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Fiji's traditional Uto Ni Yalo canoe delivers tonnes of relief supplies to cyclone-ravaged coastal town
1 April 2016 - A traditional Fijian voyaging canoe -- the Uto Ni Yalo -- has carried tonnes of cyclone relief supplies to the country's old capital, Levuka. The Uto Ni Yalo encountered difficulties with low wind conditions while sailing towards Levuka, but the sailors were prepared for such contingencies. 'We had optimal sailing conditions right through until Friday morning, when we hit a bit of a dull spot out at sea, so we dropped our solar-powered propellers and motored into Levuka,' said Uto Ni Yalo Trust secretary Dwain Qalovaki. (more)

Australian builds storm-proof homes for Fiji's poorest residents
4 May 2015 - Just outside Fiji's second biggest city, Lautoka, lies a place known as Koroipita or Peter's village, home to some of the country's poorest people. Despite their disadvantages, village residents live in homes designed to withstand powerful storms, at a cost of only $1 a day. The village was named after Australian Peter Drysdale, who built more than 160 houses. Mr Drysdale said Koroipita was a model that could be replicated elsewhere around the Pacific. (more)

Global happiness survey shows Fijians are the world's most content
31 December 2014 - An end of 2014 study surveying people in 65 countries has found happiness is on the rise globally, with Fiji leading the way. The research by polling organisation WIN/Gallup found 70 per cent of the 64,000 respondents were content with their life, a 10 per cent increase from 2013. The group's annual global End of Year survey explores the outlook, expectations, views, and beliefs of people across the globe. Jean-Marc Leger, the president of WIN/Gallup International Association, said happiness showed no sign of waning across the globe. 'This year's survey also highlights that people across the world are increasingly optimistic and believe that 2015 is set to be a good year,' he said. (more)

Excitement and relief in landmark Fiji election
17 September 2014 - There was excitement among thousands of voters and relief from the international community Wednesday as Fijians cast ballots in a landmark election they hope will end more than a quarter-century of political turmoil and eight years of autocratic rule. The 100 or so international election observers reported no problems by the time polling closed at 6 p.m. In the morning, voters lined up at polling stations, with just over half a million of the nation's 900,000 citizens registered to vote. (more)

Fiji: Organic farming grows
6 August 2014 - Despite initial reservations, more farmers are forging into organic farming through an EU-funded GROW programme administered by the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development. FRIEND director Sashi Kiran said most were suppliers of ingredients for herbal infusions and tea variaties retailed by them. Ms Kiran said they also received positive feedback from hotels keen to purchase organic produce for their restaurants to cater to the demand of increasingly health-conscious global consumers. (more)

Organic farming culture becomes burgeoning business for Fiji islanders
22 June 2014 - The remote Fijian island of Cicia (pronounced; The-thee-a) has launched a novel business in organic produce that could prove to be a template for other developing communities around the world. The island declared itself chemical free and fully organic eight years ago and is now producing food that's attracting the interest of foreign buyers. (more)

Pacific Islands Forum praises Fiji's progress towards democracy
15 February 2014 - A group of South Pacific government ministers has praised Fiji's progress towards democracy, saying it should be rewarded with greater regional involvement. Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been part of the six-member Pacific Islands Forum delegation, which has spent two days gauging Fiji's progress towards democratic elections. 'Collectively we are encouraged by what we've seen and we very much hope that by September this year, Fiji would have held an election deemed by the international community to be free and fair,' Ms Bishop said. (more)

Fiji President signs long-awaited constitution into law
6 September 2013 - Fiji's President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has given his assent to a new constitution, saying its signing marks a new beginning for the country. The new constitution will come into law immediately and replaces the charter scrapped by the military-backed regime in 2009. Ratu Epeli says the new constitution paves the way for next year's elections to be free and fair. (more)

Fiji: Pacific diet is healthier than Western foods, chef says
30 August 2013 - Chef Lance Seeto may have been raised in Australia but he's advising the people of his adopted Pacific home to return to traditional foods to reduce obesity and other health problems. The award-winning chef at Fiji's Castaway resort, famous for his Fiji-Asian fusion cuisine, says people in the Pacific should take advantage of their easy access to fresh foods. He says that people in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and the South Pacific can draw on their ancient civilizations to eat more healthily. (more)

Fiji to set up food bank to help alleviate poverty
26 June 2013 - Fiji is planning to set up a food bank to supplement its existing poverty alleviation programmes. Permanent Secretary for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Josefa Koroivueta, has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat the Social Welfare Ministry has surveyed areas to find where the assistance is most needed. It is hoped that food will be donated by local businesses and food distributors. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Fiji receives a visit from President of Maharishi University of Management
20 July 2013 - Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in the USA, visited Fiji this year, meeting with government and education officials, presenting the wide range of scientifically verified applications of the Transcendental Meditation programme to improve all areas of society. (more)

Students practising Transcendental Meditation in Fiji create coherence for their nation
13 January 2011 - An initiative to create an invincible, permanent state of peace and progress in Fiji has gained momentum in the past year through programmes in education. (more)

Transcendental Meditation brings Fiji students relief from tension, better test scores: 'After meditation, all the tiredness is gone'
21 December 2009 - One hundred sixty high school students in Fiji are practising the Transcendental Meditation Programme. They have expressed great satisfaction with the programme, writing comments such as: 'I think meditation is a good experience, and I like it because it relaxes my mind, and my body gets rest. I was also able to do my homework without any problem. I really enjoyed it and I hope to continue my meditation . . . at home, at school, and everywhere I go.' (more)

