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Issue: 33 MARCH 15, 2012

Fiji’s First Community Newspaper

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By RANBEER SINGH

Ramakrishna Mission provides assistance
entirely, thus losing a source of food and income. The Mission has initiated a sustainability programme by initially supplying fruit and vegetable seeds to affected households so that they can grow vegetables for own consumption and generate some income,” said Swami Tadananda. “Work has already started on renovation and upgrading of a large nursery to supply seedlings to farmers and also demonstrate better farming practices, including hydroponics. We hope through financial assistance to build a well equipped nursery to enable us to provide this assistance.” During the floods the mission distributed cooked food, groceries and clothing which were sponsored by Westpac, Vinod Patel Hardware, Waitakere Indian Association, New Zealand at a cost of around $27,000. The Mission also distributed clothes as well as exercise books and stationery to students. Around one hundred and eight students are being supplied with lunch parcels by the Mission in Nadi. This programme will be continued for the next eight weeks.

More than one thousand patients have been seen by the Ramakrishna Mission Medical Services which was initiated following the natural disaster in the western side. This is in addition to daily relief efforts provided by the Nadi based organization to flood victims. With funding from Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation the organization provided free consultations and medicine through its mobile medical clinics. Swami Tadananda of the Ramakrishna Mission said given the positive response and need from those in rural areas it aims to continue holding these clinics. “We seek assistance from individuals, business community and corporate houses for the outreach medical services,” said Swami Tadananda. “Having seen more than 1,000 patients in five clinics after the floods, mostly in Ba, the Ramakrishna Mission wishes to continue outreach medical clinics providing free medicines and consultation. Services of doctors and medical personnel are voluntary but we have to buy medicines. We need a sponsorship for about $10,000.” The Mission is also looking at providing agricultural support through supply of seeds and seedlings. “Most flood affected farmers lost their crops almost

People affected by the recent floods getting registered for free medical check-ups at Moto Sanatan Dharam School while Swami Tadananda looks on. Top: Doctor Sarat Naidu carries out check-ups in Ba. Photos: SUPPLIED.

By SHALENDRA PRASAD

Students celebrate holi in style

Children of Andrews Primary School displayed that they are not to be underestimated when it comes to singing ‘Faag’ – a traditional way of singing Hindu devotional songs which leads up to the Festival of Colours commonly known as ‘Holi’. On Wednesday, March 7, students of the oldest primary school in Nadi celebrated ‘Holi’ in style together with teachers and invited guests. Chief guest Master Gyan Chand Prasad, who is a retired head teacher and education officer, commended the young kids for keeping their culture alive. He also noted the participation of two i-taukei kids who sang ‘chautaal’ (a common tune of singing faag) together with significance of the festival and thanked the school management the group of students performing during the function. Master Gyan told students about the historical and cultural for promoting religious tolerance and multiculturalism.

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The quest to protect women and children continues. For the first time in the history - Nadi hosted two reclaim the night marches - a ritual to mark the International Women’s Day Celebration on the dusk of Thursday March 8 - giving our women a chance to demand for their rights and dignity. In Dratabu Village about 350 people including those from the surrounding multi-ethnic communities joined a candlelight procession while in Namaka, some 200 people marched from Nataly Shop to RB’s Jetpoint through the so-called nightclub strip of the tourist town. The Suva march, according to freelance journalist Ricardo Morris was the biggest in recent years, with representatives from other organisations joining in support of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre’s annual procession. It began at the Flea Market near the Suva Bus Station and proceeded through the main streets of Suva, including Cumming Street and other places where women have been most at risk during the night. Chants of “What do we want? Safe streets! When do we want it? Now!” as well as demands for safe homes, nightspots and public transport echoed through Suva. The march ended at Government Buildings to symbolically make the link between violence against women and their access to justice. According to a recent media report, The Fiji Women Crisis Centre recorded a gradual increase in the number of cases seen at its branches. The latest report revealed that Nadi and Labasa recorded the highest number of new cases of violence against women registered with the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre at the beginning of this year. Statistics released by FWCC revealed that 26 of the 85 cases recorded were from the northern branch and the same was recorded at Nadi branch. A total of 928 cases were registered with the centre throughout the country last year, an increase from 886 recorded in 2010. In 2008, 756 cases were recorded but it increased to 773 cases in 2009. These include domestic violence, rape, child abuse, sexual harassment and others. Although there is a sense of relief that awareness and advocacy work had seen an increase in women and also men opening up more to women’s issues, it doesn’t take away the bitter taste of this inhumane behavior. We can commend the authorities as much as possible on the precision with which they are doing their jobs but we cannot carry on living with a post solution to a continuous problem. We are all aware that every community has social ills. Even someone as decorated as Jesus had a corrupt official, Judas, who sold him out to the authorities. We know evil is somewhat resilient in the community, but to a certain extent- we can do something about it. Yes, it’s a long shot, but we should not despise our beginnings because we owe it to our future generations. Campaigns should continue as they do, but discussion of these issues should be at a continuous pace throughout the year on talk shows and in newspaper columns. Parents and children should get advice to prevent this from happening to them. But that is just one bit of the solution. The greater chunk lies in education. The more a community is educated, the less they are prone to such ills. We commend the likes of Mrs Nai Dakua who in spite of her busy schedule as a teacher still finds time to reach out for the troubled students of Ratu Navula College. To her, the solution lies in education and in schools where our children spend perhaps eight hours everyday for every school day in a year. She found out that learners who have been raped or abused themselves are often too traumatised to be able to learn. It is not a one-day solution because it is a fact that our country’s education system, I believe-is still not at the level of excellence it is supposed to be.

We owe it to our future generation

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ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

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School teachers and various stakeholders from all over the western division who were part of the workshop pose for a group photo. INSET: Divisional education officer western Lorima Voravora seen with Nadi / Sigatoka Town Council special administrator Aisea Tuidraki and JICA volunteer Kayo Sasaoka. Photos: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

By KAYO SASAOKA

Awareness on clean school program grows
Environment (DOE) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Staff from NTC’s Health Department gave presentations in which they explained about the program and shared experiences since the start of the program in 2010. Some of the JICA volunteers working in PEMAC and environmental education field prepared exhibit corner full of craft made from waste materials and presented some ideas on environmental education. Some of the participating teachers showed a lot of interest in the presentations and exhibits made by the JICA volunteers. “The workshop was full of enjoyment to learn about how we should educate ourselves on looking after our environment,” one of the participating teachers commented. In addition to school teachers, health inspectors from the respective Western towns also participated in this workshop. Originally initiated by a JICA volunteer at NTC, the program had been implemented as part of the Waste Minimization and Recycling Promotion Project in Nadi for the past two-years. Using Nadi’s experience as a model, these Western health inspectors are expected to work with school teachers¬ and provide support in promoting good waste management at schools. Words of encouragement to this program were delivered by Jope Davetanivalu, the Director of the DOE as well as Lorima Voravora, the

The “Clean School Program,” now most primary and secondary school teachers in Nadi are familiar with, is expanding to the whole of Western Fiji. On February 23, the Clean School Program Teachers’ Workshop for the Western Division was held at Hexagon International Hotel. More than 80 teachers from 74 schools in Sigatoka, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki gathered and learned about how to manage waste and implement various waste reduction activities at schools. The workshop was hosted by Nadi Town Council in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and was funded mainly by the Department of

By RANBEER SINGH

Fiji Water team brave floods to assist flood communities
team worked over a period of three weeks without a break. “There were three Fiji Water trucks being used, one in Ba and two in Lautoka. The greatest danger was driving into areas where floodwaters had not receded. There was a lot of mud and it was very slippery. We also had to go through thick mud and debris to get from the truck to the homes with the cartons of Fiji Water,” he recounted. “We started distributing the first two container loads of Fiji Water just after the floods began. It was especially chaotic in the beginning; people were in desperate need

Divisional Education Officer Western. In his keynote address Voravora stressed on the importance of the Clean School Program especially after the flood disaster which happened in the Western region. Mr Voravora delivered a strong message to participating teachers that schools should provide clean and safe learning environment for children. “This year marks a new beginning for the Clean School Program, as it is now expanded to the whole of Western town areas.” “We hope that the program will become the driving force for Fiji schools to become cleaner and more environmentally-friendly and foster such mind among our children.”

By SHALENDRA PRASAD

Hearing aid centre officially opens

EMOSI LASAQA

THE JET is Fiji’s first community newspaper published monthly from Nadi - the tourism capital of Fiji. PUBLISHER : SHALENDRA PRASAD Cell: 9232073 EDITOR : EMOSI LASAQA Cell: 8451259 PHONE : (679) 6708188 FAX : (679) 6728353 OFFICE CELL : (679) 7307574 Digicel / 5164 Vodafone & Inkk EMAIL : thejetnewspaper@gmail.com.fj : lasaqaemosi@gmail.com

The irregular supply of piped water to several areas in Ba has seen organisations such as Fiji Water step in and provide much needed relief to hundreds of those affected. “The water supply to the people in Ba was shut down, many of the roads were closed and even bridges were washed away. But we were committed to getting drinking water to those in need,” said Apao Erone, Fiji Water’s Vanua Support Manager. To distribute the “cartons upon cartons” of Fiji Water to those in need Erone and his

of clean drinking water so they were flocking to our van to collect water whenever we arrived in a new neighbourhood. “We saw that there was still a need for more water and distributed two more containers.” The Fiji Water team distributed 5,880 cases of water, worth $40,000 to groups such as the police, army and Red Cross as well as to individuals throughout the affected areas. Erone said, “while the task wasn’t an easy one, they were grateful to have been able to help so many people by providing this basic need.”

Children suffering from hearing disabilities from all over the country will now be able to get access to greater care following the opening of Fiji’s first ever fully dedicated hearing aid centre in Nadi. The project has been made possible via donations mainly from the Rotary Club of Hilo in Hawaii and the Nadi Bula Festival Association. Visiting specialists from Phonak New Zealand also make regular visits to the centre to assist children with hearing devices and general check-ups.

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LAYOUT BY SHALENDRA PRASAD. PRINTED BY MAX MARKETING LTD.

PACIFIC COUNSELLING AND SOCIAL SERVICES provides private, confidential counselling on depression, family/marital, stress, grief, abuse, suicidal thoughts, STI’s, drugs, alcohol & behavior lifestyle changes. Opens 8am – 3pm, Monday – Friday. Call us on 6708169 Located at Nadi old hospital road.

