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    Fijian Prime Minister expresses gratitude to Sri Lanka in maiden speech

    October 17, 2014

    Rear Admiral J.V. Bainimarama, the newly elected Prime Minister of Fiji has acknowledged the immense debt Fiji owes to Sri Lanka, in his inaugural speech on 13th October 2014 at the Parliament House in Suva, following the convincing victory of his Fiji First Party at the general elections held last month, in which it secured 59.2% of the popular vote.

    In his address to the Parliament, Prime Minister Bainimarama, while thanking the members of the Fijian Judiciary, judges and magistrates paid special tribute to Sri Lanka for providing an invaluable service by sending judges and magistrates at Fiji’s time of need.


    The Prime Minister stated:

    “I especially want to thank those individuals who head our institutions of State for the sacrifices they were prepared to make in the face of criticism, abuse and sanctions. Some of those whom we counted as our friends set out to degrade our standards of governance by targeting and punishing these individuals who accepted positions in the Judiciary, as Ministers and on the Boards of our State-Owned Enterprises. To those of you who withstood vilification and in some cases even death threats, I also extend my warmest thanks. I will never forget your loyalty to our nation, and our cause of building a better Fiji.

    "I particularly thank the members of our Judiciary – the Judges and Magistrates headed by honourable Chief Justice, Anthony Gates, for being willing to stand up to international condemnation, so that the Fijian people could continue to access to justice. I especially thank those who came from Sri Lanka to join other Judges and Magistrates who stood by our nation when we needed them. Because of these heroes, the genuine rule of law in Fiji prevailed even during the most challenging times, and we owe you all an immense depth of gratitude. We owe an immense debt to the Government and President of Sri Lanka for facilitating their service to Fiji.”

    It is noted thatAjith Kodagoda, the Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Fiji, who was appointed in 2009 as the Chairman of the Fiji National Provident Fund, Fiji Inland Revenue and Customs Authority and the Amalgamated Telcome Holdings and P.L. Munasinghe as the Chairman of the Water Authority are the two Sri Lankans who have taken leadership positions to serve on boards appointed by the Government, during the challenging times referred to in the Prime Minister’s speech.

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