Members of Parliament respond to the President's Address

Members of Parliament respond to the President's Address

By fijivillage
Monday 13/02/2023

While opening the new parliament session, President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere says the government is drafting plans for the revival of medical and hospital services by improving and maintaining facilities, services, and skills training in patient care.


It is astounding that Tabuya didn't acknowledge the atrocities against our women in 1987- Koya

Claims made by Kumar were incorrect- Tabuya
By Karishma Kumari
Thursday 16/02/2023
FijiFirst MP, Faiyaz Koya and Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Lynda Tabuya

FijiFirst MP, Faiyaz Koya says it is very hurtful and astounding that the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Lynda Tabuya could not and didn't even want to acknowledge the atrocities that were committed against our women in 1987.

He also says it even hurts the most that she used an example of a 10 year-old-girl to talk about women who were abused.

However while responding to Koya's claims, Tabuya stresses that he is attempting to change what she had said in parliament yesterday and that reports raised by the former Minister for Education Premila Kumar were incorrect.

Tabuya says there were reports of atrocities from the 2000 coup under the leadership of former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama who was the commander and not from 1987 as Kumar is claiming.


Koya then said if Kumar is referring to the abuses faced in 1987, then all she had to do was to speak to the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali.




I fully recognize the seriousness of gender based violence, and the impact it has on individuals, families, and communities - Tabuya

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 16/02/2023
Minister of Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, Lynda Tabuya [Image: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji]

While my speech at the parliament may have been misinterpreted, I want to make it clear that I fully recognize the seriousness of gender based violence, and the impact it has on individuals, families, and communities.

Those are Minister of Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, Lynda Tabuya's comments in response to comments made by Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali.

Tabuya says she is determined and firmly committed to confront the issue of gender-based violence in our country.

She says she understands the struggle of survivors of such violence, as well as the cultural and institutional difficulties they encounter in reporting and navigating the justice system.

Tabuya says it is a sad reality that, many survivors of gender-based violence do not report their experiences, and those who do frequently confront increasing barriers to access justice and life saving services.

She says her approach is to strengthen survivor-centered approaches, which prioritize the needs, rights and experiences of survivors, and work towards ending violence against all women and girls in Fiji.   Tabuya believes that in order to make meaningful progress, we need to have a thorough understanding of data related to gender based violence.

She says this will assist them in identifying the most effective strategies and interventions, and ensure to stop violence before it starts while providing the right support to those who need it the most.

The Minister says her ommitment to the cause is unwavering, and she will work relentlessly to ensure that the voices of gender based violence survivors in all diversity are heard, their rights are safeguarded, their experiences are recognized and they received justice.

Tabuya says we can and must work together to make Fiji a safer and more just and equitable place for all.


Stop getting political mileage out of women’s bodies and opening old wounds, and re-traumatizing the survivors - Ali

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 16/02/2023
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali is urging politicians to stop getting political mileage out of women’s bodies and opening old wounds, and re-traumatizing the survivors.

While responding to issues discussed by Minister for Women, Lynda Tabuya and FijiFirst MP, Premila Kumar, Ali urged all our leaders to learn about the dynamics and culture of rape.

She says stop reinforcing the rape myths and urges all those who are survivors of rape and all forms of violence in 1987 or at any other time that there is help available.

Ali says people can call the 24-hour toll free helpline on 1560 or contact the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre at any time.

She stresses that this is a new era after 16 years of oppression so please let us heal rather than open old wounds.

Ali also urges the Speaker of Parliament and the Leaders of both sides of parliament to arrange for gender sensitization sessions for all parliamentarians.

She says as the experts in the nation and the region, FWCC stands ready to help in any way they can to alleviate women and girls suffering.





Stop getting political mileage out of women’s bodies and opening old wounds, and re-traumatizing the survivors - Ali

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 16/02/2023
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali is urging politicians to stop getting political mileage out of women’s bodies and opening old wounds, and re-traumatizing the survivors.

While responding to issues discussed by Minister for Women, Lynda Tabuya and FijiFirst MP, Premila Kumar, Ali urged all our leaders to learn about the dynamics and culture of rape.

She says stop reinforcing the rape myths and urges all those who are survivors of rape and all forms of violence in 1987 or at any other time that there is help available.

Ali says people can call the 24-hour toll free helpline on 1560 or contact the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre at any time.

She stresses that this is a new era after 16 years of oppression so please let us heal rather than open old wounds.

Ali also urges the Speaker of Parliament and the Leaders of both sides of parliament to arrange for gender sensitization sessions for all parliamentarians.

She says as the experts in the nation and the region, FWCC stands ready to help in any way they can to alleviate women and girls suffering.


