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Fiji Time: 4:23 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Your Fiji Your Voice

Editor-In-Chief/Publisher: Fred Wesley Printed By Fiji Times Ltd. Head Office: 177 Victoria Parade, Suva, Gpo Box 1167 Telephone: 330 4111. Faxes: Newsroom - 330 1521, Administration - 330 2011 Advertising - 330 2633 Email: Newsroom - Timesnews@Fijitimes.
Saturday, April 19, 2014


Sell your best, get rid of the rest

PROMOTING quality in agriculture is, I would say, an immortal goal.

The bit I cannot grasp is buying in heaps in our local markets reveals hidden away smaller samples of the larger at the top

I mean, if you want to or even come close to understanding quality and are interested in happy return customers, then put the little bits where it belongs - in your pot.

It's so tiring seeing the same thing over and over.

Large pieces of cassava at the top of the heap and small, almost inedible ones, at the bottom.

Large kai at the top and small ones hidden below. Large eggplants heaped neatly above tiny ones.

This habit of selling needs to stop. Sell your best, get rid of the rest. Please!


My hero

WE learn from DW-Journal Art 21 (16 April) that despite his constant political persecution at the hands of the Chinese State authorities (he even has a State surveillance camera installed to keep a permanent watch on his home) the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei remains "a brave man" speaking his mind on things that matter through his art.

For me Ai Weiwei is a real hero.

Not Prince William and the like who have not had to lift a finger for anything in their lives.


Something is wrong

RAPE of any sort, anywhere and by anybody, is an obnoxious act.

The brutality perpetrated on the victim leaves a deep psychological scar in the minds of the victims for the rest of their lives. The perpetrator, if identified and caught, must face the brunt of the law.

It is pleasing to note that the courts have been dishing out harsh and appropriate sentences. But despite this some people never learn.

Recently it has been reported in the media that a number of innocent students have been raped by their own teachers. This is mind boggling and clearly an unacceptable situation. It is most shameful that teachers stoop so low to betray the trust of parents and the community that they rape their own students. The code of conduct of teachers clearly spells out that there is a sacred relationship between the teacher and the taught. It must never be violated. But violations have occurred to our dismay.

I wonder what has happened to all the teachings on morals and the value system taught in our training institutions.

Or are these institutions too commercialised to touch the hearts of their teacher trainees.

We have to search our hearts and find out where we have gone wrong.

Is it the early retirement system or poor selection system that has enabled immoral teachers in our schools?


Just too lazy

WHEN will we learn?

On my way to work this week, I passed two little girls setting up the common "bu stand" on which we encounter daily on Grantham Rd, while their dad presumably was cutting them up and handing it to them from a distance.

Now with all this free education and government's push for all children to be in school so that we, as a nation, can be on the same page and not get hoodwinked as if we've always been in the past, just flew out the window when I was greeted with that sight.

As parents we must work head over heels to make sure that our offsprings don't fall into the same situation as we did. We must always make sure they get the best of the opportunities.

Until that is realised then will we be able to cure the scourge called poverty. But if we are just down right lazy and tend to blame the world for our present situation then alas the battle is already half lost.

May God bless us all as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.


Power alert

HERE goes FEA's Hasmuk Patel again (TV1 17/4) blaming nature and all and sundry for the absence of FEA's plan B, C and now D in his bi-annual media PR scare exercise regarding water levels and fuel costs.

I question:

* Did his comparison in fuel costs in his interview reflect the removal of duty concessions to FEA to inflate his reasoning?

* The leased power plants are designed to run on bunker fuel at a fraction of a cost of ADO.

Keep Fiji energized Mr Patel, you know it can be done. The next balance sheet will prove it.

I hope one day the last of the monopolies will be dismantled.


Drowning victim

YET again I hear that a toddler has drowned in a fish pond in Tailevu and I get to hear the same age old excuse that the toddler was left in the supervision of elder brothers and sisters who did not keep an eye properly.

I find it apparently disturbing to note that the mother was at work and the father was at a nearby rugby ground training.

I would like to ask the parents and the family concerned was work and rugby more important than the life of your child?

