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January 20 2017

Colonel Kalouniwai To Discuss New Role With

RFMF Commander

Colonel Ro Jone Kalouniwai is

looking forward to taking up his new
role in the Republic of the Fiji Military
The 48-year-old returned last week
after serving as Chief of Staff for
the United Nations Disengagement
Observer Force (UNDOF) for the past
two years.
This was a key role in the daily running
of the force of troops from eight nations
stationed on the troubled Syria-Israel
border in the Golan Heights. Fijian
troops play a frontline role.
Colonel Kalouniwai said his new role
in the RFMF has not been confirmed
yet; however he said they would
discuss his new role with the RFMF
Commander, Rear Admiral Viliame
In an earlier interview, Rear Admiral
Naupoto said he looked forward to
having Colonel Kalouniwai back.
Colonel Kalouniwai said: I will be
meeting the RFMF leadership on
Monday and hopefully they will assign
me new responsibilities.
I am coming back with a lot of
experiences and lessons that I have
learnt from serving with UNDOF.
He said he also looked to help build
RFMF with vast experience he
obtained in the last two years.
I am very much looking forward to
working with the leadership in RFMF,
we are able to see whats happening
within it when you are outside and
then we can recognise what to do, I
will help them, he said.
Colonel Kalouniwai said upon his
return he helped our Fijian troops who
are facing challenges while serving
under the UNDOF.
While he was UNDOF Chief of Staff,
70 military officers from 10 different
countries were under his responsibility
at force headquarters.
responsibilities was among his role
and overseeing that the objectives
from the Force Commander were met.
Colonel Kalouniwai said in 2015 the
UNDOF troops had left Syria and
moved into Israel amidst the fighting
on the Syrian side and intrusion of
Islamic militant forces.
He said there was a requirement from
the UN headquarters in New York
for the UNDOF to start planning

their return process as the Syrian

government forces regained control of
the area.
I had to plan all the processes and it
was a very big challenge to undertake
that particular responsibility, he said.
He said fortunately they managed to
get back to Syria after all the planning
processes were completed.
Colonel Kalouniwai said there around
150 troops currently stationed in the
old UNDOF headquarters in Syria.

He said they had achieved a lot in the

last two years.
The whole operation environment in
Syria he said was complex considering
the military and political situation.
He said they had to cross through
Lebanon to Damascus from Israel in
order to get into Syria.
Colonel Kalouniwai said the complexity
in which the operation was conducted
seems to be the biggest challenge.
We had to consider both the political

and military situation, the mission itself

even though it was military oriented,
we had to be very sensitive between
Israel and Syria and also Lebanon.
There was a very big challenge here in
us trying to satisfy the political figures
on both sides to get their confidence so
that we conduct operations into Syria,
he said.
He said the biggest achievement was
the ability for UNDOF to move back
into Syria.

NIMILOTE Baleloa cannot look at

photos of his deceased son Josefa
without feeling a profound sense of
Josefa was an escaped prisoner who
according to Amnesty International
was allegedly beaten in Suva in July
2008 by security personnel and died
from his injuries several weeks later.
No charges were laid in relation to his
death and Mr Baleloa says he has not
been able to find the legal file detailing
the investigations into his son's death
despite being told by authorities to check

at court registries and police stations.

Mr Baleloa said he would not rest in
his search, adding he was looking for a
lawyer to continue his fight for justice.
But his search has so far been difficult.
With the lack of funds, Mr Baleloa

says he is hoping to find a lawyer who

will fight his battle for justice pro bono.
"It is not easy for me now. Every time I
look at his photos when he was admitted
in the hospital, it is very difficult. This
was my son. I want justice."

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Thief Invades Home,

60K Refurbishment Of
Laboratory In Sigatoka Steals While Owners Sleep

The people of Nadroga and Navosa

will no longer need to travel to Lautoka
or Suva to be checked for tuberculosis
This was after the much awaited
refurbishment of the laboratory at
Sigatoka Hospital.
The refurbishment was made possible
through strengthened support provided
by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in the
project called Capacity Strengthening
Of Tuberculosis Control Services in
The $60,000 project was officially
opened by the Assistant Minister for
Health and Medical Services, Alex
OConnor, at Sigatoka Hospital.
He said: TB diagnosis is now simplified
with a process closer to where the
patient resides, thereby decreasing
diagnostic delays, loss of follow-ups of
patients, saving patients resources that
ultimately improve our detection rate
and treatment success rate.
The laboratory will also assist in the
early diagnosis of infectious diseases.
The refurbishment of the laboratory in
Sigatoka, to establish a TB microscopy
laboratory in Sigatoka is an example

of our patient-centred approach, Mr

OConnor said.
The support has enabled Fiji to meet
the WHO recommendation of one
sputum smear microscopy centre per
population of 100,000.
The refurbishment to the laboratory
includes renovations to the laboratory
equipment, while the project includes
building capacity of the staff, he said.
He added as part of its response to
combating TB, the Ministry of Health
and Medical Services had developed
the National Strategic Plan for TB
(2015-2020). This harmonises efforts
to prevent and control TB.
Dr Gwang-Lim Kim, of the National
Assembly of the Republic of Korea,
applauded the efforts by both partners.
Through the KOICA assistance,
health promoting school programmes
have kicked off last year and the
refurbishment of TB labs in six
different regions including Sigatoka
Hospital, enables Fiji to control and
prevent TB more effectively, he said.
The Assistant Health Minister also
officially launched the TB Manual at
Sigatoka Hospital.

