Letters to the Editor – May 25, 2020

The Nadroga rugby 15s team. Picture: STUFF/FT FILE

Tiko leads the way

Nadroga Rugby Union should be heartily commended for being the first union to work on team bonding through charitable work.

The giants of rugby are reaching out to the grassroots in terms of the development of rugby with its own club competition and recent NZ tour to play competitive rugby.

We must also highlight that the management and sponsors behind the NRU have a strong bond and one such person who deserves recognition is Tiko Matawalu.

With the work he has done behind the scenes, he is virtually ready to take up a more senior role at Rugby House.

Vinaka Tiko and your team for your recent gift to the Vatulele cyclone relief — I believe the first for Fiji rugby.

The union has proven that not only on the field, the passion breathes, it is also living off the field and is growing by the day.

My vote for Tiko.

We need you at national level.

You will make a difference and can we start the talanoa and not the tanoa.

Toso Viti, Hakwa Nadro, go white and black flag.

Go Tiko, the brave heart son of Nadroga

SHALWYN PRASAD Mukta Ben Place, Nabua

Forgotten group

Thank you Ronnie Chang (24/5/2020) for highlighting the plight of the forgotten group.

This group struggled on their own to educate their children.

There was no free education and bus fare etc during their time.

Some being honest enough did not run to the government for assistance at every available excuse.

They did not receive any assistance from the government during medical emergency because their children had good jobs.

They did not receive any help when termites ate their homes or when cyclones damaged their houses.

They were too honest to go and line up to receive government freebies because they thought there were people out there worse off and more deserving.

They exhausted their FNPF.

I could go on and on because I am one of these forgotten group.

AJAY SINGH, Natabua, Lautoka

SODELPA tragedy

WHAT a real tragedy!

The truth, they say, reveals itself in the end.

It boggles the mind to think that senior party members of the predominantly iTaukei party in SODELPA struggle to run a political party effectively and professionally.

You can only gain what you all want through the help and support of each other.

You simply need to be liked by each other, be agreeable, and co-operate as this is the only way in which you will find success.

Co-operation builds success and sadly SODELPA chooses to oppose each other instead of using each others strengths.

It is now quite transparent that members don’t agree with each other and this spells disaster.

And just how far does SODELPA think it will go as a party if they don’t agree with each other?

Senior SODELPA members need to know that each and everyone of them cannot be in it for themselves, but understand that thousands of people depend on them.

No man is an island, entire of itself, but every member must co-operate with each other.

Who and what is Social Democratic Liberal Party of Fiji (SODELPA)?

What does the party stand for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?

You are supposed to be there for each other and not against one another.

A tragedy indeed!

SIMON HAZELMAN, Rava Estate, Savusavu

Sea water for salt

The story of Naqalotu villagers in Tavuki, Kadavu using sea water as a substitute for salt attracted my attention.

According to village elder Etuate Nagata, they ran out of salt two weeks ago and the cost of road and sea transport is expensive so they resorted to fetching seawater and adding it to their meals.

Nagata also claimed that they were running short of sugar, that there are no root crops left in their farms and that rations provided by Government would only last them a couple of weeks.

This is sad as this would create a panic situation.

I hope that the villagers will be provided with second round of assistance just as FNPF is providing its second round of assistance to those affected by COVID-19 and TC Harold.

Difficult times for our beloved Fiji.

Let’s hope for the best fellow Fijians!


Tietjens’ career

Sir Gordon Tietjens resigned as the All Blacks 7s coach and joined the Samoan brigade with hopes that he would turn Samoa’s misfortunes around and bring back the glorious days of former 7s coach Titimaea ‘Dicky’ Tafua who led Samoa to win the 2009-2010 WRSS overall title after finishing seventh the previous season.

Samoa with the likes of Ofisa Treviranus, Mikaele Pesamino, Lolo Lui, Uale Mai, Alafoti Fa’osiliva and Reupena Levasa won four of the last five tournaments to win their first overall WRSS title.

Sir Gordon Tietjens with the likes of Alatasi Tupou, Tila Mealoi, Fa’alemiga Selesele, Joe Perez, Belgium Tuatagaloa, Johnny Vaili, Alamanda Motuga, Tomasi Alosio, Losi Filipo, Laaloi Leilua, Kelvin Masoe, David Afamasaga, Paulo Scanlan, Tuna Tuitama and Apelu Maliko failed to impress and made only one Cup final (2019 Las Vegas 7s) only to lose to the USA.

