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Lice Movono

Suva - City Center, Fiji
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About Lice
Lice Movono is a multimedia journalist covering Pacific affairs, climate change, development and other Oceania current affairs based in Suva, Fiji.
English Fijian French
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
Politics Current Affairs Science & Environment

Fiji's ex PM Frank Bainimarama to be sentenced today

27 Mar 2024  |  abc.net.au
Former Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, is set to be sentenced at the Suva magistrates court for perverting the course of justice. He was convicted by the High Court alongside former police commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho for interfering in a police investigation in 2019.

Fijian dancer breaks ground with major tourism award

10 Mar 2024  |  www.abc.net.au
Navi Fong, a Fijian dancer, has recently been honored with a major tourism award, marking the first time an entertainer has received such recognition. However, reporter Lice Movono notes that some Fijians do not appreciate Fong's style of dancing.

Anxiety grows in Fiji over Covid-19 outbreak

07 Dec 2023  |  ZB
Fiji is experiencing growing anxiety due to a surge in Covid-19 cases, with 64 new cases reported overnight following a record high of 83 cases the previous night. The current outbreak totals 681 cases. Additionally, one person with Covid-19 has passed away from another serious illness in a Suva hospital. Lice Movono, a Fiji correspondent, expressed concerns to Kate Hawkesby about the worsening situation and the public's mistrust towards the government, which has been criticized for poor communication during the crisis.

Fiji's government wants public consultation over rise in pornography use

29 Nov 2023  |  abc.net.au
Fiji, with the highest mobile internet usage rates in the Pacific islands, is experiencing a downside to its digital revolution, marked by an increase in pornography downloads. This trend is reportedly contributing to a rise in sexual violence and is also affecting young children. The government is addressing this issue by initiating a public discussion and proposing new regulations for the upcoming year.

Tropical Cyclone Mal to hit Fiji's tourism hub of Nadi as region braces for category three system

14 Nov 2023  |  abc.net.au
Fiji is preparing for the impact of category three Cyclone Mal, expected to hit the western provinces and tourism hub Nadi. Schools and workplaces are closed, with heavy rain and flooding already occurring. The Fiji Meteorological Service anticipates destructive winds, particularly if the cyclone's path changes. Evacuations are underway, with eight centers active. Tourism operators have prepared for the cyclone, with tourists advised to stay on the mainland. The Fiji Red Cross is on stand-by to support evacuations, and authorities urge the public to stay alert and aware of emergency contacts.

Israel builds religious and diplomatic connections in the Pacific Islands, as six nations vote with it on Gaza ceasefire issue

04 Nov 2023  |  www.abc.net.au
Israel is expanding its religious and diplomatic influence in the Pacific Islands, where some communities believe in a historical connection to the lost tribes of Israel. This belief is reflected in cultural practices and is supported by Israel's funding of embassies and increasing trade ties. During the Gaza war, six Pacific nations voted with Israel and the US against a UN ceasefire resolution, a move influenced by geopolitical relationships and religious convictions. Fiji's vote against the ceasefire has been particularly controversial, sparking debate and criticism within the country. The Pacific's Christian values and the perceived need to protect the Holy Land are significant factors in these nations' support for Israel.

Former Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama may face time as trial nears end

06 Aug 2023  |  abc.net.au
Former Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama may face imprisonment for alleged interference in a police investigation into corruption at the University of the South Pacific. The trial, also involving suspended police commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho, has been ongoing for over two weeks and is nearing conclusion.

New Pacific regional strategy to launch at leaders summit

14 Jul 2023  |  rnz.co.nz
The Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in Suva, Fiji, will see the launch of the 2050 Pacific Strategy, a 30-year plan for Pacific development and engagement. Civil society organizations express optimism and a desire for effective implementation. The strategy emphasizes diplomacy and engagement with non-state actors. Additionally, West Papuan leader Benny Wenda urges leaders to request a UN investigation into human rights in West Papua. The Federated States of Micronesia joins other countries in calling for a moratorium against deep-sea mining, seeking regional support at the summit.

New Pacific regional strategy to launch at leaders summit

14 Jul 2023  |  rnz.co.nz
The Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in Suva, Fiji, will see the launch of the 2050 Pacific Strategy, a 30-year plan for Pacific development and engagement. Civil society organizations express optimism and emphasize the need for community-level implementation. The strategy aims to foster greater diplomatic power and includes a focus on Pacific nations' relations with China. Additionally, Pacific leaders are urged to renew calls for a UN investigation into human rights in West Papua, and the Federated States of Micronesia joins calls for a moratorium against deep-sea mining, seeking regional support at the summit.