Kiwi Jobs

More than 100 Fijians are being eyed

to take on seasonal work in the first
quarter of this year, says the Minister
for Employment, Productivity and
Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate.
At the same time, Mr Usamate hopes
the opportunities will benefit our
unskilled people because there was a
shortage of them here.
Last year we had more than 300
seasonal workers and we are glad to
see that numbers have doubled from
2015 to 2016, and this year we hope
to double that again, the minister said.
Workers going will continue and we
have about a thousand people in the
work ready pool and our aim is to try
to make sure that we can get work

opportunities for those.

We will continue to look for
opportunities if the opportunities
come up. There has been some talk of
looking at opportunities in the United
States of America.
The advantage of Australia and New
Zealand is the schemes that we have
there are Government to Government
agreement so that we know that when
people go they will be looked after too
because they are under Governments
Mr Usamate said they would continue
to look for other opportunities, but
they will make use and try to expand
the opportunities that they have with
Australia and New Zealand.

A Lautoka shop owner, who was

robbed of nearly $3000 in cash and
some assorted items, believes she and
her husband may have been victims
of a spray that is said to put people to
Lila Wati and her husband Keshwa
Chetty, both 54, and owners of Tomuka
Shop said the reason for this was that
they were light sleepers and would
wake up at any noise.
But to be asleep while the thief pulls
out a drawer on your bed headset just
above our heads and remove a wallet
containing the cash without us even
waking up means he must have used
that spray, Mrs Wati claims.
The incident, which took place between
12.30am and 1.45am on Monday, has
left them counting their lucky stars as
none of them were left hurt.
This included an instance when Mrs
Wati went to check the door for their
internet shop and switched off the
lights with the intruders foot seen only
inches away from her as she passed
The couple, along with a family
member were asleep at their home,
which is attached to their internet cafe
and shop.
Mr Chetty said he went to bed at
12.30am after feeling very sleepy and
was sound asleep within 15 minutes.
Mrs Wati, after checking everything,
showered and then went to bed, not
knowing that the thief was already in
their home.

CCTV cameras picked up the person

moving throughout the bedroom,
crawling and in one instance just
standing and contemplating what to do.
He even carried jars of coins from the
room into the shop, checked inside and
without taking anything put it back in
the room, Mrs Wati said.
He did not realise the cameras were
there but it was picking up everything,
she said.
The man even went into Mrs Watis
sisters room, took a purse out of her
handbag, removed $50 and left it lying
on the floor.
Mrs Wati said somehow she got up at
around 1.45am, the same time as her
sister and thats when they noticed her
handbag and purse lying on the floor.
We checked the shop and found
recharge cards missing along with a
few packets of cigarettes, she said.
Mr Chetty said the money in the purse
was withdrawn on Friday to send to his
son in Suva.
Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said
the matter was being investigated in
A report of a house break in was
received and the incident occurred
sometime between Sunday night
and Monday morning whereby an
unknown person broke into the home/
shop and stole cash and other items,
Ms Naisoro said.
She said Police investigators continue
to explore some leads as investigations

THE third defence witness in the trial

of suspended Opposition member Ratu
Isoa Tikoca was cross-examined by the
Fiji Independent Commission Against
Corruption (FICAC).
Asenaca Tikoca, who is the daughter
of Ratu Isoa had informed the court
earlier that according to the accounts
she kept, Government owed $4436 to
Ratu Isoa. FICAC prosecutor Rashmi
Aslam informed the witness that an
examination on the same information
showed that Ratu Isoa owed
Government $11,239.
Asenaca Tikoca informed the court

that she got involved in the case as she

is the daughter of Ratu Isoa and is also
an accountant.
She also said that she had applied
accounting principles to prepare the
document for FICAC.
Ratu Isoa, who is charged by FICAC
for failing to declare his liabilities
before the 2014 General Election,
appeared before Magistrate Makereta
FICAC and defence have been given
seven days to file for written closing
submissions. The case will be called
again on January 31

The former secretary for the Independent

Legal Services Commission (ILSC)
charged with corruption-related offences
will be taking her plea on March 3.
Afrana Rahiman Nisha appeared
before Magistrate Makereta Mua at the
Suva Magistrates Court.
Magistrate Mua consolidated the
charges of the two files against Nisha.
Nisha is charged by the Fiji Independent
Commission Against Corruption with six
counts of falsification of documents and two

counts of obtaining a financial advantage.

It is alleged that between July 1, 2012,
and August 2, 2012, Nisha falsified
cheques amounting to $3450 by
forging the signature of the SolicitorGeneral of Fiji, Sharvada Sharma.
It is also alleged that between June 1, 2014,
and September 30, 2014, Nisha falsified
five cheques amounting to $10,149.10 by
forging the signature of Mr Sharma.
The case was adjourned to March 3 for

Ratu Isoa's Daughter


Plea Date Set For Nisha

Fiji News


Car Set Alight Beside Home as Mother,

Daughter Sleep

A woman and her two children escaped

being burnt in their home after her
vehicle, parked inside the porch
area was allegedly set alight early
Wednesday morning.
Sushil Lata, 39, her 23-year-old
daughter Priya and 18-year-old son
Rohan were at home at Viseisei Back
Road, near Saweni in Lautoka.
Mrs Lata and her children live in the
three-bedroom concrete home.
What happened
The vehicle, a Toyota A 100, was burnt
out in the boot area but more of the
fire seemed to have been concentrated
around the cover where the fuel is
Mrs Latas sister, Suman Lata, who
lives not far away said her sister called
her while they were trying to extinguish
the fire.

