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Media commended for ‘Land Use’ unit
The role of the media in promoting the work by the Land Use Unit at the Ministry of Lands was commended by Colonel Neumi Leweni.
Leweni who was the former permanent secretary for the Ministry of Lands highlighted the positive work by the media during the unit’s first anniversary celebration on July 8 at the Civic House in Suva.
“There is a lot of publicity and you have dealt with a lot of issues that Government is trying to tackle like the alleviation of poverty and providing land for the investors” Leweni said.
Established in 2010 the unit received 59 interests from individual landowning units with a total land mass of 14,000 hectares, of which 2000 hectares has been designated to investors.
The unit under the Land Use Decree sees a 100 per cent lease income distribution to landowners. On the other hand Native Land Trust Board deducts 15 per cent of the lease income.
Highlights of the ministry’s achievement within the one year period included the issuing of five leases while four other interest is in the process.
A total of 2500 hectares of land has been leased out to investors. The leases given included two for mining, one for quarry, one for a jetty and one for agriculture.
The unit had a total of $730,000 premium and rental to landowners and so far has distributed $621,000 to landowners issued under the Native Land Trust Act.
The multiplier impact or returns of investment to the i-taukei will provide opportunities to invest on other lands that are not developed and capacity building on sound management practices on good governance.
Alternate investment opportunities will improve the quality of life and standard of living.
The return of investment to Government includes tax and duties, equal sharing of infrastructure development costs, lowering unemployment statistics and creating business opportunities in the rural sectors.
This in turn alleviates poverty and addresses increasing rural to urban migration.
Lands deputy secretary Pene Nonu said the unit had every reason to celebrate.
“As many of you will know it’s our first birthday, like any other first birthday there is need to celebrate. Our celebration today is actually complemented by the few achievements. I say few because I would like to be modest about the achievement that we’ve made. These achievements are milestone achievements, firstly the establishments of the unit and within this 12 months the amount of work that we have done” Nonu said
No more disruptive water supply
Years of intermittent and disruptive water supply to villages in the tikina of Bau, in Tailevu, ended after the reconfiguration of the main line at the reservoir which is their source of supply.
Water Authority of Fiji engineers reconfigured the main pipeline at the Raralevu Reservoir outside Nausori after identifying the flaw in the system, which was responsible for the many years of water disruption.
The Raralevu 300mm diameter pipeline was laid in 2005 by McConnell Dowell from New Zealand to address the chronic low pressure and intermittent supply problems facing those living along the Ratu Kadavulevu Road between Mokani Village and Bau Island.
After the commissioning of the pipeline it was realised that a few villages, particularly those in elevated areas like Cautata and Ovea, were still facing the same problem.
It was later identified as a design flaw on a section of the pipeline at Raralevu Village and was earmarked for correction and upgrade in the emergency works program for the Suva-Nausori regional water supply scheme.
Work on this project started in 2010 and continued as an on-going project in 2011.
Following the completion of the upgrade works last month, those receiving their supply from this pipeline have noticed a significant improvement in the water pressure and volume in their homes.
Coach Singh optimistic about Fiji’s chances
Newly appointed acting national soccer coach, Gurjit Singh is hopeful of building a winning team for the Pacific Games in Noumea.
The former Fiji U20 coach who took charge of the national squad from yesterday says there is a lot of work needed to build a winning combination and time is a factor that is not favouring him.
“It is a challenge for me to coach a national team though I have already coached the U20 team in the past. I see this as an opportunity for me to help my nation through my coaching,” he said.
“Time is surely not on our side but with the players chosen for the task, I will be working on moulding as good team that can win the Pacific Games.”
“Currently, there are injuries to some players while the Ba players are excused from camp so this is affecting the preparation to some extent but things should be okay in the coming weeks.”
“There are a lot of young players in the national squad and I would love to build a winning combination using most of them since they will be available for national commitments for some years.”
“The sessions yesterday and today were good and I was particularly impressed with the partnership of Roy Krishna and Eran Underwood. The two strikers combined very well and showed a lot of promise.”
Singh admits naming the final team for the Pacific Games will be a daunting task, given the calibre of players available for selection.
“Yes, it will be a tough task but we will be monitoring the individual players and will select the best out of the lot,” he added.
The national team will play a friendly match against Ba this afternoon and Singh will use the match to gauge the performance of the national reps in the Ba squad.
