From The Crowd

27th July

Not if but how – Foreign workers on Australian farms

In 2006, under pressure from the Pacific to introduce a seasonal worker scheme, and under pressure from Australian farmers to address labour shortages, the Howard government introduced the second-year backpacker visa. This gave working holiday makers on a one-year visa a...

26th July

Editorial comment – Go Fiji, go

The stage is set for our foray into the Olympic Games 7s rugby competition. Today we are scheduled to play two games, against hosts Japan, and Canada. Then we are scheduled to play Great Britain tomorrow. There is great interest in this event for the one reason that we are defending champions. We are the defending gold medallists...

Tackling NCDs – Pacific Island Food Revolution in Italy

The event brings together diverse actors  from around the world to leverage the power of food systems to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Pacifi c Island Revolution’s executive director Robert Oliver, who will be presenting at the event, is excited to share the project’s theory of change and groundbreaking impact results. “Pacific Island Food Revolution’s bold and innovative approach to tackling non-communicable diseases...

24th July

Politicians: Should be psychologically assessed

In the social media age, political determinants of COVID-19  are pronounced. “There is no place for politicians to hide anymore so faults  are inevitably revealed.” Political power is the master key to all locks and research shows that people in positions of power can let power literally go to  their head. If our political leaders seem off, there is a scientific  reason...

Jab, Fiji’s only hope

Bula readers! I’m impressed with many of our prominent individuals and groups  who are winning the hearts of the citizens as the vaccination rates for the nation increase. Once again, the program could have been executed so much more quickly if only our national leaders had joined hands and shared  their platform with leaders from different spectrums of society  to promote this lifesaving campaign....

It’s about respect

Maybe it’s an “only in Fiji moment”. Where else could a budget be presented to Parliament in the middle of a raging pandemic with thousands of people infected by COVID, tens of thousands more  at risk, hospitals – and now, morgues, overwhelmed – and the Economy Minister refuses to talk about the problem? The budget debate is...

Can we accomplish the same feat in Tokyo

As we countdown days and hours for the men’s sevens rugby competition in the Olympics, there has been only  one question in the minds of all rugby lov- ing fans, can we repeat the same feat as in  Rio. In this COVID-19 ravaged world, the Olympics, which was supposed to be held last year, was deferred to this year with  organisers under heavy...

Raising privacy concerns

I have written a lot in recent months on cyberattacks, ransomware and cyberespionage  by suspected Russian, Chinese and Iranian nation state actors. Even the US has not been spared – Edward Snowden’s 2013 disclosure of highly classifi ed National Security Agency (NSA) documents  revealed the agency’s ability to tap the electronic communications of almost anyone and  triggered an international boom in...

‘Wrong politics’

I am sure you have heard and read many views on the 2021/2022 national Budget presented by the Minister for Finance last Friday. Some views are full  of praise. Some are realistic. I have in the course of the past four days, issued daily analysis of the budget. On Thursday, I presented a full analysis. I would like to think that my views are technically realistic. I...

Down memory lane

In 2016, our first Olympic Games gold medal provided a fairytale ending. Our boys stepped onto the podium to receive their gold medals from Princess Anne as tears flowed freely. The noise was deafening as Fijians took to the streets to express  their excitement. The nation was at a halt, everything stopped as celebrations went wild.  That moment is hard to de- scribe and put...

NSW mistakes are lessons for Fiji

With the Bainimarama Government obstinately refusing to lockdown, Fiji is  now suffering the worst medical, social  and economic crisis since the measles epidemic of 1875 which led to the deaths of a third of  Fiji’s population. Today’s COVID-19 crisis has led to thousands of seriously ill people and more than 100 (so far) dying. This is all totally unnecessary, had the...

23rd July

Fiji’s new budget: Significant fiscal challenges

The task that the Fiji Government has faced since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis has been challenging, involving difficult choices and adjustments. Despite rising case numbers and deaths, there is an obvious tension between protecting health in the short term and keeping non-essential businesses closed for a prolonged period. The government has opted for a softer lockdown — a relaxation of suppression strategies forcing health...

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