Fiji Time: 9:30 AM on Saturday 7 March

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Saturday, March 07, 2015

Change clock

SOME weeks ago we were very pleased to see the infamous Government Buildings' clock working. Sadly, its on reverse gear now.

It seems to be following the debates in Parliament, meaning when there is a hot issue such as flag change, derogatory words and public accounts, to name a few, it charms to order, however when the issues die, the clock dies as well, except that it charms at the wrong time!! Seriously! Jokes, aside, the clock should be replaced with a digital one with time and temperature reading of the weather, since it changes daily. One thing for sure, it will need a solar battery which can cater for the often power cuts by FEA! Just like the flag, perhaps its also time to change the clock.

Hamidan Bibi Toorak, Suva

Tourist destination

I'VE been reading your editorial with regards to the cost competitiveness of Fiji as a tourism destination.

The contention suggests that Fiji is increasingly being seen as expensive.

Perhaps the real issue is that with more countries in the region competing for visitors, the advent of Trip Advisor and other on-line comparison sites makes it very simple to compare on the value offered by individual resorts and attractions in the region as a whole.

The transparency Trip Advisor offers allows instant cost comparisons, and perhaps strongly influences which countries receive visitors. You can't hide facts on-line!

As a regular visitor, I would suggest that Fiji offers real value for money, but this is outside of the resorts. We've attended a smorgasbord dinner at one resort that charged $80 per person for one meal, which is ridiculous.

Yet we've been into restaurants in Lami, Sigatoka, Lautoka and Rakiraki that offered excellent value for money.

Perhaps Fiji needs to link these places and the value they offer, based on Trip Advisor comments, to give a more balanced view of costs of Fiji as a destination?


Torture victims

I CANNOT help but infer from some of the submissions made by various individuals and organisations to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence on the UN Convention Against Torture, and other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading treatment that there is still an element of fear and apprehensiveness that the convention may not be fully respected or honoured after its formal ratification.

The scepticism being expressed by the victims who have suffered such inhumane treatment at the hands of the perpetrators is quite authentic and well founded.

I believe one way to allay such fears will be to entrench immutable provisions in our Constitution to the effect that even after its abrogation the obligation to the convention will remain sacrosanct.

I hope that my suggestion is not too farfetched.


Mining venture

I READ in blogger Professor Crozier Walsh's article "Mining dilemma in Fiji" (June 28,2012 ), that "Mining, especially opencast and submarine mining, always raises issues that only specialists can answer. A new mine will create jobs, royalties for landowners, income for shareholders, tax revenue for government, and put more money in the local economy.

But the main benefactors are usually the mining companies that send much of their profits offshore, and the mine may also create costly environmental hazards that far exceed its benefits".

Prof Walsh goes on to discuss a number of mining ventures, including the Mt Kasi one, and ends by making the observation that, "Whether any or all these ventures turn out to be 'blessings' is too early to call."

We now read in the illuminating The Fiji Times editorial comment "Cyanide concern" (FT 2/03 ) that Mt. Kasi mining might not be a blessing for at least the villagers in that area given the threat it has posed to their food resources.

And, I would disagree with the learned professor that "only specialists can answer" issues arising out of mining.

Ordinary people who are adversely impacted can also provide answers as The Fiji Times editorial shows.

Usually they can provide a more trustworthy account of the deleterious effects of a mining venture.

RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

International Women's Day

THOSE men who undermine women's capabilities and abuse them without realising they have their rights for freedom should think twice.

Women should no longer be silent sufferers of violence, or any kind of physical, emotional and psychological abuse.

On this auspicious day, women should come up with united front to change people's perceptions towards respecting women, honouring their contributions, abilities and capabilities.

Silent prayers for women:

"Lord give me the wisdom to understand my man.

Give me love so I can forgive him.

Give me patience to cope with him.

But please Lord, don't give me strength or I will give him the beating of his life."

Women power!

TAHIR ALI, Hamilton, NZ

Grog drinking

ON Wednesday (4/3/2015) we received a communiqué from the acting headteacher of our son's primary school replying to the Ministry of Education about grog drinking during working hours on Ash Wednesday (18/02/2015).

