Ra is one of the fourteen provinces of Fiji. Occupying the northern area of Viti Levu, the largest island, it is one of eight Viti Levu-based Provinces. With a land area of 1341 square kilometers, it had a population of 30,432 at the 2017 census; the main urban centre is at Vaileka, with a population of 3,361 in 1996. The province includes the districts of Saivou, Nakorotubu and Nalawa; these four districts have their own paramount chiefs, unlike in other provinces where there is a paramount chief governing the whole province. The four paramount chiefs are the Gone Turaga na Vunivalu na Tui Nalawa, Gone Turaga na Tui Navitilevu, Gone Marama na Ratu ni Natauiya and Turaga na Gonesau. Ra Province has 86 villages. Ra is governed by a Provincial Council chaired by Mr Simione Naikarua, a former Board Secretary of Airport Fiji Limited and former Chief Executive Officer of the Nasinu Town Council. Mr Simione Naikarua hails from Burenitu village in the district of Nalawa in Ra. There was an attempt in 2015 to create a "Christian state" in Ra.
This was described by the Chief of Police, Ben Groenewald, as a harmless cult, but the prime minister Frank Bainimarama took a sterner view and ordered a clamp-down by the army. The Ra dialect of Fijian is distinctive in that the consonant /t/, pronounced elsewhere in Fiji, is pronounced as a glottal stop
Fiji National University
Fiji National University formed in 2010 as a result of a merger between six institutions in Fiji, namely the Fiji Institute of Technology, Fiji School of Nursing, Fiji College of Advanced Education, Lautoka Teachers College, Fiji School of Medicine and Fiji College of Agriculture. FNU has 20,000 students studying across eleven campuses nationwide in Suva, Lautoka, Ba and Labasa; the University has 2,000 staff, including 800 academic faculty members. In addition, the University hosts the National Training and Productivity Centre, which trains 10,000 in-service students from industry each year. Although it was formally established in 2010, Fiji National University has a long history of relevant education dating back to the origins of its component Colleges, through institutions that were established according to national needs and aspirations as these developed; the following is a brief summary of the history of some of the colleges. The Fiji School of Medicine is now part of the FNU College of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The former Fiji School of Medicine was established in 1885 as the Suva Medical School to train vaccinators. The School now provides training in most health science disciplines including medicine, pharmacy, radiography, laboratory technology, public health, health services management and environmental health; the former Fiji School of Nursing is one of the oldest nursing education institutions in the Pacific and has been in existence since 1893. Now part of the FNU College of Medicine and Health Science, the School offers basic and post-basic nursing programmes for Fiji and regional students. Graduates are capable of working in general health services and child health care service, mental health service, and, in urban and remote community health services; the merger of the Fiji School of Medicine and the Fiji School of Nursing into the Fiji National University saw the creation of five schools under the College of Medicine and Health Sciences: the School of Health Sciences. The former Fiji Institute of Technology is now part of the FNU College of Engineering and Technology and is the University's Samabula Campus.
It was established in 1963 to train students in technical and vocational disciplines, to meet the engineering human resource needs of Fiji. The College provides education to cater for the total human resource needs of Fiji and the South Pacific in the areas of engineering, including information technology and electronics, marine training and in the sciences; the FIT was a starting point for the College of Business and Tourism Studies, now located in a number of different centres, including the new Nadi Campus in the heart of Fiji's tourism industry. The main administration centre of Fiji National University, including the hub of its extensive teacher training faculty, is located at what was once Fiji's prestigious Queen Victoria School, established at Nasinu in 1907. In 1947, the school was relocated to Matavatucou, Tailevu Province, the facilities were used to establish the Nasinu Teachers College, a primary teacher training institution. In 1982, it re-opened as the Nasinu Residential College for students.
In the 1990s, an Australian aid programme helped establish training for secondary teachers and in 1992 the Fiji College of Advanced Education opened at the Nasinu site. In 2009, FIT established three research centres, aimed at advancing core clusters of research that are relevant to Fiji and the Pacific: The Centre for Applied Economic Research aims to undertake applied research in all areas related to economic development of Fiji; the Centre for Sustainable Technology and Development aims to enhance research and development work in all areas of technology for development. The Centre for Drama and Creative Arts aims to enhance all aspects of drama and visual & creative arts. Meanwhile, the Lautoka Teachers College was established in 1978 as the country's largest pre-service provider of primary teachers and secondary school teachers also; this has become part of the University's College of Humanities and Education and is now the FNU Lautoka Campus with some of the proams being offered in Suva, Nasinu Campus.
