Letters to the Editor – May 24

Vilikesa Karalo pulling in the 2 meter sea cow (manatee) which was found dead along the Naselai beach in Tailevu on Sunday. Picture: SUPPLIED/MALELI VEIDREYAKI

Making decisions that matter
Two men were in for the shock of their lives upon finding a sea mammal foreign to Fiji waters.
The mammal, which washed up at the Naselai beach in Tailevu, was confirmed to be a dugong by University of the South Pacific’s Marine Studies lecturer Dr Susanna Piovano (FT 22/05).
I must commend the two men — Maleli Veidreyaki and Vilikesa Karalo — for being thoughtful and not tossing the dead mammal back into the sea, but burning it. As per the report that said, “It was smelling and we decided not to throw it again into the sea because we knew sharks were going to come.”
These are two thoughtful gentlemen and I believe if only we could have 99 per cent of the people thinking like this towards the environment, Fiji will be secure for the future.
Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Not an easy journey
Congratulations on the outcome of your court case and for the courage shown throughout.
We know that it was not an easy journey, but The Fiji Times stood the test and came out victorious.
A hearty congratulations to Hank Arts and the team for restoring confidence in fair and balanced reporting which no doubt has set the precedence for future journalists.
Once again keep up the good work and kudos again to The Fiji Times.
Allan Jesoni

Editorial comment
Your editorial “Thank you for your support” (FT 23/5) illustrates why you have such overwhelming support in Fiji and around the world.
Your comment, “We are not pro-government, and neither are we anti-government” captures the essence of good journalism.
It’s about holding power to account.
Citizen journalists identify with that kind of journalism.
Some in power find that unpalatable.
That is understandable. But it must not be allowed to stand in the way of good journalism.
I believe democratic governance depends on it.
To The Fiji Times — carry on with your good journalism.
Rajend Naidu
Sydney, Australia

Joy for The Fiji Times
The joy and emotions on the faces of the staff members of The Fiji Times in yesterday’s paper and Tuesday’s Fiji One news spoke a lot about what the judgment meant to them, their families and loved ones, well-wishers and ardent readers like me.
Even the round of applause by relieved lovers of The Fiji Times was a joy to see. I was so excited and found it hard to contain my emotions.
I could only utter the words “Thank God, all is well”!
To Hank Arts and Fred Wesley, the team leading our number one newspaper is incomplete without your efforts and passion.
Please continue with the fine job that ensures that the ethics of media and journalism are enshrined in the articles and news that are published in The Fiji Times.
Your front page report titled “Not guilty” was superb and I loved this piece: “It is a victory for media in Fiji and we should be encouraged to keep going and to stay within the law.”
The Fiji Times continues to be an inspiration for those who believe in media principles and ethics.
Vinaka vakalevu!
I am so proud to be associated with you, knowing that you are the best!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam
Nadawa, Nasinu

Traffic hazard
I refer to your writer Suresh Chand’s (FT 21/05) letter “Traffic lights” in Nadi. I believe the FRA chief executive officer, Mr Moore, has publicly stated that the lack of qualified people, especially engineers and inspectors, to do the work was also an issue.
May we ask Mr Moore as to what he, as the most qualified person, did to rectify this, and what his contracted engineers and roadworks contribute to minimise this damage?
At the exit of Navakai Rd, one driver has to move forward on to oncoming traffic to be able to see the road, and the hazard here is also the flowers planted which minimises vision ahead.
At junction of Uci Rd and Queens Rd junction in Waqadra, Nadi, while waiting in the median, one has to be sitting in a high vehicle to see oncoming traffic and cars, especially grey and silver ones, merge in the barriers installed. To compound this problem, they have planted flowers which will grow entwined, and hence reduce more visibility. And then when the grass grows, they put barriers to take out weeds, hence more disturbances to traffic users.
I believe these are examples of poor planning and vision.
The list goes on and on with Khalil St motorists now having to turn left towards Lales Pacific Energy Service Station and make a right turn somewhere if they want to go to Nadi Town.
And in Namaka, there is so much confusion that it slows the pace of traffic, having to turn left, right into side roads just to get on to the opposite side or go back on to the same road after, eg. filling petrol from Total Service Station or shopping at Consumers, if you want to head towards the airport.
And as the median strips are becoming a hazard with speeding drivers, the completed roads are now stripped off and steel barriers placed and yet again flowers planted.
Now at what cost were these losses and planning made and I am sure it is in the millions of dollars and long gone will be Mr Moore, but I believe it will be us taxpayers that shall pay more. Was any feasibility study done and is anyone accountable here?
Let the blame game stop and take responsibility and advise the public of Nadi how this is being justified.
I am sure our readers have voiced similar concerns through FT Letters to the Editor, in recent days.
Umar Billy Ali Namaka, Nadi

