Letters to the Editor – August 13, 2019

Labasa soccer Team celebrates after winning the Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants Tournament Final against Lautoka at Churchill Park last night. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Lions end BOG drought

Master Ronil Lal won hearts as the Nadogo Central College industrial arts teacher led Labasa to this year’s Inkk BOG win and help end the 22-year BOG winless jinx. Former Lautoka marksman Siotame Kubu’s “classic” was enough to break Blues hearts and gift president Rayaz, manager Nilu and Labasa fans a well-deserved win away from home. Fireworks lit the skies, fans were emotional. Songs were composed and the “hudda” and “tasa” entertainment awed spectators at Churchill Park. Hats off to the Labasa goalie Mateisuva and the Lions defence for not conceding any goal. I’m so delighted with this victory and I congratulate the entire team and officials for this achievement. When Labasa last won I was in form four attending Nadogo Secondary School and I can recall how we invaded Subrail Park and our hero then, Taniela bhagwaan Tuilevuka, was hoisted on the shoulders of fans as he lifted the trophy. Twenty-two years later Sio, who was named the player of the tournament, brought back those memories with his brilliant goal. Grog, beer and chaiser found taste and Labasa fans were on cloud nine just as the “voice of soccer” Ray who entertained fans with his commentaries. As I conclude, congratulations Labasa and all the best for the celebrations! Thank you boys for doing us proud! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Well done

When the dust settled at Lautoka’s Churchill Park last Sunday, it was the Babasiga Lions that roared the loudest. Labasa toppled Lautoka in the final of the BOG and took home the trophy and prizemoney after 22 years. The lone goal that gave them the well-earned victory came from the boots of their striker Siotame Kubu in the 79th minute of play. I think this tournament and the result will be cherished by the people of Labasa for a long time as the Northerners not only finished the tournament undefeated but did not concede a goal. This victory is also very special for the captain of the side because of his remarkable contribution. The coach also deserves commendation as through his command and guidance the Lions achieved such a wonderful result. I am sure there are more surprises in store for Lion’s fans as the year progresses. For the boys in blue, I think you played exceptionally well but luck was probably not on your side. The Blues camp should accept defeat and give credit to the winners. Your fans should be happy that you played in the final. Let’s hope that the Fiji Football Association has recorded a good gate taking. As the teams take a break, we now wait for the resumption of the VPL and IDC which is in October. May I take this opportunity to thank the Lautoka City Council for providing such a wonderful arena for the games? Well done Labasa. Keep it up. Suresh Chand Nadi

Drugs and all

I hear of a possible link to the rise in drug-related activities could be the unprecedented economic growth. God forbid, if for some reason our economy goes into a depression, will we have a decline in drug-related activities? I don’t know. I think Fiji is relatively young when it comes to drugs. Whenever something new comes around, people naturally want to try it. Our country could be in an experimental stage. Irrespective of pocket size, drugs can be grown or manufactured in the back yard for selling or personal consumption. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Senseless waste

These days, even in a society which is attempting to become paperless and promoting tree planting, receipts spew out of cash registers fast and furiously and can be as long as your arm. It would be really good to have the option, as we do have with ATMs, to decide if we want a printed receipt at the point of sale or not. Granted, we are advised to keep receipts for certain purchases in the event they are faulty, bad, or for record keeping but if it is for a cup of coffee, for example, consumed even before it is purchased, having a receipt is really an unnecessary use of paper. It would be even better if the cashier took the initiative to ask the customer that question as the latter might not be aware just how much paper is used in receipts and of course that equates to the cutting down of forests. Julie Sutherland Tamavua, Suva

Youth day

On this year’s International Youth Day I wish to remember our young people who fill up our country’s gaols. I wish to remember our young men and women who roam our towns and cities looking for survival. I pay tribute to the shoeshine and wheelbarrow boys. I pay tribute to the roadside coconut boys. Given the current situation, where the cost of living is soaring high and the unemployment rate is equally matched, young people resort to crime to survive. Drug use has increased drastically with Fiji being the main hub in the Pacific. However, I believe youths are resilient. We are the young guns of a country. The formula of success of a country lies within our young people. With this year’s theme: “Transforming education, highlighting efforts to make education more equitable and inclusive for all”. When you develop a youth, you develop a nation. I am a youth and watch me grow. Bill Kunavatu Lautoka

