Politics

21st January

Theresa May wants Irish treaty to break Brexit impasse: paper

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to seek a bilateral treaty with the Irish government as a way to remove the contentious backstop arrangement from Britain’s divorce deal with the European Union,...

Code of Conduct Bill way of criminalising freedom of expression

FIJI’S Code of Conduct Bill is a way of restricting, limiting and criminalising freedom of expression, says human rights orgnisation, Amnesty International. The organisation’s Pacific Researcher Roshika Deo said encouraging people to make submissions and having an input in the compilation of the Bill was important. She said in order for people to exercise their right...

20th January

Methodist Church: Displacement of preferred candidates for church schools prevents provision of quality education

THE displacement of its preferred candidates for leadership positions prevents church schools from providing quality education and undermines human and constitutional rights, says Rev. Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa, the President of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma. “This action by the Government also restricts the rights of the church which are protected under section 4...

Relationship on the mend between ATS management and FASA members

DESPITE their issues, the relationship between Federated Airlines Staff Association members and Air Terminal Services management is on the mend as both parties continue to engage in dialogue. FASA national secretary Manasa Ratuvili said despite several setbacks after returning to work in January, 2018, the association has been able to engage in positive discussions with ATS management. “Since...

19th January

Police to question Rabuka tomorrow over talkback show comments

OPPOSITION and Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka will be taken in for questioning by Police tomorrow. Mr Rabauka confirmed to this newspaper that he was supposed to be interviewed today but was deferred to tomorrow because his lawyer was not present. He said this was a continuous interrogation by Police in relation to...

Divisional commissioners can assist in generating community interest in public consultations

SODELPA MP Mosese Bulitavu believes the involvement of the Government’s four Divisional Commissioners in assisting Parliamentary committees in spreading the word about public consultations could generate interest from communities. His comment was made as members of the Standing Committee on Justice Law and Human Rights discussed ways of attracting members of the public to attend...

Education PS defends policy

A HEATED argument broke out between Education Ministry permanent secretary Alison Burchell and stakeholders of Catholic schools during a meeting at the Sacred Heart Cathedral crypt in Suva on Thursday night. The arguments from the stakeholders were based on the fact that the appointment of a school leader must not only be based on the...

ATS employees hold church service to mark one year of lockout

AIR Terminal Services employees and members of the Federated Airlines Staff Association (FASA) remembered their 34-day lockout between 2017 and 2018 during a church service in Nadi today. FASA president Semisi Turagabaleti said it was important for the members of the association to remember their fight for their rights. He said they wanted to celebrate...

Churches attack Government’s open merit practice in faith-based schools

TWO major faith-based organisations which run a number of schools in the country have joined forces to openly criticise Government on its decision to appoint school heads based on open merit recruitment and selection (OMRS) guidelines. Methodist Church in Fiji president the Rev Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa and the head of the Catholic Church of Fiji,...

Farmer airs concern on mill efficiency

STAKEHOLDERS in the Sugar Industry have acknowledged how poorly Rarawai mill operated in the last crushing season. Speaking during the National Sugar Industry Policy consultations in Tavua this week, Rajendra Raghlu a prominent grower from Yaladro said mill issues was one of the biggest challenges for farmers. “When we talk about mill efficiency, people will...

Fiji’s teacher unions unhappy with ministry’s displacement of school heads

THE Fiji Teachers Union (FTU) and the Fijian Teachers Association (FTA) say they are not happy with the way the Education Ministry continues to displace heads of schools. According to the two teacher unions, the result of promoting teachers into leadership positions based on the open merit recruitment and selection (OMRS) system was “horrifying”. FTU...

Dialogue vital, says Rabuka

SUCCESSIVE governments since independence have had a mutually productive, co-operative and cordial relationship with religious bodies running educational institutions, says Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka. In a statement issued this week, Mr Rabuka said this was done through dialogue, mutual respect and understanding. Last week, representatives from faith-based schools around the country met Education Ministry permanent...

Ro Teimumu objects to public demonising of the Archbishop

SHADOW Minister for Education and Heritage Ro Teimumu Kepa has strongly objected to the public demonising Archbishop Peter Loy Chong. In a statement issued last night, Ro Teimumu also expressed her support for the recent education statements made by Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka, adding she issued this statement not only as Shadow Minister for Education but...

18th January

PM Bainimarama: Australia finally in good terms with Fiji

FIJIAN Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has thanked his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison for taking the step forward towards this bilateral meeting in Suva. At the official dinner at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva last night, PM Bainimarama said he was pleased that after the events of 2006, Australia was “finally in good terms” with...

Fruitful talks

SEVERAL initiatives targeting economic development between Fiji and Australia were factors that contributed to the success of bilateral talks between the leaders of the two countries in Suva yesterday. Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison labelled the meeting as a fruitful one. The major initiatives announced included: Fiji’s inclusion in...

SODELPA calls for Parliament session

THE Social Democratic Liberal Party presented a petition to the President, Jioji Konrote, yesterday to convene a special parliamentary session to give the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison the opportunity to address Fijians. Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka said the petition invoked Standing Order 21 (3) of the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji. “The President...

Proposed Bill saga

THE Government should change laws weakening indigenous rights before enacting the Code of Conduct Bill, parliamentarians were told yesterday. Savusavu resident and retired civil servant Laisiasa Wainikesa told the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights during a public consultation held in Savusavu yesterday that the Bill must be specific about human rights. “What...

Better communication needed for outreach up north: Maharaj

THE low turnout of oral submissions at the public consultation on the Code of Conduct Bill 33 held in the North this week means a better communication outreach is needed for the public. Standing Committee on Justice Law and Human Rights chairman Alvick Maharaj said despite using all media outlets and social media to inform...

SODELPA presents petition for special parliamentary session for Aussie PM

THE Social Democratic Liberal Party presented a petition to the President, Jioji Konrote, yesterday to convene a special parliamentary session to give the Australian Prime Minister the opportunity to address Fijians. Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka said the petition invoked Standing Order 21 (3) of the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji. “The President must summon...

Government should change laws weakening indigenous rights: Submission

THE Government should change laws weakening indigenous rights before enacting the Code of Conduct Bill, Parliamentarians were told yesterday. Savusavu resident and retired civil servant Laisiasa Wainikesa told the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights during a public consultation held in Savusavu yesterday that the Bill must be specific about human rights. “What...

17th January

Bainimarama and Morrison declare bilateral talks “fruitful”

FIJIAN Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Australian counterpart Scott Morrison had a fruitful bilateral meeting in Suva today, according to the two leaders. After the meeting, Mr Bainimarama said he was happy to announce the “Vuvale” partnership. “Vuvale” means family and Mr Bainimarama said he was confident that the partnership would help Fiji and the...

PM Bainimarama and PM Morrison meet behind closed doors

FIJIAN Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is now in a bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison in Suva this hour. The meeting is taking place behind closed doors. However, the local media have been told that both leaders will speak at a press conference after the meeting. Joining Mr Bainimarama at the bilateral talks...

PM Morrison to arrive in Fiji today

AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives into the country today. Mr Morrison lands in Nausori at 11.30am and will head to the Grand Pacific Hotel in the capital city where a traditional welcome ceremony will be performed for him. There will be no road closures, it has been stated. The Australian PM will then pay a...

Fiji and China on good footing: Tarte

FIJI’S diplomatic relations with China is on a good footing, says University of the South Pacific Associate Professor Sandra Tarte. During an interview at her office in Suva today, she said Fiji had worked so hard to build its relationship with China over the past years when it was ignored by its traditional partners. Despite...

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