Letters to the Editor – Monday, February 17, 2020

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama presents the 2019 Fiji Sportsman Award to Seremaia Tuwai Vunisa while Tattslotto’s Sereana Browne looks on at the Vodafone Arena in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Jerry – a true patriot

I believe nobody deserves it more than Jerry Tuwai in receiving the sportsman of the year award.

For Tuwai it is just like adding gloss to stellar.

Already a celebrated sevens career and world rugby’s sevens player of the year, Jerry is the man of the moment.

Just like his colleagues, Jerry could have joined other clubs but he has remained loyal to Fiji.

A true servant of Fijian rugby.

He has stood through thick and thin times and thoroughly deserves the award.

I am sure this is a feather in the cap of Jerry’s personal achievement.

Go you pocket rocket.

Pranil Ram, Votualevu, Nadi

Address the issue

I don’t know whether these people selling green coconuts on the roadside between McDonald’s and Wailoloa Rd junction in Nadi have the required licence/permit from the Fiji Roads Authority and Nadi Town Council to do so.

Whatever the case may be, I think because of the demand and their bread and butter issue they are here.

As long the sellers don’t steal and harass anyone, I don’t think they are doing anything wrong except the rubbish.

Many passers-by which also include local and international tourists see the piles and piles of rubbish left behind by these sellers on a daily basis.

I wanted to know what the council was doing about the rubbish which pollutes the scenic area and spoils our image.

I think these vendors need to be taught how to manage their rubbish if they are to continue selling here.

Legally or illegally, I don’t know, but this place has been used by people to sell their stuff for years now.

I think it is high time the authorities concerned took the right action to address the roadside selling.

Either the vendors comply with the requirements or stop selling.


Suresh Chand, Nadi

Climate change

I was intrigued to read Minister Reddy’s statement at the launch of the Ministry of Environment and Waterways website (FT, 16 Feb) that the “plan was expected to boost Fiji’s effort in building resilience and reducing economic inconsistency”.

Now the term ‘economic inconsistency’ is new to us, maybe the Hon Minister may explain, perhaps underscoring these in our current economic plans to warrant such an intervention.

His reference to climate change, reducing vulnerability, disaster resilient infrastructure, fiscal resilience — all very nice sounding terms we have gotten used to hear — also got me thinking if there are now plans to move the climate change unit back to his ministry.

That’s where it was decades ago and then went through a series of movements from Environment, Foreign Affairs and now Ministry of Economy/Finance (?), which seems to be the right ministry for it given that climate change is a development issue, not just an environmental one.

The only problem with the move was that the climate change got populated by economists while the technical people were pushed out, leaving a lack of much needed technical expertise in the team.

The result of course has been the use of outside consultants to develop the array of plans the minister is alluding to which we are all trying to comprehend!

Even during Fiji’s much touted presidency of the COP, the climate change issues were driven by outsiders, often with huge conflict of interest, which Fiji seems to be desperately trying to redress now.

Altauf Chand, Minto, NSW, Australia

Clean kava

On Saturday we celebrated Scribe’s 60th birthday, his actual birthday was on Valentine’s Day, it was such a lovely evening, filled with joy, love, laughter and fellowship.

Apart from when Speedy, a former radio announcer, was tongue tied during his speech, the other highlight was when Scribe’s grand nephew shared the story of when he mixed kava for his Pa and when he was taking too long, Scribe went to check on him and found that the Axion had fallen into the basin, well he said, lucky they had more kava, but I’m sure they drank that Axion basin, because it explains how clean hearted and minded Scribe is, but it must’ve been a lemon Axion, because he can be sour at times, needless to say, his grand nephew is now being called Axion.

Nigel Fiu, Owls Perch, Lautoka

7s coach

From your speech, Gareth Baber, I know you are a very educated person and a very good coach.

I think Fiji is very lucky to have a person like you over here.

As for the sportsman’s award, I would just like to know why Fiji football did not nominate anybody?

Sukha Singh, Labasa

Coronavirus issue

If they are so confident that Fiji is safe from coronavirus and keep our border open, then why do we need coronavirus quarantine hospital?

I’m just wondering!

Suliasi Cakautabu, Ra

Democracy barometer

Dan Urai (FT 15/2 page 9) raises the question of grades of democracy.

I measure democratic health by the degree of freedom given to voters to express their pleasure or displeasure of government action.

The day when I hear an unrestricted talk back radio program in Fiji, I will know that true democracy in Fiji has finally arrived.

Terry Hulme, Eastwood NSW, Australia

So many actors

Why are there so many actors in strategic posts in the civil service?

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Medical treatment

I’ve read on FT 5/2 that the blood samples of the duo who are suspects of the new coronavirus have been sent to Australia for test to confirm whether they are infected or not.

It’s good to learn that they are well isolated in Nadi Hospital.

It is not long ago that an American couple died because of an unknown cause.

So, if there is any confirmed case of 2019 new coronavirus in Fiji, is there any effective medical treatment strategy ready?

Benjamin Phu, Suva

Israeli report

It’s unfortunate to see factually incorrect media reports that President Rivlin’s upcoming visit will be the first time a high level Isreali official visits Fiji.

It is worthy to note that President Chaim Herzog visited Fiji in 1986 and he gives a brief account of this trip in his memoir Living History: A Memoir.

It’s interesting to view the visit from President Herzog’s perspective and to read the insight he provides regarding Fiji’s state of political affairs at the time.

Samuela Savu, Farm Rd

Fiji Hindi

I believe the FijiFirst party does not appear to be backing down from its decision for Fiji Hindi to be taught in schools.

I am wondering if the issue is shudh Hindi or the usage of formal polite words.

I am wondering if the FijiFirst party members of Fijians of Indian decent use Fiji Hindi in formal situations like addressing people, public conversations and answering questions.

I am wondering if the FijiFirst party members of Fijians of Indian decent start an address by saying mere pyare desh wasiyo or hamar rakam Fiji citizens.

I am wondering if Fijian citizens are to question a FijiFirst party member of Fijian of Indian decent by saying aap ne chunao se pahle kaha tha ke yeh ho jayega or tum to bola raha election se pahle ke ichij hoe jayi.

I am wondering if the FijiFirst party members of Fijians of Indian decent respond to journalists by saying hum ko is waqt malum nahi hai or areh hamme to hawe nahi.

I am wondering if the weather news will include aap sab ko apne ghar ke andar rahne ke liye kaha gaya hai or tum log ghar ke bittar pada rahena.

I am wondering if the news anchor is to say ek aadmi ne jhoot bola or ek admi ne gup mara.

I am wondering if students are to respond to teachers’ queries about concepts being taught by saying mere samaj se bahar tha or hamar mud ke upar se udge.

I am wondering if teachers are to say sidhe se baet jao or balti maar ke baetoh.

I am wondering if teachers are to ask students to move away from an area by saying aap sab yaha se jaiye or tum log faad do idhar se.

I am wondering if teachers are to address the afternoon assemblies by saying sidhe apne apne ghar chale jana or apan apan ghar ke rasta pakad lena.

I am wondering if students are to reply to teachers queries about examinations by saying asaan nahi tha or janae hum daag diya.

This is not only about today.

But yesterday and tomorrow as well.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

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