Letters to the Editor – June 4

Josua Tuisova of Fiji breaks free to score a try during the pool match between Fiji and New Zealand on day one of the HSBC London Sevens at Twickenham Stadium on June 2, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.Picture: ZIMBIO

Fantastic Fijian flair

“Magic, magic, magic! That’s what makes this game so brilliant!”
These words were uttered by 7s commentator Scott Hastings, who found it hard to control his excitement when Semi Radradra got a superb try against Scotland.
Fans at Twickenham and viewers all over the world saw Fijian rugby at its best — a combination of natural flair, pace, big hits, brilliant off-loads and scintillating tries.
Despite the early shocker against the Santiago-coached 7th-seeded Argentina outfit in the pool of death, Fiji topped the pool after thrashing the two-time winners and defending champs Scotland and the 7s gold medallists from the Commonwealth Games NZ.
Argentina started bravely with the likes of Schulz, Alvarez, Osadczuk, Etchart, captain Revol, Sabato and Gonzalez and kept the game tight.
Fiji had quality and Baber had the luxury to start Tuisova and Radradra off the bench.
However, the Fijian rhythm failed to stick and the Los Pumas led 19-14.
A penalty in front of the posts and a kicker of Revol’s calibre missed.
That showed high levels of fatigue and pressure.
Our subs in Nasilasila and Nacuqu sparked the missing flair and Fiji escaped at the jaws of defeat 28-19.
It was not a premier performance from the series leaders but the boys got the job done.
Against Scotland Radradra and Tuisova started relegating Sau to the bench.
It was a much polished effort as Fiji dismantled Lowe, Godsmark, Nayacavou, Farndale, Graham, Harvey and Fergusson.
Fiji ran riot to score 7 beautiful tries and came out victorious 39-12. Fiji had one foot in the cup quarters and NZ was up next.
Fiji and NZ had played each other 96 times.
Fiji won 49 games while 47 games went NZ’s way. Laidlaw fielded the best as he knew that the team which went down would face the wounded Blitzbokke which lost to Samoa.
The likes of Curry, Mikkelson, Dickson, Baker, Seturo, Molia, NG Shiu, Collier, Ware and the three Fijians Rayasi, Nareki and Rokolisoa were part of the black outfit.
According to 7s legend Karl Tenana, “The Fiji versus NZ clash was special, unique and memorable and brought out the best”.
However, the Fijians intimidated the young NZ defence and the smashing hits made the All Blacks crumble under pressure.
Tuisova, Sila, Vatemo and Radradra showed clean pair of heels and plenty of pace.
NZ was shell-shocked by Fiji’s physicality and switched off and it was a nightmare for NZ defending against Fiji.
While NZ looked for answers, fans applauded the fantastic Fijian flair as Fiji made an imposing statement when day one concluded. Toso Viti toso! Wananavu! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingham, Nadawa, Nasinu

Business talk
I respect Vineet Chands letter (3/6, 2018) in The Fiji Times.
It is easily said on paper, from inside the office, or simply giving speeches in public like our good politicians.
On the ground it’s totally different.
The worst days of any employer are Mondays and Saturdays. Grog doped or hangover.
I own five companies, pay them the best of wages, follow all laws, give them a bonus. Sometimes the workers are my boss.
The labour laws have empowered our workers so much.
You won’t understand. I will pay your airfares to and back. Please come and visit me. Please bring your labour minister too.
After me I will refer you to others who are feeling the same. You will be in for a shock

Footpath issue
I think many pedestrians continue to lose their lives largely because of no footpaths on our roads.
I think we all know that footpaths or sidewalks reduce crash risk by separating vehicles and pedestrians.
Pedestrians are often forced on to the road because of inadequate footpath space, parked cars and poor footpath surfaces.
I think parking on footpath which is illegal must be stopped at all cost.
In my view a footpath next to the road helps in preventing and minimising pedestrian crashes and loss of lives too.
I know in rural areas footpaths are often not provided, even where pedestrian volumes are high but in urban areas, raised footpaths are often part of the road cross-section. As per my thinking, the benefits of footpaths are:
* Increased safety for pedestrians.
* Improves facilities for pedestrians (improves accessibility).
* May help to increase walking as a mode of transport (environmental benefits and reduced traffic congestion).
* Walking can improve health and fitness.
At this juncture I would like to quote the message of the mayor of the City of New York, Michael R Bloomberg which goes like this;
“New York City has been at the forefront of efforts to fight obesity and ensure that our residents have the tools and resources they need to lead healthy lives. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight is through regular exercise, and the results of this sidewalk study will help communities design an urban environment that encourages more people to stay active.”
Before I conclude, I would like to urge the Nadi Town Council to start working on footpaths which are missing for a long time in the town boundary.
I don’t think a single street in the Nadi Town boundary is complete with footpath and this is really sad.
I don’t think you can leave the municipal boundary in its present state forever.
Please think about diverting funds received from rates every year towards upgrading the much-needed infrastructure which improves the lives of your citizens. Suresh Chand Nadi

