in Vanua Levu and intends to implement another 42 systems which will include Rotuma and Taveuni.

At the same time the department is conducting ongoing hydro resource assessments at the following sites to determine their viability for developing hydro projects to meet the communities’ energy needs.

With the implementation of renewable energy development projects, the state believes rural communities would be able to use clean, affordable and sustainable power supply.

Waqa says most of the communities at the moment are still relying on diesel generators and the introduction of renewable energy projects would ease their burden of buying diesel to run their generator sets which will also reduce the emission of green house gases.

The Department of Energy has engaged in a nationwide awareness on energy saving measures/tips and that the department is grateful for the assistance of corporate businesses and organisations on this national initiative.

From Alan Howard in Honolulu (20 May 2009)

Photos from the Sydney Rotuma Day Celebration are online at the Sydney Rotuman Community Website

From Mika Taito in Los Angeles, California (19 May 2009)

Rotuma Day 2009 in Fremont, California was a lot of fun and a great success. Our Chairman of Seven Stars of Rotuma Association and members wish to extend our
sincere gratitude & thankfullness to everyone present at the celebration.

'Otomis Chairman ta Pedro Rigamoto a'hae la naaf faeag ne 'ua'ua'ak ti'u se
Akanisi & Aisake Konrote & family in Sydney, Australia. Faiaksia 'e a'vaohian
ne haifaegaga ma po ma Muarina leum ma sae sin kato'ag ta ka na tape'ma
vaeag koroa rauraut se Seven Stars. Gagaja la hanis la alalum'ak 'aus 'atakoa
'e te' ne ava.

Also to everyone present at the celebration: Kop ma raurau sirien la Seven Stars
la rauof 'omus as tutu 'atakoa ka 'otomis 'ua'uaki leuof se te' ne hensasiag ne po
ma teag'esea 'e kato'ag ta.

In addition we would like to thank other Pacific Island Communites for their support as well as the Fiji Mixx Band.

Seven Stars of Rotuma Association's next meeting will be on Saturday, 6 June se
hanua 'on Pedro & Makereta Rigamoto.


From Mata Inoke in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada (18 May 2009)

On 9 May 2009 the Rotuman Community, in association with the South Sea Islanders community of Fort McMurray, hosted the Hugag’esea Club from Vancouver and Victoria Island to celebrate Rotuma day.

This is the first time Rotuma Day was celebrated in Fort McMurray and we are so grateful to Hugag’esea Club for accepting our invitation. Rotuma day was celebrated in conjunction with the 28th anniversary of Grand Polynesian Night, hosted by the South Sea Islander Association of Ft McMurray. The occasion was celebrated with over 600 invited guests of family and friends. The mayor of the city and representatives of the major church denominations attended as special guests.

Families and friends from Vancouver and Victoria Island were welcomed with a mamasa ceremony on Friday, May 08. The Tradewinds band from Victoria Island was also invited for the celebration. Friday was a day and night of reunion for family and friends. Final dance rehearsals and tautoga practice were some of the many activities that went through the night in preparation for the main celebration.

On Saturday night of 9 May the Tradewinds Band serenaded from the time guests started arriving at 5:00pm until after dinner at 8:30pm. The tautoga was the third item of the night; it was the first time it was performed in the 28-year history of the South Sea Islanders Association-hosted annual event. There was much applause from the start to the end. In fact, the hafa was performed with such passion and life that the fourth item had to be delayed because the hotel’s main dance stage had to be reinforced for safety reasons. The entertainment program took approximately two hours and provided much excitement and lots of fun. The Rotuma Day celebration concluded on Sunday with brunch at the residence of Mata & Nina Inoke. Yes, the celebration had concluded but we re-established relationships with valued memories that will live for a long time.

Tautoga at Rotuma Day celebration in Fort McMurray

‘Otomis ‘ua’ua’aki a’hele’uof se President ne Hugag’esea Club, Fanifau ‘Avaiki.

  1. Sosefo & Betty Avaiki, Saunoa & Janette Molia; Penatete and all the folks from Vancouver & Victoria Island
  2. Tradewinds Band – Peni & Maureen Tavutonivalu; Joe Fuailefau & Saunoa Molia (joined by the local boys, Homer Bentley, Sam Samson & Mata Inoke)
  3. President elect Southsea Islanders Association, Darrel Loo, Secretary; Seforsa ONeil & all club members
  4. Fort McMurray: Tony & Charlotte Loo, Terani & Maria Peters, Albert & Hilda Solomone, Dean & ‘Emi Tabin

The Rotuman community in Fort McMurray hopes to continue this relationship with Hugag’esea Club by sharing Rotuman dancing & culture through future Rotuma Day celebrations.

