Local News

22nd March

Some 120,000 of rural population depend on the coconut industry

AROUND 120,000 of our rural population depend on the coconut industry as their main source of food and livelihood. Speaking at the National Coconut Day celebrations yesterday, Minister for Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy said that...

Literacy continues to be a challenge for primary students: Belisle

LITERACY continues to be a challenge for primary school students in the Pacific, says Education Quality Assessment Programme director Michelle Belisle. Speaking to The Fiji Times during a Pacific Island Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) steering committee meeting in Nadi this week, she said there were hopes that the 2018 results – being analysed and...

Lautoka couple struggle with dialysis costs

A LAUTOKA couple has been paying more than $150 for dialysis treatments despite Government’s announcement of a $75 subsidy for households earning less than $30,000. Fatma Bibi Ali and Neiyaz Ali said they had spent between $150 and $250 per treatment in Ba and Lautoka. “We went everywhere from Lautoka, Nadi and Ba and each...

Ministry of Education , Heritage and Arts permanent secretary Alison Burchell. Picture: FT. File

There are teachers who do not meet qualifications: Burchell

THERE are a number of teachers who do not have the teaching qualifications required for their role, states Education Ministry permanent secretary Alison Burchell in a circular to teachers who have a one year or short term contracts that have expired last year and likely to expire at the end of next term. Ms Burchell...

President Konrote: Children never too young to protect our forests

THE tree-planting program is only the start of our commitment to plant four million trees in four years as part of efforts to build a greener, more climate resilient and more beautiful Fiji. These were the words of President Jioji Konrote during his address at the International Day of Forests celebrations at Sigatoka Valley Secondary...

21st March

Day honours surveyors globally

IF you have an ambition, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession regardless of your beginning. Fiji’s Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar made these comments while officiating at the Global Surveyors Day celebration held at Bowling Club in Suva earlier today. Mr Sudhakar says land surveying is the second...

Australia to continue awards program for Fijians

SINCE 2007, the Australian government has supported over 700 Fijians to study at credible Australian and Fijian institutions through the Australia Awards program, an effort the High Commission in Suva says will be continued in the coming years. Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes hosted an alumni networking cocktail event at his residence last...

MBBS students give back to St Giles

NINETEEN students from the Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Year 4 Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program have undertaken a unique initiative to donate 200 bath towels to patients at the St Giles Hospital in Suva today. Student representative Ayesha Dean said this was the least...

Ro Teimumu calls for an education commission to look at special school needs

NAUSORI Special School celebrated World Down Syndrome Day with students, parents, and teachers today to create more awareness about this form of disability. Opposition member and Shadow Minister for Education and Heritage Ro Teimumu Kepa was the chief guest at the event, attended as well by students and teachers from neighbouring schools in Nausori, together...

Navua mandali celebrates Holi in style

THE Rovandrau Sanatan Dharam Mandali, based in Navua, celebrated Holi in style today. Close to 20 members of the mandali took leave from work and joined school kids in the community to mark the festival. Mandali member Roneel Kumar said that just like previous years, it was a fun-filled day. “We visited close to 12...

Minister for Local Government, Housing & Environment, Infrastructure & Transport Parveen Kumar during a break in parliamentary sitting yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Conduct of air traffic controllers labelled an unlawful strike: Minister

THE conduct of the 33 Fiji Airports air traffic management workers has been labelled as an unlawful strike by the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Parveen Kumar. Following their meeting this afternoon, Mr Bala released a Government statement calling the worker’s coordinated and continued refusal to attend work as clear indications that a...

2200-plus students to graduate from USP this month

MORE than 2200 students will be graduating from the University of the South Pacific this month. Out of this, 60 per cent are females, says USP’s vice-chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia. Speaking at today’s graduation ceremony for the university’s Faculty for Arts, Law and Education, Prof Ahluwalia said this month’s graduation was the largest...

Arguments erupt at Fiji Taxi Association meeting in Lautoka

A MEETING between taxi drivers in Lautoka had to be stopped prematurely today after arguments erupted between the opposing parties. Fiji Taxi Union and Lautoka Taxi Association president Raben Singh called for the meeting between officers from LTA, Fiji Police Force and the disputing parties to try and resolve their issues. Mr Singh said the...

Hundreds farewell Lautoka’s Jame Masjid chief priest in Auckland

HUNDREDS turned up for the funeral of the late Imam Hafiz Musa Patel at the Manukau Gardens in Auckland, New Zealand, today. Mr Patel who was the Chief Priest at the Jame Masjid in Lautoka was one of the 51 people killed in last week’s deadly Christchurch terrorist attack. Attending the funeral were members of...

500-plus TINs issued for illegal and sudden stopping

THE Land Transport Authority issued more than 500 traffic infringement notices to drivers who were caught making illegal and sudden stops on our roads in January alone this year. LTA chief executive Samuel Simpson said illegal and sudden stopping of vehicles presented a clear danger to road users. “The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is very...

