Following my announcement of the uplifting of restrictions for inter-island/maritime travel beginning tomorrow – Sunday, 26 April 2020 – Cabinet has endorsed the mobilisation of Government resources to facilitate the funeral arrangements for the former prime minister, Mr. Laisenia Qarase.
In accordance with his final wishes, the late prime minster will be laid to rest in his village of Mavana, on Vanuabalavu island in the Lau group. As he had requested, there will be no reguregu.
My office will facilitate transportation and logistics as follows:
A) A chartered Fiji link plane to fly from Suva to Mavana carrying the late former Prime Minister Qarase’s body.
B) The Qarase family will be transported to Mavana village via the Government Shipping Services.
The Fiji Police Force will provide police escort from Suva to Mavana Village, and – with our ongoing COVID-19 containment measures in mind – help promote a safe and healthy environment throughout the journey. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will also be screening those that will travel from Suva to Mavana Village for the funeral.
Together with the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, my office is in close consultation with the family and the Vanua to ensure that the arrangements are carried out appropriately and respectfully.
I extend my condolences to the family of Fiji’s sixth prime minister in this difficult time, and hope that this gesture from the government he once served helps lift the burden of their grief.
God bless Fiji.