Noa’ia ‘e hanisi ma ‘haisamoag ne ‘os Kato’ag te’

More photos

From Fijitimes Online (17 May 2009)

Big day for Rotumans

By Unaisi Ratubalavu

Chanel Liwaki of Juju district performs a Kalo'a dance at the celebrations in Suva yesterday. The dance is traditionally only performed by men

BAU chief Ratu Tu'uakitau Cokanauto thanked the Rotuman community for the significant contribution they have made in public life, politics, commerce and industry since they were linked with Fiji way back in the 1800s.

Ratu Tu'uakitau was chief guest on Friday night at the Rotuma Day celebrations in Suva.

He reminded those at the Vodafone Arena of how the Rotuman chiefs visited Ratu Seru Cakobau after Fiji was ceded to Great Britain in 1874.

Ratu Tu'uakitau said Ratu Cakobau told the Rotuma chiefs then, that through Cession, Fiji was able to achieve stability, peace, order and development.

"Through that advice and trust between the chiefs of Rotuma and Bau, Rotuma was also ceded to Britain on May 13, 1881. And that is why Rotuma is always linked to the Kubuna confederacy."

He said links between Fiji and Rotuma has been very close.

"We use to refer to Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma which signifies the link between the two communities," he said.

Ratu Tu'uakitau said through hard work and participatory work ethics, the Rotumans would be able to raise the much needed funds for the Fiji Rotuma Association funds.

* For more pictures of the Suva celebrations, click here

From Fijitimes Online (17 May 2009)

Time to mingle, rejoice

IT was time to catch up with relatives and enjoy each other's company at the Rotuma Day celebrations in Suva yesterday.

Fiji Rotuma Association executive and Oinafa's president Fatiaki Misau said the day was also a time for Rotumans to raise funds on stand-by for any development projects back on the island.

"We are still raising funds for a Fiji Rotuma Association pool and the sky is the limit," he said.

"Because when we fund any project back on the island, we know that we have to give an amount for projects that benefits everyone."

The day was also celebrated by the children and youths who enjoyed the feasting and merrymaking associated with Rotuma Day.

The seven districts of Rotuma had some displays and sold food and even the traditional dessert of "fekei." And dancers from the Juju district performed their traditional dance called koloa or the paddle dance that thrilled the 300 people who turned up at the Vodafone arena.

Mr Misau said this year's Rotuma Day's theme is "E on si'u Rotuma amia." which means In His ( Lord's) hands, Rotuma is blessed.

The Rotuma Day celebrations was opened by Ratu Tu'uakitau Cokanauto on Friday evening.

Mr Misau also gave an address at the opening, thanking the wisdom of their chiefs for ceding Rotuma to Great Britain in 1881 and then Britain annexed the island to Fiji.

"And since then, life has been very good with the Rotumans and the chiefs in Fiji.

"And the many opportunities given to us here in Fiji."

Crowd at the Rotuma Day celebrations at the Vodafone Arena in Suva yesterday

From Fijitimes Online (16 May 2009)

Rotuma marks day

Makrava and Vaufo'ou Mario flew in from the United States of America last week to participate in Rotuma Day celebrations.

Traditional and modern ... Makrava Mario, 64, of Noatau district in Rotuma, displays handicraft as part of the Rotuma Day celebrations held at the Vodafone Arena yesterday.

Picture: Atu Rasea

Mrs Mario had designed jewellery for sale at the Noatau stall, which was made by her son-in-law, Eddie Romeo.

"We return every two years for the celebrations but every time I come I miss out on participating in the cultural dances," said Mrs Mario.

"But this is the first time I'll be dancing for Noatau district since returning to Fiji," said Mrs Mario, who has been residing in America for the past 10 years.

"I feel very happy and proud. The celebrations are important because we get to socialise and enjoy the company of family and friends.

"I feel great just being here and participating in the celebration."

Her husband, Vaufo'ou, shared similar sentiments, saying the reason for their trip to Fiji was to participate in the celebrations.

"This is a great day for Rotumans in Fiji and Rotumans overseas will celebrate this day," Mr Mario said.

"This is a good opportunity for everyone to come together, mingle and socialise."

Posted by Gilbert Veisamasama, Jr in Suva (15 May 2009)

A Rotuman Art Exhibition is currently on at the Fiji Museum this week. The items on display include art and craft from the beginning of the 20th Century to date. For more information, pls call Letila Mitchell on telephone (679) 3311754 or e-mail

From Radio Fiji (13 May 2009)

Millions needed for Rotuma development

More than $20 million is to be used for the development of Rotuma during the next five years.