EU Commission resists May’s Brexit delay date of June 30: document

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission opposes extending British membership of the European Union to June 30 as Prime Minister Theresa May proposed on Wednesday, according to a document seen by Reuters. In a Wednesday note, Commission officials said EU leaders meeting May at a summit on Thursday faced a “binary” choice of a short...

Serve complete strangers wholeheartedly: Qiliho

“PUT on your uniform and serve complete strangers wholeheartedly and with integrity.” This was the advice by Fiji’s Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho to more than 200 new police recruits during the opening of the first batch of Police recruitment for 2019. Brig-Gen Qiliho told the new cops that the next four months would be...

Employment Minister meets Fiji Airports senior management

MINISTER for Employment, Industrial Relations and Productivity Parveen Kumar is meeting Fiji Airports senior management and air traffic controllers this hour. The air traffic controllers will be represented by Fiji Public Service Association general secretary Rajeshwar Singh. Mr Kumar is expected to release a statement on the impasse following the discussions.

Kavewa fisherman reported missing

A 46-YEAR-old man from Kavewa Village has been reported missing at the Nabouwalu Police Station in Bua. According to Police, the victim had gone diving off the Kavewa Island reef yesterday morning with four others when he was discovered missing. He was last seen by the boat captain diving outside the reef while offloading seashells...

64,000-plus trees planted across Fiji since January

A TOTAL of 64,958 trees have been planted across Fiji since January this year as part of the Ministry of Forestry’s efforts to plant four million trees within the next four years. In a concerted effort, the Northern Division planted 56,188 trees topping the number of trees planted in the nation under the project. Addressing...

Escapee back in Police custody

ESCAPEE Emosi Baledrokadroka has been arrested and is back in Police custody. Police have confirmed that Baledrokadroka was arrested by the Western Division Taskforce after 8pm in Navutu last night. Baledrokdroka was among three escapees who were all back in Police custody. Joeli Nukunawa and Isaac Matthew James had been arrested earlier.

Navua Mandali to pray for Christchurch in this year’s Holi festival

THE festival of colours is here. The Holi festival is celebrated by Hindus across the world and Fiji is no different. Thousands of Hindus around the country will get together today to celebrate this annual festival. Mandalis and cultural groups last night practiced the ritual of burning the ‘Holika’. The story of Holika signifies the...

Christchurch mosque shooting: Saved by grace

WHEN Ahmed Shah received bullet shots to his body in the Christchurch mass shootings last Friday, the only thing he was thinking about was his children. Originally from Kabul Afghanistan, Mr Shah has two children, a thirteen year old daughter and nine year old son and looks after them after getting separated from his wife...

Christchurch mosque shooting: Use your voice to stand in solidarity with NZ

USE your voice on social media platforms to stand in solidarity with New Zealand as they recover from what will go down in history as one of its darkest days, says Online Safety Commission commissioner Anne Dunn Baleilevuka. “My thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of those who lost their loved ones by...

Christchurch mosque shooting: Rotuman community shows support

THE Rotuman community in New Zealand showed their support towards the victims of the massacre in Christchurch by planting flowers at the Masjid e Umar (Mount Roskill Mosque) yesterday. The Auckland Rotuman Fellowship Group Incorporated (ARFGI) requested its members to meet at the mosque yesterday afternoon to continue with the gardening which began two days...

A-G: Care for each other as brothers and sisters

IF we are all brothers and sisters then we must be concerned about each other irrespective of where we come from, our faith or our place of worship, says Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. While speaking at the interfaith ecumenical vigil for the victims of the Christchurch massacre, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said this was...

Fiji’s Police Commissioner calls for social media control

POLICE Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho has called for controls to be placed on social media sites such as Facebook. He has also called on the media to be responsible when reporting on issues that could result in racial vilification and the propagation of ill feeling towards a group or race of people. Citing a...

Online Commission warns against hateful and racial words

THE Online Safety Commission has issued a warning to all Fijians to refrain from spreading hateful words and discrimination on social media over the barbaric attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, last Friday. Commissioner Anne Dunn Baleilevuka said they were aware that hateful and racial words were spreading across social media platforms. “We have not received...

Hefty fines await those caught slaughtering turtles illegally

THE Ministry of Fisheries will come down hard on those illegally slaughtering sea turtles without permits. A statement from the ministry revealed that earlier warnings on the ban of sea turtle slaughter continued to fall on deaf ears. Since the beginning of this year, the ministry continued to receive reports of illegal slaughters despite the...

Kava co-operative negotiates US deal

NEGOTIATIONS are progressing between the Kadavu Kava Farmers Co-operative Ltd and suitable kava buyers in the United States of America for the establishment of its markets. Kadavu Provincial Council chairman Malakai Masi revealed the company recently held talks with a dealer from Sacramento who approached the company revealing his interests. Mr Masi said the company...

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