I fully recognize the seriousness of gender based violence, and the impact it has on individuals, families, and communities - Tabuya

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 16/02/2023
Minister of Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, Lynda Tabuya [Image: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji]

While my speech at the parliament may have been misinterpreted, I want to make it clear that I fully recognize the seriousness of gender based violence, and the impact it has on individuals, families, and communities.

Those are Minister of Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, Lynda Tabuya's comments in response to comments made by Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali.

Tabuya says she is determined and firmly committed to confront the issue of gender-based violence in our country.

She says she understands the struggle of survivors of such violence, as well as the cultural and institutional difficulties they encounter in reporting and navigating the justice system.

Tabuya says it is a sad reality that, many survivors of gender-based violence do not report their experiences, and those who do frequently confront increasing barriers to access justice and life saving services.

She says her approach is to strengthen survivor-centered approaches, which prioritize the needs, rights and experiences of survivors, and work towards ending violence against all women and girls in Fiji. Tabuya believes that in order to make meaningful progress, we need to have a thorough understanding of data related to gender based violence.

She says this will assist them in identifying the most effective strategies and interventions, and ensure to stop violence before it starts while providing the right support to those who need it the most.

The Minister says her ommitment to the cause is unwavering, and she will work relentlessly to ensure that the voices of gender based violence survivors in all diversity are heard, their rights are safeguarded, their experiences are recognized and they received justice.

Tabuya says we can and must work together to make Fiji a safer and more just and equitable place for all.




My faith tells me that we are all equal in the eyes of God – Naupoto

FijiFirst MP highlights concern for the security of the nation
By Navitalai Naivalurua
Thursday 16/02/2023
FijiFirst MP Viliame Naupoto

FijiFirst MP Viliame Naupoto says Christian is not the label of the nation but it is a label attached to a person who confesses to be a Christian and practices the value of Christianity.

While responding to the President’s opening speech, Naupoto says the word Christian was thrown around during the election campaign while some promised that it will be included in the Constitution replacing the current secular state with a Christian state.

He says secular state means that the State is neutral when it comes to religion.

The former RFMF Commander says there is a risk that when we attach religion to our identity as a nation, it manifests into pride and we look down on those that may practice other religions or no religion at all.

He says he is a Christian and his faith tells him that we are all equal in the eyes of God.

He adds that discrimination of any form has no place in our beloved nation.

Naupoto also highlighted his concern for the security of the nation as there are clear indications that the ingredients that came together and ignited into the chaos in 2000 are surfacing again.

He says social media is being widely used as the vehicle to propagate conspiracy theories and misinformation and it is also wreaking havoc within our people.

Naupoto also says how dare the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Lynda Tabuya ask for evidence in relation to the raping of Indo Fijian women during the 1987 coup because whatever is uttered in Parliament is made public.

He says this happened during the 1987 and 2000 coups.

He also called on the Members of Parliament to ensure whatever has been highlighted in Parliament, should be the truth because thousands of Fijians are listening and watching them.

He has also apologised to those that he has removed or blocked from his social media account.




Bia questions the government why there is no holiday for Melanesians

By Iliana Biutu
Thursday 16/02/2023
Opposition MP Aliki Bia

Opposition MP Aliki Bia has questioned the government why there is no allocated day to commemorate the arrival of the Melanesians to our shores in the late 1800s.

Bia quoted the President's speech about the two new public holidays to commemorate the arrival of the Girmityas in 1879 and Ratu Sukuna Day.

He adds Fiji is a multi-ethnic nation and the introducing of multi-ethnic policies and ideas will end the separation of people.

Bia states there are close to 30 settlements of Solomoni and Vanuatu around Fiji, none of these communities has secured their land ownership of where they lived, and many of their generations called Fiji a home.

He says all parliamentarians need to engage themselves with positive talanoa of ideas that will move the nation forward and bring prosperity to the nation.

Bia says he will ensure that everything promised to the people of Fiji must be delivered with equality.

He thanked the previous government for calling everyone Fijian.




I’m discovering wastage, some even bordering on financial negligence and abuse – Prof.Prasad

The regime and FijiFirst Govt borrowed a whopping $7 billion in 16 years – Deputy PM
By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 16/02/2023
Coalition Government’s Finance Minister, Professor Biman Prasad

As the Coalition Government’s Finance Minister, Professor Biman Prasad says he is discovering areas of how wastage was happening during the previous government’s term, some even bordering on financial negligence and abuse of authority.

While responding to the President’s speech in parliament, Professor Prasad says the cases of wastage, negligence and abuse will be revealed in the near future.

