Local News

‘Don’t leave land idle’ – Ram loves toiling farmland for a living

Ram Dayal, 72, has never regretted the decision he made about six decades ago to toil the land and make a living off it. This same land on Navula outside Natabua, Lautoka has provided for three generations who have earned themselves good education and have left for greener pastures abroad. Ram is a perfect example...

Couple turn to the sea for survival

Reshma Singh, 44, and her husband Divendra Goundar, 44, from Muslim League settlement in Nabua left their two-year-old child at home in the care of their aunt last Thursday to hunt for seafood for their family. The couple were trying their best to catch whatever they could before the 24-hour lockdown period began at 11pm...

The story behind Bob’s Store

BANWARI Lal Sadhu travelled from India more than 50 years ago to seek greener pastures on a tiny dot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He had heard of the opportunities available in Fiji as throngs of Indians braved the perilous 11,500km journey to work the sugarcane plantations under the Colonial Government’s indentured labourer...

COVID-19: Two local transmission cases reported

Two new cases of COVID-19 has been confirmed today by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. According to the Ministry both cases are of local transmission. The Ministry says the first is the husband of case number 159 from the Vunimono cluster. “He has been in isolation since 12th May 2021. “The second case...

Living off peanuts, beans – COVID-19 pandemic has impacted business, says Lal

AJAY Lal makes a living by dodging and darting around vehicles at the busy Khalsa and Kinoya roads junction outside Suva. Dressed in rags, wearing worn-out flip-flops and an old reflector jacket, the 48-year-old sells roasted peas and fried peanuts from an old backpack. Apart from the obvious danger posed by traffic, the junction is...

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,...

Student fined $200 for going to buy toilet paper during curfew hours

A 21-year-old tertiary student who claims that he was on his way to buy toilet paper when arrested by police during curfew hours appeared before the Suva Magistrates Court today. Livai Seroma was among a large group of people who appeared before Magistrate Thusara Thenakoon charged for breaching curfew restrictions during this lockdown. The court...

Restaurant steps up

Talanoa Garden has had to diversify and venture into making free deliveries to survive and keep their staff employed. According to the company co-director Emosi Sawailau they have been making free deliveries since the containment measures were in place. “Since this lockdown restrictions came in, it has affected our business the same as any other...

Taxi involved in serious accident

A taxi driver was allegedly involved in a serious accident this afternoon in Velovelo, Lautoka. According to eye witnesses, the driver was allegedly intoxicated before the taxi he was driving veered off the Queens Highway and landed in a ditch. The driver has been taken to the FEMAT Field Hospital in Nadovu.

Recipients of bursary scheme urged to work hard

Fiji National University vice-chancellor Professor Toby Wilkinson urged recipients of the newly launched student bursary scheme to work hard. He made this statement during the launch of the university’s newly launched scheme, where 19 private students would be assisted with their tuition fees for Semester 1. Each recipient would receive $1000 in tuition assistance every...

Missing person: Police seek assistance to locate teenager

Fijian Police are appealing to the public to help locate 15-year-old Jyoti Devi who was reported missing at the Lautoka Police Station. According to Police the teenager was last seen leaving home for school on May 8, 2021 and since failed to return home. A missing person’s report was lodged by her mother and checks...

Advisory: Fisheries service centres closed till Wednesday

The Ministry of Fisheries service centres around the country will be closed till Wednesday, May 19, 2021. The Ministry in a statement today said its services have also been disrupted during this lockdown period. Members of the public and fisher folks are advised to call the following mobile numbers for further information and clarification: Regional...

COVID-19: Newborn monthly check-up offered at Girmit Centre

Nursing mothers in Lautoka can now visit the Girmit Centre near Nadovu Park for their newborn monthly check-up. The public health services were moved to Girmit Centre as part of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services continuous efforts to decentralise services within Lautoka as the Subdivisional Hospital continued with a 21-day lockdown. Services offered...

COVID-19: Traders in Taveuni worried about basic food supplies

Taveuni has been without shipping services for the past week and traders are worried about supplies of basic food items. Businessman Rohil Chand who owns chain of supermarkets on the island said they would soon run short of goods, basic food items, gas, fuel and alcohol. “We hope good sense prevails because dalo and yaqona...

Adhere to advice, commerce urges members

The Savusavu Chamber of Commerce has urged its members to adhere to the COVID-19 advice ensuring customers also follow the basic rules while shopping in town. The chamber president Ravi Chhaganlal said this was important to ensure that the North remained free of COVID-19. “We believe this is very important and we have continued to...

