Letters to the Editor – June 6, 2019

The Fiji Airways Fiji 7s side winning the 2018/2019 World Sevens series. Picture: WORLD RUGBY

Congratulations in order

Congratulations all around to the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team in taking out the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The top four teams were all guaranteed their spots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It was also fitting that all four teams qualified for the semi-finals of the Paris tournament to round off the series. It was Fiji first, United States second, New Zealand third and South Africa fourth. All along I was confident of Fiji’s success soon after our honourable Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama had united our Special Olympics team to Parliament and organised lunch for all at McDonald’s. As president of the Fiji Rugby Union, he has steered our rugby crazy nation to greater heights on the world scene. Accolades have been forthcoming for Derenalagi, Tuimaba and Botitu but my pick for the last leg was none other than Sevuloni Mocenacagi. He was dedicated, disciplined and dynamic in his performance. As usual Jerry Tuwai not only broke records but was declared the best 7s player on this planet. Hats off to coach Gareth Baber for being cool, calm and collected despite having so many critics distracting his coaching style. Being the humble person he is, I am sure he will welcome those critics to be part of the success of our national 7s team. The FRU officials, Baber and his coaching staff all deserve credit alongside our victorious gladiators led by skipper Paula Dranisinukula. I am positive that the Prime Minister and Minister for Economy will have some sweet sentence for our boys during the budget presentation on Friday. To the very hardworking Fiji Football Association president and FIFA council member, Rajesh Patel, I am sure you will once again congratulate our successful 7s team. I am not sure, when under your leadership will the Bula Boys ever go out to represent Fiji on the world scene. Surely, the Bula smile will always be there. Meantime, let’s celebrate the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team’s world series win and Olympic qualification. Go Fiji, go. Raymond Singh Lautoka

Historical event

The 30th year anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre had an illuminating coverage in The Fiji Times (June 5, p28,29). Wonder why there was no such media coverage in China? Could it be because China is still not an open society (Plamenatz, 1963 Man and society) — a more democratic society — which is what the 1989 student protest was about? Some say China today is in fact more of an Orwellian society with constant state surveillance and state coercion of the citizenry. I believe that would explain the censorship of the historical event of 1989. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

EFL process

The buzzword these days is “public consultation”! I believe this consultation exercise for an increase in tariffs by Energy Fiji Limited (EFL) is a waste of time and money. While the nation will go against the increase, I believe EFL will go about their business of informing, enlightening, and guiding the nation towards a definite increase in rates. These consultations are always attended by the same outspoken people and groups, each professing to be the voice of ordinary Fijians, each with their particular personal axe to grind, and is nothing more than just a waste of time and money. The enormous costs of gathering information and ideas from these same selected people will not matter as I believe the decision to increase has already been made! The question I have is why waste so much money and time on something that I believe has already been determined? Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Municipal issue

I believe all municipal CEO positions have been advertised in the papers. I think it is the government’s intention to put in new blood in the council administration. Though not advertised, I think it also the government’s intention to appoint some new special administrators. I think the number of special administrators allocated to each council is also changing once the new appointments are announced. I believe the announcement is timely but things must move faster. Let’s hope the service to the ratepayers and citizens gets better with the new appointments. I think ratepayers prefer the old arrangement electing councillors because it provides easy communication. As far as councils are concerned, I think service to ratepayers should be of utmost importance because of their financial contribution. As we wait for the local government reforms to be completed, let’s have a system that protects and promotes the interest of all in town. I don’t think we should lose hope of municipal council elections because we live in a changing world. Before concluding, I would like remind our council to place more emphasis on drain maintenance and cleaning. Suresh Chand Nadi

Deaths of tourists

The passing away of American tourists David and Jane Paul is indeed unfortunate and rather sad. What was supposed to be a happy holiday vacation has ended in disaster. The young couple met their fate because of an illness that is yet to be determined. It is absolutely important that this case is thoroughly investigated and solved as soon as possible. Already social media is hyped up about it with many commenting about cancelling or deferring their trip to Fiji. This will definitely have a detrimental effect on Fiji tourism. As for us, we need to know that the mystery disease they were carrying will not have a detrimental effect on us! The sooner all gets cleared the better. May David and Jane rest in eternal peace! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Ratu’s moment

