Letters to the Editor – September 6

Ruca Rasili with FarmWorld CEO Brendan Davies on the tractor that she drives. Picture: Felix Chaudhary

The tractor driver
The tractor driver The story of Ruca Rasili in yesterday’s The Fiji Times is an inspiration and empowerment for women who are thinking of entering the workforce previously dominated by men. While sharing Ruca’s story, Siteri Sauvakacolo mentioned that one could teach people skills and educate them until they had certificates, diplomas and degrees galore but the one thing that could not be taught was how to develop their initiative. According to the article, Ruca, who hails from Bua, is possibly the first female to obtain a Class 9 vehicle licence and she operates 240 horsepower tractors in Fiji. It was a delight to read that Ruca is part of a team that is revolutionising the sugarcane growing sector in the West with FarmWorld-Fiji. Her confidence and dedication convinced her boss Mr Davies to get her a certificate which took 6 months and Ruca did not let him down as she showed enthusiasm to learn what was required of her to drive the tractors. Ruca’s passion, commitment, hard work, sincerity and determination are the driving force if we want to achieve greater things in life. It is encouraging to see women entering fields dominated by men and I believe that they should be empowered so that they can achieve excellence and perhaps Siteri and The Fiji Times could share their success stories. Perhaps she could start with our lady taxidrivers, road engineers and lady farmers. Cheers! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Fiji Drua team

Congratulations to the Fiji Airways Drua team for its outstanding running rugby in defeating Melbourne Rising 40-17, last week. This week the Fiji Airways Drua will take on Brisbane City at 3.00pm at Lautoka’s Churchill Park for the second round of the NRC. This team narrowly beat them in Brisbane, in their first game last year. Fiji Drua coach Senirusi Seruvakula said that “Brisbane City will be reviewing our game, but we need to win these two games and that was our goal” (FT 4/9). From the NRC draws, one can predict that our Fiji Airways Drua team has the opportunity and hope to reach the NRC final this year. From the seven weekly draws, the Fiji Airways Drua team play two home games before flying out to Queensland next week and to be followed by four more home games. So there is hope for the Fiji Airways Drua team this year but the onus is on the Fiji Drua coach Seruvakula to have his boys showcasing Fijian rugby at its best in all matches and be consistent, on home turf. Having said this, we can also say that the NRC team that comes over and runs the Fiji Drua on to the reef will be the team to watch in the NRC competition. Come on Fiji Airways Drua, last week was just warm up, show Brisbane City this week the might of the Fiji Drua sails on full flight. Go Fiji Drua go! Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa Suva

Major fires

The recent major fires in California and in parts of Australia are a grim reminder of the severe damage and devastation which these cause, not just to homes but also to forests and other natural resources. Much closer to home, in fact right here in Fiji, we have our own fire ‘problem’ with hundreds and even thousands of fires started by humans during the dry season, in particular in the dry zones in the west of our larger islands. While some of these fires are started with good intent, such as to burn dry trash or to clear a small area for teitei, many are started for no reason at all. This dry season, being a much dryer one than average, has already seen a great number of fires — the damage from these cannot be quantified but includes loss of trees, plants and top soil, damage to soil health, siltation of streams and rivers with more frequent and serious flooding and damage to coral ecosystems from fine silt. Of course the fires produce emissions which Fiji is on record on the global stage to reduce while at the same time fires kill trees which absorb emissions. Tourists are turned off by this not being the ‘green and natural Fiji’ which is marketed and therefore expected. Other negative consequences are on human health from the smoke and of course on built infrastructure like EFL power poles! There are so many negatives that it is perplexing little apparent concern is being shown — perhaps it is not seen as a problem by those in high office, which of course it really is. In reality, we have a serious tragedy in the making as Fiji’s food security, sustainable development and economy are all under threat if firm action is not taken soon — time is not on our side as a number of areas are so badly degraded from repeated burning that these may never recover. A major challenge is to change attitudes as so many young people have seen such indiscriminate burning by their parents and grandparents, and think it is good practice! As more is burnt and in time less grows on the land because of loss of soil and fertility, fires may be less of a problem — but can we afford to wait that long? Korina Waibuta Knollys St, Suva

Bonus pay
I believe EFL workers will get a $1.9 million bonus, however, I would like to know how will the EFL share this bonus because there are three groups of workers: unestablished staff (hourly paid) staff and executive staff. I hope no minds my query. Sukha Singh, Labasa

Happy birthday
A HEARTY happy birthday to The Fiji Times. I am a newcomer to the letters to the editor column and it was only via reading the letters from your sometimes everyday contributors that I have also started. You are indeed the voice of the voiceless. Issues that irk the people are printed and highlighted and the news travels overseas via your electronic online version. Fijians living overseas get to read it and respond in their own way. Be it in the LTE or on social media. I have been reading The Fiji Times for many years and it never dawned on me to raise an issue via these pages. It was until my family and I were faced with a real unhealthy issue in the fire at the Vunato dump when I said, “I too can raise my ire via the newspaper”. I thank The Fiji Times for allowing the many people including me to be a part of your news every day. Once again I wish you a happy birthday and to the staff you are all in the A team. MERE LAGILAGI Lovu, Lautoka

*Editor’s note: Welcome Mere Lagilagi.