COMMUNITY NOTICE BOARD
ROTARY CLUB OF NADI is currently on a membership drive to increase members who represent all sections of the community. Nadi Rotarians meet every Wednesday at Sitar Restaurant in Martintar at 6.30pm. Interested people can call club treasurer Krupesh Patel on 6700478 SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL is a vibrant, dynamic organisation for today’s professional and business women, working through projects to promote equality, development and peace. We are seeking members to join our club. Interested ladies can call SI Nadi president Irene Chand on 9921090 FIJIAN WRITERS ASSOCIATION which has been recently established to form the first ever formal body representing writers, poets, journalists and everyone who has a passion for writing is seeking new members. Interested people can contact Professor Subramani via email:subramani@fnu.ac.fj

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By RANBEER SINGH

Members of the Nadi Rotary Club and well-wishers pitched in to assist people in Lautoka and Ba who were severely affected by the recent

Rotarians assist flood victims
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By RANBEER SINGH

Youth club donates

floods. The club conducted a week-long drive collecting clothes, utensils and other necessity items including food packs. Nadi Rotary Club

president Sanjit Patel said they were thankful for the over-whelming support from the community. “We visited Matawalu, village in Lautoka as well as

several in Ba like Moto and Veisaru. The people were really grateful for the assistance,” said Patel. “Most of the families needed clothes and we were

able to assist around two hundred of them.” The club is also continuing to provide educational assistance to children. “We have funds available

for students needing assistance. They will need to provide a letter from their school stating what sort of assistance they require and we will help them accordingly,” said Patel.

Twenty members of the Voivoi Youth Club, in Legalega Nadi handed over clothes and assorted household items to residents in Navakai, Nadi, who were affected by the recent natural disaster. Club public relations officer Brij Dutt said they were informed of the hardships faced by families in the area, by the Youth officer Nadi Akuila Sovanivalu. According to Dutt the club conducted a flood donation drive in Legalega for over two weeks before it was handed to the flood victims.

Senior citizen’s enjoy yoga classes

“This was our first major project for this year and we would like to thank all the people who assisted in providing various items for the flood victims,” said Dutt. “The people really appreciated the assistance. It was sad to see that many families lost their belongings during the floods. “At the same time it’s encouraging to see that many organizations including government providing assistance to the victims.” The club aims to conduct more charity projects this year.

Left: Flood victims all smiles after receiving the donations. Top: A club members unloads items for donation. Photos: SUPPLIED.

By RAJNEESH CHARAN

It is important to engage the senior citizens in numerous activities for their physical and mental well being. The Golden Age Home board of visitors is thankful to various organizations and individuals who come forward and provide much needed companionship, create and engage these residents in valuable activities. The members of the Art of Living community of Lautoka have volunteered to conduct yoga classes for the residents. The classes which began three weeks ago is held every Thursday morning for an hour. Yoga has become a very popular activity among the residents. The residents really look forward to the sessions every week. The Yoga classes have also brought about a lot of positive changes in the behavior of the residents. Sometimes we do not realize how much of a difference a small act of kindness makes in a person’s life. This week the Yoga class was conducted by the Art-of-Living Teacher Shalon Sudgen and was assisted by a volunteer member Sushila Desai.

The elderly residents also enjoy playing the game of Carom Board, Cards, Bingo while some have also shown interest in playing musical instruments. The board is seeking donations of musical instruments for the residents. We are also very thankful to Jacks of Fiji who have donated two sewing machines. Some female residents have taken a keen interest in sewing so the donation of these machines is timely and very valuable. We are also inviting interested organizations and individuals to help the Home in facilitating interesting activities for the residents. The focus is to recognize the senior’s, make them feel important and to help them to regain the dignity that they feel they have lost. The board appointed Vinesh Chandra as the Team Leader – Resident’s Welfare in its meeting last month. A sub-committee was also formed to look into an ideal structure of the Home to ensure residents receive the best care. The sub-committee met for a brainstorming session and later met with the Sub-Divi-

Residents of the Golden Age Home in Lautoka practise yoga. Photo: RAJNEESH LATA CHARAN.

sional Medical Officer and Social Welfare Officer to ex-

plore further under the leadership of Abdul Shamsher.

The approval process of the fencing project is current-

ly underway and is expected to start soon.

Korovuto College offers vocational courses
By RANBEER SINGH

Twenty students have enrolled for the Automotive Engineering course which is being offered by Korovuto College for the first time this year. College manager Praveen Singh said the idea behind offering this vocational

course was to provide students an opportunity to further their studies if they aren’t interested in going to form seven. Singh said they want to ensure that youths become productive citizens through these courses. “This course has been well received by the com-

munity. It will ensure that students who don’t want to seek further education after form six, can enroll and become skilled workers,” said Singh. “We have seen that many people through such courses have started their own small businesses and become pro-

ductive members in society, rather than being unemployed. We hope to attract more students in the coming years.” The courses will run inline with those offered by the Fiji National University. The College will offer courses in Stage 1 and 2.

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Mount Saint Mary School Prefects pose for a group shot. Photos: MERE WILLIAMS.

By EMOSI LASAQA

Faith, life at Mount Saint Mary
fects take their oath and are given their prefect pin. It has always been a moving experience and this year was no exception. For the first time in the proud history for the school, the students were given chance to vote for their prefects. Head Boy, Manueli Qalovi was grateful to be chosen above his peers and understands that he is expected to be a role model to all the children. “I know it’s a very huge responsibility but I am counting on the support of my deputy and the other prefects to make the year a successful one – especially in supporting the Teachers. I thank my parents for their continued support,” he said. In his official address to

The lead-up to the school year is always busy- getting the new school books, visits to the uniform shop, orientation days and perhaps getting a hair cut. Then comes the first week of school, and for the Mount Saint Mary students, their first Friday heralded the first big event in their school calendar - the Prefect Induction Mass. The Mass-graced by Father Ipolito Teburea and attended by the incoming prefect’s parents, the full school contingent of staff and students was a highly appropriate way for the school to begin its year and a practical expression of the faith life of the Mount Saint Mary Community. It marked the day the pre-

the school, Qalovi called upon his fellow prefects to work hard together in order to help maintain discipline in the school, and asked the other students for support towards the prefects by following school rules and showing respect to each other. Abigail Tikoisuva who was appointed the head girl shared the same sentiment. She was grateful for the appointment and at the same time excited about the challenge. “I know it’s a huge responsibility. I vow to be an effective leader and looks forward to working closely with the Teachers and fellow prefects in upholding discipline throughout the school, this year. I know I cannot do it on my own and will count on the other Prefects for support,” Abigal said.

From left are Mount Saint Mary School Deputy Head Boy Shamal Kumar, Head Girl Abigail Tikoisuva, Head Boy Manueli Qalovi and Deputy Head Girl Zion Simpson.

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By EMOSI LASAQA

Students reminded to be good role models

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February 28 was a special day of celebration for Nadi Sangam Primary School. It was the day a total of 86 prefects were inducted at the school which has a roll of 870 students. Truth, honesty, dedication, commitment and respect for one another, were some of the many values the prefects were reminded of by the chief guest, the education officer Lautoka/ Yasawa/ Nadi, Mr.

Rajnish Raj. They were also reminded that they are role models. Mr. Raj said that good leaders do not necessary need followers but followers need good leaders. They were blessed after taking their oath led by the head of the student’s council. Head Boy Prameshwaran Naidu and Head Girl Darshana Devi were given chance to address the assembly before everybody enjoyed the refreshment provided by the parents.

Nadi Sangam Primary School prefects with their teachers. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Left: Books and stationery donated to the Nadi Sangam Primary School by the TISI Sangam Fiji Foundation. Above: Scouts from Nadi Sangam caught celebrating Lord Robert Baden-Powell Day on February 22. Photos: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

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By EMOSI LASAQA

Survivor refuses Uni Fiji to organise climate symposium to give up
women.” Mrs Dakua said she was glad the principal was supportive for the cause. “At the end of the day it’s all for the kids. I will try to organize male advocacy training for the male teachers-for them to know the importance of addressing violence against woman and children. She said lack of awareness materials was a hindrance but she has noticed some major improvement. “I think disciplining and detention is not the solution. We as teachers should find the root cause. We found that most of the late comers and truants are from broken families. “Learners who are exposed to violence at home are often too distressed to focus on their school work. Learners who have been raped or abused are often too traumatized to be able to learn.” “We are mothers and father to the kids during school hours and we have to know what’s going on at home. Every teacher has a big influence on the attitudes and values of the learners they come into contact with.” “Teaching male learners that young women deserve to be treated with honour and respect and that violence does not equate to strength or manliness, you will help your young men develop some of the most important skills in life,” Mrs Dakua says.
By SHARITA SINGH

LOCAL NEWS

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Great teachers have always taught more than their course work. They teach honour, perseverance, selfrespect, discipline, teamwork and respect for others. They are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossingencouraging them to create bridges of their own. One such person is Nai Dakua - a vocational teacher at Ratu Navula College in Nadi. On March 8 during the International Women’s Day, Mrs Dakua was busy organizing a tea party for her colleagues to address the much talked about issues of violence against women. The response was cold in some extent but she was forever optimistic. Asked on why so passionate about the matter, Mrs Dakua didn’t mince a word when she said that she was a victim of domestic violence all throughout her 30years of marriage until she became a widow two years ago. In fact, she started volunteering for the Fiji Women Crisis Centre way back in 1994. “I felt its only right to acknowledge the women. I know that they (male colleagues) were making funny comments but I think the message went across. I saw them picking up the leaflets about violence against

The recent floods in Fiji and their aftermath are likely to feature in discussions among experts at a major symposium in Fiji in September. Preparations are well under way for the major regional symposium that will look at the impact of climate change on the health of the people of Fiji and the Pacific. The University of Fiji is organizing the Symposium in collaboration with Fiji’s Ministry of Health and several major international and regional organizations including the World Health Organization- WHO. University of Fiji Vice Chancellor, Professor Mahendra Kumar, describes the upcoming symposium as an important and useful initiative. He said their initiative will see the University through its Medical and Science Schools

work together with the Ministry of Health, the WHO and other stakeholders. Prof. Kumar said the symposium would provide a platform for scientists, researchers, students, communities, nongovernmental organizations, health workers and policy Permanent Secretary for Education Dr Brij Lal, left, shares makers to rally together to un- a light moment with University of Fiji vice-chancellor Dr Maderstand the impact of climate hendra Kumar and lecturer Mrs Sukhlesh Bali after deliverchange and its impact on peo- ing an inspirational speech to post-graduate students at the university recently. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD. ple’s health especially in Fiji and the smaller islands. According to Dr Kumar Medical School, a Science Health Actions Plans. Fiji’s Minister for Health the symposium should also School and Centre for CliDr Neil Sharma has described provide opportunities for mate Change. In addition the University the University of Fiji initiafurther research and raising awareness of a complex, plans to draw from its Centre tive as -TIMELY. Dr Sharma said while complicated but crucial issue for Indigenous I-Taukei Studaffecting the lives and health ies particularly in areas relat- there’s widespread acceping to traditional knowledge tance of the impact of climate of ordinary people. change on human health in According to the Vice and community outreach. The symposium is be- the region there’s a gap in forChancellor medical students and the curriculum would also ing prepared at a time when mulating effective policy. The Health Minister says benefit through greater recog- countries in the South Pacific nition of the increasing con- region are carrying out major the University of Fiji initiareforms in climate change and tive is a significant move tocern due to climate change. The Vice Chancellor said health related matters through wards addressing the problem the University has a thriving National Climate Change and and dealing with this gap.