Napolioni Ratu surprised many when he was named the 2019 Paris 7s Player of the Final. After reading the article in The Fiji Times (04/05) titled “From water boy to best player”, I found out that our soft-spoken play-maker hails from a simple village life of farming and taking care of farm animals and used to be a water boy before getting his much needed break in the Yasawa 7s tournament where he scored a brilliant individual try in the quarters during sudden death against Ratu Filise and then scored five tries against Yasawa Stingers in the semis. I quote what I wrote in my letter to the editor titled “Rugby 7s X-factor” (18/05), “I’m banking on courageous captain Paula to lead like a warrior and I’m happy that Baber has not made too many changes and included Napolioni Ratu in the mix as Ratu scored a beauty against Africa in the final of the Singapore 7s.” I’m happy for Ratu especially when our star in the making was sin-binned for a shoulder charge against Argentina and was handed a three-match suspension but he made up for it in the final as he scored 20 out of Fiji’s 35 points. Thus, I believe that if nurtured well, we have found our next Jerry Tuwai as despite his size Ratu has a lion’s heart. Once again congratulations on your achievement Ratu and all the best for the next season! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Fiji 7s magic

Words fail me as we toppled team after team to win not only the series but to win back to back in Paris! And the accolades bestowed upon several individuals show our skills as the best of the best. Also we have been able to win some kick-offs, found a couple who could kick between the posts and one player did kick cross field to score. As for Japan next year there is no need to change a winning combination. No need for overseas players either, unless we lose these champions to other countries. FRU please do your best to retain our heroes. Our grateful thanks also to the coach and managerial team. Kudos to all. To show our appreciation we would not hesitate to contribute to a treasure chest set up for them as suggested by another reader. Norman Yee Mehrotra Place, Martintar, Nadi

US support

After the prime minister’s latest crusade for action against climate change, I reckon he should turn his attention to the US President Donald Trump. If convinced, I believe Mr Trump would be a significant inclusion in his globe-trotting campaign. I’d say, the PM would have the most powerful ace up his sleeve. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Minimum wage

Tsk, tsk… an Aussie determines the effects of the minimum wage here in Fiji…tsk, tsk! Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Confiscated fish

I totally agree with Simon Hazelman of Savusavu regarding the intention of the Ministry of Fisheries to destroy the confiscated fish. This is such a waste of good food. As I suggested last year, the old people’s homes or the orphanages can benefit from this and this can be done after the banned period. Norman Yee Mehrotra Place, Martintar, Nadi

Our roads

Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) is planning to digitise traffic lights. May I suggest that fly overs be erected at busy intersection, short ones. Just a thought. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Fiji’s economy

While Fiji’s economy is being reported to be on track, with continuous growth for a decade, it is not all easygoing. There is intense competition from the cost of living which is on the same race track. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Champion trainer

Gareth Baber should be given the title and referred to as “Trainer of champions” from now on. Sir James Ah Koy, KBE Suva

Best coach

I think Gareth Baber is a better coach than Ben Ryan. He doesn’t go running after former sevens stars. I hope the same thing should be done by local soccer coaches. Sukha Singh Labasa

Paris win

Olympic champions Fiji sealed their fourth World Rugby Sevens Series title as they won the season ending Paris 7s tournament in style. Victory in the past four against series runners-up USA 33-14 was enough to confirm Fiji’s status as champions. They then produced a superb display in the final to see off New Zealand, who finished third overall, 35-24. Beaten semi-finalists USA and South Africa completed the four sides to earn direct qualification for Tokyo 2020. “To round it off as we did is pretty special,” said Fiji coach Gareth Baber. Captain Josua Vakurunabili said he told his team to “make people back home and your family proud”, adding: “I said ‘if you want to be a history maker, don’t let this moment pass you’.” Congratulations Fiji. Tomasi Boginiso Nasinu

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