Letters to the Editor – July 4, 2020

The Flying Fijians on attack against the Barbarians last year. Picture: SUPPLIED

Rugby heading in the right direction

Many fans expressed their delight with the prospect of seeing our Flying Fijians play in the expanded Six Nations tournament. If the dream comes true it will be a slap on the face of SANZAAR, for too long Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have been crying for the inclusion of a Pacific team in the Super Rugby competition. Instead teams were included from Argentina and Japan. Definitely Fiji’s inclusion in the competition will mean playing seven Test matches against quality opposition like England, France, Italy, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Japan and this will boost our 2023 RWC 15s team. I’m praying that the preliminary discussions get the support of the Six Nations organisers and World Rugby. In his editorial, our editor-in-chief Fred Wesley was apt: “Without a doubt, any proposal that includes the Flying Fijians playing the cream of the crop of world rugby on a regular basis has to be welcomed. It is exciting news and the stuff of dreams.” I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that this dream is materialised and not like our dream of playing in Super Rugby which has yet to eventuate despite some discussions. I can’t wait to see Fiji rub shoulders with the rugby giants from Europe. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Hazardous junction

I concur with a writer earlier that the junction at the Kings Rd and the Wainivula Rd at Caubati is a hotspot for accidents including fatalities. Any vehicle with the intention to make a right hand turn from the Kings Rd into Wainivula Rd or anyone wishing to drive out of Wainivula Rd and do a right hand turn on Kings Rd is exposed to a very high risk of a collision. The junction is located slightly downhill and makes it extremely difficult to see the vehicles travelling from the Suva City side and gives the driver at the junction a split second decision to manoeuvre safely. There is a flat stretch just past the Ratu Dovi Rd junction along the Kings Rd when travelling towards the Wainivula junction that tempts the drivers to accelerate and cause many accidents at the spot. The broken street sign, damaged fire hydrant sign and the damaged road rail are the evidence of the frequent vehicle collisions there. A feasibility study must be done with the view to construct traffic lights to ensure the safety of all. I must commend the authorities for identifying another treacherous point along the Kings Rd and the Matanikorovatu Rd at Makoi junction and are currently in the process of installing traffic lights that will greatly reduce crashes and human injuries. Satish Nakched Suva

High prices

The comments made by the president of Nadi Chamber of Commerce (FT 30/06) are entirely correct. Considering the low wage structure in Fiji, I believe there must be some other explanation for the very high costs charged by hotels. A thorough auditing of all costs incurred by hotels to justify these charges and steps taken to reduce these costs, be they land rentals, taxes or excessive restaurant prices and alcohol prices. These, at times, are on a par with Australian prices. I believe the mark-up on alcohol prices is excessive throughout Fiji. Two further areas which also must be addressed are cost of airfares – an area that Fiji Airways must address – the excessive taxi fare from Nadi airport to mostly anywhere, especially to Denarau. Lastly and probably as important as any is the excessive value of the Fiji dollar against its two major tourist partners that is New Zealand and Australia, especially considering the state of the Fiji economy. Ian McLeod Martintar, Nadi

Nadi traffic

I think before the review of the Nadi Town traffic flow is undertaken as proposed by the Minister for Local Government, it would be helpful if the Nadi Town Council could arrange for a public participation exercise. Through this exercise, I am sure you will get a lot of ideas and suggestions that will help you to make a good decision. From the information circulated on social and mainstream media, I have gathered that the present system is problematic and doesn’t seem to help in moving the traffic as smoothly as we would like it to be. At this juncture, I would like to thank the Minister for Local Government for ordering the review which I think the people of Nadi welcome wholeheartedly. It is proposed to have Nadi declared a city in October 2020 and the minster says that the review should be done by then. Not much time is left so I hope people responsible for undertaking the review are already on it. I would be happy if the main street is reverted to two-way traffic for the betterment of the town and its people at the same time. At the moment the main street looks like a passageway only. Suresh Chand Nadi

