Letters to the Editor – December 12, 2019

The GCC complex burns at Nasese last year. Picture: SUPPLIED

GCC building burns

Watching the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) building burn in Nasese yesterday morning, I wondered whether it was symbolic. I sent the picture to a friend who replied – “Na vanua e vamatana, e vadaliga talega” — meaning that the vanua has eyes and ears. All day I wondered what those words meant until yesterday afternoon when the penny dropped —nothing is hidden from the vanua. Korina Waibuta Knollys St, Suva

Vale ni Bose building

Before even investigations have started into the burning of the Vale ni Bose building, Opposition MP, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, has stated on social media that way too many insults and legal, economic and political marginalisation of iTaukei ni vanua kei Viti is occurring under the Bainimarama rule (Ro Filipe Tuisawau Facebook). While everyone understands that an investigation needs to be conducted, and will be done to ascertain the cause of the blaze, Ro Filipe Tuisawau has gone as far as to stress the point as if our Prime Minister is to blame? I believe this is not the first time the honourable Opposition MP has jumped the gun in coming up with his own conclusions without facts and proof. I believe the marginalisation he is talking about is not, and was not, on the iTaukei ni vanua kei Viti, but on everybody else who were not iTaukei through every other government but one. FijiFirst is the first that treats every single person the same and that’s exactly how our God and creator looks and demands of us. I believe anger and hatred is evident in Ro Filipe Tuisawau’s tone of expression and it just reveals how this Opposition will operate if they get into power. Obviously, they plan to draw us back to the very marginalisation the honourable Opposition MP is talking about, of others! We are one people and we ought to all be treated with the same dignity and respect. Attitudes ought to change big time in order for this country of ours to flourish in the best of ways, and it’s those at the very top who need to change the most. We also need to first get our facts right before commenting on such serious matters! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Fiji a paradise

EVERY now and then I feel the need to visit the burning West, especially when the weather in Namosi highlands gets too cold and I get too many complaints from my tavale. In Sigatoka, I can experience the feeling of being an ordinary tourist. As I boarded a taxi last week, the driver told me straightaway: “Here in Sigatoka, we Indians and Fijians are friends and there are no problems.” The same day, sitting around the tanoa with new friends, a giant middle-aged man who probably played rugby when he was a bit younger (and perhaps more slim) said: “In Nadroga, we have the best rugby players in the world, and we are friends with everybody!” I find it funny to notice that the grassroots people of Sigatoka seem to be in a constant need to reassure “tourists” like myself that Fiji is still a paradise, that we all love each other, that we are one single nation, etc. Perhaps at the eve of Fiji’s 50th anniversary, it might be time for some of our politicians to take notice. Whatever symbolic action they can take to support the point of view of the honourable Koi Sigatoka would certainly be in the long-term interest of Fiji. MATHIEU PELLETIER Sigatoka

Single-use plastic

NOTHING wrong with banning single-use plastic bags, but there needs to be definitions on what they are. Most people assume these are bags bought at checkouts in supermarkets. Most supermarkets sell vegetables “loose”. You rip off a plastic bag from a roll provided, put the required vegetables in it, and get it weighed. This bag is plastic, is not biodegradable and is single-use, if you buy five different vegetables, then five more plastic bags. Go to a bakery, what is the bread wrapped in, yup, a single-use plastic bag not biodegradable. Buy a precooked chicken in a supermarket, what is it packed in, yup, you guessed it. One could go on, but my gut feeling tells me the number of these types of bags highlighted, by far outweighs the checkout supermarket type bags that are found in the environment. The next thing is security. For instance if my family takes our own non plastic bags to have our shopping put in. Most of these were purchased overseas, from countries which have banned plastic bags already. Most supermarkets require you leave these “somewhere” before you can enter the store. Leave bags which cost up to $20 for somebody else to pinch? If you go into a supermarket with 10 used “single-use” plastic bags, can these be used for your purchases? I bet they can. The powers need to think all this through carefully, most plastic bags wrappings, etc., are hazardous and non biodegradable, not just single-use shopping bags. As for a $750,000 fine, tell that one to a corner shop owner. ALLAN LOOSLEY Tavua

