Local News

SODELPA in a constitutional crisis; casual senior positions lapsed

The Social Democratic Liberal Party  (SODELPA) is now in a constitutional crisis. Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem highlighted this in a letter dated July 6, 2020 and titled ‘SODELPA Casual Appointments’  saying the casual...

Fiji reaffirms global commitment on addressing disaster displacement

Fiji reaffirms its commitment to supporting global efforts to foster greater collaboration around disaster displacement amidst the challenges posted by COVID19 pandemic. In its role as the vice chair of Platform for Disaster Displacement (PDD) Steering, Fiji participated at a recent PDD Steering Group meeting organised by the Government of France in Geneva. The partnership...

Weather watch: Low pressure slow moving, showers becoming frequent from today

A trough of low pressure remains slow moving over the northern parts of Fiji. The weather bulletin issued from the National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi this morning says  an  associated cloud and showers affects the northern and eastern parts of the group. The trough of low pressure is expected to drift south and affect...

Bula Festival to be replaced

Nadi’s Bula Festival this year will be replaced by a bigger and better event, says Nadi Town Council CEO Craig Powell. He said the event will be planned as a lead-up to October 10, a date which not only commemorates Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence, but also declare Nadi as Fiji’s third city. “Minister for...

Bench warrant issued for murder suspect

The High Court in Suva has issued a bench warrant for a 34-year-old man accused of murdering his wife in Levuka in 2018. Tevita Deve was granted bail when the case was called earlier but did not show up in court yesterday. He is alleged to have assaulted his 21-year-old -wife and murdered her by making...

6th July

‘Children not ready for school’

Our children are not ready to return to school because we have lost everything. These were the words from Wainikavula Settlement headman Rusiate Valeusa. He said the tornado-like windstorm which tore a trail of destruction through the rural community took everything they owned with it. “If you move around our village and ask the parents,...

Residents wait for State help

Residents of Wainikavula Settlement in Tailevu are pinning their hopes on a recent visit by iTaukei Affairs Ministry representatives and promises made to help in the rebuilding of homes destroyed and damaged by a freak storm in April. Long-time resident Kaliti Balakula said residents were informed of how the assistance would work . “We were...

Settlers alert to signs

Wainikavula Settlement headman Rusiate Valeusa says his community now knows the warning signs of a “tornado”. He said while they were still reeling from the impact of the freak storm which struck in the early hours of April 8, they were now aware of what to look out for. “This storm was not like a...

Freak storm survivors relive experience

In three seconds, we lost everything, says freak tornado-like storm survivor Ilisoni Uganitavui. “But I can tell you that even today, three months after it hit us, I keep going back to the early hours of April 8,” the Wainikavula resident said. “That ‘tornado’ lifted me up more than one metre off the ground and...

Families remain in tent homes

Three months after losing everything during a freak tornado-like storm, four families in Wainikavula Settlement, Tailevu, continue to live in tents. Turaganikoro Rusiate Valeusa, who also lost his home, said their immediate need was getting access to building material. “We want to rebuild our homes because the tents we are living in are leaking,” the...

Series producer praises handling of coronavirus

Fiji has done an incredible job of controlling COVID-19, said executive producer and host of the Survivor series Jeff Probst. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Mr Probst said they were still assessing if Survivor 41 would be filmed in Fiji. “They’ve done an incredible job of controlling the virus and they’ve had no...

‘Leaders need training’

It would benefit Pacific political leaders to be trained before entering into political leadership, says former Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO) executive director Emele Duituturaga. Speaking at the Reweaving an Ecological Pacific panel of discussion on Friday last week, Ms Duituturaga, who is the new general secretary of the Social Democratic Liberal Party,...

Businessman George Shiu Raj speaks during the Ministry of Waterways Public Consultation in Rakiraki yesterday. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI

Raj’s $1.3m shot at sugar

Rakiraki businessman George Shiu Raj has invested $1.3 million into his cane farm by buying a mechanical harvester and five lorries. The former minister says he spent this money because he believed in the viability of the industry. “I have full faith in the industry and the Government that this industry will survive,” he said....

Ministry supports youth farming

The Ministry of Youth and Sports will support youth groups who want to venture into farming. Minister Parveen Kumar made the comments at Navuniivi Village in Ra on Friday while handing over farming equipment to the Navitilevu Youth Club. “The farming equipment that is being given to you today will assist you in land cultivation...

150th anniversary: Life bans for code hoppers

Being disqualified from playing rugby in Fiji and for Fiji would be a tragedy for any aspiring rugger. But that’s exactly what happened in 1964 when three leading Fijian rugby players, all members of the Fiji Military Forces, were banned for life. This happened when they signed professional contracts to play rugby league for the...

