PM Modi awarded highest civilian order, dedicates it to ‘140 crore Indians’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi became among the handful of foreigners to be awarded Fiji’s highest civilian honour Monday when he was conferred the Companion of the Order of Fiji by the country’s premier Sitiveni Rabuka.

Accepting the award, Modi said this was not just an honour for him, but also for 140 crore Indians. The Prime Minister added the award was for the centuries-old relations between Fiji and India. He dedicated it to generations of the Fiji-Indian community, who “have played a key role in the special and enduring bond between the two countries”, the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted.

The ministry said the two leaders reviewed the “close and multifaceted bilateral partnership and were satisfied at the progress made in key sectors. They also exchanged views on regional and global issues of common interest.

The Prime Minister was in Papua New Guinea Monday, where he addressed the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Co-operation or FIPIC.

He was also conferred Papua New Guinea’s highest civilian award, Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL) by the country’s Governor General Sir Bob Dadae.

The award was in recognition of Modi’s efforts at “championing the cause of unity of Pacific Island countries and spearheading the cause of the Global South”. Very few non-residents of the country have received this award too.

Modi is on the second leg of his three-nation tour of Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia. He was first in Hiroshima to participate in the G7 summit where India was invited as a guest country.

In Papua New Guinea, Modi hosted the third summit of FIPIC jointly with the country’s Prime Minister James Marape.

His next stop is Sydney where he will hold a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. He will also address the Indian diaspora along with Albanese on 23 May, and meet the country’s business leaders.