Sunday, July 31, 2016

AG says don't read the Fiji Times

This is a beaut one.  No mention of the polticizing of news by the Fiji Sun which should be called the Fiji Sin. AG reckons he never reads the Fiji Times!

Don't read The Fiji Times, A-G tells farmers

Luke Rawalai
Monday, August 01, 2016
FARMERS in the North have been told not to read this newspaper.
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum advised farmers in Seaqaqa not to read The Fiji Times.
Responding to a Seaqaqa farmer's concerns regarding an article on a proposed project at the Labasa FSC mill, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he never reads The Fiji Times.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum told the farmer not to read The Fiji Times, adding he is serious about his statement.
According to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, The Fiji Times politicised issues blaming this newspaper for spreading rumours.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was responding to Seaqaqa farmer Himam Ali's concerns regarding an article published in this newspaper quoting former FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan.
When Mr Ali queried the statement was not the newspaper's but that of Mr Khan, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said irrespective of that he should stop reading the newspaper.

No available lease money for Fiji kids

With the system of counting every Fiji person in a tribe that leases out part of their land,  it means teenagers and children as well, if they each open an account.  However the PM reckons children ought to wait until they are 18. Wouldn't the money be useful to pay school fees?
The new system hasn't worked well for some families. Whereas the old system meant more for leaders who needed the money for their leadership obligations, now a child can be reckoned to get the same as their chief - perhaps their grandfather!  Lease money now comes in bits of $40 or so instead of $100s or $1000s to be shared by the decisions of the mataqali who met to discuss the need for school fees, boats, housing, etc - a shared decision for the betterment of the family network.
from Fiji Times:

PM stands his ground

Losalini Bolatagici
Monday, August 01, 2016
PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says his Government is empowering indigenous Fijian landowners by channelling funds from their leases for investment that will be made available when they are 18 years old.
This comes in response to the Opposition's statement condemning Government's decision of withholding more than 30,000 iTaukei minors lease monies owed to them by the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) for investment.
The Opposition questioned on what mandate the TLTB funds were invested and why there was no prior consultation with landowning units.
TLTB announced last week that $12.5 million would be deposited in a trust for 30,634 young landowners registered in the Vola ni Kawa Bula (the register of all indigenous landowners).
"This is the difference between my Government and previous governments. In the past, someone else decided how lease monies would be distributed," Mr Bainimarama said.
"But we have empowered individual iTaukei and given them options and choices. Given them their fair shares of the proceeds from the lease of their lands.
"My political opponents want that power to be taken away again.
"But I believe the vast majority of the iTaukei want to be able to choose for themselves.
"I am determined to give them that choice, going one step further now to protect the interests of iTaukei children and ensure that they too obtain their fair share when they come of age.
"We want to provide them with a springboard for the future."
Speaking on behalf of the Opposition, Niko Nawaikula said the policy was against customary practice and was, therefore, in breach of the landowners' group rights to look after their resources and affairs independently, especially to be consulted and to give their prior and informed consent.
And for that reason, Mr Bainimarama yesterday called on indigenous landowners not to let his political opponents tell them they were worse off under his government.
"Because the truth is that our prospects have never been better," he said.
"We have our ownership of the land guaranteed in our Constitution for all time."
Mr Bainimarama said the iTaukei were not only secure, but they had more opportunity than at any other time in Fijian history.
"Now we are ensuring that our children and those still to be born benefit from our ownership of the land by having their share invested so they can use it when they become adults," he said.
Mr Bainimarama revealed the amounts held in trust differed for each young landowner and ranged up to $99,000.
He said the interest earned over time would boost these savings.
"And when the beneficiaries turn 18, the Government will provide them with proper advice to manage the funds most effectively," Mr Bainimarama said.
----------------------  And a second article - from the Fiji Village today, Tuesday..  Niko is correct and Bainimarama is shifting the goalposts regarding Fijian land.
i-Taukei land ownership guaranteed for all time - PM
By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 02/08/2016

Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama has called on every i-Taukei in the country not to let his political opponents tell them that the i-Taukei are worse off under the current government.
Bainimarama says the i-Taukei have ownership of their land guaranteed in the constitution for all time.
The Prime Minister says the i-Taukei are not only secure, they have more opportunity than at any other time in Fijian history, and now the government is ensuring that i-Taukei children and those still to be born benefit from their ownership of the land by having their share invested so they can use it when they become adults.
Bainimarama says he is very proud of the initiative that they have announced to provide young i-Taukei landowners with a financial nest egg at the age of 18. This is going to come from the lease monies owed to them that the government is investing on their behalf and they can access when they reach voting age.
The i-Taukei Land Trust Board is depositing $12.5 million in trust for 30,634 young landowners registered in the Vola ni Kawa Bula.
The amount currently held in trust differs for each young landowner and ranges up to $99,000. The interest earned over time will boost these savings. And when the beneficiaries turn 18, the Government will also provide them with proper advice to manage the funds most effectively.
Bainimarama says in the past, someone else decided how lease monies would be distributed but they have now empowered individual i-Taukei and given them options.
He says that his political opponents want that power to be taken away again but he believes the vast majority of the i-Taukei want to be able to choose for themselves.
Meanwhile SODELPA parliamentarian, Niko Nawaikula says the Prime Minister and i-Taukei Land Trust Board should know that the 30,000 i-Taukei minors are not landowners.
Nawaikula says it is the mataqali and yavusa that are the landowners, and it has its own decision making process so unlike English laws, people cannot say beforehand who is entitled to this or that. He says the landowning unit must first sit down according to customary practice to decide who is entitled to the lease money.
Nawaikula also says that the Prime Minister should get out of the i-Taukei Land Trust Board.

He says Bainimarama should not be there as TLTB Chairman and he should not be the appointing authority of its Board.

Donuts and diabetes

 Fiji's diabetes death rate 'high'

Charlene Lanyon
Thursday, July 14, 2016
FIJI is ranked second in the world with a high rate of deaths from diabetes.
According to the World Life Expectancy diabetes report, Fiji had an age adjusted death rate of 147 (146.5) people for every 100,000 deaths.
Mauritius recorded the highest at a rate of 173.6 per 100,000 deaths, as listed by the survey that used latest data from the World Health Organization.
Fiji's Diabetes Centre medical officer-in-charge Dr Lisi Finiasi said these figures were alarming and highlighted the need for more serious action to be taken.
"For Fiji to be the second in the world shows how much work needs to be done," Dr Finiasi said. "These statistics also show that everyone in Fiji needs to take responsibility for their health because as health workers we can only do so much.
"When people come into the health centres and hospitals they only spend a brief period of time with us and when they go back home, this is when the awareness and education and health tips and suggestions are put into action."
Dr Finiasi said the focus for people with diabetes was on controlling the condition.
"Having diabetes does not necessarily mean the end of the world because you can always control it by simple habits such watching your diet, taking care of your body and always ensuring that you exercise daily. It is that simple because it depends on your lifestyle and for those without diabetes, do everything you can to ensure that you stay that way."
She added that diabetes was an expensive disease and complications could place further burden on the person, family and community.
"For instance, a person with diabetes that also suffers from kidney problems would need about $750 for dialysis three times a week and that does not include transportation and costs fro other medicine and supplies," Dr Finiasi

More Donut King Shops To Open Here

More Donut King Shops To Open Here

July 31
Donut King will open three shops worth $1.5 million in Suva.
This was highlighted by the managing director, Paul McLaren, at the opening of their first shop at MHCC in Suva yesterday.
Mr McLaren said there would be two more franchise opened in Nadi and Lautoka at the end of the year.
He said the three shops in Suva would have 45 staff in total who are currently being trained.
“Seeing the crowd and sales for today, I am sure our future endeavour will be more successful while we work on opening other branches in the country,” he said.
Mr McLaren said their large range of donuts are made at the store throughout the day by their trained franchisees.
He said he is happy with the workflow.
“The staff is trained by Kristy Thornton who is a very experienced staff of Donut King in Australia.
“She has been in Fiji training the staff not just with the donut and coffee recipes, but also on operating the machines and other facilities in the shop,” Mr McLaren said.
The donut maker, soft serve and hot dog machines are imported from America while the cooler, espresso machine and other machinery are from Australia.
Mr McLaren confirmed the donuts are cooked in the vegetable shortening and the hot dogs are specially made for Fijians.
He said this took into account people who are vegetarians or do not eat beef or pork.
Donut King first opened in Sydney in 1981 and has been serving the now World Famous DK Cinnamon Donut for over 30 years.
“We’ve all been there and millions of Aussies have grown up sharing this experience, it’s a place for the young and the young at heart.
“At Donut King we decorate our donuts and make our hot dogs fresh daily ensuring quality, delicious food for our customers.
“Our franchisees spend many weeks training and learning how to operate their store at the national RFG Training Academy based on the Gold Coast in Australia to ensure we provide you with the highest quality food that is the same right across the country.”
Employing over 4,600 staff and serving 30 million donuts to Australians every year, Donut King expanded internationally with their first Donut King store opening its doors in Shanghai China on November 1, 2008.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Epeli from Mali Island