No media breach of blackout: MIDA

05 Apr 2023  |  Islands Business
Ashwin Raj, the chair of the Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA), stated that no media organizations violated the campaign blackout restrictions in Fiji, but individuals on social media did. The blackout, which began at midnight on Sunday, prohibits campaigning to allow voters to make independent decisions. MIDA received complaints about offensive remarks and threats made against candidates and journalists. Raj defended the blackout, emphasizing it was not a suppression of freedom of expression but a period for voters to reflect without campaign influence. He criticized overseas Fijians who did not adhere to the blackout, calling them 'idiots' for their disservice to Fiji. Raj's comments were made during a press conference as polling stations opened.

Fiji battles Covid-19: No lockdown despite new outbreak

01 Apr 2023  |  The Spinoff
Fiji is experiencing a second wave of Covid-19, with 431 new cases and two deaths recently recorded. The government is opting against a full lockdown, a decision supported by medical authorities who cite international practice and humanitarian concerns. Health secretary James Fong has introduced new measures focusing on vaccination and treatment of severe cases. Assistance from Australia and New Zealand is guiding the Ministry of Health. Fong expresses doubts about the effectiveness of lockdowns, especially in hard-to-reach communities. Non-compliance with movement restrictions is an ongoing issue, and a new cluster has emerged in Lautoka city. The Ministry of Health is working to protect government teams and maintain essential services while acknowledging the challenges of social gatherings in densely populated communities. Fong emphasizes that Fiji's response is in line with international practices and is driven by scientific advice.

Low voter turnout prompts extension of Fijian election hours

01 Apr 2023  |  Islands Business
The article by Lice Movono reports on the low voter turnout in the Fijian general elections, which has led to an extension of polling hours and the campaign blackout period. The Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, announced that due to the current weather system, 7,852 voters from 23 venues would be unable to vote by the original closing time of 6pm. Saneem urged voters to cast their ballots, noting the particularly low turnout in urban centers. Despite expectations of 559,038 voters, less than half had shown up in larger urban areas. The country is experiencing heavy rains due to a trough of low pressure and a tropical disturbance, which is expected to continue into the weekend. Free bus services have been provided to assist voters from Suva and Nasinu suburbs to reach polling stations.

Health staff at Fiji's Colonial War Memorial Hospital call for urgent repairs

12 Feb 2023  |  abc.net.au
The Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva, Fiji, which serves as the main training and referral hospital, is reportedly in a dire state of disrepair. Health staff have raised concerns that the deteriorating conditions, including leaks, crumbling walls, and inadequate equipment, are compromising the quality of patient care.

Fiji’s media veterans recount intimidation under former government, hope new leaders will restore press freedom

02 Feb 2023  |  pina.com.fj
Fijian journalist Netani Rika recounts acts of violence and intimidation he faced following the 2006 military coup, including censorship at Fiji Television and attacks on his person and property. Human Rights Watch criticized the coup leader and then Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama for his attacks on critics and the press. Rika later faced government pressure as editor-in-chief at The Fiji Times, which suffered from advertising withdrawal and ownership restrictions due to media laws. The Media Act 2011 imposed harsh penalties and restrictions on journalists, leading to calls for its review. The newly-elected government has promised to change media laws to ensure press freedom, but some veterans like Dr. David Robie advocate for the act's removal, favoring self-regulation. Fiji's press freedom ranking has dropped significantly, and journalists like Samantha Magick hope for a reinvigoration of the profession with less restrictive laws.

Forum leader heading to Japan as release date for nuclear treated water looms

10 Jan 2023  |  ABC Pacific
A delegation led by Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna will visit Japan to address concerns over the planned release of treated nuclear wastewater from the Fukushima disaster, potentially set for as early as March. The visit aims to halt or defer the release and will involve experts assessing scientific data provided by the Japanese government.

No bad blood with opposition, and 'Pacific peace' part of PM Rabuka's leadership goals

01 Jan 2023  |  www.abc.net.au
Fiji's Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has clarified that the police investigation of former attorney general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for inciting communal antagonism is separate from government-opposition relations. Rabuka is focused on fostering a positive and unified coalition government among his 29 MPs. With Fiji experiencing its first government change in 16 years, Professor Jon Fraenkel anticipates increased legislative consultation, dialogue, and public involvement.

Former Fiji attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum under police investigation

30 Dec 2022  |  abc.net.au
Fiji's former attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is under investigation for allegedly inciting communal antagonism following the country's national election. He is believed to be in Australia after his party, Fiji First, lost the election to a coalition led by Sitiveni Rabuka. Home affairs minister Pio Tikoduadua asked police commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho to resign, which he declined, preferring to address the issue through the Constitutional Offices Commission. Rabuka, in his first public address as prime minister, dismissed claims of racial threats post-election and announced plans for legislative and constitutional reform, as well as a forensic examination of spending within the previous administration.

