Letters to the Editor – September 4

Members of the Koro Kaji under-14 team outside The Fiji Times office last month. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Stronger than Winston
Maikeli Seru’s article in yesterday’s paper titled “Stronger than Winston” was overwhelming and I loved reading every bit.
Seru shared the tale and frightening ordeal of our budding rugby stars from Koro who visited our number one The Fiji Times office after taking part in the Vodafone Kaji rugby tournament.
My feelings turned emotional when I read about the trauma that our young ones had to go through during Winston which wreaked havoc on parts of our beloved and beautiful islands.
Atunaisa, a Year 12 rugger, recapped the event saying that as big waves swept across the village and water came into their house, they held each other tightly and their father led them slowly outside.
He further shared that it was hard to walk properly and they had to crawl because of the very strong winds.
Atu, who idolises Tomasi Cama, further described how the trees fell and how the sheets of roofing iron were flying around.
He summed up by mentioning that the memories of those near death moments still haunted him. But sports has helped erase the scars of STC Winston and had given hope to many on the island.
I admire the spirit of team manager Lorima Niumataiwalu and he rightly said that sports transformed lives and had the greater power to heal people from bad emotions and behaviour.
Hats off to Lorima and the coaching staff members of Koro team for working hand in hand to bring these youngsters to the main island to take part in the Kaji tournament.
I know a lot of sacrifices had to be made to bring the team to Viti Levu and I salute the parents for standing side by side with their qasenivuli to make the trip possible since the dreaded days of STC Winston.
As I conclude, I extend my appreciation to Vodafone for bringing the kids to play rugby and enjoy themselves and expose their skills, talents and knowledge.
I also thank the kids for taking out their valuable time to be with our number one newspaper which enabled Seru to write a wonderful piece. Vinaka vakalevu Seru! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Our President
A LOT of attention, at least in some circles, has been drawn to Section 84 of the 2013 Constitution which deals with the appointment of our President.
Subsections one through to five of that section (84) all deals with how he/she (President) is appointed. I believe there is nothing on how those who think there is something wrong with the appointment, can seek redress.
Your newspaper on Saturday September 1, in the spread on pages two and three, had Ro Teimumu Kepa saying the “illegality” of the appointment could have an (adverse) impact on our general election that should be held some time this year.
If that is true, we should really sort this out before we carry out our most important civic duty, choosing our national political leaders for the next four years.
SAILOSI BATIRATU, Nadawa, Nasinu

Election and promises
In response to Akuila D Yabaki (FT 3/8), my point in mentioning Paul’s first and second missionary journeys was that he went back to the places he had already visited.
In Acts 15:36, Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.”
The context of my letter was the upcoming 2018 General Election and I believe that great leaders and good governments take time to go out to the people, especially those in remote areas to listen to their plight and meet their needs.
How many political parties and MPs have visited the areas where they campaigned in 2014 more than once, during the past four years?
Voters know very well that some leaders only see them before the election and after they get elected, they forget about all their promises and the people who voted for them.
Our PM is getting thumbs up from Fijians in all the 14 provinces of Fiji because he and his team made promises, acted on its promises and before the election, just like Paul, visit the people again “to see how they are doing”.
I would not be surprised if a FijiFirst tsunami strikes again in 2018.
Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

Power demand
Unsurprisingly, Energy Fiji Ltd is using 80 per cent diesel generation for Viti Levu power demand.
However, they only mention Monasavu output. What has happened to the Nadarivatu and Butoni windmill outputs, what are they contributing?
Looking at the industrial and hotel developments going on in Nadi/Lautoka, and along the Nadi/Lautoka corridor, how much power is going to be required to satisfy that lot now and in the future? A huge amount and where is it going to come from? Suva is sprouting new hotels and no doubt more industry as well.
The answer is of course increased fossil fuel usage and therefore a much increased unit power cost to consumers will no doubt eventuate. Issuance of EFL shares will just be a sop to cover part of the increase.
Along with many others, I would happily make the investment to install a comprehensive solar power system at my property and reduce my carbon footprint.
However, I would expect Government to provide reasonable incentives to do so and introduce legislation governing the supply and instalment of such units.
Allan Loosley, Tavua