Dependency syndrome

IT would do our society well not to breed the seed of dependency in them. People become lazy. They lose their dignity. Even during the general elections, don’t give out things free, tell the people to work for it and the Government will meet them halfway in village projects and the like. Just look at free education, do the parents care? I don’t know. Anyway, I hope parents are also doing their part and checking homework and asking what the child did in school. One day in the future a parent will ask a child what he did in school and the reply will be, “Oh, we did school works in the morning and after 2pm we had a tight mix with the teachers.” ALLEN LOCKINGTON Lautoka

Sevens mettle

The Fijian 7s mettle will be emphatically tested to their very limits, this weekend in Cape Town. After a rather lacklustre and lackadaisical start in the Dubai 7s, can we find that explosive form and “hit the ground running” against the might of hosts South Africa? Will we overcome US and ever-improving Japan? We pray you somehow dig deep and summon every strength, discipline and will to come out much better this weekend. Our pitiful loss and sad exit from cup quarter-finals in Dubai must be a blessing in disguise. Trust your instincts. Play your hearts out. We are counting on you. Always remember: “Success is failure; Turned inside out”. Ronnie Chang Martintar Nadi

High-risk rugby

The results in Dubai for the men, should not come as too much of a surprise for those who understand Fiji style rugby. As I have mentioned earlier, we play the “high-risk” type of rugby that no team on the circuit would dare emulate. It’s just too much of a gamble and too unstructured, let alone hard to train for, because it is too instinctive. We can put together breathtaking moves and score from anywhere in the very same game that we cop the highest number of infringements. That’s what happened in Dubai. That’s just the way we were brought up to play. We just have to accept that with our in-bred style, there are amazing successes in one tournament and then fall far short in another. We might have failed to achieve what we wanted in Dubai, but that is just the way it is. It just might all come sweetly and unbelievably together in Cape Town to astound all and sundry, but then again it might not. All we have to do is have faith and undivided confidence in our boys, the coach, the coaching staff and their capabilities. Let the players just do what they were all born to do, which is to play unbelievable, breathtaking rugby. Just never doubt that they are playing for us and the country and putting their bodies on the line in each game. I am sure that when Paris comes around next year, the trophy will return home. In the meantime, next game, Mafatu, next game! Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Water leak

Road maintenance work was carried out on Kuku Rd on Monday 09/12. Crushed stones were dumped by dumper trucks which was levelled by a loader. There were water leaks on the road which was because of a burst water pipe for nearly a month now. No one took heed of the above mentioned water leaks and continued to pile and spread crushed stones on top of the water leaks. Why wasn’t the water leak repaired first before the road maintenance took place? Did someone make a report regarding the water leaks? Was it put forward to the Water Authority of Fiji? I reckon water is a road’s “worst enemy” when it comes to damaging roads. I believe it was a waste of labour, material and loss of revenue for government. Fiji Roads Authority is subcontracting roadworks to contractors and I believe some contractors are doing unsatisfactory road works as mentioned above. It would be much appreciated if relevant authorities take heed of the above mentioned issues and take appropriate action. Shamal Chand Kuku Bau Rd, Nausori

Reps ink deal

It’s a delight to read that our 7s reps have been given contracts and that equal contracts have been given to both the men’s and women’s teams. In one of my earlier letters I had highlighted the need to provide financial support and adequate resources to the Fijiana and I’m glad that we are on the right track. I’m sure that this incentive is sure to add firepower to both our teams as they compete in Cape Town and with the Olympic Games fast approaching we should be able to retain our best 7s players. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Climate change

Zillions of advocates and climate change champions. Among the lot, some born again. So many conferences. Agreements after agreements. Top of the climate change agenda, more meetings. More gatherings. More speeches. More demonstrations. Yet, the drastic effects of climate change remain on course. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Public service

Do public service vehicle drivers have to undergo first aid training? Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Litter issue

The best way to stop the littering of waste outside in our environment is education awareness and setting examples inside our individual family homes. Otherwise, we are just condoning littering and pollution when one takes on the responsibility to pick up and responsibly put away, what another has irresponsibly discarded in our environment and gets away with it, without being penalised. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle Pacific Harbour

Corruption free

Marking the International Anti-Corruption Day in Suva the chief executive of Integrity Fiji, Dr Joseph Veramu, said “their role was to ensure Fijian citizens lived in a country which was free of corruption” (FT 10/12). Good luck with that. If they succeed in their role, Fiji will be the first country in the world to be corruption free. I can’t wait to see that happen in my beloved home country. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

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