The acting headteacher was replying to a letter of complaint/allegation written by an anonymous parent whose sons attend this particular school, addressed to the Ministry of Education, the Public Service Commission and the Prime Minister's Office.

The acting headteacher in replying to the allegations, acknowledged this fact and explained the reasons for the grog drinking and for how long.

In this secular state of ours today, we are reminded by the Government of the day that, they will respect and encourage all religions and religious activities. All the anonymous parent had to do was ask the acting headteacher there and then about the grog drinking.

He would have gotten an answer immediately and then make a decision on being an anonymous tattle-tale or not.

As parents, we teach our children values and in turn hope that they will pick up these values and live their lives accordingly.

Every parent should have the integrity and honesty to put their names on letters they write, whether they be letters of complaint or otherwise.

Why be afraid? Why think your sons will be victimised? We in Fiji tend to react knowing only one half of the story, one half of the truth.

Please parents, always have the integrity and honesty to put your name where your mouth or pen is! Half your truth is not the whole truth.



Thank you

I JUST want to thank The Fiji Times for your honest, transparent and unbiased reporting. It's no wonder that your newspapers sell faster than any other daily.


Porn issue

I TOTALLY agree with Kirti Patel's comment regarding internet and porn. What is so good about porn? Why do people watch these dirty stuff in privacy or why do people watch these with a guilt? If it was something good or does good to your mentality then it is justified. It is the sin of the eyes and mind!


Vehicle manuals

RECONDITIONED vehicles that are imported should also include owner's manuals and guide as it plays a crucial element helping owners understand the vehicle better in regards to service and maintenance. Nearly 98 per cent of drivers fail at identifying what common dashboard warning lights mean.

SHAMAL CHAND, Kuku Bau Rd Nausori

007 spies

THEY say we are/were being spied on! Probably. Daniel Craig's crew might take note, and who knows, the next of his sequels may just have us in it! Humour aside, recent revelations of spying on Fiji is very distasteful.


A spy

OUR so called big brother actually turned out to be a spy. It is very hard to believe that on one side they talk about building long-term mutual beneficial relationships and on the other hand they actually spy on us. I wonder what else they are capable of.


Without women

IMAGINE what the world would have been like without mothers, sisters, grand mother, aunties and female cousins? By the way happy International Women's Day.


Secret duty

WHO would not want to tap secretly on nations when an illegal event is happening within especially when they have their diplomats, investors, assets and even tourist citizens often spending vacations there? Even secret agents all over the world have a duty to keep up with motives and objectives held behind their jurisdiction. Anyway there are no hidden secrets for what is in secret will open up sooner or later.


YOUR SAY: Spying and torture

Blind eye

NOBODY should be really surprised by the recent revelation that NZ, as part of the 5-eye-Network (US, Canada, UK and Australia are the other four), is extensively spying on its South Pacific neighbours.

Especially Fiji is of interest here, with its well-established contacts to the BRICs nations like Brazil and Russia, India and the good old friend China.

These countries are on their way to establish alternatives in the global world of trade and money dominated so far by the "western world", meaning here the ever growing influence of the US and their vassal states.

Especially the influence of China in Fiji and the rest of the South Pacific is a thorn in all five eyes, but mostly the very big eye.

Laughable is only that NZ's prime minister says they do everything according to law.

Yes, but that's only their own spy laws, without any consideration for others, except the five eye network. They are working exactly the same.

Time for Fiji to think about encrypting e-mails and phone calls, money well spent.


Kiwis spying

I'M not surprised with the media reports in Aotearoa that the Kiwis have been spying on us.

They still can't get over the 2013 Dubai 7s semi-final thrashing we gave them and their recent two-game loss to us in Las Vegas.


Torture issue

SO much talk in supporting UNCAT (United Nations Convention Against Torture) but in reality a nation like ours sometimes requires physical torture in order to put a stop to prolonged unethical behaviour!

For decades many farmers in rural areas up here in the Northern Division have been psychologically tortured on a daily basis and it continues to this day.

Livestock and root crops get stolen overnight, every night!

