AUSTRALIA

Five feared dead after plane crashes into Melbourne shopping center

Air ambulance crash at Essendon DFO in Melbourne, Australia. 9 News / Channel 9
Air ambulance crash at Essendon DFO in Melbourne, Australia. 9 News / Channel 9

A charter plane carrying five people has crashed into the popular Direct Factory Outlet shopping centre in Melbourne, causing a large explosion and sending plumes of black smoke into the air.

DROWNING

‘Death Trap’

A woman died after she slipped and fell into a flooded waterway, a place termed by some people as a “death trap” during inclement weather.  Mohini Lata, 49, lost her life at the “Waiyavi waterfall” in Lautoka at about 5 pm on Sunday.

POLICE

Water Safety

A 42-year-old Ba farmer is missing after falling off his horse while trying to cross to Benai River on Monday afternoon.  The man was washed away by strong currents and police are still searching for him.  He was accompanied by his 21-year-old nephew at the time of the incident.

Relocation

The Lautoka Police Station has moved to the Matanakilagi  House at M.N. Naidu Road.  The Market and Shirley Community Post will continue to receive reports as usual.

ROAD WORKS

Very High Peak, Peak, and Off Peak

Fiji Road Authority is “not pleased” with a contractor carrying out work during the early morning peak along some of Suva’s busiest roads.  CEO John Hutchinson said an increase in car ownership means peak periods have changed, and deteriorating infrastructure mean “a certain degree of road work during peak hours is inevitable.”

WEATHER

Three systems being monitored

Fiji MET.
Fiji MET.

TD14F – It is now a tropical depression and was analysed approximately 130km north-west of Labasa. Active rainbands with strong winds associated will come our way.  Expect occasional rain, heavy at times and few thunderstorms with moderate to fresh south-east winds. Winds will be strong and gusty at times.

TD15F – This system is now a Tropical Depression, analysed approximately 670km West of Rarotonga. TD15F has a moderate to high probability of developing to a Tropical Cyclone, but if that occurs, it will be over open waters.

TD12F – It is still a slight tropical disturbance and is not expected to develop into a Tropical Cyclone.

1 YEAR LATER

Tropical Cyclone Winston

On 29 February 2016, children play in the library of a school damaged by Cyclone Winston at the Nabau District School, Ra Province, Fiji. UNICEF/Sohkin.
On 29 February 2016, children play in the library of a school damaged by Cyclone Winston at the Nabau District School, Ra Province, Fiji. UNICEF/Sohkin.

Tropical Cyclone Winston tore through Fiji on February 20-21 last year claiming 44 lives and leaving thousands without shelter, food and safe water.  TC Winston was the most powerful storm ever in the Southern Hemisphere with damages in Fiji estimated at $1.9 billion.

The Government will hold a remembrance service at Albert Park, Suva today.  PM Voreqe Bainimarama said it was important to remember the lives lost one year ago.  SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka said the service was inappropriate as some people were still waiting for government assistance.

POLICE

Nasinu man accused of abduction

Param Vir Maharaj outside the Nasinu Magistrates Court in 2015. Rama / Fiji Sun.
Param Vir Maharaj, 53, is alleged to have abducted two girls aged 12 and 14 years last Saturday. In this photo, Maharaj is standing outside the Nasinu Magistrates Court in 2015. Rama / Fiji Sun.

Police arrested Maharaj early last week and took him to court to apply for an extension to keep him in custody, which was allowed.

He has since been charged with the following:

  • Use Of Certain Titles Or Descriptions Prohibited
  • Personating Public Officers
  • Abduction Of Young Persons
  • Punishment For Wrongful Confinement
  • Traffic In Obscene Publications
  • Indecently Insulting Or Annoying Any Person

In 2015, Maharaj was accused of illegally operating as a doctor from his home in Omkar Road, Nasinu, under the alias ‘Dr Robert’.

Cyber Scams

Scammers promised valuable items such as laptops and acquired contact details; then a few days later asked to pay fees for customs clearance.  A woman in Labasa was duped of $2000 while another woman lost $200 in a separate incident.

