Letters to the Editor: August 9

Queens ready
Indeed, a beautiful snap shot by our photographer Jo Naisua as he captured four of the 2018 Hibiscus Festival contestants in yesterday’s paper. While the queens are excited about participating in the Mother of all Festivals, I hope they will be trained and nurtured well so that they do not disappoint their fans and those who will vote for them. Previously we have seen queens giving brief answers and failing to hit the nail.
As we count days to the Hibiscus Festival in an unfamiliar territory, I wish the organising committee, stall owners, volunteers, the king, prince, princess, teen and queen contestants all the best. It’s not easy to face thousands of eyes, but with adequate preparation all will fall into place.
I’ll miss Albert Park but I am sure that the organisers will host the festival in Nasinu well. The SWOT analysis from this year’s Sinu Festival should help the organisers prepare for a bigger and better Hibiscus Festival as the hype and excitement hits the public and the kids. Cheers Nasinu! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Politicians in the house
Lately in the news media we hear, read and watch Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama open government projects in villages and communities and together with a popular statement like the one we read in the FT 08/08, “PM takes a swipe at the opposition”. In most places where he would be invited to be chief guest on special occasions, he would somehow find a way to attack the opposition by saying that they are politicising issues and it sounds as if the only politicians in the House of Representatives are the members of the Opposition. He further confirms that, “this is what makes people so frustrated and tired with politicians”. My simple question as a concerned citizen is: Aren’t the Prime Minister and other FijiFirst ministers politicians as well? If not, I believe they might be in the wrong house. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

NFP candidates

I thank Parmendra Sharma of Brisbane, Australia for his article in The Fiji Times (04/08) on the above title. I also travelled to Ba on Friday, July 27 for a family visit. While being that side for a few days I decided to attend the NFP rally at the A.D. Patel complex on Saturday, July 28.
Here I would like to commend the Ba branch of NFP for their efforts to host an event of this magnitude. The way they organised breakfast, lunch and seating arrangements for such a large audience is commendable. The credit should go to Davendra Naidu and his team. The program was slightly delayed because of the late arrival of guests from far and wide. Parmendra Sharma correctly commented on the abilities of Lenora Qereqeretabua. As soon as she took the stage to welcome everyone in English and iTaukei languages, there was no end to loud cheers and clapping. I believe she is quite popular and her delivery was perfect. Besides the four heavyweights — leader Professor Biman Prasad, president Pio Tikoduadua, guest speakers Krishna Dutt and lawyer Richard Naidu — the other four candidates in Lenora Qereqeretabua, Riddhi Damodar, Seni Nabou and the young youth leader Apenisa were marvellous. Riddhi delivered in the Hindi language and she reminded me of the late Irene Jai Narayan when she entered politics in 1966.
Riddhi was very forceful and to the point. Seni Nabou’s contribution was fantastic and she covered quite valuable points in her speech. A very fluent and eloquent speaker. Now when I compare these young speakers in the Ba rally with so many of our current sitting members in Parliament, I believe there is a big gap. I believe most of our sitting MPs read prepared speeches word by word and sound so boring. I always watch live sessions, therefore according to my taste, there is a vast difference. Further to my above views I strongly recommend that everyone should read page 11 of The Fiji Times (06/08). I read this in the plane while travelling from Nadi to Sydney. A beautiful piece by Seni Nabou on our environment. VIJAY MAHARAJ
Sydney, Australia

Taxi stand
Taxi operators of stand number 1 in Nausori Town have been allocated with temporary spaces to carry out business and I thank the Nausori Town Council for its efforts in making the above possible. However, an issue I’d like to raise is in regards to allocating more space nearby within the stand’s vicinity such as opposite the ongoing taxi stand i.e, parking metre spaces. Looking at the current situation, some of the parking metres in town have not been operational for a while now, which I bet is because of the unavailability of parts and I reckon it’s not coming anytime soon.
Allocating taxi spaces opposite the taxi stand where the parking metres are allocated will boost the revenue of the town council as base fees will be more compared with parking metre takings. This will also ease passengers crossing the road to catch taxis at the stand and will also be a big relief to drivers from unnecessary stopping as police are always ready to book drivers for unauthorised stopping when passengers hail them from the opposite end. It would be much appreciated if the town council takes heed of the above mentioned situation and consider allocating more taxi space near the stand. Shamal Chand, Kuku Rd, Bau

Unnecessary use of paper
I wish to join with the voices of those who are concerned for our God-given environment. Making a small purchase at my local chemist, I was given my change and a receipt that was 30cm long. Have we forgotten that it takes trees to make paper? I know critics will say we can plant more trees and we can recycle paper into toilet rolls, but I question the need for such an unnecessarily long document. At least it is clean on the back side, so maybe I can reuse it for shopping lists before committing it to the recycling bin. Tessa Mackenzie, Duncan Rd, SUVA