Hardworking farm owners spend their money, time and effort providing for thieves who thrive because the law cannot control this evil conduct.

So what do we do with such people? Will the laws of UNCAT stop them from carrying out their business of stealing and causing psychological torture to hardworking farmers?

Instead of protecting law abiding citizens we are now pushing to protect the very people who cause physical and psychological torture.

There are many hard-knock crooks about our country and its people like these who need to be taught a good lesson, old-fashioned style, of obedience and respect.

The only way is to give them a good hiding.

Let's get real people and deal with such issues the fastest way!


Looking back in time

I WISH to express my sincere appreciation to Ernest Heatley and The Fiji Times for the piece on the Nadi Airport Methodist youth group featured on the Look Back column 22/3.

Such a nice reception that Sunday morning to be looking at the picture of my late old man, mother of the singer Lagani Rabukawaqa, Leqeti and other group members returning from attending an international church youth conference in Australia.

While only a few remain to this day we will certainly look back and emotionally cherish the memories of those days.


Issue of rape

MUKESH Singh (involved in the Nirbhaya rape) thinks that a boy and a girl are not equal.

Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes.

A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy.

When (Nirbhaya) was being raped, she shouldn't have fought back. She should have remained silent and allowed the rape.

My brain is just about to explode.

I've never felt so angry and infuriated in my life. No words can describe my anger right now.

Oh god, this is just insane. This is the most pathetic, stupid, senile, idiotic, crazy, mental and psychotic statement I've ever read in my life.

Today I'm feeling ashamed that such men still exist.

And shame on the Indian Government and how dare India ban the documentary India's Daughter.

This is why women don't feel safe to walk the streets.

This is a very serious issue. And just look at the hypocrisy of India's Government.

At one side they proclaim "beti bachao, beti padhao" and on the other side they ban a documentary that shows society a mirror of their silence, of their misdoings.

Salute to such politics, where the image of a so-called "safe country" is more than the life of a girl.

The world can see porn but they can't see a movie highlighting a rape that gripped the world.

I urge everyone to watch this movie.

Do watch this documentary on YouTube.

Let's show our support and raise our voice and tell the world, you can't get away with rape.


Illegal PSV

READING an article that LTA has suspended a number of driving licences and deregistered a few vehicles in justification that most of them were used as illegal public service vehicles.

The fact is those drivers had a source of income and were earning a living, now they will have no vehicle and no income.

Another contribution towards the list of unemployment and more probably increment to the list of idle minds.

There goes a saying "an idle mind is a devil's playground".

I wonder what they may be thinking now.

What I failed to see is that they operated and were providing service to the public while the legal PSVs were doing the same.

That means that there is room for more vehicles to be used in this sector. Why punish them for earning a living?

Can't an alternative be sought for them?


No forms

WHILE the free medicine program has come into effect, I believe more awareness needs to be created by the Ministry of Health in this regards so that people who qualify and meet all the necessary requirements as stipulated in the form and are able to register themselves and take advantage of the free medication.

While I understand there are only selected pharmacies that are covered under the free medication scheme, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health to create more awareness so that right information reaches down to the general public.

Firstly please tell the general public where they can get the forms from.

To my knowledge currently people who are trying to access the forms are being made to run around in circles as hospitals and pharmacies have run out of the printed forms.

Either advertising the form in the newspaper, inserting free forms in local dailies or providing a website download link in the local newspapers would be of great help to the general public.


Illegal residents

I REFER to the article titled Fijians in detention (FT 06/03).

It's just because of such pointless actions of a few, we all basically get painted with the same brush.

Little do these unlawful residents in Australia realise that their actions are having a direct repercussion on the Fijian citizens here legitimately trying to obtain a visitor's visa.

When the visas are refused for distinct reasons, the embassy suddenly acquires a bad name, and all sorts of negative comments are aired out.

Unsuccessful applicants tend to make their own dim-witted assumptions as to why their applications were futile.

While one can get simply mesmerised with the bright city lights, the skyscrapers and the kangaroos in the Land Down Under, doing a runner and deciding not to return home is not a viable option to consider.