He says economic growth and financial stability are dependent on accountability and transparency, the two vital features of good governance sorely lacking in the last 16 years.

The Deputy Prime Minister says the Coalition Government will soon hold a National Economic Summit and outline its plans for the future.

Professor Prasad also says they are not daunted by the $10 billion debt because they assured the nation they will fix it.

He says during the last 16 years, the regime and FijiFirst Government borrowed a whopping $7 billion.

Professor Prasad says over the next 4 years, the Coalition Government will secure $1 billion worth of investments in our tourism sector, grow the sugar and agriculture industry into a billion dollar industry, target $1 billion worth of investments in climate and into our blue economy, secure a billion dollars in manufacturing and food processing, work with banks to reduce transaction costs and keep our remittance above $1 billion annually, cut government expenditure by $1 billion and reduce our debt by $1 billion.

The Deputy Prime Minister says they will grow our economy; share the prosperity and reduce the national debt.



Prof.Prasad says what was scripted for Ketan Lal was derogatory and inciteful while Lal accuses NFP on being silent

By Rashika Kumar, Vijay Narayan
Thursday 16/02/2023
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad and FijiFirst MP, Ketan Lal

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad says FijiFirst MP, Ketan Lal will probably not realise what was scripted for him was not only derogatory but inciteful after Lal said Prasad and his party continue to say nothing about the secular state review.

While responding to the President’s opening speech in Parliament, Lal had said NFP is essentially selling out the small number of Fijians who voted for them and indeed selling out Hindus all over the world.

He says he wonders if Professor Prasad, Charan Jeeth Singh, Agni Deo Singh and Sashi Kiran understand what their overlords at the People’s Alliance are doing.

The former FNUSA President says it is no surprise that the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi gave him a goose step in India and did not even meet him.

Lal says perhaps Professor Prasad believes that the society is becoming immoral because people of faiths are allowed to participate in free religious practice and probably that is why his own party is silent while the rest of the supporters suffer with the rest of Fiji.

He says this attack on secular state is uncalled for and the 1987 tactics used to divide the people are once again being used.

Lal further says the international community which include the Regional Representative Pacific for UN Human Rights Office, Resident Co-coordinator for the UN, the Australian, New Zealand, UK, US and Indian Embassies are silent.

He says the media, who for years falsely cried about media restrictions are silent because half of them are public relations experts for the People’s Alliance and NFP while the other half are afraid to be illegally victimised.

Meanwhile, Professor Prasad says the fact that the World Hindi Conference is being held in Fiji and the Prime Minister with Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica and he have decided that they are going to recognise Girmit as a national holiday shows that this Coalition Government is an inclusive serious government, understanding that this is a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation.

Professor Prasad says Lal has suddenly become a small parrot for the General Secretary of the FijiFirst Party and the attacks are coming from someone who kept his mouth shut when Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum attacked the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

The Deputy Prime Minister says that not long ago, Lal was campaigning for the NFP in 2018 and he does not know what has happened to him suddenly.

Professor Prasad adds this government is trying to bring the people together and FijiFirst did nothing in the last 8 years to bring people together.

He says that we have seen political parties come and disappear and he wants to remind Lal that NFP is going to be 60-years-old this year and is the oldest political party in the South Pacific.

The Deputy Prime Minister adds comments like this is not going to make a dent on their philosophy and idea on what Fiji should be.




Funds assigned for social scheme was used to pay Ministry’s staff overtime – Tabuya

FFP’s entire campaign ran on sowing seeds of fear and hatred against our leader - Tabuya
By Navitalai Naivalurua
Thursday 16/02/2023
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Lynda Tabuya Photo: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Lynda Tabuya has revealed in parliament that the money assigned for rural pregnant mothers and pensions was diverted to pay for the Ministry’s staff overtime.

While responding to the President’s speech, Tabuya says this was some of the things they found while sifting through the mess, wastage and overspending that the previous government has left them with.

She says they found that a lot of the overtime had been accumulated in the months before the elections.

The Minister says what was frustrating to find was that money assigned for rural pregnant mothers and pensions were diverted to pay for this overtime and she has put a stop to this.

She adds the Social Pension Scheme had a shortfall of $3 million and these shortfalls carried on into bus fare programs which the short-sighted FijiFirst government had rushed to implement before elections without realising the disastrous impact automatic top-ups would have on the budget.

Tabuya says, for this reason, they have changed the system to a user-pay system and not accumulation based.

The Minister also highlighted the coalition government has had to appoint people in acting positions that they trust to carry out the work.

She says the government is well within its power to appoint these “acting” positions as they await the application and tender processes for those positions and do the job the public expects from them.

