Your Fiji Your Say

Letters to the Editor: letters@fijitimes.com.fj

The dry spell

I endorse the letter by your correspondent Allen Lockington (FT 15/9) under the title Dry spell.

However, the present situation is clearly much more serious than a dry spell and should be considered a drought as a result of over four consecutive months (May until now) of well below the average rainfall across much of Fiji, and especially in the dry zones in the West and North.

Average monthly rainfall during this time of the year is always significantly below that during our so-called “wet season” (December to April) but in 2014 actual rain received has been very much lower than usual.

The impacts of the drought on people’s lives, as well as on the landscape generally and in particular on agriculture, livestock and forestry are already very evident and to these must be added the damage being caused by deliberately-started fires – many for no reason whatsoever.

The fact that there are still over two months of the “dry season” yet to come is extremely concerning.

The fires denude the land of cover, some of this being trees, (both native and exotic) and make the country bare and highly prone to erosion.

Not only does erosion reduce the fertility of the soil but it contributes to silting of streams and rivers and consequently to flooding – the latter of course has serious results which we do not need reminding about.

And yet, not a great deal is apparently being done about the “fire culture” that is so deeply imbedded in many of our rural dwellers – it is as if this is a normal practice.

It is of course very bad stewardship of our valuable natural resources and in my lifetime has been steadily getting worse.

The practice undermines the recent very commendable “Plant One Million Trees” campaign and in addition adds to global warming by reducing Fiji’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

In fact, the burning itself actually contributes directly to global warming and most would agree that this is something we should not be doing!

I am most concerned that unless we become real about the fire problem soon, we and in particular future generations, will suffer extreme consequences as much of the damage will be irreparable. Moreover, the adage, “Fiji, the way the world should be” could take on a very hollow ring.

Robin Yarrow, Suva

Ransom payment

We all are grateful for the release of 45 Fijian soldiers by their captors, presumably after the oil rich kingdom of Qatar paid $20million for their release.

Recently, the sudden and unexplained release of an American photojournalist Peter Theo Curtis also raised some eyebrows after it was alleged that the Qataris paid for his release as well.

No wonder some are of the opinion that these ransoms paid by Qataris are actually “stipend” to al-Nusra front. They can’t do the funding directly so allegedly use pawns.

By the way Turkey is now the biggest buyer of crude oil sold by the terrorist group ISIS, that too at $40 a barrel (currently at $97 a barrel on the world market).

No wonder they are not allowing Americans the use of their air space to fight ISIS.

I wonder why the US wastes blood and treasure on ingrates who aren’t even prepared to fight for their own country.

The complicated world of geopolitics gets murkier than crude oil by the day.

Praneet Singh, Sacramento, CA

Promised airstrip

I wonder if iTaukei land proposed for an airstrip can be acquired by the government for public purpose.

If so, then I am hoping the next government will acquire that piece of land from my island which has already been surveyed and we the landowners have been signing the consent form for generations.

The promise and survey was done soon after independence and nearly all the initial signatories have passed on.

If it eventuates, I believe my island will be one of the best tourist destinations in Southern Lau.

Not only that, we have a lot more to offer but first make the airstrip.

Deal is on.

PITA SOROAQALI, Suva

Light signs

Frequent commuters between Suva and Lautoka would have noticed that many vehicles on the Queen’s Rd use light and hand signals when passing each other.

The signals really have three purposes.

First it serves as a warning that either the police or LTA are ahead, therefore reduction of speed is needed.

Secondly, it indicates that all is clear and the drivers can continue to drive crazily.

Lastly, although unbeknown to most drivers, the signals also mean buying a quick ticket to heaven for signallers and some innocent lives.

The police and LTA should keep a sharp eye on these signallers and also consider a much graver fine for signallers of death.

Kasper Z Sopepa, Suva

Soccer fever

I believe the Fiji FA has done a tremendous job since it came into power.

Although Fiji has played less international matches in the past years but the achievement of Fiji under-20 has topped all of it.

The achievement will be cherished by all soccer lovers forever. The two major football tournaments have been successful.

As a soccer lover, I would like to request and plead with the Fiji FA to play the Inter District Championship in its old format.

I respect other tournaments being played for 90 minutes but let us make the IDC a 60-minute ball game.

I believe it is the same sentiment many soccer followers have because being the oldest soccer tournament in Fiji the IDC has its own status and its a dream of every player to play in the tournament.

The IDC has been known as family affair with the finals played on a Sunday where the crowd gets its own hype and excitement which is no comparison to the new format.

Let the soccer followers have a glimpse of the old format as it will be affordable for fans and competitive for teams as well.

