Letters to the Editor – July 12

France's Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud in action with Belgium's Axel Witsel and Nacer Chadli. REUTERS/Max Rossi

World Cup showdown
I loved reading the correspondence from two of our renowned writers Shad and Shalwyn.
Just like letters from Narayan, Wise, Dan, Sukha, Shah and Allen, I always look forward to letters sent from Mukta Ben and the anaconda town.
Shalwyn had his own piece of Mathematics puzzle regarding number 7 and has predicted a French victory while Shad urged me to join hands in supporting the stars from Manchester United — Lukaku, Fellaini and Pogba.
The battle was a tough one considering that France and Belgium had a star-studded team and prolific attackers like Mbappe and Bruyne.
I think I’ll go with our great writers as I have a feeling it’s going to be lucky 20 for team France, who had their World Cup winning star Thierry Henry in the opposition alongside former Everton manager Roberto Matinez.
Shalwyn, on the other hand, also presented some interesting facts and data about this year’s World Cup soccer and I await his analysis on our 7s team with that famous joka kece slang!
My best wishes to ardent France supporter Vishal (Rakiraki) and I join our local Belgium fans (Amish and Atleshwar) to mourn Belgium’s
I believe it’s time to support soccer and enjoy the superb fun and flair from Russia.
As for Allen, I’m also eager to know when Fiji will play in the World Cup.
Finally, my best wishes to close buddies Sumeet, Pawan and Shakheel as England takes on Croatia in the second semi-final and just hoping that the darlings of England can repeat their 1966 heroics!
Nadawa, Nasinu.

Fijian accent
What is so wrong with our Fijian accent? We Fijians have a unique accent and I say this from experience. I travel abroad a lot and sometimes out of the blue someone will ask if I’m from Fiji and I’ll ask how do you know and they simply say “I can tell by your accent”.
Yet nowadays you can hear people trying to speak American by twisting, curling and twirling their tongues to pronounce the American “R” in some words with the letter “R”.
In most cases the pronunciation is so wrong or put in the wrong place that the word does not come out right.
I hear it on the radio, the TV, on the streets from schoolchildren even adults. It sounds so pathetic mixing, curling, twirling, twisting American “R” in our Fijian accent.
Let’s just be ourselves and be absolutely proud of our very own unique Fijian accent.
Try listening to a prominent radio station’s morning glory breakfast show which BTW is my favourite radio station. The male and female hosts speak with fluent Fijian accent and I enjoy their morning program. Keep up the great job Kara and Mathew.
Then there are mis-pronunciation of words I often hear, they sound like new words on radio and TV, For e.g.:
aller-gedly for allegedly;
upplication for application; and
shosha for social.
There are many more but I’ll leave it at that for now.
In the meantime God bless and good luck to Baber and the Fiji 7s team for next weekend. Go Fiji go.
Namadi Heights, Suva.

Let’s enjoy the action
When the 2018 Vodafone Premier League competition resumes this week, four very interesting matches are scheduled to be played around the country.
The fixtures released by Fiji Football Association will see defending champion Lautoka take on Nadi at 7.30pm on Friday in Lautoka while Ba plays Tavua at 3pm on Saturday.
In the other matches, neighbours Suva will play Rewa at Ratu Cakobau Park on Sunday while at the same time Dreketi will clash with Labasa at Subrail Park in Labasa. After this round of matches, I think teams take a break and prepare for the Battle of the Giants which will be held at Churchill Park in Lautoka later this month.
Before the BOG action begins, the 2018 World Cup soccer champion would have been already crowned. From next week I think the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens also commences? Let’s enjoy all the action as and when it happens.

A lid on road carnage
There have been many road accidents recently and according to police statistics this has been increasing every year.
Many factors lead to road accidents such as road conditions, attitude of drivers and pedestrians.
The number one contributing factor seems to be the attitude of drivers.
They seem to think that they own the road because they pay wheel tax and other road levies.
All drivers want to speed and beat the oncoming car when turning from junctions or overtaking. The roads in Fiji are not race tracks seen in video games. The drivers need to understand that the safety of the passengers in the cars and the pedestrians are their responsibility. Seems like common sense is no longer practised but drivers need extraordinary senses.
For the western side, we are now being faced with frustration on the roads from cane trucks. I believe cane truck drivers need to be the first to be educated and awareness created among them about road safety.
We need to follow road safety rules and show courtesy on the road to other users as well. No matter how many police and LTA patrols are on the roads, there cannot be a reduction in accidents if the attitude of drivers and other road users do not change.