According to Suman, her sister said she

and her daughter were asleep while her
son was still awake using the internet.
At around 1.20am, just before Rohan
turned in, he heard something like
water being splashed around on the
porch, Suman said.
When he came towards the sitting
room and opened the curtain, the back
part of the car was on fire and he started
yelling and waking his mum and sister
up, she said.
They grabbed the hose and started
spraying the car which luckily did not
explode otherwise it would have set the
house on fire with those inside.
Suman said Police arrived with the
National Fire Authority not long after.
The roof for the porch was still
blackened at the spot where the car was

They kept thinking that if they were

asleep and the car exploded then they
could have been burnt alive, Suman said.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said

investigations into the incident were
being carried out.

The Attorney-General, Aiyaz SayedKhaiyum, has reminded doctors to

respect their patients.
He says they should do away with an
attitude of superiority when dealing
with their patients.
Speaking to 90 newly-inducted

Government doctors at Studio 6 in

Suva yesterday, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum
said their work and conduct impacted
individual lives and their families.
He said the responsibility rested on
their shoulders.
Doctors needed to have the ability to

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum spoke as the
Minister for the Civil Service.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said some doctors
in Fiji felt that they did not need to
further clarify the kind of assistance or
medicine they gave to their patients.
He said this kind of attitude arose
when doctors adopt the mentality that
they were superior to their patients and
He said we needed to get away from
that attitude.
It was the fundamental right of every
person to have access to information,
he said.
Doctors, he added, should be able
to communicate with their patients
bearing in mind that many patients
who sought medical assistance might
not be as well educated.
He said from a commercial perspective
if it wasnt for patients, there would be
no doctors.
He said patients, in a way, were paying

salaries.Affairs Minister,
He added that doctors also needed to
have a levelSergey
of sensitivity.
Put yourself in your patients position.
How will you feel if someone spoke to
you in a rude manner? he asked.
He said their ability to communicate
was very important and would enable
them to respect their patients.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that added
to this was a duty of care which was
also important as well as the ability
to communicate with peers within the
He said a doctors job was a very
personal profession.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Government
had significantly put more recognition
on doctors and nurses because of the
environment they worked in.
He said Government also had
significantly increased doctors salaries.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said if the
wellbeing of people was well lookedafter, then it would lead to productivity.

WITH the recent increase in fuel prices,

motorists have voiced their frustrations
as to why the new prices have been
imposed at the starting of the year.
This newspaper spoke to some
concerned taxi drivers on what it meant
for them and how they will cope with
the fuel increase.
Jiga Permal, 57, a taxi driver who has
been in the business for the past 32
years said the price increase would
affect his income and daily expenses.
"I feel the price increase is no good.
The prices should have gone down.
Other basic items prices are increasing
as well and this will make life more

difficult for families," Mr Permal said.

"This really means that I will make less
profit as now I have to pay more per
litre of fuel."
Mr Permal said if fuel prices continued
to increase, it would cripple the taxi
industry after some time.
"We operate taxi as a business to make
profits and grow but if our expenses
are more than our profit then we will
run on a loss and this will force us to
close the business. I just hope there is
no further increase in the year," he said.
Meanwhile another taxi driver Mika
Temo said he failed to understand
why prices had been increased all of a

"I have been following the international
oil and gas prices and I believe the
price change at international level
should not have brought the increases
in Fiji prices," Mr Temo said.
"Prices they announced all of a sudden
and we didn't expect these changes
since the cost of living is also high,"
he said.
"Authorities should see how these
prices will affect people's livelihood
before they will make further increases
in the future."
Diesel prices have increased by 7cents
a litre to retail at $1.47. Premix will

now retail at $1.67 cents a litre an

increase of 11cents.
The price of kerosene has increased
by 8 cents to cost $1.26 a litre. The
4.5kg cylinder of Liquid Petroleum gas
increased by $1.27, selling at $12.04
while the 12 kg cylinder will now cost
$32.11, an increase of $3.38.
Auto gas also increased by 16 cents to
cost $1.52.

Respect Your Patients, A-G Tells New Doctors

Motorists Raise Concern At Fuel Price


778 278 4088

Fiji News

First Seasonal
Workers For 2017

Daunabuna presented Life Skills
Training and Pre-Departure Orientation
Certificates to two seasonal workers
who will be employed by Cairnbrae
Seed Cleaning Ltd, a new employer
under the New Zealand Recognised
Seasonal Employer (RSE) Work
The company is based in Ashburton,
Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand
and this is their first time to recruit
from Fiji.
These two workers will be operating
seed dressing machines and will be
employed for the duration of six
months, Ms Daunabuna said.
Both workers are handpicked by the
employer and both have experiences
in agricultural farming and also can
operate plants and machineries such as
forklifts and tractors.
Krishnil Mudaliar of Sigatoka and
Asish Chand of Navua expressed their
appreciation to Government for giving
them the opportunity to work overseas.
Mr Mudaliar, 28, who completed his

education at Form 5, commended

Government for the worthwhile
opportunity in helping those in need to
earn to improve their living standards.
Mr Mudaliar is a farmer from the
Sigatoka Valley who plants and sells
vegetables for a living.
Mr Chand of Tokotoko, Navua who
does dalo and vegetable farming,
also appreciated the employment
opportunity as this will enable him to
build a much proper shelter for him
and buy other farming gears.
Its rare to find such employment and
I cannot express how joyful I am being
part of this great opportunity, said Mr
Ms Daunabuna wished the workers
well and reminded them of their
obligations under their visa conditions
and employment contracts.
She also urged them to perform their
best in order to open up more doors for
other potential Fijian workers to enjoy
such great opportunity as they would.
This recruitment is the first for 2017
under the New Zealand (Recognised
Seasonal Employer (RSE) Work

