Local News

DPP: 18 charged for 35 separate counts of sexual offences

Eighteen people were charged for 35 separate counts of sexual offences last month. Of the 18, one was a juvenile and one was a police officer. Rape accounted for the highest cases recorded, making up...

COVID-19: Police directed to arrest people loitering in public

Police officers have been directed to arrest people found loitering in public places outside of the nationwide curfew hours. Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho said this followed serious concerns received about people continuing to gather in numbers and were not adhering to physical distancing measures, particularly in public places. “Also with the announcement of the extension...

COVID-19: Police acquire two drones

The Fiji Police Force has acquired two drones in a bid to enhance service delivery through the use of technology. According to Police, the drones procured from Drones Services Fiji were handed over to the Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho. He said the timing could not have been better considering the need to have...

FRA to repair sinkhole on Labasa bridge

Repair works will be done to a sinkhole on the Labasa bridge. According to the Fiji Roads Authority, a single lane traffic management will be in place when works begin. Motorists are advised to drive with care.

COVID-19: RFMF and health official continue contact tracing

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces and health officials continue to track and monitor passengers of flights that arrived in the country last week. According to the RFMF, this had been done with the assistance of new pieces of equipment that would enable quick database gathering. The RFMF stated that a team had also been...

COVID-19: Government services will not be reduced – A-G

Government services to members of the public will not be reduced. This was assured by Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Civil Service Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while announcing the Civil Servants Work From Home Programme yesterday. The A-G said that the Government had a broader definition of essential as provided for in the Employment Relations Act. “Our...

COVID-19: Police arrest another 49 for breach of curfew

A total of 49 people were arrested for breaching curfew hours from 10pm last night to 5am this morning throughout Fiji. Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho said arrests made included 18 in the Western Division, 12 in the Southern Division, 10 in the Eastern Division, five in the North and four in the Central...

31st March

COVID-19: Telecom customers to receive double data

TELECOM Fiji residential and business customers will receive double data from tomorrow as part of the telecommunication service provider’s COVID-19 relief package. All remote customers will instead receive free calls to all Telecom numbers and designated helpline numbers (including Vodafone and Digicel helpline numbers) from all maritime and remote communities, schools and government stations using...

COVID-19: Wake-up call

A NEW Zealand national has tested positive of COVID-19, two days after returning from Fiji on March 19. Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said it was still unclear whether the man had contracted the virus while he was still in Fiji or when he was back in NZ. He said this...

Community unites to fish, share

IN the spirit of sharing and caring, some members of a community in Lautoka came together to fish last week. About 10 people gathered at Lomolomo Beach to catch nethili fish. Lomolomo resident Mohammed Shafiq said there was nothing much to do during the COVID-19 lockdown, so they headed to the beach to fish. “We...

Commander apologises for unnecessary panic

REPUBLIC of Fiji Military Forces commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto has apologised to members of the public for the unnecessary panic his armed soldiers may have caused to more than 200 people outside the Fiji National Provident Fund’s Lautoka branch yesterday. He said the five soldiers were called in to assist police control the crowd...

Presence of armed soldiers condemned

The National Federation Party has condemned the presence of armed soldiers outside the Fiji National Provident Fund’s branch in Lautoka yesterday. Party president Pio Tikoduadua said the military should have realised the people were “unarmed and harmless ordinary workers”. “Whoever decided to send armed soldiers on to the streets among the public must be held...

COVID-19: Fijians urged to exhaust other options first

THE COVID-19 assistance will only be focused on companies, individuals and areas that have been identified by Government, says Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) chief executive officer Jaoji Koroi. At this stage, assistance to Fijians who have also lost their employment outside of the identified areas is unclear. Mr Koroi said the fund had emailed...

COVID-19: Workforce stuck in lockdown

As many as 30 per cent of workers at the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF) have not reported to duty for more than a week because they live in Lautoka. Acting CEO Ajai Kumar said in a notice to stakeholders that CAAF’s plans have been disrupted by COVID-19. “We have been directly affected by...

150th anniversary: The scars of war

Fifty years ago this newspaper published photographs of wars in the Pacific. The time the Japanese invaded the Pacific was recorded as one of the bloodiest fights. Suva was the centre of operation to evacuate Europeans from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands as Japanese army swept across the Pacific. Some of the bloodiest battles followed...

Opposition Whip ordered to temporarily deactivate all social media accounts

OPPOSITION Whip Lynda Tabuya has been ordered to temporarily deactivate all her social media accounts by Friday. Chief magistrate Usaia Ratuvili set the temporary deactivation as one of the conditions of bail when the SODELPA member of Parliament appeared before the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday, charged with a count of malicious act breaching the Public...

