Letters to the Editor – January 10, 2020

Fiji 7s players bind together for a short prayer before their training session at the Uprising Beach Resort grounds in Pacific Harbour yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Target for our champs

OUR boys are doing the hard yards in preparation for the second leg. I hope the team management will ensure that in a bid to prepare our boys to bring back lost glory, we don’t over train our boys. I believe mental toughness must be straightened because Fiji will face teams such as Australia, Argentina and Samoa in pool play and NZ in the semis (barring and upset) and these teams know too well how to tackle us mentally. At the end of the day, the target is to improve our discipline, set pieces and performance on the field! Yesterday’s The Fiji Times showed that we are ranked sixth on the WRSS points table — one of the lowest in the past decade so a lot of effort is needed as we head to the second leg. I’m sure the boys will rise! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Kava cultivation

AS if the over consumption of kava is not enough, the Minister for Agriculture says his ministry will be expanding kava cultivation to the Western Division (FT 09/01). For the good health of the nation, why not promote the cultivation of fruit trees, vanilla vines, coffee, cocoa and coconut trees? These commodities are useful and valuable in the long term and have great potential. The question that needs to be asked is what good does kava bring to the nation. One wonders what the Minister for Health has to say about the Minister for Agriculture’s plans to increase kava production. Kava is a mind-altering drug no different from alcohol or marijuana and I believe its abuse is the reason for our great failures and the cause of many social problems. Away with the kava! SIMON HAZELMAN Rava Estate, Savusavu

Student focus

ANOTHER schooling year begins next week after the long holidays. I hope our young ones, right from kindy to Year 13, are fully prepared for the tasks ahead. Parents should be directly involved during this preparatory stage. Providing their requisites and empowering them with confidence to listen, speak, read and write consistently. Our children need to refocus their minds from holiday mood to academic alertness. They should be ready to take on homework, challenging activities and tests head on with commitment. Humble plea to parents is to ensure that they conform to the schooling principles and not forget the good values you have taught them during the holidays. Those who have not, then be prepared to face the consequences of your own negligence at the end of the year. Leave no room for complaints. God bless our students and guide them towards being good citizens. Reading The Fiji Times must be emphasised at a regular basis. DHIRENDRA PRASAD Lautoka

Daylight saving

DAYLIGHT saving time (DST) again draws to a close, and the case for having it again pops into my head. Any argument for DST would at the very least need to be economically beneficial rather than anecdotal. I stand to be corrected but I have not seen nor read any compelling factual report that DST neither earns nor saves the economy any more money. Opening and closing hours of businesses are based on time as opposed to amount of daylight so it would be hard to fathom more earnings simply because you have more light in the day. You could say that tourists spend more money on daylight activities or at the pool bar, but this needs to be quantified and compared with the rest of our economy. Dinner at most hotels and resorts would be at a set time, rather than at sunset for instance – and I would expect that most tourists like us are creatures of habit, and prefer to have dinner at around the same time every day. Much of our economy is agriculturally based. Are farmers reporting more productivity and or production for the eight weeks or so that we have DST? I was in the Sigatoka Valley recently and I did notice some farmers tilling their land in the early evening, but that is what farmers do, i.e work during the cooler times of day during these summer months. There is the school of thought for getting out after work and doing some physically beneficial activity. Personally, I do like the fact that I can set out for a walk at 6pm and be back at home around 7pm, not too concerned about how visible I am to drivers on the road as there is still ample daylight. However, the flip side of DST on physical activity is some prefer morning exercise routines but have an hour less daylight and therefore move their activity to the evening which may not suit most as it cuts into their family time, homework etc. We know that a healthy populace is good for any
economy, but again, and I stand to be corrected, has there been a study to quantify
the economic benefit of DST on exercise routines of the population? Perhaps one of the easiest places to quantify any benefit of DST would be Energy Fiji Ltd. Is there
a notable decrease in the amount of electricity consumed during DST, as opposed
to if there were no DST? Latitudinally, Fiji is located at 17 degrees South. We share this geographical belt with 13 other countries on Earth. Australia and Brazil are large enough that they extend further than 17 degrees South. However, in exception to the 13 other sovereign nations, and all states and regions of Australia and Brazil that fall within 17 degrees South, we are the only country which observes
DST. Truly a case of “only in Fiji”. BERNARD HONG TIY, Suva

Carbon emissions

IT is most unfortunate that the Australian bushfires, which has been raging for four months now, has I am sure, emitted an excessive amount of carbon into the atmosphere since it began. The amount from the burning of close to eight million hectares across Australia so far, as reported in FT 08/01, in my humble opinion, must be more than the carbon emitted from other man-made sources, in the same period of time, if not longer. Just also imagine if you add other natural events such as the fires in California, the Amazon and in other parts of the northern hemisphere last year. I am quite sure that the total amount will be staggering and most probably pales any man-made and industrial causes into insignificance, for the same period of time. I have not even included the emissions from the many volcanic eruptions worldwide, such as the one in Hawaii. The unfortunate thing is that each time it occurs, it nullifies any gains we may have made in reducing carbon emissions and our carbon footprints. The other sad thing is that such fires actually reduce any reservoirs of carbon credits we may have had with the loss of forest vegetation and fauna. One may even be so bold as to conclude that the resultant rise in global temperatures from the excessive carbon emissions and as the result of the fires itself could just make it more difficult to achieve the target of capping the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial age levels. COP will most certainly have its work cut out now. Nature will continue on its relentless path as it has done so for eons. With the quickly changing global climatic conditions, the results may just be more devastating than ever before. All we can really do under such dire circumstances is to appreciate the inevitability of such natural events; adopt and implement appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies to counter and alleviate any negative effects; protect our lives and properties from danger and harm; and most of all rally together to help each other in times of strife. In the meantime, I wish to convey my condolences and sympathies to those families who may have lost loved ones, their homes and their properties in this tragedy. All our prayers are with you at this time for a quick recovery. A shout-out also to the very gallant, courageous and hardworking firefighters for a job well done. EDWARD BLAKELOCK Pacific Harbour

