Letters to the Editor – April 04, 2021

A writer says Christ has risen from the dead. Christ had conquered death and he had paid the ultimate price to save humanity from its sins. Picture: Calvaryhonduras

Passion of the Christ

Recently I saw a movie The Passion of the Christ. It depicts the last 12 hours of barbaric torture inflicted on Jesus Christ by the Roman soldiers of Pontius Pilot of Judea. They beat him to exhaustion, cursed him for his claim that he was the King of Jews and the Son of God. At the end of it all they forced him to carry his own cross to Calvary for the crucifixion. On the way he fell thrice and each time he was helped by Simon of Cyrene. Jesus meets his mother and Veronica wipes his face. While Jesus was being nailed to the cross he made a very powerful prayer: “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing”. Thus forgiveness becomes the core of Christian life ever since. Christ died on the cross and was taken down to be placed in a tomb and the entrance sealed with a huge rock. On the third day people discover that the rock has been moved and the tomb was empty. An angel informed them that Christ has risen from the dead. Christ had conquered death; a wonderful miracle! He had paid the ultimate price to save humanity from its sins. Therefore, crucifixion and resurrection form the core of Christian life. Total faith in the Word of God will lead to salvation. May I wish all my Christian friends a very happy Easter celebrations. Dewan Chand Namadi Heights, Suva

Also happily married

I wish to thank Arvind Mani for the best laugh I’ve had in quite a while. However, our experience was a little different. We were married in a Christian church and I was made to promise to obey. So I did, as nearly as I could. But there are ways of working round such rules and I gradually carved out a life for myself in addition to that of obedient housewife. The real breakthrough came when he suddenly resigned from his job and he discovered how busy I was in the community. He spent the rest of our happy 57 years together trying to persuade me to say “no”. Tessa Mackenzie Suva

That kiss

I think it was lovely that our PM gave a child a kiss when he opened a bridge in Tailevu recently. Good on you sir. A sign of affection towards your people, who have long awaited a bridge for some 50 years. Also, whose to know if this child was not a relative as well? Many of us as grandparents would naturally kiss a child, especially when seeing our children and makubuna after a long period of separation, after trials; COVID or not. I hope this never ever changed in our lives, especially with a vaccine now available. COVID may still be a threat. However, isn’t it far worse to take the “letter of the law” to such an extent that we dehumanise ourselves to a kind of nitpicking “sensitivity” that is culturally paranoid, and frankly unsustainable too? We all know this would be a crying shame, especially if we lost all affection at appropriate times and occasions. Well done PM Bainimarama sir. Kissing makes the world go round and stay sane, especially of a child at a special long awaited occasion. Exceptions are totally kosher. Happy Easter all. Jean Hatch Nabua, Suva

Save our roads

Earlier last week travelling alone from Ba to Rakiraki all I could think about was the roads, potholes and my vehicle. What is happening with the road levies we pay, the allocated money in budgets to better our roads and can we claim the relevant authorities for the damage done to our vehicles because of moon-like craters on our roads? We as taxpayers of our beautiful country are not a too demanding population, all we need from Government are good schools, healthcare, roads, affordable food, supply to water and electricity. In the hours driving I started thinking more in-depth on what has led to our road conditions being the way it is. Some of the questions that came to mind were:

  • Are the materials used ideal? (Who checks the quality?);
  • Why are there sub-contractors? Can FRA use these subbies directly, this will save money;
  • Who comes and checks if the job is done correctly? If the job was not done properly whose job is on the line?;
  • Who tells contractors to dig up functional roads just before the rainy season? Can’t these things be done during drier seasons and only patching work be done during the rainy season and roadside drains maintained just before rainy season not after it has passed?;
  • If roads are getting worse what’s the point of reducing duties to get more vehicles on the road?;
  • Do authorities do an analysis before deciding on things?;
  • Why can’t roadworks be done during curfew hours when there are no vehicles on the road? Overseas countries do majority of the work at night so that there is less disruption to traffic; and
  • Like in other countries when natural disasters occur the military is deployed to assist the authorities to repair damage to infrastructure. Why can’t that happen here?

