Local News

‘Wait for agarwood research’

Agarwood farmers have been told to put their plans in developing the lucrative scented wood on hold pending research by the Ministry of Forestry which is expected to be completed by December next year. Forests...

Urban drift impacts islanders

With a population of 56, villagers of Teci on Yasawa-i- Rara are feeling the impact of urban drift. Village headman Sione Rebakula said: “Last year we had four families move out solely because they want better education standards for their children. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had some villagers return to the island, but...

Framework for iqoliqoli payments

A framework governing the payment of goodwill to traditional fishing rights owners has been submitted to Cabinet, says Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau. He made the comment during a talanoa session with Teci villagers in Yasawa recently. Mr Koroilavesau told villagers that the framework would ensure that traditional fishing rights owners were paid fairly for the...

‘Lack of opportunities available’

We suffer from a dearth of opportunities on Vanua Levu, says Sandalwood Bay Farm owner Laisa Bale. She made the comments during the Fiji Farmers Forum held at the South Sea Orchids farm in Nadi last Thursday. Ms Bale said farmers like her diversifying to different forms of farming was difficult because of the very...

Work of art

Alifereti Malai’s life is as colourful as the pieces he paints. His art is a reflection of a life that went through twists and turns, and the fact that he emerged unscathed through it all, is testimony to his strength and character. The 54-year-old said he spent his younger days hustling in the streets of...

Humble beginnings

One of the country’s largest distributors of office and school equipment, Al-Hamd Smart Living, has cemented its place in Fiji’s business landscape. The Nadi-based company is run by managing director Ashfaaq Ahmad Khan and matriarch Shamshad Begum, who is also a director of the company. Recalling the family’s humble beginnings, Mr Khan said his family...

Taking a hit

Australia leaves Fiji to flounder Fiji’s fiscal year begins in August, and the government brought down its 2020- 21 budget in July. The most striking feature of that budget is that total expenditure in the coming year is budgeted to be virtually unchanged compared with the preceding two years. Adjusting for (mild) inflation, expenditure in...

TISI Sangam commended for its commitment in promoting unity and diversity

The India Sanmarga Ikya (TISI) Sangam, one of Fiji’s largest sociocultural and educational organisations has been commended for its remarkable contributions towards cultural diversity and humanity. The organisation organised its Annual Firewalking Festival and Annual pooja ceremony held at the Shri Raja Maha Mariamman Temple in Howell Road, Suva yesterday. The event was attended by...

UN Resident Coordinator begins tour of Kadavu

The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Sanaka Samarasinha started his tour of Kadavu today to check on the  progress of existing UN programs on the island. According to the UN Pacific, both Mr Samarasinha  and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were strong on their multisectoral message, encouraging both UN and Government programs, to break down...

Biman: Fiji’s history did not begin in 2006

Biman attacks blame game Past governments who are now copping the blame for everything that goes wrong in Government have also contributed to the nation’s development, says the National Federation Party. NFP leader Prof Biman Prasad said Fiji’s history and industries began well before 2006 and was the result of hard work by farmers, entrepreneurs...

‘No split’

Duituturaga: Sodelpa Continuously Challenged There is no split within the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), says general secretary Emele Duituturaga. Commenting on the party’s management board meeting last Saturday, Ms Duituturaga said SODELPA was continuously challenged with being inclusive and liberal, but essentially it was also a vanua-based party. “It was great seeing our leadership...

Guests happy with hotel hygiene

Local guests to Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa say they feel confident in the COVID-19 measures being taken to ensure they enjoy a safe weekend getaway. This was the feedback to this newspaper during the resort’s Beach, Beats and Eats Oktoberfest-themed event last weekend. Resort executive housekeeper Denis Cruz said a spike in guests from...

Musicians laud entertainment fest

Inside Out band leader Kuki Nalawa says Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa’s Beach, Beats and Eats event has been a huge boost for the group. “When COVID-19 hit Fiji, it literally took the rug out from under the feet of all musicians and entertainers,” he said. “So when Shangri-La’s Fijian food and beverage director Gerrard...

Resort offers Fiji Day special

Shangri-la’s Fijian Resort and Spa today launched its Fiji Day special room rate of $165 per night. Resort manager Chris Hamilton said the limited time offer was put together to mark Fiji’s 50th anniversary of Independence. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our local residents to experience the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort for a very special...

Food and music event a local hit

If there is one resort that believes in the local market and has seen their confidence rewarded, it’s Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa. Director food and beverage Gerrard McNamara said the Yanuca Island resort had been overwhelmed with the public response since they began their Beach, Beats and Eats weekend events a few months ago....

