Local News

3rd March

A-G: No plans to legalise marijuana

GOVERNMENT has no immediate plans to legalise the production of marijuana for medical purposes, says Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He said countries such as Canada allowed it, but there were also a lot...

Shameem: Medicinal cannabis could boost economic recovery

THE production of medical marijuana and hemp could be the shot in the arm that Fiji needs to boost economic recovery. This was the suggestion made by the University of Fiji acting vice-chancellor Shaista Shameem during a recent discussion forum at the Saweni, Lautoka, campus. She said it was critical the country invested in local...

Post not racist – Padarath

POLICE have not received any complaints against Ben Padarath, the man who is at the centre of a row with Education Minister Rosy Akbar over a social media post. Police spokeswoman Savaira Gonedua said this when questioned yesterday. Ms Akbar attacked Mr Padarath and called him bigoted for questioning why a student in a school...

Misinformation contributing factor towards virus stigma

PEOPLE testing positive with COVID-19 are stigmatised because of misinformation and lack of education about the virus, says Diabetes Fiji Inc. project manager Viliame Qio. “The stigma that surrounds with those testing positive with the virus comes with the transmission of the virus so if people are more educated on how to prevent the transmission...

$5k grant to combat COVID-19 issues

THE International Republican Institute (IRI) and the Fiji Council of Social Services yesterday launched its first activity aimed at addressing the increasing misinformation and hate speech surrounding COVID-19 in Fiji, IRI resident national program officer Elenoa Fuli said it was important to address the issue. “IRI received extra funding from USAID and we have seen...

‘No one exempted from quarantine’

NO one is exempt from quarantine — not even government ministers and high-level civil servants, says Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong. He explained the quarantine requirement was only changed for some diplomats and high economic value persons who have had quarantine conditions replicated for them in pre-arranged alternative sites, with full costs...

State to borrow money for opex

ECONOMY Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this year would be the first time for the Government to borrow money to pay for operating expenditure. During a 2021-2022 national budget virtual consultation last Sunday, he said right now the Government debt was about $6.875 billion, and “this was equivalent to 69.5 per cent of gross...

‘Extra duty on fuel hurting people’s pockets’

THE 20 cents per litre extra duty imposed on fuel in April last year is severely hurting the people’s pockets and needs to be removed, says National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad. He said now that world fuel prices had risen, contributing to significant increases locally, it was only fair that Government remove the...

A-G on borrowing money from FNPF

ALL governments have borrowed from Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF), not just the FijiFirst administration, says Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. “But just to let you know that we know when we say we borrow money domestically, a lot of people think that you know, this is a new phenomenon, that we only borrow...

Back in History: Nine killed in plane crash

A Fiji Air Islander plane crashed near Bua and a story published in The Fiji Times on July 16, 1979 stated nine lives were lost in the tragedy. The bodies of the nine Fiji Air crash victims were recovered on July 15 from the jungle and the Bua hillside where their plane plunged to destruction....

2nd March

Murder suspect remanded

A 24-year-old man who allegedly murdered an elderly caretaker in Navua has been remanded by the High Court in Suva. Aliki Livai Tiko was charged with one count of murder and theft and appeared before judge Justice Salesi Temo. The matter was called for first call and the State sought 21 days to file information...

State files application to use Skype

THE State has filed an application to use Skype for a witnesses from New Zealand in the matter involving Canadian national Joshua Aziz Rahman. Mr Rahman is facing charges relating to the alleged possession of $30 million worth of cocaine. He appeared yesterday before judge Justice Daniel Goundar. Defence lawyer Sharoneel Deo told court they...

IFC, State collaborate on policy design

INTERNATIONAL Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has collaborated with the Fijian Government in the designing of the country’s first early childcare policy which will benefit working families and businesses in Fiji. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said good quality and affordable childcare were often lacking or...

Supervision and middle management

THE Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation held a course on supervision and middle management for 22 participants on handling difficult situations. FCEF trainer, Epi Gonewai said these participants had to analyse the situations at hand and then think outside the box for a solution. “We are focusing on the core problems of supervisors as they...

Pacific region may not be ready for border opening

THE whole Pacific region may not be ready for the borders to open yet and allow for tourists to travel as some Pacific island countries are yet to prepare for COVID clean business recovery programs. This was one of the key issues highlighted by the Pacific Tourism Organisation CEO Christopher Cocker. He added Fiji was...

