Politics

Late Speaker of Parliament recognised as a true champion of health

THE late Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni has been internationally recognised as a true champion of health, women empowerment and social welfare. This is after the Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Iferemi...

Rabuka presents petition to Guterres

OPPOSITION Leader Sitiveni Rabuka presented a petition to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres last week, describing its content as the “cry of the indigenous people of Fiji”. Signed by the Marama Bale Na Roko Tui Dreketi, Ro Teimumu Kepa and the Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, the 15-page petition, Mr Rabuka said, was aimed at...

20th May

Pigeon shooting season begins this Saturday

THE season for pigeon shooting commences this Saturday, confirms Agriculture Minister Mahendra Reddy. The season commences on May 25 to June 15 in accordance with Section 5 of the Birds and Game Protection Act Cap 170. “The ministry also advises that a person shall not take or kill more than five pigeons per day during...

More female graduates in 2016, a first for FNU

MORE than 1629 female graduates from the Fiji National University (FNU) in 2016 outnumbered the 1604 males who graduated in the same year. This was labelled as a first in the university’s history during discussions in Parliament on the Fiji National University 2016 annual report. Standing Committee on Social Affairs chairman Viam Pillay said the...

Shortage of counsellors in schools: Akbar

THERE is a shortage of qualified counsellors in schools, Education Minister Rosy Akbar told Parliament last week. In response to Opposition MP Salote Radrodro’s queries on the reasons for the shortage, Ms Akbar said higher education institutions were not providing enough qualifications for counselling, and students also showed little interest in the profession. She said...

Furore over forecast price; Karan to meet FSC officials

SUGAR Ministry permanent secretary Yogesh Karan is meeting Fiji Sugar Corporation officials this week to discuss concerns raised by canegrowers about the $53.69 per tonne forecast price for the 2019 season announced last week. “I will be meeting with the FSC senior management to discuss this and other issues including the concerns from the Fiji...

Farmers union demand payment answers

THE National Farmers Union has called on the Sugar Industry Tribunal to explain why the fourth cane payment had not been made. Union president Surendra Lal claimed the payment should be done four weeks before the start of the June 6 crushing date. With less than three weeks to go, he said farmers should have...

Nabou Green Energy Ltd is an independent firm: Usamate

NABOU Green Energy Ltd is an independent power producing plant that was supposed to supply 50 million units of electricity to Energy Fiji Ltd. While speaking in Parliament last week, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Public Utilities Jone Usamate explained the company produced less than 50 per cent of that quota before ceasing operations late...

Operational challenges cause of delay in Nadi hospital refurbishment

DELAYS in the $3.5million refurbishment of the Nadi Hospital has been attributed to challenges faced in keeping the facility operational while construction continues. This was the word from Health and Medical Services Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete. He made the comment while speaking in Parliament last week. Dr Waqainabete said works were now expected to be...

Kiwis advised of normal safety precautions while in Fiji

THE New Zealand government has advised its travelers to Fiji to exercise normal safety and security precautions. The New Zealand government website Safetravel stated that theft and assault had been reported by locals and tourists alike, with most occurring at night in the country’s urban centres. The advisory, now eased to normal, has advised New Zealanders to...

19th May

Boy, 13, shares climate concerns with UN Secretary-General

A YOUNG Fiji boy of German-descent is concerned about the rising impacts of climate change in the Pacific because the region has been home to him for the past 13 years. Daniel Graf, a Year 9 student of International School in Suva, caught everyone’s attention at a youth interactive session last week because of the...

No loss of jobs, medics assured

NO healthcare worker at the Lautoka Hospital will lose their job as a result of the private-public-partnership between Aspen Medical and Fijian Government . This was the assurance given by Fiji Hospital Project CEO Paul Dyer to members of the Fiji Medical Association yesterday as he explained the partnership would see the upgrade of the...

Addiction to gadgets puts young people out of touch with reality: Prof Subramani

YOUNG people have a certain kind of addiction in digital gadgets that detaches them from the realities of human life. This is an issue that was highlighted by University of Fiji acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Subramani at the 4th Fiji National Hindu Conference in Suva yesterday. Speaking at the conference themed ‘Strengthening Hindu Communities, Strengthening Fiji’,...

18th May

Second CEDAW reflects on Government’s position

THE Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation-organised 2nd CEDAW Working Committee Meeting in Nadi looked at the various measures and areas that have been implemented by the Government to highlight Fiji’s progress in committing to the Convention. Ministry permanent secretary Jennifer Poole emphasised the importance of the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms...

Speaker: A-G did not mislead Parliament

SPEAKER of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has ruled that there be no further discussions on a matter of privilege raised by Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka against Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum alleging that he misled and brought dishonour and disrepute to Parliament while responding to questions regarding the wavier of tender processes. He said Mr Rabuka had...