Opposition MPs begin listening tour in the Western division

Members of the Opposition began their tour of the Western Division today for the  Parliamentary Opposition Leaders Listening Tour. The traveling party included the Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka, National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad, Lenora Qereqeretabua and Niko Nawaikula. NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad said the tour was important for the Opposition members to find...

Fiji and Singapore reaffirm commitment o upscale partnership

Fiji and Singapore remain committed to strengthen bilateral relations and maximise cooperation opportunities for the mutual benefit of key development interests of both nations. This was conveyed during a virtual introductory meeting held on Friday last week, between Singapore’s Non-Resident High Commissioner to the Republic of Fiji and Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to the Pacific Islands...

Former Dept of Heritage and Arts employee sentenced to 24 months for fraud

A former employee of the Department of Heritage and Arts who was convicted for claiming transport hire amounting to $660 was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment in the Suva Magistrates Court today. Rosalia Muavesi who was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2019  pleaded guilty to one count each count of...

Fiji expected to benefit expected to benefit from KIWA initiative

A new area of cooperation in “Climate Resilience” is being developed through the innovative partnership between Fiji and France. This was conveyed on Thursday last week, as the French Ambassador to Fiji, Jean-François Fitou met with the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Immigration and Sugar Industry and Acting Permanent Secretary Foreign Affairs, Yogesh...

Farmers organisations receive assurance, queries clarified

Farmers and farmers organisations present during the one-day Pacific Islands Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON) Fiji Farmers Forum held on Thursday last week were assured of improved service delivery by the Ministry of Agriculture. This assurance was given to them by the Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy during an informal talanoa session...

New boats to boost disaster operations

Disaster operations in the four divisions will be enhanced with the provision of six new boats donated by the Japanese Government through the Japanese International Cooperation System (JICS). The boats are in addition to other machineries worth $5.8million donated to the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management by the Japanese government under...

Three-year-old boy latest fatality victim on our roads

A three-year-old child is believed to be the country’s latest road fatality following a motor vehicle accident in Lautoka last night. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the victim was crossing with his mother when he was allegedly bumped by a van driven by a 45-year-old man who allegedly failed to stop following the accident. “The...

Former agricultural officer pleads guilty to committing an act of corruption

A former agricultural technical officer appeared last week  at the Nausori Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to committing an act of corruption. Siliva Senivasa who was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for one count of general dishonesty – obtaining a gain pleaded guilty to the charge against her. While appearing in...

Advisory: Traffic signal temporarily out of commission

Members of the public are being advised that the traffic signal at Pratt/Central/Edward Street intersection in Suva is temporarily out of commission. Fiji Roads Authority says a traffic management plan is in place. FRA is advising motorists to be please courteous and respect the speed limit.

27th September

Bainimarama: Collective efforts and ambitious targets way forward

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama delivered a powerful statement at the historic 75th General Assembly of the United Nations this morning, calling for global solidarity, commitment and urgency in rebuilding the global economy suffering from the twin devastations caused by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Bainimarama said climate change and the coronavirus may be...

Ministry: Kava a legal drug

Kava is classified a legal drug in the Education Ministry’s school policy and procedures on drugs and substance abuse, released July 8, 2020. The policy requires all schools be smoke free and free of illegal drugs. “The MEHA does not permit the possession, consumption, promotion, distribution, or sale of any illegal drugs nor abuse of...

WOWS Kids ambassador shaves head

Despite exceeding his pledge of $1000 and raising $1700 for the Shave It or Save It campaign, WOWS Kids Fiji ambassador Pita Waqavonovono still opted to shave his head. The 31-year-old had earlier posted a Facebook status as a challenge to determine how many would agree to him shaving his head. After receiving more than...

Tikoduadua: We do not agree with FEO

The National Federation Party says it does not agree with alleged discrepancies that the Registrar of Political Parties raised against them. However, NFP president Pio Tikoduadua, while speaking at the party’s annual general meeting at Albert Park in Suva yesterday, said it was clear that in some cases the party’s record keeping and accounting needed...

Cancer drug shortage

The Fiji Cancer Society has noted shortages in chemotherapy drugs since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. Society chief executive officer Belinda Chan shared this during the Pinktober morning walk which attracted more than 200 people in Lautoka yesterday. However, the society confirmed the purchase of drugs for patients who needed them in Suva, Lautoka...

USAID to continue assisting Pacific – Huerta

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will continue its work assisting Pacific Island countries walk their journey to self-reliance, says newly-appointed senior development Dr Alexandria Huerta. Speaking during a news conference at the American embassy on Thursday, Dr Huerta said they intended a future where island countries could take charge of their destiny and...

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