In regards to ensuring children a safe, nurtured, and empowered to reach their full potential, Tabuya says the ministry plans to establish a specialised Department of Children that is fully equipped and prepared to uphold the commitments outlined in our laws and regulations.

She says it is imperative that they work in partnership with government ministries and civil societies to ensure they raise the visibility of children and keep up with Fiji’s obligations to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Minister also highlighted that Fiji is finally free of 16 years of fear, intimidation, victimisation, and unjust control.

She claims that the entire campaign of FijiFirst ran on sowing seeds of fear and hatred against their leader.

FijiFirst MP, Mosese Bulitavu today requested that some of Tabuya’s comments should be removed in relation to the sowing of seeds of division and rape of Indo Fijian women, as they are lies.

Speaker, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu says the minutes of the meeting is edited in 7 days as part of the process, and they will take note of Bulitavu’s comments.




We have a shortage of primary and secondary school teachers - Radrodro

By Rashika Kumar
Thursday 16/02/2023
[Image: File Photo]

There is a shortage of primary and secondary school teachers as disgruntled teachers have sought better opportunities offshore, leaving behind a shortage of skilled and experienced teachers.

This has been highlighted by the Minister for Education Aseri Radrodro in Parliament while responding to the President’s opening speech.

Radrodro says at the end of the day, students suffer when committed and passionate teachers become scarce.

He says there is a total of 865 Early Childhood Education centres and 736 primary schools around the country, and as such, there is a teacher shortage at the primary school level.

The Minister says right now, there are 335 secondary school teachers who are teaching in primary schools, and this should not be happening as primary education is a specialised field in itself.

He says while the shortage of primary school teachers was being experienced nationwide, primary school teachers were being retired at 55. The Minister says another concern is the lack of specialists in the field of Special and Inclusive Education.

Radrodro says consultations will be carried out with teacher training institutions, relevant Non-Government Organisations and donor partners to devise strategies to better support and strengthen pre-service and in-service teacher education to meet the needs in these areas.

He further says there are 175 secondary schools, 11 of which are government schools and while student numbers continue to grow over the years, the education sector continues to lose teachers through resignations and migration to schools overseas.

Radrodro says maths, computer, physics, PEMAC, industrial arts and office technology are some of the subject areas that are in need of teachers.

He says the Ministry has already received interests from teachers over 55 who are willing to continue providing their services.




Stop harassing our supporters, especially our youth members - Koroilavesau

By Iliana Biutu, Navitalai Naivalurua
Wednesday 15/02/2023
FijiFirst Party MP Semi Koroilavesau

FijiFirst Party MP, Semi Koroilavesau has called on the Minister for Home Affairs to stop using the Fiji Police Force in harassing FijiFirst supporters and to advance his political ambition.

While responding to the President’s opening speech, Koroilavesau claimed that a special branch of the Police has been following FijiFirst supporters, especially their youth members.

He reiterated that now more than ever, we must be united as one nation and strengthen our resolve together to meet our collective challenges.

The former Minister says we must look after each other, especially those that are less fortunate and most vulnerable in society.

He adds that the coalition government must practice good governance.

Koroilavesau also called on the government to make true to the promises they made during the campaign.

He says the government is not following the democratic process and is far from being transparent and accountable, as they are only giving jobs to their supporters and failed candidates that did not make it into parliament.

We have sought comments from Police regarding the claims made by the FijiFirst Party. They are yet to respond.

Home Affairs Minister, Pio Tikoduadua says he is clearly not the defacto Police Commissioner and these are efforts by the FijiFirst Leader to bring uncertainty.



There is no cause for alarm - Tikoduadua

Home Affairs Minister meets Army Commander
By Vijay Narayan, Rashika Kumar
Wednesday 15/02/2023
Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua

There is no cause for alarm regarding the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and the call made by the Leader of the Opposition, Voreqe Bainimarama to the RFMF in his parliament speech.

Those are the comments of Home Affairs Minister, Pio Tikoduadua who met with Army Commander, Major General Jone Kalouniwai.

Tikoduadua says the parliament will handle Bainimarama’s comments while the RFMF is focused doing it’s work.

The Parliamentary Privileges Committee is meeting to deal with Bainimarama’s comments.



Ministry of Housing to strengthen collaboration with private and public sectors, and improve the standard of housing in Fiji - Qereqeretabua

By Mosese Raqio
Wednesday 15/02/2023
Assistant Minister for Housing and Local Government, Lenora Qereqeretabua

Shelter is a fundamental human need, so naturally, housing affordability and accessibility is a major issue and the Government will work to strengthen collaboration with the private and public sectors to improve the standard of housing in Fiji.

