Letters to the Editor – Monday, November 21, 2022

The Flying Fijians ended their tour with a win over the French Barbarians. Picture: BARBARIANS RUGBY CLUB

Flying Fijians win final battle

THE gap between the tier one and tier two rugby nations will be reduced if the tier two nations are provided with expertise in coaching, financial support, resources and quality Tests versus their tier one compatriots. Fiji performed well against Scotland and Ireland, which had battled the Wallabies and the Springboks the previous week. The boys lost both matches 12-28 and 17-35 respectively, but a lot of positives came out from both losses. Had our boys maintained their discipline and not copped the yellow cards and red card, the result could have gone into our favour. On Sunday morning, the boys took on the French Barbarians and won the encounter 46-14. With more game time, the boys will become confident and Cotter would be able to gauge the strength and performance of his players and choose a solid squad for the RWC battle. The Flying Fijians will battle Japan, Georgia, Samoa, England and France, and then get ready to face the Welsh Dragons in our RWC pool opener. All the best to the Flying Fijians! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Whom to support

TO justify his reason for supporting Rabuka, Biman uses Jai Ram Reddy as an example. During his Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan, he said that even a man of Jai Ram Reddy’s stature supported Rabuka. What Biman doesn’t tell us is what was the result of Reddy’s controversial decision to support Rabuka. The end result is of great significance as history will tell you that NFP lost all 27 seats which they never regained and he paid the price. Since then NFP is no longer a force that it used to be. Biman also mentioned that Mahendra Chaudhry also gave his support so that Rabuka could form a government, but cunningly Biman again doesn’t mention that Chaudhary’s support was subject to ten conditions which Rabuka was required to fulfill. We all know that Rabuka betrayed Chaudhary by renegading on the deal after he became prime minister. Now the million dollar question is, can this man be trusted. He himself admitted during the Straight Talk program on Thursday night that people still fear him despite his continuous assurances that he is not the Rabuka of 1987. He even said if they still have doubts about his loyalty they could vote for NFP. One thing is definitely guaranteed, you will have nothing to fear if you vote for Voreqe Bainimarama. TARUN TIKARAM Lami

NCDs worry

CLOSE to 80 per cent of deaths in Fiji are from non communicable diseases (NCDs) which have become the biggest killer in Fiji causing thousands of deaths every year. NCDs rate in Fiji is very serious. Cardiovascular disease together with high rate of diabetes is a worrying factor. One in three people in Fiji, or 30 per cent of the population, suffer from diabetes. The FijiFirst Government has often ignored the seriousness of this major health issue over the past 16 years and our public health facilities are at its frailty under the current Health Minister. NCDs tend to be of long duration and are the results of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors. The four main types of NCDs are: n Cardiovascular disease (heart disease such as heart attacks and stroke); n Cancers; n Respiratory disease (lung disease such as asthma and COPD); and n Diabetes. It is heart breaking to see many amputates walking the streets as Fiji has a very high rate of amputations because of insufficient education and poor control of diabetes. Diabetes related amputations in Fiji account for 40 per cent of all hospital operations, says Eddie McCaig, Professor of Surgery at the Fiji National University. Taking good care of your health and wellbeing is your responsibility. Your health is in your hands. Promoting a healthy diet, physical activity, reduced alcohol use and cutting down on tobacco use are simple and cost-effective measures to reduce premature death and disability from NCDs. The new NFP/PA government in 2023 will allocate sufficient resources to the Health Ministry and facilities will be improved, while allowing people to speak about health facilities freely and provide helpful critique. Health is very important and we cannot lose precious lives through negligence. Life does not get better by chance, but by change and change is all that is needed in the mind, in the health sector and in government. In Fiji, change is on its way. KIRTI PATEL Lautoka

Wi-fi at the market

OVER the past few years, I’ve become a partial Nadi boy and it looks like I missed all the fun and glamour last Saturday. Ah! So what! We have free Wi-Fi at the Lautoka market now. Jolly good! It’s all in the name of interaction. But if we were to rely on observations, most clearly, they shout out a pattern. Wherever there is availability
of smartphones (having data), people are mostly glued to those small screens. Imagine, around those basins now. Speaking of screens, there is a large one inside the market. No idea if it would also display the approximate price of produce. In the proximity of Wall Street screens. More people, more sales! Which Walesi channel would be preferred? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t prefer witnessing a food fight over the remote control. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Misreading the message

