Letters to the Editor – June 18, 2019

Dog attack victim two-year-old Amari Whippy after a successful second surgery is comforted by her mother, Lydia. Picture SUPPLIED

Stray dogs a nuisance

My heart goes out to the family of two-year-old Amari Whippy who was brutally attacked by a pack of stray dogs. Her attack and the many other attacks on innocent people are an eye-opener and I’m glad that our PM has stepped in and ordered municipal councils throughout the country to carry out a campaign to remove dangerous wild dogs from communities. While I pity the dogs I believe part of the blame must also go out to the owners of these dogs who have left them stranded. These dogs when stranded form a pack and hunt for food. In the process they attack the innocent. This reminds me of the novel Island of the Blue Dolphins where the brother of Karana (the main character) was killed by a pack of wild dogs when he went hunting. While I’m glad that the PM has intervened I’m rather saddened that it had to take his instructions for heads to start rolling. Finally, while it is important that pet owners keep their dogs confined, it is important that children are supervised when playing outside. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Bus operators

The comments by the outgoing president of the Fiji Bus Operators Association, Richard Lal, that bus operators are on the ground and they are the best people to identify issues as they arise and suggest solutions, is a rather blurred statement to make considering the poor standards of service that bus operators continue to provide. Mr Lal’s comments were told to our Attorney-General in that Government had failed to consult them on issues concerning the sector (FT 17/06). Some of the buses operating up here in the North Mr Lal are as old as the roads and they move literally surrounded in a plume of suffocating smog. The same buses are even used to transport our primary school students to and from school every day. When you are caught behind one of these ramshackle crawlers going up a steep winding road, it would be faster and healthier for me to walk. If bus operators cannot identify these kinds of issues that have been on-going for decades, then it is only right for Government to step in and instruct them to provide clean, safe and capable public transportation. Bus operators don’t need to be consulted but directed to provide better service to the nation. Step up your service! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

French effort

The 2018/2019 French Top 14 final between Toulouse and Clermont had a truly international flavour. In the red carpet formalities before the first whistle, the players met the French President. Clermont had three Fijians in their armoury. Peceli Yato, Alifereti Raka and Apisai Nakalevu went down on one knee to show their ultimate respect. The efforts of the trio on the field were not enough as Toulouse came out victors to lift the Bouclier de Brennus trophy. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Rugby World Cup

Aww, how lovely that Adi Asenaca Caucau has been chosen to deliver the match ball in Fiji’s last pool match against Wales at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year. I know Adi Asenaca and her family will cherish the moment forever. Thank you for giving her the opportunity. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Breakfast time

As a typical village boy who grew up in the 1970s in Yasawa, I remember that we were eating our meals three times per day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner with no snacks. For instance, breakfast at 7-8am, lunch at noon and dinner at 6pm. That means we would be eating for 10 hours of the day, which nicely balanced by 14 hours of fasting. Obesity and Type 2 diabetes were not nearly the problem as they are today. Compare that with how we are having our meals today. Breakfast at 8am, lunch at noon and in between that we have our favourite snacks. Dinner at 6pm in between lunch and dinner we have our snacks and after dinner before bedtime its snacks time again. Oh boy! No wonder we are witnessing the obesity epidemic. Instead of having a balance of feeding and fasting, we are eating perhaps 16 to 18 hours of the day and fasting only 6 to 8 hours. I believe it should be the opposite. Etuate Uluinaceva Papanui, Christchurch, New Zealand

Team’s performance

Looking at the shaky performance of our Fijiana, I’m beginning to wonder what’s amiss. In France the Fijiana lost its pool matches going down to the hosts (29-0), China (15-14) and USA (14-12). This means that the Fijiana failed to make it into the cup quarters for the third successive tournament. In Japan, our 7s team lost to Ireland (31-10), England (35-15) and USA (31-50), while in Canada the team went down to Spain (21-14), USA (28-7) and France (19-14). Fiji is blessed with an abundance of skills and talents and we need the right resource personnel to manage the team. I am confident that FRU will review the team’s performance and get the right minds to take the Fijiana to the qualification rounds of the Olympic Games. It’s high time that an expatriate is brought to coach the Fijiana! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Dog attack

I cried when I read about the little girl who was bitten by stray dogs. I was also angry because the dogs had entered their compound and bit her. Are we no longer safe in our own compounds now? I know of people who no longer go for morning walks because they fear stray dogs will attack them. Brave people who still walk have a stick in their hand. Is this to go on forever? But thank you to the Prime Minister for stepping in, but keep your promise and do something. Mere Lagilagi Lovu

Stray pack

The attack on a toddler by a pack of “stray” dogs recently was hideous. However, I doubt many were strays, somebody must have been feeding them. About two weeks ago I had a visit from two very polite people from the Agriculture Department who pointed to my unlicensed dog and asked me to register it. This I agreed to do but pointed out that the Tavua Agricultural Department was very inefficient in the fact that employees were rarely present, and those that were could not authorise payment receipts. I was supplied with a phone number that could be used to ensure that an agriculture employee would visit my property and issue the relevant payment receipt. However, my daughter went to the Agriculture Department to register the dog. Two employees were there but neither could issue a receipt. In itself this is frustrating but I cannot understand why there is not a central payment system whereby all Tavua department bills, etc can be received, why individual ones? Some money could be saved here surely. While I agree with registering dogs, this is not going to solve the pack problem. What is needed is a tough policy where stray dogs are rounded up, if anybody wants to claim them they have to pay $100 plus licence fee. If after three days the dogs are not claimed, they have to be put down. Of course the do-gooders will scream at this, if they do then come up with a better solution. Allan Loosley Tavua

Strays and all

Allen Lockington you now have backing, go for it. Dan Urai Lautoka

Sad day

I find it rather unfortunate that the stray dog issue has to end up in the Prime Minister’s Office. We have people in the ministry who are tasked to do the job, and now a child has been mauled and we act. We need to relook at the job descriptions and values and dedication of the people in charge of the issue. It is a sad day for Fiji for the Prime Minister to step in and say something will be done. Iliesa Baravilala Natabua Housing, Lautoka

Struggle for freedom

An American civil rights leader once said nowhere have people secured their rights and freedoms without relentless struggle. The Hong Kong case provides a good contemporary example of that. If it wasn’t for the Hong Kong peoples’ relentless struggle (against the Extradition Bill) their long cherished freedoms and democratic rights would have become a thing of the past. The struggle was to make sure that did not happen. All strength to the Hong Kong people in their struggle to protect their democratic culture and society from totalitarian encroachment. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Environmental complaints

Lenora Qereqeretabua is correct that we all know there are more cases of environmental degradation and pollution happening all the time right around the country. One such example is vehicle emissions. No one can complain because we are all guilty. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

A humble act

To assist where needed, is a humble act, to assist to be seen is a different type of act, and to assist with conditions, well, that act needs to be reenacted. Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Fijiana rugby

It’s not the end of the world; believe in yourself, success will surely follow. Dan Urai Lautoka

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