Go Fiji, go.

ROVIL RYNAL KUMAR, Votualevu Nadi

Village pride

I always travel from Nadi to Lautoka and I must commend the efforts of the villagers of Vuda for keeping their village clean and litter-free making it a paradise and a picturesque village.

The villagers have used whatever raw materials available to be used as rubbish bins and it has worked well for them.

Everyone from the elders to the young ones are so engrossed in keeping their village clean and this shows the pride that they have.

The beaches are also litter-free and a pleasing sight with the waves breaking on to the shores.

If only all of us in Fiji have this pride and attitude towards our country and environment, we will be called a true paradise.

However, things seem to change with rubbish scattered all along the major highways and public areas.

Avitesh Kumar, Ba

Navua hospital

FIRST they said the new Navua Hospital complex was haunted, now it’s toilet paper problems. What’s next!

GUS GEORGE, Navua

Thank you

IF Qatar really did pay the $20m ransom for the release of the 45 captured soldiers, then I hereby say to the emirate of Qatar, thank you very much and Shokran Jazeelan Qatar.

WISE MUAVONO, Lautoka

What matters

QATAR, UN, James Bond, nobody, superman or whoever paid the ransom matters little. More importantly, our 45 are back and safe. A historic letter on a historic day.

DONALD SINGH, Suva

Congratulations

WHAT a moment for women’s rugby in Fiji. Another milestone achieved. The scores they produced in the early stages said it all. Vinaka Tanivula and the girls, all the best in the upcoming games. Go Fiji, go.

TOMASI BOGINISO, Nasinu

Gate takings

HOW long does it take Fiji Rugby Union to remit Nadroga Rugby Union’s share of the gate takings?

VATEMO NAGATA, Suva

Bus services

TO the authorities, is it possible for heavily populated areas like Valelevu to have just one bus company providing an efficient service, rather than two that are as pathetic as each other?

KRISTI BHAN, Suva

Disorder

I AM often reminded by my family that I have a personality disorder. On reflection, if it was a disease, from what I have seen in the lead-up to the election, I am afraid we have an epidemic here at home.

SAMU RAILOA, Nadi

Raise the bar

FOR our national economy the most powerful way to boost growth is for workers skilled and unskilled to be more productive, and to do that, the wages council needs to raise the minimum bar.

AREKI DAWAI, Suva Point

Issue of concern

THE increasing number of primary students who frequent internet shops and spend hours there after school is a matter of concern. Parents should be reminded that free tuition and bus fares do not mean more money to spend unnecessarily and forget about the duty of care. We cannot keep on crying for more freebies.

PITA SOROAQALI, Suva

A good story

AS we observe the National Day of Thanksgiving for the safe return of our soldiers, I, like Mr A. Yaconisau, agree that an unseen power greater than man was looking after our lads while they were held captive.

A few weeks back we witnessed the killing of two well-known journalists, and yes we should give thanks and praises to the one who kept our men safe.

I’m sure there is a good story to be made out of this, on why there was a different treatment given to them and not like other captives.

Something that could boost our faith as God-fearing people and also our nation to the world, as we can truly say that Fiji is the way the world should be, so wherever you are say a prayer of thanks to God for their lives.

God bless Fiji.

LAWRENCE WARA, Suva

Let’s be thankful

SOMEHOW a debate about whether a ransom was paid or not for the release of our captured soldiers has crept up in the media and social media.

Let’s not make an issue about the ransom and just be thankful that nothing bad happened to any one of them.

Anyway, life is so precious that no amount of money can replace it.

ALLEN LOCKINGTON, Mulomulo

Ransom money

AN alleged $20m ransom money for the 45 Fijian soldiers is one side of the story (FT16/9).

I read the other online.

The al-Nusra militant commander keeping to his Islamic vow and freeing the soldiers after the rebels were allowed to go through the UN zone on their way to Quneitra.

Whichever version is true does not matter now but I thought the one about the vow is rather sweet.

Seeing the beheadings committed by the rebels I was beginning to think they had no conscience.

Happy voting day to all.

KORINA WAIBUTA, Suva

Not questioning faith

WE learn from the news that militants from the Islamic State released a video to show the beheading of British aid worker David Hanes (The Wall Street Journal 14/9).

Why didn’t the hand of God stop the slaughter?

What wrong did the aid worker do to deserve that gruesome end?

God had nothing to do with it. Evil men did.

And, I say again this is something evil men have been doing to innocent fellow human beings throughout human history.

That has nothing to with Lawrence Narayan’s or Louis Foster’s personal religious belief (FT 16/9) or that of my mother who is a deeply religious person.

RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney

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