Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says for the first time ever, national Fiji Day celebrations will be held in the Western Division which will take place at Prince Charles Park.
He says this has never happened before, as those celebrations have always been restricted to Suva and he is very much looking forward to celebrating Fiji’s 47 years of Independence alongside those Fijians residing in the Western Division.
He made these comments at the Fiji Day celebrations in Vancouver, Canada.
Bainimarama says every year, Fiji Day is the chance to reflect on the ties that connect people as members of the same extended Fijian family and those ties are not defined by our ethnicity, our religion, our gender or our status in society, but rather they are defined by the love we share for our great country and our commitment to one another.
He then told the former residents of Fiji now residing in Canada that the darkest parts of Fijian history are those times that they failed to recognise these common bonds.
Bainimarama says the events of 1987 and 2000 that drove away many of the people now residing in Vancouver left a gaping hole in the heart of Fiji and set Fiji back decades, threatening the future of our country and the prosperity of every Fijian.
The Prime Minister says that over the last decade that he has led Fiji, he has made it his personal mission to assure that no Fijian has felt cast aside in their own country and abroad, he made special efforts to reach out to the diaspora communities and reconnect with the extended Fijian family.
He then told the former Fiji residents that the dark days are over and they all belong in the new Fiji.
Bainimarama stresses that we risk slipping back toward the mentalities of division and communalism that drove so many to flee Fiji.
The Prime Minister also said he was inspired by what all Fijians in Canada have achieved, despite the difficult circumstances.
He then said that the world is looking to all of us, as Fijians, because Fijians know better than most that the impacts of climate change are already upon Fiji and we understand those impacts are getting worse and we understand the urgency for decisive global action.
Bainimarama says he wants to be clear that Fiji has not been chosen to lead this global effort solely because Fijians live on the frontlines of climate change.
He says Fiji has been tasked with this responsibility because Fijians have shown themselves to be leaders in addressing this issue – leaders who have been unrelenting in their work to protect this planet and leaders who understand the value of teamwork in making that happen.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.