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Fiji Time: 6:17 PM on Monday 28 July

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Your Fiji Your Say

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our boys in Super Rugby

WE all want to see a Pacific rugby team to be included into the new Super Rugby format.

Those in the Asian rugby world, particularly those in Japan, are also having a similar sentiment as ours.

However, we must realise that it takes a professional franchise that provide tailored solutions in consulting on behalf of sponsors, rights holders, events creation management and talent management to run a Super Rugby team these days. It is a business.

In my opinion, the only viable rugby franchise that is all equipped now to rub shoulders with the big boys in the Super Rugby new format is the Asia Pacific Dragons based in Singapore.

According to their website statement, Carinat Sports Marketing has a 20-year agreement with Ratu Kadavulevu School for an academy system to be in place.

The top 30 players graduating each year will be centrally contracted to the Asia Pacific Dragons each year after leaving school.

Similar centres of excellence are under development in Samoa and in New Zealand.

ETUATE ULUINACEVA, Christchurch, New Zealand

British Army allegations

I ACKNOWLEDGE with thanks the response to my letter by the British High Commissioner to Fiji, Mr Roderick Drummond, regarding the allegation of racism and other discriminatory practices perpetrated by the British Army on Fijian recruits.

Before that I believe a vast majority of people here have nothing but repugnance on such allegation.

After the assurances, many will think seriously about reviewing their long established belief about colour bar in the British Army.

We, however, await the outcome of the investigation by the Ministry of Defence albeit the time it will take. I hope it will examine every aspect of the allegation(s).

The outcome can either be unfounded or only confirmatory of the allegation(s) out of which good things can be improved for our lads.

We all understand the expectation on our boys when they join the British Army and we must thank them for providing employment during this period of high unemployment.


Mental health

WE are now talking about mental health and illness (FT 26/7).

I wonder if enough focus is being put on the careers of those most unfortunate who are plagued with mental illness.

One said "I have never seen anything so frustrating. You try your best to understand and help the person but alas no one is at home. It seems that they are there but their mind is elsewhere".

Just when you are about to throw the towel in, out of the stillness they say something.

It is so logical that you think that today is the day everything will get sorted out. Not long after, they are gone again. Where to one wonders.

People who suffer from mental illness often say that they live a very lonely existence and often cry out in silence.

Whatever that means perplexes me. I am beginning to think that it is a very selfish way to live.

One can tune in and out for unknown reasons, no questions asked, and no expectations too.

Everything gets put down to the "illness".

It is not a wonder that some careers walk away somewhere along this journey.

Misunderstanding is an understatement.


Banner policy

I REFER to the article, titled "City's banner policy" (FT 26/7).

In the article, it is stated at paragraph 3: " Acting Council CEO Bijay Chand explained that council workers are responsible for putting up all advertising banners regardless of their nature, provided approval was given by the council. "

I wish to draw the attention of SCC's CEO Bijay Chand, special administrators of other city/towns and secretaries of rural town planning local authorities, to the statutory regulations and provisions which control advertising and public notice developments.

Matter 7 (e) of the schedule to the Town Planning Act Cap. 139 states categorically and specifically the prohibition or regulation "of advertisements, advertising hoardings, illuminated signs and other advertising devices and erections, or other disfigurements".

This prohibition or regulation is now contained, defined and implemented through the Town Planning General Provisions as "Advertising Development" and "Public Notice Development".

The town planning general provisions are the regulations now used by the municipalities and rural town planning authorities to administer developments in their respective areas.

Advertising banners, which are referred to by SCC's CEO Bijay Chand, are specifically to do with a forthcoming event which is the General Election of September 17, 2014.

As such, it is my considered view that such development must be considered strictly under provision 9, schedule D (8) of the Town Planning Act General Provisions.

Provision 9, Schedule D (8) states that "No public notice development or advertising development indicating any forthcoming event shall be displayed for a period no longer than two weeks, and upon the passing of the event or two weeks, whichever is the earlier, the notice shall be classified as non-permissible development and shall be removed forthwith".

This means that no advertising, hoardings, illuminated signs, other advertising devices and erections concerning political parties and their manifestos, candidates, etc. be permitted in the streets, buildings, and public places within town and country until September 3, 2014.

Again, according to Provision 9 Schedule D (8) of the Town Planning Act General provisions, those advertisements and public notices to be removed immediately after September 17, 2014.


Flight risk

THERE were past incidents where alcohol intoxicated passengers on flight caused threat to fellow passengers and members of the crew on board.

The latest was when due to an intoxicated passenger's threat to others on a flight from Perth bound for Sydney, the pilot made an emergency landing diverted to Perth.