Health Ministry To
Defend Its Workers

THE Health and Medical Services

Ministry will defend any of its staff
members who have been falsely
accused on social media or other public
forums, says the ministry's permanent
secretary Philip Davies.
Mr Davies made this comment at
the Ministry of Health and Medical
Services 2017 doctors induction
ceremony in Suva.
He was responding to concerns
raised by the doctors on the negative
criticism faced by doctors and medical
professionals on social media through
postings and pictures uploaded by the
public showing health workers on their
mobile phones.
The doctors had highlighted that the
use of technology and devices such
as mobile phones assisted in their
field of work but this was sometimes
misconstrued by the public.
"It is unfair if someone chooses to
go public with unjustified criticism

and certainly my view on that

would be if any of our staff, doctors,
nurses, orderlies, anyone, if they are
inappropriately accused, I will defend
them, the organisation will defend
them," Mr Davies said.
"So, if someone said that you were
doing something improper and that gets
in the newspaper or whatever, I will do
everything within my power to defend
you if what you are doing is justified.
"I would much rather that patients
who are concerned with what you are
doing raise it with you there and then,
or maybe raise it with your supervisor."
Mr Davies said although electronic
communication was everywhere,
health systems around the world were
still lagging behind in terms of its use.
He said a formal social media policy
was something that could be developed
for the ministry.
More than 90 students were inducted
as doctors at the event.

778 278 4088

Newcomer Creates Waves

Among Local Customers

ONE of India's first rum to be produced

from a blend of molasses and can juice,
has already started making a name for
itself among local customers through
Prouds duty-free stores.
A media statement from the company
said Wild Tiger rum, produced in
Kerala, was available exclusively
through the Prouds duty-free stores
featured at the arrivals and departures
section of Nadi International Airport
and was gaining huge popularity
among international travelers.
"We have been receiving good
response from customers ever since the
Wild Tiger rum has been introduced
into our duty-free stores," Prouds store
manager Ashwin Chand said.
"Available in 700ml striped bottles since
December 2016, the Wild Tiger rum is
retailing at $F47.85 per bottle and $89
for two bottles," Mr Chand said.
According to the statement, Wild Tiger
is produced in Kerala state of Southern

India and is not only unique in terms of

its avant-garde packaging, but also for
the liquid inside.
One of the most distinctive aspects
of the Wild Tiger's packaging was
the different stripe designs of each
bottle which ensures that no two bottle
designs are alike, making each bottle
unique to its owner or gift recipient.
The brand has been conceptualised and
is owned by Indian drinks entrepreneur
Gautom Menon, who is passionate
about the welfare and survival of wild
tigers in the country.
As a part of its core corporate social
responsibility policy, the brand gives
10 per cent profits towards tiger
conservation in South India where
they have set up their own non-profit
initiative called Wild Tiger Foundation
(WTF) which works with other
established wildlife establishments and
prominent tiger experts to save tigers
and its habitat in Southern India.

Bus Driver On Rape

Charge Further Remanded

A 34-YEAR-old bus driver charged

with the alleged rape of a 12-year-old
girl at a bus stop along Princess Road
in Tamavua last year has been further
remanded in custody.
Sanjay Naidu appeared before Justice
Achala Wengapuli at the High Court in
The alleged offence took place while
the driver was on his last trip and
committed the alleged offence along

one of the bus stops along Princess

The victim was alleged to have boarded
the bus from Nausori and had fallen
asleep missing her stop.
It is alleged the accused did not attempt
to wake the child up and took her to a
bus stop where he allegedly committed
the offence.
Naidu will reappear in court on January
23 for his bail ruling.

Court Hears Fiji Times

Bail Variation Case

The Suva High Court has heard the

application for a bail variation for the
Fiji Times publisher Hank Arts and
will give its ruling on 25 January.
In August, Mr Arts was charged with
inciting communal antagonism and if
found guilty, he risks up to ten years
in prison.
He sought a bail variation to go to New

The prosecution opposed a bail

variation on the grounds that Mr Arts
is a flight risk.
The charges relate to an article
published in April in the newspaper's
i-Taukei language Nai Lalakai paper.
Those charged include the writer of
the article Josaia Waqabaca, the Nai
Lalakai Editor Anare Ravula and the
Fiji Times Editor Fred Wesley.