Save finds life in music

At a point in life “never give up” is a statement we often used to push the mind to go beyond its limit. Those very three words have provided inspiration to 21-year-old Savenaca Waqabaca. Save is a visually impaired student of Moce Secondary School in Lau. He joined after graduating from the Fiji Society for...

School inducts six new student leaders

SIX students were badged prefects of the Fiji School for the Blind in Vatuwaqa last week. European Union Pacific delegation ambassador Sujiro Seam and his wife, Jane Seam, officiated at the ceremony with Jenny Seeto. The induction happened in conjunction with the handover of art supplies and musical instruments by the I See Love In...

Double appointment for Waqaliva

SETOKI Naceta Waqaliva was honoured with a double appointment as both head boy of Marist Brothers High School (MBHS) and head boarder of Ratu Mara Hostel at last week’s prefects induction ceremony at Lambert Hall. Born and raised in Nawaka, Nadi, he said he never dreamt he would one day lead students of a school...

Kumar: Let your actions speak

NEWLY-inducted prefects of Baulevu High School in Nausori have been urged to let their actions speak louder than their words during their time as young leaders of their school. “Your actions determine you as a leader,” Minister for Youth and Sports Parveen Kumar told students during an induction ceremony. “You may say all the right...

Council collects $644,488 in rate arrears

THE decision by the Suva City Council to offer ratepayers a 7 per cent discount in rates for the two months of the year has worked well with the council collecting $644,488 in rates arrears in addition to 74 per cent of total rate invoice generated. In a media release, SCC special administrators chairman Isikeli...

Qualified women seek skills training

MORE working women with professional academic qualifications are registering with the Makoi Women’s Vocational Training Centre. This is according to centre manager Shazna Khan who said the COVID-19 had affected not only their operations but the opportunities for their students to return to school. “Our hours were more practical based, we could not have more...

Money management

THERE is a need to encourage more Fijians to manage whatever limited funds they have, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic situation. With this objective in mind, the Reserve Bank of Fiji and ANZ with support from the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, a training of trainers workshop kickstarted yesterday to train government and community influencers, who...

The University of Papua New Guinea – Reflections after a decade

THIS year, 2021, marks 10 years since I started teaching at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG). Regardless of what kind of state it is in today, UPNG’s history and continuity fascinates me. As a student of politics, I look to the institutions of PNG when trying to understand the process of nation-building. National...

Special polling venue to be set up

A SPECIAL polling venue will be set up in Suva for voters who are not registered to vote in the country and are not postal voters, says Supervisor of Elections (SOE) Mohammed Saneem. While presenting his submissions to a parliamentary standing committee yesterday, Mr Saneem said the amendments to the Electoral Act 2014 would to...

Fiji’s first biodiversity park opens

WE have to stem the loss and degradation of biodiversity otherwise we will forego the opportunities of deriving its full benefits. These were the sentiments of Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy while opening Fiji’s first biodiversity park at Kalokolevu Village yesterday. “We are facing climate change threats, extreme weather and natural...

Economic recovery

The central bank says domestic economy recovery this year remains contingent on the resumption of international travel and the pick-up in tourism activity locally, along with the level of fiscal support by the Government in the 2021-22 National Budget. In its February economic review released today, the Reserve Bank of Fiji says the International Monetary...

NTPC provides skills training to COVID-19 affected workers

The Fiji National University’s (FNU) National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently provided a cookery training course to workers who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-week course attracted 40 students who underwent training at the FNU Nasese and Namaka campuses. The aim...

Standoff brings USP operations under scrutiny

The ongoing stand-off between the University of the South Pacific’s host country Fiji and its governing body, the USP Council, has put the regional institution’s future under scrutiny. The latest crisis came to a head three weeks ago when the whistleblowing vice-chancellor and president, Pal Ahluwalia, and his wife were sent packing by Fijian authorities...

213 students graduate from NTPC’s Sustainable Livelihood Project

The Fiji National University’s (FNU) National Training and Productivity Centre remains committed to empowering sustainable livelihood development in rural and maritime communities through its non-formal education department. Last week, under the Government-funded Sustainable Livelihood Project (SLP), 213 students from the Dawasamu district in Tailevu completed the 2-week technical and vocational training program. The graduates from...

ICD orientation workshop opened in Nadi

A three day workshop for Government officials on Gender Transformative Institutional Capacity Development (ICD) Orientation Workshop was opened today in Nadi. While opening the discussions, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said the ICD was a whole of Government initiative with an emphasis on strengthening of technical knowledge, skill and competence. “The...

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