Letters to the Editor – August 30

Ryan Chand (second from left) with fellow Cakaudrove U14 players. Picture: FILE

Ryan fulfils dream
Yesterday’s Kaila featured the profile of Naqere, Savusavu lad Ryan Chand, who made the cut into the Fiji Primary School’s under-14 rugby extended squad. It indeed is a proud moment for rugby lovers in Cakaudrove as a Fijian boy of Indian descent has been selected into the extended squad. Ryan’s father Anand, his grandfather Vijay Chand, and the Naqere community are very proud of Ryan’s achievements. I made a courtesy call to Anand and he described Ryan’s passion for rugby, especially 7s rugby. Ryan is an ardent 7s fan and he loves watching 7s even if it means waking up late at night or early morning. Ryan’s favourite player is our crafty and nippy playmaker and the gem from the Coral Coast Amenoni Nasilasila. Mr Chand has a gym set at home so Ryan spends his time working on his fitness. According to Anand, Ryan knows the players representing our 7s team and is familiar with their bio-data. Ryan’s interest in rugby developed after he was chosen to represent the Cakaudrove Under-13 primary school team and he has not looked back since the debut at Subrail Park. The Chand family is hopeful that their hero gets the break to feature in Tonga and Anand has assured his son that he would be in Tonga to provide the much needed support. Like any dad, Anand tried to lure his son into soccer but lack of interest killed Ryan’s aspiration to be a soccer star and he chose rugby. I wish my kai all the best in his aspiration to don the national jumper and I thank our Kaila newspaper for yet another beautiful and inspirational report from the North! I hope to see Ryan emulate the success of star Jack Prasad and All Blacks 7s hero Rocky Khan and I hope that Fijians of Indian descent will be motivated to take up rugby as a sporting career! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Fighting hard drugs
“Ice” and every other illicit drug manufacturing plant and “farm” should not only be shut down but the perpetrators brought to swift justice. They are a curse to society and those involved should be meted the sternest punishment as the ravages of drug addiction are destroying our children and our communities in ways that are beyond belief. We have “injecting rooms” here in Melbourne that’s supposed to assist drug addicts get “safe clean” drugs for their habit and we have famous name restaurants with needle disposable containers. I never thought I’d see the day when something like this would happen. In some ways we have lost the fight battling our drug problem. Please be vigilant and don’t let what’s happening here in Australia happen to our beautiful country because the drug problem has escalated here in such a way that the authorities are tearing their hair out trying to stop the rot. Band-Aid solutions to what’s become a chronic “disease” in our midst will never solve the problem(s). And neither will “soft” sentences for the perpetrators and those engaged at every level in this abhorrent trade. Colin Deoki, Australia

Unsealed road

Fiji Roads Authority’s (FRA) Robert Sen’s response to my letter regarding the sealing of Nukubalavu Rd is much appreciated (FT:29/08). At least we now know that the road is included in FRA’s Forward Works Program as part of sealed road extension. I would, however, like to highlight the main reasons Nukubalavu Rd should have been sealed first before the others in and around Savusavu. First and foremost, the road leads to the chiefly village of Nukubalavu, home of the Tui Nasavusavu, the paramount chief of the region of Savusavu. Secondly, it was populated first as families have lived along this side of the peninsula for more than 200 years. My grandfather died at a good old age of 107 and he grew up along this road! His father was here before him! Thirdly, it is the most populated area on the outskirts of Savusavu Town which is just a mere six minutes drive from there. Fourthly, it’s situated on the windward side, facing the constant Southeasterly trade winds and with the road running along the coastline, residences are faced with having to constantly inhale dust caused by and rising because of the ever-increasing traffic! Only someone who lacks understanding won’t realise how long this has been a detrimental health hazard! It wasn’t considered first over others simply because FRA didn’t bother to properly survey the area or its history. Nukubalavu Rd remains the last road in and around Savusavu to be sealed when it should rightfully be the first! I guess this is a case of politics over what makes sense. We look forward to its sealing in the very near future. Simon Hazelman, Rava Estate, Savusavu

Drugs off streets
The Fiji Police Force’s fight against hard drugs was all over The Fiji Times the other day. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Rusiate Tudravu states the police want the drug off the streets and also called for help from the public. He says the police force will do “whatever necessary” to address this issue. I Googled its side-effects and it isn’t pretty. So I agree with Mr Tudravu. Let’s fight to get this drug off the streets. But my question to Mr Tudravu is: “what’s necessary” and how did we get to this stage where things have gotten out of hand and there is mass use and production of meth in the country? Is it going to get worse before it gets any better? ASP Tudravu also expressed his concern that members of the public can be hiding information from the police which would make it difficult for them to fight the issue. What would be the incentive for people to hide information regarding this issue from police? I also think asking teenagers to refrain from experimenting won’t solve it for us. Believe me, when my high school teachers told me to stop playing sports and study, otherwise you’ll not become anything in life, I never listened to them, and that was pre-internet days. Let’s have a conversation about this issue that resonates with the young in our society. I don’t think generic calls to action will solve this problem. Kelvin Anthony, Sydney, Australia