Fiji News


Man Alleges That Police Put Chillies And A

Stick On His Private Area

A man charged with impersonation,

obtaining financial advantage by
deception, theft and absconding bail
has alleged that police officers had put
chillies in his private area.
Binesh Kumar Raj told Magistrate
Jioji Boseiwaqa that the police officers
at the Central Police Station had
allegedly inserted a stick and chillies
in his private area.
Raj told the Magistrate that the police
had not taken him to Saint Giles
Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Magistrate Boseiwaqa has transferred
the matter to Chief Magistrate Usaia
Ratuvilis court which will be called
on the 26th of this month.
Magistrate Boseiwaqa has also made
an order for Police to take Raj to the
Saint Giles Hospital for his psychiatric
Binesh Kumar Raj also known as
Avinesh Kumar Raj is charged with
one count of impersonation after

falsely representing a health inspector

on the 28th of October 2014.
He is charged with another count
of obtaining financial advantage by
deception after allegedly obtaining
$200 from a person with the promise
of providing a business license.
Raj is also charged with another
count of impersonation and obtaining
financial advantage on the 7th of
November 2014 after allegedly falsely
representing a health inspector and
received $1,000.
He is also charged with one count of
theft on the 10th of February last year
after allegedly stealing assorted items
worth $11,100 from a house in Suva.
He was released on bail on 15th April
last year and failed to appear in court
on 17th March 2016.
Raj was then arrested on 17th of
November last year and charged with
absconding bail.
Police had earlier confirmed that

Binesh Kumar Raj

Kumar will also be questioned for
his alleged involvement in three rape
He allegedly raped three women after

befriending them on Facebook and

then arranging to meet with them at the
motel on separate occasions.
Raj has been remanded in custody.

NZ Backs Fiji In Climate Battle

Fiji can expect New Zealands support

in its presidency of COP23.
NZ is currently considering how it will
further support Fiji to combat global
climate issues.
The assurance was given by a member
of NZs delegation at the 25th AsiaPacific Parliamentary Forum at the
InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and
Spa, Natadola.
The Co-Leader of the Maori Party,
Marama Fox, made the statement
during her presentation. She said this
was the first time that a small Pacific
nation would hold a COP presidency.
Who else but an isle of the Pacific
should carry out this role?
The 23rd session of the Conference
of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN
Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) will be organized by Fiji
and hosted at the headquarters of
the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn,
Germany. COP is the governing body
of an international convention. Of the
numerous official bodies and officers
that provide for the governance of
Conference of the Parties (COP)
meetings, the most important of
these is the President. Prime Minister
Voreqe Bainimarama is president of
Ms Fox said those who are affected the
most should be afforded the loudest
Pacific Islands who contribute least
to the climate change bare the greatest
impact of global apathy to ever
increasing carbon emissions.
Ms Fox added that no other nation
of the world faced the real threat of
becoming stateless through sea level
She presented on climate change and
its adverse and visible impacts on the
Pacific island nations.

She said one was quick to talk about

globalisation but biggest polluters
of the world did little to stem the
contamination of worlds atmosphere
for fear of reduced profits.
Last year Fiji was pounded by the
biggest Cyclone to hit the Pacific in
recorded history. 40 people lost their
lives and more than 30,000 on this
group of islands were left homeless,
she said

Ms Fox said Tuvalu, Tokelau, Kiribati

and many other Pacific islands faced
the real threat of becoming landless.
Global Climate Change had seen the
rise of the oceans impact on coastal
erosion, and inundation of land.
Islands face the threat of reduced fresh
water sources with sea water claiming
island aquifers.
The rise in ground temperature
threatens the aquifers of the world

with only an estimated 20% of rainfall

making it through the natural pathways
to replenish aquifers; water has become
the blue gold of the new millennium.
In addition, Ms Fox said: New
Zealand has assisted the isles of the
Pacific to combat climate change
through sanitation treatment to provide
drinking water and even helped to raise
the island of Tuvalu in an attempt to
hold back the passage of time and the
reclamation of land by the oceans.
Thus, extreme weather events
and reduced access to fresh water
sources, rising sea levels, sea and air
temperatures continue to threaten the
productivity and stability of the Pacific
She said New Zealand ratified the Paris
Agreement in October 2016.
The country had been active in
international negotiations to develop
the Paris rule book and on international
aviation emissions, she said.
New Zealands commitment of up to
$200 million in climate related support
to developing countries would be
provided before the Agreement takes

THE Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are

expected to visit the University of East
Anglia in the UK next Friday and be
given a tour of "Fiji: Art and Life in the
Pacific" a comprehensive exhibition
of Fiji since the 18th century.
A press release by the university stated
that Fiji's high commissioner to the UK
Jitoko Tikolevu would be present at the
"Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific, is the
most comprehensive exhibition about
Fiji ever assembled and was opened by

the President of Fiji, Jioji Konrote, in

October last year," the statement stated.
"The exhibition is curated by members
of UEA's Sainsbury Research Unit for
the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the
Americas and includes more than 280
objects and works of art on loan from
museums across the UK and from the
Fiji Museum.
"It includes a wide range of sculptures,
textiles, ceramics, ornaments, bowls,
weapons and clothing, taking the
visitor on a journey through the art and

cultural history of Fiji since the late

18th century."
The centre piece was a newlycommissioned traditional Fijian doublehulled sailing canoe, the release added.
"This was also featured in The Queen's
90th birthday celebration at Windsor
Castle last year. The Queen will also
see a very fine tabua, or ceremonial
whale's tooth, which is on loan from
the Royal Collection Trust and was
presented to Her Majesty on her first
visit to Fiji in 1953."