Long wait, with nation to head to the polls in December

30 Oct 2022  |  www.abc.net.au
Fiji will hold national elections on December 14, as announced by Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama. The Electoral Commission is preparing for the election, with 692,918 registered voters and a budget of $17.6 million. The election features a contest between Bainimarama's Fiji First Party and the People's Alliance led by Sitiveni Rabuka. Opposition parties have accused the government of intimidation and legal harassment, with National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad recently charged with 'insulting the modesty' of a person. The charges have raised concerns about the targeting of opposition members and critics.

Chinese police to give ‘management and leadership’ training to Solomon Islands officers

02 Aug 2022  |  the Guardian
Chinese police will provide management and leadership training to senior officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force under a new security deal. Inspector Michael Aluvolomo did not dismiss the possibility of Chinese officers being embedded within the force. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare emphasized that there would be no Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands and that Australia remains the security partner of choice. The Pacific regional law enforcement conference in Fiji, organized by the Australian National University’s Australia Pacific Security College, aims to create networks to combat transnational crime. Concerns have been raised that China's increased focus on the Pacific could disrupt existing security arrangements. Ewen McDonald of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade highlighted the strategic challenges posed by increased geopolitical tensions in the region.

Pacific summit: Suva near to bursting as PIF meeting turns Fiji’s pandemic bust to boom

12 Jul 2022  |  theguardian.com
Suva, Fiji, is experiencing a surge in activity due to the 51st Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting, despite the withdrawal of Kiribati. Hotels like the Tanoa Plaza Hotel are fully booked, and local businesses such as the Republic of Cappuccino are thriving. The forum's agenda includes the 2050 strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, climate change, and the Suva Agreement. Controversy arose after the Micronesian candidate for PIF secretary-general was defeated, but a compromise was reached for a Micronesian successor in 2024. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Fiji's Foreign Minister Faiyaz Koya emphasized unity. Locals, including Kesaia Lolou, hope the summit will lead to more affordable food and better support for farmers.

Flotilla challenges leaders to support Vanuatu's climate change bid

09 Jul 2022  |  rnz.co.nz
Pacific youth formed a flotilla in Suva, Fiji, to support Vanuatu's campaign for an International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the human rights impacts of climate change. The campaign, backed by 1500 civil society organizations and several geopolitical blocs, seeks to enforce the Paris Climate Agreement and prioritize human rights in climate responses. The Pacific Islands Forum has not yet endorsed the bid. Activists from Greenpeace Australia Pacific and other groups participated in the event, emphasizing the need for global climate policy change and legal clarity. The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting will include discussions on the issue.

Long term vision clinches Pacific Islands Forum rift deal in Suva

08 Jun 2022  |  asiapacificreport.nz
Pacific Islands Forum leaders have reached an agreement to prevent Micronesian countries from leaving the regional body. The dispute arose over the selection of the Forum's Secretary-General, with Micronesia feeling excluded when their candidate was not chosen. The agreement, reached in Suva, Fiji, includes a written rotation of the top job by sub-region to ensure inclusivity. The leaders of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, and the Cook Islands attended the meeting, with Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama hosting as the current chair. The resolution was welcomed by the leaders, with the formal withdrawal process by the Micronesian states still pending.

Pacific leaders talk Micronesia, China and regional stability, security

07 Jun 2022  |  asiapacificreport.nz
Pacific leaders met in Suva, Fiji, to discuss regional stability, security, and the China Economic and Security Deal. The meeting, called by Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, included heads of state from Micronesian countries. The Micronesian leaders aimed to address tensions within the Pacific Islands Forum over the Secretary-General's position and the impact of China's growing presence in the Pacific. Micronesian states, many of which have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, are concerned about the wording in China's proposed deal. The leaders emphasized the importance of trust, mutual respect, and peace in the region.

An investigative story on the Financial Mismanagement and Abuse at the University of the South Pacific

The biggest Financial mismanagement and corruption scandal at the University of the South Pacific.

Fijian hospitals overrun - Lice Movono for TV3 NZ

Prince Harry Honours Fijian War Hero at Nadi International Airport

16 Jan 2022

Bainimarama confident of victory

16 Jan 2022

Tabuya powers ahead of women candidates

16 Jan 2022

Interview with Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja

Fijian Prime Minister Bainimarama Recovers from Surgery Abroad Amid Criticism for Lack of Transparency

15 Jan 2022  |  RNZ
Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is currently recovering from successful cardiovascular surgery in Melbourne, Australia, and is expected to return to work by the end of February. The surgery was confirmed by Fiji's Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during a national address. Sayed-Khaiyum, who has also returned from medical checks in Singapore, is acting as prime minister in Bainimarama's absence. The government faced criticism for not informing the public about the prime minister's health and whereabouts, especially during the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Cody, which caused significant damage and one fatality. Opposition leaders and former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka have voiced concerns over the lack of transparency and the need for official announcements regarding the prime minister's condition and acting leadership.

