Fiji today marks 44 years since it gained independence.
The day, a public holiday, is being celebrated in various ways around the country.
The Leader of the Opposition, Ro Teimumu Kepa, says this year's celebration is particularly significant given the first parliamentary sitting in almost 8 years.
She says the Opposition stands ready to play its part in building a positive way forward.
Ro Teimumu says this will depend on the willingness of MPs to turn the often misused words of accountability, transparency and inclusiveness, into measurable deeds.
The Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu, who is at the Labasa celebrations, says it is a time to look forward.
He says he believes the country is on the threshold of achieving greater things.
The Methodist Church says after 44 years of independence it is its prayer that Fiji has now reached an age of maturity, while the Fiji Council of Churches says it is time for the executive, legislature and judiciary to ensure true democracy is upheld.