Letters to the Editor – Saturday, September 17, 2022

Students of Year 12 during their perform at the Lelean Day celebration. Picture: ATU RASEA

Lelean marks annual celebration

Congratulations to Lelean Memorial School for celebrating Lelean Day which was commemorated after a lapse of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’m grateful to the management, principal, staff, old scholars, parents and guardians and well-wishers for getting together to have the celebration at Syria Park.

Lelean Memoria School has produced stars like Joseva Talacolo, Iliesa Keresoni, Isikeli Vuruna, Waisale Serevi, Sakenasa Aca, Tomasi Mawi and John Stewart, to name a few, and the school, not only gives priority to academic work, but also prioritises the holistic growth of children.

All the best Lelean!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Bus card issue

The Fiji Bus Operators Association president Richard Lal says to a local news outlet that he sympathises with the actions of the Savusavu bus driver who was fined after paying a passenger’s fare using his e-ticketing card but believes that everybody who uses the bus transport system should be familiar with the consequences of not complying, some four years after the system was introduced.

I question the practicalities of this statement by Mr Lal because neither are those conditions made public on the buses, nor on the issued tickets, not even when one gets the bus card in the first place.

Does he want to imply that no one can use their own bus card to pay for someone else?

Or is it that only bus drivers can’t use their private card to help out someone at his own expense.

An online enquiry to LTA proved futile, but I’m not surprised by that.

Hans-Bernd Boernke, Savusavu

Road accidents

With frequent accidents recorded on our roads please note that exercising, playing sports, pounding grog, jay walking, grazing animals and sleeping on the road is dangerous.

It is a fool’s game to play with danger.

Let’s not treat roads like a personal property and training ground.

There is a need to eliminate the danger for road users and to protect your life.

Param Singh, Navua

Exam talk

The Education Minister Premila Kumar conducting teachers’ talanoa session clarified the reasons behind the removal of exams at primary school level (FT 10/9).

I feel this was long overdue as the schools were classified as “good” or “bad” schools based on the pass rates where parents preferred to choose accordingly.

The Ministry of Education’s new revised curriculum with updated teachers’ qualifications in schools conducive learning environment will take us forward for quality education in our schools in this modern world.

This will be an opportune time to expose parents with school managements and teachers to similar talanoa sessions to work in partnership.

Educating children with appropriate tools and technologies is a way forward towards the development of quality education is a lifetime asset for our survival.

Quality education should be everyone’s concern.

Children first.

Tahir Ali, Hamilton, New Zealand

Top sport

When will it sink into Jan Nissar’s brain that rugby union is not the top sport in Australia.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Soccer standard

I am stunned to see the standard of soccer on display at the recent BOG. absolutely shocking.

The commentary was as bad as the games.

And while at the BOG… can someone please info the public about how to play 90 minutes of matches every day and have one day off.

The teams played the semis at 4pm on Saturday and finals at 3pm on Sunday.

The finals ended up with 90 minutes of normal time and 30 extra time.

Don’t be a fool.

Please bring back the 60 minute games for tournaments.

It was more interesting.

By playing 60 minutes in tournaments and 90 in league matches…all the teams including the national sides should be used to doing wonders.

Now it’s a total shame.

A SHARIFF SHAH, Savusavu

TV ad

Television is currently airing an advertisement for a popular lemonade which features a young lady smashing her brother’s banjo across her knee because she dislikes his playing.

Why is this example of domestic violence allowed onto our screens?

Michael Scott, Morris St, Lautoka

A letter to Ben

Dear Mr Gollings: Congratulations on the fantastic Rugby World Cup 7s win.

I would like to thank you for having faith in your local boys and for not bringing in the ‘has beens’ who have had their time and fame.

May our hard working local players do well in the future.

Viti Whippy, Moli Place, Laucala Beach Estate

Holiday

Is the Ministry of Education going to declare a holiday next week because of the Queen’s funeral?

I really hope so, because the country at least needs to pay tribute and honour to the passing away of her majesty.

KELEPI DAKUIYACO, Waikalou, Serua

Democracy

As we read and hear about so much assault on democracy, right throughout the world.

In my humble opinion, I believe the word democracy has lost its original meaning as people have conveniently used it at the right moment but have failed to enact it.

Pranil Ram, Votualevu, Nadi

7s land

The recent win at the Rugby 7s World Cup by our men’s team has generated a lot of interest amongst almost all Fijians both locally and internationally.

Three rugby sevens World Cup titles coupled with two Olympic gold medals in the bag, I am sure we have reached rugby 7s’ promised land.

Pranil Ram, Votualevu, Nadi

Poor roads

I wonder if we can request ADB to approve a better roading contractor, or should we approach the government, but then again they take instructions from ADB, but the government tenders out the contracts, oh, and that too under ADB’s advice, but then again.