Women power...female teachers of Ratu Navula College unite for a group photo during the International Women’s Day. INSET: Nai Dakua. Photos: EMOSI LASAQA.

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By RANBEER SINGH

Hi-tech auto shop opens in Nadi
front of vehicles,” said Chandra. Chandra, more commonly known as ‘Sam’ says all their systems are computerized which will ensure total customer satisfaction. The total investment is around eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki, who opened the auto-shop, said government was committed to creating a favorable environment to encourage and attract more investors. Commander Cawaki said the business would serve car owners well in the division. “The opening of this autoshop is a very encouraging sign not only for car owners but for Fiji as a whole as it shows that people continue to invest here,” said Cawaki. “I congratulate Sam for this step and I’m sure that with the latest technology it will provide customers a high standard of service.”

BUSINESS NEWS

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Motorists will now have access to professional care and maintenance of the vehicles, with the opening of a state-of-the-art auto shop by U-S based Anand Atilesh Chandra. The auto shop located at the Namaka Industrial subdivision in Nadi will provide total solution for car owners with its primary focus on safety. Chandra, originally from Nausori said its entire staff are also undergoing professional training under U-S standards which will enable them to provide best service to its customers. “We have seen in Fiji that cars have parts missing or are not serviced on time which leads to accidents. Our company will ensure that vehicles are provided the best care and we are also heavily focused on safety, such as air bags and absorbers in the back and

By EMOSI LASAQA

Police presence boosts business confidence
tourists. And the response from the force was immediate and positive. Mr Bruce of S. Nagindas said the extra police in town made a huge difference. “I was in Suva for the week and when I returned they were very visible all day and the tourists enjoyed having their photos taken with them. Thank you for the huge amount of work you do for Nadi town, we at S. Nagin-

Top: Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki cuts the ribbon to officially open Nadi Auto Body and Paint recently. Right: Saren and Sam in front of their new workshop. Photos: SHALENDRA PRASAD. Cruise liner Pacific Jewel anchored off Port Denarau Marina.

Visible Police presence in Nadi on Sunday March 11 during the arrival of luxury cruise liner Pacific Jewel at Port Denarau was welcomed by the Nadi Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Two days earlier, the Police Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua met members of the Chamber after a report in a local newspaper that Nadi was unsafe for

das appreciate it. It makes a very big difference,” he said through an email to Nadi Chamber of Commerce & Industry president Doctor Ram Raju. Doctor Raju said he hopes to plan entertainment and other activities in town for cruise passengers. “I would like to hear from you for your ideas as to how we can do this, where, what form of entertainment would be best,” he said in an email

to his member. Nadi has recently seen a

surge in visiting cruise ships; the latest was Pacific Jewel,

which brought with it close to 2000 visitors from Australia.

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By SHALENDRA PRASAD

Police Commissioner meets chamber members

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Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua met with members of the Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a special meeting organized on Friday, March 9 in the Jet-Set town. His visit was triggered by a recent negative report in one of the daily newspapers which misquoted chamber president Dr Ram Raju as suggesting that the tourist town is no longer safe for the visitors. Brigadier General Naivalurua said the Fiji Police Force will do its best to create a safe environment for both visitors and locals despite the lack of resources which is always a challenge for them. “Some of the issues being highlighted about Nadi are basically problems faced by Nadi and we need to find a Nadi solution to that,” the commissioner said. He has also assured members of the chamber that more police officers will be deployed during the visit of cruise liners. NCCI president Dr Ram Raju said it was encouraging to see the commitment of the police commissioner in making Nadi and Fiji at large a safer place for everyone. Dr Raju said the negative media report was “blown out of proportion and was damaging to the image of Fiji”.

From left are Divisional Police Commander Western SSP Sacanieli Naivilawasa, Prudence Rouse, Adam Whytcross, Beatrice Nast, NCCI President Dr Ram Raju, Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua, Gari Raniga, Ravindra Patel, Chandra Prakash and Anand Achari. Photos: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

Nadi Chamber of Commerce & Industry board member Commander Semi Koroilavesau, left, meets Police Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua in Nadi.

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By BRENDON COFFEY Executive Chef Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa

I very much enjoy reading the articles from other contributors especially in regard to health and life style. It seems quite ironic that its only as we get older do we actually give any thought to better or healthier eating habits. That’s usually after we have already contracted hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes or some other form of degenerative disease. At this point we feel the need to pursue a healthier diet to either manage or reduce the effects of our previously negative choices. As a young Chef, and I would suggest like the majority of youth venturing out of home and into the intrepid world of independence, that it is unlikely that I would give any significant thought to what I eat. After all at that point in time I was 6 foot tall and bullet proof. If it tasted good…eat it seemed a common sense approach. This was strongly supported by the notion that I can eat what I want as a rebellious gesture to a child hood of “If you don’t eat ya veggies, ya can’t have any pudding” as highlighted by Pink Floyd in the 70’s. However after watching the recent screening of “Super Size Me” on FBC TV, which discussed the issues of today’s billion dollar fast food industry, I have to admit it prompted me too actually give more thought to the somewhat repetitive topic of you are what you eat! Firstly let me tell you I am not opposed to a Big Mac fix! Interestingly I often find my self in conversation with people who for some reason seem to think that because I am a Chef that I would never indulge in such scrupulous activities. They avoid areas of conversation in fear that I might discover that they have eaten “Fast Food”. It is now at the point that I feel my dark secret of occasionally eating a Big Mac should never be revealed and I find myself wearing shaded sunglasses and covertly checking out the cars in the car park and who might recognize me as I drive through the drive through. Truth is chefs probably have one of the worst diets in the world. Again reminisc-

ing to my earlier years, it was quite common if not a very regular routine to start work at 8 or 9 am and not finish until 11.00 pm. A day of cooking, tasting, legs and back aching and eventually smelling like a piece of deep fried fish before heading home, so to cook a sensible, health sustaining meal just wasn’t going to happen. A typical after work menu of any young chef would list something like the following. KFC Dinner pack, Mac attack, pie from the service station, Toasted cheese sandwich (fully loaded), bottle of wine, soft drinks or, nothing but the beverage. So what is the problem with this epidemic terror called “Fast Food”. Well for one, the name is totally wrong. “Fast Food” as it has become known is called so because it is convenient and time saving in our fast paced lifestyles. This is coupled with incredibly smart marketing strategies by these food giant companies. Obviously the literal meaning of fast food means food fast. I would suggest that there is possibly more truth in the term “Processed Food” and that it is the processing that is doing the damage. This is an incredibly complex issue, however just to prove my point, next time you visit the supermarket pick up some of your usual grocery items and read the label. Do you really know what all these ingredients are? Now pick up a fresh paw paw and read the label………..Exactly! I would like to suggest a new approach to “Fast Food”. Good healthy home cooked food can also be fast. With very little effort, simple nutritious meals can be produced in little more than half an hour with a little planning and thought. I quite often will make fish burgers at home somewhat replicating the textures of the popular take away variety but with more flavor and of course healthier. I use a whole meal bun or bread, lightly crumb some fresh fish and gently panfry with a little olive oil. Place lettuce in the bun with a slice of tomato, add a little tartare sauce made from low fat yoghurt and…….Mr Hamburgler eat your hear out (no pun intended). I would like to encourage all of us to give more thought into bringing our family values back to the kitchen table. Are we so busy that cooking has to be a chore? Can we

Fast Food or Slow Food
TASTE BUDS
possibly make it fun and a family activity? Dare I even suggest that we go one step further and be planting our own veggie gardens and making them family projects. Possibly one way to get children to eat their veggies is to let them be part of the fun of growing them. Unfortunately I learnt this tactic a little late. My own daughter at about the age of seven years entered into a battle with me at the dinner table. Much like many famous battles, this was the battle of “I will not eat my vegetables” and Tasha was the Duke of Wellington and my self taking on the commanding role of Napoleon. After a time, what seemed like hours, defeat was hard and swift at her declaration of being a meatarian! So what is the fast food or processed food alternative… could it be Slow Food! There is an international organization or food movement called “Slow Food”. And no, as the title may suggest, it is not about having to wait a long time in a restaurant or having to cook food slowly for long periods. It is an organization of foodies, cooks, manufactures, farmers, market vendors etc with

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a common interest in preserving the natural, sustainable and artisan methods of food production. It strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seed and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. I encourage you to visit the website www.slowfood.com Now where did I put my sunglasses……?

RECIPE
Fast Fish Burgers / 4 portions METHOD: Crumb the fish: • Add the flour and chilli powder together and place on a shallow dish • Mix the grated cheese and breadcrumbs together and place on a separate shallow dish • To coat the fish, first dredge in the flour mixture and then dip into the egg mixture and finally into the breadcrumb mixture. TO COOK: • Gently heat the vegetable oil in a shallow fry pan. • When at the right temperature place each of the fillets into the hot oil and gently fry for 3 – 4 minutes on each side until golden brown. • Carefully remove from the pan and rest on some absorbent paper. TO ASSEMBLE: • Split and lightly toast the burger buns. • Mix the yoghurt onion and coriander together • Spread a little of the yoghurt on the bottom bun. • Secondly place some lettuce or roquette leaves on the bun

INGREDIENTS Burger buns (wholemeal) Fish fillet x 4 Breadcrumbs Cheese parmesan (finely grated) Flour Chilli powder Egg (beaten) Oil vegetable (canola or Olive) Low fat yoghurt Onion (finely diced) Coriander (roughly chopped) Lettuce ice berg or roquette tomato sliced

UNIT QUANTITY ea 4 gr 150 cup 1 cup ¼ cup ½ pinch To taste ea 1 ml 200 ml 120 gr 40 cup ½

• Follow with two or three slices of tomato • Add one of the fish fillets on to the salad • Top each fillet with a spoon full of the yoghurt. • Place the top of the bun on the burger and serve with a slice of lemon.

