Opinion

Mercy flight saves woman

Thursday, July 25, 1957 radio messages seeking aid for seriously ill women – one on board a ship at sea and the other on Pitcairn Island – flashed across the South Pacific for a few...

Storm in a teacup

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama this week treated conversations around the much talked about Bill 17 like a storm in a teacup. Due to go before Parliament tomorrow, the Bill seeks to amend section 12 of the iTaukei Land Trust Act of 1940. It seeks to remove the requirement of obtaining the consent of the iTaukei...

Letters to the Editor – Sunday, July 25, 2021

Jab saga DO we have a choice? When the pandemic outbreak goes out of control, it’s best to try all avenues to save lives and the most popular one jab, all over the world. TAHIR ALI Hamilton, New Zealand National budget MOST people won’t really be aware that the 2021/2022 budget announced on Friday, July...

COVID-19 is real

Ashween Dutt Sharma of Sakoca, Tamavua, is thankful for life. He is appreciative of the work of our frontliners. He appreciates the work of health experts, and is thankful he is alive today. He is a COVID-19 positive patient who has recovered from the deadly virus. He was admitted at the FEMAT facility at Laucala...

24th July

Politicians: Should be psychologically assessed

In the social media age, political determinants of COVID-19  are pronounced. “There is no place for politicians to hide anymore so faults  are inevitably revealed.” Political power is the master key to all locks and research shows that people in positions of power can let power literally go to  their head. If our political leaders seem off, there is a scientific  reason...

Letters to the Editor: Saturday, July 24, 2021

COVID-19 misinformation   SINCE Dr Fong has acknowledged that misinformation during  this pandemic has been a notable obstacle, does he plan to change the  current approach to counter misin- formation?  MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka   Daily press conference  THE good doctor mentioned that Facebook was a platform used by those spreading misinformation, in the absence of real information, the folks will latch onto whatever is out there....

Jab, Fiji’s only hope

Bula readers! I’m impressed with many of our prominent individuals and groups  who are winning the hearts of the citizens as the vaccination rates for the nation increase. Once again, the program could have been executed so much more quickly if only our national leaders had joined hands and shared  their platform with leaders from different spectrums of society  to promote this lifesaving campaign....

It’s about respect

Maybe it’s an “only in Fiji moment”. Where else could a budget be presented to Parliament in the middle of a raging pandemic with thousands of people infected by COVID, tens of thousands more  at risk, hospitals – and now, morgues, overwhelmed – and the Economy Minister refuses to talk about the problem? The budget debate is...

Editorial comment: Together we must fight

There are a number of issues raised now that will attract interest in as far as our COVID-19 fight is concerned. It seems the escalating cases of COVID-19 in Fiji has  set back hopes of opening up a travel bubble with Australia any time soon. But that’s the least of our worries  right now. Australian International Development and...

Can we accomplish the same feat in Tokyo

As we countdown days and hours for the men’s sevens rugby competition in the Olympics, there has been only  one question in the minds of all rugby lov- ing fans, can we repeat the same feat as in  Rio. In this COVID-19 ravaged world, the Olympics, which was supposed to be held last year, was deferred to this year with  organisers under heavy...

Raising privacy concerns

I have written a lot in recent months on cyberattacks, ransomware and cyberespionage  by suspected Russian, Chinese and Iranian nation state actors. Even the US has not been spared – Edward Snowden’s 2013 disclosure of highly classifi ed National Security Agency (NSA) documents  revealed the agency’s ability to tap the electronic communications of almost anyone and  triggered an international boom in...

‘Wrong politics’

I am sure you have heard and read many views on the 2021/2022 national Budget presented by the Minister for Finance last Friday. Some views are full  of praise. Some are realistic. I have in the course of the past four days, issued daily analysis of the budget. On Thursday, I presented a full analysis. I would like to think that my views are technically realistic. I...

Down memory lane

In 2016, our first Olympic Games gold medal provided a fairytale ending. Our boys stepped onto the podium to receive their gold medals from Princess Anne as tears flowed freely. The noise was deafening as Fijians took to the streets to express  their excitement. The nation was at a halt, everything stopped as celebrations went wild.  That moment is hard to de- scribe and put...

NSW mistakes are lessons for Fiji

With the Bainimarama Government obstinately refusing to lockdown, Fiji is  now suffering the worst medical, social  and economic crisis since the measles epidemic of 1875 which led to the deaths of a third of  Fiji’s population. Today’s COVID-19 crisis has led to thousands of seriously ill people and more than 100 (so far) dying. This is all totally unnecessary, had the...

