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Serafina Silaitoga

Labasa, Fiji
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About Serafina
Serafina Silaitoga is a journalist based in Labasa, Fiji.
English Fijian
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Business Finance Politics

Life at Nabubu village

08 Jan 2024  |  fijitimes.com.fj
Melania Disea, now 86 and a clan leader in Fiji, recalls seeing a 'diratarata' or centaur, an ancestral tribal god, in her youth at Nabubu Village. Despite her fear and the villagers' disbelief, this was a significant encounter for her. She also recounts the story of Radaiga, a warrior who aided local chiefs in battles and formed lasting alliances. Melania reflects on the simplicity and healthiness of life in the past, attributing her longevity to the natural diet of her youth, and expresses concern for the current generation's quality of life.

Police confirm boat capsized off Tuvuca Island; 12 rescued while young girl remains missing

05 Jan 2024  |  www.fijitimes.com.fj
Fiji Police have confirmed the rescue of 12 individuals from Tuvuca Island in Vanuabalavu, Lau, following a boating accident. The group had gone for a picnic when their boat capsized. Three individuals have died, and a search is underway for a missing 12-year-old girl, involving villagers and police officers from Vanuabalavu Police Station.

Christmas reminder for Christians

28 Dec 2023  |  fijitimes.com.fj
Christians in Labasa were reminded of the importance of embodying Christ's character during Christmas church services. At the Methodist Church's sunrise service, lay preacher Ratu Josefa Celua spoke of Jesus' birth as a symbol of hope. Father Carlo Jung, during the Catholic mass at the Holy Family Parish, emphasized Christmas as a time for sharing and love. Concurrently, police maintained security due to increased activity in Labasa Town and Damodar City.

High demand for fish

28 Dec 2023  |  fijitimes.com.fj
Fish demand in Fiji has doubled during the festive season, with prices increasing as fishermen focus on harvesting beche-de-mer following the government's ban lift. Vendors in Labasa market are receiving many orders, especially from Suva, and have to raise prices to make a profit. Despite high prices for vegetables and rootcrops as well, consumers continue to purchase them, with mixed reactions to the costs. The income from these sales is crucial for vendors' families during the festive period.

Nil crime recorded in North

27 Dec 2023  |  fijitimes.com.fj
Senior Superintendent of Police Kemueli Baledrokadroka commended the northern communities of Fiji for a crime-free Christmas celebration. He reported no major incidents of crime or road accidents and thanked the public for their cooperation with the police. The police maintained patrols during the holiday, particularly in busy areas like Damodar City. SSP Baledrokadroka requested continued community support for the upcoming New Year's weekend and advised responsible celebration.

Saltwater intrusion, faulty floodgate

17 Dec 2023  |  fijitimes.com.fj
Cane farmers in Macuata raised concerns about drainage issues, problematic floodgates, and saltwater intrusion during a Lands Taskforce consultation. These problems have persisted for nearly two decades, leading to the desertion of many farms in the area. Farmers like Kansami Naicker and Brij Lal reported that saltwater intrusion has damaged crops and forced farmers to relocate. The Ministry of Sugar's permanent secretary for Special Projects, Vinesh Kumar, assured that their concerns would be addressed.

Bobby Yoyo rubs shoulders with Bollywood stars

07 Dec 2023  |  The Fiji Times
Bobby ‘Yoyo’, a singer with over two decades of experience, recently performed at the Dhamaka Concert in Auckland during Fiji Day celebrations, sharing the stage with Bollywood talents like comedian Jimmy Moses and his daughter Jamie Lever. Reflecting on the evolution of music tastes since his first Auckland show 21 years ago, Bobby noted the shift towards faster music with fancy beats among younger audiences. His recent experience has influenced his approach to creating music, aiming to cater to the modern preferences of his listeners. Bobby has gained popularity among former Fiji residents in Auckland and has been booked for various festive season events.

