Letters to the Editor – August 28

Curious and delighted
For many of us born into the modern world or shall I say Viti Levu, the motor car is not something to marvel at.
Unless you lived with me in Veisari in the late ’60s.
I read on (FT 27/8) that when schoolteacher Jone Draunidalo arrived in Suva with his students from Totoya Island in Lau, he couldn’t help but smile at his students’ curious stares and excited chatter.
Isa, most of these students have never been to Suva, so to see the cars and buses is quite a sight for them.
For me it was such a delight to read that according to master Draunidalo, “It’s a long way from the swaying coconut trees and the quiet island life back home.
“Life in the outer islands is wonderful, you eat fish every day — breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Swaying palm (coconut) trees just got to me because I envision white sandy beaches.
I bet they will delight in a bit of barbecue from the many vendors that dot the streets of Suva.
According to the report master Draunidalo is on his first posting and he is enjoying every moment of it.
Vinaka vakalevu master, may God bless you and your charges and enjoy the life on the island.

Noise issue

A lot of comments have been raised by the public who live in areas where public outreaches have been conducted, especially about the deafening noise levels and long hours of the programs.
The latest from one P. Kailoa (FT 26/8), who also lives in my area in Samabula, said a mouthful of the increasing noise pollution associated with groups given permits to do public evangelism or outreach preaching programs.
Don’t get me wrong, as a Christian I fully support all forms of reaching out to the masses in the Gospel Commission, but this should be conducted within the confines of the law of the land and appreciating the right to privacy of all Fijians.
I must commend and praise the church group that conducted a three-day preaching outreach at Lakeba St on Wednesday to Friday last week.
They started at about 6pm, their music and song was lively and the message uplifting Jesus Christ as our only hope and solution to all the discouragement of life, touched the heart.
I believe no one in Lakeba St, Samabula complained as it all ended by 8pm.
Maybe all outreach groups should learn from this group and limit their program to just two hours max at night, in line with their approved permits.
Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

Samoan PM

We read in The Fiji Times article ‘Tribute to newspaper’ (FT 27/8 p21) that the Samoan PM has paid tribute to the editor-in-chief of the Samoan Observer and their staff for their commitment to press freedom in Samoa and the world.
He said “In any government the need for a newspaper such as the Samoan Observer is critical, a newspaper that is not timid. They report what they see and interpret it the way they see it”.
Couldn’t agree more with what the Samoan PM says.
The Fiji Times has also demonstrated that journalistic integrity in post-coup Fiji.
Democracy is diminished in the absence of newspapers lacking in commitment to press freedom and accountable governance.
Rajend Naidu, Sydney, Australia

New immigrants

It is rather rude and disrespectful how new immigrants who have settled here in Savusavu vent their frustrations on how locals live and conduct their lives.
Amazing how these people can just come in, buy land, build their house, and think that everything around them needs to be the way they want.
If you don’t like the way in which locals live their lives then you should leave and go find another place or country which conforms to your liking.
Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

Double whammy
Means: a combination of two usually adverse forces, circumstances, or effects.
Woke up to the same acrid smell and shrouded in the smoke from the burning rubbish dump. Step out and see a layer of soot covering my front porch and cars.
I will only presume that the soot is from the sugar mill when they burn whatever it is that they burn and comes out of that very tall chimney.
Smoke billowing from both ends of Lautoka City, dumping all manner of toxins and what not and a whole heap of people stuck right in the middle.
Double whammy indeed, no?
Manoj Lal Patel, Drasa Avenue, Lautoka

Positives from competition!

Despite not ranked on the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships medal tally, I believe our swimmers must be applauded for rubbing shoulders against swimmers from developed nations like USA, Australia and Canada.
On the medal tally USA finished top with 27 gold medals while their nearest rivals Australia trailed them by 23 gold medals.
Canada managed two gold medals while Japan and China bagged one gold each and NZ did not win any gold medal.
I enjoyed the competition free of charge thanks to the efforts of Fiji One and I must compliment Fiji One for bringing the competition to our doorsteps.
Apart from this, Fiji One showed the Deans and secondary schools soccer live.
Back to the drawing board would be ideal for our swimmers and I believe the competitions enabled our swimmers to develop their skills and talents and should help our young contingent prepare for next years’ Pacific Games to be hosted in Samoa.
It’s high time that the likes of Carl Probert, Ben Rova and Sharon Pickering-Smith work together to mould our prospects into grabbing gold from international appearances.
If we can out-muscle Australia, NZ, USA, Japan and China in 7s rugby why can’t we edge them in the pool!
Fiji has the resources but I feel we need the expertise to nurture our swimmers into world-class beaters.
Perhaps it’s high time to search in the rural areas for Jone, Luke or Pita who can swim the depths of the ocean.
The competition was fantastic and an eye-opener for our budding athletes and I thank the Fijian contingent for their hard work and efforts.
I guess it was not enough to win Fiji a medal but there’s no harm in trying another shot later.
Vinaka vakalevu!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Flicking lights
The other day while travelling West, the driver of a vehicle flicked headlights as it passed by.
Taking into consideration thick fog and limited visibility, I became extra cautious in regards to the “headlight flicks”.
Just metres ahead I saw two black horses sitting on my path.
Now I thank the driver who flicked headlights and gave me that extra warning that danger was ahead!
But imagine if the same light flicking was seen by relevant authorities, the driver would have been nailed down with a traffic infringement notice as “improper use of lights”.
Furthermore it would be much appreciated if road signs in regards to “stray animals on road” are put along where these animals are mainly spotted.
The above mentioned will create awareness among both local and overseas drivers and thus may save deadly accidents and casualties.
Shamal Chand, Kuku Bau Rd, Nausori

