Letters to the Editor – August 16

Rusiate Votuwaqawaqa (left) of Tilak High School battles against Xavier's Waisale Sautu during the quater-final of the Vodafone Fiji SecondarSchools Soccer Championship at Nadi's Prince Charles Park yesterday.Picture.MACIU MALO

Soccer coverage
This year’s secondary schools’ soccer in the tourism town will go down in the history books. Apart from an increased number of teams, the finals were shown live on our number one TV station Fiji One.
Hats off to Fiji One for this initiative and for becoming the medium of communication for the many parents and supporters who could not make it to Nadi!
Earlier, Fiji One showed the Powerade Super Deans finals live and now the media outlet won accolades by showing live the secondary schools soccer finals.
I hope that Fiji One will consider showing finals of other sports like Kaji rugby, netball, hockey and volleyball. I also applaud the efforts of the organising committee and all the sponsors who made this year’s secondary schools soccer a success.
Finally, I congratulate the winning schools and I hope that the stars who shone during the four day meet will go on to make a name for themselves at district and national level!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Building bridges

I refer to the comments of the A-G who is reported to have said: “We do not want to be like previous governments where you build a bridge and 10 years later you will have to rebuild it.”
I ask, how many bridges have you built during your 12 years of rule? I say to Mr A-G, please don’t take the achievements of past governments for granted.
How many failed projects have there been under your watch?
What about that taxi permit draw or whatever you were being blindfolded for? Again, I say Isa!
Kiniviliame Keteca, Nausori

FTU annual conference

The Jetset town is honoured to host the 88th Fiji Teachers Union Annual Conference with the theme “Rethinking and Revisiting Education for Sustainable Development”.
The chief guest for the annual conference was Grahame McCulloch, the general secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union (Australia).
The focus for FTU is on the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 4 — Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all; SDG 5 — Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and SDG 8 — Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Apart from the AGM, members will also hear on the progress made by the corporative arm of FTU — FTU CTCL and take part in sports, cultural night and social.
I wish the members all the best for this year’s annual conference! May you enjoy the hospitality and warmth of the tourism town of Fiji!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Bus fares

Once again the issue of bus drivers being abused by passengers who for some reason do not have funds in their bus cards and want to pay cash was highlighted on TV news.
I would appeal again to the authorities to also offer the payment of cash fares which could be set at a higher rate to motivate the people to opt for the card.
This would impose a sort of penalty for passengers who wish to pay cash and in the process, tighten the checks for bus tickets for cash fares.
I believe cash must be offered as an option.
Emosi Balei, Suva

Fundraising risk
I strongly believe in charity but I disagree with the way some NGOs take the risk to raise their target.
It has been noticed that some NGOs walk on the road in groups, having cans in their hands and requesting the travelling public for support.
This could become too costly if these NGO members face an accident on the road during their good cause.
LTA, and the Fiji police can only support such causes, but to manage risk on roads should be every one’s concern.
We are losing lives on our roads because of sheer carelessness and yet permits are issued from the respective departments for people to walk on the roads, seeking support.
I have nothing against charity but I am deeply concerned about the safety of the members and travelling public at large.
I believe NGOs should not take such risks for the safety of their members.
The authorities should strictly monitor their safety on the road if permits are issued to raise funds on our roads.
Gulsher Ali, Lautoka

Sound of sirens
I’ve been here in Kinoya for a few days now and I couldn’t help but notice the sound of fire engines.
It seems to be going past where I am staying almost all day.
I wondered how many fires were these fire engines going to put out?
Is it the norm now for people to be so careless that there are fires every day? Or are they rushing to vehicle accidents on the road or other incidents?
It is frightening to hear the sirens.
As I write this, Wednesday morning at 2.30, two sirens scream by in the distance.
I am so sorry that people are so careless with fires or whatever that needs the fire brigade. I suppose police and ambulance could be speeding to these places also. All I can say is that when I stayed in the Kinoya and Nadera areas before 1985, it wasn’t like this.
Isa, the authorities have done all they can to help people stay safe, it’s up to us to do our part.
So please be careful people.
Allen Lockington, Vesivesi Rd, Kinoya, Nasinu

