Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New hostel to meet Ba’s student needs

One hundred and thirty two students of Ba province studying in Suva will soon no longer have to worry about accommodation with plans underway for a three-storey hostel to be built.

The new building will sit on a piece of land in Samabula that has just been bought by the council at a cost of $384,000.

The 1898 square metre land already has an existing two storey building which Ba tertiary students are expected to use in semester two this year, as soon as renovations are complete.

The five-year plan (2010-2014) for the new hostel is being administered by the Adi Salusalu Ba Trust (ASBT) committee within the Ba provincial council.

The new building, which will also accommodate meetings for the people of Ba working in Suva, will house a total of 120 students.

Four rooms on the ground floor will house 24 students, with six in one room; 12 rooms on the first floor will accommodate 60 students, with five in each room; and finally 12 rooms on the second floor will house 36 students, with three in one room.

The cost of the three-storey building, which will also house a conference room, kitchen and dining room, is yet to be determined.

Should all the rooms be fully occupied, the building is expected to rake in a total of $24,000 per month or $288,000 - $300,000 per year, for the province.

Ba Holdings Ltd Documents Destroyed

Radio Fiji News - Thursday, April 01, 2010

The 2006 to 2008 financial reports of the Ba Holdings Company Limited was limited in its scope as various company documents and records had been destroyed.

This was revealed at the company’s AGM yesterday by independent auditors KPMG Chartered Accountants.

Chairman Ratu Meli Saukuru confirmed that considerable tangible investments and assets have been disposed and the directors are unable to form an opinion as to whether the balance sheet gives a true and fair view of the group’s affairs up to the end of 2008.

Remaining accounting documents were not adequate to permit the application of necessary auditing procedures and the KPMG chartered accountants were unable to obtain all information and explanations required to form an opinion.

The board at the time was Ratu Tevita Momoedonu, Ratu Wiliame Bouwalu, Ratu Tevita Lewaravu, Ponipate Lesavua, Sivaniolo Naulago, Aisake Semisi Saukawa, Josaia Driso, Saimoni Naivalu and Peni Veidreyaki.

Shareholders agreed yesterday to pursue all legal and commercial avenues for compensation for lost investments and assets disposed off without proper shareholders approval.

Saukuru says they now await a legal opinion on the matter.

Former Board chairman Ratu Tevita Momoedonu could not be reached for comment.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Turtle Calling in Nacamaki, Koro

FIJI SUN - 28 March 2010

For someone who hails from the village of Lutu-Wainibuka in the province of Naitasiri, my recent trip to the island of Koro was my first ever trip to an island outside Suva.I was with a group of media invited by the Taveuni Development Company to cover the opening of the Koro Biofuel Plant at Nacamaki village.
The chief guest was the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
We arrived on the island on Monday by Northern Air and were accommodated at the Dere Bay Resort, a 25 minute drive from the Koro Airstrip.
Thanks to the great services of all the smiling staff at Dere Bay and David and Elsa Miller, owner of the resort.

A report I read about Koro said: “Koro is known as the most fertile island in Fiji, boasting large plantations and thriving tropical forests. Koro has an exception bird life and has been featured in numerous books.”

I had also heard about turtle calling in Koro and I really wanted to witness it. 
Those were two of the questions that came to mind and I wanted to see the truth about turtle calling.

At our briefing at the resort, we were told that we would be going to Nacamaki the next day (Tuesday, our second day on Koro), to see turtle calling. 
From my own research about turtle calling, that was after my return from the beautiful island of Koro, I found out that turtle calling is also done at Namuana in Kadavu.

Below is a story on “Folklore Of Turtle Calling” from the Marine Turtle Newsletter 
The custom of turtle calling of Namuana on Kadavu is based on an ancient legend which is still passed down from father to son.

“Many, many years ago in the beautiful village of Namuana, there lived a very lovely princess called Tinaicaboga who was the wife of the chief of Namuana village. Tinaicaboga had a charming daughter called Raudalice and the two women often went fishing on the reefs around their home.

“On one particular occasion, Tinaicaboga and Raudalice went further afield than usual and waded out on the submerged reefs which jut out from the rocky headland to the east of the bay. They became so engrossed with their fishing that they did not notice the stealthy approach of a great war- canoe filled with fisherman from the nearby village of Nabukelevu.
This village is situated in the shadow of Mount Washington, the highest mountain on Kadavu Island.
“Suddenly the fisherman leapt from their canoe and seized the two women ,bound their hands and feet with vines and to set off in great haste for home. The cruel warriors from Nabukelevu were deaf to the pleadings and would not listen to the entreaties of the women.

