Fiji

Fiji stretched to its limits by drug smugglers

Illicit drug discoveries have increased by 13 percent on the same time last year according to Mr Seruiratu.

The minister told parliament that in the past two years, nearly $US30-million worth of hard drugs had been seized at the border.

Only last week, he said, the navy and police were deployed to an outer island, where they found shipping containers packed with drugs.

That's just the latest in a string of recent finds in Fiji, including a large bust in the hull of yacht, and bricks of cocaine that started washing up on beaches.

Fiji govt official stands firm on comments regarding Grace Road

Shin Ok-ju was jailed for six years for enslaving hundreds of followers in Fiji, and forcing them to work in cult-run businesses.

In the wake of the sentencing, opposition leader Sitiveni Rabuka called for the permanent secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, Yogesh Karan, to resign for saying it didn't need to be investigated.

Mr Karan said he stands by his August statement, because none of the cult members in Fiji had breached their visa conditions.

He also accused the government of turning a blind eye to Grace Road to preserve business links.

South Korean cult leader sentenced for detaining followers in Fiji

The founder of Grace Road Church, Shin Ok-ju, will spend the next six years in prison.

As many as 400 of Shin's followers moved to Fiji, where their passports were seized, and they were forced to endure violent rituals.

The church believes Fiji is the centre of a promised world and will be the one place to escape a looming apocalypse.

But many were forced to work on a plantation or at several church-run businesses, which South Korean prosecutors said were a front for the cult.

Business Link Pacific Portal to launch across the Pacific in unique four-country event

The Business Link Pacific Portal is an innovative online platform designed to connect quality business advisors with small and medium-sized growing businesses in the Pacific.  

To mark the launch of the Portal, Business Link Pacific are co-hosting four launch events, one in each country, which are open to small and medium sized businesses and free to attend.  

Pacific foreign ministers meeting in Fiji Friday

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said it is an important opportunity to deepen partnerships within the Pacific family.

He said this will include strengthening Pacific regionalism, responding to climate change, advancing the Boe Declaration on regional security, and fisheries and oceans issues.

Mr Peters said his government is committed to advancing security, well-being, prosperity and resilience in its Pacific neighbourhood.

     

Pacific’s fastest man reigns in thrilling 200m final

In a thrilling contest at Apia Park Stadium, Tabakaucoro was victorious in 20.87 seconds, inches ahead of Dodson who finished in 20.91 seconds. Papua New Guinea’s Theo Piniau snatched bronze in 21.70 seconds.

Both Tabakaucoro and Dodson fell after crossing the finish line, sending the medics out onto the field.

The Fijian admitted he was feeling very sore after the competition. “I expected to finish strong but not to fall over like that, but it just shows the level of competition here,” Tabakaucoro told the Pacific Games News Service.

Diabetic amputations 40 percent of all Fiji surgery

Eddie McCaig said half the estimated 60,000 people in Fiji with diabetes did not realise they had the illness because they ignored early signs like thirst and excessive urination.

Fiji can't afford the high cost of the amputations, as well as eye surgery and kidney failure caused by diabetes, he said.

"What I keep reminding people is that when we get to see them, we have no option but to cut the limb off," Prof McCaig said.

"When we say 'one amputation every twelve hours', about 40 per cent of the surgery done in this country is for amputation," he said.

Goals galore as Pacific Games football kicks off

Defending men's champions New Caledonia opened with a 5-0 win over American Samoa before Pool B rivals Solomon Islands upped the ante with a 13-0 thrashing of Tuvalu.

However Bonitos head coach Wim Rijsbergen was not getting carried away with much tougher games still to come.

New Caledonia win first gold medal at Pacific Games

Charlotte Robin defended her title after winning the Open Water Swimming competition today.  
New Caledonia took the silver medal after Miana Flament came in second.
Fiji’s Matelita Buadromo settled for a bronze, which is Fiji’s first medal at the Games.

Today is the first day of competition following a spectacular opening ceremony in Apia, Sunday evening.

     

Infectious cause ruled out in deaths of US tourists to Fiji

David Paul and Michelle Calanog Paul from Fort Worth in Texas arrived in Fiji for a holiday on 22 May and reportedly died within days of each other.

The Ministry said it had advised the couple's family of their findings after an extensive investigation with help from the US Centre for Disease Control, the World Health Organisation and a medical forensics unit in Australia.

The Ministry said there was no risk to the public and the five people in contact with the deceased couple were under observation, but they are all in good health and have returned to work.