Letters to the Editor | Friday, September 15, 2023

Samisoni Waqavatu (right) with wife Luisa, the parents of Semi Radradra at their home in Somosomo, Taveuni yesterday. Picture: ROHIT DEO

Touching apology

On fijilive.com, I came across a touching article in which Samisoni Waqavatu, the father of Flying Fijians centre Semi Radradra, publicly apologised to all the fans for a last-second dropped ball that might have altered the result of Fiji versus Wales.

That apology doesn’t prove Semi was wrong, but it does demonstrate the humility of a devoted and thoughtful father.

I’m writing to let Mr Waqavatu know that we, the fans, are aware that none of it was Radradra’s fault; it was simply an error.

And nobody among the spectators is disappointed by the lost ball.

We are actually disappointed by Matthew Carley’s level of inconsistent referring throughout the game.

That is what cost us the game!


Flying Fijians

Just a reminder!

The best teams as well as great teams lose too.

And from a psychological perspective they go through a lot too.

So the onus is on us as supporters to give them our full backing.

Boys, you are terrific players and you are always obsessively competitive.

Despite the result against Wales, we still have faith in you.

Fly higher boys!

Joeli Naleca, Nakasi

Blame culture

Please do not blame the referees in any game.

Referees are human and they make mistakes.

Mistakes also go both ways most times.

Even TMO (television match official) and VAR (video referees) get it wrong after reviews in slow motion repeatedly.

Fiji has a culture of blaming others for their problems and losses.

It is not the grog dopeys’ fault when they do not turn up to work after a late-night session, it is the grog’s fault.

Blaming others seems to be an ingrained traditional culture in Fiji.

And I know it is unforgivable to criticise traditions.

Jan Nissar, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Epic battle

A mouthwatering battle awaits as the rugby brains in Simon Raiwalui face his coach, Eddie Jones.

The loss against Wales was hard to bear especially when our boys played gallantly and to the last seconds, but we kicked the try scoring opportunity.

However, the loss is water under the bridge and the boys must remain focused on the tough battle that awaits them on Monday morning.

The decisions made by the match officials will continue to haunt many, but a win versus the Wallabies will settle things up.

The loss hurt me, and many others and we are bracing for another cracker come Monday morning.

On the other hand, Rodney Duthie pointed out Fiji’s soft spot — poor backline defence that allowed Wales to sneak in with a couple of soft tries.

I hope the coaching panel will rectify this as history beckons the Flying Fijians come Monday!

The coverage of this year’s RWC tournament has been great.

The piece on Viliame Mata titled ‘Bill leads from the front’ (FT: 14/09) was worth reading, and I thank Duthie for adding spice to the tournament.

We remember the players in our prayers as they prepare for Monday’s torrid encounter!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Health system

The health system is getting worse day by day in Fiji.

We need to stop drainage by offering better package for specialists, nurses and doctors.

Daily you will hear of someone from Fiji migrating and we are losing capable people with skills.

A humble request to everyone, please give back to the community.

Together we can fight and make Fiji a better place.

God bless hardworking medical staff.

Vineel Nand, Martintar, Nadi

No rise in tariff

My sincere thanks go to Minister for Public Works Minister, Ro Filipe Tuisawau for his call not to allow an increase in both EFL and WAF tariffs – FT Thursday, Sept 14, 2023.

These are tremendously difficult times for most Fijians — especially retirees and the thousands living in the very margins of society.

We struggle daily to food on our plates.

Any increase will not be justified; very unpatriotic especially for EFL declaring a handsome and cool $58.1 million profit in 2022.

That comes to over a million dollars, each week, every week for 52 long weeks.

Sometimes, enough is never enough.

Your caring retired kai Nadi tries to stand up for many Fijians in these tough times. (I happen to have maternal links to Lomainasau, Rewa. My late bubu Ruci Raluve hailed from there. Rest well, bubu. Vina du va levu na Minisita Ro Filipe Tuisawau.

Ronnie Chang, Martintar, Nadi

Yellow card

So how is the public to conclude when some members of the Parliament choose not to vote for or against motions?

I think they should be identified and after a certain number, a yellow card should be issued.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Dumpsite fire

A fire has been raging at Vunato rubbish dumpsite from last month.

Strong winds have recently been fueling the fire at the rubbish dump.

Authorities are trying their best to defuse this but it’s getting worse.

The dump receives waste from Lautoka, Nadi formal and informal settlements and also from outer island resorts.

May be it’s about time to relocate it to an alternative and less risky site.

In future it could be more harmful to the residents of Lautoka.

Navneet Ram (TD), Lautoka

Moving on

I guess the Flying Fijians management and players have moved on, except for some die-hard fans still whining about that referee.

Even that wooden house has moved into oblivion!


Medicine price

Could the PIB and FCCC let us know if the pharmacies can raise medicine prices whenever they wish to?