In another incident a teenager from Scotland went on a shooting spree, seriously injuring several students, had his sentence deterred for his forthcoming exams and his vacation to Fiji.

Opportunity for sitting for his exams was understandable but not his vacation. I wonder why he was not asked to surrender his passport by the court for such a serious offence.

Of course, the accused though sober on his flight to Fiji, could trigger fear to passengers and members of the crew.

Already two mishaps with an airline has caused much alarm and left many mourning the deaths of their loved ones.

As safety regulations, all airline should scan passengers and shun those drunk from boarding. Also alcoholic beverage should not be served on flights.


Life of learning

AN education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't. The more you come to know how much you know, the more you come to know how much you don't know.

Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.


All the best

ILIESA Delana is the most outstanding candidate so far out of all the candidates. Most of us can't jump even with two legs but he does it with only one leg. I'd just like to wish him all the best


Tuna query

I FIND it odd that Bumblebee Tuna International is on the auction block, yet nobody in Fiji has raised the question whether or not this could have an adverse impact on Fiji. Bumblebee Tuna is also proposing to build a tuna plant similar to the one in Levuka in Samoa, which may be in operation by the end of 2015. Perhaps our present government or a political party would care to comment on this development.


Social taxes

THE call by the Consumer Council of Fiji for a tax on sugar drinks (FT 26/7) is just the thin edge of the wedge, after this will come calls for extra taxes on fat and salt. These have been termed "social taxes". Do we want a government that tells us what to eat and drink? Next you will have soft drink manufacturers producing smaller bottles but at the same price. We are thinking of your health, will be their cry. Just watch out for the yaqona tax is what I say. You know you are drinking too much.


Police chief

THE new Police Commissioner assuring to investigate all complaints against government is refreshing and welcome news. Just a little snag, the current government has put out decrees that they cannot be taken to any court of law in Fiji.

DAN URAI, Lautoka

Free education

I REFER to Mr Qarase's statement that the US is the only country in the world that provides free education. Correction, please. There is no free education in the US. Parents pay a special tax that goes to the school education system. There is nothing free in the US. We pay several taxes and most are increased by about 2 per cent every year.


Fair polls

WE are told that Fiji is building up towards a fair election but the point raised by the Fiji Labour Party should be taken into consideration by all political parties and those standing for the coming election (FT25/7).

We all have read about trade unionists having to resign from their posts if they wished to become a political candidate in the September election.

Political parties are pointing out the inconsistency and unfair advantage that the FijiFirst party delegates have in not resigning but use their government appointments to kill two birds with one stone.

Right now the 2013 Constitution and decrees are viewed as the product of the current government and Fijians want the formulators of the decrees to at least follow what they preach.

Should we have an interim government leading us now so that all political parties have a so-called level playing field? What does the Electoral Decree say about current ministers standing for election?

The party that I will support says it will stand for and uphold truth and I do hope that if the allegations by FLP is true, they will walk the talk in accordance to the law and do the right thing as soon as possible, laying the foundation of a fair election.


Hot issue

I TOTALLY agree with Tagi Vonolagi (F/T 26/07) that political parties should have a televised public debate on the issue of land.

Voters seem to be confused when the Prime Minister says that never has iTaukei land been protected like now while other campaigning parties preach to the contrary.

Each party says "Don't be fooled by them".

We, the voters, also don't want to be fooled.

I heard that a certain party has thrown down the gauntlet for a televised public debate on the issue.

Voters of this country will be enriched if public debates on other issues such as high cost of living, unemployment etc, etc, could also be on the agenda.

Only then can voters make informed decisions on their respective choices.


Kept alive

IT is indeed reassuring to hear the new Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald say all complaints would be investigated including the prisoner torture video that had drawn international attention and condemnation when it was first released.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the alternative media blog sites C4.5 and Fiji Today for putting the video out in the public domain.

If it was not for them that matter would have been swept under the carpet and conveniently forgotten - which is what the power holders no doubt wanted to see happen.

That, of course, did not happen only because these blog sites kept the spotlight on it despite the lapse of time and conscientious members of the public kept demanding justice for the victims.

The blog sites served the people of Fiji well in their hour of need when there was State censorship and self-censorship in the mainstream media in Fiji.

RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

Pay rise

LISTENING to political debates and political campaigns that are currently happening, none of these parties has come up with the issue of a pay rise or to bring back COLA in all government sectors.

There's no mention in pay rise for Water Authority of Fiji and the National Roads Authority.

We have been hearing that a lot of developments have materialised.

That is a must for every government that is holding a position of leadership. It is its obligation and duty. It should not be its manifesto.

The best political party that we should vote for is the party that is concerned about the welfare of its people, especially a pay rise.


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