Tuvalu News

TUVALU PM IONATANA CANCELS LEADERS’ MEETING PARTICIPATION IN HONOLULU DUE TO SCHOOL FIRE

HONOLULU, Hawaii (March 14, 2000 – PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---Tuvalu Prime Minister Ionatana Ionatana has cancelled plans to participate in this week’s special meeting of the Standing Committee of Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders in Honolulu.

Secretary to Government Saufatu Sopoanga said the change in plans results from the "devastating fire incident at our national secondary school over the weekend."

Eighteen schoolgirls and their supervisor died in the blaze, started by a candle, in a locked dormitory on the island of Vaitupu.

Sopoanga said Prime Minister Ionatana will be represented at the meeting, which begins Thursday, by Deputy Prime Minister Lagitupu Tuilimu.

The two-day session will consider such matters as a memorandum of understanding between the Conference of Leaders and the East-West Center and a strategic plan for the Center’s Pacific Islands Development Program.

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