The price of a sheet of Fabricol now costs $2.65 in Labasa.

Please Abraham look into this.

Sukha Singh, Labasa

Healthy eating

The workshop on corporate governance should empower civil servants to be good role models to live up to the expectations of families and communities (FT 8/9).

We all aim for healthy eating with diet and exercise for our well being within our earnings.

What happens when food prices keep rising and your earnings do not?

In such cases we just eat to survive with no choice for dieting.

Budgeting in accordance with your needs and wants in this food price rise crisis is the way forward to alleviate poverty and reduce crime.

Poverty and crime are closely related.

Health and safety first for long life.

Tahir Ali, Hamilton, New Zealand

Foot soldiers

Vinaka Raymond Singh (FT9/9) for walking the talk and putting your money where your mouth is — supporting WOWS.

You certainly don’t just talk the talk.

Pray God’s abundant favour and blessings upon you, your family, your business and your charitable work including everything you put your hands to.

Fiji needs more foot soldiers like you to also help remove poverty and the poverty driven mindset from the country.

Colin Deoki, Australia

Parental neglect

The Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, has called on all parliamentarians to seek a solution to the parental neglect of children.

Rightly so in the highest law making body of the country and the most powerful voices in the nation.

If they can’t find solutions to this issue no one will.

Ratu Naiqama has not raised a new issue.

It has been around for years and people have been pontificating about it in and outside the Parliament.

Non-governmental organisations have also been adding their concerns.

Several campaigns have been launched but to no effect simply because it lacked the political will to do something.

The question is what thing?

Mere talking and blaming parents or enforcing stricter punishments will find a solution?

I am afraid it will not!

Religious organisations for all practical purposes are a lame duck.

You cannot expect a solution from them.

They are too caught up with their own internal bickering to do any good to the street kids.

Street children are a barometer which reflects the extent of poverty in our country.

So much so that parents find it difficult to fend for their own children.

These neglected children leave home to fend for themselves and get trapped in all sorts of vicious circles: pimping, prostitution, drugs, glue sniffing, pun pun, pick pocketing, bag snatching or even begging.

Should we not hang our heads in shame?

We have let these children down.

In my view a strong support system from the government is needed.

In all major urban centres they must build homes where such children can be catered for and cared for.

In such centres they can be given skills training.

However, we should be careful not to attach any stigma to such children’s homes.

Therefore, if we really treat these street kids as our future (as the Speaker says) we have no option but to seriously embark on this project.

Funding for this worthy project can be sourced from overseas funding agencies.

The Speaker must be commended for provoking discussion on this vital subject.

Dewan Chand, Namadi Heights, Suva

Immigration shock

NORMALLY I travel from Australia to Fiji once or twice every year.

The last was on April 26, 2023.

Though I have valid passports for both countries, I mainly use my Australian passport.

After arrival in Nadi, as usual my passport was stamped by the officer who served me.

My return ticket was for September 9, 2023.

Just a few days before my return I checked my passport again.

The stamp at Nadi clearly shows as a visitor — four months stay in Fiji.

This means I should have returned on August 26, but I totally overlooked this.

To avoid any hassle at Nadi airport while returning I decided to go to the Immigration Dept in Suva for guidance.

The room was almost full and some people were even standing.

I am 87 years old and at times I use my walking stick for my safety.

To my surprise a staff approached and asked me the reason for my visit.

I showed him my passport and the ticket and told him that I may have overstayed and need guidance now.

He took my passport and ticket inside and after 10 minutes, I was called to the main counter.

After listening to my story the lady (Robyna) asked me if I have about half an hour, so she could organise my travel arrangement.

To my surprise again she came back with my passport properly stamped “Fiji Immigration Exemption Permit”.

Here I am extremely grateful to this new Coalition Government for this great recognition given to us the descendants of Girmitiya.

The same day I met Hon Biman Prasad somewhere in the city and thanked him as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and his colleagues in the Coalition for this special recognition.

Thanks to our most experienced Prime Minister Hon Sitiveni Rabuka and the Immigration Minister Hon Pio Tikoduadua as well.

Most of my relatives and friends are equally excited when I related this news to them.

Fiji under the current leadership is definitely moving in the right direction.

But at the end I humbly request the ministers concerned to do something urgently about the road conditions.

It appeared to me that my little beautiful car was crying most of the time I was there.

I simply couldn’t avoid ill-treating her on so many potholes on tar-sealed roads.

I sympathise with the many taxidrivers and vehicle owners who are facing this damage on a daily basis.

I believe if need be Government should take a loan to fix this problem urgently.

The workmanship is also a matter of concern to the public.

I have noticed some potholes patched in certain areas but going back to the same spot after few days, well you can guess the results yourself.

Just pathetic.

Vijay Maharaj, Sydney, Australia

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