Letters to the Editor – July 31

Ba’s Samuela Nabenia tries to head in a cross ball against Suva in the Inkk Mobile BOG Final at Churchill Park Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

ONCE again when Ba needed a marksman and crafty striker to get them a title and end their losing streak, Abbu Zahid and Samuela Nabenia stepped up and did not let their passionate fans down. Zahid slotted in the opener and walked away with the player of the tournament award and golden boot award. When he was interviewed by FBC’s Vashneel Prasad, he dedicated the win to his biggest fan, his mother.
Nabenia, who missed the pool games, was in devastating form and formed a formidable partnership with Saula Waqa, who I felt was unlucky not to score a goal despite the many attempts he made at the Suva goal mouth. After the final my neighbour and ardent Ba fan Kamal Rai was in a jubilant mood singing the tune ‘kala shakala’ and I joined to share his joy over a small mix knowing that the giant of Fiji soccer had won a tournament after quite some time, which was unnatural. On social media the fun added flavour to Ba’s victory and I was amazed with the amount of support that flowed. A kid was spotted wearing a black T-shirt featuring the slogan ‘Ba toh Ba rahi’. I believe president Rishi Kumar won his 40th title in style with the Men In Black. Stylish player turned coach Roneel Kumar mentioned that it was a great feeling lifting the title as a coach. The Men In Black started strongly and when they beat Labasa 2-0 they looked to be in top form. Ba shut out Tavua completely 4-0 but their loss to the hosts was untimely. On Saturday, Ba regrouped to thrash the Jetsetters 4-0 while Suva was fortunate to score a single goal in extra time and book a spot in the final. Ba was a classy team and their high level of fitness, teamwork and unity were evident throughout the tournament. As I congratulate team Ba on the success at Churchill Park, I thank the Fiji Football Association for hosting the veterans’ tournament and for presenting children of former national reps who have passed on with $500 each towards their school needs. Bravo Fiji FA for honouring the fallen soldiers! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Nadawa, Nasinu

Hybrid and manual
This vehicle owner panicked, asking me to diagnose a fault in his new hybrid vehicle. Well to my surprise it was just a low fuel level warning (orange) light on the dash which indicates that fuel is low and needs to be topped up as soon as possible. After explaining to the owner and diagnosing this with OBDII scanner, the owner didn’t believe me and we ended up filling up fuel which shut the indicator light off until the tank gets empty again. I asked the owner “so”? Well, owner just scratched his head and replied “io, eh!” Owner mentioned that his old vehicle didn’t have such warning indicators, well I replied it wasn’t a hybrid. As the saying goes, “problem with automatic cars are that they are still driven by manual brains!” SHAMAL CHAND, Kuku Bau Rd, Nausori

Go Ba go
Congratulation to the Ba soccer team for winning the BOG title. Ba had too much firepower in the form of Saula Waqa, Samuela Nabenia, Manasa Nawaikula, Abu Zahid and Malakai Tiwa. Thank you Ronil Kumar and thank you boys for restoring the respect the Ba team deserves.
The icing on the cake was Abu Zahid winning the golden boot and best player of the tournament award in addition to Josaia Ratu winning the golden glove award and Malakai Tiwa winning the player of day 5 award. Vinaka boys. SHAD ALFAZ ALI, Navua

Shocking issue
On the front page of Friday’s The Fiji Times, the Prime Minister was quoted as saying the lack of willpower of some countries to fight climate change had worried him. He said this during the opening of the Climate Action Pacific Partnership meeting in Suva last week. Then I picked up Saturday’s The Fiji Times. Shocking and disgusting are just two of the printable words that came to mind when I read The Fiji Times report (Saturday, July 28) on the lack of due process and negligence on the part of the then FEA (now EFL) and government agencies involved in Wainisavulevu in the Nadrau plateau. Environmental experts have said that this site of national significance for Fiji’s environment was damaged to such an extent that if rehabilitation work was to begin now, it would still take decades to recover. So what still baffles me to this day is how ministers can zip around the planet, ride bicycles for the cameras, stand on international platforms, admonish and preach about slowing down climate change, while right here in Fiji, they contradict themselves at every turn; allowing this obscenity to take place in one of Fiji’s key biodiversity areas. When you cannot even stop “your” Government’s big four-wheel drives from idling with airconditioning switched on, I ask you, Prime Minister, please stop telling everyone else how to deal with climate change; start at home with Wainisavulevu and all government vehicles for starters. This “lack of willpower of some countries” is very evident right here in Fiji every day. If indeed the terms of reference for the Wainisavulevu Weir stated that a national consultation was “not needed” when it came to the EIA, heads must roll, Prime Minister and the buck stops with you as PM and as the outgoing president of COP23. LENORA QEREQERETABUA, Suva

Human rights
Allow me to raise my disagreement with a comment by Amena Yauvoli, the secretariat director general of the MSG, highlighted in the FT 27/07 titled ‘MSG shuns talks on human rights’. In relation to the human rights issues in West Papua, he said the human rights concerns about West Papua were best left to the international organisations who could best address them. I must admit that the above comment by Mr Yauvoli undermines our support for our Melanesian brothers and sisters in West Papua who have been seeking our support in their fight for independence from Indonesia.
Furthermore, he said that the MSG body was not for human rights, but dealt with issues that ensured security was maintained throughout the region.
I raise the question; Are not human rights issues, security issues? I strongly believe they are, for when one’s right is violated he/she is not secure. I must conclude reminding Mr Yauvoli and the MSG members that the human rights issues in West Papua are our issues as well for they are very much our Melanesian brothers and sisters and I have an obligation to assist them in every way so their rights are protected and respected.

