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Fiji News Brief

Fiji News Brief

Fiji's acting President, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, says while the country is yet to fully recognise human rights it is a society working towards achieving that goal. Opening the 51st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference this morning Ratu Joni said Fiji experienced three coups in the past three decades but enjoyed parliamentary democracy. He called on delegates at the conference in Nadi to use the forum to discuss important global issues. "The strength of Commonwealth lies in its diversity and it to be mindful of bearing economic, social, political and cultural systems which comprise its membership," Ratu Joni said. (Fijilive)

The Quarantine Department is working overtime with timber exporters to try and get their systems compliant with a new international exporting requirement that comes into effect in two weeks. Under the system all timber exporters will now be required to heat treat their wood packagings to a core temperature of 56 degrees centigrade for up to 30 minutes, the other option is to fumigate with methyl bromide before export. All timber exporters along with other exporters who use wooden pellets have been notified this week. The new requirement is effective for all exports to the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. (FijiTV)

A12-member team from the International Civil Aviation Organisation arrived in the country this afternoon on a four day inspection tour of key aviation facilities. While local aviation authorities have downplayed the visit, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Fiji Islands says this could have major implications on an audit scheduled for next year. The 12-member team arrived late this afternoon, making this the first ever such visit to any South Pacific island state. (FijiTV)

The promotion of strong democractic policies is needed to bring social and economic development to millions of people through-out the Commonwealth. That was the message from Queen Elizabeth the 2nd to delegates attending the 51st CPA meeting which began in Nadi today. A traditional ceremony marked the opening of the 51st Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting in Nadi this morning. This is the largest meeting yet, with more than 500 delegates present for the two week event from member countries. CPA President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau read the message of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd, who laid down the challenge for delegates. (FijiTV)

Secretary to Parliament, Mary Chapman said the problems arose because Pakistan was no longer in Fiji's visa exempt list. She said anyone extra apart from those nominated are supposed to $1000US while Fiji will cater for other expenses. She said they are hoping to collect an extra million dollars from those attending the conference. (FBCL)

The Secretary General to the Commonwealth, Don McKinnon has assured Opposition Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry that he will take up the issue of the reconciliation bill to the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase when they meet this week. Chaudhry had met McKinnon in Nadi on Monday discussing rising issues of concern in the country. Deputy Labour Leader, Poseci Bune who also attended that meeting said they informed McKinnon about the effects of the Bill. (FBCL)

Bechu died in his home in Sabeto Nadi last night. He was 104 years old. (FBCL)

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