Letters to the Editor – June 11, 2021

Picture: FT ONLINE

A helping hand

Deepmala Sharma (FT 10/06) had this to share: “During this pandemic, people are trying to stay happy, but it’s really difficult for them, as some of them are not working, or have no food in the house to feed their children. COVID-19 has created fear, worry, loneliness and depression which might have a long term impact on people.” Deepmala, who offers hope via online channel in a bid to help people with mental health issues, must be commended for her outreach. As a result of this pandemic, people have suffered mentally due to financial constraints arising from job losses and reduced working hours. There have been cases of domestic violence as well which have mentally affected mothers. Some people have lost hope in life, as they struggle to meet needs and wants. Deepmala’s channel has attracted people who have liked her positive energy, and she has been able to guide them. Mental health remains an issue, and it must be addressed by experts. People have suffered, and they need support, counseling and assistance. I’m glad there are Fijians like Deepmala who are making positive vibes on the lives of those who are struggling mentally. Thank you for the interesting read Wanshika and The Fiji Times! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Safe travel

I wish Ba traffic police would monitor the buses, carriers, and minibuses travelling between Ba–Lautoka and Tavua as per the COVID restrictions. It is frustrating to see the buses and carriers loaded beyond the current permitted numbers. Buses — judging by the number of standing passengers seen — are overloading. Minibuses depart with the allowed number of passengers. However between the towns — passengers board willy-nilly, pushing passenger numbers beyond what is allowed. I believe some passengers are travelling without masks. Where is the police motorcyclist squad that we often see and hear revving motors in town and along the highway? They are not visible lately to enforce the new travelling requirements. As a matter of interest, how many buses and minibuses have they stopped enroute for necessary spot checks during this emergency? If the answer is zero checks; please do the spot checks at the bus stands and enroute urgently to ensure full compliance by passengers and transport owners alike. Otherwise we’ll all be dead. William Rosa Ba

COVID-19 period

During this COVID-19 period, one thing is certain. Many women miss wearing their lipstick, many mothers miss taking their children to the barber’s and salons for a good haircut, many athletes and fitness fanatics miss going to the gym. Many families miss having fresh and healthy vegetables in their meals, many families miss having loved ones over to their place to celebrate the birth of a child or the death of a family member. Many teachers miss the noisy classrooms and ringing bells, many churchgoers and choir members miss attending and singing in church on Sunday. Many children miss playing in the open and free environment, many devoted movie-goers miss going to the cinemas, many party-goers miss going to clubs at night. Many driving instructors miss having their students behind the wheels and many families miss having meals in restaurants or a picnic by the beach. Many bikers and cyclists miss going for a drive on a quiet Sunday morning and many divers and fishermen going out fishing on a nice, fine day. Unfortunately, it is what it is for the moment. We’ll just have to stay strong and pray that one day, we’ll all be able to do what we love doing most. Fulori Turaga Tacirua

Audit query

IN his reports presented to Parliament, the Auditor-General has highlighted several instances where procurement procedures were not followed by various ministries and agencies. It is apparent from their responses that most of them are not aware that tendering procedures apply to purchases above $50,000 and the requirement for obtaining three quotations. I find that quite strange as they are stipulated in the Financial Regulations which every ministry is expected to comply with. Therefore, I believe ignorance of the law should not be an excuse. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Hard decisions

I still strongly believe that the stance taken by our epidemiologists to tackle this COVID-19 pandemic is appropriate and well thought out. I hope that careful consideration has been given to any major outbreak which may permeate the whole of Fiji. In spite of strong calls from nearly all spheres of our society that a full lockdown is indispensable to tackle this crisis, our health experts have continued to use targeted lockdown as a measure to bring the virus under control. It is not always necessary that health professionals follow the advice of the public, but make decisions that are medically and scientifically correct in their capacity as specialists. Although, initial research shows that early lockdowns in outbreaks would lessen the impact. However, these are not easy decisions to be made and requires sharp minded strategies especially when balancing risks associated with it. PRANIL RAM Votualevu, Nadi

Performances of rugby players

FOR quite sometime, daily news has been soaked in COVID-19 updates, struggles and perseverance. A refreshing change is the consistent noteworthy performances of rugby players each week who have their origins in Fiji. Whether it be union or league, amazingly Fijian names keep popping up. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF
Natabua, Lautoka

OAG report

I THOUGHT things have been tidied up in Fiji following the “clean up” coup of 2006, especially after hearing so much about this or that post-coup “reform”. But reading the findings of the Auditor-General published in The Fiji Times (10/6) is a stark reminder that things have not changed all that much one and half decades later, notwithstanding the self-praise of the mob in power. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Trying times

THE times are trying Multiple challenges facing Problems rampaging Many dangers threatening Troubling and devastating Thoughts arising so conflicting Turmoil in mind ravaging Suffering beyond excruciating Situation really frightening All hopes are fading Almost lost faith in everything For good times longing But bad times persisting These tough times unforgiving The torture heavily punishing But tough times are prevailing And new problems surfacing Difficult it is living Just barely surviving But more troubles are coming Still fighting and battling Through these times so trying. BHAGWANJI BHINDI Nasinu


