Regional participants of the 3rd Emerging Pacific Leaders’ Dialogue (EPLD) are currently on a study tour in Fiji and aim to strengthen the capacity of the region's future leaders to manage challenges collaboratively, positively and creatively.

While welcoming the 12-member Fiji study tour in Suva last night, His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said as leaders in the Pacific region, it is important to have a clear vision and strong skills to address the complex challenges facing the region.

“EPLD 2014 is designed to enable you to contribute to the long-term development and stability of the region, and promote regional understanding and co-operation through an improved network of key relationships across sectors and countries,” HE Ratu Epeli said.

“As leaders in the Pacific region, we need to have a clear vision and strong skills to address the complex challenges of globalization; interdependence; the environment including climate change and its impacts on Small Islands Developing States; health and social issues like HIV/AIDS and non-communicable diseases; the needs of persons with special abilities, and among others, the interests, dreams and aspirations of youths and leaders like you.”

Seven other country tours to Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are also ongoing as part of the unique and enriching EPLD.

The intensive and exciting study tour to Fiji, which began on the 18th of this month, brings the 12 participants together with another 80 individuals to examine, discuss and report on current strategic issues across the Pacific region.

HE Ratu Epeli also highlighted to the participants the developments undertaken in Fiji over the past eight years and the recent return to parliamentary democracy.

“Moving forward from here, Fiji is committed to a truly united, inclusive and prosperous nation. As emerging leaders, it would do you well to understand democracy in the context of Fiji’s socio-political background,” he said.

The Fiji study tour participants started their tour of the Western Division last Saturday visiting various organizations such as Fiji Water, Fiji Sugar Corporation, Koroipita Rota Homes and Pure Fiji.

The group will also travel to Vanua Levu later this week to visit J Hunter Pearls, the Tilapia Fish Farm, and the Nukutoso Copra Farm.

The two week EPLD 2014 programme will close in Port Vila, Vanuatu with a presentation of the participants’ findings from Fiji to the conference chief guest Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, Vanuatu Heads of State and the rest of the regional delegates who are part of this study.



Tuvalu’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labor, Hon. Taukelina Finikaso visited the Pacific Islands Development Forum Secretariat this morning and was updated on the work of the PIDF and was updated on its future plans.

He was accompanied by his permanent secretary, Temate Melitiana and also toured the secretariat building.

In welcoming the Minister to the Secretariat, the Secretary General of the PIDF Mr Feleti Teo noted that the Minister’s visit follows the successful and historical by the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, the Hon Enele Sopoaga last Friday on October 17.

Mr Finikaso is not new to the PIDF having represented Tuvalu at the Second PIDF Summit that was held in Nadi in June this year.

Commenting on the visit Mr Finikaso said, “thank you very much for the visit to the Secretariat of the PIDF. It was a very good experience for me as I was able to learn what PIDF stands for and what its vision is. It’s very important that we from the region visit the Secretariat and learn about their work and plans so that we can work together for the betterment of the region.”

Mr Finikaso said after the visit he will brief his Government and update them on the PIDF since his last brief to them after the Second PIDF Summit.

The Minister returns to Tuvalu tomorrow.



Students of Hilton Special School in Suva celebrated Diwali with a difference at their school today.

The special students got together with students of Nehru Memorial Primary School, Indira Gandhi Memorial School and Deenbandhu Memorial School to celebrate Diwali.

Speaking to the students about Diwali, Ministry of Education acting permanent secretary, Mrs Basundra Kumar urged the students to share happiness during this time of festivity.

Mrs Kumar said Diwali is not only about lighting diyas and playing with firecrackers, but it is about the festival of joy, togetherness and sharing love with everyone.

The four schools enjoyed entertainment provided by the various students and were presented with gift packs as well.



Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today received Japan's resident Ambassador to Fiji His Excellency Takuji Hanatani.

The head of government also received the outgoing French ambassador to Fiji Ambassador His Excellency Gilles Montagnier.

PM Bainimarama met with the diplomats after the first Cabinet sitting and discussed bilateral relations with the two envoys.

The outgoing French envoy discussed with Prime Minister Bainimarama future areas of cooperation and reminisced over his time as the representative of France to Fiji.




Borron House, one of the most impressive State owned residences in Fiji, continues to be available on restricted basis for hiring for private functions and VIP guest accommodation.

Originally built for Mr James Borron, a plantation owner, by his son James Sawers Kidston Braddock Borron in 1927, Borron House was designed by architect R.A Derrick. Since its construction, Borron House has housed diplomats and dignitaries from around the world. In World War II, it served as the Divisional Headquarters for the American Armed forces and famous Generals and Admirals have stayed in the house. Wife of the former US President, Franklin D Roosevelt, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt spent two nights in Borron House during her tour of the Pacific.

In 1977, Borron House was donated to the National Trust of Fiji to be used by Guests of the State and since then has accommodated several members of the Royal family, the latest of which was Princess Anne in 2006.

The management and upkeep of the House is the responsibility of the Public Service Commission. Permanent Secretary for Public Service, Mr. Parmesh Chand said that the Government has decided to lease or hire out Borron House on restricted basis for private functions and events as it provides an opportunity to Fijians and visitors to our shores to experience this heritage property with impressive history, colonial architecture and amazing views.

“Borron House is a national asset. Its elegance and exclusive facilities has attracted several enquiries into the hosting of private functions of a high caliber. Several business houses and organizations have already hosted events at Borron House including ANZ, Fiji National University, Fiji Airways, Film Fiji, Fiji Fashion Week and various private individuals.”