“The gods of the sea, however, were kind and soon a great storm arose and the canoe was tossed about by the huge waves which almost swamped it. 
As the canoe was foundering in the sea, the fisherman were astounded to notice that the two woman lying in the water in the hold of the canoe had suddenly changed into turtles and to save their own lives, then men seized them and threw them into the sea.

“As they slipped over the side of the canoe the weather changed and there were no more waves. 
The Nabukelevu fisherman continued their journey back to their home village and the two women from Namuana who had been changed to turtles on the waters of the bay.

“It is their descendants today who rise when the maidens of their own village sing songs to them from the cliffs. The translation of the strange song which is chanted on such occasion is as follows:

“The women of Namuana are all dressed in mourning. 
Each carries a sacred club; each is tattooed in a strange pattern.

Do rise to the surface Raudalice so that we can look at you.
Do rise to the surface Tinaicaboga o we may also look at you.’ 
“The women of Namuana village still preserve the strange ritual of calling turtles from the sea. All the maidens of the village assembled on the rocks above the water and begin to sing a melodies chant. Slowly, one by one, giant turtles rise to lie on the surface in order to listen to the strange chant.

“On the island of Koro it is the man who call the turtles but the legend behind the ritual is unknown to me.

Having never witnessed the true calling in Koro or Kadavu. I cannot comment on its success. 
It is possible that the area is used for calling are freedom grounds and should the turtles be free from hunting pressure and harassment they may be present when ever the callers assemble.”

Well, I’m here in Koro and this is my story about turtle calling at Nacamaki village. 
The visit to Nacamaki village and then to the hill to see the turtles, was I must admit a very special moment not only for me but for my other media colleagues. 

We were greeted by the Sau Turaga, Kinijioji Manakiwai, who then led us to the village hall where our sevusevu was presented.

They accepted us in the traditional manner and we were made to feel at home by the village elders. 
Mr Manakiwai also explained how Nacamaki and Nabukelevu in Kadavu are related to each other.

“Tui Naikasi’s daughter was married to one of the ancestral gods from Nabukelevu and this was how people of Nabukelevu also had the special turtle calling gift. 
“Schools from around the country and even tertiary institutions have all been to the island for quest to know the truth about turtle calling and whether it is still being practiced in the island.”

It was time for us to climb the hill to have a good look at the turtles rising from the deep blue sea.

Then the chant which goes like this was sung by our tour guide:

“Tui Naikai Tui Naikasi
O iko na Vu kei Nacamaki
Eqeeqe I Baravi
Sucu a luvemu ra sa mai rogoca a kaci
Kaci a kai Bau ra kaci talevaki
Kaci sa vude cake
Kemu I vude yate ni lagi
Vude vude Tui Naikasi

We were there on the hill to see for ourselves the real truth about turtle calling.
A friend of mine whispered to me “remember the taboo.”
“I will,” I replied.

And suddenly I saw the turtle rising and through my excitement, I pointed at it and to our surprised, the turtle disappeared. They all turned to me and said: Kaicolo ga na kaicolo.” 
I must have probably screwed up other media colleagues’ fun after pointing at the first turtle that emerged to the surface.

I tried my best to avoid all these spoils from my friends, especially my tauvu’s from Lau and Vanua Levu who all spoiled me for the stupid act I had done.

As a “Kai Colo” I tried to take the bold step and said to myself, why should I be frightened of what I have just done when I am on the land of my mataqali?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Church Matters Raised with Bainimarama at Meeting Last Week

Subject: Matters of concern raised with Bainimarama at 24/3/10 meeting with Methodist leadership - legal changes

25 March 2010


Ni oti na tau ni lewa ni mataveilewai ecake (Appeals Court) ka vakacalai kina na lewa ni Turaga na Peresitedi me vakaduria na matanitu ka liutaka ko Bainimarama mai na Janueri 2007, era a sega ni muria na ivakasala ni mataveilewai na Turaga na Peresitedi ko Ratu Josefa I.Uluivuda, ka ra a bokoca na Yavu ni Vakavulewa ni 1997 ena Decree No.1 ka tabaki ena i ka 10 ni Epereli 2009. Ena bokoci ni Yavu ni Vakavulewa ni 1997, kei na buli kei na veisautaki ni so na lawa ena kena ivakarau vaka-decree, e vu kina na rivarivabi eso me vaka oqo:

1. Na Qele Ni Taukei

E taqomaki koto na kena rawa ni yavalati se veisautaki ni lawa ni qele ni Taukei ena tikina e 185-(1) ni Yavu ni Vakavulewa ni 1997. Ena kena mai bokoci na Yavu ni Vakavulewa ni 1997, esa mai kauta tani edua na inuinui dei vakalawa ena kena maroroi na kaukauwa ni veisautaki ni lawa ni Qele ni Taukei ka me ra vakadonuya taumada na mata ni Bose Levu Vakaturaga ena Seneti (Senate).