Blues march on

The Lautoka football side is just a point away from grabbing the 2018 VPL title but they are through to next season’s OFC Champions League.
This was made possible after the side defeated Suva in the Vodafone Premier League match on Saturday. The other Fijian team that will join Lautoka in the OFC is yet to be decided. Ba, Suva, Nadi and Labasa all have the chance to prove their worth playing in the regional meet.
All these teams are in a do or die situation as every point counts. Fans can expect fierce battle when the teams play their remaining games in the VPL.
When stakes are high, battles are interesting to watch and good crowd is also guaranteed. Fans come in big numbers when they know the action is lively and not boring. For how successful our league is in terms of gate taking, only FFA can tell.
If the present arrangement is not paying the dividend, I think, the organisers should change it. Make it interesting and fans will come. My best wishes to all teams standing in the line.
Suresh Chand, Nadi

Bond of love
The Hindu Festival of Rakshabandhan or Rakhi came to an end on Sunday, August 26 and millions of Hindu sisters have tied sacred rakshabandhan on the wrists of their brothers. Thus signifying the pure bond of love between brother and sister.
Sisters place a red tilak on the forehead of their brother, take aarti with lighted diya (earthen lamp), place the raksha thread on the wrist of their brothers and place some sweets in their mouths.
Thus signifying the sweet relationship between the brother and the sister. Brothers in return give a gift to their sisters and renew their promise of protection to sisters.
I bumped into two sisters who had travelled long distances to tie rakhi on the wrist of their brother in Fiji. One came from Auckland, New Zealand and the other travelled from London to tie the rakhi on her brother’s wrist.
Thousands of miles from their place of abode did not deter them from travelling to renew their bond of love for their brother. I admire their spirit.
While there is spirituality and sacredness attached to all festivals, we cannot overlook the commercialised nature of all these festivals.
None the less it sends good vibes that people still cherish their culture and religious traditions and are willing to spend whatever it may cost.
Hindus are spread around the world and their rich cultural heritage is appreciated by the world community.
Dewan Chand, Namadi Heights, Suva

First agenda

The first agenda of the Municipal Councils and Rural Local Authorities and Housing and Community Development Symposium at the Grand Pacific Hotel should be “How to control rubbish dump fires”.
Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

Aquatic centre
What has happened to the $7.3 million Aquatic Centre that was supposed to be built at Lautoka’s Botanical Gardens?
And what about the sports complex that was supposed to be built at Topline?
Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Road upgrade
When will Fulton Hogan Hiways seal the Nukubalavu Rd in Savusavu?
It’s the missing part of the sealed road puzzle here on the outskirts of Savusavu Town.
It is supposed to have been the first road to be sealed in the area for many a good and factual reason including the fact of it being the most populated area around Savusavu and that it’s no more than 2.5 kilometres long!
Why oh why aren’t they sealing this road?
Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

Samoan PM

I thank the Samoan PM Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi for visiting Fiji although he is here to speak at the University of the South Pacific (FT 27/8). Samoa and Fiji share historical and cultural heritage from ancient times. Fafetai Tele Lava!
Amenatave Yaconisau, Palm Drive, Delainavesi

Smoky eyes

Very true Wise, it’s just like the movie Sleepless in Seattle.
I’m “clueless in Kava Place”.
No wonder I haven’t slept well for the past seven days, and suddenly the lyrics of a song hit me in the grog basin, Smoke gets in your eyes.
Allen Lockington
Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Fijian government

It was so nice for the Minister for Women to say “the Fijian Government” on Fiji One TV. Whatever party wins the next election should always call it the Fijian Government.
Sukha Singh, Labasa

Few words

When is the Minister for Waterways and Environment coming to Lautoka? I also need to have a few words with him.
Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

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