Minimum wages
The emotions expressed in this newspaper (FT 07/08) by Pio Tikoduadua, the president of NFP in regards to the above topic and similarly by NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad is sad and worrying. I believe it shows that the poor workers of this country are being paid low wage rates hardly commensurate with decent living and the inequalities are further exacerbated. What can we do when some people earn $3000/day allowance while workers slog it out? Dan Urai’s letter on the same is relevant (FT08/08). Something is wrong! Amenatave Yaconisau, Palm Drive, Delainavesi

A story of great sacrifice

A GREAT story in The Fiji Times page 18, August 6, on the desire to create and make a better life for their future generations by some elders on Moce Island who travelled by canoe in the early days to settle at a site at Korova settlement outside Suva, in the mangroves. This story is about sacrifice, urban drift, better opportunities, survival, climate change and mitigation, rise in sea level and the determination by these fellow Fijians to provide a better meaningful future for their generations from Moce Island in the Lau group. From his 16 children some are medical doctors, teachers, tradesmen and some work in different fields to contribute productively to our GDP and our nation’s development and economy.
I wish to thank the FT for consistently exposing their plight to draw attention from Government but I feel you can do a better job by directing and assisting them to our climate change champion and Minister for Agriculture, Meteorology, Rural, Maritime and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu or the PM’s Office and the Minister for Economy who is responsible for climate change and its Adaptation Funding through our Prime Minister’s COP23 presidency for the United Nations. There are many stories abound but these families require urgent attention as Fijians as they basically live and build their homes on the shoreline. They are determined and enthusiastic but I personally believe relocation to higher grounds would be safe and most effective for the long term. I was fortunate to have visited this kaivata of mine with the late Ratu Timoci Bainimarama in the early 2000s when the late Ratu Epeli Kanakana was the Turaga Tui Suva as he was the chief responsible for giving the land and foreshore after a traditional customary presentation from Jimione Paki and his eldest son Semiti Cama who is physical evidence of all their families’ past struggles and progress as we speak. I pray our caring Government will visit your seaside village to provide assistance where it is needed most, rest assured kai noqu. I do hope our permanent secretary for Waterways and Environment with its Minister Dr Reddy are fully conversant with these Fijians’ situation. Contrary to the many government critics from the NFP leader Biman Prasad and Pio Tikoduadua and SODELPA’s Sitiveni Rabuka, I believe the FijiFirst leadership and Government from a holistic nutshell and public perception the people’s Government is only complying with their 2014 election party manifesto and promises. It is nothing new but the only difference is the leadership qualities, the political will to indiscriminately make the necessary changes where applicable in an inclusive manner where no Fijians will be left. It will take some time but we must have faith and bear true allegiance with them. I am certain Biman and Rabuka will do the same should they win the election and govern. I believe it is the norm throughout the world, so relax man and enjoy the spoils of good governance but take your queue from it. TUKAI LAGONILAKEBA, Namaka, Nadi.

Confiscated fish

YES, would the Fisheries Ministry tell us what happened to the confiscated fish? ALLEN LOCKINGTON, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka.

Faith gives strength

I STUMBLED on these words and I hope it can bring some comfort to those who are distressed. A strong faith of any kind gives a person strength. Few things can help a person overcome adversity the way faith can. To friends and relatives of the Nabou seven, and to anyone who has loved and lost, I hope you are comforted by the words of former New Zealand prime minister SG Holland. “Faith draws the poison from every grief, takes the sting from every loss, and quenches the fire of every pain, and only faith can do it.” SAILOSI NAEWE, Naduru Rd, Nausori.

Media awards

THE media awards competition as advertised in this newspaper (FT 7/8) reflects that this media is for the people and indeed the country. It holds its responsibilities well and criticises responsibly. It is communicating information well without favour, though it has other functions like profit-making and entertaining readers. I hope it keeps on communicating the right information as we approach the election. I highly recommend this newspaper for promoting soccer. AMENATAVE YACONISAU, Palm Drive, Delainavesi.

Road safety
THE appropriate authorities should start checking on how long public service drivers are on the road. Laws should be introduced to pull drivers off the road if they have been driving for more than than eight hours. DAN URAI, Lautoka.

Water tanks
REDDY’S government could do well and hand out water tanks and generators. This is better than just giving out money. With the many water and power cuts this would be an excellent idea. ALLEN LOCKINGTON, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka.

Road death toll

THE appalling standard of driving on Fiji’s roads will continue unless harsher penalties are imposed for those convicted of serious driving offences. The penal code related to driving offences needs to be urgently reviewed, sentences and monetary fines increased markedly.
Additionally the legal process needs to be sped up, why does it take three years for serious cases to reach trial? If nothing is done then the old adage will remain true, “Do what you always do and you will get what you always got”. ALLAN LOOSLEY, Tavua.

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