The Humanities Department of this College, including its remarkable and known music section, is based on the Raiwai Campus in Suva. The Fiji College of Agriculture was established in 1954 to meet the human resource needs of the country in all areas of agriculture; that College was further developed into the University's College of Agriculture and Forestry on the Koronivia Campus. It places great emphasis on research in agriculture, it is now formally known as the College of Fisheries & Forestry. The National Training and Productivity Centre known as the Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji and the Fiji National Training Council, was established in 1973 by the Fiji National Training Act, it established the National Qualifications Framework to benchmark training and qualifications in technical and trade areas against a national standard, based on the needs of local industries, iscomparable with overseas qualifications. TPAF became part of FNU in 2011 as the National Training and Productivity Centre to run the University's shor
Rakiraki District, Fiji
Rakiraki is a district in Fiji's Ra Province. It is located about halfway between Suva and Nadi when travelling along the Kings Road, on the northern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island. At the 1996 census, the Rakiraki district had a population of 29,137, with 15,325 in the smaller Rakiraki sub-district. Of these, 3361 lived in Rakiraki's principal urban centre; the Fiji Times reported on 4 October 2006 that Uraia Waqa, Chairman of the Rakiraki Local Government Authority, had called for Vaileka to be incorporated as a Town in order to attract government investment. Local Government and Urban Development Minister Chaitanya Lakshman was reported to be sympathetic to the proposal; the main township is Rakiraki town locally known as Vaileka. Rakiraki is an area said to portray Fijian patriotism. Many noted Fijian politicians have originated from this area, such as Sidiq Koya, who fought for Fijian workers' rights. Others include Tomasi Vuetilovoni, Meli Bolobolo, Joji Banuve, Subas Chand, George Shiu Raj.
Traditional Fijian villages in the Rakiraki district are Namuaimada, Navolau Number 1, Navolau Number 2, Navuavua, Malake & Nakorokula. Prominent landmarks include Navatu Rock, in Vitawa village, believed to be one of Fiji's oldest human settlements. Pottery excavated at the base of the rock has been dated to around 1000BC. About 1.5 kilometers offshore lies the island of Nananu-i-Ra. Fijian mythology holds that this island is the disembodied spirits' point of departure from this world to the afterlife. A village once crowned the peak of this island; the tomb of Ratu Udre Udre, a famous 19th century cannibal chief who consumed more than 800 of his victims, is close to the township of Vaileka. The renowned Nakauvadra Range, associated with Fijian mythology is visible from anywhere in the Rakiraki district, it is the main contributing factor to the dry conditions that prevail throughout much of the year in the Rakiraki region. Agriculture and tourism are the mainstays of the Rakiraki economy; the Fiji Sugar Corporation operates the Penang Sugar Mill on the Penang River, one kilometer north-east of Vaileka.
Sugar cane is grown in the valleys. Root crops, including yaqona are cultivated. Fiji water is bottled 20kilometres west of the main town of Rakiraki
The Fiji Times is a daily English-language newspaper published in Suva, Fiji. Established in Levuka on 4 September 1869 by George Littleton Griffiths, it is Fiji's oldest number 1 newspaper still operating; the newspaper's masthead states that it is: "The First Newspaper Published In The World Every Day". The Fiji Times is owned by Motibhai Group of Companies, which purchased it from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp on 22 September 2010; the Fiji Times Limited board is chaired by Kirit Patel, includes Rajesh Patel, a resident director appointed in 2010 and Jinesh Patel, the marketing manager for the Motibhai Group of Companies. The Company Secretary is Venkteshwar Permal; the current general manager is Hank Arts. The former publisher Evan Hannah was forcibly removed from Fiji in 2008 as he was accused by the interim government of meddling in Fijian politics; this was prior to the sale by News Corp to the Motibhai Group of Companies. An online edition is published, featuring local news and weather; the Rabuka administration censored the Fiji Times for a while following the first military coup of 14 May 1987.
In protest, the newspaper published an edition with large blank spaces, where articles censored by the military would have been placed. The Fiji Times announced on 5 December 2006, in the wake of the overthrow of the civilian government by the military, that it was suspending publication rather than bow to government censorship. Military officers had visited the premises that evening to prohibit the publication of any "propaganda" in support of the deposed government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase; the online edition would be continuing publication as normal, however. Just before midday on 6 December, the military granted permission for the Times to resume publication without censorship; the Times reported on 9 December that two members of the public had been detained and questioned by the Military over letters they had written to the Times editor during the week, were given a "verbal warning."Nonetheless, from December 2006 to April 2009, the Times was able to publish continuously articles critical of the interim government.
