Letters to the Editor – January 25, 2019

Fiji 7s captain Kalione Nasoko (right) is greeted with a 'hongi' from Maori elder Teata Rangi of Turangawaewae Marae at Ngaruawahia during the Captain's photo shoot. Picture: RAMA

Traditional greeting

The traditional welcome ceremony at the HQ of the Maori Movement motivated our captain Nasoko and no doubt the remaining 12. We also have a strong mana magic culture and tradition that is why sevens is heaven for most Fijians as stated by Ben Ryan in his book so true. A humble request to our stakeholders if the traditional i cibi can be reintroduced if we reach the final. All our famous wins in Hong Kong was conceived on the back of these powerful traditional messages and it will just psych the players to a next level. A long-time coming and why not? On the game, I agree with Maikeli we need to perfect our kick-off to retain the ball and play our game. With no ball and if starved of possession there is no game. Lastly would be good to see our coach give some talanoa in iTaukei during breaks to inspire the boys. It has been a long time since Ben used to say talanoa, talanoa, and keep the talanoa and veilomani. I miss this. Joka kece. Go Fiji forever…lave na rarara mai Hamilton. Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Touching welcome

While our 7s captain was inspired by the traditional Maori acknowledgement and welcome, trust me the burden of defending the Hamilton 7s becomes difficult. Our pool opponents have named tough sides to take head-on the flying Fijians and the massive support and expectations in Hamilton will add intensity to our 7s style of play on attack and defence. The welcome ceremony was touching and so will be the hopes and aspirations of the thousands of Fijians who will enter the stadium hoping for a repeat of scenes from last year. On the other hand, Fiji’s pool opponents Wales and Argentina are unpredictable. The Welsh side will rely on the likes of Owen Jenkins, Ben Roach, Luke Treharne and Sion Bennett while Argentina will look to the likes of Renzo Barbier, Rodrigo Etchart, Santiago Alvarez, Marcos Moroni, Gaston Revol, Fernando Luna and Franco Sabato to guide the Pumas. Tim Walsh has made four changes to the side that played in Cape Town at the end of last year, as his side looks to claim valuable series points in their battle for Olympic qualification. Nick Malouf, Lachlan Anderson, Henry Hutchison, Sam Myers, Simon Kennewell, Maurice Longbottom, Lewis Holland, Jeral Skelton, Josh Coward, Ben O’Donnell, John Porch and Brandon Quinn will lead the men in green and gold. Coach Gareth Baber has laid down the challenge and I’m hopeful that our boys will play to the best of their abilities. Fijians in Hamilton are geared up and so are we! The only difference is that they’ll watch the game live and we will watch it from the comfort of our homes but yes our prayers, support and well-wishes will be with our boys 24-7! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Electric wires

The picture featured in the Eye Witness section of The Fiji Times (Thursday, January 24, 2019) incorrectly captioned that they are “live electric wires” from a lamppost. These wires in actual fact are a de-energised service line belonging to a customer and do not pose any risk/hazard. Energy Fiji Ltd (EFL) requests members of the public that in the event you notice a broken or low sagging powerlines, to please urgently contact EFL on our emergency number 913. Digicel, Inkk and Vodafone users can call on 5333. Your prompt call could result in someone’s life being saved. It is advisable to stay away from EFL powerlines at all times. The EFL personnel at the EFL National Control Centre have the ability to switch off the power supply within seconds if they are informed of any hazardous or low-lying powerlines. Hasmukh Patel Chief Executive Officer, EFL

Power cuts

January 2019 and Waiyavi is riddled with planned and unplanned power cuts. From Kava Place when I look across to Vomo St I see lights on, yes as I write this it’s 3.21am on 24/1/2019. I would really like to know why we in Waiyavi have been getting these intermittent power outages? Is there a fault in a transformer? Or where is the fault? From last year we have been having planned power cuts, which I presume is to repair powerlines and other stuff. How long does it take to correct things? If oxygen depended on electricity I will be … OK never mind. EFL, please don’t tell us what’s going on, just keep repairing forever, or what even you are doing. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Editorial message

Your editorial comment on road safety and courtesy is a timely message three weeks into the New Year. I agree with a massive increase in vehicles on our roads pedestrians must remain vigilant at all times and any form of laxity will result in untimely fatal incidents. May I request stakeholders to also urgently consider the option of buses having a front entry and back exit doors to avoid the rush of crossing in front. I believe the latest road accident that cost the life of Subba Naidu could have been avoided. With schools opening, more buses are now visible on our roads and with it the rush hours. To my good friend uncle who used to visit our neighbourhood barefoot with his vegetables, Pillay uncle RIP. We will definitely miss your Saturday morning chats and laughs. I agree with Wesley, “Let’s think, plan and be innovative and not remain complacent in 2019”. Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Sugar consultation