Edward Kumar, Lautoka

Bledisloe clash

It has been sometime since the last occasion when the Wallabies had put such a performance such as the one on Thursday night.

It was a match expected of a Bledisloe clash.

Away from the predictable boring one side matches.

Perhaps, a great sign for the fans.

Mohammed Imraz Jani, Natabua, Lautoka

The creek

The creek used to be bountiful, back in those days long gone, with its crystal clear and pristine waters, lots of fish, eels and prawns.

Alas, that creek is now stagnant, foul-smelling and putrid.

Unlike its former self, it’s now strewn and polluted with discarded waste and white goods.

Development and progress, are needed and necessary, but we must always be conscious, of the need for protecting, our environment and biodiversity.

Edward Blakeloc, Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Bank accounts

I understand that at some point in life, the majority of us get associated with banks.

That is, the most common form would be through opening of new accounts.

I think there is something about bank accounts that we do not pay much attention to.

It is that bank accounts can close as well.

At a respective bank branch this week, a customer (maybe I should include former) entered to inquire about the closure of his account.

Things did get a little heated but the bank staff were able to diffuse the situation.

Now I do not possess the intricacies regarding bank account closures but there was a question raised by the individual which is thought provoking.

Why wasn’t he informed before the account closure?

Just maybe, an issue for more awareness.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Loraini the deliverer!

Thank you Shanelle Prasad for the wonderful literature on the life of retired midwife Loraini Ba via the People column (FT 16/09).

The People column, which is featured on page 10, is like that piece of cake that adds energy, boost, enthusiasm and vigour to life.

Those Fijians, whose stories are shared, inspire and drive positive vibes.

The life-long and hard-earned lessons are valuable tips to make one’s life better and I feel that our children need to read these stories as it will improve their reading skills, plus enrich them with values, which are required, to make life worth living.

Loraini, who served as a midwife, is 76-years-old.

She shared her life’s experiences which showed her character, resilience and fighting spirit.

She described her first posting to the island of Vanuabalavu many decades ago when she was in her mid-20s.

Despite lack of facilities and resources, Loraini ensured that service delivery was to the best of her ability.

She shared the challenges she faced and ways she handled them.

Loraini reminisces her days as a midwife and I’m sure she must be missing them.

Vinaka vakalevu Loraini and Shanelle for the piece!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Clinic hazard

The Pacific Eye Institute is always busy with patients as this centre covers the Central and the Eastern divisions and an early appointment is needed beforehand to be attended to by the eye specialist.

Due to the very high rate of the diabetic people who have vision problems in the country, I believe this has placed enormous pressure on the centre.

As a result of inadequate spacing, two temporary tents were erected with sitting benches as the waiting area constructed in the driveway outside the main entrance.

One of the temporary tents has five support legs on either side that is constructed at a sixty-degree angle.

This has created a safety hazard.

For the marquee to be fully erected the five support legs has occupied the walkway which the patients use to get to the inside of the clinic.

The support legs are sitting in the middle of the footpath that is about three feet wide without any warning signs or device and the chances are very high to cause a trip or fall.

People who visit the centre have vision challenges in navigating around the place and I believe the hazard could increase the risk factor.

The place should not have any obstruction.

The management has the duty of care as stipulated in the OHS Act to provide and maintain a system of work that is safe and without risk to health.

The law states that the management is obliged to provide and maintain a means of access to and egress from it that is safe and without any such risk.

Satish Nakched, Suva

Real exciting story

Vanua Levu is the second largest island in the Fiji archipelago.

It is branded the Friendly North but people of mainland Viti Levu somewhat perceive it as a backward area.

Lacking in amenities found on the mainland.

However, this perception is rapidly changing as infrastructure developments are taking place.

Recently, his excellency Ratu Wiliame Katonivere launched what is termed as Rice Scheme Awards.

Rice farmers of Vanua Levu will be given a number of awards for excellence in rice farming.

The whole idea is to carry out scientific rice farming and to boost production.

Currently, Fiji produces only 7000 tons of rice while we import 38,000 tons per annum.

Fiji has the capacity to produce more rice and save valuable foreign exchange.

Agriculture Minister, Mahendra Reddy has done much to motivate farmers by providing timely advice, newest technology, portable rice mills and finding markets for the agricultural products.

This is a huge development. Prime Minister Bainimarama has recently opened the Korovuli bridge.

Thus making connectivity much easier.

Access to education, health has become much easier.

The people will not waste valuable time in travelling on country roads, crossing rivers on bilibilli etc.

Now they become the part of main population centres by easy access to nearest town or hospital or health centre.

This also means more employment for the people of the North.

North is certainly attracting more investors as economic opportunities improve.

A good example is the plan to open Damodar City in Labasa.

This sure is a sign that economic activities are happening right.