For reservations and information on Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, please visit www.sofitel.com

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TRAVEL AND TOURISM

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The Jet congratulates all winners of the 2012 AON Excellence in Tourism Awards...

There was an equal distribution of prizes awarded at the AON Fiji Excellence Tourism Awards at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa last month. Taking out the Front-liner of the Year Award was Apisai Vasu - Sales Manager for Plantation Island Resort. The Fiji Experience Awards went to Captain Cook Cruises. The Incentive Events Tours and Transport Awards

Tourism Awards getting bigger and better
were taken out by Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa. They won a total of three awards. The other was the Accommodation Deluxe while their internationally recognized restaurant Navo took out the Restaurant and Dining Award. The Environment Local Sustainability Award went to Beqa Adventure Divers. Accommodation Budget Award went to Smugglers Cove Beach Resort. The Quality Award went to Uprising Beach Resort in Pacific Harbour while Accommodation Luxury went to Likuliku Lagoon Resort. Marketing went to Rosie Holidays. Two specials awards were also given out. The lifetime achiever went to Denarau developer and former CEO

Winners of the 2012 AON Excellence in Tourism Awards pose for a group photo with Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama at the prestigious Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Friday, February 24. Photos: COURTESY OF TOURISM FIJI.

of Tabua Investments Martin Darveniza and the visionary award went to Debra Sadranu -the founder of South Pacific Academy of Beauty Therapy and Senikai Spas.

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By MARK HINTON of Smuggler’s Cove Beach Resort

A Smuggler’s story
of jumped head first into it! I left Savusavu in 1991 and leased some land in Kadavu where I operated along with a local partner, Waisalima Beach Resort & Dive Centre. It was very basic with grass huts on the beach mainly catering to the backpacker dive market. In 2000 Jenice and I moved to Nadi where we negotiated the purchase of Horizon Backpackers located at Wailoaloa Beach. There were seven staff at the hotel when we first took over. After one year we employed up to 25 staff. We had the place really humming at maximum occupancy for a few years until Smugglers Cove opened! By operating Horizon and visiting overseas “newer generation” type backpacker properties and meeting industry people in Australia and New Zealand we really set the ground work for potentially bigger and better things. When we started planning Smugglers Cove, we had a good feel of where the budget market was heading. We knew the location was

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Jenice and I are very humbled and honoured to have received the AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Award for Accommodation Budget category. It certainly goes to show that patience and perseverance is the key to success in operating any business. You could say I’m a bit of a survivor as I initially came to Fiji in 1986 to operate a dive operation at Savusavu called Pacific Island Divers & Yacht Charters. My father sailed his yacht over from Australia and had it here for a few years back then. I operated the only resort based dive operation in Savusavu for several years from Namale Plantation, Hot Springs Hotel, Koro Sun Resort & Na Koro Resort which is now called Cousteau Resort. It was a real adventure as I didn’t start with much money and it was the first business I had ever operated. I just kind

By EMOSI LASAQA

Captain Cook Cruises does it again
eas off the traditional tourist track- with the cultural cruise circumnavigating Vanua Levu - visiting Labasa, Dreketi Rivers, Yadua National Park with the Heritage cruise exposing Levuka and the Bouma Waterfall. “Our Award is for cruising to the Northern Division of Vanua Levu, Taveuni and surrounding islands. Compounding this decision was the new cabins and refurbishment of the MV Reef Endeavour, the introduction of Tabua Suites and upgrades to the Senikai Spa facilities and services. Guest comments validate the win- the special praise for the crew, cultural events and visitor’s ability to mingle with the villagers.” Commander Semi said his crew is always inspired especially in the accommodated cruise ship as it is a very close community on board a ship. “The comradeship is excellent. It will certainly boost their morale to see that their hard work has been recognized. “Our greatest challenge is to viably sustain this due to the long distances covered and huge fuel consumption with subsequent cost. “One of this cruise is three times the distance we cover our normal Yasawa seven nights cruise so you can imagine the fuel and overall operational cost. We have been

perfect right on Wailoaloa Beach and only 15 minutes drive from Nadi Airport so we just had to add all the services backpackers and independent travelers expected. We wanted to take comfort and service to new levels for budget travelers. Smugglers Cove opened in April 2006 and then in April last year we opened a new “Beach Wing” extension. Between Horizon Backpackers and Smugglers Cove there are 56 rooms, 90 dormitory beds & 75 employees. We hold quarterly in house staff awards which recognizes those staff who are dedicated in delivering service and satisfaction to our guests. We are now focusing on the development of Smugglers Serviced Holiday Apartments Complex to be constructed on the beach next door to Smugglers Cove. The development consists of 40 apartments on five floors, fitness centre, lap pool, spa, gourmet deli and under cover parking. The apartments are now selling “off plan” with construction expected to commence latter this year.

Jenice Hinton, left, and Mark Hinton, right, flank two of their longest serving staff Asenaca Siga and Timaima Narube while holding their award during the in-house awards night at Smuggler’s Cove Beach Resort recently.

Mark and Jenice receiving their award.

Jenice awards Samisoni Toni who won the quarterly outstanding employee award.

They have been working hard, but for seven long years, their endeavor was somehow not being acknowledged. Commander Semi Koroilavesau, the Managing Director of Captain Cook Cruises admitted that they were on the verge of giving up on trying to be recognized in the annual tourism awards. But that all changed after they scooped the prominent Fiji Experience Award in the 2012 AON Excellence in Tourism Awards. “Everyone in the Tourism Industry normally vie for these prestigious awards but we have not received one since 2005 and we had sort of lost hope. “We were encouraged to attend the awards after a long time and that gave some indication that we may have been shortlisted, but we had worked very hard last year and we all knew that we had achieved a milestone in the 16-years of our operation.” The company first won a major award in 2001 and then in 2005. Commander Semi believes that their seven night heritage and cultural cruise to the Northern Islands largely contributed to the accomplishment. The cruise extended the benefits of tourism to ar-

Commander Semi Koroilavesau, third from left, is accompanied by his hardworking staff after receiving the award.

By EMOSI LASAQA

Sadranu shines at the tourism awards
said. And the owner of Senikai Spa- the winner of the Fiji Tourism Awards category ‘Activities’ in 2003 is calling for safe practices to encourage spas to maintain a high level of professionalism. Mrs Sadranu said she has seen an enormous shift in attitude towards spas in tourism due to the number of hotels and resorts that have opened over the years with the demand for spa services which is evident with tourists worldwide. “I would now like to see Government and local policies endorse safe practices for our industry to be compatible to that of International requirements. “It is imperative that we protect both tourists and locals from unsafe practices, especially given the lack of knowledge within our local community for safe practices.” The Founder and Managing Director of the South Pacific Academy of Beauty Therapy said she was extremely happy with the recent Fiji Higher Education Commission (HEC) initiatives, in ensuring quality training are being offered within the country. “We are now looking forward to working with the HEC in establishing qualification frameworks for the Beauty & Spa Industry.” The biggest challenge, she said, is producing enough graduates from their Training Institution-The South Pacific Academy of Beauty Therapy, to fulfill the demand in the Hotel Industry. Mrs Sadranu also strongly emphasized on the importance of keeping our traditional therapy. “As with every country, each has their own aromatic and cultural therapies that are either handed down since ancient times or more recent modernized therapies, formalized to suit the times. “Fiji has an abundance of beneficial plant and marine extracts that are very compatible with Spa Therapy and healing. I encourage the use of locally made products to promote the Fijian way of restoring natural island beauty thus creating employment for our local people and offer tourists a natural product from their holiday destination

doing it for nine-years but we have increased the trips from three to 12 per year.” “We did a trial last year by bringing in Simon Gault - the New Zealand Celebrant Chef to cook with local products and meet international standards. That special departure was so successful that we are inviting Simon again to cruise with us. We are also developing a Pamper me Cruise, Dive Cruise, Golf Cruise, and Adventure Cruises to include hiking, trekking and Maintaining.”

Commander Semi said they are also looking at doing cruises to undiscovered areas in Fiji even around the east coast of Viti Levu from Viti Levu bay in Ra down the coast up to the areas between Ovalau and Natovi to include the navigable waters up to the mouth of the Rewa River. He said they would also like to explore the opportunities to cruise Lomaiviti, Lau and Kadavu. “These are open waters but Reef Endeavor can do it. There is also a great oppor-

tunity to join Lomaiviti with Northern Yasawas and do the Bligh waters as a combination with Levuka, this will make a good Historical perspective to an itinerary. It will take time as financial viability will come to play.” The challenge Commander Semi also strongly emphasized that the main challenge is to put cruising back to its old glory when the sector used to share a major portion of inbound tourist market. “We seem to have diverted

funding to attract Cruise Liners coming to Fiji and forgotten cruising in Fiji, where the money flows to rural areas and not the towns that already have hotels. I understand that the budget for cruising within Tourism Fiji is diverted to someone to attend cruise shows in the US. It is not used for what we fought for. “We asked for this money to be dedicated to Cruising in Fiji but someone had diverted this to pay for someone go to the USA,” Commander Semi says.

After 15-years of devotion to the local Spa industry, the wildly successful Debra Sadranu finally received what she deserves. It came during the AON Excellence in Tourism Awards at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa where she was given the Visionary Award. The honor, she said, came as a total surprise but inspiring - knowing that her vision, hard work and contribution of the past 15-years had been acknowledged by Fiji’s vibrant tourism industry. “As I have expressed to my team, my vision is only achievable with the efforts of my dedicated team of ladies who are also passionate about our aim and our industry,” she

Debra Sadranu with Prime Minister Bainimarama.

that reflects Fiji.” “The Fiji experience is what our visitors seek when

they visit our shores, therefore locally made spa products are of preference,” she said.