Drugs Bust

A Labasa farmer is in custody after a raid seized 1,980 marijuana plants.  A 31-year-old man in Nasolo, Nasinu was also arrested after he was found with 30 rolls of marijuana wrapped in aluminium foil.

Mother informed of post-mortem

Vikrant Nand, 19, died in police custody at the Nakasi Police Station.  His mother believed her son was beaten by police but has been told that he died due to suffocation.  Police maintain Vikrant committed suicide.  He was in custody for allegedly breaching a DVRO and was also being questioned on other matters.

Worker killed by falling glass sheets

A Lautoka man died after 6 sheets of glass crashed down on him. Charles Chambers / Fiji Sun.
A Lautoka man died after 6 sheets of glass crashed down on him. Charles Chambers / Fiji Sun.

MEDIA

NFP claims Government interference in Fiji TV

NFP Leader Dr Biman Prasad alleges that a Fiji One journalist was censured for broadcasting stories “that hurt the Government”.

TOURISM

2016 ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort won three awards at the annual gala event.  PM Bainimarama was the Chief Guest and notably announced that Fiji Airways would soon start a code-sharing agreement with an Indian airline.  Fifteen awards were distributed.

Woman fired for taking food is awarded F$73k

Usha Ram in Vancouver. Jesse Johnson / CBC
Usha Ram immigrated to Canada from Fiji in 1987 and spoke only basic English. Jesse Johnson / CBC.

At the end of a shift, Ram asked her manager in Hindi whether she could take a meal home for free because she’d forgotten her wallet. She thought the manager agreed and took a fish burger, fries, and drink with her. When she came back to work three days later, she was fired. cbc.ca.

TOURISM

Tourism banks on $2.2 billion plan

The government hopes to continue the growth in visitor arrivals and earnings that have been the trend over the past few years. Newswire.

Fiji lands covers of famous magazine

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has a reach of over 60 million readers worldwide.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has a reach of over 60 million readers worldwide.

American actress and model, Kate Upton stars on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazines shot in Fiji.  Tourism Fiji.

FIJIAN ELECTIONS OFFICE

Another party gets a 30-day suspension

The One Fiji Party has been suspended for not submitting its financial statements.  Read the press release.

Elections office wants to buy 900 ballot boxes and hire 17,000 staff

This year, the Fijian Elections Office hopes to commence procurement, training and recruitment in preparation for the 2018 General Elections. Read the press release.

Court upholds NFP suspension

The High Court ruled that the Supervisor of Elections and Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem was correct in suspending the National Federation Party last year. fijivillage.com

Will Fiji First be able to repeat the feat in 2018?

FEO_2014 GENERAL ELECTION SNAPSHOT
An infographic produced by the Fijian Elections Office provides a statistical snapshot of the 2014 General Elections. Click on the image to view a larger version.

BRIEFLY

New seasonal employer in New Zealand

Twelve Workers ready for deployment with Agworks Limited- a new seasonal work employer under the NZ RSE Work Scheme.
The New Zealand bound workers in Suva yesterday. Department of Information.

Agworks Limited, known for contracting worker to major farms in New Zealand, has employed twelve Fijian workers under the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer Work Scheme.  Agworks are based in Napier and hire extensively from Thailand and India.

MURDER

Life in prison for burning 5 people to death

Murder accused Binesh Prasad outside the Suva High Court in April last year. Ronald Kumar
Binesh Prasad, 34, has been sentenced to life in jail for setting fire to a house which killed five people. Ronald Kumar.

Read the full story

Free Medicine Program

  • $10 million annual budget
  • 24,317 individuals registered
  • 142 drugs on the medicine list

Adults with an annual income of less thank $20,000 are eligible to register. More details

RECORD

Intermediate Boys 100m

10.65s

Joseva Tabakaucoro, the younger brother of sprint champion Banuve, set two records at the Marist Brothers High School inter-house athletics competition yesterday. Read more at fijitimes.com

Ministers in New York

caption
The Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni, Minister for Agriculture Hon. Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau, Minister for Forests, Hon. Osea Naiqamu and Minister for Employment Hon. Jone Usamate. Fiji Parliament

The Annual Parliamentary Hearing of the Inter-Parliamentary Union is held at the United Nations headquarters in New York from 13-14 February 2017.