Fiji: Students express appreciation for Transcendental Meditation
20 December 2009 - High School students in Fiji recently learned the Transcendental Meditation Programme, and have commented on how much they are enjoying the programme. One student said, 'It's a very great and unique experience. Since I have started doing meditation I totally feel changed. I could concentrate on my studies . . . [and] it gave me a relaxing feeling. It's not hard, it's something that's interesting.' (more)

Fiji: Hundreds of students to learn Transcendental Meditation
19 December 2009 - A Consciousness-Based Education programme has begun in one of the largest high schools in Fiji. One hundred sixty students are already practising the Transcendental Meditation Programme, and another 160 students will learn the technique beginning in January. (more)

Maharishi's Invincible Defence Technology: Fiji Daily Post
8 September 2008 - Invincible Defence Technology is the way to world peace. The prevention strategy, introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, would alleviate the world-suffering caused by greedy governments and arms dealers who profit from war. 'Intelligent military thinking dictates that you prevent the birth of an enemy -- that you make your enemy into your friend. It will be much easier to make your enemy your friend than it will be to defend yourself against an unseen enemy,' Maharishi said. (more)

Transcendental Meditation benefits for health, creativity, reduced stress, and a better society: Fiji Daily Post
31 August 2008 - Transcendental Meditation, or 'TM' as it is commonly described by its Western practitioners, was introduced to the world by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of India, and a total of 600 scientific research studies have since been carried out in 200 universities and research institutions around 32 countries to prove its authenticity. Maharishi Mahesh opened the gateway of enlightenment to millions of people and his influence is now bringing the untapped knowledge of Natural Law to the field of health to create a disease-free society. (more)


Flops
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Fiji government imposes new public order controls
6 January 2012 - Fiji's government stepped back from a promise of a more open society Friday, imposing new controls on public order just a day before it was supposed to lift more than two years of emergency rule. Commodore Frank Bainimarama's government had announced on New Year's Day that it would lift the emergency rule Saturday, but the new rules indicate that the military government will still maintain tight control. Bainimarama, who seized power in a coup in late 2006, imposed the emergency regulations in mid-2009 after the South Pacific nation's Court of Appeal ruled his military government was illegal. Fiji has had sanctions and financial penalties imposed on it by the United States, European Union, Australia, and New Zealand. It remains suspended from the British-led Commonwealth grouping of 53 nations -- mainly former British colonies. (more)

Fiji military extends its grip on power
17 April 2009 - Fiji's military government extended its grip on power Friday as a former army commander was sworn in as vice president of the volatile South Pacific nation. Armed forces chief Comodore Frank Bainimarama, meanwhile, said the country should accept that he is in control and move on, following a week of turmoil in which the constitution was abolished and media freedoms squashed. 'There is no need to speculate as to what happened, how it happened, what should have happened or what should not have happened,' the Comodore said in a speech to public servants that was posted on the government's Web site. While the office of president is largely ceremonial under the abolished constitution, Nailatikau's appointment puts another Bainimarama ally in a prime position to succeed the ailing Iloilo, 88. Senior bureaucrats including the central bank governor have also been replaced this week. Pressure is mounting among South Pacific nations to suspend Fiji from a key regional group. Paul Reeves, the British Commonwealth's special envoy to Fiji, said the 53-member organization was also considering suspending Fiji's membership and would take its lead from the Pacific forum. (more)

Fiji leader imposes state of emergency
7 September 2007 - Fiji's military-led government imposed a monthlong state of emergency Thursday, accusing the Prime Minister, who was ousted in a coup last year, of seeking to 'destabilize' the South Pacific nation. Under the measures, the military regime has the right to detain Fijians without charge. Public meetings are only allowed with formal police approval, while street marches are banned entirely. (more)

State of emergency declared in Fiji
7 December 2006 - Fiji's military commander declared a state of emergency and installed a new prime minister and police chief Wednesday, a day after he overthrew the elected government and brought international sanctions and censure that began to isolate the South Pacific country. The takeover, like the previous three coups, has its roots in the nation's ethnic divisions. (more)

Fiji's Prime Minister says military coup under way
5 December 2006 - Fiji's elected leader said Tuesday a military takeover was under way in the South Pacific country as armed troops surrounded his house and other government buildings in a lockdown of the capital. Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase said it was not clear who was in control of his tiny country. The coup would be the fourth in 19 years for the country. (more)

Fiji: Troops move against police
4 December 2006 - Soldiers moved against at least two police compounds in Fiji on Monday, seizing weapons in the apparent first step toward taking over the South Pacific island nation. (more)

Fiji Commander threatens to oust the government
1 December 2006 - Fiji's military chief declared talks with the Prime Minister to avert a coup a failure and issued a fresh threat to replace the government unless it moves immediately to meet his demands. (more)

Fiji troops to conduct training exercise
28 November 2006 - Fiji's military said it would secure parts of the capital for three hours overnight Wednesday as part of a training exercise designed to prepare for foreign troops entering the coup-plagued nation. Australia and other regional neighbours have said a coup may be imminent. (more)

Fiji army commander warns of bloodshed
2 November 2006 - Fiji's military commander warned Thursday that the Prime Minister's refusal to resign over a dispute between the two men could plunge the coup-prone South Pacific nation into bloodshed. (more)

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