This recent drowning case has surely shown how careless some parents are and how ignorant they are of their roles.

There should be no excuses accepted as a precious life has been lost. The concerned parents should be taken to task and held liable for not playing their roles properly.


Respectful words

REFERRING to an article by Jone Kalouniviti (FT 11/4), as far as I know, there are some other province together with Ra who are living below the poverty line.

If it is an issue which has been raised during the Ra Provincial meeting, than I believe it is an eye opener for Ra natives only.

If the same issue is being raised by the other provinces who also live below the poverty line, will the whole nation come to know, will they have the same heading as for the province of Ra?

I believe the media have to be more appropriate with their wording and be mindful that we are the iTaukei and not Fijians.

We live with traditional values, one of which is respect via wording.


Answers, please

IT was so socking after reading the news on how some careless staff the hospital has, that a woman in labour walks to the delivery room unaided and her baby falls to the floor.

Will the Ministry of Health be able to give answers to the family members? How many tests will it do on the poor little child to just give one answer?

I am praying every day for that little child to get well soon and not to have any further complications.



Save ours

TO the government of the day and aspiring leaders of tomorrow, please, have our best interests at heart. Do not succumb to the lure of economic gain that may build fortresses during your term but leaves our lands raped, our seas ravaged and our air chocked.


Road conditions

I HAVE always been complaining about my village roads but I won't do that anymore because if Nausori Town, where I travel daily, has such a bad condition in certain areas within the town, then what can I expect about the condition of the road to my village. I prefer to travel in the dust.


Happy Easter

WITH the four days of break for many around Fiji for Easter celebrations, a call for safe, joyous and vibrant Easter this year. As Fiji is a secular country, let us put our differences aside and join in the celebrations, share with the needy and deprived and be imbued in this festivity. A plea to all parents to take extra care of their little ones, for children will always be children.


Bumpy road

HAVE you noticed how bad the state of Hospital Rd is? If I was being rushed to the Accident and Emergency Department, by the time I arrive there, I would be pronounced dead on arrival. Cause of death - bumpy road.


Blame game

I HAVE not been misled at all by your clear as day letter, Avineel Kumar. You can hardly blame Australia and New Zealand for the difficulties their sanctions and restrictions, you term as injustice, caused to the families of military personnel. Blame the military for violating our most important right of being led by an elected government.

SAMUELA SAVU, Canberra Australia

FEA claims

I HAVE to thank Allen Lockington and his sekoula tree mates. No one had to chain themselves to the tree because the tree was in my compound and it was so far from their 33-kilo volts that none of their employees, including Hasmukh Patel, could have jumped from the closet line and touched the leaves. I'm still wondering why Mr Patel said the tree was in the path. The tree stump is still in my compound and I invite the media to check if the tree was in the path of the lines as claimed by Mr Patel.


Poor province

WE were having lunch when one of my workmates said my province, Ra, is the poorest province. I told them to wait. In the next decade, out of all, my province will be the richest. They all laughed at me. We will have the last laugh.


YOUR SAY: Cross and prayers

Act of love and hope

THE resurrection is a story of love. God's love for His children.

It is also a story of forgiveness. The forgiveness of our sins. It is filled with hope for a new tomorrow, a hope - the only hope - in Jesus Christ.

Jesus' ultimate sacrifice showed that even in his death, he asked God to forgive those who had persecuted him. If there is one thing that we, as Christians, should be able to learn from his death on the cross, it is forgiveness.

In forgiving those who have hurt us, we are able to humble ourselves and submit into the will of God.

Jesus' resurrection is a testament of love, forgiveness, hope, strength and a promise to live with him in eternity.

As we look ahead to remember his resurrection, let us ask ourselves "are we able to give ourselves into God's loving arms to die and rise with him, to be able to follow his will ... show his love to all ... forgive all ... and be humbled in his presence?"

Even I am challenged as I write this.

Have a meaningful Easter, Fiji.


At the cross for you

CHRISTIANS remember the sacrifice God, the Son, made at the cross of Calvary to redeem mankind every year during Easter.

In a nutshell, God is telling us that He loves us by paying the price for our redemption so that all that we lost through sin can be restored including eternal life and the restoration of the Creator's original plan of creation.

