Opinion

18th May

Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Don’t leave land idle Ram Dayal, 72, never regretted the decision he made about toiling the land and making a living off it. Mr Dayal, who featured in Siteri Sauvakacolo’s story in yesterday’s People column,...

Taiwan can help

The threat that emerging infectious diseases pose to global health and the economy, trade, and tourism never ceases. Pandemics can spread rapidly around the world due to international aviation and transport. As of March 2021, a novel form of pneumonia that first emerged in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019 and has since been...

Editorial comment – Please stay home

It’s interesting that businesses in the Suva-Nausori corridor have welcomed the Ministry of Health’s decision to implement a total lockdown and restrict movement in their zone. Suva Retailers Association president Jetesh Patel said the lockdown would make the Ministry of Health’s work easier in flushing out the coronavirus. Mr Patel said the public should also...

17th May

Insider vs outsider – Sakul: Work together rather than against

MAY 14 1879 is a landmark day for the Fiji indentured labourers that has been explained in the scholarly book of Brij V. Lal’ Chalo Jahaji: on a journey through indenture in Fiji. The book stated, Leonidas, the first immigrant ship, cleared port on 4 March, 1879, there were 498 people on board: 273 men,...

Editorial comment – All for one, one for all

Every night for the past few weeks, we have been hearing permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong pleading with us to stay home. If you do not have a reason to go out, then just stay home, he says. If you do have a valid reason to go out, then please...

Letters to the Editor – May 17, 2021

Mental health WELL stated by many that COVID-19 impacts have effects on mental health. It’s all about your stability to survive and manage with limited resources. Loss of job, no pay, reduced hours, lockdowns, extended leaves without pay, idleness are some of the reasons that triggers anxiety and depression. All we need is each others...

16th May

The 1987 Coup – Catharsis or diseases

This year marks the 34th anniversary of Fiji’s first military coup on May 14, 1987 — an event that changed the country’s direction, destiny and destination. The coup, instigated by the third ranked military officer, lieutenant- colonel Sitiveni Rabuka, shook Fiji, the region and even the world. It came not too long after Pope John...

Hints for the home-bound

We of your so-called civilised world who have already undergone community isolating and lockdown situations during the past year or so, thought to pass on a few tips to help you pass the time until the uncivilised Covid virus loosens its grip. We understand that there has already been a certain amount of panic buying,...

Editorial comment – Let’s be united

It is encouraging to note that the Fiji Centre for Disease Control has been fully decontaminated and will resume processing COVID-19 tests. In his statement last night, the permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong said all remaining staff have continued to test negative for COVID-19. None of the laboratory staff, he...

Letters to the Editor – May 16, 2021

Thank you I applaud the hearty plea made by the health team and Dr Fong on a daily basis regarding COVID 19 protocols and procedures. Despite all the awareness, we see our people forcing themselves to be practising the wrong acts that can and is worsening the situation on ground. To some self isolation means...

15th May

Holocene or Anthropocene

The term Holocene appears to have been first suggested by Sir Charles Lyell in 1833 and taken by the International Geology Congress in Bologna in 1885, in post glacial geological era in the past 10 to 12 thousand years of history. The Anthropocene has come to replace the Holocene as the latest geological epoch. Since...

Let’s fight this virus together – Nation plunges further into uncertain times

As the nation plunges further into uncertain times, we are all anxious at the handling and what direction we will be going towards as the pandemic continues. By outlining a few areas that are being discussed in the public arena I thought we could bring a little clarity and conversation to these topics. This article...

Heart-wrenching loss – Diaspora, loved ones and COVID -19

Alongside the myriad stories of closed borders, unemployment, struggling health systems, surging COVID cases and accompanying increase in poverty, there is another heart-wrenching COVID-19 experience – not being able to be with loved ones in their last days on earth. This is a Fijian story, but applicable across the globe to diaspora who left their...

Time is of the essence – How to respond to Fiji’s COVID-19 health crisis

By NEELESH GOUNDER and NEIL SHARMA On April 18 2021, Fiji marked 365 days since the last case of COVID-19 “outside of border quarantine transmission”. Just when the pandemic seemed to have come under control, a new positive case of a security personnel working in a border quarantine facility detected on April 17 2021 has...

Look after your diet – Health and wellbeing during the pandemic

With the presence of COVID-19 more prevalent than ever, there are millions of families affected by this world-wide. With the new wave of COVID-19 in Fiji and that too being the Indian variant, it is a serious concern for our country Fiji. COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that is most easily spread from person-to-person...