Press Release

AUSTRALIA

Five feared dead after plane crashes into Melbourne shopping center

Air ambulance crash at Essendon DFO in Melbourne, Australia. 9 News / Channel 9
Air ambulance crash at Essendon DFO in Melbourne, Australia. 9 News / Channel 9

A charter plane carrying five people has crashed into the popular Direct Factory Outlet shopping centre in Melbourne, causing a large explosion and sending plumes of black smoke into the air.

ROAD WORKS

Very High Peak, Peak, and Off Peak

Fiji Road Authority is “not pleased” with a contractor carrying out work during the early morning peak along some of Suva’s busiest roads.  CEO John Hutchinson said an increase in car ownership means peak periods have changed, and deteriorating infrastructure mean “a certain degree of road work during peak hours is inevitable.”

POLICE

Nasinu man accused of abduction

Param Vir Maharaj outside the Nasinu Magistrates Court in 2015. Rama / Fiji Sun.
Param Vir Maharaj, 53, is alleged to have abducted two girls aged 12 and 14 years last Saturday. In this photo, Maharaj is standing outside the Nasinu Magistrates Court in 2015. Rama / Fiji Sun.

Police arrested Maharaj early last week and took him to court to apply for an extension to keep him in custody, which was allowed.

He has since been charged with the following:

  • Use Of Certain Titles Or Descriptions Prohibited
  • Personating Public Officers
  • Abduction Of Young Persons
  • Punishment For Wrongful Confinement
  • Traffic In Obscene Publications
  • Indecently Insulting Or Annoying Any Person

In 2015, Maharaj was accused of illegally operating as a doctor from his home in Omkar Road, Nasinu, under the alias ‘Dr Robert’.

Cyber Scams

Scammers promised valuable items such as laptops and acquired contact details; then a few days later asked to pay fees for customs clearance.  A woman in Labasa was duped of $2000 while another woman lost $200 in a separate incident.

Drugs Bust

A Labasa farmer is in custody after a raid seized 1,980 marijuana plants.  A 31-year-old man in Nasolo, Nasinu was also arrested after he was found with 30 rolls of marijuana wrapped in aluminium foil.

MEDIA

NFP claims Government interference in Fiji TV

NFP Leader Dr Biman Prasad alleges that a Fiji One journalist was censured for broadcasting stories “that hurt the Government”.

TOURISM

Tourism banks on $2.2 billion plan

The government hopes to continue the growth in visitor arrivals and earnings that have been the trend over the past few years. Newswire.

Fiji lands covers of famous magazine

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has a reach of over 60 million readers worldwide.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has a reach of over 60 million readers worldwide.

American actress and model, Kate Upton stars on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazines shot in Fiji.  Tourism Fiji.

BRIEFLY

New seasonal employer in New Zealand

Twelve Workers ready for deployment with Agworks Limited- a new seasonal work employer under the NZ RSE Work Scheme.
The New Zealand bound workers in Suva yesterday. Department of Information.

Agworks Limited, known for contracting worker to major farms in New Zealand, has employed twelve Fijian workers under the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer Work Scheme.  Agworks are based in Napier and hire extensively from Thailand and India.

RECORD

Intermediate Boys 100m

10.65s

Joseva Tabakaucoro, the younger brother of sprint champion Banuve, set two records at the Marist Brothers High School inter-house athletics competition yesterday. Read more at fijitimes.com

DROWNING

‘Death Trap’

A woman died after she slipped and fell into a flooded waterway, a place termed by some people as a “death trap” during inclement weather.  Mohini Lata, 49, lost her life at the “Waiyavi waterfall” in Lautoka at about 5 pm on Sunday.

WEATHER

Three systems being monitored

Fiji MET.
Fiji MET.

TD14F – It is now a tropical depression and was analysed approximately 130km north-west of Labasa. Active rainbands with strong winds associated will come our way.  Expect occasional rain, heavy at times and few thunderstorms with moderate to fresh south-east winds. Winds will be strong and gusty at times.

TD15F – This system is now a Tropical Depression, analysed approximately 670km West of Rarotonga. TD15F has a moderate to high probability of developing to a Tropical Cyclone, but if that occurs, it will be over open waters.