Commissioner Central/Eastern Tomasi Tui says the government will be drafting $8 million within the next 2 years.

This excludes $14 million from the Chinese government for the construction of the Lopta wharf, which will be the main port of entry for the island in 2011.

Tui says the reasons behind government’s decision for concentrating development on Rotuma is because out of the 14 provinces in Fiji, the island of Rotuma is the most isolated and furthest from the mainland.

He says apart from increasing revenue for the islanders, developing Rotuma will also increase revenue for the government, because of the potential the island has and its strategic location in trading with other Pacific Island countries.

Tui added that the Prime Minister wants development work on Rotuma to be completed within 2 years.

From Radio Fiji (13 May 2009)

Celebrations underway in Rotuma

Celebrations are underway in Rotuma as the chiefs and people of Rotuma commemorate the 128th anniversary of the cession of the island to the British Crown.

The chiefs of Rotuma ceded the island to Queen Victoria in 1881, seven years after Fiji’s cession in 1874.

Joining in the celebrations is the 140-member Government delegation led by the Commissioner Eastern Tomasi Tui.

The celebration is the culmination of the week-long visit to the island by the delegation which, among other things, provided briefs to the Rotuma Island Council meeting and the presentation of the Baby Friendly Award to the Rotuma Rural Hospital.

A farewell banquet for the Government delegation will be hosted by the Rotuman Island council later this evening.

The delegation departs Rotuma tomorrow morning.

From New Nations News Reporters Newsroom (13 May 2009)

ROTUMA will receive $100,000 from the Government to facilitate its trade arrangement with Tuvalu. Commissioner Eastern Tomasi Tui said the sum would be used by the business arm of the Rotuma Island Council for trade purposes. Director of Quarantine Hirangi Foraete said the business arm would help farmers obtain export licence. Trade between Rotuma and Tuvalu will start in July. The Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry recommended to the Rotuma Island Council that they set up a business arm to, among other things, operate as an exporter and establish a network with Tuvalu importers to confirm market requirements.

From Fiji Daily Post (13 May 2009)

Fiji hospitals are all baby-friendly

ALL of Fiji’s 21 hospitals and health centres are now certified as baby-friendly, thanks to Rotuma.

Fiji is probably one of few countries around the world to have achieved baby-friendly status for all its hospitals.

On Monday the Rotuma Rural Hospital received the Baby-Friendly Initiative Award and presenting the award was the joint representative of the World Health Organization and UNICEF, Seini Kurusiga.

Speaking on behalf of the two organisations Mrs Kurusiga said she was proud to share the milestone achievement with the Ministry of Health and Government of Fiji.

“This milestone achievement is one of the simplest interventions and yet challenging task of creating the right environment for optimum nutrition resulting in a good start in life for the children of Rotuma and Fiji – the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative,” she said.

The initiative was globally launched by the two UN bodies in 1991 to ensure that all maternity facilities support mothers in making the best infant-feeding choice for them.

Fiji Government Online (12 May 2009)

Rotuma thanks PM for development

The chiefs and people of Rotuma have heaped praises on government for the development being undertaken on the island.

The acknowledgement was made yesterday (Monday) afternoon during the mamasa ceremony which welcomed visitors to Rotuma.

In his welcome address, Brigadier George Konrote told the Government delegation that Rotuma is grateful for the efforts being made by the Government in trying to increase economic development on the island.

“In just a short time span, the Government has turned its focus on Rotuma’s development and this can be seen through the number of commitments it has undertaken here,” the retired senior military officer said.

“Please convey to the Prime Minister our thanks and gratitude for all these developments.”

The RFMF Engineers Corp will begin construction on the new office and residential blocks for the Quarantine, Immigration and Customs departments this week.

This is to facilitate trade and travel arrangements between Rotuma and Tuvalu when bilateral trade begins in the not too distant future.

Rotuma has been officially designated as an official port of entry for this purpose.

From Radio Fiji (12 May 2009)

Rotuma puts Fiji on the Map

The Rotuma Rural Hospital has made Fiji one of the few countries in the world to have achieved “BABY-FRIENDLY” status, out of all the hospitals in the country.

The people of Rotuma last night danced the night away and celebrated till early this morning.

This was after UNICEF last night presented the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Award to the Rotuma Rural Hospital.