Apart from this the Sangam Nursing School, university centres and technical education institutes all add to the robust way in which the north, the sugar town is growing.

Savusavu attracts a large number of tourists.

Thus the tourist dollar is also being injected in the north economy.

Copra industry, pine milling industry, mining and fishing cannot be overlooked.

The installation of the broadband cables in Labasa has brought about the digital revolution there.

All in all the North growth is a real and exciting story to tell!

Dewan Chand, Donu Place, Namadi Heights

Fijiana 15s vs NZ Maori

With the Women’s RWC 15s fast approaching, the Rooster-Chicken Fijiana 15s team needs game time.

The side played the Japanese Sakura and lost 28-14.

The side then played the Australian Wallaroos and also lost 32-18.

Yesterday after the RWC 7s celebration, the Fijiana played the Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu coached NZ Wahine Maori at the HFC Bank Stadium.

The crowd was entertained to some solid hits and exciting rugby as the Senirusi Seruvakula-coached side faced the NZ Maori.

The Test was also the perfect build-up for the battle versus Canada!

These Tests will aid Seruvakula pick the best for the Women’s 15s RWC tournament!

On the other hand, the piece penned by Maikeli Seru, titled ‘Brutal, counter and own style’, was a beauty to read as it reflected on the Fijiana’s road to the Women’s RWC 15s tournament in the Land Down Under.

Mike added icing to the cake with figurative words. I enjoyed the read immensely and I urge sports lovers to take a glance through.

Wishing Seruvakula and the Fijiana 15s all the best!

Rajneesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Another year of Bledisloe Cup drought

Hate them or envy them, the mighty All Blacks side, whose rugby prowess is hard to explain, is back in contention for the Rugby Championship.

Having rooted to the bottom of the Rugby Championship after the first round, having lost to the Springboks 26-10 away from home, the All Blacks bounced back and hammered the Boks 35-23 in round two.

However, they came crashing in round three as the Los Pumas beat them 25-18 in Christchurch, but then the visitors felt the full brunt of the All Blacks in Hamilton, getting thrashed 53-3.

The Wallabies were favourites for the first Test in the two-match Bledisloe Cup series, but the All Blacks came out with a resounding statement, scoring a late team try in the match to defend the Bledisloe Cup for the 20th year.

The win also means that a victory at the Fortress against the Wallabies will gift the All Blacks the Rugby Championship title as well.

Thursday night’s battle versus the Wallabies in Melbourne brought out the best from the All Blacks.

Congratulations and all the best ABs!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Days of glory

As one more major domestic footballing action goes by, again, once the traditional giants of Fiji soccer, Ba, have had no luck.

As a matter of fact, for many years now men in black have not been able to lay hands on a major title.

Things are going from bad to worse as years pass by.

What their die-hard fans would be thinking of as this happens is hard to tell.

Despite the setback, I think fans still offer their support wholeheartedly.

They must never forget the district’s achievements and days of glory.

Don’t lose hope as better days will return just keep working hard.

Remember united we stand, divided we fall.

Happy weekend to you all.

Suresh Chand, Nadi

What a pool

It does not get any better for the Rooster Chicken Fijiana at the women’s Rugby World Cup.

We are in the Pool C with power houses like England, France and South Africa.

I am looking forward to these matches.

England is riding high on a 25 match winning steak and beaming with confidence but we have 26 reasons to create history.

Phew, what a pool we are in, not because of the strength of our opponents but more importantly, we are blessed with opportunities score some major upsets.

Coach Seruvakula and his assistants will certainly have some tricks up their sleeves, eagerly awaiting to unleash in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

I look forward to the Rooster Chicken Fijiana at the women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 and their ability to inspire more females to take up a sport once dominated by men.

Floyd Robinson, Nasese, Suva

Acceptance, endorsement

We have seen in recent times the formation of new political parties never seen before.

I believe it is not only a conducive environment that is attracting great interest from aspiring politicians, but the 2013 Constitution itself.

I believe this is a sign of a broad acceptance and endorsement of this wonderful and internationally recognised document which has the instruments to unite different ethnic communities and foster race relations.

I believe it guarantees your right to participate in elections, freedom of speech, democracy and human rights and also gives you a sense of belonging.

It has been adequately equipped with the necessary tools to take this country forward to greater heights and a better and inclusive society.

It has been designed to build nationhood. It is a living document that has a mechanism for review and amendments as and when required and if required.

We therefore should cherish and uphold our constitution and take ownership.

Some have cowardly condemned this document for their own political gains.

Ironically, some have been elected into Parliament under this very constitution they have ridiculed and criticised.

They would not have seen the Parliament under previous constitutions.

Tarun Tikaram, Lami

Proud Fijian!

I’m a proud Fijian and the success of the Fiji 7s team makes me wonder about the wealth of resources that we possess as far as rugby is concerned.