Lest we forget, a very important part of the Easter message lies in the response of the two thieves who were crucified with Christ on the cross.

One was self-centered, who at the point of death, had eternal life in front of him but chose death instead, while the other was convinced that Christ was indeed the promised Messiah and accepted Him as his Lord and Saviour.

Lest we forget, at the end of the day, humanity will make a choice for or against this one and only heavenly provision for the salvation of mankind.

As we look at Calvary this weekend, make a decision on the song sung by the heavenly angels, "There's room at the cross for you, Though millions have come, There's still room for one, There's room at the cross for you."


Born for a purpose

WE are God's masterpiece.

You are not ordinary or average; you are a one-of-a-kind original.

When God created you and I, He went to great length to make you exactly the way He wanted you.

You're not meant to be like everyone else.

God designed you the way you are for a purpose.

Everything about you is unique and everything about you matters.

You may feel like your life looks ordinary today, but when you understand your value, not only who you are, but also whose, then you will love yourself more, and you will also love those people around you in a greater way.

Realise that because you belong to Him, you are extremely valuable.


Lord's prayer

THE latest attempt by the Green Party of Australia to remove the Lord's prayer from the beginning of senatorial sessions is an insult to two third of Australian Christians and the other one third who accept that tradition.

This is not an attack only to the country as a whole but upon the very name and authority of God. There has not been such evidence of atheism in Australia before. These God-haters are everywhere and its frightening to know they are even among lawmakers.

The coalition of both parties must ensure that they are not placed at the absolute and unconditional demands of these greens, who claim that they will not be bound by any ethical standard based upon the law of God.

The coalition must do their duty to the country against the prospect of complete enslavement.

While we all fall short of the ideal, to oust God from a lawmaking body is open war against the creator.

Oh what a frightening prospect.


Focus on God

SIMON Hazelman's words, "Your devotion to your faith ought to show in your actions" (FT 14/4), is another way of saying, "Your actions show what you believe."

All Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God.

We read in 1 Corinthians 14:34,35,37: "As in all the churches, the women should keep silence in the churches. They are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is shameful for a woman to speak in church . . . what I am writing is a command of the Lord." God's immutable command is repeated in 1Timothy 2:11,12.

In spite of God revealing to us, His unchangeable will (Hebrews 6:17), that divine command has been brushed aside as "old stuff" and women presently perform functions at Mass that previously, only a priest or deacon may perform, such as distributing the Eucharist to the faithful and reading the Bible during Mass. One need not be a theologian to know that any thought, word or deed against God's unchangeable command is sin. What has been mentioned is but one example of how the new interpretation of the gospel has led the flock astray.

"Cursed is the man who trusts in man" (Jeremiah 17:5).

It is truly time to focus on God; abandon the false shepherds, and "Let that abide in you which you have heard from the beginning ...." (1John 2:24).

"Even if we, or an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." (Galatians 1:8,9).


Walk by faith

MUCH sensation has been generated by the blood moons tetrad of 2014/2015 and its so-called links to the end times as postulated by Mark Blitz and others.

Many books/DVDs by end times authors have been written to make money off this idea on eager Christians looking for the Lord's return.

Fiji too is getting caught up in this grip of hysteria similar to the false tsunami prophecy of some years ago. But as all true Christians should know this is unbiblical teaching.

The Bible in Matthew 24:36 and Matthew 25:13 state that we cannot know the day or hour of the Lord's return. So all date setting of the Lord's return is futile, unbiblical and sensationalist.

And if that doesn't stop this false teaching and panic, Christians living in the Age of Grace are commanded to "walk by faith", and not by sight.

In the Bible, Christians are not told to look for signs in the sky.

We are told to look for the Blessed Hope, which comes by faith. The Bible says that signs are for the Jews. But these greedy authors and false teachers, if they "rightly divided" their Bible would already know that.


Christian celebrations

I JUST want to ask Rajesh Lal, that, if the hear-and-say method was not used by the early Christians, would the Bible exist?