Trio deny charges

02 Dec 2023  |  The Fiji Times
Labasa lawyer Amrit Sen, along with Shumedha Chandra and Maqtadeer Kaiyum, have denied charges related to the death of John Rusiate, who was allegedly hit by a vehicle in June last year. The charges include murder, attempted murder, assault, criminal intimidation, and conspiracy to defeat the course of justice. The Department of Public Prosecutions will present 15 witnesses during the trial, which is being overseen by Justice Pita Bulamainaivalu at the High Court in Labasa.

Chamber 'not a legal entity' for 13 years

01 Sep 2023  |  fijitimes.com.fj
The Labasa Chamber of Commerce in Fiji was found to have been deregistered for the past 13 years when the new president, Vinesh Dayal, and his team took over in September 2023. They have since reinstated the chamber with the Ministry of Industrial Relations and are working with government ministries and former chamber executives to ensure legal compliance and maintain good relationships.

Pacific media freedom: The day the Fiji police arrested me at Sunday breakfast

01 May 2023  |  davidrobie.nz
On August 10, 2008, Serafina Silaitoga, a journalist for The Fiji Times, was arrested by Fiji police at her home in Labasa after publishing an article about the then interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry. The police searched her home and The Fiji Times office for evidence. Despite threats of being locked up, Silaitoga did not reveal her source, and after intervention from Fiji Times lawyers Jon Apted and Richard Naidu, she was released. The incident garnered international attention and support from the media community. Years later, the truth about Chaudhry's resignation, which was the subject of Silaitoga's article, was confirmed by former Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Edible Flowers: Natural Garnish for Popular Chefs

03 Mar 2023  |  fijitimes.com.fj
Elevate Edible Flowers, founded by Natasha Spins, is Fiji's first edible flower company, supplying unique garnishes to chefs and hotels across the country. The company, located in the Gaiatree Sanctuary on Taveuni Island, has developed a range of non-toxic tropical edible flowers and has been operating for over a decade. Chef Lance Seeto has featured their products in his menus, and the company has overcome challenges such as distribution, with help from Fiji Link and Aggie Global. They also offer a Spice Farm Tour, which has been well-received and contributed to their growth.

Urgent repair works for government-owned schools

25 Feb 2023  |  fijitimes.com.fj
Assistant Education Minister Iliesa Vanawalu announced that urgent repair works are necessary for government-owned schools and teachers' quarters in Fiji. He expressed concern over the poor condition of these buildings, noting that previous renovations were insufficient and did not meet expectations. Vanawalu highlighted that 60% of repair work remains to be done, and improvements are also needed for the 40% that was previously repaired. Faith-based school management has also requested repairs.

Members of the public arrive for memorial service

25 Feb 2023  |  The Fiji Times
People have started arriving for the memorial service of the late Professor Brij Lal, including farmers, business owners, hoteliers, villagers of Tabia, and those who traveled from Savusavu and Labasa. Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and his deputy Biman Prasad are expected to arrive by midday with the family.

Villagers oppose project

27 May 2022  |  The Fiji Times
The article reports on the strong opposition by the traditional landowners of the Vanua o Wainikeli to the World Wave Project in Qamea, Fiji. During the first round of consultations, there were heated exchanges between the landowners and the proponents of the project. Local hoteliers, marine business operators, and qoliqoli customary owners also expressed their objections. The villagers have rejected further consultations and expressed distrust towards the government and the Environment Impact Assessment consultants. One villager, Joseph Stolz, voiced concerns about the impartiality of consultant Helen Sykes. Claude Prevost from Civa Pearls Fiji contributed data from Australian experts indicating potential environmental damage from the project. Sykes acknowledged the concerns and stated her independence as a consultant, while another consultant, Epeli Nasome, mentioned they were following the Department of Environment's procedures.

Climate change awareness call

14 Sep 2017  |  The Fiji Times
Professor Patrick Nunn, a climate change scientist, has expressed concern over the lack of understanding of climate change issues in Fiji and other Pacific Island countries. He emphasizes the need for increased awareness outreach to educate communities about the long-term impacts of climate change, which could occur over the next 20 to 50 years. Professor Nunn has observed this gap in understanding during his visits to various communities across the country. The article suggests that readers can find more information on this topic in the latest edition of The Fiji Times or by subscribing to their E-edition.

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