Royals To Visit Fijian Exhibition

Fiji News

778 278 4088

Jone Usamate Welcomes New Zealand


The Minister for Employment,

Productivity and Industrial Relations,
Jone Usamate, received a courtesy call
from Pinoli Limited.
The new Zealand-based company is an
employer under the Recognised Seasonal
Employer (RSE) Work Scheme.
Company rep Karen Juniisi is here
to strengthen bilateral co-operation
between the Fijian and New Zealand
governments through their labour
mobility scheme.
The company is known for their
produce of pine nuts and is based in
Marlborough. Their pine nuts produce
is mainly supplied within New Zealand
and exported to Europe.
Mr Usamate said the employer
began recruiting Fijians in 2016 and
is here again for more employment
opportunities in New Zealand.
Pinoli Limited recruited six (6)

workers last year respectively from

the Western and Central divisions to
engage in planting, harvesting and
pruning and they are now planning
to recruit eight (8) more workers this
year, Mr Usamate said.
Ms Juniisi said the recruitment of
Fijians to work for Pinoli Limited
resulted from the good performance of
a former Fijian Forestry worker who
was not part of the current employment
creation initiative by Government.
She said Fijian workers were strong
and committed to their work and this
was evident through their performance.
The six Fijian workers performed
three days work of other workers from
outside Fiji in a day, which is very
remarkable to the company, she said.
The Fijian workers are paid at an
hourly rate and receive about FJ$1800
on a fortnightly basis.

Ms Juniisi said it was also a great

advantage for workers to have driving
licence and licenses to operate other
plants and machineries such as tractors,
forklifts because it will open up more

employment opportunities.
Mr Usamate thanked the company for
their efforts and looked forward to a
long and fruitful partnership between
the ministry and Pinoli Limited.

A man who was rescued by the villagers

in Qamea Island during the landslide
says he is lucky to be alive.
Timoci Moceiseqaqa, 34, said he was
sleeping when the incident happened
at around 5pm during Tropical
Depression 04F.
My wife woke me up saying that the
water has entered our house. I went
out to check and all I saw was my
compound buried with soil.
I changed my clothes, went outside
and started digging as it was also
entering our house.

He said that he was digging for almost

two hours before he went back inside
the house because of the cold.
The soil keep piling up outside as the
landslide continued.
I knew that we couldnt stop what was
happening, so I told my wife to pack
our clothes as we needed to move to
another house.
I was in the kitchen while my wife
was packing our stuff, he said.
They have a separate kitchen which
was one step away from the house.
Before we moved, I heard the

rumbling sound from a distance. I

called out to my wife and children to
move out of the house but we were
all late as the earth-flow happened so
fast, he said.
Their house collapsed and that was
how he was separated from his family.
He has three children, two girls, age 14
and seven and a son, age four.
My wife and daughters managed to
get out of the house but my son was
still inside covered by the wreckage of
my house, at the same time, I was also
buried by the rubble and was trying to
crawl out.
His wife and the two girls were
traumatised and they were crying with
They were searching for my son and
they heard a cry from beneath the
They followed the voice and saw
him hidden under the bed which was
covered with sheets of corrugated iron
that collapsed from the roof, they had
to pull him out, he said.
I also managed to save myself and
crawled out. My legs and arm was
badly injured.
I did not know that I was injured, I
tried to stand and run but I couldnt, I
kept falling.

He said he was calling for help and

three villagers heard his cry and saved
All I cared about was to make sure
that my wife and children were alive,
said Mr Moceiseqaqa.
He was rushed to the hospital and is
still admitted at Labasa hospital.
I am so thankful that we are all alive,
he said.
At the moment I cant walk and I am
praying that God will heal me.
I dont know where to start from here
as Ive been in the hospital for over two
weeks now.
Mr Moceiseqaqa added that he is still
thinking of where to get money from
for his eldest daughter who will be in
Year 9 this year.
My eldest daughter will be in Year
9 this year and I need to prepare her
for school. She is enrolled at Bucalevu
Secondary School.
His wife and children will return
to Qamea Island as school will be
resuming next week, he said.
We were really fortunate that the
landslide happened during the day, if it
happened in the night then we would
all be dead, he said.
Mr Moceiseqaqa and his wife are both
working at the Matagi Island Resort.

THE increasing number of people

living in squatter settlements is a
major concern for the Nasinu Town
The council says there are about 10,000
people living in informal settlements in
the area.
This was revealed to this newspaper
by the council's chief executive officer
Akhtar Ali.
Mr Ali said these numbers had increased
over the years and the council had no
powers to remove people.

"Squatter numbers have increased

and these people settle down at places
convenient to them. This problem is
a very complex one. We don't have
any legislative control in the squatter
areas," he said.
He said most of the land in Nasinu
belonged to the iTaukei Lands Trust
Board, Lands Department, Housing
Authority and private organisations.
"Most land belong to many different
entities and owners and people take
advantage of this vacant lands and start

building houses on them."

Mr Ali said despite people living in
these settlements and not paying rates,
the council still provided garbage
collection services in these areas.
"We have placed waste bins and these
get collected two or three times in a

week," he said.
Some of the informal settlements in the
Nasinu area are the River Rd settlement
in Narere, Tuirara settlement in Makoi
and the Veirasi settlement in Nadera.
About 120,000 people currently live in
the Nasinu area.

