Letters to the Editor - firstname.lastname@example.org
I REFER to Mr Shiu Charan and Mrs Lal Mani's flight on FJ920 from Brisbane to Nadi on May 1.
My sincere thanks to all the staff at Air Pacific for looking after my parents on the aircraft, boarding, and disembarking, as well as the helpful Customs and Immigration staff at Nadi airport.
There was a fantastic iTaukei lady who helped them all the way through Nadi airport. I do not know her name but she will know exactly who I am referring to when she reads this.
This just shows the true Fijian hospitality and customer service, showing nothing is too hard.
I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. Thank you and God bless Fiji. Vinaka vaka levu.
AS a marine conservationist and underwater photographer, I'm a frequent visitor to Fiji's incredible reefs, including its population of sharks which are increasingly hard to find elsewhere.
I urge Fiji to join the growing movement that aims to stop the unsustainable slaughter of sharks by establishing a national shark sanctuary for their lasting preservation.
The world's sharks are rapidly vanishing, with two-thirds of Fiji's shark species being globally threatened with the risk of extinction (as evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature).
This continuing massacre is mostly generated by the demand to have their fins used as an ingredient in shark fin soup, frequently served at weddings and banquets.
The sharks targeted by shark finners aren't taken whole. Their valuable fins (which can fetch up to $US700 a kilo) are sliced off and the less valuable mutilated shark is tossed back into the sea to slowly die.
The obliteration of over 400 million years of evolution for some perceived social status with serving shark fin soup isn't just incredibly wasteful and cruel it's tragic.
Many shark species are apex predators and are necessary to regulate species abundance and the distribution essential in maintaining an intricate ecosystem teeming with life-giving diversity.
The removal of shark populations is causing substantial damage to the marine food chain, seagrass beds, and coral reefs.
Any cultural tradition that enables both species extinction and ecological havoc must surely be seen as an irrational and destructive practice. Conversely, a noble tradition that marks humankind's progress is assuming responsibility for all generation, ensuring that the world left to the next generation is at least as vital and habitable as the one we live in today.
Finite resources and natural processes simply can't be compromised and the ecological and economic consequence of an ocean without sharks is devastating. Grotesque greed and indifference must be denied for the sake of the sharks and for a planet that requires their continuing existence.
The creation of a national shark sanctuary for Fiji's waters would be a bold statement that the people of Fiji have reached a threshold - their own tipping point that says "enough" to the senseless slaughter of the world's sharks.
I just wanted to take a moment to express how important sharks are to our oceans. As top predators, their populations have direct effects on the rest of the marine food web. Protecting sharks and other top predators helps preserve the integrity of our ocean's health and fisheries. Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year by humans for shark fin soup, or as bycatch by fisheries.
Furthermore, research has shown ecotourism can be a great source of income for many nations. Sharks have a higher intrinsic, non-consumptive value than they do for a one-time consumptive use. Hence, sharks are far more valuable alive than dead. Not only because they can generate more money through tourism related activities, but also because of the value they have in keeping the oceans in check.
We need a Fiji shark sanctuary! We must protect them in areas where they are vulnerable and known to historically inhabit. Palau established the first and many other nations have already followed suit. This is an opportunity to promote conservation and education, as well as bring in money through tourism. I love sharks. I have been diving in Palau recently, and I would come to Fiji if I knew that Fiji had implemented a shark sanctuary!
University of Southern California
Interest of the nation
I noticed one individual missing from the Ministerial Contact Group, The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.
So much for barking from far away, he should have been here to see what he was barking about.
Well I can see, our two former prime minister making their appearances. Just hope the interest of the nation is on their minds and not their political agendas.
Not a day goes by without some (self-anointed) professor of the pulpit dishing out long-winding diatribes about religion and their opinions and criticising every other person who dares to disagree with them.
This is becoming a long and tired debate, with no conclusion in sight. The only time these cantankerous folks ever unite is when they collectively gang up on the lone writer who, with all rights, sensibility and logic dares to question the existence of a super entity.
With no disrespect whatsoever, and to paraphrase a much earlier writer to open columns, would these gentlemen (yes, they all appear to be the same old bozos) please exchange each other's contacts and take their debate elsewhere, preferably in a seminary? At least there would be an audience of much higher knowledge who may be able to lay these old and recurrent tumorous debates to rest.
SOME in nursing circles envision all nurses serving in major hospitals will be wearing all-white uniforms by 2014. And new graduates are given such uniforms already.
Despite several concerns, the respective body refuses to listen. With the kind of work that nurses do, I think this decision seems to be not practical. White clothes can be easily stained by blood, body fluids and other material making them difficult to launder.
And I beg to differ with their famous reasons on how it looks professional. To the contrary, most of us end up looking like high school students. Maybe we can stick to the white and black or navy blue that is already in existence. Perhaps those sitting in the office should have consulted those working in the wards before making this decision.