Ban on plastic bags

GOING through social media and newspapers every day, I find people condemning and criticising the ban on single-use plastic bags placed by the Government. I do agree it has stirred national outrage but everything has a process and going against climate change has to start somewhere. I believe it will take some time for the people of Fiji to adjust to this change, hence, be better prepared when going shopping. However, I support this move by the Government because this is a major step in the fight against climate change. People need to understand the effects these plastics have and in my opinion, it is one of the best platforms any nation has taken in the quest to defeat the rising impacts of climate change. So let us get behind this move and protect the beautiful islands and the species. RAYNAV CHAND Nakasi

Carbon emissions

IT is most unfortunate that the Australian bushfires, which has been raging for four months now, has I am sure, emitted an excessive amount of carbon into the atmosphere since it began. The amount from the burning of close to eight million hectares across Australia so far, as reported in FT 08/01, in my humble opinion, must be more than the carbon emitted from other man-made sources, in the same period of time, if not longer. Just also imagine if you add other natural events such as the fires in California, the Amazon and in other parts of the northern hemisphere last year. I am quite sure that the total amount will be staggering and most probably pales any man-made and industrial causes into insignificance, for the same period of time. I have not even included the emissions from the many volcanic eruptions worldwide, such as the one in Hawaii. The unfortunate thing is that each time it occurs, it nullifies any gains we may have made in reducing carbon emissions and our carbon footprints. The other sad thing is that such fires actually reduce any reservoirs of carbon credits we may have had with the loss of forest vegetation and fauna. One may even be so bold as to conclude that the resultant rise in global temperatures from the excessive carbon emissions and as the result of the fires itself could just make it more difficult to achieve the target of capping the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial age levels. COP will most certainly have its work cut out now. Nature will continue on its relentless path as it has done so for eons. With the quickly changing global climatic conditions, the results may just be more devastating than ever before. All we can really do under such dire circumstances is to appreciate the inevitability of such natural events; adopt and implement appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies to counter and alleviate any negative effects; protect our lives and properties from danger and harm; and most of all rally together to help each other in times of strife. In the meantime, I wish to convey my condolences and sympathies to those families who may have lost loved ones, their homes and their properties in this tragedy. All our prayers are with you at this time for a quick recovery. A shout-out also to the very gallant, courageous and hardworking firefighters for a job well done. EDWARD BLAKELOCK Pacific Harbour

Ban on plastic bags

GOING through social media and newspapers every day, I find people condemning and criticising the ban on single-use plastic bags placed by the Government. I do agree it has stirred national outrage but everything has a process and going against climate change has to start somewhere. I believe it will take some time for the people of Fiji to adjust to this change, hence, be better prepared when going shopping. However, I support this move by the Government because this is a major step in the fight against climate change. People need to understand the effects these plastics have and in my opinion, it is one of the best platforms any nation has taken in the quest to defeat the rising impacts of climate change. So let us get behind this move and protect the beautiful islands and the species. RAYNAV CHAND Nakasi

School year

FOR the teachers, the new school year has officially begun. Primary and secondary school students will be joining them in a few days’ time. Do you remember the issues which came up during this time of the year in 2019? The difference so far in 2020 has been the resignation. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Spot on

THANK you Mohammed Imraz Janif and Nardeo Mishra, you are spot on (FT 06/01) on one micron difference and daylight saving. Then again the phrase kicks in ”common sense is not common any more”. KIRTI PATEL Lautoka

Supermarket fees

IT has been the habit for many people to have their chicken or lamb cut at supermarkets. It was done free. Just recently I have been sent photographs of supermarkets that now charge a small fee for cutting and also a fee for the plastic bag to put it in. This is one positive that I can say the plastic ban has brought about — people will now take their meat home and cut it like the good old days. Minister for Environment 1 – (some) people nil. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka

Shame on you

RECENT study shows that almost 50 per cent of women have experienced sexual harassment in their workplaces and that number is increasing every year. To the survivors, remember it’s not your fault or you to be blamed if you are being sexually harassed in your workplace by those in power or higher authority. Say no to sexual harassment which can even result in you losing your job, rather than being a sex slave to a sexual predator. Shame to these sexual predators who camouflage themselves and claim to be honest human beings and men of principle. JIOJI M CAKACAKA Votualevu, Nadi

Time is money

I JUST wish my time is money. SUKHA SINGH Labasa

Taxi base

THEY can’t use a taxi base nor can they park on a metered car park even if the driver intends to grab some food or carry out his shopping. I believe they are intended to be crashing until they find passengers or run out of fuel. DAN URAI Lautoka

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