E sega walega ni kautani na inuinui ni maroroi ni lawa ni Qele Maroroi. Ena Decree No. 31 ni 2009, esa veisautaki kina na lawa ni Qele Maroroi ni Taukei ka tamusuki na kaukauwa ni vakatulewa ni Bose Levu Vakaturaga ena digitaki ni lewe lima (5) me ratou lewe ni Matabose ni Qele Maroroi ka sa soli na kaukauwa vata oqori kina vakatulewa ni Minisita ni Veika Vaka-iTaukei (Minister for Indigenous Affairs) ka tara tiko ena gauna oqo na Prime Minister ko Bainimarama.

Esa rogo vakavuqa ni vinakata na matanitu e veiliutaki tiko oqo meda vakatautauvatataki. Esa rogo talega ni lalawataki ni rawa ni taura na itutu ni Peresitedi eso tale ka ra sega ni kawa iTaukei. Ena lawa ni Qele Maroroi na Native Land Trust Act, na Peresitedi e iliuliu se Chairman ni Matabose ni Qele Maroroi. Kevaka esa yaco na lalawa me taura edua ka sega ni kawa iTaukei na itutu vaka Peresitedi, esa na kauta tani mai na iTaukei na ulu ni lewa ena vakatulewataki ni bose ni Qele Maroroi.Na lewa ni vukici ni lawa ni Qele Maroroi ka sega ni vakatulewa kina na Bose Levu Vakaturaga e rivarivabitaki ni na rawa ni na yaco kina eso na lewa ka sega ni taqomaka na dodonu ni iTaukei kina nona qele. Na kautani mai na Bose Levu Vakaturaga ka soli vua na Prime Minister, se na Minister vaka-iTaukei na digitaki ni lewe 5 na lewe ni bose ni Qele Maroroi ni Taukei esa kauta tani na maroroi ni lewa ni maroroi ni qele ena ligadra na noda Turaga ena vukuda na iTaukei. E lewe tini taucoko na mata didgitaki era lewena na Matabose ni Qele Maroroi; na lewa me kauta tani na vakatulewa ni Bose Levu Vakaturaga e voroka sara ga na vakasama ni maroroi ni nodra digitaki na veimama ni mata kina Matabose ni Qele Maroroi mera tutaka na vakasama ni mareqeti kei na karoni ni dodonu ni Taukei kina nodra uma qele. Oqori esa basuka sara ga na bai me baleta na iTaukei me vaka era viria na Turaga kei na matanitu veiliutaki ena veigauna sa oti.

2. Na Lawa Ni Curuvanua

Ena decree no. 23 ni 2009, esa mai bokoca kina na Peresitedi na lawa ni curu vanua na Fiji Citizenship Act 1998. Ena lawa sa mai boko oqo, esega ni vakatarai vua edua na lewei Viti me lewe ni duatale na vanua. Ia ena lawa vou ka vakatokai na Citizenship of Fiji Decree No. 23 ka buli ena I ka 8 ni Julai 2009, esa vakatarai vei ira na lewei Viti ka ra sa laki tu ena veivanuatani, me ra kerekere ka mera lewenivanua tale e Viti ni ra tu ga mai vanua tani era tu kina. E dina ni se bera ni buli na lawa ni veidigidigi, e tiko na rivarivabi ni kena vakatarai mera lewenivanua ko ira era sa laki tu ena veivanua tani ka ra sa lewe ni veivanua tani, ena rawa talega ni vu ni nodra na vakaitavi tale ena veidigidigi e Viti, ka na rawa ni vu ni tiko yavavala vei keda.Ena wili lewenivanua ena 2007, a laurai ni limasagarua na pasede (52%) ni lewenivanua e iTaukei, tolusagawalu na pasede (38%) na Idia, ka tini na pasede (10%) na veimata-tamata tale eso. Kevaka era na vakayagataki na lewenivanua era sa biu vanua ka ra lewe tu ni veimatanitu tani ena veidigidigi me rawa walega ni tauri kina na veiliutaki e Viti, oqori ena vakavuna walega na tiko yavavala ka na sega ni na vakavinakataka na veiwekani vinaka ni mata-tamata duidui eda tu e Viti.