Legends versus Classic
Wallabies The clash between the Fiji Legends and the Classic Wallabies is hyping up as both sides feature household names. The Fiji Legends side has been boosted with Bill ‘The Stretcher’ Satala, former Suva soccer star Jonetani Vula, 7s sensation Samu Saumaisue, former school teacher Bill Gadolo, speed merchants Neumi Nanuku and Sireli Naqelevuki, rugged Naitasiri heroes Sailosi Naiteqe and Lemeki Duidomo, the twinkling William Ryder, our number one fly half Seremaia Bai, former 7s captain and Olympics gold medallist Osea Kolinisau and Kuruduadua. Oscar, Ryder, Bill, Saumaisue, Nanuku, Naqelevuki, Naiteqe and Duidomo have been part of many 7s victories while Bai and Gadolo have featured prominently for our 15s team. On the other hand, it’s a pity that the 7s maestro and the secret weapon from Naitasiri — Nasoni Roko — have missed out being part of the Fiji Legends! The presence of the stars from the yesteryear should spark the Fiji Airways Drua side as they face Melbourne Rising. The Classic Wallabies will rely on Tuqiri, Moore, Samo, Kerevi, Laurie Weeks and Horne to steer the side. Looking forward to some fun and entertainment from our rugby legends! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu.

Grace Road saga
Awwww, how nice that the permanent secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister has said that none of the employees of Grace Road Group of companies have broken any law (FT 29/08). Very good! Man and I thought the employer was the one who is allegedly treating the foreign employees in a bad way. So why has the Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho confirmed that initial investigations into the Grace Road Group and its operations in Fiji are continuing. Like Wise said, I was confused with the firestarters, now I am baffled with this issue. Sounds like a movie, “Baffled in Vunato.” Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka.

West Papua issue

I am very sad to read in The Fiji Times (22/08) an article titled “UN list” which relates that the Vanuatu government could be alone among the regional administrations in its bid to have West Papua inscribed on the United Nations de-colonisation list. Reading this I wonder where our Pacific Islands’ solidarity lies, in particular our Melanesian countries, for West Papua people are our Melanesian sisters and brothers. Our Pacific leaders speak so much about Pacific solidarity at all levels, especially in issues such as climate change, fish and forest conservation, and so forth, yet I believe they fail to notice the suffering of the people of West Papua under the government of Indonesia for the past 50 years. This has allowed me to raise the question whether the Pacific solidarity was for money only? Because if the purpose is people centred, then I certainly believe our Pacific countries should be rallying behind the people of West Papua like the Vanuatu government is doing. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Nasinu soccer

The return of Nasinu soccer to the premier division isn’t really as exciting as it appears to be. When one considers Nasinu’s performance back when they were playing in the premier division, they mostly were thrashed by powerful sides to increase their goals difference in tournaments. Of course there were exceptions when Nasinu did prove to be a challenge, but generally their performance was often unsatisfactory. With their recent achievement, I sincerely hope they now display exciting football and not become a testing ground for other teams. Bimal Prasad, Newtown Rd, Wailoaloa, Nadi.

A question

So where and how is the Fiji Police Force disposing the confiscated/seized hard drugs, cocaine, meth, etc? Including the cocaine that was recently found in the Lau Group. I believe that they will reply and not be madua like those at the Ministry of Fisheries. Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka.

Top water man
Hearty to note that our own Opetaia Ravai being named the Pacific Water Professional Of the Year, and to make it back into the board of the Pacific Water and Wastewater Association. Kudos Mr Ravai. Gotta hand it to the man. He knows his water. Hehe! Any guesses as to who will win the equivalent fire award? In Fiji at least? Yours will be as good as mine. Hehehe! MANOJ LAL PATEL, Drasa Avenue, Lautoka.

Uphill battle
I am absolutely worried about the ‘dirty transaction’ and cheap production of methamphetamine, a hard drug capable of wreaking havoc in our midst (FT 28/09). Police have an uphill battle to weed out this menace. If uncontrolled, I agree with editor Fred Wesley that it can become our biggest security issue. Amenatave Yaconisau, Palm Drive, Delainavesi.

Rising problems

The Grace Road tale, the escalating meth plague, the prevailing drought, the mystery of the confiscated fish, the Vunato blaze, the election suspense, the incomplete Lautoka aquatic centre and now Parliament will convene on Friday to decide the fate of the current Head of State (FT Online 29/08). Fiji certainly has got her plate full. Nishant Singh, Lautoka.

Go Fiji, go
Our under-20 rugby team thrashing Uruguay by quite a margin is a good start and anything looks possible. Congratulations and keep the pace, and good luck in the next game against Portugal. Go Fiji go.

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