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Media Center > Speeches > Farewell address by the Former President, His Excellency Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda

Farewell address by the Former President, His Excellency Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda

• His Excellency the Vice President
• The Prime Minister
• Members of the Diplomatic Corp
• Ministers
• Distinguished Guests
• Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of my family and I, I wish to thank the Government and indeed the people of Fiji for the traditional and military farewell accorded me this afternoon.

Today is indeed a memorable day for me and one which I will treasure for the rest of my life because today marks the end of my tenure in the Office of the President although I had officially retired on Thursday July 30th. Now I will take up once more the only title superior to that of President, the title of Citizen.

I leave Government with great satisfaction knowing fully well that it is now in capable hands.The mandate to move the country forward is now being implemented by the current government and I am happy to note that the Peoples Charter, the catalyst to a new beginning is being pursued vigorously by Government.

To those who have served with me during my tenure as President, I wish to thank them for the dedication and competence they have brought to the service of our country.

But I owe my deepest thanks to you, the people of Fiji, because you gave me this opportunity to serve you. We have faced great challenges together. We know that future problems will be difficult, but I am now more convinced then ever that we can meet successfully whatever the future might bring.

I urge the people of Fiji to lend your invaluable support to the current Government in its effort in moving the country forward for the benefit of our children and grand-children.

Thoughtful and invaluable contribution towards moving the country forward is the way to go rather than being doubtful of the ability of the government to deal with our problems.

We must remember that the national interest is not always the sum of all our single or special interests. We are all Fiji Islanders together – and we must not forget that the common good is our common interest and our individual responsibility.

Because of the fragmented pressures of special interests, it is very important that the Office of the President be a strong one, and that its constitutional authority be preserved.

We live in a time of transition, a period of tensions – of competition for scarce resources, of social political and economic stresses and strains. During this period we may be tempted to abandon our principles and commitments which we have all strived for, for the last three years.

We must never yield to this temptation. Our value and our common vision for a free and just society is our greatest source of cohesion.

Remember these words from the book of Psalms, Chapter 136, verse 1:

“Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; His love is eternal.”

This vision still grips the imagination of fellow Christians and it is my fervent wish that the nation will embrace it in order to realize the physical and spiritual nourishment of its inhabitants.

As I return home to Viseisei, Vuda, I am looking forward to the opportunity to reflect and further to assess the circumstances of our times.

I intend to give our new President my support, and I intend to work as a citizen, as I have worked in this Office as President, for the mandate I issued to the current Government.

Again from the bottom of my heart, I want to express to you the gratitude I feel.

Vinaka vakalevu.
Thank you.
May God Bless you all.

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