Letters to the Editor – January 11, 2019

Brothers in arms ...Fiji Airways Fiji men’s 7s training squad members and brothers, Isoa Tabu Mocenacagi, left, and Sevuloni after a training session at Albert Park in Suva yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

7s rugby family

It was nice to read that the Mocenacagi brothers, Sevu and Isoa would be fighting hard during the remaining national 7s training sessions to book a spot in the 7s team for the second leg. Since making his debut Sevu has shown a lot of maturity and has become a vital member of our national 7s team. Despite being criticised for spending time in the “naughty chair”, Sevu has toughened up on defence, plays with a lot of confidence and has the armoury that makes him a lethal attacker. I have yet to see Isoa play but I’m positive that he will make a name for himself as he is getting used to Gareth Baber’s coaching style and techniques. Sevu and Isoa have been part of the champion Yamacia club and are utility players capable of playing in the forwards and backs. In addition, I’d love to see the brothers play alongside each other and follow the footsteps of the famous Savea, Ioane and Barrett brothers. All the best Sevu and Isoa! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Jobs for graduates

If graduate teachers cannot get a teaching job, they simply need to get a job in another field. A teaching graduate will do well in other areas for sure. There is only a limited number of teachers required for the number of schools we have. Unless, we build or extend more schools to lower the teacher-student ratio, or wait for our elderly teachers to retire, will positions become available. Australia has a huge shortage of teachers and will be granting work visas for those willing to be stationed in the Northern and Southern territory states. The visas will enable teachers to work towards acquiring permanent residency status. It is a great opportunity for the more experienced teachers and their families. How did we end up with more teachers for only a limited number of positions is the pressing question here? And why aren’t we getting more trade graduates such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, mechanics and engineers? There is a huge need for skilled trade workers. Where are our priorities when it comes to balancing our labour requirements? Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Police warnings

Despite repeated warnings by police for parents to monitor their children and keep them indoor during the adverse weather and keeping away from swimming in floodwater, it has claimed another life. Just a few days from the new school year, a primary school student lost his life while swimming with his friends in Taveuni. During TC Mona police repeatedly asked parents to keep their children safe and it’s not the role of the police to be vigilant over children and know their whereabouts. Another family is in mourning at the beginning of the school year. Please it is just a few more days before school starts. Keep your children safe. Tomasi Boginiso Nepani Rd, Nasinu

Microplastics in seafood

I am concerned that about 70 per cent of fish we have eaten have some form of microplastics in them (FT 09/01). I have been eating fish since I was in my mother’s womb, breastfeeding stages until today. It saddens me that I have been consuming microplastics even well before I knew what plastics are. Today, as I campaign on balloon releasing and pollution, I have learned that a tiny pieces of microplastics ranging from five millimetres to 100 nanometres in diameter are filling the sea and have worked their way into marine lives that are now served on our plates. My 2019 resolution is sustainable, doable and environmentally friendly. I need to be environmentally conscious and that means no balloons, no plastic straws and no single-use plastics. How much harm can we tolerate if we continue to look at littering, plastic and balloon pollution with closed eyes? Let us change our living behaviour today for a healthier tomorrow. AnnMary Vikatoria Raduva Adi Cakobau School

Education field

The recent ministerial changes are looked at in a positive way by all teachers and students at the Ministry of Education with both the minister and assistant minister being former school teachers being a bonus. I am looking forward to the new school year as it will bring in more challenges and hopefully better reforms by the ministry to support our effort in developing academically, holistically and spiritually. Undoubtedly, the much needed improvements in this sector will come about now as the honourable ministers knows “inside out” about the system and style of control and clear the lines with the recent saga with the heads of schools. Hon. Rosy Akhbar and Hon. Joseph Nand are at the helm of the ministry and are hopefully going to bring a change in this field. So much excitement for another year of challenges and achievements. Best wishes to the teachers and students for 2019 endeavours! RAYNAV CHAND, Nakasi

Mobile app

JUST like the fascinating story of the 2018 General Election where a mobile app was conceived to give us an update on the results of the elections almost every 15 minutes, can the relevant authorities also consider a mobile app on weather updates? Especially during an impending cyclone threat
to keep everyone updated rather than us anxiously waiting for developments at the top of each hour. We need to seriously have the technology in place as this is not the end. Mona is an intriguing experience especially with its strong start then stop start, and then weakening start again. Let’s continue with the prayers to go up to heaven and blessings to come down. SHALWYN PRASAD, Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Animal issues