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Nadi Chamber business forum a big success
Fiji Independent Travelers and Backpackers Association’s newly elected president Tui Kabu spoke about the tourism industry from an independent traveler’s perspective while K L Sharma of the University of Fiji highlighted the untapped developments of the Agro- industry. Bank of South Pacific Country Head Kevin McCarthy spoke on the future of banking in Fiji while the issues of Yachting Business at Port Denarau and Fiji were shared by David Jamieson. The theme of the forum was Budget 2012 and the Private Sector. Various developments in and around Nadi were the cream of discussion with a great deal of focus on the tourism sector, agriculture and mining. The forum also captivatingly analyzed the 2012 National Budget-its strengths and weaknesses and the role of the private sector. Professor of Economics and Chair of Oceania Development Network Professor Biman Prasad spoke strongly on the Strengths and Weaknesses of Budget 2012. He highlighted that although it was a Bold Budget with some innovative measures to boost the economy, there are also risks on spending and investment. He stressed that with the Impact of recent flood and slows down of the Australian and New Zealand Economiesthe Agriculture sector will be

NADI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY
Paying attention to the presentations from left are Pravin Patel, Bipin Patel, Curtis Mar and BSP country head Kevin McCarthy. Photos: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

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government policies would remain expansionary as the election approaches closer in 2014. A similar sentiment, he said is expected from the businesses including negating apprehensions about the sustainability of the tax reduction measures. “The reduced corporate taxes mean more income for the investors and business owners which is generally a good idea but the other negatives may override this and not result in any net gain at the end. “Apart from the lower taxes, the economy has made some other gains, which is expected to have much lasting effect. For instance, sugar output increased by about 16per cent and tourist arrivals increased by about 7per cent mostly due to active marketing by Tourism Fiji. People are to enjoy higher income from this which may have a positive spin on the overall economy.” “But all this may disappear if natural disasters like floods and cyclones, and global downturn continue. And additionally, if new economic activities are not realized the problems emerging from the budget could be worse.” “Most other productive sectors have remained stagnant or have declined in the last 12 months. So, the general lackluster economy is a worrying sign. Without higher economic growth one cannot expect much to happen even if the government’s budget look as good as it does for 2012,” Doctor Sunil says. Meanwhile NCCI president Doctor Ram Raju said the various suggestions and outcomes of the forum will be summarized and the resolutions will be passed to government and various stakeholders for necessary actions.

By EMOSI LASAQA

The Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s business forum on Saturday, February 25 at the FNU Campus in Namaka attracted high profile speakers from various sectors of the economy. The event was a huge success, with the pulse on the opportunities available to local businesses. There was such a diverse group of movers and shakers who attended this groundbreaking event including some aspiring business owners, academics, economist and corporate leaders with others who have been in business for many years. The presence of prominent business people all the way from Ba and the special administrators of Ba and Rakiraki also added for meaning to the entire forum. The line-up of guest speakers and panelists was dynamic and the topics of discussion also attracted the Acting Australian High Commissioner, Ms Judith Robinson. Guest speakers included Lorraine Seeto from the Reserve Bank of Fiji and Vodafone Fiji’s Shailendra Prasad with Doctor Mahendra Reddy from the Commerce Commission to name a few. Amongst the speakers was Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) executive chairman Abdul Khan, who outlined the FSC’s reforms for the year and strategic plans to revive the sugar industry.

affected including the sugar industry. Doctor Sunil Kumar from University of South Pacific School of Economics also highlighted that reduction in taxes in the 2012 budget was a bold step by the government to put more money in the pockets of the people which would increase consumption substantially. He said it was basically an expansionary budget, which was based on the assumption that increased consumption would lead to increased output, which then would lead to other balances in the economy. However, Doctor Sunil said there were some lingering questions about the tax reduction. “I would have expected the tax reduction to be much less. The worry is that the resulting increase in consumption may not spin any growth in output and thus create a vicious cycle of imbalances. The sustainability of this tax reduction seems doubtful since any corresponding increase

in productivity and economic growth may not be forthcoming under the current economic circumstances.” He added that there is a sense of happiness among the people about this tax reduction but it could only be short-lived. In fact the tax reduction, he said, should have been more gradual over the last four or five years to give government a better handle on the necessary adjustments. “This sudden reduction would be far more difficult to adjust and match and realize balances. The budget may not be sustainable for two basic reasons. First, the increase in income of the salary earners may not be matched with a corresponding increase in productivity. Therefore the national economic pie may not grow to match the proportion by which the consumption increases.” Doctor Sunil furthermore explained that the current global slump in the economic recovery and weak domestic indicators are reason for the

worry with the world economy expected to grow at a much slow pace during 2012 than was predicted earlier. He said while the Asian economies may continue to grow at a reasonable rate, the developed economies like the US, Euro-zone, Australia and New Zealand are expected to remain subdued for the next twelve months. He added that it is particularly worrying since the Australian economy was forecasted to grow only at around 2% and the US economy at 1.7%. “There is a worry about increasing government deficit. The projected deficit in the budget may worsen substantially if tax collection from other sources such as departure taxes, stamp duty, the new levies and fines etc do not realize as expected. The government may then have to consider some other forms of taxes in the next budget that could take away what has been given under this budget.” Additionally, Doctor Sunil said it was expected that the

Suva Retailers Association president Himmat Lodhia, from left, Vodafone Fiji’s head of corporate affairs Shailendra Prasad and FSC executive chairman Adbul Khan share a light moment during the forum.

Udai Rao of the Indian High Commission is flanked by Shakuntla Raju and Anita Narayan.

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By EMOSI LASAQA

Charity golf a great success
assist the victims of the recent floods which wreaked havoc in the western division and was carried out by the kind assistance of golf addicts Mark Hinton, Mohammed Faiyaz and Sanjesh Prasad. Chairman of the organizing committee Mark Hinton was impressed with the response from golfers and corporate organizations. Ratu Epeli who attended the event in place of the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama who was in Vanuatu at the time praised the chamber for their effort. “On behalf of the Prime Minister- I would like to say thank you for the initiative. It’s much appreciated,” Ratu Epeli said before he was given a cheque of $11,000 by Doctor Ram Raju, the President of the Nadi Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Many prominent business leaders and golf enthusiasts made the event more colourful at the award winning Denarau Golf & Racquet Club which is now managed by Sheraton Fiji.

NADI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY

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Local community representatives came together for a round of golf on Saturday March 10 to raise money for the Prime Minister’s Flood Appeal at the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club. Team Westbus won after collecting 56 points in the four-member team Ambrose event. The side included evergreen Nadi Airport Golf Club vice captain Ram Khelawan, Rakesh Chand, Hari Ram, Shiva Khelawan and visitor Jeff Devos. Mobile giants Digicel was second with 57.25 points. Cardos was third with 58.62 points while Waynes Women finished in fourth place with 59 points. The President His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was one of the one hundred and forty four golfers who took part in the tournament. The golf fundraiser was organised by the Nadi Chamber of Commerce & Industry as part of their contribution to

From left are Mark Hinton, Dr Ram Raju, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Sanjesh Prasad and Mohammed Faiyaz pictured after the Nadi Chamber of Commerce & Industry organized charity golf tournament for the Prime Minister’s Flood Appeal Fund. Photos: EMOSI LASAQA.

Top: The winning Westbus team. From left are Rakesh Chand, Westbus boss Vijendar Kumar, Jeff Devos, Ram Khelawan and Shiva Khelawan. Missing is golfer Hari Ram. Below: Dr Ram Raju hands over a cheque of $11,000 to His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

The scene after the games. Everyone seen enjoying the hospitality of the Fiji Premium Club at the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club.

Ajay Raniga and Ravindar Dhesi relax after a round of golf.

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By EMOSI LASAQA

New feel of Bondi in Nadi

FASHION ZONE

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It was the day fashionistas across the country have been looking forward to. Bondi Beach Bag Company - a famous name in casual yet chic resort wear in Australia has finally opened its door with an exclusive launch party at the new Farmers Club in Nadi on Saturday March 10. The owner is Tracey Farrington, a lifelong local Bondi girl who is also the founder and the creative source of Bondi Beach Bag Co. brand. She is also the co-owner of the 14 months-old new Farmers Club with her husband Tom Liu. The lounge where the new Bondi Boutique is located overlooks the tropical bure beer garden situated on the edge of the Nadi River. Her decision to move to Fiji was easy. “For the two to three years since I know Tom, we have been living half the time in Fiji and in Bondi. We were here for just seven weeks to be all together as a family and then we decided that we won’t go back- so we made a permanent move over from our headquarters in Bondi to the New Farmers Club,” said Tracey. After completing school, Tracey studied Fashion design and technology at East Sydney Technical College where she acquired her skills. Then deciding to travel the world, Tracey settled in the South of Spain for three years before returning to Australia to open her first factory. During the 90’s Tracey created the vision of Bondi Beach Bag Co. turning her business into the successful Australian iconic brand that is known today. Now established for over 20 years, BBB Company is found in Myer and David Jones nationally plus selected boutiques, resorts and gift stores around Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific islands and the Caribbean. She brings with her the expertise of design and manufacture processes, product collection development, manufacturing and shipping, delivery. As a specialist in these areas, she designs and manufactures for many famous brand name retailers in Australia such as Kookai, FCUK French Connection, Seed, Wittner

Shoes, Seduce, Susan’s and many others. Tracey said she was excited that the shop has finally opened- 14 months after creatively renovating the old Farmers Club into Nadi’s newest hot spot. “This is our flagship retail store-which means this boutique really sets the trend in the page of signature style on Bondi Beach Bag Co. Our business here is about retail and wholesale and we already wholesale to Tappoos, Tokoriki Island Resort, Yasawa Island Resort, Likuliku Resort and we are looking forward to spreading out to other resorts. “We Specialise in casual chic resort wear that will transport you from Beach to Bar for sundowner cocktails in cool kaftans, stylish fedora’s, glamour’s wide brim hats or maybe a cheeky cowgirl hat, carry it off with a gorgeous hand woven straw basket.” “We have created a new environment in the lounge area -to create a space for women,” Tracey added. “Typically the Farmers Club was meant to be a men’s place and we really want to welcome in and let women know that its their place too so we created a little bit more luxurious lounge for women to come and meet-have a cup of coffee or a glass of champagne and relax in a really nice cool environment. “We hope everybody can enjoy the place and enjoy the new feel we are bringing over to Nadi from Bondi.” On the challenge of running her business in Fiji, Tracey said she has full confidence in the economy, and the local business environment. “I believe and am confident as well that everything is what you make it- if you put in-you’ll get a return and it’s not the type of business climate to be sitting back and resting on your laurels.” “We need to be proactive in what we do and have a positive approach to everything so we maintain a very positive approach and things we can continue to develop business over time in bringing certain attribution of Bondi to Fiji. The fashion in Fiji welcome the style of Bondi-the people have a chill out attitude and very relaxed and so is the style of Bondi products so I think its a great fusion I think it fits in very well,” she says.