This was highlighted by the Assistant Minister for Housing and Local Government, Lenora Qereqeretabua in her speech in parliament today.

She says the Housing Authority continues to provide housing assistance to low and middle-income earning families, first-time house owners, fire-affected families and people living with disabilities and upgrading informal settlements.

The Minister says it is no surprise that the housing sector continues to face challenges that impact their roles as service providers.

She adds the demand for housing is increasing however there is not enough supply to meet it.

Qereqeretabua says their ultimate goal is improving the lives of all Fijians and aims to increase access to affordable and quality housing for low and middle-earning income families.

She further says the ministry will be realigning the strategies to address the challenges the housing sector faces.

Qereqeretabua says the upgrade of informal settlements will continue for 12 settlements, 4 in the central division, 7 in the western division and 1 in the Northern division.

The Minister says the government’s priority is to issue the 99-year lease to the three informal settlements that have been upgraded this year and for the 451 households that have been living in the hope for land tenure and security for a long time.

She says there is a lot of work to be done and they hope that both sides of the house will work together for the betterment of the people of Fiji.



Majority of the health care facilities are in a poor state – Dr Lalabalavu

Dr Lalabalavu says 807 nurses resigned last year
By Navitalai Naivalurua
Wednesday 15/02/2023
Minister for Health Dr Atonio Lalabalavu

Minister for Health Dr Atonio Lalabalavu has revealed in Parliament that majority of the health care facilities are in a poor state with damaged infrastructure, an insufficient program for maintenance and upkeep, poor water, hygiene, and sanitation facilities.

He also revealed that last year alone, 807 nurses resigned from the Ministry.

While responding to the President’s opening speech, Dr Lalabalavu says they have managed to visit over 50 health care facilities around the country and this visit has informed him about two key elements essential to their vision for excellence in health care.

He says they will prioritize improving and maintaining the 220 health facilities and the associated infrastructure, and in doing so, they can improve the environment where health care is delivered to our people and also improve the working environment for the medical staff who are sent to these facilities to live, work and serve the people of Fiji.

The Minister says they will place greater emphasis on providing these facilities with better access to water, sanitation and hygiene, power, and internet connectivity wherever possible, in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

He highlighted that the Ministry has come under the spotlight lately and has been scrutinized by the media and members of the public on social media due to its infrastructure.

In regards to medical professionals resigning, the Minister says this is an issue they cannot shy away from and requires a multi-sectoral approach.

He adds they will work together with the wider Ministry and Health Facility leadership teams and with government to look for solutions to these issues.

The Minister also acknowledged all 7,000 health workers serving around Fiji and thank them for their commitment and efforts in seeing our nation through one of its most turbulent times – fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the last 3 years and keeping it at bay, which we are continuing to do today.



Civil society sector was under attack from the previous Govt when they were assisting those in need - Kiran

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Tuesday 14/02/2023
Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Sashi Kiran [Image: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji]

Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Sashi Kiran revealed in Parliament that the civil society sector was under attack from the previous Government, even though they were doing their best to provide relief and care to the communities in need.

While responding to the President’s opening speech, Kiran says she comes from the NGO sector, and she has more than two decades of experience working with rural communities and vulnerable families to provide them with social, economic and health empowerment opportunities.

She hopes with the experience she has, she can work with every sector and agency to achieve the Ministry’s goals and targets.

The Assistant Minister says she never thought of surviving in Government machinery and bureaucracy because her plan was for a FRIEND board member to be part of Parliament, and they would raise their issues to him.

However, she says that the political persecution of leaders and people who have committed their lives to this nation forced her to change course.

Kiran says the many issues impacting our most vulnerable people had to be brought to a national level.

She says during the pandemic, she worked extensively with the Commissioner Western’s Office to get resources to those affected both by the pandemic as well as various natural disasters.

She further says they worked across their networks with civil society organisations and faith-based groups. The Minister adds in those difficult days, they tried to support the Ministry of Health, even while the Government attacked and belittled them.



Restoration of the GCC does not seek to place indigenous rights above those of other communities - Ditoka

By Rashika Kumar
Tuesday 14/02/2023
Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Sakiasi Ditoka outside parliament yesterday

The restoration of the Great Council of Chiefs does not seek to place indigenous rights above those of other communities according to Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Sakiasi Ditoka.

While quoting the late Justice Jai Ram Reddy, Ditoka says the GCC is a body for all people who call Fiji home.

In his response to President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s opening speech in Parliament, Ditoka says the President recognized the rights of the indigenous people of Fiji.

Ditoka says he celebrates the decision to restore the GCC, traditionally the apex of the vanua.