The general secretary of the National Farmers Union thinks that the current sugar consultation is a waste of time. Is he suggesting that the farmers who have been turning up with many grievances and solutions are also wasting their time? These farmers are resilient, hard working and showing interest in helping the Government to revive the sugar industry. Mr general secretary, these are the same farmers you are representing. Your comments and theirs’ don’t match. Instead of getting out your outdated political rubber stamp and attacking the Government, assist the farmers. The sugar industry is an important part of Fiji’s history. I believe the general secretary should be using his experience to contribute positively. So far, I believe his contributions have been a waste of time. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

School leadership saga

The school leadership saga right now is the hottest topic in the country with many different views from different people across the county. In my opinion, I think it is important for everyone to exercise their right in this way and question the policies of the government ministries. The open merit recruitment and selection system (OMRS) has been hitting the headlines recently and I think now is the time when the minister and assistant minister take the matter seriously and work out some solutions. I feel that the system has come at a time when everyone is progressing with technology but it is a disappointment that the Ministry of Education, I believe, is judging and deciding the school heads via a three-hour-test! Just imagine you work all your life to attain better financial and social status in society and then suddenly you are displaced from your post and are made to work under teachers who were once under your control and are your juniors in the profession. Let us put it this way, if the ministry really wanted to make way for the non-performing principals and head teachers, why couldn’t they just see the academic, technological and holistic work of those leaders? Why are they also removing those performing leaders? Raynav Chand Nakasi

Religious dogma

Bertrand Russell said “Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so”. Why do we tiptoe around religious controversy? Do religious hierarchy tiptoe around secular laws regarding human rights? Secular laws encompass all the commandments of thou shall not do unto others and more. Our nation’s laws guarantee the security and wellbeing of all citizens. Regardless of religious beliefs, our laws ensure that the wheels of governance run smoothly without interference or preference for religious dogma. Otherwise, every man and his dog will demand his ideological difference to the administering of secular laws whether it be in the school, workplace or other. There are many teachers who adhere to the laws and are vigilant in applying it to the education and wellbeing of our students. For these teachers it is a vocation. We are immensely grateful. Do adept teachers need to espouse a dogmatic mantra to teach? I believe religious dogma must stay at home or in your place of worship. In public, practise it with humility and consideration. Keep it in your heart. Don’t belittle others with utterances of dogmatic superiority. I believe the religious hierarchy must stop wasting time and money. Stop taking hostage of our students (and the nation) for the sake of your dogmatic beliefs. Stop being selfish. Be selfless for the whole of our nation’s wellbeing. “Those who can make you believe in absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ­­— Voltaire. Patricia Anne Petueli Suva

Faith-based merit

With the tremendous support showed towards the Archbishop of the Catholic church with regard to his concern for the Government to consider faith-based as a merit for head of faith-based schools, I believe the ruling party should take heed, listen and have dialogue to avoid unnecessary actions that would affect the education of our children. The Fiji Times (24/01) again highlighted the support of the Fiji Council of Churches, the Assemblies of God and the TISI Sangam, who all backed the faith-based call by the Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, which was backed by the Methodist Church In Fiji and Rotuma and the Seventh-Day Adventist. I believe now is an opportune time to listen and have dialogue. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Pit toilets

A report (FT 23/01) says that there is a group of people, (55 in number) who share one pit toilet. Seriously, are there any able- bodied men there to dig? If there are and they are simply waiting for a handout, then I rest my case. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Clear footpath

Can those responsible please urgently clear the footpath from Lautoka’s Lovu Hart settlement to Vunato. It is overgrown with grass and covered with mud. A mother was seen struggling to push her son in a wheelchair on that footpath. Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Global thinker

Definitions of thinking include considering something, having particular ideas and directing one’s mind towards someone or something. Some phrases and words associated with thinking are intelligent, rational judgment, sensible, logical, analytical, thoughtful, reflective, contemplative and philosophical. I believe these are some of the qualities which enabled Fiji’s Prime Minister to be ranked alongside some of the world’s great thinkers. Extremely amazing achievement PM. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Nadi traffic

Please can the authorities responsible for managing the traffic in Nadi Town stop it? It is appalling to note that early morning we are rerouted without any prior information. How long you are going to trial? Enough of it. Please stop playing the game of trials. Pranil Ram Votualevu, Nadi

Wet bus

TravelLing the other day from home to Suva during a heavy downpour, to my surprise when putting down the cover, it was torn and on the other side there was a big hole on the cover. Passengers seated beside these openings either had to stand up or move to the front to avoid getting wet. The driver was relaxing in the front until he was told about what happened. I believe bus companies are to check the conditions of their buses on a daily basis and ensure the passengers are safe and comfortable when travelling on their buses. Tomasi Boginiso Nepani, Nasinu

Rich squatters

Can the minister concerned please confirm to this nation how many people living in squatter settlements around Fiji are actually millionaires. Another case of name and shame I guess. A SHARIFF SHAH Savusavu


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