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Traditional ceremony for Prime Minister Ilelemiya

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Dec. 23, 2009) - TUVALU'S Prime Minister, Apisai Ilelemiya, yesterday visited the people of Kioa island in the Northern Division.

The visit was made upon a request from the Kioa Island Council.

Council chairman Samalu Taitai said they wrote to Mr Ilelemiya asking him to pay a visit to the people of Kioa, who were originally from Tuvalu. Mr Ilelemiya arrived in the country yesterday morning and was accompanied by police officers from Nadi to Kioa island via Taveuni. Mr Taitai said the people of Kioa were fortunate to have a leader from their home of origin.

"We accorded the Tuvalu Prime Minister a full Tuvalu traditional ceremony like they do back at home for important people.

"We are glad to have Mr Ilelemiya here with us on the island although it will be for a very short stay," Mr Taitai said.

Mr Ilelemiya is expected to return to Viti Levu today but it is not clear when he leaves for Tuvalu.

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