Tuvalu News

TUVALU ECHOES

Funafuti - 26/10/00

October 26, 2000

VAITUPU'S DANCING TROUPE TO REPRESENT TUVALU AT ARTS FESTIVAL IN NOUMEA

The Vaitupu Dancing Troupe who are representing Tuvalu at the South Pacific Arts Festival performed their local items to members of the cabinet which include local siiva and fatele, old chants and legends as well as local hymns before leaving our shores.

They also had the chance to attend the drawing of raffle tickets, organised by the Tuvalu Arts Festival Committee in their effort to assist Tuvalu's dancing Troupe to Noumea.

More than 3 thousand dollars were collected from the sale of raffle tickets, and the drawing ofthe six luc~ winners held at the Vaiaku Lagi Hotel on Thursday night October 12, brought a crowd of more than a hundred people to watch the long awaited event. The first prize in the draw was won by Seminita. H. Vine who scooped a plastic water tank and the second prize a pushbike went to Satalaka Petaia.

Tuvalu Seaman Dies in Italy

A Tuvaluan seaman Tauminita Alefaio died in Bari, Italy towards the end of September this year, after he left the country to work abroad. Mr. Alefaio departed Funafuti on September 18 to serve on one of the Pacific overseas Employment Agency's ship, the Norfeld and after missing the ship, investigations began on his whereabouts.

Mr. Alefaio was found hanging from a tree under a bridge in Bari in the direction of the way to board his ship. He was able to be identified by his possessions, which included his passport, discharge books and letters. Tauminita is Moeava andd Iotobina's son, along with two brothers and a sister. Arrangements had been made to have the body flown back to Funafuti for the burial.

PM Heads Tuvalu's Delegation to Arts Festival in Noumea

Tuvalu is also being represented at the 8th South Pacific Arts Festival in Noumea headed by the Prime Minister Hon. Ionatana Ionatana who left the country on Thursday October 19. Hon Ionatana Will attend two events abroad, the first of which is the official opening of the Arts Festival which commenced on October 23. The Festival, which is being represented this year by the Vaitupu Dancing Troupe, will bring together various artists and cultural groups from around the Pacific countries and territories. The Prime Minister is being accompanied by his Private Secretary Avafoa Irata, and they will proceed on to Kiribati to attend the South Pacific Forum Meeting. The Deputy prune Minister who is also the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Hon. Lagitupu Tuilimu who is in Fiji will join the delegation to Kiribati. Other members of the delegation who departed on Monday October 23 include the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Panapasi NeIesone, the Attorney General Feletj P. Teo and the Acting Chiff of Protocol, Pasuna Tuaga.

Governor General Guest Speaker at ROC's National Day

The Governor General of Tuvalu was made guest of honour during the commemoration of the 89th National Day of the Republic of China. In his speech Sir Dr Tomasi Puapua expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Republic of China for inviting him and his wife to attend the celebration and hopes that the government of the ROC will continue to flourish and its people continue to live a happy and prosperous life. "The ROC has been and continues to be a very special friend to the government of Tuvalu", Dr. Puapua said. This special relationship began in 1979 with the establishment of the diplomatic ties between the two governments. The government of Tuvalu formerly appointed a non-residential Ambassador to the Republic of China who was the Secretary to Government Ionatana Ionatana who is now the current Prime Minister. Dr. Puapua said that Ionatana visited Taipei in 1983 to present his letters of credence in which he became the first Tuvalu Ambassador to the Republic of China. "I visited Taipei in 1986, as Prime Minister and became the first Prime Minister of Tuvalu to visit the ROC", said Sir Dr. Puapua.

In February this year Hon. Ionatana Ionatana became the first Tuvaluan to be decorated by the Government of ROC for the distinguish services that he has performed in the past and fronm then on the relationship with the ROC started to grow. During the first and second decades of our relationship with the ROC, they provided developmental aid to Tuvalu through its fishing licensing followed by the re-building the Vaiaku Lagi Hotel, assistance through our agricultural programmes, our education programmes, our recurrent budget, and so many others.

"The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the government of ROC joined us in our celebrations for our Independence day and during his brief stay, he was able to sign on behalf of the government of ROC a memorandum of Understanding with the government of Tuvalu confirming the financial assistance of the ROC to the building of the Central Government Building", Dr. Puapua said.

The Government of the ROC has increased its assistance to the project by pledging a maximum amount of 7 million US dollars. Tuvalu and the Republic of China share a commitment to the goals of democracy, peace and respect among nations, and the presence of its embassy on our humble shores is a direct confirmation of the strong and continuation of the special relationship that the two governments share. On behalf of the people and government of Tuvalu, Sir Dr. Puapua wish the government and the Republic of China a bright and prosperous future and a happy 89th National Day.



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