Excellent service

I would like to acknowledge the excellent services provided by the missing baggage section at Nadi International Airport.
While transiting through LA Airport last week, I had my guitar taken off me without it being tagged. I must admit that I was all woozy after a 10-hour trip.
Considering the massive size of that airport, I had little hope of finding it again.
However, I filed a report on my arrival at Nadi International Airport.
To my great surprise, the guitar turned up yesterday. Many thanks to God as well as to Asilika who was on duty last Wednesday morning.
Gabriel Simpson, Rakiraki

Father’s Day
Father’s Day has come and gone, time moves on.
I am one of the lucky people who got a Father’s Day present. I got a new laptop and wine and my family celebrated with me.
Many people will have gone past the days without anything.
I am lucky I invested in my children’s education and now that I am retired they have taken over all the financial burdens that I had.
I encourage people to invest in your children’s education so that you may retire young.
Well I am not completely retired I still do things to keep occupied.
Some of those things are cleaning the house and washing the clothes and cooking, I enjoy it.
Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Election time
We know there is no more Parliament sitting, we know the current Parliament expires on or about October 6. What we don’t know is when will be the next election.
I believe the reason is we still live with old rules out of the colonial days. I believe the British system of giving the Prime Minister the prerogative to set the date for an election is a back door to call for a snap election when things don’t go according to plan.
However, why can’t we have a law which says elections are the next Sunday after Parliament’s four years are over?
Hans B. Boernke, Savusavu

Listening to the news

I was listening to the news from one radio stations which reported what Alisi Rakukawaqa said in one of the forums at USP, that the abolition of the Fiji Council of Chiefs would enhance the women’s right and youth rights to be able to contest the President’s position to be the country’s Head of State and Commander in Chief.
I believe if one wants to become a president of a nation, or become the prime minister or Cabinet minister he or she has to earn it through academic credibility where greater knowledge is required with work experiences which bring about wisdom especially in the line of work and leadership and not just using human rights, women’s rights, youth rights or any other rights as a reason of eligibility.
Nowadays we hear some politicians saying that there should be more women and youth in Parliament basing their argument on gender equality and rights, however, I believe in order for one to be a parliamentarian, promoting rights and gender is insufficient for we need people who are well educated and have experience especially in the field of politics to be our voice in Parliament.
Furthermore, no one or no law is stopping women and youth to be involved in the political sphere, nevertheless, but it will depend on the ordinary citizens who they want to choose or vote for during election.
Isn’t that democracy?
Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Presidential issue

Do we even need a president?
If I was in Opposition, this would be the question and the reason for my walkout.
Dorine Narayan, Suva

On Morrison
In his unblushing opinion piece in support of Australia’s new PM, Scott Morrison, your correspondent Colin Deoki (FT 3/9) speaks of “a democratic ‘coup’ which he (Morrison) had no hand in”.
Oh, really? Perhaps he should read Karen Middleton’s article in The Saturday Paper (Sept 1-7) in which she tells, I quote, “The story of how he (Morrison) replaced Malcolm Turnbull is one of ambition, double-crossing and outfoxing, with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton as an unwitting stooge”.
Middleton is a distinguished political analyst.
Christopher Griffin, Perth, WA

Madam Betsy
Yadraz vina uncle Allen. Now I know why you are so on the up and up.
Madam Betsy did such a good number on you. Now, only if Madam Betsy can be called upon to save us from all the not so up and up social and moral shenanigans. Without the witchery of course! Lest I’d be accused of black magic. Hmm, I am from Ba. Ba toh Ba hai nah?
Areh dada, off tangent! No matter. Know where I can find Madam Betsy?
MANOJ LAL PATEL, Drasa Ave, Lautoka

Saving water
I refer to the statement made by the WAF board director, “It is now time for people to cut down on their showers as a number of parts of the country have been hit by the prolonged dry spell”. I believe it’s the most idiotic, laughable advice I’ve ever heard about saving water. Out here in this type situation there’s advice against washing your car, changing water in the swimming pool, etc., etc., but never an advice against personal hygiene. It’ funny and ridiculous.
Bill Kunavatu, Lautoka

Environment department
To me the environment department of Fiji is becoming a joke. People destroy mangroves, baka trees, pollute the sea with colours and raw sewage. I believe the department’s response to complaints is too slow. The Navua baka tree saga was highlighted for almost two weeks before the environment department put a stop to the cutting of trees.
Maybe our Attorney-General can bring order to this department just like he did with the Education Ministry.
Narayan Reddy, Lautoka

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