From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your September 17 briefing


Bula vinaka everyone

I suppose the big news tonight will definitely have to be the announcement by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that containment borders around Viti Levu will open from 4am tomorrow.

He made a number of other announcements including the fact that curfew hours would be from 9pm tomorrow.

You can log onto for more updates.

Let’s remember though that the Delta variant is still with us.

Remember our children are not vaccinated yet.

That means we cannot afford to relax our guards.

So let’s adhere to all COVID-19 safety measures as we move around from tomorrow.

Stay well and stay safe Fiji!



Remember you can get into the draw to win cash prizes with The Fiji Times. All you need is to cut out a masthead, write your name, address and phone contact and place this in a bin provided around the country. It’s that simple! But you’ll have to be in to win though. Check out Page 11 of The Fiji Times for details.


Here are some stories that made the headlines in The Fiji Times’ edition for Friday, September 17.


Social demographics

THE World Bank says the use of social demographics such as gender, location, education, and others including ethnicity and religion, is common and important tool for evidence-based policy making. It said these aggregated data also assisted donors and development partners, to help ensure their support to countries was as effective as possible.

HIES methodology not wrong

THERE was nothing wrong with the methodology used by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics when it collected data for the 2019-2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey. This, according to University of Fiji Associate Professor of Economics Dr Sunil Kumar.


HIES data

THE Fiji Bureau of Statistics decision to collect and release ethnic and religious data in relation to the 2019-2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey is one of the reasons Fiji is not progressing as a nation.

Global recognition for methodology

THE methodology used by the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics is internationally recognised and was reviewed by World Bank consultants, says Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Fiji, Dr Sunil Kumar.

Sacking denounced

POLITICAL activist Shamima Ali has denounced the sacking of Fiji Bureau of Statistics CEO Kemueli Naiqama, saying he was “sent home for telling the truth.”

Important tool

THE use of social demographic such as gender, location, education and others including ethnicity and religion is common and an important tool for evidence-based policy making, says the World Bank.

Call for A-G’s sacking

Attorney- General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum speaking in Parliament. Picture: PARLIAMENT OF FIJI

ATTORNEY General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum should be sacked “for failing the many ministerial portfolios he holds”.

Dire straits

ATTORNEY General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum sacked Fiji Bureau of Statistics CEO Kemueli Naiqama because he exposed what everyone already knew – Fiji is in dire straits economically, says former Reserve Bank of Fiji governor and Unity Fiji Party leader Savenaca Narube.


Mill mechanical issues

MECHANICAL issues at the Lautoka sugar mill on Tuesday resulted in lorry operators waiting for more than 18 hours to unload their cane.

Aged-care home recruitments

THE Australian government has committed  $327,022 for the recruitment of 112 staff, and to assist in the recovery and response measures for the eight existing aged care homes in Fiji.

Body find

TEIDAMU resident Mahendra Prasad says he was shocked to find the body of a woman lying near a ditch near his home yesterday morning. (PIC)

Borders reopen

Containment borders on Viti Levu reopen.

New RFMF commander


Brigadier General Jone Kalouniwai. Picture: SUPPLIED/FT FILE

BRIGADIER General Ro Jone Kalouniwai is the new commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. This appointment was announced on the Fijian Government official Facebook page.


A-G and the media

ATTORNEY-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum called on media organisations to focus on statistics important to Government instead of dwelling on “flawed” ethnic and religious data released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics in the 2019-2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey.

‘Skewering’ accusation

ATTORNEY General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has accused the Fiji Bureau of Statistics of “skewering” samples collected for its 2019-2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey.

HIES enumerators

ATTORNEY General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says enumerators who collected data in the Fiji Bureau of Statistics 2017 census did not ask respondents their ethnicity.

Calls needing counselling

EMPOWER Pacific has seen an increase in calls per day with people engaging its counselling support for stress, anxiety and financial hardships due to COVID-19, says Empower Pacific CEO Patrick Morgam.


COVID vaccines

Komal Nand preparing a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Albert Park drive through in Suva. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FT FILE

THE Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine will be used to vaccinate children between the ages of 15 and 17 years – but vaccination will only be conducted with the consent of parents or guardians.

Validating areas of concern

THE Health Ministry is currently validating areas of concern and will be outlining further measures to reduce the risk that travellers will place on areas of concern.

Teachers assist COVID-19 ops

ABOUT 200 teachers in the Central Division are currently assisting the Health Ministry in its COVID-19 operations.

Vaccination for children

THE Fijian Teachers Association is against the Health Ministry’s plan to vaccinate children between 12 and 17 years.


There are interesting letters on Pages 8 and 9.


Get a feel of the pulse of the nation, read about what people are talking about, and how they feel about various issues.


In this popular section, read about: Aisea Tamanikaiwaimaro


IF there were ways to describe Aisea Tamanikaiwaimaro, the words persistent and resilient would be apt. The 32-year-old is a proud pioneer of Flourishing Design Studio today, however, the road to achieving this was not always a bed of roses but a path filled with a lot of struggles as well.


This section which comes out every Friday, is much more than just about shopping tips. Check it out.


The big one on the back page is about: Fijian Drua


THE Fijian Drua will seek a small number of players not eligible for Fiji for positional coverage for its first Super Rugby season.


There’s more to read inside but you’ll have to get a copy to know what we are talking about. Happy reading!

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