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Monday, June 27, 2011

Letters to the Editor -

Price of cane

THE concerns of cane farmers of Daku, Labasa, are also the concerns of the rest of the farmers in Fiji.

For any industry or business to survive, they need to make a profit, so do the cane farmers.

To produce a tonne of cane, a farmer has to spend about $60. Therefore to break even and make some profit, the cane price should be more than $60 per tonne.

I am quite positive that with all the politics gone now from the cane industry, our Government will not let our cane farmers down.

We expect a better price for our sugar cane this year, a win-win situation for both the farmers and the FSC.


Drivers' standards

I am truly tired of the double standards the taxidrivers of this country have in regards to driving. The other day I had a run-in with a taxi driver and, lo and behold, he suddenly became an expert on our road rules.

What I want to know is whether he has ever followed the rules that he was preaching to me. Don't you just love the way taxi drivers drive around looking for passengers and all the while holding up traffic and then zigzagging through traffic just to drop off their passengers? Isn't it glorious when they cut in front of you with no signal? Alas, what of their attitude that they have an inherent right over all on the roads?

I know they are merely doing their job but come on, please have the decency to practise all the road rules that have been driven into our heads when we learned to drive and then we won't have any animosity towards each other on our roads. On that note, I call upon the LTA and police to stringently monitor PSV licence holders.

Nadia Sharma Suva

Social problems

SCHOOLGIRLS being pregnant have been highlighted in the media recently. While many have taken this very hard, one should realise that this is a social problem of our society along with other anti-social behaviours like rape, theft, incest, murder and so on.

It's high time that our religious groups address these issues on a regular basis.

Many religious organisations nowadays focus on fundraising and structural developments.

While these activities may be important in their own ways, religious organisations should focus more on parental roles and responsibilities, respect, peace and harmony, love and other moral values.

Wouldn't it be nice to read a newspaper which does not have news like a father raping his daughter or a boy sentenced for murder?


A woman's decision

Children becoming pregnant and giving birth as young as 11; how horrible, how disturbing, and what is a child aged 14 still doing at primary school? I am ashamed to call myself a Fijian when reading such an alarming report. (FT,20/6/11).

The roko tui Cakaudrove was quoted as saying that the situation cannot be reversed. What was he thinking? Of course it can and it is quite safe to do so within the first trimester.

The revision of the Criminal Code has addressed that whereby anyone who has become pregnant as a result of sexual abuse is able to have a termination. After all, who would in their right mind and at such a young age wish to give birth to a child created through such a violent act. Having gone through this myself in Fiji I can say that I certainly would not.

That then begs the question: someone is protecting these children during their pregnancies and for what reason are they doing so? The "protector" is spared the humiliation and is too ashamed that such an atrocity has occurred in their own family?

Do the "protectors" brainwash the pregnant children into believing there are no choices she can make; convincing the child that they must continue with the pregnancy? Condoning this is making room for a culture of ignorance and selfishness as well as one where child abuse is tolerated.

The perpetrators of such heinous crimes are not only the ones who sexually assault minors; they are also the ones protecting the children in order to protect themselves.

As a result, we are left with children who have had motherhood thrust upon them at too young an age and at a time, when more than at other time they need their mothers to protect and care for them.

Motherhood should be reserved for adulthood. It is a human right for a woman to make her own decisions about her reproductive health. It should be consensual and she should have access to information which assists her in making sound choices.

Julie Sutherland

Identity by hair

THE buiniga, or traditional Itaukei hairstyle (na ulu vaka-viti), is one trait that distinctively identifies us as Fijians from other Pacific Islanders.

It is part of our identity, our tradition.

But today, in this modern society, this identity of ours is fading. In my observations, many Itaukei girls have acquired the ulu porosi or ulu buki, in other words long straight hair.

Now, I don't want to have this letter as a form of debate or argument but just stating an observation.

If I may add, excluding the humour, the Laughing Samoans identify us on their show using our traditional hairstyle.

Does this not mean that our trait, if it may be termed that, is known internationally.

I have learnt and known that the buiniga is the crowning pride of a Itaukeiwoman, it distinctively identifies her in a crowd.

Today, it is uncommon to see young Fijian girls with a buiniga and those who have it may be termed as unusual, unfashionable and even outdated.

I have heard the elder generation speak with such sadness and criticism regarding hairstyles of today and that it also saddens them to witness the degradation in tradition.

But some villagers have taken measures to conserve this dying tradition. Some Itaukei families in urban areas have also preserved it.

I have heard praises given by the elders upon seeing a Itaukei girl with a buiniga, it puts a smile on their faces which is followed by a gracious greeting to the girl.

But these are just observations and I apologise if it seems argumentative.

Before I end, let me just add our culture is fading, we are like a rock near the sea and with every passing wave a little of us is swept away.


For better or for worse

TO pee at a public toilet in Lautoka you need to pay 20cents. That's no problem (not for me). But there was no soap to wash your hands.

A fellow pee fella, a white man, remarked it could be worse, like no water etc.

That's true, but why should that be so? Why make a comparison in terms of things being worse? Why not in terms of things being better? Aren't the people of Fiji entitled to things being better?

Or, should we accept the colonialist view that things can't possibly be better in a third world country?


YOUR SAY: Warriors and all the best

Rugby kings

THERE were words of disrespect to the vanua-based team of Nadroga that they would be beaten by Suva in the hype that was part of the build-up to the game.

The dust has settled once again at Lawaqa Park and the kings of Fiji's Digicel Rugby Cup 2011 are once again the Nakuruvarua warriors of Nadroga.

Josesph Chong

Ice in the head, fire in the heart

WHATEVER the outcome of the 2011 Digicel Cup Final was, rugby is the winner.

That aside, the headline in Saturday's paper (25/06) needs to be corrected.

The expression "eyes in the brain and fire in the heart" is actually supposed to be "ice in the head, fire in the heart". This is self-explanatory for most, the reference to head and heart, a constant battle.

It was a popular phrase used by Franck Boivert during his term at the helm of USP rugby.

Franck is assisting the Nadroga rugby team this year.

The expression meant that when on the field, one was to play with all the passion and vigour one could muster. But at the same time, one must not let feelings or emotions cloud one's judgement.

Put simply, go all out, give it your all, but don't lose your cool. A fine balance that most continue to struggle with, in rugby and life.


Netball wishes

I'D like to wish Fiji netball team all the best for World Netball Championship.

Keep the faith in God and play as a united team and you will do well.

I wished I had funds to travel and cheer you on in Singapore but my heart and prayers will be with you all.

Make Fiji proud.

God Bless.


Proud fan

I AM so proud of our netters today. At last people are turning their heads to look at Fiji netball girls.

While Netball Fiji is gearing up for the world championships in Singapore from July 3-10, they will need all the encouragement and support from the people of Fiji.

The netters are the sixth best team in the world and that itself speaks volumes of the amount of talent that Fiji has.

We have a chance of winning the championship but success doesn't come easy.

With commitment from the players and faith of supporters anything is possible. It's just marvelous to know that despite being such a small country, Fiji is sixth best in the world of netball.

All the best to our netballers for they will need all the support and encouragement they can get.

Always remember, you are playing for Fiji not yourself. Country first, God bless.


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