23rd July

Fiji’s new budget: Significant fiscal challenges

The task that the Fiji Government has faced since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis has been challenging, involving difficult choices and adjustments. Despite rising case numbers and deaths, there is an obvious tension between protecting health in the short term and keeping non-essential businesses closed for a prolonged period. The government has opted for a softer lockdown — a relaxation of suppression strategies forcing health...

Letters to the Editor – July 23, 2021

Little Jerry’s influence I BELIEVE our little Jerry will have a huge infl uence on the success of the 7s team. With so many years of experience under his belt and the survivor from the last Olympics win, Jerry has a lot to offer our team. I am sure Baber and the team are well aware of this and leverage from...

Editorial comment – Addressing misinformation

The permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Ministry Dr James Fong has made no bones about the need to fight what he terms is misinformation. The wide circulation of misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, he insists, has led to poor compliance by people in getting vaccinated. Misinformation, he said, was now a major problem for the ministry. “Misinformation...

22nd July

COVID-19: The view from a Timorese Village

The hamlet (aldeia) of Poros is a settlement of some 800 people on the edge of Nino Konis Santana National Park and Lake Ira Laloro in Timor-Leste. Historically an isolated community of subsistence gardners and foragers, today many of its young people work abroad — at present, around 30 are in UK, Korea and Australia. I (Akito Ximenes) was born in Poros. This...

Letters to the Editor – July 22, 2021

Best players I THINK Semi Radradra is the top Mickey Mouse (7s) player in the world. He did not require a trial. He did not need to play any matches with the best Mickey Mouse team in the world. He is being praised by the coach and Rajnesh Lingam while nothing is being said about the official best 7s player of the...

Editorial comment – We have to fight this

So our health infrastructure is “strained” as a result of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. This is the harsh reality we face now, according to a statement by Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong. He made the comment in response to queries about a video shared on social media by a woman who claimed to be a COVID-19 positive...

21st July

A pragmatic lockdown for Fiji – More government support needed

The daily rate of new COVID-19 infections in Fiji now exceeds 500 (as of 6 July 2021), much higher than India’s peak daily infection rate on a per million population basis. If people start dying at the same rate as in India at the peak of the second wave, it will be a disaster for the country: it would mean around five people dying...

Letters to the Editor – July 21, 2021

Two Test series The two Test series against the NZ All Blacks has been done and dusted. Flying Fijians coach Vern Cotter was adamant that the side will have all the positions covered against the powerful All Blacks, even off the bench. It did not materialise as the ABs romped to a nine try win. Winger Sevu Reece scored three first half tries and Ardie Savea one...

Editorial comment – Important issues

In the face of the frightening rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Fiji, we see two important issues that must be raised and dealt with urgently. For starters, it appears that Fijians are presenting themselves late to hospitals. This, according to Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) mission leader Dr Brian Spain. He echoed sentiments shared earlier by Health...

20th July

Far from escaping COVID-19

As a Kenyan business leader, it has been harrowing to see Africa lose so many of its hard-earned economic gains to COV- ID-19. The pandemic has pushed sub-Saharan Africa as a region into its first recession in 25 years, and the World Bank estimates that some 40 million people could be forced into poverty. This...

Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Sunday Times I have to assume that you have good reason not to produce a print edition of The Sunday Times. I am very disappointed. I always look forward to the special items that appear weekly in The Sunday Times, including the Sunday challenges on the puzzles page. I find myself deprived of this...

Editorial comment – Staggering numbers again

It is getting difficult to shrug aside the concerning rise in COVID-19 cases here in Fiji. The permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Ministry Dr James Fong announced 1043 new cases of COVID-19 for the 24 hour period that ended at 8am Sunday. The figure was frightening. It was too high, much like the...

19th July

Letters to the Editor – Monday, July 19, 2021

Safety at the Olympic Games HOW safe are our reps at the Olympic Games? Already there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 at the Tokyo games village. Is this just the beginning or will be contained? Thousands of Japanese volunteers have pulled out. A number of national reps from countries including Australia and USA have...

Editorial comment – Let’s do this Fiji

When the permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Ministry Dr James Fong announced 1180 new cases of COVID-19 for the 24-hour period that ended at 8am on Saturday, it would have been met by great concern. A full breakdown of areas of interest, he said, would be published online on the Ministry’s COVID-19 dashboard...

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