The Fiji Times
HAPPY 149th birthday to the one and only The Fiji Times. Fiji’s first (not FijiFirst) and Fiji’s best newspaper ever. The sun rises and the sun sets, but The Fiji Times continuously shines come rain, hail or storm. The Fiji Times reminds me of the consistency of the world champion mighty All Blacks. Hooray! Hip, hip! ANTHONY SAHAI Suva

Full of stamina

WOW, it’s 149 years and The Fiji Times is still young and full of stamina. Managing an institution for 149 years is no mean feat. The level of history and mystery this newspaper has covered cannot be matched by any other. It has seen leaders from national levels right down to grassroots level come and go. You have captured the good and the not so good the country has seen and gone through. You have trained leaders and champions in all aspects of life. You have gone from one hand to another since the beginning but the glamour remains undisturbed. 149 years and the ethics remain undisturbed. One can learn significant lessons from this institution in terms of producing quality workforce and maintaining professional teamwork. The challenges you have faced over the 149 years has made you even stronger. Several lessons have been learnt from turning your pages. I still remember the editorial comments we referred to during our high school days when there was no internet or uncle google to rely on. You were our only source of valuable reading material as well as a source of entertainment. Of course, Hagar the Horrible, The Phantom, Ginger Meggs and Big Ben Bolt have also survived for quite a long time. Please bring back something like Fiji Sixes so that we can contribute towards our society as well as win some bucks if we are lucky. You have also provided us the only Hindi weekly newspaper, The Shanti Dut for which I am very grateful. This is not only Hindi in reading but in writing as well. Keep it up The Fiji Times. You have a role to play and play you will a winning game. By the way you have seen so many coaches in many areas of games and all come and go. If possible please publish a historical and culturally inclined book that can help bind the Fiji people through better understanding and appreciation of our diversity. I remember reading one in the past. Happy journey ahead. DHIRENDRA PRASAD Lautoka

Best view
SO, your view is the best. Everybody else’s is not worth the paper it’s written on? By that proverbial pen which is not allowed, if I may. Cynical much? OK! MANOJ LAL PATEL Drasa Ave, Lautoka

Change banner
THE Times should change its banner headline “The first newspaper to be published in the world today” to “The only paper worth reading in the world today”. Congratulations on the 149. ALLAN LOOSLEY Tavua

149 years on

FOR staying in existence 149 years on. I shudder to think where we would be in information dissemination if there was an intention to close The Fiji Times. DAN URAI Lautoka

Congrats in order

CONGRATULATIONS to The Fiji Times on its 149th birthday! Simply, the best newspaper in the country with latest news and information. May they prosper in their future endeavours! RAYNAV CHAND Nakasi

No comparison

SURELY, no newspaper in Fiji equals your reporting over the past 149 years. Congratulations The Fiji Times on your 149th anniversary. We looking forward to celebrate your 150th next year and would love to contribute in any way as your passionate readers. Vinaka The Fiji Times! ALLAN JESONI Nasinu

App results

I JUST heard over the airways an advertisement on the FEO results app, it stated that it’ll give real time results on party and/or candidate. Does this mean the date of elections has been released? NIGEL FIU Owls Perch, Lautoka

Reading reports
READING some of the reports, I thought of that movie, Fear Is The Key. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Election dates
WE are in the month of September and yet the voters are unaware of the election dates for 2018. Why is this kept in as a suspense with already three-quarter of the year passed? I do not really know what holds for the country. It is nearly four years since the last election and we are yet embarking on the same old drama of keeping things as suspense. ‘Til when? RAYNAV CHAND Nakasi

General election
THE time for the general election is a constitutional provision under Section 58 and not to be decided by any Tom, Dick or Harry including the FEO. Let’s follow the law. AMENATAVE YACONISAU Palm Drive, Delainavesi

Water wastage
NOW we’ve been urged by WAF to report any wastage of water. Reddy please don’t spy on Allen when he is taking his shower. WISE MUAVONO Balawa, Lautoka

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