Contact tracing apps – Critical infrastructure cyberattacks

Last week, we saw a real-world consequence of a successful cyberattack clearly highlighted with the closure of one of the US’ largest trans-continent fuel pipelines (from Texas to New York) because of ransomware. Last Friday, Colonial Pipeline said a cyberattack forced the company to proactively close down operations and freeze IT systems after becoming the...

Taiwan model against COVID-19 – ‘No one is safe, until everyone is’

While Fiji was moving on the path of preparedness for border reopening and quarantine-free travel bubbles with Australia and New Zealand, with no transmission cases for a year, the Indian B1.617 variant suddenly attacked the borders and force lockdowns across the Viti Levu last month. Lautoka, Nadi, Suva, Nausori and Lami were established as containment...

Special moments – Mandali members reach out to the needy

Last Sunday, Mother’s Day was celebrated in Fiji. Facebook was flooded with beautiful moments between a mother and her loved ones despite the COVID-19 crisis. However, those whose mothers had passed away had to cling to the beautiful memories from the good old days. I was one of those who reminisced the good old days...

Editorial comment – Let’s do this!

As residents in Suva and Nausori go into total lockdown over the next few days until Wednesday morning, we are buoyed by the fact that the majority of Fijians are in tune with what is expected of them. They know what is required. They value the importance of why they must stay home. They understand...

Letters to the Editor – May 15, 2021

History and unwavering support Most likely, Dr James Fong may go down in our history books as the personality of the year for 2021. As a high-ranking government official, one has to acknowledge his ability to communicate updates and restrictions in simple language which the layman can easily understand or relate to. He is clear...

14th May

Australian global aid – Land Down Under almost rock bottom in global rankings

New OECD aid data for 2020, from the organisation’s Development Assistance Committee or DAC, shows that Australia’s aid performance has never been worse in global terms. We started the decade above the global aid average: in 2011, our aid-to-income ratio (the measure of aid generosity) was 0.34 per cent of GNI, and the OECD average...

Editorial comment – We must fight this together

It’s hard not to be enveloped by emotions when there is death. You could see it in the faces of permanent secretary for Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong, and Dr Aalisha Sahukhan last night. It wasn’t difficult to spot the slight quiver in their voices. Overcome by the moment, by the...

Letters to the Editor – May 14, 2021

Life of struggle The front page photo of cancer patient Priya Darshani Devi with her mum and two-year old daughter selling pineapples at their roadside stall in Lovu, Lautoka in yesterday’s The Fiji Times has touched my heart. I admire her courage and sacrifice for the welfare of her dependents despite the challenges she is...

13th May

Fiji left out – Sakul: Marshall Islands and New Zealand were invited

Fiji was recently excluded from the Leader Summit on Climate, to which only the Marshall Islands and New Zealand were invited, notwithstanding the fact that Fiji was the first island nation to raise the battle against climate change to the global stage. The issue of excluding Fiji seems to be analogous to a phenomenon observed...

Letters to the Editor – Thursday, May 13, 2021

The stark reality! After reading the statement by Save the Children Fiji chief executive officer Shairana Ali that people were worried about two things – their inability to provide food for their family and fear of what could happen next, and that the COVID-19 containment had separated people from their places of work and they...

Editorial comment – Panic buying reality

What took place on Tuesday in many parts of the Capital City shouldn’t have happened. But it did! There was mass panic brought about by rumours of an impending national lockdown. Where it stemmed from, whether via social media, or a news story, it is hard to tell. But there was chaos in some instances,...

12th May

Spiritual warfare

Close to 200,000 Methodists in Fiji and abroad are taking turns in praying and fasting for a period of 61 days as the Church takes a spiritual approach to combat the COVID-19 epidemic. The general secretary of the Methodist. While church members are urged to heed all government restrictions and health procedural measures, the Methodist...

Letters to the Editor – Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Still going strong For 61-year-old fisherman Maciu Koroidua, the saying “hard work leads to success”, rings true, as he is still very much active with farming and fishing all on his way. I read the piece penned by Unaisi Ratubalavu in yesterday’s People column, and I was impressed with Maciu’s journey. For the past 20...

Editorial comment – United we must move forward

Not too many people realise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Fijians until they see things for themselves. It’s difficult to appreciate this when you are far removed from the hardship thousands of Fijians are being forced to live with. For instance, there are no jobs for carrier drivers in Nadi Town. This may...

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