Do you think the author of Genesis was there during the creation, observing what was happening, then wrote them down? Do you think Abraham had secretary to write down everything he did? Do you think Mark, Mathew, Luke and John were carrying their book around with Jesus and whatever Jesus did or say, they would write them down?

In every society in those days, even in some today, the only way to pass on a story or an event is the method of hear and say (oral tradition).

Many Christian terms and practices may not be found in the scripture literally, but they do exist in hear and say (oral tradition).

The words Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Christmas and many more may not exist in the Bible literally but their roots are found in the Bible.

You rightly say that the Bible is the Word of God but we must not read it as a scientific book and literally.

All this terms and practices were brought in the Christianity to help and strengthen Christians in their faith.

Concerning the prizemoney your offer, just remember, Jesus did not want His house (temple) to be used as a market or for money.

I guess it is the same with His Word. You can give that money to the needy in society.


Seek and ye shall find

I DO not wish to even attempt to dampen letter writer Rajesh Lal's abiding Cristian faith, but I want to remind him that languages evolved among humans independently of the Holy Bible.

Abrahamic traditions recognise that fact. Historical records and the Pharaonic hieroglyphs are proof.

Therefore, may I suggest a little more research to Rajesh Lal, before he loses his $25,000? The Bible and its versions are often symbolic and metaphoric in demonstrating a point.

As a retired language teacher, I recall many students and adults who read everything literally.

I will avoid controversy and hurt feelings, but say that taking everything literally is not a good recipe for understanding faith in our very diverse and complex universe.

Words evolve in meaning and usage as our lives change with the times and circumstances.

In Christianity, there are many faiths, traditions as in all other religions, in spite of efforts by some to be rigidly prescriptive.

Traditions come and go. "Seek and ye shall find!"

NANDA SOLOGAR, Alberta Canada

Real pain

WHILE Easter is near and thousands of my Christian brothers and sisters will be taking part in the cross crusade, my humble request is while demonstrating the pain and suffering of Jesus Christ please do not crucify young ones in real with nails on the cross to enact the real pain and suffering Jesus Christ went through.

Last year, I witnessed a very sad and emotional sight on the Queens Rd near Sabeto where a young Fijian man carrying the cross was actually being whipped, I even noticed blisters on his legs perhaps because he had walked bare foot for miles.

The previous year news media also covered stories of incidents where youths were actually nailed to the cross to show the actual pain Jesus Christ went through.

While all this is in the name of God and the power and blessings he gives cannot be described in words, it is very heart-aching to see the real pain and suffering.

Let's celebrate Easter this year without the real pain and suffering.





DID I hear it right over the TV, if so the future parliamentary candidates in the 2014 Election will have to attend a crash course to familiarise themselves with the parliamentary standing orders, order paper, etc. at the behest of the government of the day?

Never before in the history of the parliamentary democracy since 1970 are the candidates seeking the candidature in parliament been subjected to such a rule.

Assuming that veteran politicians such as Sitiveni Rabuka, Mahendra Pal Chaudhry, Laisenia Qarase, Jai Ram Reddy, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, former speaker of the House of Representative and many other veterans, were to be the candidates in the 2014 Election, will they too be subjected to this?

Moreover, who are going to be the resource personnel to teach these oldies who are aware of the parliamentary procedures like the back of their palm?


Unfair opinion

IT is with great dismay that we read Wadan Narsey's opinion article (12/4/14) briefly stating why one should not stand as an independent candidate in the September national election and indicating more to follow.

While we appreciate political commentary as much as the next person, we believe his conflicts with one's political freedom and choice.

Opinions such as this also aim to manipulate voters into voting for parties over independents, thus compromising voter integrity protected by the law.

While one can only imagine what Mr Narsey will say in his next opinion article in relation to this subject, the Be The Change Campaign would like to caution Mr Narsey from making statements based on just statistics and probabilities.

There are many people who support this campaign and our aspiring candidate Roshika Deo simply because her ethics and development priorities are the same as theirs.

They know that once elected she will push for the changes they want. They can relate to her and she to them.

Many who support the campaign do so because they do not want their candidate to be affiliated with parties and its hierarchical politics.

They want direct access to their candidate and they want decisions to be made promptly.

