Letters to the Editor – Friday, September 30, 2022

Mother, Elena Randerath, left, Josephine, Deborah and father Fabian Randerath. Picture: SUPPLIED

Tale of two heartbeats

AS I read through the piece by Shanelle Prasad titled “Tale of two heart beats” (FT 29/09), I thought about the statistics released by the World Health Organization which revealed that 84 per cent of all deaths in Fiji were caused by NCDs. WHO also revealed that 6038 Fijians lost their lives to NCDs last year. The WHO report added that the chance of dying from NCDs was higher for those living in lower-income countries. The story of sisters’ Deborah and Josephine Randerath, who are living with rheumatic heart disease, touched hearts. Their mother, Elena Randerath, shared their story and how she built a good support system that allowed her daughters to open up and share with their parents. Elena shared that she accepted that her daughters had RHD and she acknowledged God’s sovereignty over the condition. She described her daughters’ hobbies and urged parents to give consent for their children’s health visits in school as it is a way to detect certain conditions early without them reaching a severe stage. Hats off to you Elena for being a wonderful mother and thank you for sharing your daughter’s story! Sharing the story was not easy, but it was an eye-opener for parents. My best wishes to Deborah and Josephine! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Meeting the US President

MUCH has been said by the Fijian Government on the PM meeting the US President. I submit that there are more important issues to focus on than “peacocking” about this “official meeting”. Firstly, government officials should ensure that the PM is properly briefed on the relevant issues. This would avoid the obvious. Secondly, as chairman of the PIF, the PM should try and get consensus from the member States on the matters at hand. A PIF member not agreeing to the items to be included on the agenda and possible outcome of the “official meeting” does not look good for its chairman. Where’s the Pacific way? I’m reminded of a few recent faux pas of the Fijian Government – how Fiji handled the trade dispute with Vanuatu. The case of the air services rights with Solomon Airlines. The much publicised suspension of funding to USP. It’s not surprising then that some PIF countries may not want to play ball this time. These are the matters that should be of concern to the Fijian Government. Not who met who, when, where, blah, blah, blah! Oh, and maybe one small but still important matter – see that PM’s tablet is fully charged! KINIVILIAME KETECA Nausori

Do take part

IF you have been registered as a voter, it is only proper that you go to the polls and cast your vote to make it count. It is one of those duties that we, as citizens, must oblige to and fulfil without any second thoughts. It’s better to participate than to regret afterwards. We are fortunate to have been given this opportunity to select a government through the ballot box. So let’s be wise and use it. Stand up for your country as a good citizen will do. At this juncture, the authority that be must come clean and announce the date of the elections without any further delay. As it is everything hangs in the balance. Thank you. SURESH CHAND Nadi

Unplanned power outages

BURNT Energy Fiji Ltd poles are one of the leading causes of unplanned power outages in the Western Division during this dry season. This is a direct outcome of bushfires that are out of control and irresponsible burning of sugarcane crops by certain farmers during harvest. Sugarcane fires may also be the result of malicious intent or arson. On Wednesday night, someone set fire to yet another cane field in our neighbourhood. I noticed a nearby EFL pine post on fire as I was on my way home. That fire was extinguished thanks to my friends’ assistance and some quick thinking. On Thursday morning as I was heading to work around seven, I noticed another pine pole along the same property was on fire. I pulled over and asked the neighbouring house for water. The harm was already done when the fire was put out with many buckets of water. That post’s base was destroyed by fire and separated from the ground. It was supported by the wires and was hanging there. Fortunately, it did not fall. EFL was alerted on its emergency number and soon a technician arrived at the scene to assess the damage. He turned off the community’s whole power supply. To replace the burned pole and bring power back to our area, EFL’s maintenance crew would now have to put up another strenuous effort. Some “keyboard warriors” simply sit in the comfort of their homes and accuse EFL of causing unanticipated power outages by using their social media accounts. They are unaware that human futility and carelessness are to blame for every uncontrolled fire that occurs. The wrongdoing of a select few people affects everyone in the neighbourhood. EFL should look into these incidents and pursue legal action against those responsible for fires that result in unanticipated infrastructure damage and unscheduled power disruptions. We appreciate EFL’s prompt reply. The actual heroes are your on-site maintenance staff and electricians.

