Letters to the Editor- April 26

Go my Blues
All the best to my hometown team, Lautoka Blues in their away leg of the OFC Champions League semi-final against Marist at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
May your preparations be fruitful as your supporters await a positive result although the odds are against you.
May I kindly plead to all the officials and leaders of our prestigious team to please dedicate this match to the former Lautoka and national captain, the late Pita Dau, who led the national team for the first time as captain in Lawson Tama Stadium to win the 1998 Melanesian Cup.
Go boys, bring it home and RIP Deo.
Kon roki Blues.
Mesake Sivoinavatu
Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Farm thefts
It’s interesting to read the contrasting views from leaders of National Federation Party, SODELPA, Unity Fiji Party, Fiji Labour Party and Fiji United Freedom Party regarding our agriculture sector (FT 21/04).
While they have highlighted supposed problems and solutions, there is one major problem that none of them have addressed?
It sure confirms just how out of touch and unaware they are with the sector.
Theft of root crops and livestock is a serious national epidemic problem, serious enough that it must be addressed and dealt with before anything else.
None of the solutions mentioned by these party leaders will ever come to absolute fruition if the theft issue is not sorted out.
To labour and care for one’s livestock and root crops only for it to get stolen before harvest is not only discouraging but very depressing.
I believe thieving in the sector is definitely a huge deterrent.
Simon Hazelman
Savusavu

Keep it local
Now that the first major secondary schools sporting event is done and dusted, not without its controversies of course, which is another topic, everyone will be looking forward to the Singapore 7s in Kallang coming up and also the Super Rugby as they gear up for next term and the Deans competition.
As I’ve said with the Coca-Cola Games and so will I say with this competition, how we have commercialised these games, but yet we can’t get sponsors for our teams.
Anyway that’s another topic.
Have you wondered why parents sometimes push their children to rugby playing schools.
It is so their children are marketable to overseas scouts, which is good for the young rugger, but what we fail to realise is that we will never be able to field a local-based Flying Fijians team, as most of these young lads tend to change allegiance to their adopted country.
If only the big wigs could see fit to keep the game commercially viable at home and offer the same or some of the benefits from playing overseas, so we can nurture our own local players and not be dictated by the big clubs.
Even our own adopted son Ratu Peni had offered assistance in getting a team to compete in Super Rugby, which I’m sure will keep these boys at home.
Also we have not seen any credible stats to prove that players coming through the Milo and Deans competitions get through to the Skipper Cup, who then go on to national duties, because the majority are trying to get noticed by the scouts.
Unless we have that in place, most ruggers will lose interest and that is why we see defaults on Saturday at the local rugby competition, or we will get more players injured for playing in the wrong position.
Come on Fiji, let’s keep it local.
Lawrence Wara
Suva

Daily writers
I refer to A. Shariff Shah’s letter on the above topic (FT 23/04) where he says no one cares or attends to what writers usually suggest.
I disagree with the writer as I’ve used this column to voice my opinion and relevant authorities took action there and then and where and when applicable.
Maybe his letters are mostly praising authorities rather than raising issues that warrant action.
I’ve done that and can guarantee the writer that this column is very useful and powerful.
You have to click the right button for authorities to respond.
Otherwise who cares!
Pita Soroaqali
Nadarivatu

Protect our mangroves
Mangroves are known to be the home for many sea creatures and this is where they begin their lives. This natural marine habitat is seen to be regularly destroyed and I strongly believe that not only the marine life gets affected but also the recent floods we have been experiencing are results of this.
As a daily user of the Denarau road it is sad to pass by the reclaimed land along the road side where mangroves once stood as bodyguards for our shores. I have also noticed many “For Sale” signs where these mangrove swamps are located around the same area. These trees would have also been a good buffer for a storm surge coming our way.
It is indeed a shame on people who have authorised the cutting of mangroves along this area.
Have these officials lost respect for our environment?
This Earth is to be protected and not destroyed. However, it seems the responsible authorities have made it their mission to acquiesce to the demands of developers and ignore the fragility of our land.
I believe a demand for better stewardship and accountability from our elected officials and government employees is required. We need our voices to be heard and our environment protected.
Let us not be silent about this and continue voicing our concerns to protect our sensitive marine ecosystem.
Sylvia Narayan,
Nadi.