It is also a candidate's political choice of whether or not s/he wants to stand as an independent or be part of a party, a right and choice protected under the law.

To unduly influence voters using his subjective opinion based on just one factor does not do the philosophy behind the freedom of political choice and the righ to freedom of political participation, justice.

In good faith, if one were to highlight the challenges in the electoral system, it would entail making suggestions on what to do with the votes of both independent candidates and parties that do not constitute a seat.

Continuing to compromise voter integrity and one's political freedom by making statements targeting aspiring independent candidates is not a sound objective opinion nor is it constructive.

ROMITESH KANT, Be The Change Campaign, va

Useless words

WITH all the things to focus on it is amazing that some disgruntled ex-politicians keep sniping at their opponents rather than setting out their own aspirations for a better Fiji.

If they were genuinely concerned for the future of Fiji they could find a better way to express their views.

Otherwise their words are useless.

"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

JEAN BROWN, Savusavu

Cost of living

WITH the cost of living skyrocketing, another added fuel increase is already felt by the consumers.

To make matters worse, many fuel providers are awaiting orders from their bosses to change the fuel price to the new ones and then fill in cars for eager customers.

I wonder how the Consumer Council can aid gullible consumers in this regard as these are existing fuel stock that should be filled in for the previous price.

Consumer watchdogs need to be more vigilant.


Fuel prices

THERE is nothing to welcome about the fuel price changes announced by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum (FT 14/4).

It's time our dollar is revalued so that everybody can enjoy paying low prices on all items.

Since 1987, our dollar lost its true value and because of some power hungry people, the nation is paying the price of devaluation.

Can the Attorney-General tell this nation why can't our dollar be restored when our foreign reserves is at an all-time high as announced by him?

We are getting the lowest grade of fuel and yet it is so expensive. Why?

Revaluing our dollar is the only answer to curb the rising cost of fuel.


Repeat offenders

THE LTA is no doubt doing the best it can to create awareness on prevention of road accidents and illegal activities on our roads.

It is not an easy task to successfully instil this awareness into the general public who use our roads every day and it is indeed become a critical issue.

Because of the increase in the road death toll and repeated careless driving, some suggestions have come up in order to address this situation.

One of those suggestions was to increase the fines imposed from $80 to $500 or $600.

Now that to me seems to be quite an exorbitant increase for a country as small as Fiji.

This is equivalent to fines imposed for similar offences in New Zealand, Australia and other countries abroad who have far better road conditions to drive on and even live on a salary scale which enables them to sustain such hefty fines.

I guess the standard of living and the conditions surrounding it must be taken into consideration before such suggestions become decisions.

There may be some other forms of reasonable actions that could be taken which could help improve the driving situation in our country and if it is to increase fines then it should only be up to a reasonable level.

Another suggestion would be to come down hard on repeat offenders by suspending them from driving for a certain period through which they will then realise how difficult it is to go by without being able to drive.


Traffic school

I HEARD the LTA is now proposing hefty fines for road penalties.

This will not help as this will only scare motorists to the extreme.

I suggest that LTA take a refresher course run by private companies where motorists are educated to drive on Fiji roads.

There are new rules every year and this so-called traffic school will educate motorists on new rules and refresh their minds on traffic laws, instead of giving them harsher penalties.

They can spend that money in traffic schools where they will learn once again, and the certificate to be presented to LTA officers, showing you have completed the eight-hour school.

We have that here in the US and that helps a lot get acquainted with road rules, to bring down road fatalties.

Please, LTA, try this route if you're really serious in fixing the problem instead of just filling the coffers of LTA.


Mobile nightclubs

EVER experienced a bus trip with music blaring and lights flashing?

If you're keen on doing so, hop on the Raiwaqa bus after six in the evenings.

The driver has these dimmed lights on (you can hardly see the aisle) and to top it off, at the back of the bus there are white lights flashing to the beat of loud music.

Crazy, isn't it? Or are we converting our public transport into mobile nightclubs.

Thank you LTA for such a splendid job.


Too rough to ride

I WRITE with great concern and request the relevant authorities and the government to repair the roads at Tomuka in Lautoka.

The condition of the road worsens daily and despite many assurances previously, nothing has been done.

