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New Zealand Earthquake
New Zealand Earthquake 2011: Christchurch In Ruins After 6.3-Magnitude Temblor
At least 65 people have died after a massive earthquake toppled churches and tall buildings in one of New Zealand's biggest cities.
As CBS is reporting, Tuesday's temblor was the second major quake to hit Christchurch in five months, though it caused more damage than a considerably stronger September quake. Though rescue efforts are continuing, more than 100 people are thought to remain trapped in the rubble late Tuesday night. Some survivors have been able to send text messages or make phone calls from under the wreckage.
"It is just a scene of utter devastation," Prime Minister John Key said after rushing to the city. "We may well be witnessing New Zealand's darkest day." In addition, the quake has shaken a massive chunk of ice loose from the country's biggest glacier.
State to offer more assistance for Navatusila
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama visited Navatusila District School (primary) and Reverend Thomas Baker Memorial Secondary School in Nanoko yesterday.
The visit was a follow-up on works carried out by the Fiji Military Forces engineers and to hear several needs from the school management and teachers.
Primary and secondary schools students lined the school green under the host sun to await the PM’s arrival.
Reverend Thomas Baker School principal Ratu Jo Gavidi then escorted Commodore Bainimarama on a tour of the premises.
“More military engineers will visit the school in February to assist men of Navatusila build another classroom block, which has already begun,” Commodore Bainimarama told parents and the vanua of Navatusila in Nubutautau.
“I would like to reiterate Government’s commitment on education. There is a need for us to work together in ensuring children are sent to school.
“The commissioning of electricity in Nubutautau is testament to this commitment.
“Students can now study under bright lights and not use electricity for watching movies,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
Ratu Jo in his submission to PM said the school was facing difficulties in harvesting pines planted on the school’s leased land for further development purposes.
Commodore Bainimarama reassured the school management that a team of government officials would visit landowners in Navala Village, Ba because of some confusion over lease monies distribution and land ownership.
He reminded elders and teachers there shouldn’t be any inference to any developments to the school and its property if the land had been leased for education purposes.
“Please remind those who want to disrupt developments to the school that the school is free to do anything on the land and benefit from it since it has leased the land,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
“Those who don’t comply and obstruct and try to benefit from what is not theirs’ can be prosecuted.”
The school also highlighted that dormitories were still shared by primary and secondary school students.
Ratu Jo told the Prime Minister they also needed to provide safe dormitories and housing for their teachers.
Navatusila tikina representative Savenaca Tuikubula said: “There were 68,000 pine trees planted by the vanua few years back to assist us in the development of the school.”
“A further 40,000 were planted by students and parents of the school.
“These were to be harvested for the construction of teachers quarters, dormitory and more classrooms.”
During a talanoa session with members of the vanua Commodore Bainimarama said Government would look into ways of providing further assistance to schools in Navatusila.
In 2008, the Minister for Education Mr Filipe Bole opened a new classroom block, which was donated by the Japanese and the Fiji Governments and built by the engineers of the Fiji Military Forces.
There are 80 students (both primary and secondary) from villagers in the district on Navatusila boarding at the school.
Fiji to open mission in South Africa
Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, accompanied by Counselor Nidhendra Singh from the Fiji Embassy in Brussels, arrived in Pretoria on Sunday January 16 on a fact finding mission with respect to the opening of Fiji’s diplomatic mission in the Republic of South Africa.
This is in accordance with the recent Cabinet decision, and subsequent announcement under the 2011 Budget on the allocation of funds, for the opening of resident diplomatic missions in Indonesia, Brazil and South Africa.
The Government of the Republic of South Africa has endorsed the establishment of a Fiji resident diplomatic mission of Fiji in October 2010
On arrival in Johannesburg Ratu Inoke met Australasia and Pacific Islands director at the South African Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation Mr Horst Brammer.
On Monday Ratu Inoke met Mr Brammer and his team at the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation head office and highlighted reasons behind the decision to expand Fiji’s foreign relations and the opening of three new resident diplomatic missions in Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil.
Fiji has also decided to join the Non Alignment Movement. This was approved by the NAM bureau and a decision will be taken by the NAM Council when it meets in Indonesia in May this year.
Ratu Inoke reiterated that Fiji placed great importance on the opening of its embassy in South Africa, which it perceived as the gateway to other countries in the Southern African Regions and the African continent as a whole. When opened, it will be the first country to be represented in Africa from the Pacific region.
Mr Brammer welcomed and stated that Fiji’s decision to come to South Africa was a prudent one and agreed the mission would serve as the gateway for Fiji in Africa.
He noted that South Africa was the most influential country and a major player in Africa.