Police: Two detained for not wearing mask

Two people were arrested last Friday for not wearing masks while travelling in a public vehicle in Levuka. This, according to Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu, who also said the two cases recorded in Levuka was alcohol-related. ACP Tudravu said 53 people were arrested over a 24-hour period on Saturday for breaching curfew hours...

‘Youths top arrest’

Majority of people arrested for breaching curfew hours are youths, says Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu. Speaking at a news conference in Suva last week, he said the cases are always alcohol-related. “Majority of those who are arrested are youths,” ACP Tudravu said. “They drink liquor and go out during the curfew hours. “They...

People line up at checkpoints to send items

In the lead-up to the Suva-Nausori lockdown that began 11pm on Friday, people lined up at the Nakasi border to get things to and from loved ones separated by traffic cones and barriers. The lines to a tent where police had set up a registration point for Fijians coming to the border stretched almost as...

Litiana sells cassava to buy essentials

Litiana Delailoa and her children sat at the corner of Nasinu and Daniva roads in Valelevu outside Suva last Friday selling cassava. She said the money they earned would be for essentials to last them through the Suva-Nausori lockdown which began 11pm on Friday. Being a single mother, she said the burden of providing for...

Nisha struggles for daughter’s medicine

Jaibul Nisha, 76, is struggling to foot for her daughter’s weekly medication bills. Her 50-year-old daughter developed some conditions when she was only three years old and the blood clots in her brain denied her a normal life. “She takes liquid medicine and tablets every day and the liquid one which costs us around $13...

Club responds to a call from mothers at hospital for diapers

Staff members of the Sugar Cane Growers Fund responded to a call from mothers at the Lautoka Hospital’s Maternity Ward who were running out of diapers for their newborns. The supplies were delivered on Thursday through the company’s Sports and Social Club. Fund chief executive officer Raj Sharma said members of the club came across...

COVID-19: 33 arrests for breach in curfew and health restrictions

Police arrested 30 people over the last 24-hours concerning the COVID-19 restrictions as well as the curfew order. Acting Commissioner of Police, Rusiate Tudravu said the Southern Division recorded 22 cases, the Western Division with six cases while two cases were recorded in the Eastern Division. He said three men in their 30’s were arrested...

Rise in food prices worry consumers

People are paying more for basic food items than what they were paying earlier this year. The Fiji Times caught up with avid shoppers Maureen Narayan and Ned Gacevi as they were doing last-minute shopping to stock up on food and essentials before the Suva-Nausori lockdown which began on Friday. Ms Narayan said some items...

Frontline workers ‘need help’

People who are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 in Fiji need to undergo psychological counselling. This according to mental health specialist Peter Schultz, the founder of Operation Foundation. “Frontline workers live in the reality of increased risk of exposure, and the pressure to serve and protect the community,” he said. “They will...

Food ration distribution starts

Families who are in need will have food delivered to their doorsteps. That was the reassurance from Economy Ministry manager and co-ordinator infrastructure sector Kamal Gounder as food ration distributions for families during this lockdown started yesterday. He said the helpline 161 was flooded with people who were in need of food. “We are accessing...

Concern over mental health

The condition of people living with mental health problems will deteriorate because they cannot access clinical support during the COVID-19 outbreak. This, according to Empower Pacific CEO Patrick Morgam. He said people with mental health issues also found it difficult to access medication and this resulted in relapses. “They felt generally confused about how and...

Call for bipartisan approach – Bring all the brains together: Ali

Bring the brains together to effectively combat COVID-19. That was the call from Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali to Government. She said the fight against COVID-19 needed a bipartisanship approach. Ms Ali said Government needed to rope in civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations and the Opposition to assist them in the fight. “You...

More tents to be erected at field hospital

More tents are expected to be erected at the Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team (FEMAT) field hospital at Nadovu, Lautoka facility as the number of admissions surges daily. Head of FEMAT Dr Luke Nasedra said they had 25 admissions as of last Friday and were about to exhaust the 28-bed facility. “When we started on...

Concern for frontline workers

People who are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 could reach a breaking point because of the stress and pressure associated with their work environment. If not treated it could result in increased mental health issues. These are the views of Fiji’s renowned psychotherapist, Selina Kuruleca and founder of Operation Foundation, the Reverend...

Mt Kasi landowners disagree with Government’s decision

Mount Kasi mining prospect landowners do not agree with Government’s decision in awarding the development tender to Vatukoula Gold Mines Ltd. Cakaudrove villagers of Dawara say they would not allow company officials to access the site which sits on their land. Mataqali Naveitokaki spokesman Emori Bukadina said they would not sign the Access and Compensation...

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