There are about 3000 or so residents in Tomuka and is one of the largest settlements in Lautoka.

Many times due to heavy rain, the bridge near the start of the settlement gets flooded and people are stuck until the water subsides.

Furthermore, taxidrivers are reluctant to take passengers and the reason is because the road condition is very bad.

I urge the relevant authorities to have a look at our road if this is not sufficient.

Finally, I do hope that the government will intervene and will surely repair our roads.


Road failures

I AGREE with Mr Lum's letter (FT 5/4) in which he highlights the failure on the recently up-graded sections of road on Harris Rd, Scott and Victoria Pde.

The recently up-graded sections are showing signs of failure in forms of becoming heaved up or becoming wavy which in near future would be filled with numerous potholes again.

The credibility of relevant authority and its contractor undertaking the works is quite questionable as we are not seeing the contractor addressing the failure once again which should be done at its own cost.

Is the authority waiting for time to pass by in order for everyone to forget the issue or is trying to come up with a fancy excuse to save its contractor and re-do the work while paying them once again?

The logo of - Do it once and do it right - by the FRA needs to be changed to: "We fix the same road several times and waste the poor taxpayers' money by paying our overseas contractors several times as well."


Children in vehicles

CHILDREN are playful and we don't expect them to understand the repercussions of their actions.

You can't even stick a 'Baby on Board' sticker on a car because it doesn't do justice to a three-foot-tall boy.

Yet, accidents are increasing in number and can happen because of the smallest reason - often because of things we take for granted.

Parents should be cautious with their children in the car, especially when the child is sitting alone and doesn't have a hand-held game to distract him.

With a case like the one in the photograph, applying sudden brakes could land the boy at the end of the road and resulting in death or may cause very serious injury.

Children are not expected to understand protocol.

Parents should enforce mandatory rules, like ensuring their child is strapped in with a seat belt or that someone is accompanying the child in the back seat, even if the front seat is empty.

The long-term costs of prolonged treatment and rehabilitation or the cost of pain and suffering, disfigurement or disability and the financial loss to the child and family or work hours lost caring for an injured child.


Child rape

I WAS disgusted to read of the rape of the three-year-old.

The headline was even more disgusting as the perpetrator was only labelled as, "Cakaudrove ma....."

What a shame it is. To protect the victim, his name was withheld. Nothing to protect Cakaudrove.

Anyway, I thought nine years is no punishment for the lifelong punishment the poor little girl will face.

The non parole period is only five years.

That is a travesty of justice. Sure he showed remorse.

However should there have been more consideration for the little girl too?

What about the trauma his little brother will carry? He witnessed the rape.

I can only urge the family of the little girl and the boy to seek further redress in the courts through a civil case against the perpetrator.

The courts ought to make considerations about it and must allow the victim and the family to claim some compensation for the trauma, suffering and psychological distress that they will carry.

If the courts could grant the victims the above recourse it might be a real lesson to other like-minded and would-be perpetrators.

Surely some review of our sentencing and recourse for rapes and assaults is overdue.

It is little wonder that Fiji is still quite highly placed in this unwelcome ranking of sexual assaults and rapes.

BEN SALACAKAU, Pretoria South Africa

Watch your kids

WISHING you all a safe and blessed Easter weekend.

To all parents, please, when you all are sitting and drinking this weekend, do supervise your children as well.

It's a long weekend and who knows what will happen.

Have a blessed week.


Noah, the movie

WHENEVER a Christian movie is out in the cinemas, Christians like me usually get very excited to go and watch the biblical scenes come alive on the big screen.

The most recent one was Noah, the true story of Noah is also mentioned in the Hindu and Muslim holy books.

However, it was disappointing to watch this film as it was not in line with the biblical account of Noah's ark and the flood instead it seemed to be a political message focused on the environmental agenda.

This film actually casts God of the Bible in a bad light.

The character of Noah in the film is also seen as evil and cannot be reconciled with the "righteous" man described in Genesis 6 or the man of "faith" described in Hebrews 11.

