Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare MP was the Chief guest at the launching of the ‘Fiji Day’ week of Celebrations, Monday 9th October at the Friendship Hall, Panatina, where he paid respect to the Fijians who have contributed to Solomon Islands development.
“We thank you for your service, Vinaka Vaka Levu.”
Prime Minister Sogavare specifically acknowledged the lyrics and music of the Solomon Islands National Anthem authored by Fijian born Solomon Islanders Panapasa and Matilda Balekana as “Our prayer to God asking Him to guide our nation Solomon Islands.”
The Fijian Community in Solomon Islands organized and accorded the Prime Minister a traditional Fijian welcome on the launching of the ‘Fiji Day’ week of planned activities, sporting events and traditional feasting commemorating the Republic of Fiji’s 53rd Anniversary on the 10th of October.
Prime Minister Sogavare expressed deep appreciation for the Fijian Traditional welcome of Qaloqalovi (Tabua), SevuSevu, Wase ni Yagona Vaka Turanga (Food Presentation) and the I- Vakamamaca (Presentation of Ibe).
“Our traditional ceremonies simply reminding us yet again of the depth of our culture and traditions and why they always remain relevant at the centre of all occasions,” the Prime Minister stated.
He also paid recognition and tribute to Fiji’s contribution in spreading Christianity in the country. The early Fijian Missionaries brought with them message of hope and the legacy that still lingers on.
Prime Minister Sogavare said, Fiji and Solomon Islands first established diplomatic relations in July 1978, but our connection dated back to the black birding days when Solomon Islanders were brought to work in the sugar cane plantations in Fiji. Some of these Solomon Islanders decided to remain and call Fiji home…“I am proud of the contributions that these Solomon Islanders have contributed in Fiji’s nation building to date.
I wish to thank the Fijian government and its people for acknowledging the descendants of these Solomon Islanders which will always remain testament to our strong bond of friendship and people to people relationships.”
Prime Minister Sogavare also acknowledged in the space of security, Fijian soldiers have boots on the ground since World War II.
“Similarly, Fijians, in particular Fijian Community in Solomon Islands whether directly or indirectly, have impacted on the social, economic, cultural and historical development of the Solomon Islands and for this I, on behalf of my Government and the people of Solomon Islands, wish to express my deep admiration and sincere gratitude to the Fijian Community in Honiara for your tireless contributions and commitment in help shaping the history and the development of Solomon Islands this far, ” PM Sogavare concluded.