He says the recent “veisiko” or visitation to the President by the Vanua of Bau and viral picture of Turaga i Taukei Bolatagane and the Turaga Taukei Mataiwelagi expressing themselves in joyful greeting is a beautiful reminder of the good times we have ahead of us.

The Minister further says they have had a long and gruelling campaign and harsh words have been exchanged by all parties.

He says it is now time to pool resources and work together for the good of our beloved Fiji.

Meanwhile, Ditoka has also confirmed his Ministry is embarking on the process to develop the National Rural Development Policy which will guide and set the model, concepts and strategies for rural and maritime development in Fiji.

He says Rural Development Policy can be broadly defined as all aspects of state action that, directly or indirectly, influence the nature of economics and social development in rural areas.



Coalition government aims to realign the economy, and it's not the time to sit and dance for too long - Immanuel

By Marika Rasekaseka
Monday 13/02/2023
Assistant Minister for Finance, Esrom Immanuel Photo: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji

This coalition government has got the important task of realigning the economy after 16 years of leadership of the FijiFirst Government, and it's not the time to sit and dance for too long.

The Assistant Minister for Finance, Esrom Immanuel highlighted this during his opening speech in Parliament and said that based on the era of uncertainty and dramatic changes in the world affecting world trade and prices, there is a need to build unity through social cohesion among all Fijians.

Immanuel says Fijians should work together towards the common goal of improving the lives of all its citizens.

He says we must proceed at a certain pace that will help our economy grow for the betterment of our future and our resources.

He adds that looking at what has been provided by the elders of Fiji, the leaders should work together to bring prosperity to our future.

The Assistant Minister for Finance says there may be differences, but we choose to forgive and forget and focus on our similarities as Fijian citizens.

Click here for the full Parliament Coverage



Bulitavu attacks PA regarding SODELPA management vote

We have no interest in running any other party - Ditoka
By Navitalai Naivalurua
Monday 13/02/2023
FijiFirst MP, Mosese Bulitavu and People’s Alliance General Secretary Sakiasi Ditoka

FijiFirst MP, Mosese Bulitavu attacked the People’s Alliance in parliament regarding the SODELPA management board opting to form a coalition with the PA.

Before responding to the President’s speech in parliament, Bulitavu claimed that a member who campaigned for PA in Savusavu was part of the SODELPA management board meeting.

He says he thought those types of political tactics were no longer part of the People’s Alliance.

Bulitavu also says that the coalition is in power by default.

Responding to Bulitavu’s comment, People’s Alliance General Secretary Sakiasi Ditoka says they have no interest in running any other party.

Click here for the full Parliament Coverage



Dr Waqainabete evades questions on CWM Hospital

By Mosese Raqio, Alipate Narawa
Monday 13/02/2023
Former Minister of Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete leaving parliament.

Attempts to get comments from former Minister of Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete regarding the state of the CWM Hospital were unsuccessful after he evaded a media interview after the parliament session today.

fijivillage News has been trying to get a response from Dr Waqainabete about why the state of the country’s major hospital was in a poor state and deteriorating during his time as Minister for Health.

The media was invited on a tour of the country’s major hospital and it is found to be in dire need of repair work with many of the windows and mosquito screens broken, many of the toilets needing plumbing and electrical works done, fans broken, the lifts not working, ceilings in several departments caving in and dysfunctional air conditioning units.

The Medical Superintendent Doctor Luke Nasedra says they have been given the assurance that they are looking at a time frame of three months to fix it.



Deputy PM says he will not comment on whether Bainimarama allegedly breached standing orders when attacking the President

By Vijay Narayan, Alipate Narawa
Monday 13/02/2023
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for External Trade, Manoa Kamikamica, President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere and Leader of the Opposition Voreqe Bainimarama

Deputy Prime Minister, Manoa Kamikamica says he will not comment on whether the coalition government will raise the issue of Leader of the Opposition, Voreqe Bainimarama allegedly breaching parliamentary standing orders when he attacked President, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere in his speech.

Section 62 of the standing orders says when speaking a member must not impute improper motives to any other member.

It says the President’s name may not be introduced to influence Parliament or any committee, the conduct of members, the President, the Chief Justice (performing the functions of the office of President under section 88 of the Constitution), members of the judiciary, or other persons acting in a judicial capacity must not be raised, except on a motion with notice introduced with the Speaker’s permission.

In any other situation, reference to the conduct of any of these individuals is out of order.

The standing orders also says it is out of order for a member, when speaking, to use offensive words against Parliament or another member; treasonable words; seditious words; or words that are likely to promote or provoke feelings of ill-will or hostility between communities or ethnic groups within Fiji.