Noah's family of eight mentioned in the Bible is shortened to six while the fallen angels (The Watchers) actually help Noah in the film when in fact the Bible states their evil deeds was really the cause of the "great flood" that destroyed mankind.


Conflict of interest

LISTENING and interacting with people is always fun, as feedback and opinions come in many forms with a variety of anecdotes.

Early this week, we discussed the phrase "conflict of interest".

An experienced hotel professional paused when asked to explain the meaning of this phrase.

After a long pause she replied, "conflict of interest is like this, every time you want to give VIP treatment to the customer because, she's your friend, relative, school mate or loved one, please take a moment to think of your uniform, image and company you represent". Stop and think of the many other real customers who will suffer because of your preferential treatment.

There's a way out of this though and it begins with "never compromise honesty and integrity with favouritism and prejudice."


Rugby translator

RECENT TV news had a new recruit in the national 7s squad giving an interview in vernacular.

That drove me to believe to some extent that a translator was necessary for the team. Osea, as captain, should be fine for that role, both in training and in tournaments.

My change in thinking does not, however, change my stance on the translator saga that brought us down in HK. Happy Easter.


Ba soccer

A LOT has been said about the support for the Ba soccer team.

Yes, we all should do that. On the other hand we should also remember the following facts.

Ba also had nine yellow cards. Luckily no red card this year as was the case last year.

Luckily Ba won first two games and drew that last pool game and qualified for a semi-final berth.

Imagine if Ba lost the first or second game.

We all know what Ba players and officials can do when they lose a match on their home ground.

We have to wait and see what happens in the semi-finals.

Anyway I wish Ba all the best.


Serevi debate

I, FOR one, have always championed the greatest 7s player the world has ever seen, the one and only Waisale Serevi, as the best man for Fiji 7s rugby as a player, coach, manager, mentor, water or baggage boy.

In any of those capacities, he can still lift Fiji's 7s rugby players to be world and Olympic champions.

He is one of only three coaches to have won the International Rugby Board 7s World Series.

He has won two Rugby World Cup 7s championships and coached (a technical feat) in one of those wins.

As a player, he has featured in more 7s rugby game wins internationally than any other Fijian on this planet today.

And to boot, was given an honorary degree by his peers in the academic world for his achievements.

No other Fijian rugby 7s player or Fiji 7s coach in Fiji in the past, today or in the future will or can match his record.

The loss in Hong Kong was not because of his presence on the sidelines and with the team at half-time, but because of his subdued absence on the third and crucial day of the tournament.

We reap what we sow.

For a champion such as Waisale Serevi, his achievements and aura as the only "mortal to play the 7s game with the gods" has followed him into the business world. His brand's meteoric rise shadows his feats as a winner.

Coaches such as Ben Ryan recognise the influence and knowledge that can be tapped from a true champion.

And to be able to get the free services of this giant of a man in the rugby 7s world from a diminutive champion we call "Small", is the essence of humility.

Go Ben Ryan, go Waisale Serevi!


Macuata rugby

MACUATA'S results in the first round of competition against Namosi is no surprise.

The results is the outcome of the administrators and office bearers' poor management and organisational skills.

First of all, the club competition started late in the season while all the other provinces had been having their competition.

They have been blaming the weather as a result of postponed club games and the Labasa Town council does not give the OK to play during rainy weather.

How will the players chosen for provincial duties then adapt if they play during wet and rainy weather?

The administrators should find an alternative if the council does not give them the green light to use their ground. Secondly, can the administrators tell the clubs on what criteria are the players for provincial duties chosen?

At the moment, Wailevu is the club champion in Macuata. I wonder how many players from the club are in the Macuata team?

I can assure you that there are capable players out there in the province who have the Macuata fighting spirit at heart and are willing to put their body on the line for the province.

Thirdly, can the draws for the club games be put in the newspaper so that players and supporters know their club game schedules on time and not pasted in shop walls and show glass in Labasa Town like some proposed village or bazaar tournaments?

If this trend of postponed club games, unclear player selection and overall poor administration continues then, I doubt we will make it to the top eight this season.

Administrators need to be proactive and think outside the box and dedicate their time, resources and mind you, money, to move things forward.

We, the supporters, need a winning team. Make us proud people.


