Local News

COVID-19: First locally-made 3D face shields

Government today received the locally-made 3D face shields to assist health workers in Fiji against the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a Facebook post in the ‘Australia in Fiji’ page, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John...

Three farmers arrested in separate North drug raids

A joint drug raid by Police officers in the Northern division resulted in the arrest of three farmers in  separate raids. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the joint raid conducted by officers from Tukavesi Police station and the Police Special Response Unit resulted in the arrest of a 27-year-old farmer, following the discovery of a...

COVID-19: Four arrested for sporting activity breach

Police arrested nine people over the last 24 hours for COVID-19 related breaches of which four were for breach of sporting activities in the Southern division. Brig-Gen Qiliho said the four which included a 17-year-old juvenile were found playing touch rugby in Tacirua. “The Southern division recorded seven arrests in total, four for sporting activity...

Fiji Airways: All applicable laws were adhered to

Fiji Airways managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen says all applicable laws were adhered to” prior to the axing of all 435 cabin crew. In response to queries on whether the Fiji Flight Attendants Trade Union was consulted – and why the airline had not considered an offer from the union that cabin crew would...

Situation expected to worsen for Fiji Airways staff

If Fiji Airways staff were struggling before, the situation will be even worse now. This was the word from Fiji Flight Attendants Trade Union president Joe McGowan in the wake of an announcement yesterday that the national carrier had terminated more than 758 staff, including 435 cabin crew. “We have mums and dads with families...

Suva flea market fire victims request for assistance

More than 100 people affected by the Suva flea market fire say they are in desperate need of food and cash. They made the plea to The Fiji Times while filling out assessment forms at the Suva carrier stand yesterday. Fiji United National Association president Sisaro Temo said the forms would be forwarded to the...

26th May

$455m to avoid crash

Hours after Fiji Airways shed 758 jobs, Parliament unanimously passed a motion for Government to provide a $455million loan guarantee to the national carrier. While presenting the motion, Attorney-General and Civil Aviation Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the loan was urgently needed to preserve and safeguard the national carrier. He also assured Parliament that “all sorts...

‘It was like they dropped a bomb on us’

Leba Niumataiwalu was sitting in her flat in Legalega, Nadi, contemplating the future of her young family when The Fiji Times visited. “We really didn’t see this coming, it happened so suddenly,” she said. “It was like they dropped a bomb on us. “I think a lot of us are still processing and thinking about...

758 employees lose their jobs

FIJI Airways terminated 758 employees yesterday and many were still reeling from the “unceremonious” send-off, which they claim was communicated via email and security officers. Some said they heard about it from the media. In a statement yesterday, managing director and chief executive officer Andre Viljoen said the move was a direct result of the...

Attendants were willing to work with no pay

The more than 400 flight attendants who were terminated by Fiji Airways yesterday say they were willing to work for no pay as long as they remained employed. Fiji Flight Attendants Trade Union president Josaia McGowan said his members were shocked by the decision taken by the airline. He said cabin crew had made a...

Letter ruins birthday party

Oriva Smith was looking forward to celebrating her birthday with best friends and colleagues Saufa’asi Fullman-Marr and Sereana Vatubua at her home in Votualevu, Nadi, yesterday. But their joy was cut short when the three Fiji Airways flight attendants received their termination letters minutes after Mrs Smith received a birthday message from the company. “I...

PM: It’s a waste of needed resources, time to form a special committee

THE termination of Fiji Airways workers is the continuation of the impact of COVID-19 on our country, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said in Parliament yesterday. He made the comments during a debate to establish a special committee to review the cost of living. “That’s not the beginning, nor will it end, this is what COVID-19...

‘No return to business as usual’

THERE will be no return to business as usual, says Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Faiyaz Koya. He made the comment in his maiden speech in Parliament yesterday. Mr Koya said Fiji would have to formulate a new way of doing business and this would require innovative and new ways of thinking and...

A-G: Opposition focused on job losses

ATTORNEY-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said while the Opposition had been focused on the 758 job losses at Fiji Airways, no one has mentioned the 731 staff who would remain employed. “Some will come to work for five, three or two days, depending on the need,” he said, while speaking on a motion for...

150th anniversary: Fiji’s blood bank begins

Fiji’s blood bank has come a long way. It started in the late 1950s when the management of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital, which used to depend on “emergency” blood donors, decided that a blood bank should be permanently set up in 1958. The need for such a service emerged because the hospital had expanded....

Buildings destroyed in fire

EIGHT businesses and two residences were destroyed yesterday after a fire engulfed three buildings in Rakiraki Town. National Fire Authority (NFA) officers from Rakiraki, Tavua and Ba took about five hours to control the inferno from spreading to nearby outlets. The fire is believed to have started from a restaurant owned by A. Gafoor. Director...

