From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your Saturday, May 27 briefing



Minority communities will have no voice in Cabinet or Parliament if the current voting system is maintained. Renowned academic and former permanent secretary Joji Kotobalavu said if the status quo continued, the iTaukei dominance in the House and Government would be further entrenched. He said this while reiterating the views of a group of academics – that politicians who receive the highest number of votes should be in Parliament, not those who are a shoo-in because of their party leaders’ popularity.

That’s the big news on the front page of The Fiji Times’ edition for Saturday, May 27.

The second report on the front page is a preamble for our special investigative Beyond the Scope series by our West Bureau Chief Anish Chand.


Statistics provided by the Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation shows more and more Fijians are applying to receive government assistance under the Child Protection Allowance, Social Pension Scheme and for Persons Living with Disabilities Allowance.

There were 2309 Child Protection Allowance recipients in 2014 which went up to 8664 in 2021. Similarly, 18,167 recipients were listed under the Poverty Benefit Scheme in 2014 and eight years later the number of recipients was 23,862 in 2021. The allowance payouts for Persons Living with Disabilities started in 2017 with 2744 recipients and at the end of 2021, the recipients’ figure was 9129. The data seems to suggest little effort was made to bring Fijians out of social welfare, with government increasing allocations annually to continue the assistance.

Read the full report inside the Fiji Times!


Here are some headlines inside:

Pages 4-5

Historic Great Council of Chiefs meet

President, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, Turaga na Vunivalu Tui Kaba, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi, ro Teimumu Kepa, guests and meeting reps during the official opening of the Great Council of Chiefs meeting infront on the Ulunivuaka on Bau Island on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

  • THE reconvening of the Great Council of Chiefs meeting on Bau Island this week was historic, emotional and significant.
  • REWA delegate to the Great Council of Chiefs Ratu Ilisoni Vuidreketi says unemployment and education are two key issues he hopes the Bose Levu Vakaturaga will help address.
  • A NUMBER of legislation focusing on the welfare of the iTaukei are outdated and in serious need of a review. Justice Alipate Qetaki highlighted while speaking as a panelist during a public lecture on the life and legacy of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna at the University of Fiji’s Samabula Campus on Thursday.
  • ISSUES of leasing and usage of traditional iTaukei land still persist within various sects of communities across the country. While speaking as a panelist during a public lecture on the life and legacy of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna at the University of Fiji’s Samabula Campus on Thursday, Justice Alipate Qetaki said any proposed reform must be consulted with stakeholders as widely as possible.
  • “OUR forefathers may have come to Fiji on different ships, but we are all in the same ship now.” This was the view expressed by the former leader of the Soqosoqo Vakamarama Lomaiviti Province and community leader Dr Cema Bolabola while speaking at a public lecture on the life of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna at the University of Fiji Samabula Campus on Thursday.
  • HEALTHY discourse surrounding iTaukei land ownership should be encouraged, however, the topic has become “a political football” over the years, says Unity Fiji leader Savenaca Narube.



Features and opinions

We have a lineup of quality articles inside for your reading pleasure. You can check out the regular sections on Motoring, Entertainment, International and Regional news, and Property Guide. Keep up with the latest from around the country with letters to the editor – seven pages of that inside!


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