The Flying Fijians success in Cape Town not only brought smiles and delight, but united Fijians.

For me, sporting activities are a unifying factor as they bring Fijians from all walks of life together.

Although rugby is played by the iTaukei, a lot of Fijians of Indian descent support the team, some even travel to the venue where the tournament is being played.

At home, all races get together and cheer their hearts out for our boys, who despite winning much fame and honour, do not let pride affect them.

They remain humble and down-to-earth and at this juncture, I salute Sir Jerry Tuwai for being a wonderful role model and for leading by example.

His presence on and off the field motivates those around him.

Jerry has nurtured leaders and I’m confident once he hangs his boot, he will be a successful coach.

Congratulations to the Fiji 7s team and I extend my heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation to the boys for playing their hearts out and for breaking the 17-year-old drought!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Caring duo

I was greatly touched by the sportsmanship showed by our maestro Jerry Tuwai and titanic Filipe Sauturaga when they assisted the injured All Blacks player come out of the playing field.

This is the difference between them and us.

I have noticed many a time our injured players being mocked by the All Black players and on occasions when our heroes came second best in the duel with the kiwis, we could see the scorn on the kiwi faces.

The action of Jerry and Filipe will go in the history books and the minds of the present and future players.

Wananavu and wananice gentlemen.

Arun Prasad, Dilkusha Nausori

Letter of the month – February

Leptospirosis warnings

THE Health Ministry is issuing warnings about Leptospirosis, but there is little information about its effects.

As a survivor of the disease, back in 1978, I can share how it affected me.

I felt the first symptoms of general weakness on a Friday afternoon and went straight to rest, but soon I could not leave my room.

On Sunday afternoon, Dr Rosemary Mitchell gave me an injection of penicillin and an ambulance took me to CWM.

By this time my kidneys had stopped working and I was unable to move most of my body, even breathing was difficult.

I was put on oxygen straight away and survived the night.

By morning my site was almost gone and the diagnosis of Lepto was made by Dr Neil Sharma.

The antibiotic treatment was effective.

But I believe my life was saved by Dr Rosemary Mitchell’s initial penicillin injection.

I began to recover with further antibiotics and by Wednesday I was moving again and my kidneys resumed function (just in time!).

Leptospirosis bacteria can kill by shutting down the body’s nervous system (meningitis), general movement and general bodily functions.

It entered my body through a small scratch on my leg that came into contact with contaminated water in a drain I was clearing.

It was probably cow’s urine that carried the bug.

Not everyone will have the same symptoms, so early testing is essential to save lives.

Fergus Garret, Marist Brothers, Vatuwaqa, Suva

Letter of the month – May

What racism!

IN the central business district of Lautoka last Saturday, when a Fijian of Indian descent (in his vehicle) asked me where Churchill Park was, I did not make much of it until I saw him making his way into the grounds later in the Drua colours.

I do know if it was mere coincidence because I was also in Blue and green.

Inside the arena, I happened to be around a group of iTaukei men who had come all the way from Suva.

That’s what they told me.

We had discussions on some topics.

During the time between the curtain-raiser and the main clash, one from the group went outside.

While he came back, he had two bottles of water and a plastic of roti parcels.

The parcels were passed around the group and to my surprise, one was brought for me.

When I politely thanked them, I was told not to be shy as this was my home.

I think that over the years we have learnt and accepted that we have to live with each other and it is disgusting for some politicians to talk about racism just so they could profit from it.

Mohammed Imraz-Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Letter of the week – ending June 27 – July 3

Reality of the matter

THE A-G’s statement regarding poverty shocked me, I work with the underprivileged and know what the situation in the ground is like.

I invite the A-G to come to the West and we travel around to where the underprivileged live.

Maybe he will see reality.

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Lautoka

Letter of the week – August 1-August 7

Destroying drugs

I AM confused, no, not like our smart A-G, as ASPA CEO George Faktaufon had indicated in The Fiji Times yesterday (2/08).

I am actually baffled to learn that the beard-spotting COMPOL and his team had destroyed impounded drugs (cocaine) with a street value of $30 million in a crematorium.

I assumed the sole purpose of the Davuilevu Dignified Crematorium was to cremate the deceased.

No?

Since a large quota of funds is usually allocated to our law enforcement sector in the financial budgets annually, don’t such authorities have an incinerator or furnace of their own to carry out such engagements?

There’s going to be a lot of “cooked” up and “high” spirited departing souls in the crematorium if this practice continues.

Nishant Singh, Lautoka

Letter of the week – August 8-August 14

Top of the world

I WONDER if Weightlifting Fiji executives skip past Eileen Cikamatana’s gold medal winning video when it is sent to them.

Sadly, what I want to tell the executives cannot be printed here.

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Lautoka

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