Drones use

I do not know whether drones were, or are being used, in the current sea search and rescue (SAR) operation, but I think drones could and can be deployed much more rapidly than search aircraft or ships and with immediate results, especially in terms of sighting and locating what is being searched for. In SAR incidents, virtually every minute counts! I feel that drone technology should by now be a mandatory part of our SAR operations, if not already, and that the government should in my view, officially acquire and use such an important technology. It seems to me to be a very cost-effective and very mobile and easily deployed SAR tool. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Gracious in defeat

Heading to the U18 final, the winning statistics were almost even. QVS 22 wins and six draws! RKS 22 wins and five draws! Furthermore, before the grand showdown at Lawaqa Park, Suva Grammar won the U14 and U17 finals defeating RKS (17-8) and QVS (30-17) respectively while RKS won the U15 title beating QVS (27-8). QVS won the U16 title defeating RKS (12-5) while Ba Pro convincingly beat St Johns (35-12) in the U19 grade. Hence, the crowd erupted when the new Deans trophy was brought in the typical Nadroga style. Ironically, QVS won the first Deans trophy in 1939 and it was fitting that the Victorians clashed against RKS for the Holy Grail of secondary schools rugby. QVS had also lost to RKS on three previous occasions and the Vulinitu boys were determined to end the losing streak and they did it in style. RKS scored two scintillating tries but that was not enough as the giants from Matavatucou defended their line ferociously and the last bit of set-piece also went in their favour. It’s back to the drawing board I guess for Naca Saumi and the brigade from Delainakaikai but congratulations to the Victorian Blues for the upset win. I guess this year’s Deans competition was a step up from the previous years and I salute the officials, players and organising committee for the job well done! RKS was gracious in defeat and I’m sure valuable lessons were learnt after the loss! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Educational reforms

In the name of education reforms, the overwhelmingly excessive changes have finally been deemed to be rushed. According to the deputy secretary for education, the “learning crisis” has to be rectified immediately. The longer this process takes to start, the more money (taxpayers funds) will be needed. A lot of questions should arise. Why were all those changes allowed to take place? Who was authorising them? How much of taxpayers funds were used to implement those changes? Can they be now categorised to be a failure and waste of money? Based on the current trend, what is the guarantee that the rectifications will not be subjected to further changes? Why are teachers then required to continuously adjust to avoid the risk of being deemed “irrelevant”? What does Mr Bure mean that teachers and students were now gaining a lot of knowledge in various subjects but could not apply the knowledge they acquired in real life situations? When the changes were rushed, why are improvements slow? I am not an expert but I think our Ministry of Education has been in a confused state for a couple of years. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Changes made

Thank you for the report (FT 12/8) where the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts deputy secretary says that changes made in the ministry were done in a rush. I believe one of the reasons these things happen is when politicians think they know better than the senior civil servant who has served for their whole life in the ministry. The politicians come and go, some leave behind a legacy and some chop the legs off existing policies. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

School holidays

The school holidays have begun and parents find out that teachers are grossly underpaid. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Soccer issue

The team that national football coach Christophe Gamel deemed unworthy of contributing any players to the national football team won the BOG over the weekend. A month earlier, the national team failed at the Pacific Games. The goalkeeper that did not concede a single goal over three weekends could not even make it to Gamel’s reserves list. I reiterate my earlier concerns again — are we sending our best possible national teams to compete internationally? Nilesh Lal Suva

Back line coach

Watching the standard of performance of the Flying Fijians deteriorate over recent weeks, one wonders whether Ben Ryan would have done a better job as back line or attacking coach. Come to think of it, he understood our strengths and was able to develop a pattern around it. More importantly, he was able to understand the Fijian mentality and was excellent at motivating players. Well for now our coaching panel still think we have time but with the world cup only days away, it may be a little too late. Floyd Robinson Toorak, Suva

High horse

The comments by Opposition MP, Pio Tikoduadua, that our prime minister should get off his high horse (FT:10/08) I believe is not only insulting but rather uncalled for. Our prime minister is literally the one who is riding the highest horse in the nation, and rightfully so! The same horse that Tikoduadua and many others would love to ride. The horse that our PM is riding is supported by the majority of Fijians and has 27 pillars in Parliament. Unlike Tikoduadua’s unbalanced three-legged horse! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Stability factor

I believe my island nation is not stable, my family and friends are sitting on a rocky boat. With many fingers pointing, how can we be assured that we are in good hands? Do we need to ask the Almighty what is at stake for my island home? I believe some leaders in the august house are not even sure where we are heading, they are all pointing fingers and shouting at one another. AREKI DAWAI Suva

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