Deaths on our roads
After reading (FT 15/8) that 22 lives were lost on our roads this year because of speeding, I decided to write about our trip.
I drove into Suva from Lautoka last Friday.
I had my family in the car and I was very aware of the many speeding vehicles.
Some would come right up and tailgate me when overtaking was impossible.
I simply indicated that I was stopping and let them pass.
There were a few times when buses and courier trucks would come up close and drivers would rev the engine.
I slowed down and let them pass.
There were so many places where overtaking was not allowed, but we saw cars from all walks of life overtaking.
These included our cars that have the GM prefix to the number.
Here I would say, “sad, eh,” but not this time.
It’s downright frightful, not sad!
Why are these drivers breaking the rules, are they late?
I don’t know, but we got to Suva safely and while we arrived a bit late, we got here nonetheless.
We even stopped to rest on the way and enjoyed the scenery.
The Coral Coast is beautiful each time I drive past.
We saw the hundreds or thousands of mango trees flowering and we stopped to buy boiled corn.
We slowed down when we got a good view of the sea.
We enjoyed the road into Suva.
The last time I drove into Suva was when I was invited to be chief guest at the launching of the online The Fiji Times.
I don’t often travel, but when I do I enjoy all of this.
I don’t want to miss reading The Fiji Times, or buying corn, I don’t want to miss the beautiful scenery along the way to Suva.
I don’t want to be a number added to our road fatalities.
The Editorial comment (FT15/8) by Fred Wesley sums it all up, yes folks, “Keep it right on the road”.
Allen Lockington, Vesivesi Rd, Kinoya, Nasinu.

Political stand

Thank you for highlighting the stand of the Methodist Church In Fiji on politics and political participation by its ministers and leaders (FT 15/8/18 at page 1).
Reading through the Church’s constitution, I noted that the Methodist Church’s Code of Conduct reinforces the Church’s position vis-a-vis political involvement.
The code applies to all the “Ministry leaders” meaning, ministers and deaconesses, lay members of leaders meetings, lay members who are appointed or elected by the conference to an office, a board and/or a committee and lay employees of the conference offices who have responsibility for management and/ or supervision of other staff.
Two sub-articles of the code cover the church’s stand at 2.16 titled Politics, and 2.17 on Relationship with the Law.
That being clear, I wonder what other major churches, religions and faith who are thriving in Fiji have about politics in their constitution or other fundamental instrument which provide guidance to their leaders in matter of politics.
Alipate Qetaki, Suva.

Confiscated fish
Dan, not only the confiscated banned fish but also fish confiscated from illegal fishing (FT 15/08).
Get it right my boy! And as for bothering the minister, it’s his duty to investigate the matter and inform us through this column since it is of public interest.
I believe it was a joke to suggest for Allen and I to call him so he can explain. Cava qo, caka plan ni gunu yaqona?
Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka.

Waterway attention
Can the Minister for Local Government and the Minister for Waterways once work together to sort out the situation at the new Tavakubu (Kashmir) subdivision?
I was told that most drains or waterways are being blocked by the developer. The wet weather is about to start anytime soon and Lautoka doesn’t need another flood or landslide up in the hills of Kashmir.
I can only imagine the damage if it rains.
John Brown, Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka.

Queen of soul
I’m rather sad about the hospitalisation of the “Queen of soul” Aretha Franklin with a severe diagnosis.
I always admire her with fond thoughts. Some of her songs etched in my mind include I say a little prayer, The greatest love of all, and Chain of fools among others.
Amenatave Yaconisau, Palm Drive, Delainavesi.

Attitude issue

I believe one reason voters change their mind about politicians is politicians’ attitude.
Dan Urai, Lautoka.

Fire protection
This foreigner who opened up a hybrid vehicle fire discussion during his taxi ride, asked me how can hybrid vehicle fires be addressed and how can passengers and commuters feel safe while travelling in hybrid vehicles?
Well, since it was a short trip, I told the foreigner, “let me tell you how you can protect yourself rather than addressing how to prevent hybrid fires, since it will be a long issue to discuss during a short trip”.
The best way is to carry a personal fire extinguisher if boarding hybrid vehicles, or in your next trip, bring fire repellents if available in your country.
Shamal Chand, Kuku Bau Rd, Nausori.

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