Letters to the Editor – June 11, 2018

Fiji Airways Flying Fijian Api Ratuniyarawa charges forward against Samoa during the PNC at ANZ Stadium on Saturday. Picture: ATU RASEA

Southern hemisphere dominates
While I congratulate our Flying Fijians for clipping the wings of the Samoans, I must say that the final moments were scary, especially when Samoa came back into the match and lost by the narrowest of margins.
Our boys stood out and attacked and defended pretty well.
Vinaka vakalevu boys for the sublime performance and defending the winning run at home.
On the other hand, the All Blacks walloped the French while the Wallabies and Springboks outmuscled strong resistance from Ireland and England to win at home.
Whatever one says, the southern hemisphere continues to dominate!

A wonderful story
A wonderful life story of perseverance from a very determined Isikeli Ralovo in The Sunday Times of June 10.
He had passed his Year 12 and 13 exams but because his parents were both unemployed, he did not stop knocking on heaven’s door for an opening to a scholarship.
Now, in his late 20s, the Tertiary Scholarship & Loans Board stepped in and assisted him by funding his law degree at the FNU.
This story should motivate all our Fijian youths of today.
Make your votes count and do not let other political parties deter you from achieving your childhood dreams to become a productive Fijian in your latter years.
I believe this Government guarantees every one the right to education through its many initiatives irrespective of your political affiliation.
Tukai Lagonilakeba
Namaka, Nadi

Narrow escape
Thanks to the final whistle by the referee and several kickable opportunities missed by Manu Samoa, our very own Flying Fijians narrowly escaped embarrassment on Saturday.
Up against a mighty side with many star players, the Samoans were in no way intimidated.
Instead they displayed rock solid defence that stunned our national side which appeared to be playing to the crowd and as individuals.
The Samoans exposed several weaknesses which are of concern in the lead- up to the Rugby World Cup.
Our casual approach saw Samoa outmuscling us at the breakdowns.
The Flying Fijians appeared to play such a structured pattern making it easy for the Samoans to predict our moves and quickly organise their defence.
Key players such as Nakarawa were easily cut off by one defender hammering home solid tackles while the second aimed to knock the ball out of his hands.
In the backline, there are questions on whether some players are playing in positions which they are not comfortable in.
Poor communication appeared to haunt us. Leadership on the field appeared to be an issue.
With all due respect, the captain will need to raise the bar in this area.
Our halfbacks were slow in their deliveries which reduced attacking opportunities for our backline and allowed the Samoan defence to quickly regather.
On a positive note, it was pleasing to observe players such as Jale Vatubua and Benito Masilevu working overtime in defence, cutting short what could have resulted in more tries for Samoa. The loose forwards of our visitors and their halfback were impressive with a very high work rate.
He was also a quick thinker and decisive. All in all, a narrow escape for Fiji.
One hopes that constructive criticism is taken in good faith leading to an improved performance come Saturday.
Floyd Robinson
Toorak, Suva

No plastic bags
I remember as a small boy going regularly to (Suva, Ba and Lautoka) markets with my mother with our own cloth and leather bags (jolli) like the Gujeratis of old and ketekete (woven baskets) like the ethnic Fijians of old. And we’d walk back home after marketing. Only in Suva we took the bus.
It was no plastics then.
We managed quite well without it as did the overwhelming majority of others.
But now alas we live in a throw-away society. And, what gets thrown away — a lot — is plastics of various kinds that end up polluting and contaminating our oceans and rivers.
Yes, there is clearly a need to rethink what kind of society we want to live in and handover to future generations as several of your editorials have pointed out.
Rajend Naidu
Sydney, Australia

Leaders of tomorrow
Our leaders of tomorrow will be decided after we, the people, have spoken at the coming elections which is not so far off.
So as far as deciding goes, one can only assume that it will be such and such, and so forth and so on.
I believe most of us know that Fiji is in good hands and want it to remain in good hands for goodness sake and for our next generation to reap the harvests of what happens today, if you catch the drift.
Our prayers are always focused on the honesty of our leaders and the unity of the nation with peace being our joy so we give thanks and praise always to our good Lord,
God of all creation, the Almighty God. Bless Fiji and the people.
Richard M Abel
Suva

