Beijing intervenes with financial assistance to the organisers of the Lagoon Festival to host another event later this year as part of its support towards the preservation of local history and cultures
THE People’s Republic of China (PRC) has come to the rescue of the Lagoon Festival organisers in the Western Province to host the much-awaited event later this year by donating $70,000.
The financial support was personally handed over by the PRC envoy to Solomon Islands, Li Ming, to the Western Province Premier, Billy Veo and Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ron Ghemu, on Tuesday.
Speaking at a brief ceremony held at PT109, Ambassador Li said China is pleased to support an event that continues to preserve historical events and cultures.
He said this event is important because apart from helping to preserve the local cultures and history of the people of Roviana, it will also help to promote peace and stability in the country.
“Our focus into the future is to promote peace and stability in the country because there is no more fighting like headhunting in the past,” Ambassador Li added.
Minister Ghemu, when accepting the financial support, described it as a ‘timely support’ which will go a long way in supporting the organisers to host this important event.
He thanked PRC for the support and expressed that he looks forward for more support from PRC in other project areas.
Minister Ghemu said the organisers must ensure Ambassador Li is invited to the festival.
He is expected to handover the financial support to the organisers later this week so they could commence the preparatory work for the event.
In show of appreciation, Premier Veo, presented a carved-out tomoko war canoe to Ambassador Li.
The PRC envoy was told that during the festival later this year, he would see a much bigger traditional war canoes that will be paddled by a big number of people during the canoe-racing competition.
The Lagoon festival is a cultural event of the people of the Roviana Lagoon.
During this festival people from all over the Roviana Lagoon would gather in Munda for a time of festivity.
Villagers will parade in style on land and also on floats at sea.
A lot of cultural and water-based activities, including competitions will be held for the duration of the event.
Ambassador Li has expressed excitement about attending the event.
By MOFFAT MAMU