Epeli's sleepless nights

Timoci Vula
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
FIJI's Paralympic athlete to the 2016 Rio Olympics Epeli Baleibau is already having sleepless nights.
Definitely not jitters for being a first-timer to the Olympics or having to compete on the world stage.
He is just ready for what he says is his "important mission".
He's mentally psyched up for the competition that begins for him on August 9 at the OLS Olympic Stadium in Rio.
Baleibau will compete in the Ambulant Men's high jump event, coached by Benedito Qumi.
But when he looks back at how far he has come, his faith in God and life's lessons and experiences have played a significant role in changing his mentality to being always positive despite his condition.
Originally from Ligaulevu Village on Mali Island, Macuata, with maternal links to Vuo Village in Labasa, Baleibau lost his right arm in a work accident in 1997 while employed at the Fiji Forest Industries in Malau, Labasa.
Though he could not recall the exact month, he remembers it was a Tuesday and he was working on dock 3 — doing the work of three people (grading, recording data, sawing and treatment).
In the process of pushing a 2x2 timber in for sawing, his hand accidentally slipped into the machine that severed his right limb, just a few inches below his elbow.
He remembers that he lost his limb at 7:45pm that night.
Baleibau said when he pulled his hand out, before he could see it, he told himself that he had lost his right hand.
When he lifted it, he saw it was completely severed.
"So I lifted my arm and walked towards the emergency vehicle," Baleibau recalls in this interview, remembering how his workmates ran after him and bandaged the wound with pieces of cloth before he was transported to the Labasa Hospital.
A keen athlete during his high school days at All Saints Secondary School in Labasa, and a rugby player for the Mali district team, and even for the Macuata provincial club from 1995-96, his world collapsed after that accident.
Fourteen years later, he lost his wife — a high school teacher — and he was left to raise their three children.
They were his world and his inspiration.
He challenged himself that he will always strive to ensure he provided for his children.
That personal challenge saw him reappear into the sporting scene again after 18 years when he approached coach Freddy Fesaitu in 2014 to train for athletics.
In 2015, he made his debut for Fiji in the 2015 South Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Since September last year, he had been training in preparation for the qualifying competition in Dubai, and now for the Olympics in Rio.
He vividly remembers the competition in Dubai and how that experience had prepared him well in terms of what to expect at the Olympic Games.
Baleibau recalled his numerous failed attempts on four consecutive days to jump 1.65m.
He remembers watching high jump videos given to him by his coach to study the athletes' techniques and skills two days before the competition.
And he surprised his coach on game day when he jumped 1.65m, then 1.70m and his final successful attempt of the 1.74m height. He dropped the bar at 1.80m.
"That day I was so happy because I knew I had jumped the 1.65m qualifying height for the Olympics. I knew I had achieved what I came here for and I want to thank FASANOC and the Fiji Sports Commission for funding me to the qualifying competition in Dubai," the proud father said.
"Now, I'm focused on Rio. This is very important to me because I just want to show to the whole of Fiji how proud I am to represent my country to the world and show them too that Fiji is a unique country."
With his pending participation in Rio, Baleibau said this sent out a strong message to people living with any form of disability that their present situation did not mean the end of the world.
He encouraged his colleagues to take the first step, and even take up sports they loved.
He said sports was not only a stepping stone to achieve great things, it could also open up job opportunities and at the same time open and develop their mind and thinking.
Baleibau said when this happened, there would be less or nil time spent on thinking and feeling miserable about their physical inability.
From a young man who would be embarrassed to show his severed limb, he got over it when he entered the sporting arena in 2014.
Rio mission
Training is progressing well for Baleibau, and his coaches Qumi and Fesaitu.
He thanked them for their spirit of volunteerism; commitment and dedication to ensure he is well prepared for his event come August.
He acknowledged the support from the athletics coaches for training him on the track.
He also remembers the support from his family and his fellow villagers back on the island that have learnt of the great news.
Now, his focus is on enhancing his speed, fitness and finetuning some techniques.
He is also targeting to cut his weight further from 66.13kg to 65 — which he says is his ideal weight if he was to jump higher than his Dubai record.
"So for me right now, I have not been sleeping well in the past few days. I feel like I am already at the Games Village in Rio, which means I know game day is drawing closer.
"Training is much lighter to me now. Whatever training routine my coaches give me, I complete it because deep down inside me, I know the day is fast approaching for me to represent Fiji in Rio.
"I expect to achieve a good result. I will not promise but I am looking forward to achieving a good result and compete on behalf of my country, and to have the world know our country."
For Fijians in Fiji and the world over, Baleibau has urged them all to support and pray for Team Fiji's participation.
"I want to say that wearing a white jersey is not an easy task. It is difficult. There is pain in the training field, you get sworn at and screamed at because of the need for us athletes to achieve our workout in a day.
"That is why I want to ask all Fijians to support and pray for us, and offer us their blessings so we can do our best in Rio."