Former lawyer in court for disobeying lawful order

A former prominent Lautoka lawyer Haroon Ali Shah was produced before the Lautoka Magistrates Court yesterday to answer to a count of disobedience of lawful order. It was alleged that Mr Shah joined Azad Ali and Timoci Roqara for a fishing trip on Friday last week at Vuda Point. The trio appeared before magistrate Nayani...

Magistrate issues stop departure order against Bainivalu

A 53-YEAR-OLD former television personality who is alleged to have spread false information on social media in relation to COVID-19 has been granted bail on strict conditions. Nemani Bainivalu appeared yesterday at the Suva Magistrates Court charged with one count of malicious act breaching the Public Order Act. It is alleged Mr Bainivalu uploaded a...

COVID-19: Bank to announce enhanced relief package soon

THE Westpac Bank is in the process of finalising its enhanced assistance package, adjusting it to incorporate the measures announced by Government. A spokesperson from the bank yesterday said the bank would share the information with customers shortly. In response to questions on whether customers will have access to Westpac’s hardship assistance packages, the bank...

COVID-19: Town feels impact

THE Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry says Nadi is already feeling the brunt of COVID-19 pandemic, adding that some businesses may not survive for long. Chamber president Dr Ram Raju welcomed the tax incentives for businesses which would allow them to continue to employ their staff members and the economy rolling. “Tax breaks, deferment...

Wheelbarrow boys feel the impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 has had an unimaginable impact on businesses worldwide, the consequences of which are already being felt here in Fiji. Many workers have been laid off or have lost their jobs across the country and here in Suva, one group of young men shared how they have suddenly experienced a drastic drop in business. At...

Greener Fiji: Forestry Ministry to develop land use plan

THE Ministry of Forestry has yet to develop a National Land Use Plan for the country. This was highlighted by the ministry’s permanent secretary Pene Baleinabuli, while making submissions to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on the Report of the Auditor General — Performance Audit Report on the Progress of Implementation of Policies and...

Greener Fiji: Family turns back yard into garden

EREMASI Tamanisau has turned the compound of his residential property at Tuisowaqa Place, Namadi Heights, Suva into a subsistence farm. Over the past few months, he has managed to harvest farm produce such as cassava for his family, which usually cost them around $8 a heap at the market. “In September last year, we decided...

Taina: Utilise the land

WHILE many of us sit in an airconditioned office from Monday to Friday, Taina Cavu of Lomai in Waidina, Naitasiri gets up very early and sometimes works in the heat with her husband to ready their produce to be sold at the Suva Municipal Market. At 53 years old, Mrs Cavu said she has been...

26 Fijians stranded in India, call for aid

TWENTY-SIX Fijian nationals who are stranded in New Delhi, India, want urgent Government assistance as they do not have enough money to look after themselves for another 14 days. The group includes patients who had heart surgeries and family members who accompanied them. They were scheduled to fly out of New Delhi on March 28...

Fiji’s central bank forecasts recession in domestic economy

After almost a decade of economic growth, Fiji’s central bank has forecast the domestic economy to fall into a recession. The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) released its economic review for March, which stated that the magnitude of the contraction would depend on how long the pandemic would last and the extent of local contagion....

COVID-19: Civil servants will soon work from home; Govt services won’t be affected

CIVIL servants in certain departments within the different Government ministries will soon begin working from home. Attorney General and Civil Service Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this does not mean services provided by Government would in any way be affected. Government does not have a timeframe. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said all permanent secretaries would be making necessary...

COVID-19: Schools to remain closed for two more weeks

SCHOOLS will remain closed for another two weeks, until April 17, 2020. This is the advisory from the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts taking into account the control measures still in place for COVID-19. The Ministry in a statament issued this evening said it will closely monitor the situation and advise on the school...

COVID-19: Supermarkets install hand sanitiser dispensers

Two major supermarkets in Lautoka have installed hand sanitiser dispensers in their shops. Newworld and MaxValue have taken the lead in the fight against COVID-19, installing the dispensers in their outlets in the Sugar City. Lautoka City Council senior health inspector Shalen Singh in a recent COVID-19 public awareness said the installation of the dispensers...

Four juveniles and six others front court on alleged breach of national curfew

Four juveniles and six others alleged to have breached the national curfew hours in the Western Division on Monday night were produced at the Lautoka Magistrates Court today. The accused persons all face a charge each of lawful order. Isaia Dau and Ana Waiwalu appeared before Magistrate Sekonaia Vodokisolomone and have both been remanded in...

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