Letters to the Editor – June 6, 2020

Police begin to clear demonstrators as they protest the death of George Floyd, near the White House in Washington, June 1, 2020. (AP/Alex Brandon)

President Trump’s statement

Many Americans showed their anger and frustration after the statement President Trump made during a press briefing recently: “I can’t stand back and watch this happen to a great American city, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. “Either the very weak radical left mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the city under control, or I will send in the National Guard and get the job done right….. These thugs are dishonouring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Unfortunately, not much has changed since the statement was made, as protests continue to take place across a number of cities unabated. Suresh Chand Nadi Memorial service At George Floyd’s memorial service the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump –– an acclaimed civil rights attorney and author of award winning book Open Season : Legalized Genocide of Colored People (2019 ) –– said what we saw on the video of the police killing of George Floyd was torture, what we saw was inhumane, what we saw was cruel and evil. We can’t co-operate with that. We must go out and protest against this evil, this injustice and seek justice (Aljazeera live event 5/6 ). I believe all right-thinking people in America and around the world, white people and coloured people, agree with that. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Strong in unity

THURSDAY night (4/6), my attention was drawn to an article that was written by Ms Kelly Vacala of FBC. The article was titled “We are stronger united, says Unity Fiji Party leader”. The first paragraph of the article says “Unity Fiji Party leader Savenaca Narube has welcomed the invitation by Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, to work together to bring Fiji out of this deep crisis”. Well, history at times repeats itself. I instantly recall the series of events that took place in 2000, beginning with the Speight’s coup on 19/5/2000. After the Republic of Fiji Military Forces restored order, it formed an interim military government instead of facilitating the restoration of the legal government of prime minister Mahendra Chaundhry. One of the key advisers to the interim military government was Savenaca Narube. A caretaker civilian government, led by the late prime minister Qarase, subsequently took over until the general elections in August/September, 2001. All along that period and during the SDL government from 2001 to December 2006, Mr Narube was one of the key stalwarts in guiding the economic development of our beloved nation. Well, for a time like this (Esther 4:14), Mr Narube, despite his political affiliation, must come on board and help steer in the right direction the economic flagship of our country. Of course, he must be accorded the respect and courtesy he deserves. Pita K. Nacuva Tamavua Ward, Suva

Minister for Agriculture

Countering the COVID-19 pandemic, our honourable minister has been under a lot of heat lately, not only from scribes, but in Parliament as well. From his current track I suggest a more broad scenario. Use the now redundant Rakiraki mill to make flour out of dalo, cassava and corn. Surely this will fill our valley with dalo, our hills and mountains with cassava and the abandoned cane fields with corn. Human resources is out there no doubt. No major skill required, as most are already into it but at subsistence scale. The three commodities grow well locally and planting to harvesting does not take long. Access point for Vanua Levu suppliers is Nabouwalu, and Natovi on the other end is under two hours travel to Rakiraki. Other small Pacific Islands can also be suppliers and consumers at the same time. External wheat supply may be a political hindrance with the bubble beside it, but why not Mr Reddy test the waters, at least with a venture with no outside reliance. Vili Ralulu Lautoka

Gas price

The price of gas has gone down, if it goes down anymore the shops may pay us to buy a cylinder. Having said that if the price of diesel plummets like that and goes negative, what would happen to Energy Fiji Ltd? Would they be paying us for the power we use? Oh man my vivid imagination, it’s gonna get me into trouble. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka Reality of the matter I believe the “reality of the matter” is that people purposefully do not want to see the reality of the matter. Arun Prasad Dilkusha, Nausori

Money matters

When the people didn’t really need it, money was handed out like it was going out of fashion. Now when they need it, they are told, use your savings. We live in sad times. Mere Lagilagi Raviravi, Ba

Cut out globetrotting

In the new normal period, virtual conferences should take place as much as possible. Especially when it concerns large numbers of people travelling across borders to converge at respective destinations for conventions, etc. As it is being successfully practised currently, it shows there is no need to gather unnecessarily when we have technology at our disposal. Unless it is absolutely necessary, removal of physical presence (face to face) is very economical. It reduces unnecessary expenditure (which could be utilised elsewhere) and effects on the environment (climate change). In the current pandemic (because of restrictions and border closures), numerous virtual conferences have taken place with effective communication. That itself is proof of how we can operate in the post Covid-19 period. The Government has to put the spotlight on expenditure reduction. For Fiji, this is one area to focus on once we enter the new normal. There are lessons to be learnt and here is one. Enough of the globetrotting. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Reinvent itself

Prof Steven Ratuva is right in pointing out that the suspended SODELPA party needs to reinvent itself for its political survival and electoral success (FT 5/6). We recall from history that the NFP had once become fractured and the division was so deep and acrimonious that the two factions (Dove and Flower) even fought election separately. It got them nowhere politically. The NFP has since reinvented itself and is today a united and dignified party with a good standing in society. SODELPA can draw valuable lessons from the NFP experience to remain viable. Hope it does that rather than be forced to close shop. It would be bad for Fijian democracy if this major opposition party is deregistered . Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Find a way in

There is a way out says New Zealand-based political sociologist Prof, Steven Ratuva, in his summation of the debunked suspended Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) (FT 05/06). SODELPA (suspended) had no problems finding a way out in getting suspended for 60 days by Mohammed Saneem, the supervisor of elections, for breaching the Political Parties Act. What the suspended SODELPA urgently needs is to find a way back in and take the party to a standard that will have them in a position to be capable of running government. Two factions within one party has brought SODELPA (suspended) to its knees. D-day is the 25th of July, 2020. Interesting and eager to know how they will find their way back! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

PM’s message

The Prime Minister confirmed that all COVID-19 patients have fully recovered in Fiji. Eventually schools will reopen on the 30th of this month after clarification from health officials. Time has come to go back to reality after two long months of homestay. Some are prepared mentally and physically to hit the strides as the already challenging situation will provide further hurdles to everyone involved with the school system. The morning rush, the workload stress, the late night studies, it’s all coming back! Raynav Chand Nakasi

Thank you EFL

I express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to EFL and A-G for allowing Fijians, who find it difficult to pay their electricity bill, up to four weeks after the due date to make payment. This will bring relief to those who have lost their jobs and those who have reduced income to meet their needs as well as pay their electricity bill. Thank you Government and EFL for providing the much-needed assistance! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu


Streetlights is a safety and quality of life issue. The streetlight at the Cannery St cul-de -sac is defective again. Can the concerned authority please permanently fix it before momo Seba Ravugani replaces it with a tube light. OB! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Give ’em a break

Give them a break, Allen. When they were teaching our children, they were unceremoniously dumped after attaining the age of 55. No tea party, nothing, just a “thank you for your services” letter from the Ministry of Education. They may look positively at your thought (FT 05/06) with the next government which was not responsible for the misery teachers encountered. Dan Urai Lautoka

Agro move

Now is the time to agro…give incentives to people to plant and export…keep the brand but follow required specifications…make sugar our number one export again… stop grovelling and talking… stand up and do something. Joe Matatolu Waila 3A

Lighting issue

Can the Lautoka City Council please relook at the lighting along Marine Drive. It is too dark for morning joggers. The solar lights are so dim, would be brighter if you hang kerosene lanterns on those posts. The other morning, I mistook another jogger for Anthony Sahai. I thought he jogged from Suva. Wara o flash! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka


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


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