Local News

31st March

COVID-19: Platform to call for any assistance

FIJIANS now have a much more accessible platform to call for any assistance relating to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. This follows the opening of a Government toll-free helpline – 158 – replacing the...

‘Fiji doesn’t have the luxury of social distancing’

FIJI doesn’t have the luxury of social distancing or a great health system in place to handle COVID-19, Opposition MP Salote Radrodro said. “We can only pray and hope that a vaccine will eventually be found,” she said. Ms Radrodro said the $40m injected into the health sector was held under ‘R’ meaning that the...

COVID-19: Sugar, fuel run out in Yasawa

SUGAR and fuel supplies have run out at a few villages on the northern tip of Yasawa. As a result, villagers have had to rely solely on root crops and fish over the past few days to survive. Yaqeta Village headman Apisai Raqele said villagers stocked up their supplies from the four village shops last...

30th March

COVID-19: We must not be complacent, says PM

AFTER testing 330 suspected cases, there are no new COVID-19 cases in Fiji. This was the message from Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during a press conference in Suva yesterday. He said the testing of the 330 cases, many of whom were in contact with the first five and only positive cases, all results had returned...

COVID-19: Church prays over Police

OVERCOME with emotion, police officers came out of their tents and stood in the rain to be prayed over by members of the Nadi Wesley Church yesterday. As pastor Meli Vulasekalo prayed over about a dozen officers at the Natalau checkpoint, officers openly wept, and thanked the church group for the visit. “Firstly, we praise...

COVID-19: Priests told to provide spiritual guidance to affected flock

THE Catholic Church in Fiji has set up a Pastoral Response to COVID-19 plan in a bid to assist those affected. Church head Archbishop Peter Loy Chong said leading priests and key people in the church met on Friday to discuss how best they could assist their flock. “We had a meeting yesterday with our...

COVID-19: Church to discuss ways to help members

EXECUTIVES of the Methodist Church in Fiji will hold a meeting today to discuss ways they can assist members of the congregation who are affected by COVID-19. Church president Reveren Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa said church leaders of various divisions had been advised to help members that belong to their circuit in any way they could....

COVID-19: City put on notice

LAUTOKA residents have been put on notice that the COVID-19 lockdown could extend past the 14-day period which ends on Friday if people don’t “pull up their socks”. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama issued the stern message at a press conference yesterday, and at the same time highlighted the penalties that were in place for those...

‘Fiji cannot afford a lockdown’

THE Fijian public should ask themselves what they are doing for health workers who are “putting themselves in harm’s way for the rest of us”. National Federation Party leader Prof Biman Prasad said this while speaking on the COVID-10 Response Budget in Parliament on Friday. “If you follow social media, you will see a post...

COVID-19: Checkpoints setup; movements ceased in the North

AS of 9.45pm this evening police in Labasa have erected checkpoints along the three main entrance into Labasa Town. These checkpoints were set up along Delailabasa, Naodamu along the Nakorotari Road and Naiyaca blocking vehicle entries into the town area. Police revealed that a total of 20 checkpoints would be erected as of this evening...

Rabuka: Don’t blame patient number one

PATIENT number one cannot be blamed for not quarantining himself because Fiji Airways instructed him to fly to Auckland, one day after returning from San Francisco. This, according to Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka. He made the comment during debate on the COVID-19 Response Budget 2020 in Parliament on Friday. “On 29th January, 2020, I called...

150th anniversary: Lovers settle in Fiji

IMAGINE leaving behind your familiar surroundings to make a living in a foreign place with the person you love. That was what Uriya Ali Jan did more than 100 years ago. The Fiji Times caught up with the nonagenarian in April 1973 as she talked about how she eloped with her lover when they were...

COVID-19: Nationwide curfew activated

POLICE officers are presently deployed to 101 permanent checkpoints around the country as the nationwide curfew started at 10pm. Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho has urged all Fijians to limit all non-essential movement. “And for those moving around to get to work please cooperate and adhere to the requirements earlier announced on the need...

Workers were consulted – Fiji Airways

FIJI Airways says it sent workers on four weeks leave without pay after consulting them during the downturn in business brought about by COVID-19. The airline made the comment in response to a statement by the Fiji Trades Union Congress which claimed Fiji Airways made “impressive profits over the past few years and should be...

Man awarded $10k

THE Fiji Police Force and Director of Public Prosecutions have been ordered to pay $10,000 to a man for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. The Court of Appeal delivered the judgment on February 28, 2020, in favour of Rajendra Singh, who was charged with rape and unnatural offences. On a warrant issued by a Magistrate’s...

