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Fijian activist to sail with ‘Rainbow Warrior III’

By Avinesh Gopal SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 30, 2011) – Fijian citizen Fenton Lutunatabua will be the first person to represent the Pacific on Greenpeace’s newest ship, the Rainbow Warrior III.

This was confirmed yesterday by Greenpeace’s media adviser, Josephine Prasad.

Mr. Lutunatabua, 23, an activist with Greenpeace will graduate from the University of South Pacific soon with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Psychology.

Ms. Prasad said Lutunatabua was chosen with nine young Rainbow Warriors from different parts of the world to be crew on board as part of the environmental organization’s new Hands on Deck project.

"Greenpeace was born from the ocean and we Pacific Islanders are united by the ocean, and similarly the Pacific has had a long history and bond with the Rainbow Warrior II," she said.

"The Earth has a new champion when it needed a new warrior."

Prasad said Rainbow Warrior III, which was christened in Germany in October would primarily be powered and propelled by the sun and wind.

The Rainbow Warrior II, which was launched in 1989, worked on many campaigns in the Pacific against overfishing and damage to fragile marine ecosystems.

It also led protest flotillas against nuclear testing and transportation of nuclear shipments.

Prasad said the Rainbow Warrior II played a leading role in the 1980s and 1990s in peace flotillas to Morurua Atoll and relocated the people of Rongelap Island.

She said the people were suffering from the ill effects of the nuclear fallout and it was something that remained etched in the memory of many Pacific islanders.

"As a purpose built campaigning ship, the new Warrior will be a voice for our oceans, our forests, our climate and our future. Built to last for at least 50 years, she is a promise to our supporters to never give in, never give up."

Prasad said the Rainbow Warrior II had been renamed Rongdhonu, which means rainbow in Bangladeshi and serves as a floating hospital. She said Greenpeace donated the ship to a civil society group, Friendship.

"The ship now serves the underprivileged communities in the coastal belt of Bangladesh, especially those in the most inaccessible terrains which have been experiencing the worst effects of climate change."

"The Rongdhonu will provide primary, secondary and emergency health care to one of the most vulnerable and marginalized population which has very limited access to basic health care facilities now," said Prasad.

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