Local News

Villagers wait for works to begin

Despite the completion of seven surveys on a damaged bridge in Narukunibua Village, Namosi, nothing has been done and villagers are still waiting for restoration works to begin on the crossing. Accessed by about 107...

Grant ‘not a freebie’

Defence Minister Inia Seruiratu said the $1000 business grant was not a freebie given by the Government. He said the $1000 grant had assisted individuals build their own businesses. “These $1000 grants have grown the threshold business,” he said. “And of course, if I remember correctly, so it’s very positive Mr Speaker sir. It’s not...

Clarity on top two positions

The Minister for Defence, National Security and Policing, Inia Seruiratu, has confirmed that Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto is still the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces while Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho remains the police commissioner. He made this clarification following rumours circulating online regarding the two top positions. During the 2020/2021 National Budget...

Containers used for detention centres

Defence Minister Inia Seruiratu admitted in Parliament last week that containers were used for detention centres. Mr Seruiratu said this was not the best, but that was what they had been using in Nadi. He made the comment after Opposition member of Parliament Pio Tikoduadua questioned him on whether social distancing was practised in detention...

Old age a barrier for new lease

Elderly canefarmers in Seaqaqa are concerned that their old age has affected their chances of renewal of leases. This was an issue raised at yesterday’s consultation with the iTaukei Land Trust Board, Fiji Sugar Corporation and Sugar Cane Growers Fund held at Solove Primary School. Farmer Prakash Chandar told the consultation that they had experienced...

Four cyclones forecast

Fiji is forecasted to be hit by four tropical cyclones in the November 2020 to April 2021 season, predicts a new model that has been developed by a team of climate scientists from the University of Newcastle and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand. The model provides an improved...

150th anniversary: A rare sight to see, minister drives his minibus to work

Ratu David Toganivalu, the late former Minister for Labour, caught the attention of many locals and surprisingly made the daily in February 1978 by driving his maroon minibus to work. The attention wasn’t solely fixed on him travelling to work but was on what he drove to work at the time. Before making important decisions...

150th anniversary: Aviation disaster leaves nine dead

Fiji authorities and citizens were in total shock in 1979, when the country had its first major aviation disaster that killed nine people. This was when a Fiji Air Islander plane crashed on a hill near Bua airstrip on July 14, 1979. A search for bodies ended the same day when villagers discovered the mangled...

Lawyer ordered to pay $1000

The Independent Legal Services Commission (ILSC) has ordered lawyer Simione Valenitabua to pay a fine of $1000 after he pleaded guilty for professional misconduct. Mr Valenitabua was charged after he had failed to respond to a notice of complaint served on him by the Chief Registrar. Commissioner Justice Daniel Goundar, while delivering the disciplinary sanction...

Market day to raise funds for unemployed

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the country, members of the Suva Bowling Club did their part to help affected communities by organising the Suva Bowling Club market day in Suva yesterday. A wide range of products and homemade mouth-watering delicacies including handicraft items and pot plants were displayed and sold at the event...

Puamau orders ODPP to show cause why it should not pay defendant

“We trust that you are doing your jobs as ministers of justice when you fall short of that, expect to be called to account,” Magistrate Seini Puamau told the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Ms Puamau made the comments in a judgment delivered in the Nadi Court while acquitting a man who had...

A landowning unit defies all odds, opens restaurant

A landowning unit has defied all odds and opened Batiri Fresh, a new restaurant in Labasa Town, becoming the first iTaukei group to sit at the Gurbachan Singh Mall. The landowners of mataqali Koroulutu in Batiri Village, Macuata, decided to open the restaurant as they wanted to put their lease money to good use. Mataqali...

City traders face uncertain future

More businesses may close down in the Sugar City because there has not been any kind of assistance offered to business owners to help them sustain their daily trading. Lautoka Residents and Ratepayers Association president Narayan Reddy noted this after some traders raised their concerns with the association. “A lot of businesses are closing because...

Duty to the nation

Despite his old age Private 18607 liganimisikere Vudidra has a remarkable memory of his service in the Malayan campaign during the World War II. Vudidra, who hails from Nagigi Village in Savusavu, Cakaudrove, was only 21 years old when he joined the Fiji Army. He along with other Fijian men heard the call of service...

Uplifting education standard of Fijians

Fulton Adventist University College is located at Sabeto, Nadi and is administered by the Trans Pacific Union Mission. It offers courses of study to degree level in business, education and theology. The principal, Dr Malcolm Coulson, shared the chronicles about the origins and development of the Seventh-day Adventist tertiary education in the country, that led...