In my personal opinion I challenge the heads of our country, FRA bosses and others to drive a smaller vehicle, say a Toyota Prius for one week on our roads. That might change their perspective and make them realise what the common people are feeling. Please save our roads! NAV SINGH Ba

Internet era

What if the internet was available during the terms of past ruling party governments? Having gone through several from the late Ratu Mara’s administration up to the late Qarase administration, I can say with certainty that all would have found the power of the internet difficult to handle, especially that so much indifference was going on, with the majority of MPs in for their own agenda. It would have been very interesting. Fiji went broadband in 2004 to bring high speed internet services to the country, which made FijiFirst the first ruling party to rule with internet services. No other ruling party has experienced this. I believe the internet brought a stop to many unethical behaviour by MPs, or shall I say, it has made them very careful with what they say and do nowadays. If any other party from now on think they will have it easy if they got into power, they better seriously think again! Your every move will be monitored by the nation, as we see with what FijiFirst is going through. It’s an open forum with anybody and everybody having their say. A different era altogether! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Place for culture, traditions

I refer to Thur 1/4 “Plea to teach cultural ways to children”. The Tui Bua, Ratu Makutu Nagagavoka is to be commended, mightily commended, for the plea to the elders of his province that the younger generation be taught the culture and traditions of the vanua of Cakaunitabua. I call on other traditional leaders around the nation to do likewise as the Tui Bua has done. The slow and gradual diminution of cultural and traditional mores creeps up on a race like cancer on a person; by the time they are aware, it may already be too late. It never ceases to amaze me the many young iTaukei couples I encounter while moving around in the public sphere who talk to their young children in English. That is their prerogative, I agree. But why is it a given to propagate the mores of whatever affiliation one has, except the iTaukei race. If one is a Catholic or Methodist than it is expected one propagates the relevant beliefs. But I believe no one blinks an eye when practices that inexorably lead to cultural suicide for the iTaukei start to become prevalent and thence fashionable. Referring mostly to iTaukei couples here, there seems to be a pervasive fallacy that if you talk to your little children all the time in English, in a way gives the children a head start in mastering the language. I think most primary school English teachers will very much doubt that thinking. I only wished these iTaukei couples “spoke mathematics or science” all the time with their children. Just imagine where the iTaukei race will be on the totem pole of the Toppers list. More than a decade ago, there was a concerted initiative from the NSW Education Department imploring parents of households where English is a second language (ESL) to teach their children their native language as studies indicated that ESL students who were expressive in their mother tongue outperformed those who did not. When growing up I stopped speaking iTaukei when entering the school gate and picked it up when I left. I only spoke English while within and only spoke iTaukei when outside of it. Yet I was able to hold my own and even bettered some native English speakers while studying overseas. The obsession with speaking English all the time, at some expense to the iTaukei language is a relatively new phenomenon that needs to be discussed and debated within. The Tui Bua has afforded the iTaukei race a timely reminder that the iTaukei should take heed of. Anything less may turn out to be quite perilous for the iTaukei identity in the future. Please do not let the great-grandsons and daughters of the Tui Bua tell the iTaukei, “our great-grandfather told you so”.

Job market

I think the role of tertiary institutions should be such that they prepare students (at least to a far larger percentage than at present) for the practicalities of the job market. For example, where is calculus applied in the local accounting sector? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Easter message

As everyone takes heart from Easter messages this weekend let us not forget to offer prayers for recovery and good health of all who are sick in hospitals and home, and as Christians, amid the challenges brought about by job losses and the pandemic, continue to look into promises of a new beginning. Dan Urai Lautoka

The engine

In this current state of hardship, it really saddens me to hear of employers holding their employees jobs to ransom, if the employees question the long unpaid working hours, etc, they are shown the door, it’s easy to say, then just leave, but where do they go then, to provide for their families, it’s pure ransom and it’s basically bullying. Employers, the workers are your engines, look after them, they will look after you. Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Wrong team

I have seen a vehicle owned by Fiji Roads Authority driven around Ovalau. At the back of the vehicle it is marked “Traffic Lights Inspection”. So far, I have not seen a single traffic light in Levuka. Anyways please can that vehicle be sent to Lautoka to fix the traffic light problems of the Sugar City and hopefully build new traffic lights near Punjas liquor shop in Lautoka City. The right team should be sent to Levuka to repair the road please, not the traffic light inspection team. Narayan Reddy Ovalau

Football season

This year’s DPL surely looks exciting. There is little that is separating the teams. Navua and Nadroga are no longer minnows as they have fought tooth and nail to remain competitive and given seasoned teams a good run for their money. It is just not a battle of players on the field, but also of coaches to be innovative and develop strategies to counter teams. This is the best way forward for football in the country. I hope the teams continue with the same momentum in the weeks to come. Pranil Ram Votualevu, Nadi

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