Cabbie’s ‘honesty’ praised after returning purse

A Valelevu cabbie who found and returned a purse left in his car to its rightful owner was praised for his exemplary behaviour. Former police officer Yogesh Prasad picked up Daiana Bola and her partner on June 19 from Khalsa Rd in Nasinu and dropped them at Nuqa Place in Valelevu before heading home to...

‘Labour laws must be upheld’

States must refrain from using the current COVID-19 crisis to weaken labour rights, said Fiji Trades Union Congress secretary general Felix Anthony. He made the comments on a virtual regional Global Summit on the Future of Work and COVID-19. Mr Anthony said COVID-19 has resulted in labour protection flaws. “This crisis has exposed the weakness...

$50,000 fuel station for town

Wellcome Supermarket in Tailevu opened a new $50,000 gas station on its premises last Friday. According to manager Rajendra Prasad, the storage capacity of the fuel cost about $35,000 and the whole setup was in the vicinity of about $15,000. “This service station was here before but in the last three months they shut down...

Grant triples up

The Westpac Women and Girls Education Grant program has tripled the number of grants on offer for 2020 in light of the COVID-19. Westpac Fiji had launched the annual competition for education grants to women and girls a decade ago according to a statement from the bank. “I’m pleased to say that equality is a...

A beautiful journey

The altruistic nature of Sarojani Michael knows no bounds. Her affiliation with the poor, downtrodden and underprivileged started from an early age. Nearly half a century later, she is still displaying the same zest. Mrs Michael is The JP Bayly Trust’s manager – West and she proudly proclaimed that the iconic non-governmental organisation (NGO) is...

Point of Origin: Oldies made to feel at home

Just past the smoke spewing stacks of cement factories and a container yard lies a non-descript gravel road that leads to one of Fiji’s oldest aged-care facilities, Father Law Home. The centre is home to residents who have contributed in some way, shape or form to society. Sadly, if not for the patience, love and...

‘Critical juncture’ – Australian aid in five years time

In his article in early June, Stephen Howes said there was “a lot to like” about Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) new partnerships for recovery strategy. There was also a lot to like about Stephen’s blog. He ended by suggesting that the COVID-19 response strategy was too tentative to be convincing. My concern...

Operations begin on Friday at Lautoka mill

The Lautoka sugar mill will start operations this Friday, says the Sugar Industry Tribunal. The mill was scheduled to commence the 2020 crushing season on June 24, but had to postpone the start due to a mechanical failure. Registrar of the Sugar Tribunal, Timothy Brown says the July 10th date has been set after consultations...

Call for social welfare recipients to submit recertification forms

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is calling on recipients of the Social Welfare Schemes to submit their completed recertification forms before July 10. According to the Ministry, recipients who do not return the completed forms would not receive their monthly allowance for August. The recertification forms were issued earlier this year for...

COVID-19: Fiji records new case

Fiji has recorded a new COVID-19 case that according to Health authorities is in a stable condition. Acting permanent secretary for the Health Ministry Dr James Fong  confirmed this in a press conference today saying this is case 19 and is called border quarantine case. “On the 4th of July, Ministry of Health and Medical...

Stranded Indian nationals evacuated

Indian nationals who were stranded in Fiji have been evacuated on a special flight. India’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Ms Padmaja was at the Nadi airport to farewell the 67 passengers. The passengers underwent medical checks before boarding the Garuda Airways flight. The flight went to Papua New Guinea to pick up Indian nationals there...

Missing person: Information sought to find Temmy

Police are requesting information to help locate 15-year-old Temmy Lisa Lutuvakula who was reported missing at the Valelevu Police Station. According to police, Temmy who is slim built with curly hair was last seen at her home in Nadera by her mother on Saturday, July 4 and has since failed to return home. Anyone who...

Weather update: Low pressure lies slow moving to the northeast

A trough of low pressure lies slow moving to the northeast of Fiji. The weather bulletin issued from the National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi this morning says  it is expected to gradually drift southwards and start affecting the country from later today. The forecast to midnight tonight for the Fiji group expect cloudy periods...

Fiji Link to increase Savusavu flights

Fiji Link will increase flights to Savusavu from next week to cater for Labasa customers. The increased flights are a result of the Labasa airport closure as Airports Fiji Limited carries out maintenance work from July 13 until August 4. In a statement,  Fiji Link said customers already booked for the Labasa airport route are...

Six people arrested for breach of curfew

Six people were apprehended for curfew breaches over the last 24 hours. Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho said of that six, three were arrested in the Southern division whereby two people were found drunk and loitering at Tacirua and the Nabua area. “The other case involved a 47-year-old who was traveling in a vehicle...

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