International diplomacy

ON the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting, the United States has hurriedly called a summit of all the Pacific Island leaders in Washington in a bid to consolidate their support. The star among these leaders is the Fijian Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama. Suddenly the United States realised that the small island states of the Pacific do matter and they have a clout. Their deep and enduring partnership, shared history, values and people to people ties are important. President Joe Biden said broadening and deepening cooperation was vital on key issues that affect the Pacific and the US. Climate change and related issues take the centre stage here as developed nations have been playing hide and seek. They have been criticised at many forums. Other issues of great importance are: the larthagic pandemic response, economic recovery after the downward spiral, maritime security issues vis-a-vis China’s penetration in the Pacific, environmental protection and advancing the concept of a free and open Indo-Pacific. They say it is never too late to learn: the United States has got the message loud and clear. Therefore, the first ever Pacific leaders’ summit in Washington! Yes, the small island states do matter in great international diplomacy. DEWAN CHAND Namadi Heights, Suva

Pricing system

THERE must be a reason that’s logical, for something that appears quite illogical, or even downright nonsensical. When we now have only 5,10, 20 and 50 cents coins, why are prices quoted in sums other than these? It seems cumbersome and unnecessary, with more accounting headaches for the retailers, let alone confusing the money-minded customers. Is it a taxation like VAT reason, or something else in the pricing system? It would be good to know, why there is a “long-cut”, when it should really be a short one? No wonder the receipts are “longish”, and environmentally unfriendly, for just a few items in the basket, really! Just quote the prices in the derivatives of 5 and 10 cents and save all the unnecessary hassles when shopping. EDWARD BLAKELOCK Pacific Harbour

Termites problem

TERMITES seem to be all around in Lautoka, especially in the Tavakubu area. Termites are small insects that live in colonies and have distinct castes and feed on wood or other dead plant matter, they are in every continent except Antarctica. The damage the houses sustain from termites is heartbreaking. It is a very costly affair. Anyone who has ever dealt with termites knows how destructive they can be if left unchecked, these tiny insects can quickly devour a home causing thousands of dollars in damage. It is so important to have a reliable termite inspection service that can identify potential problems before they get out of hand. So far nothing has been done to combat this issue either by the FijiFirst Government or the Lautoka City Council. While people attempt to control the spread of termites by taking measures in terms of lighting fires, turning lights off etc, these are not effective. Houses that get badly affected by termites have little to no provisions for it to be repaired. With the high cost of living, damage caused by termites are just an additional burden to many low-income earners who can least afford to repair their houses. Can our Government and the Lautoka City Council please provide some solutions to this. KIRTI PATEL Lautoka

Breast cancer

THE fight against breast cancer is also a fight for women’s rights: the unnecessary suffering caused by this preventable disease reflects the injustices that uniquely affect women’s health around the world. Together we can make history to ensure a breast cancer-free future. Another loss of life of a mother/wife who was diagnosed with breast cancer recently. Let’s stand together for World Cancer Day on February 4, 2023 but let’s modify it to be a daily event. I love my wife who is a breast cancer survivor! JIOJI M CAKACAKA Tadra, Votualevu, Nadi

Sai Prema Foundation

COULD the Sai Prema Foundation let us know how such a free heart surgery hospital was established and is being run so nicely. SUKHA SINGH Labasa

Doge sails with Drua

CONGRATULATIONS to Mesake Doge for joining the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua side! Doge’s hard work and sacrifice paid off and is set to cap off his stellar career. Doge’s presence will add power and strength to the Drua forward pack, especially with the fact that he has a wealth of experience playing for the Flying Fijians having made his debut against Georgia in 2016. Congratulations, and all the best Doge! The Fijian Drua will play six home matches next year and players such as Doge will add depth and thrust in the team. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Ghee prices

THE exorbitant price of ghee recently has taken away the smiles from Fijians of Indian descent. Diwali is approaching and many are upset about the increase in prices of basic food items. Why the price of ghee is exaggerated now just before the main Hindu function? KIRTI PATEL Lautoka

Russian referenda

RUSSIAN referenda in Russian occupied Ukrainian territories following Russia’s war of invasion has a more appropriate description. It’s a grand theft of Ukrainian territory under a fraudulent referendum. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Powerful comment

READING through The Fiji Times of Thursday (29/09/22), an article entitled “Arrival of cruise ship brought fond memories for group” stood out. Mrs Monica Chute gave a powerful comment which is true in many ways. According to her, “life is too short and you have to make as many memories as you can”. For a while, I said to myself, “she must be from Vanua Levu”. As the vehicle passed by Navutu I urged the driver to stop so that I was able to buy some nice and juicy mangoes from the Sugar City while I had the chance. The weekend will be short and there is every reason to make it memorable but do remember that the consequences of our decisions may last beyond this year. Blessed weekend all. FLOYD ROBINSON Nasese, Suva

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