You will eventually get exposed, and then boom, first flight back to Viti!


Litter control responsibility

NO frequent traveller along Marine Dr in Lami can fail to see the general household litter almost on a daily frequency outside one particular residence.

The sight is appalling and it's obvious that those responsible at the residence have no consideration, care for the environment or respect for the neighbourhood.

As a Lami ratepayer I am disgusted that this regular occurrence is allowed to continue. I do not want to see my rates being wasted on council street cleaners having to clear up the rubbish from this residence on the public highway.

What is more disappointing is that this occurs a short distance from both Lami Town Council and Lami Police Station, both have responsibilities and powers to fine those who litter.

Why are they not doing their jobs?


Indonesian president

WITH his dogmatic decision to proceed with the execution of the two Australian drug offenders notwithstanding their remarkable rehabilitation and the country's constitutional requirement - that they be given due consideration - and the plea for mercy by many leaders, the Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo has shown why it has been said with irrationality no meaningful dialogue is possible.

RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney Australia

Public convenience

THE condition of the Nausori Town public convenience is a sight to see.

I believe heads must roll at the Nausori Town Council office.

I believe the condition of the public convenience is maybe one of the worst, if not the worst in the country.

What makes it more worse is it is sitting right beside the bus stand.

Last week, I witnessed people walking out as soon as they come in preferring maybe to relieve themselves somewhere else because the convenience is in no state to be used.

It is also a health hazard and hopefully authorities do something about this, maybe the Health Ministry or the OHS Department.

Better still the minister concerned is to close the Nausori Town Council Office convenience and tell the staff members to use the same public convenience. I bet they will never dare for they know very well what to expect if they are to go there.

Otherwise, it can be put in good use if it is converted to a nursery, because I tell you, seedlings will grow very well in there.

Sowani Vito, Suva

Letter writers

AS a youngster growing up, I learned the virtue of sharing any spoils.

A pound or a dollar was hard to come by in those days.

Whenever I found any money or anything I would share with my buddies equally, always giving them first choice. Pick and cuts.

Unlike some who would never share anything.

Simply put, I love to share. Whatever.

My point here is some repeat and habitual writers are submitting, same letters to both the dailies.

Now you good folks, lots of letters are received daily by the editors, and lots are left out.

Please be a bit courteous and considerate and submit to only one of the dailies.

This letter column should be shared by both editors so they are aware which one is printed.

Space is so sparse and precious. Kerekere mada.


Arrogant beggars

A WOMAN who tried to offer advice to two women beggars in Lautoka City on Friday (06/03) about the assistance from the Ministry of Social Welfare was told off.

The poor woman maybe out of courtesy was trying to help but the beggars were just too arrogant.

If the public stops showing their generosity towards these type of beggars, they will learn a lesson. Otherwise, begging is easier than selling sweets in the bean carts.


Happy Holi

DO you know why we put colours on people on Holi?

It is because, when we put colour on people's face, they become unrecognisable, look the same as the person next to them.

We all become one. That's how it should be.

We all have the same rights, and should be given the same privileges. No one should be classified as a second rate citizen.

Holi symbolises the victory of good over evil. Wishing everyone a happy Holi.


Celebrating Holi

HINDUS all over Fiji celebrate Holi, the festival of colour and joy in a sheer process where the bright colours of Holi diminish all the discriminations of caste and creed in society.

The colours of Holi also bring along with them the spirit of joy, passion and enthusiasm.

The festival commemorates the fact that "goodness always triumphs over evil" and the verity that "truth is always universal".

Holi spreads the message of peace and happiness. Mandali will also sing chautal.

As people splash coloured water or powder all over one another, it reflects exactly what is occurring in nature at that time - when all the beautiful flowers of different colours are blossoming. Hence, Holi is a time to reach out with the colours of joy and it is the time to love and forgive.

Holi is the apt time to break the ice, renew relationships and it is a time to show affection.

I take this time to wish all our Hindu brothers and sisters a vibrant, meaningful and eventful Holi celebration.


Awards nights

RECENTLY there has been a lot of awards nights held at posh hotels mostly in urban sectors.