Budding athletes
The 2018 Coca-Cola Games produced everything that fans had anticipated. Name it — passion, tears of joy, desperation, parental support, faith, team work, fun and flair were all part of the excitement and thrills from the three-day spectacular event.
Many athletes stood out but there were some who stole the limelight and one of them was St Joseph sprint ace and the best intermediate and overall female athlete for 2018 Heleina Young.
Young won gold in the intermediate 100m and 200m and silver in the 4x100m race. She broke two records and became the first female athlete to run the 100m under 12 seconds. Young is our top bet and she must be trained well so that come the Pacific Games, Fiji is ready to challenge PNG’s Wisil for gold medal. Wisil has been dominating the 100 and 200m race.
Just like Young, Petero Veitaqomaki from Marist was at his usual best. He walked away with the overall best male athlete award after setting a new record in the 800m and winning gold in the 1500m. I hope that Athletics Fiji will help our golden prospects secure overseas scholarships and training programs.
The likes of Rosi (Jasper), Alipate (Natabua), Timoci Raju (Xavier), Amele (ACS), Meli (Grammar), Makereta Naulu (ACS), Natoga (RKS), Tuvusa (Natabua), Lekima (RKS) and Kameli Sauduadua (RKS) are bound to hit the headlines if they are groomed well. But if they are overlooked, then like many other athletes who have stood out during the Coca-Cola Games, they will disappear or venture into other sports.
We need to get back to the days when we dominated the track events during the Pacific Games. I’m eager to see those glorious moments soon. I rest my case here!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam,
Nadawa, Nasinu.

Where are the napkins
Are the napkins still sold in our stores or has it been phased out to give way to diapers?
Struggling mothers and well off ones are all into diapers nowadays rather than napkins.
The usage of diapers is not the problem here but the pollution in our backyard is a matter of concern.
It’s not a sight worth seeing and not a smell worth breathing. Take pride in disposing it as in buying it. Very simple.
Pita Soroaqali,
Nadarivatu.

Judging cheerleaders
May I suggest that in the next Coca-Cola Games could the cheerleaders also be judged?
They deserve to win a prize. Just imagine the time they put in to prepare for the games.
Let’s reward their efforts. The other thing is, if they know they could win a prize they will prepare better. What say?
Allen Lockington,
Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka.

Long lines
As I walked past the long line awaiting their turn for a free top up on their e-tickets I wondered what type of government does this to people in these days of modern technology?
Dan Urai,
Lautoka.

Salute to the A-G
I salute our good A-G for praising the management and staff of Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort for complementing Government’s efforts in ensuring Fijian students have access to quality education.
Please sir do the same as all the resorts and some businesshouses here in Savusavu have been doing the same for ages.
It’s a delight to see you, sir, with your cute kids walking hand in hand. It speaks volume.
It shows you are not only the best thing that has ever happened to Fiji politics but also a caring and very loving dad. I believe the whole nation’s prayers are with you and your loving family. I look up to you every day.
A. SHARIFF SHAH,
Savusavu.

Heading abroad
My mate Cameron will soon be again leaving our shores for Samoa to work and also visit his fa’afafine friend. I am thinking of making a small lovo for his farewell. Since I haven’t got much firewood, it will only be a one stone lovo. Godspeed mate!
Wise Muavono,
Balawa, Lautoka.

Velovelo road hump
I am writing in regards to the Velovelo hump on both sides of the bridges. It holds so many traffic all the time. I hope the authority concerned will do something as soon as possible and I also request the ministers to visit the site and do something to fix the road and get rid of the hump.
Naresh Kumar,
Lautoka.

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