Navua township
To my surprise this news of declaring Navua as the 14th municipality came on TV news on Saturday evening (19/05). The next morning this was repeated on radio stations. What surprises me is that this particular news is on and off for the past five years but without translating these words into reality.
Now look at the infrastructure section. I believe the minister concerned for this section of development should take time-off and make a good few hours tour of Navua area during broad daylight. He should carefully see all the blocked drains, overgrown grass, dusty roads and congested bus and taxi stands. Include market vendors on Fridays and Saturdays.
I also believe putting streetlights is not enough for a town. When the conditions of our road from the old Navua hospital to Naitonitoni was being upgraded, footpaths should have been included. Today we see so many students who walk to schools put their lives in danger. Many times parents are seen holding their hands to avoid any mishap.
Finally I sincerely hope that Navua is not declared a town in a hurry. Once all the necessary amenities are in place we will be too happy to pay our dues as town rates. I also believe that instead of all money being distributed without any proper survey should be directed towards improving infrastructure in Navua. This way everyone in our area will benefit.

Interesting memories
You had recent The Sunday Times articles on the Koi legacy, Today in History, The diary of David Cargill and Matokana Village.
All terribly interesting as is your paper in general that I have been reading pretty regularly since 1950 as a schoolboy at Suva Grammar. Colonel Mawson was our headmaster, located then, just along from the Suva Sea Baths, managed with aplomb by Mrs Weaver.
My wife lived at Sawani as a baby where her parents were teachers.
Best man at their Suva wedding in 1937 was The Fiji Times editor, at that time, Len Usher.
Sir Allport Barker, scion of The Fiji Times was the paper’s owner then, and was so, for 50 years, after he had purchased the paper in 1918.
The Sawani school, (later to become Adi Cakobau) in those days was accessed by punt across the river.
Wendy’s dad (Hugh Hickling) had taught Ratu Mara on Lakeba and was a teacher at RKS for some time.
Please continue with these great memories of Fiji.
Mr Lockington is a favourite letter contributor to the Times.
We enjoy his perceptive comments and would be interested in his Fiji background.
John and Wendy (Hickling) Cooper,
Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand.

Transport card
Since the introduction of the e-Transport card, have the bus companies noticed an increase in revenue?
Wise Muavono,
Balawa, Lautoka.

Since 1869
1869 and still going strong 149 years later.
The blend of people at The Fiji Times is what makes you a fantastic newspaper.
Just like good old Johnny Walker whiskey, the blend is smooth.
Allen Lockington,
Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka.

The guru
I believe some people are born to inspire others unknowingly! You could link this to my writing inspiration Master Rajnesh Lingam.
He has, with his exceptional letters, inspired many young readers, to write their own piece of literature. A big vinaka to The Fiji Times for unmasking this regular figure in the Letters to the Editor section.
Hopefully, he keeps inspiring us with his literature and gen. Truly a guru to look up to!
Raynav Chand,

Travel concern
This transport card in Fiji is too complicated. I travel many times in Australia in the state of NSW. I find it easy to get the card from an outlet anywhere around me.
They don’t ask for your name or any sort of identity. All you buy is the Opal card minimum of $10 and then you keep on topping it up.
If you travel alone and you lose your card at night, you can still travel, because you don’t need to get registered.
All they need for you to do is to buy the card and then travel on a train, bus or a ferry.
Let us help one another, and if we can do the same.
Meli Naiceru,
Yaqeta, Yasawa.

Freebies issue
I believe the distribution and availability of the State’s HomeS-Care assistance has exposed the poverty level, desperation and dependency of normal citizens on Government handouts.
I believe Fiji has become a “freebies”-driven society in the 21st century. A sad state of affairs.
May God help us.
Mesake Sivoinavatu,
Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Oratory contest
I was just thinking, how about teachers have an annual oratory contest.
Subjects to be asked on current affairs.
Allen Lockington,
Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka.


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