Posts tagged Fiji

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launches Fiji constitution in brailleform.

Bainimarama presents training gear to the Ono Cricket team

Prime Minister Bainimarama launches book

PM Bainimarama launches Commodore Community Challenge

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama Hands Over Command of the RFMF

Bainimarama visits flood affected areas in Naitasiri

Bainimarama visits flood affected areas


Today marks the end of an era – as I leave the RFMF after having had the immense honour and privilege of being your Commander for the past fifteen years.

It also marks the beginning of an era, as the baton of leadership passes to your new Commander – an officer of the highest professional calibre and integrity, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga.

Colonel Tikoitoga is well known to you all as your Land Force Commander and has given more than 32 years of distinguished service to the RFMF.
I am confident that you will give him the same loyalty and support that you have given me over the past 15 years.

Today, I leave behind my 39-year career in the RFMF to become a civilian and lead a political movement to contest the 2014 general election – a political movement that we all started together.

I have to admit to a feeling of regret because I am leaving a job that I dearly love. I will miss you all and the camaraderie of military life.

I am intensely conscious of the solemn duty that rests with me to continue the revolution that we began together seven years ago – to create a new Fiji, a better Fiji for ourselves and for future generations.

As you all know, the 2013 Constitution requires me to relinquish my military career if I want to contest the forthcoming election. It is the supreme law of the land and the blueprint for the new Fiji we are building.

Like all Fijians, I am obliged to obey the terms of that Constitution and I do so willingly. I solemnly pledge before you all today that I will do everything in my power to uphold the 2013 Fijian Constitution. And I ask you all to do the same.

The RFMF is the guardian of the nation and the protector of every Fijian. And this duty is now guided by our nation’s Constitution, which it is your solemn duty to defend and protect.

I take with me as I leave some wonderful memories of comradeship and shared experiences, of the many challenges of a career at sea and on land, moments of high drama, tragedy and crisis. And, of course, the many laughs and good times we’ve shared over the years.

But above all, I take with me a feeling of intense pride – pride in the RFMF, pride in our servicemen and women, pride in our service to every Fijian, pride in our beloved nation.

I especially think at this moment of our men and women overseas. 508 personnel serving in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights, Syria; 328 in the Multi-National Force and Observers in Sinai; 195 in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq; 23 in the United Nations Mission in Liberia; 20 in the United Nations mission in Darfur, Sudan; 15 in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. And two in RAMSI, Solomon Islands.

We are not only assisting our fellow Fijians when they need us most. We are assisting vulnerable ordinary people in other parts of the world. We punch above our weight in global affairs. We are respected by other military forces – because we serve.

That record of service is something that every Fijian can take pride in.

As a Force, we are committed to the highest standards of morality and conduct. We must always do what is right and just, not what is expedient. And it is our duty to lead – to set an example in our public lives and in our personal lives – of service to others, of dedication to moving our nation forward, of integrity, of honour, of patriotism. Of always putting Fiji first.

I urge you all to examine your own lives and set them against those high standards. Ask yourself. Am I living a moral life? Am I living a life of integrity, honour and service? Am I honest and do I speak the truth? Am I a role model for every Fijian child? Because the essence of leadership is to lead by example. It’s embodied in a great saying that we must always remember – “Don’t do as I say. Do as I do”.

If every man and woman in the RFMF leads by personal example, then together as a force, we lead by example. We show every Fijian that we are worthy of their respect. We lead the nation on the march to greatness. That is our vision. That is our dream. And it begins here, with every one of us.

Sadly, this is the moment when “us” becomes “you” – you, the men and women of the RFMF, me, from today, a civilian Prime Minister. The time has come for me to say goodbye. The time has come to welcome the new Commander.

My 39 years in the service of the RFMF have been truly wonderful.

And thank you again for your loyalty and support. I extend every good wish to your new Commander and bid you all farewell.

God Bless the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

God Bless our beloved Fiji.

Prime Minister Bainimarama Chief Guest at the 2013 Annual Sports Awards Night


Bula vinaka and a very good evening to you all.

I’m delighted, as always, to be here in Nadi and especially for the opening of a new building in our “gateway” town.

The launch of Paper Power’s new head office is both a vote of confidence in Nadi and in the Fijian economy as a whole, which is enjoying a period of steady growth.

It underlines the fact that Fiji is open for business; it sets an example to others about the value of local investment in our nation; and it sends a clear message to everyone that Fiji has a bright future ahead of it as we move to one of the most decisive phases in our history – the introduction of our first genuine democracy within the next seven months.

Only twice before this time in Fiji’s history have we enjoyed such consistent economic growth. Our revised forecast growth rate is three-point-six per cent surpassing that of our bigger neighbours, Australia and New Zealand.

Many business people, professionals such as architects and engineers and construction companies are remarking about a buzz in the air – a sense of optimism, confidence, demand for services, new investment, creation of new jobs and of course expectation for this phenomenon to continue.

The country’s biggest revenue earner – tourism – new figures reveal that yields are increasing, with our international visitors not just continuing to arrive in large numbers but willing to spend more.

My Government has set about to create the right climate for new investment – with consistent policies, a sound and determined economic direction, focus on service delivery, modernizing our outlook and infrastructure and of course connecting us all to new technology. These coupled with the various concessions and incentives are clearly paying dividends.

In fact the savviest investors aren’t waiting for the general election to take place. If they haven’t already done so, they are investing now because they are convinced that things will only get better and they will ride a wave of prosperity to and beyond the election. Of course it will help if the right political party wins government!!!

All of this ladies and gentlemen demonstrates a marked level of confidence in the general state of the Fijian economy and my Government’s policy settings.

My Government regards the private sector as a vital partner in national development and the provision of better living standards for all Fijians. So I would like to thank our partner, Paper Power, for the investment that it has made in this new Head office and warehouse in Nadi and the jobs it is generating for our people.

Paper Power started from a single store in Nadi in 1992 and in those 22 years has expanded to six outlets in the Western Division – two in Nadi, one in Namaka, two in Sigatoka and one in Lautoka.

There’s a lesson for every Fijian young person about the value of hard work in the personal story of Gyanendra Deo of Paper Power.

He started his business career selling newspapers on the streets of Nadi. Then he joined the Desai Bookshop, worked his way up to manager and eventually started his own business, the Sigatoka Bookshop. From those modest beginnings grew the business we now see today, which currently provides employment for 25 people. I have great confidence in the ability of such home grown businesses to prosper even more.

Ladies and Gentlemen I now have great pleasure in declaring this new Head Office open.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.