Samoa finished 13th in the 2016-17 WRSS, 10th in the 2017-18 WRSS, sixth in the 2018-19 WRSS and is placed 13th on the current circuit.

Hence, Sir Gordon did not have an illustrious finish with the blue brigade unlike the All Blacks with whom he won a record 12 WRSS titles, completed a hat-trick at So Kon Po, won two RWC 7s and won five Commonwealth Games gold medal.

Such is the record of Sir Gordon that makes him the best coach on the planet. I salute Sir Gordon and I wish he gets a chance to coach our national 7s team. I salute you Sir Gordon! For me, you’re the best man on the circuit!

RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Bagovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Safety guidelines

Schools in a number of European countries have begun to open but not without setting out strict Covid-19-related safety guidelines.

As the pandemic still lingers above our heads, these countries were not taking any chances while trying to get children back to their classrooms.

Countries like Norway, Denmark, Poland and France are reopening schools and they are bringing back the youngest first, as younger children need parents to look after them, thus causing a lot of people having to stay home from work to care for their kids which causes great economic and social consequences both for the families and for society.

Now let’s take a look at how schools in Denmark operate.

In Denmark, large morning assemblies are avoided.

Students are expected to wash hands immediately after entering school premises, in between periods, before and after eating, before leaving for home and after every time a student coughs or sneezes into her hands, under Danish Health Authority (DHA) guidelines.

The authority has also created videos offering tips to parents and to children directly.

School playgrounds are demarcated into zones with young students allowed to play only in small groups, preferably with the same set of friends every day.

Handshake, high fives, kisses on the cheek or a hug and sharing of toys and food are prohibited.

Students of one class are discouraged from mingling with their counterparts in other classes.

Children leave classrooms at staggered times. Toilets are cleaned twice daily and all frequently touched surfaces are disinfected twice daily.

I believe as the threats from the coronavirus pandemic is still looming, we also need to be careful.

Hence, when we reopen our schools, please check what the Danish authorities have put in place for the safety of their school children, teachers and staff.



IF well-trained lawyers are perplexed by what is happening on the law front in Fiji in the context of the coronavirus pandemic (see lawyer Richard Naidu’s write up in FT 23/05) imagine what it must be like for ordinary citizens who have not had the benefit of legal training?

RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia


The judiciary owes it to the people to take them out of the confusion various judgments have created.

DAN URAI, Lautoka

Internal conflict

Before it’s too late, the SODELPA party members should realise that the current internal conflict could prove to be someone’s loss and someone’s gain scenario.


Eid celebration

While Australia and New Zealand are locked down, Fiji is lucky not to be in lockdown to celebrate Eid.

Many people looked forward to this beautiful day to spend with family and friends with tonnes of sweets.

Well, stay safe and Eid Mubarak to you all.

JAHEED BUKSH, Korolevu Sigatoka

Doers, thinkers

There are those that do, and those that are thinking about doing, which one am I.

NIGEL FIU, Owls Perch, Lautoka

Right to protest

If one feels he has been wronged, then he has all the right to stand up and protest against the wrongful act to defend his honour and dignity.

It is our constitutional right to speak out against any form of injustice.

Sadly, only some have the courage to do so.

I believe fighting for your rights has nothing to do with attitude or being childish.

So let’s not confuse ourselves between the two.


Train locals

From June 10, 2020, sugarcane harvesting season will commence and a hive of activities will follow.

From all accounts, we can expect a bumper crop this season.

This means more sugar for export.

Thus the increase in our foreign exchange.

At this time shortage of canecutters is always a problem.

Therefore, it was thought prudent to introduce cane harvesting machines.

However, because of COVID-19 these machines have run into difficulties as the operators are locked down in India.

And unless this is lifted, they cannot travel to Fiji.

Therefore, reliance on foreign technical personnel is an unacceptable situation.

Train locals, please.

My best wishes for 2020 sugarcane crushing season.

DEWAN CHAND, Donu Place, Namadi Heights, Suva.

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