The article in yesterday’s FT (10/01) “Need for more attention on animal spaying” reminds us all of the importance of managing the dog (and cat) population, and of doing so humanely. Casey Quimby deserves a medal for the determination and hard work she has put into establishing Animals Fiji in the Western Division, and now operating clinics elsewhere. Her message about de-sexing is for each and every one of us, whether we own animals or not. We are all well aware there is a visible stray dog problem, although ironically many of these “strays” come from owned dogs that are allowed to roam and procreate, leading to unwanted puppies, many of whom are killed, injured or simply, never finding a home are left to roam the streets. Like it or not, this is our fault. We are failing to properly manage our pet animals. While municipal councils regularly carry out trapping campaigns, the public too often turns a blind eye to what happens to those trapped dogs. Those that fail to be adopted often have to be euthanised, or put down. In the business of animal welfare, it is overwhelmingly distressing to be forced to kill relatively or potentially healthy animals who could be given a good home if one were available. Something many members of the public have probably never considered is the hardship imposed on clinical staff whose job it is to euthanise healthy animals. It is heartbreaking, and it takes a heavy toll on the emotions of those whose primary desire is to improve the wellbeing of animals, not to kill them. What’s more, this dreadful job is entirely preventable through responsible pet ownership and the support of the public. Unfortunately, too many people simply want the strays off the streets, and don’t give a thought to what happens to them thereafter, or to those left to deal with this problem. Out of sight, out of mind. The problem of strays, across the entire country, will not be resolved until it is recognised for what it is: a national problem created by us, by people. When we fail to ensure our dogs (and cats) are desexed, we are responsible for allowing the stray problem to exist and expand through the natural reproductives processes. Desexing is the only viable form of family planning for dogs and cats, both male and female. For everyone who is not an animal owner but who has complained about strays, may I ask you what you have done to help change the situation? Have you made any contribution towards Animals Fiji or the SPCA to help fund cheap, affordable desexing programs? Every single dollar helps, since both organisations are self-funding, and always short of the money needed to provide the desexing clinics so desperately needed. Please consider contributing to desexing campaigns and outreach clinics for this purpose. Until such time as this is recognised as a national problem to be addressed at national level, in a humane manner through prevention, think about how you can help alleviate the problem of strays. If you are an owner, ensure your animal(s) are secured within your compound, or on a line while you are absent from your property. It must be emphasised that line lengths should allow a range of movement, and access to shade and water. This is also not a 24/7 remedy to prevent straying animals, since dogs need exercise (as do their owners). However, the most important thing owners can do is get your pet de-sexed as soon as possible. Contact Animals Fiji or the SPCA to arrange an appointment. There may be a waiting list, but please don’t let that put you off, and if you can afford it there are private veterinary practices who will happily assist you. If you are not an owner, there is still a role for you as a supporter of the organisations
that deal with the problem. The importance of this issue cannot be stressed strongly enough, or that every single one of us can help to make it better. Prevention is so much better than cure, when cure means killing animals unnecessarily. Please, I urge you, be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Thank you. VIVIEN COUNSELL MITCHELL, SPCA Fiji Islands

Road eyesore

Our roads and footpaths are virtually the same. Full of patches. A. SHARIFF SHAH Savusavu

Council laws

I believe the people who drafted the 2013 constitution after Professor Yash Ghai’s constitution was rejected should be asked to review the council legislations. I am sure they can do it in no time. Sukha Singh Labasa

Best medicine

Laughter is the best medicine, but if you are laughing for no reason you need medicine. Gabe Simpson Rakiraki

Fiji Water girl

A model named Kelleth Cuthbert has been dubbed “Fiji Water girl”. Her rise in fame comes from holding a tray of Fiji Water at the Golden Globe awards in Los Angeles. She was in the backdrop where Hollywood stars’ photo-shoot sessions were organised while arriving for the ceremony. The presence of Fiji Water at such a prestigious event proves its marketability status. I believe the irony is, back in Fiji, water supply is a daily struggle for many. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Municipal issue

There is only one sensible aspect I can take away from the Minister for Local Government’s recent statements on municipal elections — we need to have them as soon as possible. Samuela Savu Farm Rd, Nakasi

Smoking ban

It’s time to consider quitting tobacco production than to increase the price or taxing the consumers further for them to dig deeper into their pockets. Rid the root and invest more on food production. Quit this expensive habit in 2019. Tahir Ali New Zealand

Retired now

I am now retired, here I mean retired from working to the clock. No more waking up early to get to work before 8am. No more looking at the clock to see when it’s knock off time. No more looking at the clock to see when it’s tea time or lunch time. No more wishing for the clock to go fast so I can go home. But of course I am still marketable and I do so when I am required. Retirement is the time in your life when time is no longer money. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Police warning

The revelation by police of defiance and negligence by parents and children (FT 7/1) reflect disrespect for weather bulletins. Such daring acts continue regardless! Amenatave Yaconisau Palm Drive, Delainavesi


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