Chief guest Bulou Seini Kurusiga, who was the WHO representative, says they are proud to share this milestone achievement with the Ministry of Health and the government of Fiji.

It was in 1991 that UNICEF and the WHO globally launched the Baby friendly Hospital Initiative as an effort to ensure that all maternity facilities, whether free-standing or in a hospital, are modest in making the best infant feeding choice.

Divisional Medical Officer Central/Eastern Dr. Solomoni Qaranivalu says the achievement places Fiji amongst the top countries of the Pacific.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner Eastern Tomasi Tui will this morning chair the Rotuma Island Council Committee meeting at the Ahau government station.

Topping the agenda will be the development plan for the island.

Another important issue that will be discussed is the final preparations towards trade with the Tuvalu government and the interest the government of Kiribati has shown towards accompanying Tuvalu in trading with Rotuma.

Discussions also include the transportation plans that have been laid for the island and the two-phase upgrade of the Rotuma airport.

From Fijitimes Online (12 May 2009)

Rotuma tour

ABOUT 100 officials from 10 State ministries and departments, including the military, are in Rotuma to inspect capital projects. Commissioner Eastern Tomasi Tui and the officials will inspect and report on the progress of the projects, including new buildings for office and residential accommodation for departments to be stationed on the island. The Quarantine Department is one of the three new departments that will be stationed on the island. The others are the Customs and immigration departments.

From Radio Fiji (9 May 2009)

Quarantine officers to visit Rotuma

A team from the Plant Protection Section of the Koronivia Research Station under the Ministry of Agriculture will be traveling to Rotuma today to carry out a pest list database specifically for the island of Rotuma.

This comes about after the recent declaration of Rotuma as a port of entry to better facilitate trade with Tuvalu and other neighboring countries like Kiribati.

Director for Quarantine Hiragi Foraete says the necessity of a pest list database is to assist countries that are interested to trade with Rotuma with a pest risk analysis of certain crops.

Foraete says Tuvalu will use this study to determine the types of fruits, vegetables and dalo that will be suitable for trade.

In addition, Foraete says a military trade unit will be constructing a packing shed on the island for the grading, cleaning and packing of crops like dalo, cassava and kumala which are the three main commodities that have been confirmed for trade by Tuvalu.

From Radio Fiji (8 May 2009)

Government targets Rotuma

Close to a hundred government officials will be heading towards Rotuma this weekend.

The delegation will be on the island to start and finalise development work.

Commissioner Eastern Tomasi Tui says the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama wants development in Rotuma completed within two years.

Tui says the team to Rotuma will be part of the Rotuma developement Committee meeting which will be underway at Ahau Government station on the 12th of this month.

The Commissioner Eastern has also revealed the interest by the Kirbibati Government towards exportation of our commodities.

“The Kiribati government has also showed its interest and we have already discussed with the High Commissioner in Fiji who has assured us that their government also wishes Rotuma to export some commodities to Kiribati.”

Tui adds that Kiribati has strongly recommended kava out of the export.

Meanwhile, this morning Tui was re-employed by Government and has signed a one-year contract.

From Radio Fiji (7 May 2009)

Police on Rotuma Border

Police will act as border control officers in Rotuma. As an interim measure, police will act as border control officers when they man Rotuma’s only port of entry—the wharf at Oinafa.

According to the Commissioner Eastern, Tomasi Tui, police will also be conducting all quarantine and immigration work on the island before proper officials are posted there.

“We have put in place a temporary measure, that is for the police to act as border control officers and also immigration officers and custom officers to check on foreign ships coming to the island. They have been provided with the necessary equipment and this year we are also upgrading the police station there to enable us to post immigration officers as well as quarantine officers to the island to monitor the programs on the island.”

Preparations are underway for the Rotuma and Tuvalu trade program.

From Radio Fiji (7 May 2009)

Resources from Rotuma

The island of Rotuma which is well known for its rich resources can be sending produce and fruits across to the main land sometimes soon.

According to the Commissioners Office, fruit from Rotuma is banned from leaving the island due to large amounts of fruit flies.

With Rotuma preparing to trade with Tuvalu in terms of fresh fruits and other produce, a setting up of a hot air treatment plant is also expected on the island soon.

According to Commissioner Eastern Tomasi Tui this will also allow fruits and other garden produce to enter Viti Levu and other nearby Pacific Island states.

“With the hot air treatment plant being on the island and all the fruit being treated, we can look forward to Rotuma also sending their fruit to our local markets in Fiji.”

From Radio Fiji (6 May 2009)

Government plans for Rotuma

The Government of Fiji has put in place a transport plan which includes the upgrading of all the roads on the island of Rotuma.