Fijian pilots
I was pleasantly surprised chatting to a Fijian pilot flying with Emirates Airline at Dubai airport.
More surprised to learn of other Fijian pilots serving with other international airlines around the globe.
Confused when I learnt that Fiji Airways hires expatriate pilots and pays them more than our own pilots.
Dan Urai
Lautoka

Moving scene
It was moving to see the pallbearers of the late Tui Noco, Ratu Isoa Damudamu (FT 9/6). Ratu Isoa Damudamu stood tall among our leaders seeing a clear path through our ethnic challenges in Fiji walking half the way to meet and greet our Girmitiya ancestors.
Like Dhirendra Prasad said “Who says you are gone? You are still among us through the love and affection for our existence (FT 9/6)”.
It is interesting that not many of our leaders embraced Ratu Damudamu’s godly gesture. Hope it does not take another 140 years.
Korina Waibuta
Knollys St, Suva

One name
The responses of the opposition parties to the term “Fijian” (FT9/6) seems to be a confusion of citizenship and ethnicity.
We have to call everyone living in this country a name according to section 5 of the Constitution. However, the common complaint seems to be non-consultation and consensus.
Amenatave Yaconisau
Palm Drive, Delainavesi

Police role
I believe the presence of soldiers performing police roles authenticates that our democracy is far from normal.
Dan Urai
Lautoka

Election process
THE poll processes are more trusted in Tonga and Samoa? And not here? Ever wonder why? Is it because of … umm … DA HOndt, Da Hondt? Yes, I believe there is a level of maturity needed in the entire elections process.
From the top … levels … I mean. Of course we are ready to call Madam Prime Minister annnnnd … madam president. Tumultuous choices or not. Way to go. Begs the question, which way? Have a good one folks.
Manoj Lal Patel
Drasa Ave, Lautoka

Funny thought
A contributor to the “Letters to the Editor” said that people had gone obese from eating too much and had their stomach stapled to reduce the size. I just had a funny thought, these guys could also have their mouths stapled shut.
Allen Lockington
Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Tough battle
Heading to Paris, our boys knew of the tough battle.
After trailing South Africa, Fiji took a well-earned seven-point lead, winning a total of five tournaments and setting a record of four tournament wins in a row.
Fiji was the top seed in the “pool of death” and beat arch rivals NZ and Samoa but lost to entertainers Kenya.
Ironically, we played three teams that won in London last week. Samoa clinched the 13th place playoff beating Scotland 34-10 while Kenya demolished Wales in the challenge trophy final 33-19.
NZ outmuscled USA 26-5 for fifth place. The WRSS is getting tough and this is evident as Spain, Canada and Ireland qualified for the cup quarters at the expense of Australia, Scotland and Argentina.
Fiji met England in the quarters.
Fiji has not won a tournament in Paris although we came close in 2005 and 2016.
In 2000 Fiji faltered against Argentina and lost in the cup quarters.
We managed the plate while NZ won the cup.
In 2004 NZ also won the cup after beating England 28-19. A year later France won their first tournament on the series with a scintillating 28-19 win over Fiji!
In 2006 the battle for top spot in the series heated up and second placed England got a major break when France stunned Fiji 22-21 in the quarters.
However, England crashed out of the cup at the same stage losing to Australia 29-17.
Fiji went on to win the plate and extend the lead over England for the overall series crown.
South Africa won the Paris crown defeating Samoa.
When the tournament returned to France in 2016, Fiji were hot favourites.
Fiji, who had won the HK 7s and finished runner-up to Kenya in Singapore, took a commanding lead but over confidence allowed the Samoans to stage a gallant fight back and win the cup 29-26.
Last year Fiji was thrashed by Scotland 24-0 in the cup quarters and lost to USA in the 5th place playoff 24-14.
South Africa went on to win the cup beating Scotland 15-5 and claiming their second WRSS title.
Our boys were shell-shocked by Kenya in pool play but the underdogs failed to progress because of points difference.
Fiji maintained its winning run against NZ and topped pool A! Regardless the outcome in Paris, our boys are champions having won five tournaments.
It’s Fiji all the way!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam
Nadawa, Nasinu