One of the major considerations is the role that South Africa plays in the ACP context and with the establishment of the Fiji mission in Pretoria the representation from the Pacific component of the relationship will not only become a reality but will substantially enhance the mutual cooperation interests.
In this context, Mr Brammer recalled the decision taken in 2002 by the former leader of South Africa, President Mbeki, on establishing diplomatic relations with Fiji and the opening of the Embassy in Suva as its first diplomatic representation in the Pacific ACP Region.
The opening of the Fiji Embassy will contribute to more coherent communication on matters relating to the ACP and ACP-EU relations.
Speaking on South Africa and Fiji’s common interests in the field of rugby, Mr Brammer said that South Africa saw sports as a powerful tool for the building of people to people contact and this was one area which could be substantially enhanced under the Fiji/South Africa relationship.
He noted that South Africa had experienced the positive impact of hosting the 2010 World Cup.
Ratu Inoke said it was Fiji’s intention to officially open the Embassy in Pretoria by June this year.
He said the objective of the current mission was, in consultation with the South African Government, to discuss the relevant requirements and make contact with relevant authorities including estate agents on the acquiring of office and residential accommodation.
Further discussions with the directorate responsible for Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges and viewing of suitable properties are planned for Tuesday and Wednesday.
PM visits CID HQ
The Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama gave full support to the Police Drug Unit's operations after a visit to the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters in Toorak this morning.
While this will be discussed further at official level he made a directive to senior military officers, who accompanied him, to look at ways the military could support Police in the war against drugs.
The Fiji Military Forces have often supported Police in the war against drugs but now their permanent presence is required.
The Police Commissioner Brigadier Ioane Naivalurua impressed on Commodore Bainimarama the possibility of Fiji's drug problem becoming a great security issue in future if not tackled more aggressively today.
Commodore Bainimarama responded that stakeholders should tackle this problem now before it became a bigger problem for all in future.
“I think the worst case scenario would be that in the South Americas, where drug lords rule, we do not want that here and judging by the amount of money involved right here in Fiji it is a worrying possibility,” said Commodore Bainimarama.
The Prime Minister, who visited the CID headquarters for the first time since its establishment in 2005 was taken through a detailed brief of the situation in Fiji and the region in regards to the drug trade.
He was also shown resources the Police and other stakeholders have to fight this war, which is already the cause of many social problems and crime in Fiji.
“A lot of crimes committed today in Fiji is connected to drugs,” says Brigadier Naivalurua.
The main area of operations that will have military assistance will be in Navosa province, Fiji's hub of marijuana cultivation.
And it is being proposed that a more permanent base be set up in Navosa Highlands to look after, accommodate and train Army and Police personnel in the fight against drugs and for awareness purposes.
Challenges Police face in the war against drugs include lack of equipment, vehicles and man power on the ground, especially in the hard and inaccessible terrains of Fiji's interior and violent responses from farmers.
Around 57,729 plants were uprooted in Navosa from the period 2009-2010, all with an estimated value of $288.6million.
President salutes committee
His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has commended the Bula Festival Committee for keeping the legacy alive.
While opening the 2010 festival Ratu Epeli in his speech at Prince Charles Park said unity was evident among the people of Nadi and it is evident with the ery year.
“I commend the organising committee, the business houses and the public of Nadi,” he said.
“You have in your own way contributed significantly towards the development of Nadi.”
He added that through the festival, the committee was able to carry out many development works in Nadi and this was made possible by united efforts committed towards building a better Fiji.
Ratu Epeli wished all the contestants the best for the whole week and said they need to keep in mind that their contribution would go a long way in changing the lives of many.
“You are role models and many people look up to you. Your contribution towards the development of Nadi is over whelming,” Ratu Epeli said.
Meanwhile, Bula Festival committee member Mohammed Hasif said this year they hoped to raise $300,000 for the construction of the Nadi Hospital mortuary.
The money will also go towards implementing plans for a new wing of the hospital that will specially cater for children with special needs.
The new non-resident Ambassador of the Netherlands to Fiji Mr. Arie Cornelis Andreas Van Der Wiel presented his credentials to His Excellency the President at Government House this morning.
Mr Van Der Wiel said Netherland’s ties with Fiji dates back to February 1643 when Dutch seafarer Able Tasman first discovered Fiji.
He said that since then the Netherlands has shared a good relationship with Fiji.
Mr Wiel said the relations can only be strengthened further.
Netherlands outgoing Honorary Consul Peter Knight was also present at the credentials ceremony.
Mr Van Der Wiel announced to the President that the Member of the Order of Orange-Nassau, a royal honor from the Dutch Royal family had been conferred on Mr Knight who has spent 20 years as the Honorary Consul in Fiji.
Ratu Epeli extended his well wishes to the people of Netherlands and wished Mr Van Der Wiel a successful tour of duty.