Lucky To Be Alive - Timoca Moceiseqaqa

Squatter Concern

Fiji News

778 278 4088

Dad Overcomes Obstacles To Get Son

Enrolled at RKS

Broken bridges and a landslide

did not deter Nasau farmer of Ra,
Malakai Ratu, from making it to Ratu
Kadavulevu School.
Mr Ratu and his family were focused
on accompanying his 14-year-old son,
Alifereti Cokovou, to start his boarding
school life in Year Nine.
We came all the way from Nasau
Village in Ra, to drop my son at RKS,
Mr Ratu said.
We left our village last week and
tried to find our way down to the main
highway because of the landslide and
broken bridges due to the recent floods.
The reason we left our village earlier
because I wanted to enrol my son today.
The cost of education nowadays is
very expensive. We paid two hundred
dollars for transport from the Nasau,
Ra, to RKS.
Despite the difficulties we faced
coming from the interior of Ra, I want
my son to have a good education and
become a successful person in life.
This is the first year for my son to
attend RKS and I am so proud of him.

Mr Ratu said his son wanted to

become an independent person and get
disciplined at RKS.
Alivereti said: It was always my dream
to be part of RKS and I am so happy
that finally my dream has come true.
Another student from Nailawa Village
in Ra, Joseva Nateru, 14, said: Fijis
great leaders have studied at RKS and
I am so proud to be part of the RKS
I want to become a rugby player and
represent Fiji in rugby tournaments.
They are among students who have
benefitted from the Government
policy of giving students from rural
and maritime areas priority to enrol at
Government schools.
The Year Nine scholar thanked the
Government for allowing maritime and
students from the interior to be part of
boarding schools like RKS.
Another parent from the province of
Ra, Sailasa Bainivalu, 55, was seeing
the fulfillment of a dream through
the enrollment of his son, Vereniki
Bainivalu, at RKS.

Initial information received regarding

the fire that broke out at the Jacks
Garments along Baker Lane, Nadi
Town had six employees currently
receiving treatment for smoke
All 144 employees were evacuated
safely and the cause and cost of damage
is yet to be established.
The Jacks of Fiji Garment Factory has
been destroyed in a major fire.
Firefighters managed to control the
flames from spreading to nearby
buildings in Nadi Town.
We have received information that
the fire had spread to the Jacks of
Fiji quarters but the flames have been

controlled and the quarters have been

partially damaged.
This factory is situated behind the
Jacks of Fiji Retail Shop.
Our reporter at the scene, Gary Volau
says the fire started around 10am and
had engulfed the whole factory.
National Fire Authority say there were
four fire trucks trying to control the
We are currently trying to speak to the
management of the Jacks of Fiji on
the extent of damage and the future of
workers at their garment factory.
We have received information that
workers had evacuated the garment

I always wanted to be a student of

RKS during my time, but I could not
make it, Mr Bainivalu said.
I applied every year to RKS but my
application could not go through.
Mr Bainivalu is a farmer and he came
all the way from Namara Village in
Saivou, Ra, to drop off his son.
We left our village on Sunday morning

and swam across the river to get to the

main road, he said.
We slept at our relatives house in
Korovou and we are here today.
Mr Bainivalu said his son was the first
in the family to attend RKS.
Bainivalu, 14, who enrolled as a Year
Nine student, was proud to fulfil his
fathers dreams.

Major Fire Destroys Jack's Of Fiji Garment

Factory In Nadi

Grant Abusers Given Second Chance

Farmers who had been blacklisted

previously for abusing the cane
planting grant will be given another
chance to make use of the opportunity.
But the Permanent Secretary for Sugar,
Yogesh Karan, said there would be a
strict monitor on the use of grants to
ensure that this cane planting grant was
put to best use.
We have advertised full page about the
cane planting grant and the Ministry is
going to monitor that grant very closely
so that the farmers applications are
taken care of, Mr Karan said.
He said previously they had to blacklist
farmers as they failed to use their

grants as not even a stick of cane had

been received from them despite being
given the grant.
In addition he said, the Government
had put in more than $55 million of
fertiliser subsidy.
Mr Karan said the sugar industry
stakeholders needed to work hard to
overcome the losses incurred last year
by the industry.
We cannot run the industry the way it
was being run as you know the losses
that had been faced in the industry, he
It was the worst seasons in the history
of Sugar industry in Fiji.


Fiji News

778 278 4088

Wife Distraught Over Husbands Death

A family is mourning the death of a

loved one who died in a road accident
along the Dreketi-Nabouwalu Highway
in Bua.
The victim died when the vehicle
he was travelling in collided with a
Manisha Chand did not realise that
when she bid her husband, Ronald
Chand, goodbye at 3am, it would be
the last time she would see him alive.
When the 26-year-old saw her
husbands body at Nabouwalu Subdivisional Hospital, she said it was like
seeing him sleeping and expecting him
to wake up.
He was supposed to travel with me to
Lautoka as he was supposed to attend
the company meeting while I could
visit my family, Ms Chand said.
On Monday night suddenly he told
me that he has to go with the driver to
Lautoka and I did ask him not to go
because of our weekend family plan.
I dont know how the accident

I am still in shock and dont know how

my life will be without my husband.
The couple are originally from Lautoka
and have been living at Tuatua Branch
Road in Labasa for two years while
working for Walt Smith International
Mr Chand, 36, was the Labasa branch
manager and had been frequently
travelling in a three tonne truck
from Labasa to Nabowalu to deliver
Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro
confirmed that accident occurred at
Dama whereby the victim, who was a
passenger in a truck, died after it was
involved in an accident with a bus.
The carrier was heading towards
Nabouwalu while the bus was heading
towards Labasa when the accident
occurred, Ms Naisoro said.
It is alleged the 50-year-old driver of
the carrier lost control of the vehicle
causing it to veer off the road hitting
the bus bound for Nabouwalu.
It has now been confirmed that the

incident occurred after 5am.

