BE optimistic and let's hope for Fiji's long-term stability.
That was the word of a former commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Colonel Paul Fanifau Manueli.
Col. Manueli, who was military commander in 1974, was awarded the Companion of the Order of Fiji medal at this year's Order of Fiji investiture ceremony by President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at Government House yesterday.
In an interview after the investiture ceremony, the 80-year-old said a lot had changed in Fiji and people had to be optimistic of the country's future.
"All I can say is that there have been many changes, one would have to be optimistic," Col. Manueli said.
"We have had a pretty troubled history since 1987 and let's hope that this time around we will have stability and long-term stability."
Col. Manueli, who was honoured to be awarded with the prestigious award by Ratu Epeli, said growing up as a young army officer, he was taught that a number of things did not mix in the army, politics, church and the vanua.
"When I came back to Fiji, I knew about the vanua because it had a lot of influence but in recent years we seem to have mixed the whole lot of it and you know what has happened."