Commissioner Eastern Tomasi Tui says the upgrading of the airport has also been endorsed by cabinet.

Tui added that Rotuma will now be a port of entry by both sea and air so requirements will be in place to accomplish government plans on the furthest island from Viti Levu.

“And there is a cost attached to that which is about $10 million dollars this year. There is a grant of 1.5 million and perhaps we’re looking at other funds to be sourced from other allocations to top up with the 1.5 million we have allocated for the upgrading of Rotuma Airport.”

Tui says the Rotuma airport will be done in phases with the first to be completed this year with the projected to be completed by next year, given available funds.

He says a wharf needs to be constructed at Lopta and the project will go ahead depending on the goodwill of the landowners.

“We will try to get their consent when we visit the island this week to get the consensus of the landowners as well as the Rotuma Council before we progress into work on the preparations for the Lopta wharf. We have included the funding through the Chinese soft loan and if the funds comes then we will start as early as next year.”

The Commissioner Eastern says there is also an allocation of 250 thousand dollars to improve the 42 kilometers of road around the island and PWD has committed to do the upgrading work this year.

From Fiji Daily Post (5 May 2009)

Pacific Sun adds more flights

DESITE news of a local airline company closing down its operations Pacific Sun airlines is extending its local services.

Effective from Sunday the airline has increased its services between Nadi and Suva from seven flights per day to eight.

Pacific Sun General Manager Manoa Kamikamica said the extension recognised the continued demand.

There will be three afternoon services daily from Nadi to Suva at 5pm, 6pm and 8.15pm.

“These extra services mark our commitment to the traveling public of Fiji,” Kamikamica revealed.

“We will continue to provide our customers reliable and safe domestic travel and we will continue to provide the ‘More Flights More Value’ with competitive pricing from as low as $59 between Nadi and Suva .

Recently Pacific Sun expanded their network by introducing direct services to Levuka, Kadavu and Taunovo Bay out of Suva.

Still to come are services to Rotuma, Vanuabalavu and Lakeba.

By Sanjay Goundar

From Martoa Dickinson in Sydney (3 May 2009)

Muarina Konrote
Muarina Akata Konrote

Muarina Akata Konrote, daughter of Aisake and Akanisi Konrote, graduated on 30 April 2009 at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Muarina graduates with a B.A. degree with a double major in Politics and International Relations & Social Science and Policy.

A lovely graduation dinner was held on 1 May to celebrate this momentous occasion with family and close friends, including Reverend Sydney Taito and Mrs Taito at her parent's home in Jannali, Sydney.

As a graduation gift from her parents to mark this milestone Muarina flew yesterday to Los Angeles and then on to Las Vegas. She will be Guest of Honour at the Rotuma Day celebration in Fremont, California.

We wish her the best of luck with her future endeavours and God's Blessings.

More Photos

From Fiji Daily Post (2 May 2009)

Rotuma, Tuvalu trade on course

MATERIALS for the staff quarters and High Temperature Forced Air (HTFA) treatment plant for the Rotuma/Tuvalu trade are now waiting to be shipped to Rotuma.

“The materials and HTFA worth $500,000 is expected to be shipped to Rotuma on May 07 or 09”, Senior Quarantine Officer Mere Salusalu said in press release.

“The construction of the buildings and installation of the HTFA will the done by the RFMF Engineers and supervised by the PWD.” Salusalu expects all works to be completed sometime in August this year. The Rotuma/Tuvalu trade in agricultural produce came about after Rotuma was declared a port of entry in May 2008, and the commitment made by the Government of Tuvalu to open their trade doors with nearest island neighbour.

That opened the door for the Ministry of Agriculture and the Bio-Security Unit within the ministry to start the ground work in facilitating this much anticipated trade.

Early last year, the ministry went on a fact-finding trip to Tuvalu to look at their market situation and work on ways that we can prepare Rotuma to supply agricultural commodities for the market in Tuvalu.

A delegation from the Government of Tuvalu also travelled to Rotuma late last year, just to see whether Rotuma can supply Tuvalu with the much needed agricultural commodities.

That visit gave confidence and assurance to the Tuvaluan Government that Rotuma with its fertile soil and natural potential resources can supply Tuvalu.

Negotiations with the Tuvaluan Quarantine Authority and the Fiji Government was made possible through the contribution and assistance provided by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in bringing the two parties together in relation to the bio security issues that will open the Tuvaluan market.

Trade between the two island neighbours will start off with agriculture produce only such as dalo, cassava and Kumala.