Games promotion

I WISH to seek clarification from organisers of the Coca-Cola Games regarding their sponsorship.

It is noted that Coke is not allowed to be sold in schools since it is not healthy.

And that is why using students to promote the softdrink products is questionable.

Perhaps other products can be promoted by the company at the games.

I hope the authorities can clarify the issue.

All the best to all the athletes.


Soccer change

I TOTALLY agree with Kelvin Anthony (FT 17/4) that every single administrator in Fiji FA HQ ought to be made redundant.

We have so much potential and so much to gain from the game.

Something is certainly amiss and it must be sorted out now. Fiji deserves better.


Storm in a tea cup

BILL Wadley's opinion (FT 15/4) in regards to MIDA's reaction to hate speech as a storm in a tea cup may hold some truth.

I personally believe that any citizen who feels threatened by publication of any speech, print media or broadcast media should show cause in the courts that there is a threat to rights, national security or public peace.

I am not a lawyer, but I believe only the courts can put a restraint on such expression. Not one person or an organisation.

Only a court of law should determine whether the speaker had malice at the time the "offending speech" was being said.

To do otherwise would be a grave denial of free speech and of the press to print it in this country.


Blood moon

WELL we were also outside to watch the blood moon occurrence.

Where we live is pretty isolated and when the eclipse was happening we stood in awe and watched.

Then somewhere in the darkness we heard CCRs song being sung by a passerby "I see the bad moon rising".

And someone else muttered, "Only in Namulomulo".

But we enjoyed the lunar eclipse and the entertainment.


Patient treatment

I READ an article printed (FT 15/4) whereby a woman delivered her baby while being forced to walk to the observation room.

I feel sorry both for the baby and the mother.

I personally feel that women are treated badly by the maternity unit staff. I have had two deliveries and had bad experience with the staff.

The maternity unit staff didn't want to attend to me and I could hear them saying that "she is a private patient, call her doctor".

My second birth was through C-section after which I had some complications and was admitted in MICU.

The nurse made me walk from MICU to Morrison Unit just a couple of days after I had the operation.

This is just my experience.

I believe a survey should be done by Ministry of Health to find out the truth.


Tourism stats

I DOUBT the Bureau of Statistics will answer Dan Urai's question (FT 12/4) about how many beds were paid overseas and how many of the 3,884,521 beds in 2013 were paid in Fiji.

Clearly and simply the majority is paid abroad. Most accommodation properties require accruements of down-payments well before arrival into Fiji by which time the total amount is paid in full.

As most accommodation properties are foreign owned, it would only make sense that majority of the monies would remain abroad.

What Fiji will get is taxes, employment and more taxes, and hopefully some reinvestment.

I hope this answers Dan's queries, for whatever reasons he asks.

Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

Prescription drugs

THE discovery by BBC Panorama over the alleged bribing of doctors in Poland by UK drug company GlaxoSmithKline to promote its asthma drug, Seretide (FT 15/4), raises some fundamental issues locally.

During the recent past, we have seen many new kinds of prescription drugs, medicines we receive over the counter that is prescribed by a doctor, entering our local stores.

There are hundreds of different medicines for common ailments such as colds, cough, body pains, headaches, stomachaches, backaches and fever.

One thing common in all these new pain-killer medicines and antibiotics is that almost all contain a warning of some kind or other.

That means they are not totally safe.

Yet they still exist on shelves and continue to be prescribed by doctors.

We find that those who frequently use these prescription drugs develop gastric ulcers and throat burns.

It is not unusual to hear someone say "going to the doctor makes you more sick."

There was a time when the prescription of antibiotics was so much restricted by doctors.

Doctors used to advise their patients that antibiotics was only prescribed if nothing else worked.

Nowadays we hear that even a newborn is given antibiotics without even knowing the cause of the symptoms.

Sometimes it sends a chill up the spine that despite all endeavours and encouragement by the government for a first-class service industry for our people, it is a big wonder what our medical professionals are up to.

I personally feel the medical profession needs to pull up its sleeve if it wants to maintain itself as a reputable institution.

Certainly, the wisdom of upholding ethical principles must override the desire for a quick buck.