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Archived News: August 2013

From Fiji Times Online (31 August 2013)

Youths meet in Barbados

by Shayal Devi

FOLLOWING the successes of the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) meetings in Jamaica and Fiji earlier this year, Barbados in the Caribbean hosted the last of a series of meetings leading up to the annual SIDS conference in Samoa next year.

Fiji's representative Emily Erasito said young people make up a large part of the populations of SIDS countries.

"If youth leaders are to be the national leaders of tomorrow, they need to be involved today and participate in processes such as the SIDS dialogue," she said.

"The experience of being involved in the Jamaica Youth Workshop allowed me to share knowledge with other young people from the Caribbean, participate in capacity-building and work collaboratively to develop common solutions for the issues faced by SIDS youths," said Alex Cumberbatch of Barbados.

Communications specialist for UNICEF Donna Hoerder said after the conclusion of the meeting in Barbados, nine youths would represent Maldives, Comoros, Mauritius, Samoa, Fiji Islands, Dominica and Barbados as SIDS youth representatives at the inter-regional preparatory meeting next week.

"These young people were selected from the 70 youth participants from 30 SIDS countries and territories who participated in the My World, My SIDS workshops," she said.

"Combining the outcomes from the three regional workshops, an inter-regional SIDS youth outcome document entitled Empowering Youth as Partners in Sustainable Small Island Development has been prepared.

"Through this statement, these youths aim to represent the voices of young people from SIDS."

© Fiji Times Ltd.

From Joe Atu in Brisbane (29 August 2013)

Rotuman Community of Queensland

On the weekend of Saturday, 10 August 2013, the community had a triple celebration.
We had an Agriculture Show and celebrated our President's birthday and the Rotuman Community of Queensland's 25th Anniversary.

The day started with an agriculture show of food grown by our community. There were impressive food displays of taro, yams, casava, sugarcane, kumara, pumpkins, pofo, chilli trees, passion fruit, pineapples, cumquats, potatoes, banana trees, rag‘apua, tomatoes and kava. A large taro (Munivai), casava (Ron) and kava tree (Roko) highlighted the Rotuman spirit of great farmers, no matter where we reside in this world.

Please note that next year this will be a competition open to all Rotumans and friends, hopefully with an annual trophy for the winner, so start preparing for the big day. Photos from Agricultural Show

This was followed by our traditional birthday celebration to honour our President Gabriel and also the 25th Anniversary of the Rotuman Community of Queensland. There were two cakes for the two occasions which were cut by our President Gabriel.

The koua was prepared by Roko and the boys and the päega was prepared by Sagaito and the ladies.

Seated with our President, at the head, were Gagaj Kausakmua, Akanisi, Kapi, Teofili and Emeli. The traditional food presentation from the koua was made by the men followed by the kava presentation. Grace was said by Rev Teofili and lunch was served.

As with all Rotuman feasts, food was in abundance; I have yet to see any Rotuman feast running out of food. Our usual whole pig, corned beef, taro, ikau, fish, curry, roti, Asian dishes and much more. Ooops sorry, I forgot to mention fekei—as Gagaj Kausakmua reminded us, the true Rotuman always eats fekei with tinned corned beef. This was followed with a variety of sweets and fruits for dessert.

After all the tables were cleared, official speeches started. The birthday cake was lit for Gabriel's birthday. After blowing out the candles and cutting the cake, everyone sang Happy Birthday and Gabriel's daughter Rina spoke.

Next, the anniversary cake for the Rotuman Community of Queensland's 25th Anniversary was lit and our President Gabriel did the honours of blowing out the candles and cutting the cake. Cheryl spoke on behalf of the community, outlining the community's journey over the past twenty-five years to where we are today. After this our President Gabriel spoke and thanked all involved and also gave us an insight into his life growing up in Rotuma, moving to Fiji and finally to Brisbane.

This was followed by Rev Sandra who acknowledged the great work done by Pastor Gabriel for the whole community, not only the Rotuman community.