Click here for the full Parliament Coverage




Bala questions the coalition government on the increase of minimum wage rate as promised

By Krishneel Nair
Monday 13/02/2023
Opposition and FijiFirst MP Praveen Bala

Opposition Member of Parliament, Parveen Bala today attacked the Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad and the coalition government in parliament for allegedly failing to uphold their pre-election promise of increasing the minimum wage rate to $5 to $6 an hour.

Bala says he promised $4 an hour, which came into effect on the 1st of January this year.

He says the workers are asking him about the increase in minimum wage rate promised by the coalition government.

Bala also says he has told the Fijians to ask the Minister for Finance about the promises made during their election campaign.

He further says the former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama continues to inspire and motivate him, as he enters his third term in parliament.

Bala adds he has thick skin and he will not resign.

The FijiFirst MP also says he will be contesting the town council elections.

He says the Coalition Government is suddenly quiet on inflation and their promise to bring down the prices of goods and services.

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Govt and Opposition have many differences, but we share a common interest, which is the welfare of the people - PM

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Monday 13/02/2023
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka [Image: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji]

Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka says there are many opportunities for Government and the Opposition to adopt a united approach, jointly develop legislation and pursue other initiatives for the common good.

While responding to the President’s opening speech in Parliament, Rabuka says the People’s Coalition Government and the Opposition have many differences, but they share a common interest and duty, which is the welfare of the people, and policies and measures that will benefit them and the nation as a whole.

He hopes they can work together on policies to better protect Fiji’s children, eliminate violence against women, improve services in municipalities, provide better opportunities, inspire our sports people and alleviate the level of poverty in the country.

The Prime Minister assures Members of Parliament that the Government will continue to ensure that Fiji’s democracy will function properly and they fulfill their democratic obligations to the people of Fiji.

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Hard work of the RFMF is now being undermined by Govt and the President has failed the people – Bainimarama

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 13/02/2023
Leader of the Opposition Voreqe Bainimarama [Image: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji]

Leader of the Opposition, Voreqe Bainimarama says President, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere has failed the Fijian people and he will go down in history as the person who aided and abetted the most incompetent and divisive government

He also says unfortunately, he has to inform the rank and file of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces that all the philosophical commitment and years of hard work of the RFMF is now being undermined and disregarded by this Government.

While responding to the President’s speech in parliament, Bainimarama says the President who we looked up to because we believed that he genuinely believed in the values and principles of Constitution has done an about turn.

The Opposition Leader says Fijians, in particular the weak and vulnerable, those who want actual and practical implementation of the rule of law, those who want the practical implementation of the Constitution and those Fijians who want socio-economic stability, all look up to the RFMF to guarantee these if and when it is under threat.

He appealed to the rank and file of the RFMF to preserve their manna, to maintain their credibility and their calling and not forsake their constitutional role.

Bainimarama says he wishes to inform the RFMF that its gift and legacy, the Fijian Constitution, is being ignored and bashed on a daily basis and the current Prime Minister wants, what the RFMF worked so hard for, removed.

The Opposition Leader went on to say that the recent FBC saga epitomizes the disaster and chaos that is unfolding rather rapidly under the Rabuka led government.

Bainimarama says we have the matanigasau farce as it is making a mockery of iTaukei culture.

He says the amount of matanigasaus, sevusevus, salusalus we have seen in the past few weeks can be summarized as, not only self-glorification but the denigration and commodification of iTaukei culture.

The Opposition Leader also says the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are at loggerheads over the question of a mini budget.

Bainimarama goes on to say the Fijian public are further subjected to frightening information about the Prime Minister’s secret think tank group who without any proper appointment or authority subject countless civil servants with illegal daily instructions which are only followed because of the fear of threats of phone tapping and victimization.

He also claims the government continues to appoint their cronies and failed candidates to jobs without these positions being advertised or applications and interviews being undertaken.

Bainimarama also claimed in parliament that the “love all” Rabuka government doesn’t see the irony in constantly preaching about freedom of speech, free media and lecturing Fijians about not fearing anyone but at the same time taking in activists and following lawyers and journalists at night and stopping them and questioning them gestapo/nazi style because they are apparently ‘persons of interest’.

He claims all of this under the watch of Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua who he says appears to now be the defacto Commissioner of Police.

The Opposition Leader also paid tribute to the former Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, who he says is a professional with international acclaim and a man who proficiently conducted 3 successful elections.

He also thanked the Electoral Commissioners and all the relevant development and bilateral partners including the co-chairs, Australia, India and Indonesia of the Multinational Observer Group who all ensured that we successfully conducted the 2022 General Elections.