Ratu Epeli removes Tabuya’s end of week statement from order paper

SPEAKER of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday ruled that Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya’s end of week statement be removed from the order paper. He said Ms Tabuya’s end of week statement contravened Standing Order 61 which stated that when speaking, a member must not refer to any matter in relation to the judicial decision that...

Prasad: Conduct an analysis to ensure funds are put into good use

AN analysis should be conducted to ensure that funds invested in infrastructure development are being put into good use. This is an issue highlighted by Opposition MP Professor Biman Prasad in Parliament yesterday while questioning Government’s approach towards such processes. Speaking outside Parliament, he said it was important because Government had invested billions of dollars...

Simultaneous process for TB and brucellosis eradication

ERADICATING tuberculosis and brucellosis in Fiji’s cattle industry will be a simultaneous process, says Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy. The issue was highlighted in Parliament yesterday after questions were posed by Opposition MPs on government efforts to revive the industry. Mr Reddy said they would work in stages within a time frame of 10 to...

Canefarmers work on a sugarcane field in the West. NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad claims the sugar industry is struggling for survival. Picture: SUPPLIED

‘Cane production continues to decline’

DESPITE a $400 million injection into the sugar industry by Government over the past 13 years, cane production has continued to decline. This was the view expressed by Opposition parliamentarians yesterday during debate on a motion by the National Federation Party for the establishment of a bipartisan select committee on sugar. Social Democratic Liberal Party...

PM Bainimarama shoots down sugar motion

A MOTION by National Federation Party whip Pio Tikoduadua for the establishment of a bipartisan select committee on sugar was shot down by Prime Minister and Sugar Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Parliament yesterday. Mr Tikoduadua said the bipartisan committee was needed because statistics over the past 13 years painted “a sorry picture” of the once...

Sandalwood to fetch up to $693m

THE 46,200 sandalwood trees planted around the country could fetch $462 million to $693 million when they mature in about 15 years, says Minister for Forests Osea Naiqamu. He said in 2011, only 3.80 hectares or 1520 seedlings were planted. “As of 2018, a total of 46,200 seedlings have been planted in Ba, Bua, Cakaudrove,...

Ministry reviews bus fare committee’s report

THE Ministry of Economy is still reviewing a report submitted by the Bus Fare Review Committee, says Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar. She said the Ministry of Economy had to review the recommendations provided by the committee before any decision could be made. “The review committee has successfully completed the review exercise and they...

FHRADC responds to inaction claims and criticisms

AS a public office that is funded by Fijians, it is only appropriate that the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (FHRADC) subjects itself to the highest level of scrutiny and respond to these concerns and claims in an open and transparent manner, says commission director Ashwin Raj. In a statement released yesterday, Mr Raj...

Under attack: Role of Fiji’s human rights body questioned

FORMER human rights commissioner and human rights activist Shamima Ali has questioned the role, credibility and independence of the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (FHRADC). In an interview, Ms Ali claimed that over the years, the actions of the commission’s director, Ashwin Raj, has become worrying for human rights defenders in the country and...

National Climate Change Policy endorsed by cabinet

CABINET has endorsed a landmark National Climate Change Policy. Revealing this at a dinner he hosted for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Suva on Thursday night, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the policy would guide the sustainable development of the Fijian economy through 2030. He said the innovative policy met the “intertwined challenges” that...

BizFiji Information Portal launch at month end

A NEW platform to ensure the ease of setting up a micro-small or medium enterprise in Fiji by foreign investors will be launched at the end of the month. While speaking in Parliament this week, Minister for Industry Premila Kumar said the process to launch the BizFiji Information Portal was a collaborative effort between Fiji...

Government urged to take heed of reports

NATIONAL Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad has urged Government to take heed of reports about the state of Fiji’s economy from international agencies and organisations. Responding to a statement from Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in Parliament yesterday, Prof Prasad said Fiji needed to listen to advice given by international financial experts. “When we are...

17th May

Monitoring money invested in infrastructure questioned

GOVERNMENT has invested billions of dollars on infrastructure but we continue to see pot holes on our roads, says Opposition MP Professor Biman Prasad. He highlighted this issue while questioning Government’s approach on monitoring money invested in infrastructure in Parliament yesterday. Prof Prasad said there was a need for an analysis to be conducted by...

Nawaikula claims sugar policies by Govt failed to correct problems

OPPOSITION MP Niko Nawaikula told government members in Parliament today that they haven’t done anything and they can’t do it. Mr Nawaikula said this during the debate of a motion put forward by Pio Tikoduadua to establish a bi-partisan select committee on sugar to collectively find solutions to revive the sugar industry to ensure it...

Fijian Parliament: Motion to select sugar committee defeated

A MOTION to establish a bi-partisan select committee on sugar to collectively find solutions to revive the sugar industry and ensure it remains a vibrant industry economically benefiting all stakeholders was defeated in Parliament today. The motion was moved by National Federation Party member and Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. He said selecting a committee for...

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