From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your January 29 briefing



Here are some headlines that made The Fiji Times’ edition for Saturday, January 29.

But before that, we have a number of promotions running and you can win some great prizes including cash! Check inside the newspaper for details!


The Leader on Page 8 touches on our battle against COVID-19. There is complacency creeping in, and many Fijians are now flirting with danger and live in a false sense of security. So let’s unite and adhere to COVID-19 safety measures.



Hit in the wallet

THE Social Democratic and Liberal Party took a hit in the wallet when former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka quit the party and set up the People’s Alliance Party. According to SODELPA general secretary Lenaitasi Duru the political fallout caused a split in the party’s overseas financial supporter.

Compulsory acquisition

The Government has agreed to stop its compulsory acquisition of shares from 2000 minority shareholders of the Fiji Sugar Corporation.


Testing sites

FIJI could have more COVID-19 testing sites managed by the private sector.

FICAC investigation

THE Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) has concluded its investigation into a complaint by the leader of the Fiji Labour Party Mr Mahendra Chaudhry, leader of Freedom Alliance Mr Jagath Karunaratne and leader of Unity Fiji Mr Savenaca Narube.


Bus capacities

THE Fiji Bus Operators Association says due to the 80 per cent bus carrying capacities, drivers have no option but to refuse students once they reached the required numbers of passengers.

COVID safe protocols

THE Ministry of Health is expected to meet line ministries to discuss the impact of the COVID safe protocols on students’ ability to attend school.

Stranded students

FRUSTRATED and angry parents have called on authorities to look into the issue of stranded students due to the required 80 per cent capacity outlined in COVID safe procedures.



THE Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is working on providing shelters for the homeless and underprivileged in society.

COVID cases

THREE individuals below the age of 18 have so far succumbed to COVID-19 – the youngest a 10 day-old female infant.

Learning environment

THE Ministry of Education will go out of their way to create a comfortable learning environment for students around the country.

Lunch assistance

A total of 3706 students are receiving lunch assistance, facilitated by the Fiji Program Support Facility, which is sponsored by the Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).


Cane growers

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission should specify how cane growers will benefit by up to $17 million through the 90cents per kilogram increase in sugar price.

Sugar price

The Fiji National University Students Association (FNUSA) has welcomed the increase in the price of sugar. FNUSA hopes it will save many Fijian lives.

Eating patterns

Eating patterns and behaviour must change if we are going to prevent any further increase of non-communicable diseases in Fiji, says Minister for Womens, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar.


Many Non-Communicable Diseases patients attending SOPD Clinic’s at public health facilities have been defaulting their clinics because of the current COVID-19 situation.



No teacher should be out of school during school hours without taking official leave, said Permanent Secretary for Education Angeela Jokhan.

Financial manual

Heads of Schools have been told to educate their school management on the Education Ministry’s financial manual and the school management handbook.

Ambassadors of safe protocols

School teachers should become ambassadors of COVID-19 Safety Protocols, said Permanent Secretary for Education Angeela Jokhan in a circular sent to Divisional Education Offices, District Offices and Heads of Schools last Sunday.


Freesoul Real Estate

Justice Daniel Goundar will only make a determination on whether the Magistrates Court erred in transferring the sentencing of Freesoul Real Estate Limited to the High Court if he can be shown that he has jurisdiction to do so.

People’s Alliance Party

Former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka took a chunk of the Social Democratic and Liberal Party’s financial supporters when he quit the party and formed the People’s Alliance Party.

Acquisition order

Government removes compulsory acquisition order.







Engage in farming. This was the message rendered by Minister for Youth and Sports Parveen Kumar to youths of Dratabu Village, Nadi, on Wednesday.


Minister for Youth and Sports Parveen Kumar has called on members of the Qelema Youth Club to remain focussed.

Young population

SEVENTY per cent of Fiji’s population is below the age of 40, says Minister for Youth and Sports Parveen Kumar.


COUNSELLING service providers Empower Pacific has stepped in to provide needy Fijians admitted at Fiji’s three major hospitals with adult diapers.


It’s the weekend and we have a strong lineup of quality articles for your reading pleasure.

PAGE 12: Trust in government – By RICHARD NAIDU

SO, was the Prime Minister on the “frontline” on January 4 as the Government’s Facebook page said he was? Apparently not. A controversy blew up this week over the post – as well it should. In the first week of January, the FijiFirst Government was under political fire. Its ministers seemed to be missing in action as multiple mini-crises erupted around it. Suddenly, on the Governament of Fiji Facebook page there appeared a picture of the PM at some kind of checkpoint. “While our opponents were busy criticising the efforts of our hardworking frontliners from the comfort of their homes,” said the caption breathlessly, “Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was on the ground working alongside them, ensuring the safety of our people and our beloved country!” Except the Prime Minister wasn’t. He wasn’t on the “front line”. He wasn’t anywhere.

PAGE 28: Little knowledge is dangerous – By SAVENACA NARUBE

ONE week ago, I issued a statement comparing the Government and Unity Fiji’s economic projections. In response, the Minister for the Economy tried not only to defend his projections, but also to discredit my understanding of how economic and financial systems work. For the record, my entire career is in the field of economics and finance. I have a post-graduate degree with honours in economics. I have worked at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. I was the permanent secretary for Finance and delivered many national budgets.

PAGE 30: Listen to the People – By AJAY BHAI AMRIT

LIKE all things in life, great timing often determines great decision making and leaving a positive impact on people. With the greatest and most successful leaders in history, their timing was spot on as they served the nation in the correct manner, which is serving the people and not themselves and also knew when to step down. Great Iconic names like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela personify individuals who knew when to step away from the limelight at the right time.

PAGES 32-33: FT Anniversary – By ANA MADIGIBULI

THE president of the Methodist Church in Fiji, the Rev. Stanley Andrews, paid tribute to a murdered missionary teacher, Phyllis Furnivall when he opened a memorial appeal in Suva back in 1972. Ms Furnivall was killed in her house at the Methodist mission compound at Davuilevu, Nausori.

PAGE 36-37: Fiji’s public debt disaster – By WADAN NARSEY

MANY government policies can be reversed when a new government comes into power. But sadly and disastrously, Fiji’s massive public debt, which has grown astronomically under this Bainimarama Government, is not a policy that can be reversed at the stroke of a pen or by putting a vote in the ballot box. Public debt, which is created by the previous and current generations, must be paid for by future generations.

PAGE – 38: Defining sporting moments – By RAJNESH LINGAM

FOR a tiny island nation such as our Fiji, sporting activities are at the heart of many Fijians. Although rugby has brought a lot of success compared to other sporting activities, we have continued to win hearts on the sporting field. Sports is in our blood and rugby is a religion to many.

PAGE 40: Needless suicides – By COLIN DEOKI

WHAT’S the longest road in the world? It’s the Pan-American Highway that stretches from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska passing through Canada and goes south through the US, Mexico and Central America. Can you believe it’s a mind-boggling 19,000 miles long!


ELASTOGRAPHY is a non-invasive Ultrasound imaging technique that helps determine the stiffness or firmness of organs and other structures in your body. It is most commonly used to assess your liver.



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