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Govt has not been racist and also values freedom of expression – Kamikamica

I urge Bainimarama to look deep in his heart and try and work on uniting Fiji – Deputy PM
By Vijay Narayan
Monday 13/02/2023
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for External Trade, Co-operatives and SMEs, Manoa Kamikamica

Deputy Prime Minister, Manoa Kamikamica has hit out at the Leader of the Opposition, Voreqe Bainimarama, saying the coalition government has not been racist and also values freedom of expression unlike the Bainimarama led government.

While reacting to Bainimarama’s comments in parliament today, Kamikamica says the Opposition Leader keeps harping about FijiFirst getting the most votes but he should understand that majority of the people of Fiji did not vote for the FijiFirst.

Kamikamica says the country is facing a lot of challenges and Rabuka is willing to work with Bainimarama.

He says the coalition government has been nothing but inclusive on virtually everything.

The Deputy Prime Minister says Bainimarama’s comments that freedom of expression is under threat, is also misleading.

Kamikamica says Bainimarama is being misinformed as they are doing their utmost to follow the processes.

He says if you compare to what Bainimarama did in 2006, they virtually sacked everybody and chose their own people.

The Deputy Prime Minister says the Solicitor General, Sharvada Sharma is the recent example of being fired without due process.

He says sometimes some leaders are forgetful and in this case, it would be wise for Bainimarama to look at his own record before he picks on another administration.

Kamikamica also stresses that President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere under the constitution has the right to choose with the advice of the government.

He says the bulk of the President’s speech was about unity and he urges Bainimarama to look deep in his heart and try and work on uniting the country as we have big problems to solve.

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Bainimarama attacks President in parliament for allegedly failing to protect the Constitution and failing to provide guidance to the RFMF

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 13/02/2023
Leader of the Opposition Voreqe Bainimarama

Leader of the Opposition, Voreqe Bainimarama today attacked President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere in parliament for allegedly failing to protect the 2013 Constitution and failing as a Commander-in-Chief to provide guidance to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

He says the Fiji today does not care to follow the rule of law.

While responding to the President’s opening speech in Parliament, Bainimarama alleged that we now have a Fiji where the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and the Ministers do not follow the Constitution which brought them into parliament in the first place.

The Opposition Leader says they make their rules and disregard the law as and when it suits them.

He also says freedom of expression is now under threat.

The Opposition Leader says the comments “Let Love Shine” is the biggest con job, idiotic and hypocritical.

Bainimarama also says we have a parliament where the Speaker without following the Standing Orders without debate has decided that parliamentarians can speak in languages other than English and say a Christian prayer excluding those from other faiths. He says we have a judiciary where the sitting Chief Justice has been suspended for frivolous matters and independent constitutional officers have been forced to resign without due process.

The Opposition Leader also says we have the Prime Minister almost every second day stating how he will remove the constitution and allegedly thinking of circumventing the proper procedures laid out in the constitution.

He says we also have Ministers in the 3 uneven legged stool government directly or indirectly stating that the policies that they promised during the campaign will not be delivered.

Bainimarama says one Deputy Prime Minister recently stated that those announcements were made in the heat of the moment.

The FijiFirst Leader says the 3 Deputy Prime Ministers for a country of our size is a global record and every single member of the government is a Minister or Assistant Minister, and it is a record for Fiji or for the world.

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Coalition Govt will end the era of media oppression – PM

Rabuka says Fiji is home to all of us
By Navitalai Naivalurua
Monday 13/02/2023
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka [Image: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji]

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has assured all Fijians that the coalition government will end the era of media oppression and they will set up a council to look at the complaints of the public regarding media coverage.

While responding to the President’s opening speech in Parliament on the 3rd of this month, Rabuka says the coalition government will carefully study the arrangements by which one of the daily newspapers had received a substantial amount of public funds for advertising for more than one and a half decade.

He says after the 2022 General Elections, the atmosphere in Fiji has changed dramatically, and the climate of fear has gone.

Rabuka also confirmed that the Media Act will be reviewed because he believes Fiji cannot have proper democracy without a free press which has been described as the oxygen of democracy.


The Prime Minister also highlighted that the Higher Salaries Commission will be brought back, and the Commission will set guidelines for salaries and benefits for CEOs and other high-level executives.

Rabuka also says the coalition government will prioritize mending the relationship between the Government and the University of the South Pacific and they will make an initial payment this week to begin reducing Fiji’s significant debt left with USP. He also congratulated the return of the USP Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia to Fiji and said he is looking forward to meeting him.

Rabuka concluded that Fiji is home to all Fijians and we should unite.

Click here for the full coverage of Parliament


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