Ambassador Ratu Tui Cavuilati recently officiated at a ceremony marking the first anniversary of Fiji’s Embassy in Indonesia. His comments to dignitaries attending the celebration dinner follow:
It gives me great pleasure to say, Bula Vinaka, and to welcome you all to this modest celebration of the Fiji Mission’s first anniversary. The staff of the Mission and our families are delighted and happy that you have all been able to take time out of your very busy schedules to come and celebrate with us this evening.
A very special welcome to His Excellency Ambassador Wadana for agreeing to be a our Chief Guest and to grace the occasion this evening. We are always heartened by your openness and willingness to share and to stand for us which no doubt my colleagues from the Missions will also vouch for.
We had observed a moment of silence a few minutes ago. I am pleased to advise that the worst has gone in Fiji and rehabilitation works are well underway. I take the opportunity to thank our neighbours in the Pacific as well as internationally for their quick responses both in aid and kind. On that note we shall be opening an account here in Jakarta for the month of April in case any of our friends might wish to also contribute to such humanitarian need.
The 32nd President of the United States and also Allied Leader in the Second World War, Mr Franklin D. Roosevelt, once said of speech-making, “be sincere, be brief, be seated.” And I intend to do exactly that.
So, for tonight we shall be asking Vice Minister Ambassador Wadana to join me in cutting the cake in honor of the occasion and thereafter to launch the Fiji Mission’s Website before you witness one or two Fijian dances or what we call ‘meke’ by the small Fijian community here in Jakarta.
We officially opened our Mission here a year ago on the 6th April based on the Fiji Government’s Look North policy: one that envisions a growing and thriving region and one that also seeks to engage more deeply with our neighbours in Southeast Asia in which Indonesia plays a key and pivotal role politically and economically given its size and influence. We have not been disappointed, rather we have been elated and happy with what we have seen and witnessed so far: the goodwill to share your achievements and for the prospects and potentials there are for enhanced intercourse in all fields be they political, economic, social or cultural.
And so at this anniversary celebration it is only proper that I express our appreciation and how grateful we have been for the support, cooperation and encouragement we have been getting from almost all Government Ministries and Institutions that we have had contacts until now, spearheaded by the Foreign Ministry: from the Hon. Ministers themselves, the Director Generals, Directors and staff; and the many friends we have got acquainted with the past year from within and outside of Government, in the private and business sectors, educational institutions and civil society. Without going into the details of our achievements so far, allow me simply to say, Terima Kashi and thank you for the space you have given us to contribute to our collective desire to enhance our cooperation bilaterally in a mutually satisfying manner.
Together, the Diplomatic Corp and the Regional and international institutions based here in Jakarta have all given the Mission and indeed Fiji, the opportunity to learn, to share and to contribute to the furtherance of peace and understanding not only in this great country of Indonesia but the Asean region and the international community as a whole.
One year has come and gone fairly quickly. And there is yet more to do not only in bringing our peoples closer together, hopefully through our soon-to-be launched Website and other strategies, but also a lot still to learn and discover in this great and vast country of Indonesia, not to mention Singapore to which I am also accredited.
God willing in the years ahead and as the Mission carries on its reasons for being the collaboration and cooperation that we have witnessed thus far will grow to all our mutual benefits.
With those few words comes my best wishes, and I speak on behalf of the staff and families and friends of Fiji in Indonesia, to you all Excellencies and our friends for your continued good health and successes in your respective preoccupations, and most of all to our continuing friendships and partnerships.
God bless you all.
I shall now ask His Excellency the Vice Minister, Ambassador Wadana to join me in cutting our celebration cake and thereafter to launch the Fiji Mission’s Website.
Vinaka vakalevu, Terima kashi.