Let's move it to the rural sector and start from Cane Farmers Awards Night, moving on to vegetable farmers and on to livestock farming, etc.

These sectors are still one of the backbones of Fiji's economy.

I am pretty sure one of our hardworking farmers will offer his farm home for the awards night, maybe not too posh or expensive.


Eye problem

SAVENACA Vakaliwaliwa of Nasinu incorrectly writes down that cataract can be cured by circling six mango leaves around the eye which he says he knows by living with Fijians of Indian descent in Flagstaff.

This is totally incorrect and misleading.

We use seven leaves not six leaves to cure cystic fibrosis or cystic neoplasm, not cataract my friend.

Again it is only a belief that as the leaves dry the cyst will dry too.

May be the Indians in Flagstaff have modernised and started using six leaves now and they also started curing cataract.

If this is the case why have eye operations for cataract.


Two sides to development

INTERESTING to see that what transpired a few years ago still has its impact.

The mining in Mount Kasi at one point in Fiji's history was raking in millions of dollars hence helping in our economy.

One could not have imagined then the impact it would leave behind for the people of Dawara (Yanawai) in Cakaudrove.

The overflow of dam containing the cyanide after the heavy rain which killed fish, prawns and other food sources in and alongside Yanawai and Wainiva which affected the people's food source. (FT 2/3/15 P8).

While development is good on one hand, on the other hand that needs to be properly scrutinised is the impact it will give birth to after we have accepted the development with both hands.

Whether proper consultation with relevant stakeholders or landowners was followed prior to the mining is something the Minister for Lands will need to establish.

Following the due processes as stipulated by law is another story.

Now that another company wishes to reopen the mining site, the fear among the people is how will they benefit from it provided that the previous company left behind environment scars that until today still haunt them.

We wish madam Minister for Lands all the best in dealing with this for the people of Dawara, Cakaudrove.


Pornography filter

I BELIEVE the PNG Government must be commended for investing in an internet filter and for taking a proactive stand in blocking off any pornographic material and its websites after the latest findings that it ranks very high up the ladder in terms of its standing as the most obsessed country in pornography access.

Fiji is just ranked a little bit lower than our neighbours and I do hope that our churches, women's organisations, tikina and provincial councils, roko tui, and chiefs from around the country will ask Government to collectively find a solution or cure to this disease.

Why is it majority of our computer repair shops around the country are full of corrupted desktops and laptops awaiting repairs?


PSV drivers

PSV stands for public service vehicle and bus drivers are also included in this category.

I believe if any student in uniform steps into a bus the bus driver has no right to refuse to take that student.

Students are members of the public and are also classified as public but we are still seeing some bus drivers refusing to take in students in uniform in their bus.

Probably LTA could enlighten these PSV bus drivers during the renewal of their drivers' licence.


Relocation of office

I FULLY support the concerns raised during the Macuata Provincial Council meeting which questioned the basis of the decision by TLTB to relocate from the Macuata Holdings Ltd building to another one. If anything the TLTB should have exhausted all channels to ensure that they maintained the tenancy at the provincial building for the simple reason that in doing so it was indirectly assisting the provincial council which was an important stakeholder in the board's business in the North.

The queries raised by the Taukei Namara are relevant and must be clearly explained by the TLTB.


Money issues

I BELIEVE money is the lowest form of prosperity.

Will the million dollar industry bring prosperity to our nation? Absolutely no, trust God, not men.

There are definite limitations to money.

You can buy lust but not love, a house but not a home, a vacation but not enjoyment, wedding but not marriage, a shrewd lawyer but not justice or a skilled doctor but not health.

God told Joshua to "meditate on the Law (God's Word) day and night," and as a result, "you will be prosperous and successful wherever you go" (see Joshua 1:7-8).

Ultimately, it is the word that produces prosperity.

JON KAITU, Lautoka

Levuka Town

THERE was a long wait for Levuka to be included as a World Heritage site.

It's been some time now. What is being done to lure tourists and locals to Levuka?

Is any development happening? And what about the powerhouse, when will it be relocated to a place where it will not be a nuisance to the ears.