Covid-19: Fiji eases restrictions further

17 Nov 2021  |  RNZ
Fiji's Health Ministry has announced that once a 90 percent vaccination rate is achieved, Covid-19 restrictions will be further eased, including the current curfew hours. As of now, 97 percent of the adult population has received one dose, and 89.6 percent are fully vaccinated. Challenges in vaccinating the remaining adults have delayed the easing of curfew hours. The Fijian government has already lifted restrictions on night businesses and events, allowing venues like O'Reilly's Bar and the new Opium Bar to operate. Tourism Fiji is preparing for the return of tourists in December, with expectations of 80,000 visitors and safety protocols in place through the Care Fiji Commitment programme. Fiji has reported a total of 52,429 Covid-19 cases since March 2020, with 695 currently active cases and a death toll of 694 since the April outbreak.

Fiji Eases Curfew Restrictions Amid Vaccination Progress

22 Aug 2021  |  RNZ
Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced an easing of curfew hours starting Monday, reflecting progress in the country's COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The new curfew will run from 7pm to 4am, a change from the previous 6pm-4am on the main island Viti Levu and 11pm-4am on other islands. The curfew will be further relaxed as vaccination rates increase, with the goal of lifting it entirely once 80% of the target population is fully vaccinated. Currently, 92% have received the first dose, and 234,905 are fully vaccinated. The Ministry of Health reported a decrease in overall cases but expressed concern over cases in the outer islands. Health Secretary James Fong emphasized the importance of continued adherence to health measures and community surveillance. Despite a drop in new infections, the trend may be due to reduced contact tracing and a change in testing policy, rather than a true decline in cases.

Fiji's National Budget aims to combat Covid-19 and prepare for the future

17 Jul 2021  |  RNZ
Fiji's National Budget for 2022, amounting to $US1.78 billion, was announced with the primary goals of addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, protecting citizens, supporting individuals and businesses, and preparing for the future. The budget, which is heavily reliant on loans, was presented by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum amid a severe outbreak with over 11,000 people in isolation and more than 80 deaths. The budget includes incentives for vaccination, aiming to fully vaccinate 80 percent of the adult population by October 31. Opposition leader Biman Prasad criticized the budget as unrealistic and designed to appease growing anti-government sentiment ahead of next year's General Election. The Health Ministry reported that 66.7 percent of the target population has received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while 13.2 percent are fully vaccinated.

Fiji's COVID-19 cases surge with 1220 new infections in 24 hours

15 Jul 2021  |  Newshub
Fiji is experiencing a severe COVID-19 outbreak, with a record spike of 1220 new cases reported in a single day. The total number of cases in the last two weeks has reached 9468, doubling the number of cases since the pandemic began. Additionally, the death toll has also doubled in the same period. The situation in Fiji is deteriorating rapidly, making July a particularly devastating month for the country in terms of both new cases and fatalities.

Fiji's multi-agency response to Covid-19 outbreak

07 May 2021  |  RNZ
Fiji is facing a severe Covid-19 outbreak, with a third death recorded and ongoing transmission on the main island Viti Levu. The government is implementing a multi-agency response, with health officials conducting widespread testing, particularly in the Raiwai and Raiwaqa areas. A mobile team has been established at a primary school for community screening. The response includes contributions from various government sectors and is supported by the United Nations and financial aid from partner countries. Dr. James Fong, Health Permanent Secretary, emphasized the 'all of government' effort and collaboration with the World Health Organisation for data collection. The WHO's Dr. Akeem Ali highlighted the international support and urged Fijians to adhere to health guidelines. Fiji's Emergency Medical Assistance Team, accredited by WHO, has been deployed to Lautoka to address medical needs after a hospital outbreak. The team has prior experience in responding to natural disasters, which has helped in solidifying their response protocols for the pandemic.

Local media barred from covering Royal visit in Fiji

23 Oct 2018  |  Islands Business
The article by Lice Movono reports on the restrictions placed on local Fijian journalists during the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, starting October 23. Independent and mainstream media in Fiji will not be part of the official press pool and will be kept at a distance from the royal engagements. In contrast, the treatment of local media in Australia, where the royals are currently visiting, has been more inclusive. The Fiji Ministry of Information has designated a 'media pool' consisting of overseas media and government information officers to cover the events. Local media will be relegated to watching a televised broadcast of a climate change event at the University of the South Pacific, where Prince Harry is expected to speak. The British High Commission in Suva has directed all media inquiries to the Fiji Ministry of Information. Over 100 overseas media representatives have sought accreditation for the Fiji leg of the royal tour.

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