TD12F – It is still a slight tropical disturbance and is not expected to develop into a Tropical Cyclone.

Mother informed of post-mortem

Vikrant Nand, 19, died in police custody at the Nakasi Police Station.  His mother believed her son was beaten by police but has been told that he died due to suffocation.  Police maintain Vikrant committed suicide.  He was in custody for allegedly breaching a DVRO and was also being questioned on other matters.

TOURISM

2016 ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort won three awards at the annual gala event.  PM Bainimarama was the Chief Guest and notably announced that Fiji Airways would soon start a code-sharing agreement with an Indian airline.  Fifteen awards were distributed.

FIJIAN ELECTIONS OFFICE

Another party gets a 30-day suspension

The One Fiji Party has been suspended for not submitting its financial statements.  Read the press release.

Elections office wants to buy 900 ballot boxes and hire 17,000 staff

This year, the Fijian Elections Office hopes to commence procurement, training and recruitment in preparation for the 2018 General Elections. Read the press release.

Court upholds NFP suspension

The High Court ruled that the Supervisor of Elections and Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem was correct in suspending the National Federation Party last year. fijivillage.com

MURDER

Life in prison for burning 5 people to death

Murder accused Binesh Prasad outside the Suva High Court in April last year. Ronald Kumar
Binesh Prasad, 34, has been sentenced to life in jail for setting fire to a house which killed five people. Ronald Kumar.

Read the full story

Ministers in New York

caption
The Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni, Minister for Agriculture Hon. Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau, Minister for Forests, Hon. Osea Naiqamu and Minister for Employment Hon. Jone Usamate. Fiji Parliament

The Annual Parliamentary Hearing of the Inter-Parliamentary Union is held at the United Nations headquarters in New York from 13-14 February 2017.

Press Release

POLICE

Water Safety

A 42-year-old Ba farmer is missing after falling off his horse while trying to cross to Benai River on Monday afternoon.  The man was washed away by strong currents and police are still searching for him.  He was accompanied by his 21-year-old nephew at the time of the incident.

Relocation

The Lautoka Police Station has moved to the Matanakilagi  House at M.N. Naidu Road.  The Market and Shirley Community Post will continue to receive reports as usual.

1 YEAR LATER

Tropical Cyclone Winston

On 29 February 2016, children play in the library of a school damaged by Cyclone Winston at the Nabau District School, Ra Province, Fiji. UNICEF/Sohkin.
On 29 February 2016, children play in the library of a school damaged by Cyclone Winston at the Nabau District School, Ra Province, Fiji. UNICEF/Sohkin.

Tropical Cyclone Winston tore through Fiji on February 20-21 last year claiming 44 lives and leaving thousands without shelter, food and safe water.  TC Winston was the most powerful storm ever in the Southern Hemisphere with damages in Fiji estimated at $1.9 billion.

The Government will hold a remembrance service at Albert Park, Suva today.  PM Voreqe Bainimarama said it was important to remember the lives lost one year ago.  SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka said the service was inappropriate as some people were still waiting for government assistance.

Worker killed by falling glass sheets

A Lautoka man died after 6 sheets of glass crashed down on him. Charles Chambers / Fiji Sun.
A Lautoka man died after 6 sheets of glass crashed down on him. Charles Chambers / Fiji Sun.

Woman fired for taking food is awarded F$73k

Usha Ram in Vancouver. Jesse Johnson / CBC
Usha Ram immigrated to Canada from Fiji in 1987 and spoke only basic English. Jesse Johnson / CBC.

At the end of a shift, Ram asked her manager in Hindi whether she could take a meal home for free because she’d forgotten her wallet. She thought the manager agreed and took a fish burger, fries, and drink with her. When she came back to work three days later, she was fired. cbc.ca.

Will Fiji First be able to repeat the feat in 2018?

FEO_2014 GENERAL ELECTION SNAPSHOT
An infographic produced by the Fijian Elections Office provides a statistical snapshot of the 2014 General Elections. Click on the image to view a larger version.

Free Medicine Program

  • $10 million annual budget
  • 24,317 individuals registered
  • 142 drugs on the medicine list

Adults with an annual income of less thank $20,000 are eligible to register. More details