Ambassador Van Der Wiel, an authority on cultural anthropology formerly worked for the Food and Agricultural Organisation in Lesotho and was a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam before he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He has also authored numerous publications on development cooperation and migration issues with his latest book titled “Seeking Greener Pastures Abroad: a migration profile of Nigeria (2010).”
Blues coach demands more commitment
Lautoka coach Gurjeet Singh believes his players need more discipline and commitment ahead of the crucial matches in Group A of the O-League.
Under his guidance, the Shop and Save Blues won their first two matches but the former Fiji U20 mentor still wants more in terms of dedication and commitment.
“We cannot ride on the success of our first two wins as our aim is not to do well but to top Group A and qualify for the final of the O-League,” said Singh.
“The players have done a good job in both the matches but we still need to work a lot to fine tune our team in both attack and defence.”
“This is a regional competition and players have to be 110% fit and have to throw everything out in the game for the team.”
“Some players are not taking things seriously and I have already told the team executives that I will not hesitate to drop players that lack discipline and the commitment to do the job on the field.”
Singh wasn’t too happy with the performance of star midfielder Jone Vono Junior after the match against Amicale and said his performance on the field showed his lack of concentration and commitment.
“I sent him in the second half and expected him to make a difference but he was just not into the game and missed a golden chance in front of an empty goalmouth. Our score-line could have changed but his finishing was poor and he did not commit himself fully” added Singh.
The no-non-sense coach also benched Marika Madigi, Kamal Hassan, Semesa Nakosia, Leone Vurukania and Niumaia Tagi and sent Hassan and Vurukania in the second spell while the others did not get a game.
Lautoka FC plays Hekari at Churchill Park on December 4 and needs a win in that fixture to maintain its lead on the top of the table.
WETSEP system proposal
The Water Authority of Fiji has proposed the purchase of 50 treatment plants at a cost of $115m .
They will be installed in strategic locations around the country to improve water and sewerage treatment.
According to FWA the system is environmentally friendly since it uses solar power, releases treated waste into the environment and will help reduce the country’s fuel import bill.
In his submissions to the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, FWA chief executive officer Tony Fullman said the standalone WetSep system was a more feasible alternative to the construction of just six treatment plants [three each for sewerage and water] at the same cost.
Mr Fullman said it would also take as long as two years to construct the six plants as opposed to just six months for installing a WetSep system.
Such a system will require little maintenance, which can be carried out by suppliers on a six monthly basis.
Building a treatment plant will require as much as 15 acres of land.
“You don’t need 15 acres, with a WetSep system just a car parking space is enough,” Mr Fullman said.
“It requires minimum maintenance, we can hook it up in any village, any island and we can serve up to 10,000-20,000 people and that covers most of our islands.
“If we are going to go with this system, I think within 18 months, we can get the whole population of Fiji covered.”
The system was invented by Waste Water Technologies Limited based in Singapore.
Mr Fullman said WAF would trial out the system next year.
Mr Bainimarama toured both the Waila Treatment and Tamavua Treatment Plant today.
Navua TIV Sangam Wins Sangam Southern Zone
Navua had always been a power house of a team and in continuing trend ,the Navua Sangam team won the Southern tournament in style in October year. The following is a report from Nilesh Swamy of Navua :
As the saying goes “theres always a first time” – but that doesn’t mean its for the last time.
Cope Construction Navua TIV Sangam has written a piece of history for themselves by winning their first ever Sangam Southern Zone Soccer Tournament. To make it even more sweeter, the victory was achieved infront of their home fans at Thompson Park in Navua.
TIV Sangam Southern Zone Soccer Tournament was held at Thompson Park in Navua on Sunday, 3rd October. Navua, Suva, Nasinu and Rewa competed in this one day tournament on a round robin basis where the team with maximum points being declared the winner.
Cope Construction Navua Sangam remained unbeaten in this tournament winning every game.Navua Sangam accounted for Suva Sangam (2-1) in their first game and then defeated Nasinu Sangam (2-0) and Rewa Sangam (2-0).
By winning this zonal playoff, Cope Construction Navua TIV Sangam has qualified for the TIV Sangam Champion vs Champion Tournament to compete against other zonal winners across Fiji. TIV Sangam CVC will be held in Nadi between December 3-5.
Cope Construction Navua TIV Sangam wishes to thank their sponsors, supporters and their parent body Navua TISI Sangam for supporting them throughout.
Poly P,Vipal P,Nilesh S,Ronald R,Jeshnil S,Richard R,Shyam S,Vignesh N,Richal R,Ronit S,Rajesh N,Ashnil N,Vimal S,Shivnesh P,Andrew M,Param S,Rajneel S
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