Fiji commended for peacekeeping duties
Fiji’s sterling contribution towards peacekeeping duties was conveyed to His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at a recent visit in Sinai.
Force Commander Major General Warren Whiting who commands the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) headquarters in Sinai briefed his excellency on the peace-keeping operations carried out by our Fiji men and women.
Speaking highly of the Fiji peacekeepers, Major General Whiting commended their professionalism and experience in dealing with peacekeeping duties in one of the most challenging part of the Sinai region.
Arriving directly from Tel Aviv, Israel, His Excellency landed in Sinai and was accorded a 100 men Guard of Honor led by Major Pita Mataki who once served Aide de Camp in the President’s office.
Throughout the week, Ratu Epeli met with officers of the Fiji Battalion HQ where he was briefed on the operation of the Fiji Battalion. Ratu Epeli was also able to meet with Fijian soldiers manning outposts in the region.
Meeting with the Fiji Battalion including those stationed at isolated locations provided His Excellency the opportunity to convey the well wishes of Fiji citizens .
The visit to these isolated locations boosted the confidence and morale of our soldiers. It strengthened their resolve to serve in such an unstable and challenging environment.
New magistrate joins the bar
A new non-resident magistrate, Andrew John See was sworn in by His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at Government House this morning.
The ceremony was attended by the Chief Justice Anthony Gates, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Chief Registrar Irani Arachchi and Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili.
Mr See is an Australian citizen holding Associate Diploma in Industrial Relations, Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Masters in Business Administration and Bachelor of Law.
He has worked as a barrister in the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia.
His major areas of expertise include employment and industrial relations, administration and migration, work place health and safety and discrimination.
Mr See is also affiliated with Bar Association of Queensland.
Run them hard
Fiji rugby great Tomasi Cama has called on the Flying Fijians to fight like warriors in the opener of the ANZ-sponsored Pacific Nations Cup against Tonga on Saturday.
“Take the game to Tonga and put the pressure on them. Get up on defence early, secure the set-pieces and use the backline to score tries,” Cama said of the Flying Fijians when they meet Tonga at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Saturday.
The match is the start of the 2011 tourney. Cama has rallied up Pacific rugby rivalry as the Flying Fijians meet the Ikale Tahi (Sea Eagles) in Lautoka this weekend.
He is confident Fiji will win.
“They need to get in there and do the job, play the game plan they have been given for 80 minutes,” Cama, who had played against the Tongans in a number of test matches, said.
“Against teams like Tonga you will need to be up on defence, don’t allow them any chance to move the ball, stop them with tough tackles and get our loosies in there to secure possession in general play “Our forwards need to secure set piece play and our backline must get the ball early.”
Tonga arrived in Fiji on Wednesday after playing in the Churchill Cup series in England.
Coach Isitolo Maka said his side was ready for Fiji.
Cama said the Tongans would be fiery upfront.
“They play it tight and close. They can come up with some surprises like the 15 man maul,” Cama said.
“They will also run it if they get the chance. I believe Samu Domoni and his team have a game plan that will work.
“The rest will be up to the players and if they get in there early and ensure that they do what they are supposed to do then I think we will win it in the end.”
Cama said the experience in the national side should augur well for Fiji.
Meanwhile, Maka has named their starting team.
He boasts a team of overseas-based players in their search for a home-away victory.
“We will perform and it will be a very good game for us this weekend. We had our first run today, even though we did not get enough training time together. We are optimistic of our chances on Saturday,” Maka said.
He said they were injury-free.
His run-on side are all experienced players and he is building on a Pacific Rugby win come game time.
“We are getting everything in order. With the calibre of players we have there will not be many mistakes, which the Fijians can take advantage of,” he said.
The match starts at 3pm.
Tonga: 1 Alisona Taumalolo, 2 Ifalemi Taukafa, 3 Kisi Pulu, 4 Paino Hehea, 5 Tukulua Lokotui, 6 Lisiate Faaoso,
7 Samiu Vahafolau (C), 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 9 Samisoni Fisilau, 10 Kurt Morath, 11 Viliame Longi, 12
Andrew Mailei, 13 Alaska Taufa,14 Viliami Helu, 15 Vungakoto Lilo
16 Semisi Telefoni, 17 Tonga Leaaetoa, 18 Joe Tuneau, 19 Sione Vaiomounga, 20 Soane Havea, 21 Hudson Tongauiha, 22 Mateo Malupo.