Passing the COVID law is perhaps the easiest accomplishment by all our lawmakers and powers in executive national authority. Enforcing and policing it is going to be tough. During my pre-dawn 60-min brisk walk through Namaka or the Denarau, Nadi bypass, I encounter many who are emboldened by their arrogance and inability to wear masks. Their reasons not to adhere to “life and death” COVID virus rules is staggeringly mind-boggling. I strongly believe, and stand corrected, there is insufficient numbers of police officers to adequately and effectively man our Martintar-Namaka roads and streets from 4am to 8pm daily. Police officers on-the-beat are a clearly invisible. On Tuesday morning, June 8, around 6.30am I encountered no less than eight iTaukei youths, totally maskless along Queens Rd Martintar. Each morning presents its own set of unsettling citizens who just cannot care less respecting medical sciences and our new COVID law. Why? What causes so much irresponsibility, care and concern for themselves and everyone else? Is there an acceptable solution to this nuisance of a human-activated problem? More police officers on-the-beat and book all offenders. Please be ruthless. Show no mercy. On-the-spot fines please. Mandatory $100. Five days to pay. In default 10 days correctional service quarantine. Plus 10 days/80 hours compulsory community service under strict military style supervision (bring own lunch). Clean our streets, roads, parks, drain, cemetery and public toilets. This might be an effective deterrent. COVID law must be enforced; full brunt; no mercy. People just might learn, I hope. Ronnie Chang Chair – Concerned Nadi Citizens Martintar, Nadi

Shop online

So Jitesh Patel wants everyone to stay home, shop online and get their food delivered. Welcome to the real world Mr Patel. How is this practicable? Firstly not everyone has access to the internet. Secondly if thousands did it the websites would crash and the delivery vans couldn’t cope. People want to choose their own meat and veg, not be given something chosen by someone else and they don’t want to wait for a delivery which may or may not arrive. Then there’s the problem of how to pay. Card or cash? This system even couldn’t cope in the UK at the peak of the pandemic so it certainly wouldn’t work here. I’m sure the already struggling market vendors wouldn’t be too happy with people buying everything from the supermarkets. Steve Illingworth Valelevu, Nasinu

Patriotic choice

It is really sad to see some parliament debates being divisive at this time in Fiji, when all parties need to unify against the COVID fight; and now — a lecturer claiming to be anti vaccine in Fiji. Seriously, what is her point? Such manoeuvrings at the expense of what’s best for our nation right now? Apalling! And what of the conspicuous silence of Ashwin Raj on human rights, through all of this? Today, there is evidence now of our virulent strain of Delta plus, that suggests it is aerosol as well as droplets based. It can transpire through the air and ventilation systems. So why would anyone not vaccinate? Apart from any superstitious nonsense that is unfounded. Vaccinating is increasingly the patriotic choice. There is no longer time to be debating the need for a vaccine, or not; as if we had super resources, both human and medical, or superior faith, or superior medical knowledge to our top team three health leaders, Dr Fong, Dr Aalisha, and Dr Tudravu. Why are Fijians still not listening? Maybe because of super self righteousness, or super stupid pride, or super foolish ignorance? All global statistics are showing how vaccinated populations are those that are reducing COVID mortalities, and severity of cases. Listen to the stories of long haul COVID survivors on reputable mainstream media. Check out their validity. What is it with some folks in Fiji, simply trying to gain quedos by self centred means, even misquoting anti vaxxers from conspiracy theorists in the USA? Plainly ridiculous nonsense. Are they aware of the Norwegian founder and conspirator anti vaxxer who died recently, of COVID? And infected all his sheep-like followers. Surely not. JEAN HATCH Sawau St, Nabua, Suva

A huge slap

Congrats to Professor Pal Ahluwalia on being reinstated as the vice-chancellor of USP. I believe this move is no doubt a huge slap on those who attempted to impede his colourful career. A true warrior indeed. Nishant Singh Lautoka

Lie detector

Imagine if human bodies had an in-built lie detector system among the other systems such as the circulatory system, what would be life like today? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

World Environment Day

With World Environment Day this week, many including all inhabitants of our planet Earth are raising their voices #For Nature. As we build back better during these difficult times, let’s put nature at the heart of our decision-making and call for a healthier, more sustainable planet that works for everyone, everywhere all the time. Jadon E Masivesi Tadra-Votualevu, Nadi

To be a feminist

I constantly teach my son what it means to be a feminist. I tell him often feminism does not mean being feminine… it means gender equality for all. Jioji M Cakacaka Tadra- Votualevu, Nadi

Life without NGOs

Imagine if there was no NGOs. Life for many would be much more challenging. Dan Urai Lautoka

Assist the needy

Scribe and the Cabbie, is the title I’ve given to Allen and his TD. It sounds more like, one of those olden days police TV shows or a superhero team, well it may as well be, with them going against all odds, to venture yonder beyond their borders to assist where needed. Up, up and away, oh that’s Superman, OK levamine. Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Kudos to Fiji

FA As reported in The Fiji Times, the Fiji Football Association is helping out Fijian football players who are in need which is a wonderful thing. Due to this pandemic, nearly all types of businesses have suffered heavy losses, and the Fiji FA has not been spared. Impact on their sponsors and few games at reduced capacity must have had a huge effect on revenue streams. In the face of all these challenges the Fiji FA has gone out of its way to help players. Such a great act of kindness from the association as part of their moral and social responsibility. Indeed you have stood through the test of times. Kudos to the officials. Pranil Ram Votualevu, Nadi

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