3. Na Vakatarai Ni Tiko Vata Vaka-Yalewa se Vaka-Tagane (Homosexual Relationships)

Na lawa na Penal Code (Cap 17) e matata koto kina na cala vakalawa ni tiko vata vakatagane se vakayalewa. Esa mai bokoci na lawa oqo na Penal Code ena i ka 5 ni Noveba 2009. Ena lawa vou na Crimes Decree 2009 ka tabaka na Peresitedi ena 05 Noveba 2009, esa sega ni cala se vakatabui vakalawa na tiko vata vaka-tagane se vakayalewa kevaka erau vakadonuya vata orau erau vakayacora.

4. Na Vukici Ni Lawa Ni Yaqona Ni Vavalagi (Liquor Act)

Na lawa na Liquor Act 2006 e virikotora ni tabu na soli ni yaqona ni vavalagi vei ira e lailai sobu na nodra yabaki mai na 21. Ia ena lawa vou na Liquor Amendment Decree 2009, esa vakatarai na soli ni yaqona ni vavalagi vei ira era yabaki 18 ka lako cake.

Esa kacivaka raraba na vu ni lawa ko Aiyaz Khaiyum na kena vakadeitaki ni taurivaki ni lewa me na vakabalavutaki na gauna ni volitaki ni yaqona ni vavalagi me vakaoqo:

a. Ena vei otela – ena 24 na auwa dua na siga, vitu na siga dua na macawa

b. Ena ‘taverns’ – 11am ki na 1am ena veisiga

c. Esa rawa ni ra volitaki gunu na vei vale ni kana vakalaiseni me yacova na 12 ena bogi levu

d. Era sa na dola na veivale ni danisi ka volitaki kina na gunu (nightclubs) mai na 5pm ki na 1am, ia ena so na vanua me vaka e Suva, Nadi ka vakatokai na ‘special zones’ era rawa ni dola tu me 24 na auwa, vitu na siga dua na macawa.

E dau saqata na Vanua kei na Lotu na kena gunuvi sivia ni yaqona ni vavalagi ena vica na vuna ka wili kina:

1) Na rai ni ca na kena gunuvi vakasivia

2) Na tarovi ni so na leqa vakavuvale, vakaitikotiko eso

3) Na maroroi ni lavo mai na mateni kei na gunuvi ni yaqona ni vavalagi me yaga kina vuvale

4) Na maroroi ni bula vakayago mai na mate e rawa ni veitauvi ena gunuvi sivia ni yaqona ni vavalagi

5) Na rokovi ni Siga Tabu

6) Na maroroi ni tovo kilikili kei na veirokovi ena noda veitikotiko me i dusidusi tiko vei ira na luveda me baleta na nodra veigauna ni mataka.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Boost for Culture

Fiji Times - Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Those interested in learning the Fijian language and culture at the University of the South Pacific but away from the campus can now enroll for the course as it will soon be offered online.

This has been made possible after USP and the Fijians Trust Fund Board signed a partnership agreement yesterday aspiring to promote and protect the Fijian language and culture.

The acting Dean of Faculty of Arts and Law, Akanisi Kedrayate, said the target group was those the teaching in rural areas.

"The course is already offered face-to-face with an estimate of 20 students enrolled in the course. We are considering a blended approach since while a good number of students show interest taking it on campus, there is a high demand for distance learning," she said. "The problem is there are many teachers of Fijian language in schools without proper qualification. This course will help them get necessary qualifications since we will offer courses at certificate, diploma and degree levels."

She said the online course could help enroll another 20 to 30 students.

FTFB's chief executive Isoa Kaloumaira said the project served part of their mandate in preserving Fijian culture and traditions.

"The memorandum signed today includes the funding of salary of a senior lecturer and a lecturer. This will only be for the first year and a review will be conducted on the progress of the course," Mr Kaloumaira said.

USP's vice chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra said they had plans to include modern technology in teaching techniques, including satellite, broadband and mobile technology in future.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

NLTB Employment not for Fijians Only

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, March 02, 2010

People of all races can be employed at the Native Land Trust Board, it has been clarified.

The NLTB Board made the decision at its bi-monthly meeting last week, to clear perceptions that only indigenous Fijians can work for the NLTB.

General Manager Alipate Qetaki says all future recruitments will be merit based and open to all races.

"Up to now there has been a perception that NLTB only employs individuals of the ethnic Fijian race or indigenous race although history tells us in the past there have been employees of the NLTB who are non Taukei," said Qetaki.

"So I am not quite sure whether there was a definite policy to recruit only the Tauke to work for Native Land Trust Board."

"I believe the policy that the Board has now agreed to is a clarification and also to ensure that the recruitment policy is in line with Government’s recruitment policy," he said.

"Recruitment to the Public Service for instance, is based on merit."

The new policy comes into effect right away with the re-advertisement of the positions of Board Secretary, Manager Legal, and Manager Finance.