Tanai’s humble plea to State

Adi Tanai Ragogaca’s story is similar to those of many women living in remote rural and maritime areas across the country. She has to leave her home every time she is about to give birth because her village in Wainimala, Naitasiri, is too far from a hospital or health centre. Ms Ragogaca, who is expecting...

Query on fuel tax increase

The question on why Government had increased fuel tax by 20 cents in its COVID-19 Response Budget was raised in Parliament last Friday. National Federation Party (NFP) leader Prof Biman Prasad said Government had increased the tax on fuel in a very “cryptically manner”. “In fact they increased it by 20 cents … and in...

Nawaikula faces allegations of professional misconduct

Lawyer, Niko Nawaikula appeared before the Independent Legal Services Commission (ILSC) in Suva today  facing allegations of professional misconduct. Mr Nawaikula appeared in person while the Legal Practitioners Unit (LPU) was represented by Tui Kilakila. Mr Kilakila told court that they had received representations from Mr Nawaikula and they had decided to proceed with the...

VB Holdings sustains dividend level despite hard times; declares full interim dividend

Publicly-listed VB Holdings Ltd has declared an interim dividend of $0.07 cents a share for the first six months of this year ending June 30, 2020. Despite the depressed market conditions that had led to a drop in revenue this year, the company says it has managed to sustain its dividend level given its healthy...

Reddy: Fijians much more educated now

Ordinary Fijians are much more educated now and they can identify and separate lies from truth. Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy noted this in Parliament in response to Prof Biman Prasad’s claim that the Government would need $100 million a month to meet its debt repayment commitment. “Mr Speaker Sir, the honourable Biman Prasad is...

Road, electricity issues a setback for mine

The Tuvatu Gold Mine in Sabeto would begin extraction once road and electricity issues have been addressed, says Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Jone Usamate. While responding to a question by Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka last Thursday, he said the company had been in full operations since it opened a few years ago. “Tuvatu,...

MP: Budget fails to address needs of primary industries

The 2020/2021 National Budget fails to address Fiji’s primary industries’ needs, focusing more on the rejuvenation of the tourism industry, claims Opposition member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula. Speaking in Parliament during the budget debate last week, Mr Nawaikula said while other countries such as Japan were putting a lot of its effort behind their primary...

Concern over council workers’ retirement age

National Federation Party (NFP) leader Prof Biman Prasad said it was “ludicrous” to retire municipal council workers at 55. He made the comment in Parliament on Friday while debating on the Local Government (Budget Amendment) Bill 2020. “We have had information already that almost 150 workers in the municipalities of the Central Division — Suva,...

No tax on fringe benefits

THE Fijian Government, in a bid to further incentivise employers to go that extra mile for their employees, have made fringe benefits offered by employers tax exempt. This was revealed by Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the 2020-2021 National Budget delivery. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said to keep things simple for the “telcos” and...

NFP: State coerced to reduce, remove taxes

Government was coerced to reduce and remove taxes during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to initiate stimulus for the economy, claims National Federation Party (NFP) leader Prof Biman Prasad. Prof Prasad said the 13 Bills passed in Parliament last week were really targeted at revenue generation and stimulus for the economy. He said they had...

Weather watch: Low pressure slow moving over Fiji

A trough of low pressure lies slow moving over Fiji. The weather bulletin issued from the National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi this morning says the associated cloud and showers are expected to affect the group till later tonight. The forecast to midnight tomorrow for the Fiji group expect occasional showers and few thunderstorms over...

Insurance services normalise at private hospital in Suva

Policy holders and brokers of FijiCare Insurance Limited (FIL) are advised that insurance services provided at Oceania Hospitals Private Limited (OHPL) have now been normalised. This means policy holders will now be able to access all services covered under their respective policy terms. A market announcement issued via the South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPX) last...

Bus conductor charged for possession of methamphetamine

A bus conductor will be produced at the Suva Magistrates Court today for allegedly  being found with clear plastics containing methamphetamine. The 29-year-old who has been charged with one count of unlawful possession of illicit drugs after was arrested on July 31 along Rewa Street by Police officers conducting beat patrol. The accused was seen...

Ro Dona laid to rest

The late Ro Dona Takalaiyale has been described as a man of the vanua who served his traditional role as sauturaga or chief maker with zeal and pride. Known for his role as the traditional spokesman or matanivanua of the Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa, Ro Dona is a familiar face to many seeking...

2nd August

Housing grant: Fijians living in informal settlements do not qualify

Fijians living in informal settlements don’t qualify to access the $30,000 government grant to build new homes. Opposition member of Parliament Lynda Tabuya raised the issue in the Committee of Supply sitting in Parliament on Thursday. “There are still 80,000 people living in informal and squatter settlements, who will not be entitled to this grant,”...

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