Do not be easily moved
Those were words of advice from the Prime Minister and Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama after officiating at the Infantry Day celebrations in Labasa this morning.
Addressing the Third Fiji Infantry Regiment (3FIR) at the Sukanaivalu Barracks, Commander Bainimarama encouraged his men to be strong, courageous and not to be easily moved or led astray.
"I want to remind you of the need to focus only on things that will help us build a better Fiji, focus on unity and togetherness,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
The RFMF Commander also reminded his men to keep in mind the commander's intent and to always remember his directives in every task that they carried out whether big or small in nature.
In highlighting the progress and development in rural areas he said that Government was trying to ensure the equal distribution of resources, something that was normally only confined to urban areas in the past.
Commodore Bainimarama also urged his men to take advantage of the opportunity from the United Nations to increase the number of RFMF peace keepers in Iraq.
"Let us continue to uplift and maintain the standards of our peacekeeping operations in Iraq," he said.
Commodore Bainimarama also presented medals for meritorious service awards to 10 men of the Sukanaivalu Barracks.
The celebrations ended this afternoon with a church service attended by the Prime Minister.
Fiji to host UN Procurement Agency Seminar
The Ministry of Industry and Trade together with the Fiji Trade Commission Los Angeles and Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (PRUN) will host the United Nations procurement division business and vendor registration seminars in Fiji.
The Attorney General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that the seminar would be conducted by the United Nations Procurement Division (UNPD) in Suva and Lautoka between July 18 to 22.
“The objective of the seminar is to brief vendors on the procurement activities for example values, policies, processes, buying profile and business opportunities of the UNPD and to register qualified vendors on-line by the close of the seminar. Registered vendors will then be able to bid to supply goods and services to the United Nations,” he said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum believes the seminar will provide an excellent opportunity for Fiji and the regional countries to become potential suppliers to the UN offices or missions in Fiji or overseas.
Fiji’s Trade Commissioner to the Americas, Mr Jitendra Singh said the first of the two seminars would be held in Suva on July 18 and 19 followed by Lautoka on July 21 and 22. The Suva and Lautoka seminars are open to regional participation.
According to the Trade Commissioner, in 2010, the United Nations procured around US$13billion worth of goods and services.
“It is intended that regional participants will join Fijian delegates at the seminars. In the afternoon, an on-line registration fair will start for vendors wishing to supply goods and services to the United Nations and virtually in any part of the world,” Mr Singh said.
Registration and participation will be free of charge at both seminars.
Major commodities the United Nations procures include air transportation services, chemical and petroleum products, food rations and catering, prefabricated buildings, motor vehicles parts and transportation equipment, electronic data processing equipment and maintenance, telecommunications equipment and services, rentals and leases, architecture, engineering and construction services, freight forwarding and delivery, air conditioning, heating, and plumbing services, building management and maintenance, generator sets, travel and related services, security and safety equipment services.
“The relevant vendors who meet the UN’s buying profile in the above categories are encouraged to attend the seminar and register themselves. Qualified vendors will also have an opportunity to register online before the seminar,” Mr Singh added.
Details of the seminar and vendor registration guidelines will soon be released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Changes imminent to Fiji FA 35-man squad
The Fiji Football Association has no choice but to make changes to the 35-member national squad it named Monday to prepare for this year's Pacific Games.
This comes in the wake of a directive by the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) it will only work with squad lists that were submitted to them.
“Sports federations can make changes but within the list which was submitted to FASANOC as this has been approved by the Board of Management which has the final say in selection matters. We will not accept new inclusions,” FASANOC president Vidhya Lakhan clarified.
In Fiji FA’s case, a list of 57 players was submitted to FASANOC which did not include names of six reps who were included in their reduced 35-member squad.
The six are Jone Salawaune of Tavua, Remeuru Tekiata of Ba, Sandeep Nair of Labasa and Navua trio Pranil Kumar, Pene Erenio and Rajnil Chand.
The Fiji FA has called a press conference at midday today at their Knolly Street head office ‘to clarify the issues relating to the National Team selection and coaches statements.’
Out of the reduced 35-member squad, 21 will travel to New Caledonia, which FASANOC says the FFA needs to finalise by June 25.
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