Sharing wealth

The gospel reading in the lectionary on Sunday - Luke 12: 13-21 - lends itself to some thought on hanging on to wealth and possessions which is relevant in today's world. And here's a modern story that fits.
In Berriwillock, a very small country town in Victoria, Australia,  a group of farmers were thinking about not building bigger barns but of sharing in the bounty when the harvest was plentiful. This is the Berriwillock Wheat Scheme, Every year, when there is not a drought, several Australian and overseas organisations receive a substantial donation from the Berriwillock Church Wheat Scheme. Started in 1953 by Birchip farmer Alan McClelland and a group from the Berriwillock Uniting Church, the group has working bees, donating the machinery and labour to grow 150 acres of wheat. Peceli and I visited one time when about ten tractors were all working on the same block preparing the soil for planting. Alan's son Warrick provided the land on his property, Windarra, and expenses have been kept very low as only seed and fertilizer must be purchased. Apart from the obvious value of co-ordinating organisational effort, the second aspect is that the program model being adopted provides an opportunity for sponsoring organisations with more traditional welfare approaches to participate in a new initiative.
Some years, the crops have failed and the Berriwillock Wheat Scheme that has written cheques for an eclectic mix of charities and causes since 1953 — from land mine victims to schools, hospitals, boats in Fiji, transport for a minister to link up with Aboriginal communities, and groups fighting depression — are unable to make a distribution.
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Monday, July 11, 2016

Macuata the best

from Fiji Times:

Province to be listed as conservation learning site

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
CONSERVATION efforts and initiatives within the province of Macuata have not gone unnoticed as it will soon be listed as a conservation learning site for the country.
Spearheaded by the German funded non-governmental organisation Deutshe Gesellshaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), groundwork into this effort is already in progress.
Speaking during an interview, GIZ's project director, Dr Jan Steffen said this was part of their projects in five other regional countries where they were identifying successful conservation projects which would be known as learning sites.
Dr Steffen said they did not want to introduce a new conservation strategy or concept.
"We are here to build from what we already have and to put them out as learning sites for other areas in Fiji that want to enter into conservation projects," he said.
"Our work focuses on Government's efforts to replicate the very good experience that exists in the country through previous conservation groups.
"GIZ also consults with national stakeholders, local government and non-governmental organisations to identify these sites."
Dr Steffen said from the Macuata experience they would share its successes with other communities to help them wisely manage their own natural resources.

Friday, July 08, 2016

stop over to buy vakalolo on the way to Labasa

Serve or two for you

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Friday, July 08, 2016
IF you happen to travel along the Labasa-Savusavu highway, you will definitely come across Vasemaca Diloaloakubou and Kinisimere Tagicakivanua.
These two women sell their serves of vakalolo for $2 daily to commuters who travel along this stretch of road to help earn themselves a living.
The women are both from Saivou Village in Cakaudrove and this has been a part of their routine for the past four to five years.
By 4am, the women are already in their kitchen preparing their vakalolo to be by the roadside as early as 8am.
Daily commuters and even new travellers are frequently lured into trying out their food.
They sell daily at the Namatayau settlement which is between Macuata and Cakaudrove. The two women sell around 25-30 serves in a day.
Whatever little money earned from this is used for their families daily living and whatever commitments they maybe tasked with from the church and the vanua.
Namatayau settlement is known for its water fountain and people stop there to fill up their water bottles before they continue their long ride either to Savusavu or Labasa.
Vasemaca and Kinisimere have used this opportunity to sell and nearly everyone who stops for a drink at the fountain will buy a serve of vakalolo or two from these women.
Kinisimere said that although they did this on a daily basis, it did not take away their love to be in their plantation or being out at sea fishing when they finished early from selling vakalolo.
Sometimes, by 11am, they are back in the village with their vakalolo all sold out and they are ready to do other household chores and work with other women to do village duties the vanua has asked them to.
It may not be easy for these two women to wake up early in the morning and cook but they are not thinking about leaving it anytime soon because they are earning good money from it.