Fiji

Guterres in Fiji for three-day visit

Mr Guterres will receive a traditional welcome Wednesday morning in Suva before meeting the chair of the Pacific Islands Forum Baron Waqa and Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor.

The UN chief will meet Fiji's president and hold bilateral talks with the Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama on Thursday before addressing parliament.

Mr Guterres has been invited to lay a wreath at the national war memorial in Veiuto and sail around Suva harbour on a traditional sailing canoe.

He leaves on Saturday for Tuvalu and ends his Pacific island tour in Vanuatu.

 

Fiji protests called off; dozens of unionists still in custody

A protest march had also been planned in Nadi on Saturday, but the Fiji Transport Authority refused to issue a permit, saying it would impede the safe movement of traffic.

Several union leaders who were arrested on Wednesday were released from police custody late on Thursday, but the secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Felix Anthony, and about two dozen of his colleagues were still being held, the congress said. No charges have been laid.

20 arrested amid Fiji union crackdown

The arrests came ahead of a planned nationwide protest on Friday over labour issues, and amid protests by hundreds of workers who had been laid-off by the Water Authority of Fiji.

Many of those arrested were workers who were locked out by the government agency, after their temporary contracts were cut short, the government said.

The total number of people detained and whether they have been charged is not known, but the government-owned broadcaster, the FBC, said over 20 "troublemakers" had been arrested.

Participation in AFL grows in PNG and Fiji

AFL Development Coordinator South Pacific Simon Highfield confirmed this after a successful turnout in the Under 16 program that accommodated 25 players from Nauru, PNG, Vanuatu and Fiji, earlier this month.

“Although AFL may not be THE major sport of PNG or Fiji, the participation rate is growing rapidly, and we are finding more and more boys, girls, men and women playing our game in some capacity.”

Fiji landowners hail rejection of Malolo project

Fiji's Environment Department has reportedly revoked Freesoul Real Estate's Environment Impact Assessment approval, following substantial environmental damage to the island.

The headman at Solevu Village on Malolo, Orisi Vuninavanua, said more than 20 tourism operations were on Malolo.

There was not enough space for more development, Mr Vuninavanua said.

The alleged damage caused by the firm to beaches, mangroves and reefs had left landowners angry and they would seek compensation from the company, he said.

Fiji take fifth consecutive title in Hong Kong

Over the course of three scintillating days of action, Gareth Baber's side enthralled the crowd as they achieved something that no other side has ever been able to do. 

In the Cup final, Jerry Tuwai, who is the only current player to have played in all four of the finals, pulled the strings majestically while Aminiasi Tuimaba scored a brace and Vilimoni Botitu also crossed for a try. 

After their silver medal in Vancouver, France were playing in their second consecutive Cup final in a season which is something that they hadn't achieved before.

UN secretary-general to visit Fiji this year

The Fiji Sun reports that Mr Bainimarama also invited the secretary-general's special envoy, Luis Alfonso de Alba, to visit Fiji.     

Safety concerns in Fiji as aviation controllers protest over pay

Islands Business Magazine reported the majority of the country's air traffic controllers at both of Fiji's international airports have not been reporting to work since Monday this week.

A statement sent to the magazine from the protesting workers claimed around 80 percent of traffic control officers have taken various forms of leave in protest over pay and working conditions.

It said only five officers have remained at their posts and are working around the clock at the Nadi and Nausori airport towers. It said normally there are 17 officers on duty.

Australian drug smuggler jailed for 23 years in Fiji

He and wife Yvette were arrested after Fijian authorities discovered more than $US14 million dollars’ worth of drugs, along with two guns, on their vessel, Shenanigans, as it arrived in Port Denarau in June.

While Ms Nikolic was acquitted on all charges, Mr Nikolic was last week found guilty of drug importation, possession, and failure to declare arms and ammunitions to a customs officer following a trial at the High Court in Suva.

Fiji Village reports that Justice Daniel Goundar on Friday handed down a sentence of 23 years' jail with no parole for 18 years.

     

Kiwis to play British Lions, Tonga in 2019

New Zealand will play Mate Ma'a Tonga on 22 June at Mt Smart Stadium in the first match of the new Oceania Cup.

The Kiwi Ferns will also play against an unnamed opponent in the double header - they'll play a second match against Australia in October.

The Oceania Cup will be played in June and November during the international Test windows.

Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji and Australia make up the six-nation competition.