Bondi Beach Bag Company founder Tracey Farrington,front right, with friends, guests and models during the launching. Photo: EMOSI LASAQA.

Tracey Farrington,centre, with the models displaying the outfits. Photo: EMOSI LASAQA.

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By SUNILA KARAN
sunilakaran@connect.com.fj

Many factors – biological, psychological, and sociocultural – contribute to obesity. People can do many things to fight weight gain, but first be advised that psychologists warn that not everyone should be trying to slim down. For many overweight people, however, especially those who are obese, shedding excess pounds lowers the risks of health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Research on motivation and on methods of therapy has enhanced our knowledge of healthful ways to lose weight. Sound weight-control programs do not involve fad diets such as fasting, eliminating carbohydrates, or eating excessive amounts of one particular food. Nor do we have effective and safe drugs to treat obesity. Today’s most effective weight control programs involve improving nutritional knowledge, decreasing calorie intake, and changing eating habits. It can mean cutting down on- or eliminating – butter, margarine, oils derived from animals, and sugar. The same foods that help control weight also tend to be high in vitamins and fiber

and low in fats. Most health experts agree that such foods therefore reduce the risk of heart disease; almost all agree that they reduce the risk of many illnesses. Dieting plus exercise is more effective than dieting alone for shredding kilos and keeping them off. When we restrict our intake of calories, our metabolism rate compensates by slowing down (Wadden, 2002) Exercise burns calorie and builds muscle tissues, which metabolises more calories than fatty tissue does. Cognitive-behavioural methods also provide strategies for losing weight. Among them are the following: • Establish calorieintake goals and keep track of whether you are meeting them. Go to the website, read books, or talk to a specialist and learn how many calories are found in foods. • Substitute low calorie foods for high calorie foods. Fill your stomach with celery rather than cheesecake. Eat preplanned low-calorie food instead of binge eating peanuts or ice cream. • Take a 5 minute break between helpings. Ask yourself, “Am I still hungry?” If not, stop eating. • Avoid temptations that have sidetracked you in the past. Shop from a list. Go to the supermarket when you are less hungry. Don’t be sidetracked by pretty packages. Don’t linger in the kitchen. Don’t bring fattening foods in the house. • Exercise to burn more calories and increase to your metabolic rate. Reach for your mate, not your plate (to coin a phrase). Take a brisk walk instead of eating

Weight control is vital to healthy living

HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE

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an unplanned snack. Build exercise routines by adding a few minutes each day. • Use imagery to help yourself lose weight. Tempted by a fattening dish! Imagine it’s rotten, that you would be nauseated by it and have a

SOURCE: World Wide Web

Quick tips of losing weight
it’s better to satisfy a craving with healthy grub than ignore it and risk a junk-food binge later. The best picks are filling, protein-packed snacks, such as one stick of string cheese, a tablespoon of peanut butter on a piece of fruit, or a mediumsize bowl of edamame. 2. TURN OFF THE TV Dining while viewing can make you take in 40 percent more calories than usual, reports a new study. And texting, driving, or any other distracting activity during a meal can also result in your eating too much. Instead, make each meal something you put on a plate and sit down to, even if you’re eating solo. 3. STEP ON THE SCALE DAILY If your regular weight increases several days in a row, it’s a red flag letting you know you need to cut back a little or beef up your workouts slightly. 4. SCULPT THREE TIMES A WEEK Doing 5 minutes each of push-ups, lunges, and squats (in 30-second intervals) will

sick taste in your mouth for the rest of the day. • Mentally walk through solutions to problem situations. Consider what you will do when a cake is handed out at morning tea. • Above all, if you

slip from your plan for a day, don’t blow things out of proportion. Dieters are often tempted to binge, especially when they rigidly see themselves either as perfect successes or as complete failures or when they experience pow-

erful emotions – either positive or negative Losing weight –and keeping it off – is not easy, but it can be done. Making a commitment to losing weight and establishing a workable plan is vital for a healthy lifestyle.

Losing kilos doesn’t have to be torture. Adopt at least three of these behaviors — they’re simple to integrate into your day-to-day routine, and all are enthusiastically backed by nutritionists — and you’ll be thinner and healthier in days. (Plus, the weight will stay off.) 1. SNACK, BUT SMARTLY Grazing between meals used to be on the weight-loss hit list. But nutritionists now know that

help build and maintain muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be, so you’ll torch more calories as you go about your day. 5. REACH FOR YOUR CELL Next time your mind gets stuck on a certain food, call a friend and redirect your brain by asking how her day’s going. Research shows that cravings only last about 5 minutes, so by the time you hang up, the urge to devour junk will have subsided.

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Diabetes – A Major Health Burden (Part 2)
sugars. So stop taking sugar with your tea or coffee and stop eating sweets, cake, ice cream and sweet carbonated drinks. 2. Decrease the amount of food that one takes at one meal time. A diabetic person can eat six times in a day but the quantity of food has to be small, so that it is easier for the body to produce enough insulin at one time to normalise the sugar level. 3. Decrease the amount of fat in the diet, so remove all visible fat from meat before cooking. Red meats like mutton and beef have a lot fat so please avoid this. Buy oil that is cholesterol free and use margarine instead of butter. Avoid ghee. Avoid take-outs as these foods have a lot of fat. 4. Use non-stick pots for cooking thus less oil is required in cooking and eat more of baked and grilled foods instead of fried. 5. Decrease starch in the diet, so wholemeal roti and bread is better than rice cooked in the rice cooker. If consuming rice, eat brown rice, and boil it on the stove and discard the starchy water. 6. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Avoid fruits which are sweet like mangoes, pawpaw and banana. Eat more of fruits like pear, apple and rock melon. The next step in controlling diabetes is attending regular Diabetic Clinics at your nearest hospital, health centre or your private doctor. Listen to your doctor and nurse; always be compliant with your medications. You will not know if your sugar is well under control unless you get regular and

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By Dr NAHINA NAAZ Ace Medical Clinic Nadi

In my last column we discussed about Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, its aetiology and symptoms. In this edition I will talk about the complications of diabetes and important steps needed to be taken to control it, thus delaying the complications as much as possible. As discussed previously, you have diabetes if your fasting sugar is greater than and equal to seven and your nonfasting sugar is greater than eleven. If a person has been diagnosed (told by his/her doctor) with diabetes and still refuses to accept it and doesn’t necessary changes to his lifestyle, slowly but surely, the disease will damage the blood vessels in the body, the eyes and the peripheral nerves. Initially the person might not feel anything externally but with time complications will set in. Moreover, if diabetes is not controlled, after few years of diagnosis the patient might have difficulty with vision as the excess sugar in the body would have coated the lens in his eye and started destroying the blood vessels that supply the eye.

The excess sugar will also start coating the nerves in the peripheries (hands and feet) and thus the person will start having a burning sensation, followed by numbness. Because of this, the patient will become unaware of cuts and scratches which could in turn develop into major infections. The excess sugar also coats and damages the blood vessels in the whole body, thus the kidneys will start failing, and the person may get a heart attack or a stroke. Another complication is that the immune system gets depressed, so it’s easy to acquire diseases and cuts and wounds will not heal so easily. Furthermore, decreased blood supply to the peripheries complicate healing more, leading to more serious infections and finally, unfortunately, the very real possibility of amputations. Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, the first step is acceptance. The patient needs to accept the fact that he/she has acquired a disease that will be with him or her for life. Once the patient has accepted diabetes as a part of himself/herself, he/she can take steps to control it, delay the complications of diabetes for as long as possible, and have better quality of life. To keep diabetes under control, the patient firstly needs to make lifestyle changes. One needs to take out time to exercise at least three times in a week. Patient also needs to have a healthier diet. The dietary changes that need to be made are: 1. No intake of refined

proper feedback from your doctor. Once you start attending regular clinics, you and your doctor can come up with a schedule for you to have annual or six monthly blood tests, eye check-ups and foot clinics. Only when you attend proper clinics can your doctor help you prevent you from getting the complications of diabetes.

The reality is once acquired diabetes, it will eventually kill you. But hey everybody has to die one day, right? However, the quality of life you want to live before you die is well within your control. Think about it this way: If you’re diabetic, you have one of the two options: Option A - taking a few meds, eating a little less and

working out a little more Option B - going blind, unable to walk without support as your legs are amputated, unable to drink enough water no matter how thirsty you are, or simply die at a young age because of a heart attack or stroke and not being able to see your kids grow! I think the choice is pretty obvious. So wake up, be responsible and live a happy and health life!

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Customer service is vital to a successful business
service is forming a relationship with customers – a relationship that that individual customer feels that he would like to pursue. After going through many articles I came across some tips which will help us in our daily business environment. Know who is boss. You are in business to service customer needs, and you can only do that if you know what it is your customers want. When you truly listen to your customers, they let you know what they want and how you can provide good service. Never forget that the customer pays our salary and makes your job possible. Be a good listener. Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the customer is really saying. Identify and anticipate needs. Customers don’t buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to problems. Most customer needs are emotional rather than logical. The more you know your customers, the better you become at anticipating their needs. Communicate regularly so that you are aware of problems or upcoming needs. Make customers feel important and appreciated. Treat them as individuals. Always use their name and find ways to compliment them, but be sincere. People value sincerity. It creates good feeling and trust. Help customers understand your systems. Your organization may have the world’s best systems for getting things done, but if customers don’t understand them, they can get confused, impatient and angry. Appreciate the power of “Yes”. Always look for ways

TALK BUSINESS

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By PRANESH AMARSEE

I know I should leave the flood topic alone as we have had enough of it, but something happened at the very height of the recent flood in Nadi town which I would like to share with you all and which all business operators learn something. On Tuesday night, the eve of the second night of flooding in Nadi, I decided to drive from Denarau to town and check on my shop. As I reached the round about near Nadi Primary School, I saw water crossing the main road before the bridge so I parked my car next to the school and decided to walk across the bridge into town. So after checking my shop I returned to my car at around 6.30pm, but it wouldn’t start. Suddenly visions of my car being under flood appeared on my mind. Immediately I called Jitesh Pala, the director of Palas Auto Service and requested for assistance as I had purchased my vehicle from them. It was raining heavily. Jitesh personally came to where I was and we drove back to his place. He assured me not to worry about his car as it would be taken care of by his boys. The Pala’s employees rushed to where my car was parked and towed it away to safety. To cut it short, I have never seen such level of customer

service in my whole life. This is something which propels a company to greater heights. Customer Service is something which I would like to talk about in this article as it plays an important role in business. Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. “Customer service is the ability to provide a service or product in the way that it has been promised” “Customer service is about treating others as you would like to be treated yourself” “Customer service is an organization’s ability to supply their customers’ wants and needs””Customer Service is the commitment to providing value added services to external and internal customers, including attitude knowledge, technical support and quality of service in a timely manner”- www.customerservcemanager.com Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long. Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy - happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers. If you’re a good salesperson, you can sell anything to anyone once. But it will be your approach to customer service that determines whether or not you’ll ever be able to sell that person anything else. The essence of good customer