CONTRARY to Tarun Tikaram’s assertion, the USP economics senior lecturer Nilesh Gounder neither “jumped the gun” nor “put the cart before the horse” ( ST 20/11 ) when he said “Fiji does not need any political instability: People’s right to decide” must be paramount in our democracy and must be respected (FT 19/11 ). Tarun Tikaram had misread the academic’s profound message. Forewarned is forearmed. That was the essence of the university man’s message which is very relevant in our context given our four-coup history and the instability and setback it has caused the country. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

Kangaroos claim hat-trick

IN his post-match interview, Australian coach Mal Meninga said: “The first half was exceptional. We did what we needed to do. In the second half, we scrambled well, a man down, but we still scored points. It’s what you do, you work for each other”. In reply, Samoa coach Matt Parish said: “We played a champion team and just ran out of juice. We just couldn’t quite get close enough to put pressure on, but I’m really proud of this group. They kept trying until the end”. The RLWC final loss ruined hopes of a fairytale finish for Samoa, who had been seeking to make history and had even been wished good luck by the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. The Pacific Island nation reached a new milestone becoming the first Pacific team to make a RLWC final. The Kangaroos were too strong as it was the 12th time they lifted the RLWC trophy, maintaining their stranglehold on global rugby league. The win also capped a dominant day for Australian rugby league after the Jillaroos thrashed New Zealand 54-4 to win the women’s RLWC trophy. Congratulations to the Kangaroos for the grand success! Hard luck team Samoa! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Critical issues

RATHER than the authorities consuming so much time on the leader of the National Federation Party, why not focus on the other major issues affecting the country? The price of basic food items is taking the toll on many. Water supply, poor medical system, the state of squatter settlements including houses damaged by termites and unemployment rates are some very critical issues that need to be pondered on. Sixteen years was a long time for all these to come into shape specially the state of the public hospital. It is easy to sit in planes and fly overseas for treatment, but for those on the ground levels, the suffering is real. While we are being the voices, those who are facing such problems are the ones who feel the pinch of harsh reality on the ground. So many frustrated people are out there, so much pain is out there, but most of all so much hope is out there. Hope for a change, hope for a better Fiji, hope for unity and being consulted, but most if all hope to be heard. People want a Fiji where they can afford to buy necessities with overall good health service and good eminent water supply to name a few. It’s not that difficult, all you have to do is vote this election and know where to cast your valuable ticks. Change is on its way KIRTI PATEL Lautoka

Precious vote

ON December 14 when casting your precious votes, do pause and ponder on this. Do you want to be in a country where the rich gets richer and poor, poorer? Or a country where everyone including the grassroot levels are given prominence and equal inclusion? KIRTI PATEL Lautoka

Land restoration

CAN Mr Bainimarama and his group tell the people of Fiji regarding the land rehabilitation at the bauxite mine in Bua. All I could see was red soil washed on the road and the open cut not in use mine with nothing growing. GOEFFERY CHAND Lautoka

No strategy

ALL I know is that after a good chow, people need to visit the loo. And no strategy needed in that. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIFF Natabua, Lautoka

Human rights

TWO thing stands out clear during FijiFirst’s term of leadership – authoritariansm and lack of respect for human rights. DAN URAI Lautoka

Magic act

THE curtain is closing on our resident reveur. The magic of the smoke and mirrors act has been revealed. Time to take a bow and move on! DENISE GIBSON Kashmir, Lautoka

Child labour

IT’S sad to see the picture of a child selling coconuts in The Fiji Times (18/11). I feel the parents should be taken to task as its their responsibility to ensure the children are in the school and not used as child labour. School truancy can be eradicated when parents, schools and communities work in partnership. Let them earn knowledge not money. TAHIR ALI Hamilton, New Zealand.

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