I'm just asking this because we need to keep moving with the idea of promoting Levuka.

As it is Levuka is slowly dying a slow economic death. We need to revive it for the sake of our people.

I spent four years there and PAFCO was thriving and business was booming.

Now it really needs a boost.


Investment disparity

RECENTLY it was mentioned in the news that about seven hundred million dollars worth of projects were approved for the construction industry by the authorities in and around Suva City.

It was also revealed that most of the projects will materialise within the next six months.

Interestingly, multi-million dollar investments are also in pipeline in the tourism belt of the Western Division.

This is good news for the national economy and the relevant authorities should be commended for facilitating the same.

However, I believe the same level of prudence and pragmatism is exercised for developments of similar magnitude in Vanua Levu.

Although the Government has done its bit for infrastructural development here recently, the fear is that the disparity level between the two main lands would one day be too extreme to bridge.


Student poaching

THE Minister for Education and his team deserve commendation for their no-nonsense approach in moving school education forward and introducing innovations which certainly will boost academia.

It is, however, of interest that high school performance is often based on final examination results.

For many years a number of institutions have successfully poached academically excelling students from other high schools (they know who they are!).

This goes back as far as when I was in high school.

The end result is that these institutions without much effort produce excellent results while the other institutions are subsequently deprived of academic success.

Under the current guidelines by the Education Ministry, institutions that do not perform will be taken to task.

This is indeed logical, however, the ministry needs to take into account this migration and place legitimate and reasonable allowances.

Nevertheless, this long history of poaching and to a certain extent, incorrect recognition of academic success by select institutions, has to be addressed.

Needless to say, I had neither the desire nor the need to migrate to such institutions.

Wishing academia in Fiji a successful 2015!

DR ROY KRISHNA, Las Vegas Nevada US

Shirley Park

IT is just nonsense to say that a parliamentary select committee cannot hear the concerns of those people who have petitioned against the rezoning of part of Shirley Park.

Yes, there is a town planning application before the authorities, and yes that application has to go through a process. But the information from media reports suggests that this "process" has been poorly handled (has anything happened at all?). That is all the more reason why parliamentarians should hear the Lautoka petitioners.

A parliamentary select committee cannot decide the current application. But it can consider whether the current law is adequate to protect the interests of ordinary citizens against property developers.

It can consider whether the current law is working effectively; and it can act on those concerns. It can demand accountability and action from the town planning authorities, or it can propose legislation to address the people's concerns. The basic principle of any democracy is that the executive (which includes both ministers and their departments) is always accountable to the people's representatives in Parliament.

We are repeatedly told that we have "true democracy". In a "true democracy", politicians work for the people. They do not palm us off to bureaucrats, for whom eight years of dictatorship has made us all far too respectful.


That term

NISHANT Singh of Lautoka stated "… the highly derogatory term kaidia is still widely uttered in public to belittle a Fijian of Indian descent" (FT21/2).

Kaidia refers to someone from India in the native Fijian vernacular.

Similarly, kaiviti refers to someone from Fiji or iTaukei. I'm a kaiviti and proud to be one and I never find it derogatory to be called as such. ITaukei folks the world over never find it derogatory too because we are proud of who we are and what we are. That is our identity.


One at a time

THE Fiji Times P2 of Thursday, March 5, 2015. The Reserve Bank governor Barry Whiteside's body language to the three parliamentarians suggests, "one at a time please" or "don't interrupt let me complete".


To be fair

TWO renowned TV and radio personalities were heard speaking of a song on air about a man prophesied to do wonders for this island nation reflecting none other than their boss of bosses.

Interesting finding but I wonder if they will also find some old lyrics prophesying gold medal in the Rio Olympics!


LTA permits

THE LTA must support and promote good cheap public transport in every possible way in order to keep traffic congestion in check.

But in the interest of safety, I believe the issuance of new PSV taxi permits should be restricted to single vehicle owner drivers.

You can usually tell if your taxidriver is the owner or a close relative because owners tend to drive carefully, stay within speed limits and operate in a manner that does not put extra wear and tear on their taxi.