In charge

My neighbour Sharif Shah of Savusavu is being sarcastic in questioning which government and which minister is in charge of the Lautoka swimming pool and the construction of road humps (FT 03/07). No government is perfect and we will always notice its flaws, which by pointing it out, we help to correct! Being in charge of a country is no easy feat and we must learn to offer solutions as opposed to being judgemental. How can we expect to have a perfect government when its citizens are all imperfect? Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Help offer

The offer of help from Labasa has been misunderstood by some individuals. It is courageous to come out publicly and offer help to the Government. This type of courtesy should not be belittled. Sukha, I say “Singh is king”. You should not feel demoralised. As a matter of fact, you have already been helping the Government by doing things right. As required, following the curfew hours etc. Those who have come up with negativity should have a good look around themselves. They will find suffering and they will find strangers reaching out to help. Sukha, you may have also done similar things. Around the globe, people joined to support the Black Lives Matter marches. People who never met George Floyd. Even some Fijians stood up. They risked their lives for a common cause. To help people who are suffering. It has been suggested that you can help by getting out of the way. What if all those individuals and NGOs who have been tirelessly helping people in communities were also to take their help and get out of the way? NGOs, the opposition and others have also offered help. Sukha, you too have stood up for a cause. Some people find it funny. But, no one should underestimate the courage and power of any individual. On June 5, 1989, an unknown protester stood in front of a column of tanks and repeatedly shifted his position in order to obstruct the tanks path attempting to move around him. The tanks were leaving Tiananmen Square after the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests by force. Internationally, it is considered one of the most iconic images of all time (Wikipedia). In comparison, when the hour of need arises, some people contribute by hiding under their beds. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Swimming pool

Mohammed Imraz Janif (FT 03/07) I think the chief guest will find it easier to say that “though this swimming pool was stuck in the pipeline for so many months, we finally managed to get it running as we were able to find the most suitable plumber within our own circle”. “We are glad finally it’s completed, however, please enjoy until we clear up other issues in the pipeline which surely needs to be done before major explosion.” Kirti Patel Lautoka

A question

Since there have been many queries in letters to the editor about potholes and the increasing deterioration of roads in some places, one does wonder about the actual cost of fixing potholes. In the meantime, the onus is on drivers to dodge the potholes as they give notice of their existence and tend to increase the maintenance bills for vehicles. Floyd Robinson Toorak, Suva

Putin’s view

“The Government should solve problems, the opposition should criticise the government and offer alternative solutions” — Vladimir Putin. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Rugby winner

Can Matawalu replace O’Conner as FRU CEO? I believe rugby will be the winner. Dan Urai Lautoka

Pothole city

With the ever-increasing potholes in Nadi Town, may I suggest if Nadi can be nicknamed Pothole City? No offence to the people of Nadi intended. Abdul K Khan Lautoka

State of roads

I believe Fiji Labour Party leader and former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry’s comment that “the roads are in a disgraceful state” even though $3 billion was allocated for it for the past seven years (FT 02/07) brings to mind the saying “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

On merit

I wonder how many ministers qualify on merit to hold on to their present portfolios? I believe it’s becoming crystal clear over the past three years. Sharif Shah Savusavu

Pothole gang

I wonder if things do get worse and more companies close, the gang patching potholes could still be employed. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Spokesman

Is Tukai Lagonilakeba the spokesman for the PM? (‘Contact PM’ FT 03/07). Is that why his letter gets priority? Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

COVID-19

Poor world. Rod Matthews Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

State help

I remember during Cyclone Winston government helping people in the western side by topping up bus cards as it was a relief package. This time I also expected something like this as relief assistance for everyone, but nothing came. Jaheed Buksh Korolevu, Sigatoka

Contained

SCRIBE! It’s “C-19 contained”, not “C-19 free”. NIGEL FIU Owls Perch, Lautoka

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