Nadi businessman Jitesh Pala, centre, has been commended for his superb customer service by our business editor Pranesh Amarsee. Seen in this picture, he is flanked by Jiten Amarsee, left, and Pravin Patel of New World Limited at a Westpac Bank function in Nadi. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

to help your customers. When they have a request (as long as it is reasonable) tell them that you can do it. Figure out how afterwards. Look for ways to make doing business with you easy. Always do what you say you are going to do. Know how to apologize. When something goes wrong, apologize. It’s easy and customers like it. The customer may not always be right, but the customer must always win. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done. Make it simple for customers to complain. Value their complaints. As much as we dislike it, it gives us an opportunity to improve. Even if customers are having a bad day, go out of your way to make them feel comfortable. Give more than expected. Since the future of all companies lies in keeping customers happy, think of ways to elevate yourself above the competition. Consider the following: • What can you give customers that they cannot get elsewhere? • What can you do to follow-up and thank people

even when they don’t buy? • What can you give customers that are totally unexpected? Get regular feedback. Encourage and welcome suggestions about how you could improve. Treat employees well. Employees are your internal customers and need a regular dose of appreciation. Thank them and find ways to let them know how important they are. Treat your employees with respect and chances are they will have a higher regard for customers. Appreciation stems from the top. Treating customers and employees well is equally important. ‘A customer is the most important visitor on our premises; he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.’ - Mahatma Gandhi Every business operator knows customer service is paramount for a successful

venture. Without customer service you will have disgruntled and unsatisfied customers. Your customers are important, you have done the hard part by attracting new customers and gaining the new contracts now you need to turn them into loyal and repeat customers. I see many businesses concentrating mainly on new sales, don’t get me wrong this is an important factor and needs to be maintained. It’s a fact that an unsatisfied customer is likely to tell others of the less than perfect service they get from your company. On the other hand a satisfied customer is more likely to give you referrals and to recommend you. Your customers are more likely to come back to you as opposed to ‘shopping around’ if your deliver what you say, go the extra mile and give excellent customer service with a human voice. You will gain loyal and repeat customers who will be happy to refer new clients to you, increasing your sales and leading to a healthier bottom line.

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JACKS KATCHI KIDS CORNER

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By ELENOA LAWAVOU Mamanuca Environmental Society

Did you know that Turtles begin its life on the beach as a hatchling, measuring no more than the length of a ring finger? Amazing isn’t it! They spend their whole lives out in the ocean and only come to land to lay eggs and nest. (Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines (the crown group of the superorder Chelonia), characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs that acts as a shield. “Turtle” may either refer to the Testudines as a whole, or to particular Testudines which make up a form taxon that is not monophyletic. The order Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct species. The earliest known turtles date from 215 million years ago, making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups and a more ancient group than lizards, snakes and crocodiles. Of the many species alive today, some are highly endangered. Like other reptiles, turtles are ectotherms—their internal temperature varies according to the ambient environment, commonly called cold-blooded. However, leatherback sea turtles have noticeably higher body temperature than surrounding water because of their high metabolic rate.

Like other amniotes (reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals), they breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, although many species live in or around water. The largest turtles are aquatic. Source: Wikipedia) Turtles are long - lived animals and grow slowly taking about 30-45 years to reach sexual maturity. Despite this reasonably long period in reaching maturity, turtles have survived many eras. Turtles play a major ecological role in maintaining the health of coral reef ecosystems. It acts as a major consumer and predators in coral reef habitats. It’s a fact that Turtles in Fiji have been over-exploited for more than a hundred years which has led to a decline in nesting population. Many turtle species are facing threats that are either contributed by man or natural hazards. A major drawback on the population of marine turtle, not only in Fiji but also a global concern, is the harvesting of eggs and marine turtles from nesting and foraging grounds. All species of sea turtle are listed as threatened or endangered. Two species that are frequently found in the Mamanuca waters either for foraging, nesting or just transiting are the Hawksbill Turtle (vonutaku) listed as critically endangered and the Green Turtle (vonudina) listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources(IUCN). Turtles are symbols of our natural heritage and hold a significant role in many cul-

Turtles need to be protected
tures here in Fiji, for example the turtle is a traditional totem for the village of Yanuya in the Mamanuca. Conservation efforts in this village and other village communities along the Mamanuca and Malolo group, although challenging, has proved successful as applications for permits of turtle harvest are submitted before major traditional chiefly events. This is a major step in the right direction as villagers, prior to conservation efforts, usually harvested turtles without regard. A moratorium protecting turtles in Fiji forbids the harvest, sale, take, destroy, and usage of sea turtles. The moratorium was enforced in 2004 and will expire on 31st December, 2018. The turtle harvesting in Fiji is banned from the month of October to April every year after the moratorium was launched in 2004. This is due to the nesting/breeding seasons of turtles within these months. Villages who wish to harvest turtle are urged to submit permits to the Ministry of Fisheries. Permits are usually given and issued to villages if turtles harvested is only used for traditional and chiefly functions. However, despite the establishments of moratorium in protecting turtles here in Fiji, people are still observed harvesting turtles, during its breeding and nesting seasons, without permits. Mamanuca Environment Society in collaboration with other NGO’s, communities, resorts and the Ministry of Fisheries proposed a new

ENVIRONMENT

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Hawksbill turtle released during Mamanuca Turtle Conservation Project Launch.

project in 2008 in recognition of the plight of these vulnerable creatures. MES received a financial support from UNDP GEF Small Grunt Program for the project to be conducted. This was after Mamanuca group of islands was observed to be one of the best breeding sites and nesting grounds for marine turtles (Hawksbill and Green turtle) in Fiji. The project was set aside to target both resorts and community based conservation and was implemented to serve various purposes. The recovery of marine turtle was not the only key objective but more importantly to promote awareness and increase the knowledge of the local communities on the main threats faced by marine turtles. In addition, the project was successful, regardless of being the first ever to be conducted here in the Mamanuca

and in Fiji. Mamanuca Environment Society has been closely monitoring and keeping records of the activities of their village communities and member resorts regarding turtle conservation and other environmental related events. Mana Island Resort & Spa have designated a day every month to contribute to the environment and included in this is the activity of tagging and releasing turtles. The turtles are aged 1–2 years before they are tagged and released. Other resorts namely Trea-

sure Island, Vomo and Beachcomber are also practicing this environmental friendly act. Apart from attracting visitors, the programme helps in the attempt to maximise survival rates and aims to assist in bringing the turtle population in Fiji to a self-sustaining level. Remember a healthy turtle population will contribute to a healthy marine environment. So let’s all try and work together for the betterment of our environment and most importantly to save and protect our turtles!

CENTRE FOR ITAUKEI STUDIES
Diploma in Teaching Itaukei Language, Literature and Culture
The Centre for Itaukei Studies is o ering a new programme aimed in particular at practising secondary school teachers. The Diploma in Teaching Itaukei Language, Literature and Culture consists of 10 courses aimed to further develop the knowledge, skills and values of teachers in relation to reading, writing, language, culture, literature and translation. Two of the courses will be on practicum. Delivery: The courses will be o ered during school holidays and Saturdays. The practicum will be during the school terms. The courses will be o ered subject to minimum number of enrolments. O ering: The rst course, FIJ303 Teaching and Learning of Reading, will be o ered during the April-May school holidays 2012 at the Saweni Campus. Entry Requirements: Teachers who teach or are interested in teaching secondary school Itaukei Language, Literature and Culture. Apply Now: Application forms can be obtained from the Saweni Campus or from the University website at http://www.uni ji.ac. /application_forms.htm. Applications close on 5 April 2012. For further information, please contact: Lusia Penjueli on Tel: 6640600, Fax: 6640700 or email lusiap@uni ji.ac.

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BUSINESS NOTICE BOARD

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BUSINESS NOTICE BOARD

Shop to-let Currently Nadi Gift Emporium Main Street Nadi Call 9999444 for more information

TO - LET

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By ASUAD ALI in Canada

Is sevens still our game?
SPORTS
their infamous samba dance; it gives fans living in Canada and world over a reason to balloon out their appreciation to the team and the country. In both the cases, it’s a feeling like no other; for us Fijians every time our Fiji flag hits the rafters, the adrenaline rush of it all tells a different story. Celebratory faces of the young and old, no trade-offs there, clearly evident. And even with that loss over the Samoans, saddened momentarily yet we wore the smiles and our flag was at the Sam Boyd Stadium. Among them was a true patriot displaying his attire that read “Thank god I’m Fijian, (TGIF). It’s this and about 6000(Fijian) fans have a reason to tag along the team on its circuit. It’s the love for the country and the passion of the game that matters to them all. But in the recent years, our sevens rugby is on a downward spiral, let’s be honest, our methodology is undoubtedly being questioned by hordes of rugby’s highs and we have wronged somewhere. Well, groan and sigh no longer. In fact, begin to worry. Fiji has lost its touch and they’re merely a beatable side at any given outings. There was a time we just didn’t play brilliant flowing rugby; we toyed around with the opponents because our might was unparallel. Today it seems it all about individual plays and records. Immortal, All blacks’ legend Jonah Lomu said once that it is amazing how much a team can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit, what matters the most is the podium. The head honchos at the rugby house must identify the root to our failures and eradicate those who’re there for personal gratification than for the good of the game. During an unplanned run in at the popular Joe’s Café in the town council arcade in Nadi, I met former Fiji 7s speed star, winger grandeur Senivalati Laulau. That 1980’s mantra is a vivid reminder after all this years of a man who sang rugby hymns so close to his chest. He told me then that Fiji shouldn’t look at paving paths in sevens rugby, He said the path had already been paved and needed to be maintained. “The trail must be followed by all passionate players of the game as the path had already been paved for them years on and Fiji should be fine”. A vivacious thought from the then 7’s biggest star. But over the years the message didn’t trickle down well through the ranks and the wise words a fine player got misinterpreted. Laulau reminded that the strength of the team is each individual member and the strength of each member is the team. Perhaps Fiji is at an abysmal of the theory. It hurts to see Fiji get pulped against teams like Tonga (Wellington 7s) and Samoa (Las Vages). The Tongan loss was due to complacency and