The driver of the carrier is admitted
at the Nabouwalu Hospital as
investigations continue, she said.
Limited director Edwin Chand
confirmed that his driver and about 30
passengers in the bus were safe and

had sustained no injuries.

When contacted Bua team coach
Suresh Sharma he said he was shocked
to lose his goalkeeper.
I had known Ronald for six years as a
friend and he has been a very dedicated
soccer player in our team, Mr Sharma

Taxi Operators Unhappy Over Insurance Cover

Concerns have been raised by some
Fiji Taxi Association operators over
the $500,000 insurance liability policy.
It is alleged the policy was mainly done
to benefit around 60 taxis that operate
from within the Suva and Lautoka port
area, especially when cruise liners are
in port.
For these taxis to operate within the
restricted port area, a Fiji Ports Corporation
Limited (FPCL), requirement was that
Fiji Taxi Association (FTA), needed to
have in place an insurance liability cover
of $500,000.
The FPCL requirement was confirmed
by FTA general secretary Rishi Ram.
The policy does not cover any accident
by a taxi operator anywhere outside
the port area. As a result, they have no
coverage if the vehicle hits a fence or
another vehicle. It also has no cover
for injury to the driver or passengers
during accidents.
Injuries sustained during accidents
are only covered under a Third Party
Insurance cover.
The Minister for Local Government,
Infrastructure and Transport, Parveen
Bala, has been asked to conduct an

The New Zealand Government has

begun with a Severe Tropical Cyclone
Winston recovery program for schools
and government infrastructure in the
Northern Lau Group.
Schools included in the program are
Adi Moapa primary and secondary
schools, Mua Levu District Primary
School, Mavana Primary School,
Daliconi Primary School and Cikobia
Primary School.
All these schools in the program are

investigation into the matter.

The policy, with Sun Insurance, was
renewed on January 19, 2016 and the
cover ends on February 14 this year.
Due to the confidential nature of the
information requested for, we are in
no position to divulge any such details
for any of our clients policies without
their specific authority, Sun Insurance
Claims Manager Thomas Naua said.
We trust that you will understand our
position in the matter, he said.
The acting President of the Rakiraki
Taxi Association, Pushp Chandra
Naidu, said many taxi operators did not
understand FTAs insistence in getting
this Public Liability Insurance Policy
and had asked that the matter be raised.
I had a meeting with Mr Naua to
explain to me in detail on this insurance
liability cover and he told me very
simply it did not cover accidents as
what the FTA had told us members,
Mr Naidu said.
The main cover for the policy says
This policy covers any legal liability
that the insured may be liable for:
- Bodily Harm
- Damage to Property
- Liability as Landlords

Mr Naidu said all the above mentioned

cover was for members only, if they
were in a building attending the FTA
The thing that hit me in what it covers,
is the Liability as Landlords we
dont even own a building, let alone a
table or chair so what is this cover?
Mr Naidu asked.
This was part of the questionnaire
sent to Sun Insurance on whether the
company had checked to see if FTA
owned a building for this part of the
insurance cover to be in place.
When questioned last week, Mr Ram
said this was a private matter and had
nothing to do with the media.
Any press release should come from
the Association and not individual taxi
operators, Mr Ram said.
We have been misled and we want
answers, Mr Naidu said.
If we (FTA) do not own a building
to have meetings, how come we are
covered from any injury from being in
the building?
To this Mr Ram said this covered any
meetings of FTA at any location.
Mr Naidu claims the real intention in
getting this policy was to benefit the

NZ Helps Rebuild

from Vanuabalavu in Lau.

"The New Zealand Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and the NZ High
Commission in Suva are working with
the Fijian Government partners to plan
the recovery work, and to ensure that
New Zealand's contribution is aligned
to the government's TC Winston
recovery strategy," the embassy said
in response to questions from this
"The recovery program is focused on

Northern Lau, however, repairs were

done by New Zealand Defence Force
personnel to a number of schools in the
districts of Tailevu and Ra as part of
our early response efforts."
Last year, NZ Foreign Affairs Minister,
Murray McCully announced that New
Zealand would provide $NZ10 million

few taxis that were allowed to operate

within the port area in Suva and
This cover must be in place otherwise
no taxis are allowed to operate from
within the port area.
That is why this policy was drawn
up, Mr Naidu said.
Mr Ram agreed that FPCL required
FTA to have the required $500,000
liability insurance cover in place
before operations could be done in the
wharf area.
But this is nothing for the media to
discuss I suggest you do not print
anything, Mr Ram said.
Those who are telling you do not
know what they are talking about.
He said FTA paid only $130 for the
insurance cover in 2014, but now they
are paying $620.
Every taxi operator pays an annual
subscription of $200 to FTA and this is
what we get in return.
FTA Acting President Aslam Khan
later called and said any press release
should be done by FTA and no one
else and said comments should only be
done by Mr Ram. He was told Mr Ram
had already made comments.

($F14.95m) to support Fiji to repair

public infrastructure damaged during
Severe TC Winston.
This support for the recovery phase is
in addition to the $NZ4.5m ($F6.7m)
which was provided by the New
Zealand Government to support Fiji
during its immediate response phase.


778 278 4088


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