London 7s
We settled down at Kava Place and watched Super Rugby and then waited for the London sevens.
The ceremonial drink was ready and we were quite content in that we had a “bus” a “semi trailer” and a “sledge hammer” on our side.
Our pool was the pool of death with New Zealand, Argentina and Scotland.
We had a somewhat jittery start with Argentina that saw us holding our breath a few times.
But we beat Scotland and New Zealand and it’s early morning now (yesterday) as I pen this letter.
We found our rhythm and I know with a bit more time Tuisova and Radradra will jell better. But they showed the class they are in and clicked with the boys. To the team and the management, good on ya. Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

NCDs and the police
Your article in The Sunday Times June 3, 2018, regarding NCDs in the police force, may be related to modern technology. When I was serving as a senior inspector (23 years) with a government agency in Australia, CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) we changed from a manual hand written system to a fully computerised system.
Two events then followed,
• Those of us who did not already wear corrective eye lenses, had to do so in a very short time, myself included.
• The lengthy periods spent on the computer resulted in overweight and lack of fitness.
The field trips requiring leaving the office and physically inspecting premises and aircraft, became few and far between, as we became more and more tied to inputs on the computer.
Prior to this change, I had little need for the use of a gym as I spent most of the time out of the office.
OHS (occupational health and safety) personnel determined that we should have breaks from the computer every 45 minutes, however because of workloads and time constrains this rarely occurred.
I am now retired and have lived in Korotogo for many years where I ensure I have lots of local fresh vegetables and exercise a lot by walking, as I have no transport. I do recall seeing the local police walking around the area, however, that too has now become a rare thing.
I have admired Brig-Gen Qiliho in his efforts to address various problems in the police force, and he may be interested in an expansion of these details.
Robert Bradley Noble (Brad), Korotogo.

Concession on taxi fare
The Ministry for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation has always recognised the contribution of senior citizens in the country. In a bid to support them and to ensure that the elderly are able to commute at an affordable rate, the ministry came up with the concession card scheme.
I believe a deed of agreement was signed by the government with Fiji Taxi Association in November 2011 when the new taxi fare was approved.
I believe the agreement had a provision for the 20 per cent discount which stated that: The association with all its members jointly and severally, hereby agree that with effect from the date of commencement of this agreement, all taxi operators will provide taxi services at a discount rate of 20 per cent of actual fare to disable persons and senior citizens. The discount rate shall only be valid for journey up to 20 kilometres.
I believe, not long ago some members of the public in Labasa raised complaint with relevant authority and it was made clear that the 20 per cent discount is still in force.
However, it is very disappointing to note that quite a number of taxi drivers in Navua are refusing to accept concession cards and provide 20 per cent discount on actual fare to senior citizens, disabled people and people receiving food voucher and family assistance from the Ministry for Social Welfare.
Through this letter I lodge my complaint with relevant authorities and shall highly appreciate if the public could be made aware whether taxi operators in Navua are covered under the agreement to offer 20 per cent discount on actual fare to seniors and disabled people. Indar Jit, Tokotoko, Navua.

Drug value
AS much as $16 million was the street value of marijuana that police have successfully captured (FT/3/6/18). Begs the question how much got away?
Dan Urai, Lautoka.

Makes my day
I would like to thank the illustrator of The Fiji Times who always brings a smile and laughter for the day by spreading his message to the public in a comic way. So creative. Rodney Clarence Raj, Labasa.

National anthem
Gusher Ali hits the nail on the head (FT/2/6/18). Our sevens team to sing the National anthem in the i-Taukei language and not in a foreign (English) language which some players are not fluent with.
I believe we should all be proud of showing the world that we do have our own language and culture. Maybe time to bring back the cibi.
Dan Urai, Lautoka.

Kava sale
I would like to know why a grog dealer in Labasa is buying kosa (grog residue) for $25 a kg. So please be careful when buying pounded grog.
Sukha Singh, Labasa.

Memorable quotes
Commentators and 7s voices in Scott Hastings, Rob Vickerman and Karl Te Nana had a mouthful to say about Fiji’s delicious performance in London on day one.
I would love to share some of these — “Tuisova loves doing what he loves doing the most- creating terror in the opposition”, “Look at the foot work for a big man like Radradra”, “Physicality has been Fiji’s weapon”, “There are jaws open all around the stadium”, “Fiji makes it look so easy when they cut against the angle”, “The show and the go from Aminoni Nasilasila”, “Baber rotates his playmakers”, “Nasilasila has been electric”, “Such a weapon — Radradra”, “Fiji’s brilliant ability to turn defence into attack”, “Wave after wave of Fijian attack”, “Oh, this is outrageous”, “You just don’t know what’s coming from the Fijians”, “Like a flash and he stretches his legs”, “This Fijian side will make you pay” and “Look at the number of different types of passing. The step and go. One handed then the two handed.”
Finally, I rate this as Radradra scored against Scotland — “How good was this 7s try. I will never tire of watching a 7s try like this try.”
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu.

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