Witnesses to share testimony via skype in drug trial

TRAVEL restrictions caused by COVID-19 could result in two witnesses in a drug trial sharing their testimony via Skype. Joshua Aziz Rahman, 24, appeared last week before judge Justice Daniel Goundar. He was alleged to have in his possession 39.5 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $30 million on February 14, 2019, in Caubati. Assistant...

$1million investment in rice production

FIJI Rice Ltd will invest $1 million of its own funds in massive rice production and is looking at providing loans to rice farmers and those companies who intend to go into commercial rice farming. Chairman of Fiji Rice Ltd, Copra Millers Fiji Ltd and Food Processors Fiji Ltd, Raj Sharma said details of this...

Railway rides on solar-powered bikes

IN a bid to contribute towards Government’s efforts to reduce Fiji’s carbon footprint, a Sigatoka-based company is playing its part in a small but significant way. “We are right behind the Government in this, we use no fossil fuels, our electric velocipede batteries are powered by the Fiji sun (solar),” said Ecotrax Fiji operations manager...

Communities clean town’s CBD area

THE Nausori Town Council is working with communities within its central business district area to ensure cleanliness of the urban centre. The council’s acting chief executive officer, Lydia Lazel, said this was done to ensure the community took ownership in keeping the town clean She said the council received a lot of reports regarding the...

A place to call home – Settlers of Tamavua-i-Wai

DETAILS of who were the original iTaukei families that first settled at Tamavua-i-Wai settlement in Suva are still unclear. But for 78-year-old Maciu Turagavou, the hunt for better opportunities led him to build a home in the area 50 years ago. He said from the limited knowledge he had, the first settlers in the area...

Strive to earn a living

There’s no age limit for hard work. That is what Loraini Marama believes in. At 68, the grandmother still goes out to sea to fetch seafood to be eaten at home and sold at the market. The problem is the village of Nasauvuki on Moturiki doesn’t have a market like the ones in our towns...

FNPF member’s funds secure: Koroi

MEMBER’S funds in the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) are secure and it has the ability to deliver  assistance to members, says its chief executive Jaoji Koroi. “We plead with members to refrain from making false statements about the Fund’s financial status because it will only create panic and irrational decisions,” he said. “Let me...

COVID-19: Only identified companies will be assisted, says Koroi

ONLY employees of companies identified in a list at the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) will be assisted for now, says chief executive Jaoji Koroi. He said the Fund was aware that the relief assistance that was announced in the Budget provided other assistance for members. “We hope that they will consider those options before...

COVID-19: NZ national with travel history to Fiji tests positive

A NEW Zealand national who has a travel history to Fiji has tested positive to COVID-19. Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said they received the confirmation from NZ health authorities around 10pm yesterday about the case. At this stage, he said, the Ministry does not know whether the man had contracted the virus while in...

COVID-19: 1813 employers identified as priority areas

THIS morning, the Fiji National Provident Fund emailed a total of 1813 employers identified as priority areas. FNPF chief executive Jaoji Koroi  highlighted this today and said the COVID-19 assistance would be focused on those who were employed in the tourism sector and also those in Lautoka, the lock down zone area. He said 43,000...

FNPF unemployment assistance reduced by $1k

AS of today, the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) unemployment assistance has been reduced from $2,000 to $1,000. FNPF chief executive Jaoji Koroi made the announcement this afternoon during a press conference and said this was a temporary measure that has been implemented to minimise the impact on the Fund and member’s savings, especially due...

Four men arrested and charged in inter-island vessel drug raid

A DRUG raid on an inter-island vessel that returned from Kadavu on Friday resulted in the arrest of two farmers following the discovery of stems of dried leaves later tested to be marijuana. Police say the two men have been charged with one count each of unlawful possession of illicit drugs were produced at the Suva...

Opposition Whip granted bail

OPPOSITION member of parliament Lynda Tabuya was granted bail by  the Suva Magistrates Court a while ago. The Opposition Whip who appeared before Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili this afternoon was advised not to interfere with prosecution witnesses as per her bail conditions. She was charged by Police last week  Friday with one count of Malicious Act...

Soldiers provide security to the public: Naupoto

REPUBLIC of Fiji Military Forces commander Rear-Admiral Viliame Naupoto says people should not fear when seeing soldiers in uniform as they are there to provide security to the public. He said officers who were in Lautoka City this morning were called in to assist police control a situation where more than 200 people had crowded...

COVID-19: PSV operators must fully comply with curfew, says LTA

ALL Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators must fully comply with the provisions of the nationwide curfew starting from 10.00pm tonight till 5.00am as part of the COVID-19 measures by the Government. Land Transport Authority Chief Executive Officer, Samuel Simpson said PSV operators must cease operations well before 10.00pm tonight to ensure that their staff can...

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