Residency a major issue of eligibility

RESIDENCY qualification was one of the major issues faced by political party candidates during the 2014 and 2018 general election, says Electoral Commission (EC) chairman Suresh Chandra. During a news briefing yesterday, he said potential candidates should be wary of their residential statuses if they were keen on meeting candidate eligibility requirements in the next...

Faction disputes submission

THE Registrar of Political Parties says it has received an application disputing a list of Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) office holders submitted by Emele Duituturaga. Supervisor of Elections and Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem, said the application was filed by Adi Litia Qionibaravi, who also disputed the submission of Ms Duituturaga’s name as...

Three major winners for trivia competition

A PROMOTION ran by The Fiji Times in April this year finally concluded with three winners announced for the competition last week. The Uniball Trivia sponsored by Motibhai Group ended on March 31 with the major prize being won by Catherine Singh of Lautoka while the second prize winners were Joseva Velavela of Cunningham and...

Company expands footprint with a new branch

WITH the impact of COVID-19 pandemic hitting most businesses in the country really hard, there are some businesses that continue to show resilience and are investing to expand their stronghold in the market. Toyota Tsusho (South Sea) Ltd Fiji, trading as Asco Motors Fiji has invested more than half a million dollars in a new...

Diversification helps market vendor

DURING the challenging economic times brought about by COVID-19, market vendors are being forced to relook at the products they sell. Vasemaca Biuvakaloloma, a voivoi (Pandanus caricosus) trader at the Suva Municipal Market, said the challenge was selling enough product to provide for her family while trying to maintain high quality at a reasonable price....

Women live off the mangroves

AS darkness quickly falls and businesses slowly close its doors, Vinisita Misikuka quietly sits beside the pavement of one of Nausori Town’s busy streets to sell mangrove prawns or moci as they are commonly known to locals. These edible prawns not only allow Ms Misikuka to earn money for her household, it also allows her...

Motion for an inquiry into health and medical care delivery

NATIONAL Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad has moved a motion in Parliament for an inquiry into health and medical care delivery in public hospitals and health centres. In moving the motion this afternoon, he suggested the committee be made up of Dr Salik Govind, Alexander O’Connor, Jale Sigarara and Lenora Qereqeretabua. Professor Prasad said...

Suspended party to take down social media pages

Officials of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (in suspension) are to take down all their social media pages because they cannot call themselves a political party. Supervisor of Elections and Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem highlighted this in a press conference this afternoon saying “I’m hoping that officials of the Social Democratic Liberal Party...

SODELPA suspended for 60 days

The Social Democratic Liberal Party (in suspension) has been suspended for 60 days with immediate effect. Supervisor of Elections and Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem confirmed this at a press conference this afternoon. Mr Saneem said the suspension is due to a breach in the Political Parties Act. He said SODELPA (in suspension) failed...

Judge orders another psychiatric report in murder case

The High Court in Suva has ordered for another psychiatric report to be conducted in the case involving a 21-year-old woman accused of murdering her newborn. Venina Lagilagi appeared before judge Justice Riyaz Hamza yesterday charged with one count of murder. It is  alleged Ms Lagilagi committed the offense last year. The defence requested for...

COVID-19: FNPF pensioners to receive relief payment

More than 7,000 Fiji National Provident Fund pensioners will today receive a COVID-19 relief payment. FNPF chief executive officer Jaoji Koroi has confirmed in a statement that the payment, which ranges from $300 to $900, will be disbursed directly to the Fund’s active pensioners. Mr Koroi said the Fund was able to provide this one-off...

Police officers facing assault charges granted bail on strict conditions

Four police officers facing assault charges appeared at the Tavua Magistrates Court yesterday. Jese Marovia, Mavi Kuruvakatini, Samisoni Noqica and Senirusiate Nasobu appeared before Magistrate Lisiate Fotofili charged with three counts of assault causing actual bodily harm and four counts of common assault. It is alleged that between January 25-26, 2018 at Tavua, the police...

Ratu Epeli rules out petitions by the Opposition

Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this morning gave his rulings on three petitions which were submitted to Parliament by the Opposition. Leader of Opposition, Sitiveni Rabuka in his petition wanted the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights to conduct a holistic inquiry into the new requirements needed for voter registration. Mr Rabuka...

German sentiment survey boosts stocks, Europe focuses on recovery fund

LONDON (Reuters) – Stocks gained modestly on Monday with many countries on holiday as German business morale rebounded strongly in May, offering a glimpse of optimism to battered investors of what lay beyond weeks of economic lockdowns. MSCI’s gauge of world stocks gained 0.4%, nearing a 2-1/2 month high. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was...

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