John gave the official speech thanking all the guests for their attendance and sharing our Agriculture Show, Birthday and Anniversary Celebrations.This concluded the official function for the day, although the singing and dancing continued till late. As always our forever present fara atmosphere was part of our late hour celebration.

We must pay tribute to all the ladies who worked tirelessly in the kitchen and the food tables to ensure we all had a sumptuous feast. Photos from birthday and anniversary celebrations

On Sunday, a special church service was conducted to celebrate the Rotuman Community of Queensland's twenty-fifth anniversary. Photos from church service

Hanisiof to all—always a proud Rotuman!

From Fijilive (24 August 2013)

Ravoi crowned Hibiscus King

Gregory Ravoi

By Reginald Chandar

20-year-old Gregory Ravoi was tonight crowned Fiji Hibiscus King at Albert Park in Suva. Sponsored by Ayaan Security, the second year University of the South Pacific Journalism and Political Science student beat nine other contestants for the top crown. Ravoi won the Best Talent and Best Dressed awards earlier in the contest.


From Fijivillage (22 August 2013)

New constitution made public

The final version of the 2013 Constitution has been made public with some significant amendments that relate to itaukei, Rotuman and Banaban land. . .

As the fourth constitution was unveiled by the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum earlier today, he said the final version differs from the draft constitution by containing specific provisions that guarantee and strengthen the protection of iTaukei, Rotuman and Banaban lands. 

A new section in the 2013 constitution states that the ownership of all iTaukei land shall remain with the customary owners of that land and iTaukei land shall not be permanently alienated, whether by sale, grant, transfer or exchange, except to the state. 

It further states that any iTaukei land acquired by the State for a public purpose after the commencement of the Constitution or under any written law shall revert to the customary owners if the land is no longer required by the State.

The same applies for all Rotuman and Banaban land. . .

From Fiji Times Online (10 August 2013)

Agro hope for island

by Dawn Gibson

ONE of the main agricultural targets for the government is to improve agro-production in Rotuma.

This is one of the focus areas for the Rotuma Affairs Unit under the Prime Minister's Office, a statement issued by the Ministry of Information on Thursday stated.

Consultant in the Prime Minister's office Tomasi Tui said this followed the quarantine treatment of non-fruit fly commodities such as pineapples and water melons.

"These fruits have to be treated first before any export to Tuvalu can be carried out," Mr Tui said in the statement.

"Vegetables such as dalo leaves, bele and cabbage will also be treated."

Rotuma Export Council chairman Hiagi Foraete said exports to Tuvalu began in 2011 with five shipments.

He said a total of 38 tonnes of root crops, mostly dalo, was exported during the five shipments with a revenue of $69,000.

"Fruits and vegetables have been given the green light to be exported to Tuvalu and we look forward to have root crop, fruits and vegetables in our next export shipment," Mr Foraete said.

He said they were liaising with the importers in Tuvalu for their August orders.

© Fiji Times Ltd.

From Fiji Times Online (9 August 2013)

Consultant: Treat fruits before export

By Dawn Gibson

MORE emphasis is being put on the need to quarantine fruits and vegetables exported from Rotuma to Tuvalu.

This was revealed in a statement issued by the Ministry of Information yesterday in which a consultant in the Prime Ministers office said non-fruit fly commodities also required quarantine treatment.

"These fruits have to be treated first before any export to Tuvalu can be carried out," the consultant Tomasi Tui said.

In the statement, Rotuma Export Council chairman Hiagi Foraete said exports to Tuvalu began in 2011 with five shipments.

"We are liaising with the importers in Tuvalu for their orders for the August shipment," he said.

© Fiji Times Ltd.

From Fijivillage (2 August 2013)

New vessel to help people in the outer islands

by Watisoni Butabua

The purchase of a new inter island shipping vessel next year will address problems faced by the people in the outer islands.

Commissioner Eastern Lieutenant Colonel Netani Rika said the government is now putting together plans for the purchase of a new vessel.

He said with the new vessel, the delivery of cargo to Kadavu, Lau, Lomaiviti and Rotuma would be made easier.

He added the lack of maritime travel is an issue the government is trying to address for the Eastern Division.