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There has long been a view in the 7’s rugby world that Fiji is the king of the abbreviated code. Okay that was when we dominated, but after years of lacklustre performances by the Digicel Fiji 7s, that label has become a debate among the proponents of the game. The game that we once dominated hands down is slowly being siphoned off our being. While we may occasionally get the glimpses of the embedded beauty coupled with sporadic speed and agility, the amber in all essence hasn’t flared up for a full blown dominance nor has there been one. One thing is clear, our sevens game lacks talent, finesse and quality. And if we don’t step up to the throne than consider our game threatened by predators by of every means. The plummeting standard has fans, former players, commentators, rugby writers, and other nations hold the people who run the sport. For many if not most living abroad, including me, 7s rugby is our identity, it’s our culture and pride home away from home. Its more like, what is soccer to Brazil, rugby is to Fiji in the same vein. And since rugby is our national sport, the thrill of it’s euphoric every time Fiji wins a tournament, just as the Brazilians take to streets in

technical decision. The Samoan 14-12 semifinal defeat, simple put, the players slept at the switch and they paid a hefty prize. With the dry runs over for the Argentineans, Walsh and Canadians, these countries because of their know-how of the game will see them become contenders from pretenders. In fact, these teams are within a try or two to scrip a history of their own to 7s supremacy. The Kenyans have already made huge strides and are lurking on the shoulders, as contenders, these nations have come of time and given the current form of Fiji sevens

team, a rub on our faces is inevitable. It’s almost certain the plucky, young and very capable New Zealand 7s rugby programme has sponged in the sacred sevens tactics that once was Fiji’s well kept secret. And perhaps as mad about the sport are the Kiwis, Fijians continued poor performance have them vanquished with superior talent and style. Fiji lacks and is in dire need of a wizardry player like Waiseli Serevi, the genius of the game. The prodigy’s possible successor yet consummated. The national sevens teams back to back loss is enough

By MOHAMMED YUSUF in New Zealand

Fiji Soccer fans have had a feast of Football happenings both on and off the field in the past 4 weeks or so. Some for the likings of the fans and some as usual for the dislikes. The recent movement at least shows that the movers and shakers are back on their feet after a short lapse during the x-mas break. The recent changes in the Fiji FA Statue have clearly demonstrated the future directions the administration envisages. Back to the dreaded promotion relegation series, Nadroga must be at least happy to see that the nightmare is finally over after the premier division administrator of the year decided that protests will not do any good to Tailevu Naitasiri in view of the withdrawal of the last protest. Nadroga needs to get back to work and start developing their youngsters for the future. As promised I now wish to reveal the influence of all expatriate coaches that have been involved from 1992 till now and of course most them I have had a chance to work with as Director of the Fiji National Teams. Fiji FA had infact hired professional Coaches previously for special task. The great Rudi Gutendorf was engaged in 1983 to spearhead Fiji’s South Pacific Games gold medal campaign with Police Officer Jahir Khan as Man-

ager. This infamous campaign was marred by the sending off of couple of players and Fiji failed to win. Wally Hugh was another expatriate coach brought in for a world cup campaign but Fiji was routed by Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. Then in 1993 the late J.D.Maharaj through his own initiatives brought in Mr. Danny McLennan as a development coach, Danny was a former Scottish international and a FIFA accredited coach. There was a very strong revolt against him by the local coaches as Danny looked after junior football and was in charge of National Youth Teams. He was extremely knowledgeable and had a very difficult time bringing in professionalism in respect to training schedules etc. He went out fighting 2 years later after streamling the coaching philosophy. Products of his work were Viliame Batidegei, Joeli Dabea, Mesulame Titifanua, the Masi brothers and many more. For South Pacific games in Tahiti Fiji FA had Billy Singh as National Coach and

The coach

to spark the already surging public indignation in Fiji for a change in strategy and the development of players. Fiji needs to be throttled down to full power leading up to the Hong Kong, the sevens Holy Grail. Fiji’s loss gave New Zealand a commanding 92- 87 points lead in the IRB standings, however its workable should they adopt a strategic plan to outsmart, outwit and outplay with their signature game that was theirs from the early get go. Fiji must regroup from now on and look to the future, to the Hong Kong 7s and Japan 7s tournament which would be up next. We can do it!

on the advice of Billy Australian based Croatian Michael Urukalo was engaged. Koseni Waqabitu was Manager. Urukalo had initially come to Ba to help them win IDC but failed miserably. I as Team Director had to use all my energy to sort out differences between Urukalo and Waqabitu. Fiji won the Bronze Medal after losing to Solomon’s in penalty kicks. We were the defending champions after the Gold medal victory in Lae, Papua New Guinea. Urukalo had limitations as far as tactics go but was great with motivating players like Late Billy Singh. He was a total disaster in terms of having an amicable working relation with other team management. I will continue analyzing the impact of expatriate coaches and local coaches from 1996 till now in the next article. Indepth analysis on Washington Gonzales, Harry Bingham, Les Scheinflug, Tony Buesnel, Lee Sterrey and the evergreen Carlos Buzzetti. I will also rate their work and also highlight the stars of yesteryears identified by different coaches.

Fiji FA’s current head of coaching Carlos Buzzetti.

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By RANBEER SINGH

A five kilometre marathon is being organized by a few running enthusiasts in Nadi to mark Earth Hour. Abhinesh Kumar, a former long distance runner, who’s the main organizer of the event, says they have received tremendous support from runners in the western division. Kumar organized a similar marathon earlier this month which attracted around one

Earth Hour Marathon
SPORTS

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Source: TAPPOO GROUP

Tappoo renews Pepsi and Gatorade sponsorship with FRU
standing,” said Manasa Baravilala, FRU’s chief executive officer. Baravilala is delighted to have the continued support, via Tappoo, of world renowned brands such as Pepsi and Gatorade as the FRU heads into what will be a busy international season in 2012. “As in all sports, hydration is an important part of preparation and maintaining high performance during high level competition and Gatorade is the leading world sports drink brand and accounts for 75% of the market share in the United States,” Baravilala added. Tappoo executive director, Kaushal Tappoo, is also clear-

hundred and twenty athletes. “We have received a lot of response for the marathon which we have organized for Saturday April 14 ,” said Kumar. “The success of our first marathon held earlier this month has laid a strong platform for the next event. We also hope to attract in a few sponsors as well which will make the event more exciting.” Votualevu College sixth

form student Avikash Lal is the top favourite for the race. Lal, the son of former national marathon champion Parshotam, won the inaugural Quality Tile Setters sponsored five-kilometre run. The youngster finished the event in a time of 17 minutes and 13 seconds. “Avikash has been training hard and I’m sure he will be out to set a new time in this event,” said Kumar. Former national rep San-

jay Kumar was second in the male category, clocking a time of 19 minutes 15 seconds. Rajan Kumar, the younger brother of Sanjay, finished third in a time of 19 minutes 20 seconds. Natabua High School seventh former Alisha Dickinson won the female category. Alisha, a karate rep and triathlete, clocked 23 minutes 36 seconds. Fellow NHS student Grace Nalawa finished second in

a time of 25 minutes 56 seconds while Nadroga Arya College student Shayal Kumar finished third in a time of 28 minutes one second. Votualevu College student Ravneel Rinesh Kumar finished first in the secondary school male category. Kumar clocked 18 minutes 17 seconds while Lavenia Dickinson the younger sister of Alisha was the first female in the secondary school category with a time of 23 min-

utes 55 seconds. Waisea Naiti of Maharishi Sanatan was the first male in the primary school category with a time of 23 minutes 52 seconds while Pinky Priyanshu of AD Patel was the first female in the primary school category, clocking 31 minutes flat. For those wishing to participate in the Earth Hour marathon can contact Kumar on 9402188 or Email:- abhinesh_2@hotmail.com.

Tappoo Group of Companies announced the renewal of its Pepsi and Gatorade sponsorship with the Fiji Rugby Union for another three years at Tappoo City in the heart of Suva on Tuesday, March 6. Pepsi and Gatorade have been the official refreshment and sports drink, respectively, for the Fiji Rugby Union since 2007. Tappoo is a major sponsor of the FRU and also provides training and footwear for all national teams through Nike. “The Tappoo sponsorship is a vital one for us and has been built up over the years on mutual respect and under-

ly pleased to be able to extend the sponsorship. “Our relationship with the Fiji Rugby Union has been very successful over the years and we are again proud and delighted to extend this relationship by renewing our Pepsi and Gatorade contract,” Tappoo said. “Rugby is the heart of the nation and we are immensely proud to be supporting our national sport.” On hand to express their support for Tappoo were the Digicel Fiji 7s team who took a break from their training schedule to be Tappoo’s guests in TappooCity where players met customers and signed autographs.

Manasa Baravilala (CEO FRU) together with Tappoo Group executive directors Harnish Tappoo and Kaushal Tappoo seal the sponsorship deal.

Tappoo Group executive director Kaushal Tappoo delivers his speech during the function.

More rugby in Nadi this year

By EMOSI LASAQA

Prince Charles Park is about to become the center of some torrid rugby battle. This is after the Nadroga Rugby Union decided to move all its home games in the Digicel Cup and Farebrother Challenge to Nadi this season. The revelation was made to the Fiji Times by NRU President Ratu Isikeli Tasere after the Nadroga Rugby Union Annual General Meeting held at Talenavuruvuru in Sigatoka on March 3. Ratu Isikeli told the Fiji Times that Lawaqa Park which is owned by the Fiji Sports Council was ‘very expensive to hire’. “The cost of staging rugby games here (Lawaqa

Park) seems to be skyrocketing every year and the best option is to shift all our home games in the Digicel Cup and Farebrother Challenge to Nadi’s Prince Charles Park this year. “It is much cheaper and profitable for us,” said the former national prop.

Nadi Town Council CEO Nemia Tagi. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

“We had meetings with the Nadi Town Special Administrator and he has given us the green light to go ahead with our plan.” Nadi Town Council Chief Executive Officer Nemia Tagi welcomed the move saying, it will be a big boost for businesses in the tourist hub. Tagi said the Prince Charles Park would be able to host any big game. “We got other major plans to carry out this year. We might reconsider the capital project for the ground. There will be a big boost especially from the revenue and whatever income we get will be invested to the ground.” Nadroga’s first Digicel Cup match against Naitasiri is on the 24th of this month.

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