The latter did not impose censorship. Following the 2009 Fijian constitutional crisis, all Fiji's media were censored, including the Fiji Times. Censors are present in the paper's newsrooms; the newspaper's chief editor Netani Rika told Radio New Zealand International that "his journalists continue to cover every story in detail as if they were working in a democratic country without restrictions. And he says they challenge the censors by putting every possible news item before them." The website of the Fiji Times has been censored since April 2009. The Fiji Labour Party was once critical of the Fiji Times, accusing it of political bias. In July 2008, the party published a report alleging that the Fiji Times had collaborated with others in a deliberate effort to unseat the 1999/2000 Labour-led government. Culture of Fiji L. G. Usher: Brief History of The Fiji Times, Paper read to the Fiji Society on October 15, 1962
Fiji the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, Tuvalu to the north. Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands—of which 110 are permanently inhabited—and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres; the most outlying island is Ono-i-Lau. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the total population of 898,760; the capital, Suva, on Viti Levu, serves as the country's principal cruise-ship port. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres such as Nadi—where tourism is the major local industry—or Lautoka, where the sugar-cane industry is paramount.
Due to its terrain, the interior of Viti Levu is sparsely inhabited. The majority of Fiji's islands formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago; some geothermal activity still occurs today, on the islands of Vanua Taveuni. The geothermal systems on Viti Levu are non-volcanic in origin, with low-temperature surface discharges. Sabeto Hot Springs near Nadi is a good example. Humans have lived in Fiji since the second millennium BC—first Austronesians and Melanesians, with some Polynesian influences. Europeans visited Fiji from the 17th century onwards, after a brief period as an independent kingdom, the British established the Colony of Fiji in 1874. Fiji operated as a Crown colony until 1970. A military government declared a Republic in 1987 following a series of coups d'état. In a coup in 2006, Commodore Frank Bainimarama seized power; when the High Court ruled the military leadership unlawful in 2009, President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, whom the military had retained as the nominal Head of State, formally abrogated the 1997 Constitution and re-appointed Bainimarama as interim Prime Minister.
In 2009, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau succeeded Iloilo as President. After years of delays, a democratic election took place on 17 September 2014. Bainimarama's FijiFirst party won 59.2% of the vote, international observers deemed the election credible. Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific thanks to its abundant forest and fish resources, its currency is the Fijian dollar, its main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry, remittances from Fijians working, bottled water exports. The Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development supervises Fiji's local government, which takes the form of city and town councils. Fiji's main island is known as Viti Levu and it is from this that the name "Fiji" is derived, though the common English pronunciation is based on that of their island neighbours in Tonga, its emergence can be described as follows: Fijians first impressed themselves on European consciousness through the writings of the members of the expeditions of Cook who met them in Tonga.
They were described as formidable warriors and ferocious cannibals, builders of the finest vessels in the Pacific, but not great sailors. They inspired awe amongst the Tongans, all their Manufactures bark cloth and clubs, were valued and much in demand, they called their home Viti, but the Tongans called it Fisi, it was by this foreign pronunciation, first promulgated by Captain James Cook, that these islands are now known. "Feejee", the Anglicised spelling of the Tongan pronunciation, was used in accounts and other writings until the late 19th century, by missionaries and other travellers visiting Fiji. Located in the central Pacific Ocean, Fiji's geography has made it both a destination and a crossroads for migrations for many centuries. According to oral tradition, the indigenous Fijians of today are descendants of the chief Lutunasobasoba and those who arrived with him on the Kaunitoni canoe. Landing at what is now Vuda, the settlers moved inland to the Nakauvadra mountains. Though this oral tradition has not been independently substantiated, the Fijian government promotes it, many tribes today claim to be descended from the children of Lutunasobasoba.
Pottery art from Fijian towns shows that Fiji was settled by Austronesian peoples before or around 3500 to 1000 BC, with Melanesians following around a thousand years although the question of Pacific migration still lingers. It is believed that the Lapita people or the ancestors of the Polynesians settled the islands first but not much is known of what became of them after the Melanesians arrived. Archeological evidence shows signs of settlement on Moturiki Island from 600 BC and as far back as 900 BC. Aspects of Fijian culture are similar to the Melanesian culture of the western Pacific but have a stronger connection to the older Polynesian cultures. Trade between Fiji and neighbouring archipelagos long before European contact is testified by the canoes made from native Fijian trees found in Tonga and Tongan words being part of the language of the Lau group of islands. Pots made in Fiji have been found in Samoa and the Marquesas Islands. In the 10th century, the Tu'i Tonga Empire was established in Tonga, Fiji came within its sphere of influence.
The Tongan influence brought Polynesian cu