Weekend of sports
The weekend of sports had mixed results throughout. Crusaders won their semi-final match against the Hurricanes and it surely gave me some positives to look forward to in the grandfinal. But the biggest setback was Joseph Parker suffering a second straight defeat, at the hands of Dillian Whyte which pissed me off throughout the day. I have always been a fan of Parker and now seeing his demise gives me displeasure. Being a diehard Rewa fan, the Battle of the Giants tournament was something not to look forward to in the weekend as it was uneventful without them in the knockout stages. Yet I held my head high because they had won the Fiji FACT earlier and I was hoping for the BOG trophy to come to the Central Division with Suva competing in the final but yet again a disappointment for me to see them lose to Ba. Despite the results, I congratulate the winners over the weekend and hope that Parker and his camp come back stronger come their next bout. Raynav Chand, Nakasi.

Yaqona issue
When I read the article (FT 30/7) that excessive consumption of yaqona is one of the leading causes of stroke in the country, Counterstroke Fiji has revealed. And not only this, the common drink consumed by many Fijians is also among the leading contributors to the country’s high mortality rate.
What is their definition of “excessive”? Could we also be provided with the number of people who have suffered because of this? And yes I totally agree that Fiji needs to be watchful of their fast lifestyle and its unhealthy habits as in eating wrongly or in drinking the wrong choices of drinks. Now show us some figures please, because me and some very experienced grog drinkers want to challenge this. And remember I live in Kava Place. Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka.

Kava and stroke
Your front page article (FT 30/7) and Editorial comment about Fiji’s national drink causing strokes should be a wake-up call. As far as I’m aware, kava was supposed to be a traditional ceremonial drink reserved for important chiefly occasions. Studies show that long-term use of kava is known to also cause serious liver problems, kidney damage, alteration of blood cells, reduced immunity to infections, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, loss of drive and motivation. And yes, small amounts of kava has some positive benefits too in that it can help one to relax, feel less tensed and stressed with benefits also for assisting in muscle soreness, epilepsy, menopause, VD including a few other advantages. As with anything, educating people on the positive and negative effects would be a good start rather than highlighting only its adverse side effects. Because let’s face it — a long-held grog swiping tradition rightly or wrongly cannot be changed simply with pointing out the negatives. Colin Deoki, Australia.

Congratulations in order
Congratulations Ba for coming back to your own unique winning ways. Congratulations to the Men in Black for winning the 2018 BOG in style and also to the officials of the team. Hats off to Ba for producing another winning team made up of home-grown players… that’s indeed unique. This is a new bunch of boys in black and it did not take them too long to mature. Vinaka Ba and may you continue to breed your own players and remain victorious in your own unique ways. Ba toh Ba hae! Allan Jesoni, Suva.

Courtesy lesson
I was at home when a vehicle from that energy company with four occupants drove into my compound and parked at the edge of my compound, with door open. Looked like they were taking in the view from The Owls Perch. Needless to say they were told to remove themselves as quickly as they had arrived, with a little lesson on courtesy, decency and respect for other people’s property, maybe this is how they are trained. Nigel Fiu,

Savusavu Hospital
Can the minister concerned please advise the public why there is no backup genset for the above hospital. If there is any, why are the patients kept in the dark whenever the EFL power goes off … frequently? A. SHARIFF SHAH, Savusavu.

Deadly drink
The headline in yesterday’s paper “Deadly drink” must not be taken lightly. Amid the rise in yaqona price, the demand for the traditional drink has not declined. The fact that excessive consumption of yaqona is one of the leading causes of stroke should send warning signals to the heavyweights and those who consume yaqona with chaser. Furthermore, Aca’s warning should be taken seriously! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu.

Real leaders
We read in The Fiji Times article “Real leaders put the people first” (FT 30/07) the comment “Government ministers are not gods”. I believe that’s easily forgotten when power and privilege get to the head. A reminder from time to time is helpful to keep one’s feet firmly on the ground.
Rajend Naidu, Sydney, Australia.

A new note
The number of Fijian fans attending each sevens tournament under the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is phenomenal. They come in numbers in the famous blue T-shirts, blue wiggers and a range of fancy costumes. They come with flags and are vocal. They cheer on their team. They also bring along their supply of kava. Some travel directly from Fiji while others have migrated overseas. Whatever one’s views, it is about time we honour our rugby fans by having a new note/dollar of them at sevens tournaments? Floyd Robinson, Nasinu.

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