What an irony. Coming into the country on a fact finding mission with "preconceived notions" to see if the democratic process is open and inclusive. And with such arrogance.
Quite frankly Bob Carr is a joke like his predecessor, Kevin Rudd.
A senator whose Labor government is seen as the most incompetent in Australian history. The average Australian is sick to the core with this Labor government.
These guys just want to control other smaller nations through union proxy, threats and handouts. Unfortunately there are those in Fiji who are ready to sell their nation for a dinner at McDonalds.
Some old faces who were hiding somewhere are trying to give their views on practically everything.
I wonder why these people are giving their views now, when they failed to do anything when in power.
Come on, Fiji is a far better place to live in now than it was during your time.
Sharks and people
Before we spend too much on a shark sanctuary could we possibly balance the spending and spend a bit on those who can't fend for themselves? While the issue with sharks is noble, let's not forget people who are out there reaching out because of disability, dire poverty and those with mental illness.
I know we can protect sharks and also look after our people.
It is so fascinating to note that people write "save the trees" on pieces of paper and charts yet they do not realise all those papers and charts come from cut down tress.
When Sukha Singh brought up the question of duty on liquor I was shocked to know we pay a fixed Fiscal Duty of $47.28 per litre and on top of that another 15 per cent for Import Duty and 15 per cent VAT.
No wonder liquor is so expensive and only the privileged few can afford it. Liquor may be a problem for some but that does not mean we raise the duty so high that no ordinary person can afford it.
This is not fair and every individual has the right to enjoy their life, not only the rich.
Ever since I was very young I had a deep love, fascination and concern for sharks.
Please help maintain and save the shark population which is vital for the ecosystem.
Fiji should not bow down to any outside pressure. The old constitution is out the window and the old way is no more.
People have been waiting for a new direction. Veteran politicians will make the same old noises with no other objective but to keep Fiji on the same old path. I can't believe Mick Beddoes is playing the trumpet with some old boys. You lost my respect, I thought you were a bit smarter.
World cup dream
Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Needless to say the Spaniards' victory can be linked to the exposure of their players to some of the world's best players who play for FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and other La Liga teams.
Fiji already has the talent and fans. And to be competitive at the international level 90-minute games and exposure to overseas players is an absolute must so our players can play with and against them in the 90-minute format.
International matches including soccer competitions in other countries around the globe and the world cup are played over 90-minutes and for Fiji to prosper and succeed, steady progress towards 90-minute competitions are needed. The Fiji Football Association must adopt the 90-minute format and host a 12-team Fiji FACT, BOG and IDC whereby teams are divided into four pools of three teams. The three pool games could be played a week before and the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final could similarly be played in three days (one game a day) the following week. Gate takings should not be an issue as fans will show up in numbers to support their districts.
Soccer in Fiji is bigger and more organised than in some of the 32 nations that played in the 2010 World Cup and we have already defeated Australia and New Zealand previously.
Since 1938 we have dreamt of watching Fiji playing in the World Cup and hopefully the administrators at FFA are brave enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Otherwise we will continue to watch other nations playing in the World Cup.
EARLY last week, I was doing my house chores when I heard a dog's loud cry. I quickly rushed out to see what had happened and saw a dog had been hit by a car. It was bleeding and in much pain.
The neighbours said the driver of the vehicle didn't even bother to stop and check on the poor dog. The driver had driven by so fast that no one had noted down his vehicle number.
I was just wondering if it was a human instead of that poor dog, then it would have been such a big deal. Maybe in that case the driver would have bothered to stop and check. I would like to ask, haven't dogs any value just because they are, unfortunately, strays?
Most have shown their concerns about strays but are the authorities doing anything? I am quite sure all those people who have dogs as pets can understand what I'm trying to say.
They say dogs are men's best friend but it seems men are dogs worst enemies.
Another one out
Another one bites the dust. Indiscipline has seen a 7s rep being dropped.
But that is what being a rep means, you have to stay in line. If you step out of line, we'll have no problems finding a replacement for you.
God bless our 7s warriors on this final leg. Go Fiji go.
RICHARD M ABEL
The continuing reference in the print media to Rt Emori Waqanivalu being the Tui Udu is traditionally wrong and an insult to the people of Udu who now reside in Nagasauva and those of us who have blood links to the Tui Udu. I'm sure it's also embarrassing to Rt Emori to be referred to as Tui Udu when he is not.
He is the Turaga na Sauvou of Vunikodi and has jurisdiction over Vunikodi and Nabouono and not Udu.
I'm not sure where the media got its genealogy from and it would be advisable to authenticate facts first before printing any news. This is not the first time the print media has made this error. Please correct it and apologise to Rt Emori and the vanua of Udu for your oversight.