On the other hand, drivers who have no ownership interest in the vehicle are too often reckless speedsters who operate the worst taxis on our roads and incessantly honk their horns if unable to step on the accelerator.

Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon?

Has LTA considered this?


Cane payment

FARMERS are looking forward to the third cane payment for the cane harvested last year (FT 6/3/15).

Amazing how canefarmers survive in this industry over the past years.

When a farmer harvests vegetables he receives money on the same day.

When he harvests cane his payment is received in parts into the new year.

No wonder they are all moving away from cane farming.

DAN URAI, Lautoka

ISIS torture

ISIS is a priority for all Christians worldwide.

The torture of Christians or people in general may have been around for hundreds of years but it still does not make it right or acceptable.

Whatever happened to the Body Of Christ, the church (I Cor 12 : 12 - 27 )?

One body, many parts they say.

Take the human body. If you injure your finger or toe, you are in pain and your body just miserable. The Christians tortured by ISIS are part of the body of Christ.

Unfortunately, what we see now is senses and discernment dull and desensitised.


School teachers

I REFER to some new teachers who are not following protocol and miss-manage teaching and learning time to socialise via use of the internet and cellphones.

Some have also been found selling sweets and snacks in class during morning and recess time, so where is the code of ethics?


Traffic congestion

SERIOUSLY, for those of us living in the Suva and Nausori corridor, this traffic congestion issue happens only when school begins and not during school holidays.

Most work places in Suva start at 8am, including schools and practically this is the root of the problem.

Everyone wants to leave their home within the hour or less expecting to be in school or work before 8am.

This is causing the traffic congestion.

If the problem does not exist during school holidays then those in authority should change the school timetable to start at 9am.

This way, there is no traffic congestion when coming in to Suva in the morning or going home in the afternoon.

Try it, it might just work!


UNCAT issue

MUCH has been made of the need to ratify the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) and I feel the benefits have been over-hyped.

Is this convention really needed? Every decent Fijian knows that torture in general is not right.

Even those who perpetrate it, in the aftermath of their action, know in their hearts they may have done something wrong.

There are no pathological torturers in Fiji as in other countries.

As I understand it the history of "torture" in Fiji has always been perpetrated in a reactive stance, when authorities are reacting to an incident.

Maybe, those propagating these protocols ought to be aware of this and expend some of their energies and bluster on the prevention of these incidents in the first place. It may just alleviate the need for torture. Or is this too much to ask?

To place the onus of good behaviour on the good guys and give all "the benefit of doubt" on the suspect and perpetrators is a disproportionate stance.

An unintended consequence is the message given by society to perpetrators - you can do all you want, during and/or after the commission of your crime, and the worst it will be for you is the prison sentence you will receive.

We all know this is nothing for the hardened perpetrators. For serial sex offenders this is a walk in the park, a badge of honour.

However, I am sure they will think twice if they know they will live, yes, but maybe not well enough to reminisce from behind bars over their latest sex attack.

Not that I am condoning torture, no.

But I know that the best form of policing is deterrence. Fiji as a society will need to balance security and freedoms.

We need to give our authorities all the training they need and trust they will exercise good judgement.

We do not have people within the FMF or Fiji Police who wake up each morning thinking, who am I going to torture today?

But we do have a lot of those within society who ask the question who is it I am going to hurt today in order to get by. These are the ones where deterrence no longer is a consideration.

It takes just two or three violent sex attacks on tourists and the tourist industry takes a hit. Have this happen twice in two years and Fiji's brand as a safe tourist destination will take a long time to recover.

Fiji has a safe-destination reputation because of a large part by the deterrent reputation of our authorities. Rightly or wrongly and we can debate it until the cows come home but that is a fact.

Those propagating this protocol can now go home and sip on their skinny-latte and pat themselves on the back.

Question is, do they now feel safer that Fiji has "joined the world" and signed UNCAT and in the process dredged up Fiji's recent history and intimating in a very obvious way the roles played by the RFMF and the police in meting out so-called torture; a veiled attempt at humiliating these two authorities?

Maybe next time their homes are invaded they call the local UN or UNDP office.

MAREKO VULI, Sydney Australia

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