Soccer World Cup

Like millions around the planet I’ve been enjoying the soccer World Cup. The games have been enthralling to watch despite the time difference. One of the things I’ve noticed, sadly, is the trend by some teams to purposely try and injure the star players of the opposing side.
This ploy, while it may be strategic in a coach’s game plan, frustrates the heck out of me as I believe in playing hard but fair football. Then I realised that this game plan is not only evident on the playing field but also in politics.
Political opponents look for the “star” player in the opposing side and try everything in their power to discredit and damage their reputation as a means of gaining a winning edge.
Why do we do this?

Budget scrutiny
Your article above titled (FT 11/7) is a concern and I want to raise a few issues regarding the budget.
I’m concerned that the fiscal aspects of the current account of the budget doesn’t include any provisions for wage increases to compensate the inflation and inequalities pervading the country now. I also am deeply concerned at the absence of accountability for executing budget decisions. I believe this is financial irresponsibility for forestry and electricity as revealed to us by the Opposition.
I believe someone should be accountable for such authority.
Palm Drive, Delainavesi.

Thai cave rescue

HEAVENLY Father, in Jesus Holy name we humble ourselves to thank you for all prayers answered. The 12 young boys and their soccer coach have since been miraculously rescued from the Thailand cave after being trapped for over two long worrying weeks. Thank you also for all the members of the brave rescue team — no less than 90 of them.
We are truly grateful.
Ronnie Chang,
Martintar, Nadi.

Digger hire
That alleged $33 million Water Authority of Fiji digger plant hire scam is like $73,333 per day for the hire of that particular digger. I want to know if it had special features or if it was fully made of gold to warrant the exorbitant daily charges. Au sa rere!
Reapi Nayacakalou,

Road woes

Fiji Roads Authority needs to find a permanent solution to the forever deteriorating roads in our country. As I’ve mentioned before, concrete the roads that are often inundated with potholes. Kemudou! Shall I say it in Shanghainese?
Wise Muavono,
Balawa, Lautoka.

Wishful thinking
To expect a televised open debate between political leaders won’t happen. I believe some just don’t have it.
Dan Urai,

Powerful Rabuka
Mr Editor, may I on behalf of our non-political party that congregate at Kava Place ask you to already give the letter of the century to Epeli Rabua for his letter that is full of irony.
It flattened us completely.
Allen Lockington,
Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka.

Freebies or what

There is one way to prove the Opposition wrong about allegations of election financial freebies. Government must ensure this assistance is maintained to the people of Fiji on an annual basis. If this is not provided by this Government if they come back to power, then it would appear this was an election handout.
Emosi Balei,

Vaccine recall
Samoa has already banned plastic bags. Now they have recalled the MMR vaccine after the deaths of two infants on Savaii (TV1 SAMOA, July 9). They seem to be switched on while we continue to sweep things under the carpet. How can a vaccine containing aluminium, mercury and formaldehyde and other toxins be safe for anyone?
Gabriel Simpson,

Budget debate

Please allow me to voice my personal opinion in regard to the article highlighted in the front page of The Fiji Times 10/07 titled, PM hits out.
This particular article roughly covered the prime minister’s response in the 2018/2019 budget debate wherein, among the many things he said, was his attack on Sitiveni Rabuka branding him as the worst offender for his (Rabuka) genuine critique of the budget which I reckon was unfortunate.
I certainly believe that the proposed 2018/2019 budget is open for criticism and people’s opinion with regard to the matter should be taken into consideration for the budget will in some way or the other affect the lives of every Fijian citizen and above all, that is what one calls democracy where freedom of expression is encouraged.
However, when the leading party is not open to receive criticism and start hitting out on everyone who gave their opinions on the budget, like the PM did to Mr Rabuka, then I believe this demonstrates the quality of leadership there is.
I believe for a quality of good leadership is to be able to take into consideration criticism, analyse them and take into account points that may help support your cause and dismiss opinions that you think may hinder your progress, instead of attacking them personally.
Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane,
Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua.

Kava farming
It was good to read the article on kava farming and the support for better quality kava crops through growing them in a nursery. The funding has been provided by PHAMA.
The investment in good quality is needed as the kava market has about $320 million contribution to the Fiji economy with 92 per cent in domestic sales. This means that about $294 million is spent by the local kava consumers yearly on kava. Especially now that kava prices have skyrocketed to between $120 and $150 a kilogram after the natural disasters.
This is a very good incentive for the yaqona farmers as their income has increased markedly because of increased value of kava and more farmers are now turning to yaqona farming. The farmers have realised the economic potential of the kava market. This is a huge boost for the economy.
The demand and consumption of kava remains high despite the increased prices. Kava has changed from the reserved traditional and ceremonial drink to a social and daily drink. We still see people sitting around the grog bowl enjoying the drink until the early hours of the morning and some consume kava daily as a routine.
The money spent on kava could be used more wisely on basic needs and food items. But as another article says that the poverty levels are high in Fiji but the poverty stricken still have the money to spare to buy and consume kava.
People are complaining about high food and basic items prices.
Vineet Chand,

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