Letters to the Editor – November 21

Yalalevu soccer team and their officials hoist the National Club Championship trophy after winning the final in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Yalalevu creates history

Yalalevu and Nailaga had the last laugh as they played the final of the Vodafone NCC on Monday. It was an all-Ba affair and my buddy from Ba master Timoci Seru was on cloud nine as the Taito Bula-mentored Nailaga defied odds to pull through from the group stages while master Shalen Lal showed his coaching expertise to guide the Dayals-sponsored Yalalevu club, which made their debut in the NCC. Yalalevu president Pranesh Dayal and his players including Tiwa, Waqanicakau, Atu, Siti Cavuilagi and Nabenu deserve a round of applause for taking home the title. In addition, Waqanicakau’s leadership was exceptional and heroic goal keeper Atu won hearts as he did not concede any goal. The players played their hearts out for Ba and yes, it took the boots of veteran and stylish Ba and Fiji mid-fielder Malakai Tiwa to slot home the beauty and send Yalalevu fans especially master Mashall Ali in frenzy. I believe the victory is for the people of Yalalevu, who were most affected by the floods this year. Furthermore, hearty thanks to the families for their love, support, and sacrifice! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Nadawa, Nasinu

‘Barefoot’ athletes

I would like to take issue with your correspondent Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, who wrote (FT 17/11) of the primary school games: “gone are the days athletes ran barefoot on the tracks”. My objection is simply that it’s wrong — I watched some of the races on television and noticed that many of the runners, including many medal winners, ran barefoot. Why shouldn’t they? Maybe I also sense here a whiff of the notion that if something is done “ovasis”, then we in Fiji should do it too. To me, slavishly following fashions from other countries is not what we should be doing. We should find out for ourselves what works here and what is best. Clearly many of our primary school athletics coaches have discovered that their charges perform better and are more comfortable without forcing them to wear shoes and so, to their credit, have resisted the temptation to viavia kaivalagi – and in doing so to spare parents unnecessary expense. Paul Geraghty USP, Suva

Road patches

There are a million and one patches between Tavua and Rakiraki. Siding Fiji Roads Authority. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Misleading information

The social media carried loads of misleading information and fake news about Government and certain politicians in the lead up to the 2018 national election. But the election results show that more than half of the electorates are wiser and know better about what’s happening at home to be swayed. I believe it is time for MIDA and other relevant authorities to crack the whip and prosecute, not only the perpetrators but also the propagators of misinformation and fake news. Samu Railoa Tailevu

Times copy

I was suddenly jolted awake from my reverie when I was given a hard copy of The Fiji Times yesterday (20/11). Good to read the hard copy of this newspaper. First of all my heart leapt with delight when I saw the front page which depicted the beautiful bodybuilder Priyanka Singh. Be still my heart, I have to read the whole paper. Let me thank the FijiFirst party for their win — you will soon be hearing from me and a team of people who do social work, we need your assistance. Yes, please unite the country. (FT 20/11). Next, vinaka Fiji for beating Uruguay, watch out for the French — they speak French, and are fast and can butako toa. And I am recruiting a few good men to go to Balawa in Lautoka to give someone a small buturaki. Dan, you just start it, we will finish it. Do bring your comb Dan, we will comb that Balawa guy’s hair and then buturaki him. Now let me go back to my daydream. Oh by the way, breadfruit fruiting in 3s is happening in Waiyavi, is it an omen? Perhaps Kiniviliame Keteca can tell us something. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Municipal elections

Since the general election is over, can we please have the municipal elections. We need our city mayor and councillors back. I believe it has been a very long time since Fiji had real democracy in our city and town councils. The people who lead the city and town councils should be answerable to both the Government and the ratepayers. So can we have the council election or does the minister responsible, who could not carry the much-talked about reform in four years, want another four years to do the reform? Please don’t give us the same old excuses again. I request if the Opposition can also follow up on why it has taken so long for the municipal elections. JOHN BROWN, Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka

Waila example

I find it ridiculous that some political parties start questioning the validity of election results in the media and social media. I was the lone volunteer polling agent for FijiFirst at the three polling stations at Waila, Nausori, working from 7am to the end of counting at 11.30pm on November 14. The only other party that had polling agents there was SODELPA and there were six of them rotating among the three stations. They were very well organised and they had this prepared form for recording the seal numbers of the ballot boxes, for counting the voters who went past each station, et cetera. No agents from any of the other four political parties (NFP, Unity Fiji, Fiji Labour Party or HOPE) that are complaining now were anywhere to be seen during the whole duration of polling. The polling went smoothly and in the afternoon when voters were just “dripping in”, I with a couple of SODELPA agents and polling officials who were on their break would share food and tea, chat and joke outside the station for a few minutes or so. When polling closed and counting started, we all worked together and at times I would crosscheck my figures with SODELPA agents and they would crosscheck theirs with mine. At the end of the night, I saw SODELPA agents taking photos of the copy of the “Protocol of Results” pinned on the polling station walls using their mobile phones which I find was very thorough. My phone didn’t have a camera so I copied and recorded the results by hand. All the ballot papers (used, unused, cancelled, invalid, et cetera) were counted and balanced. There were times when the counting was a bit fast, and either me or the SODELPA agents would request the officer-in-charge if they could slow down a bit. From these results, all political parties should know the figures on the Protocol of Results even before they reach the Count Centre. At the end of the night, we can clearly see the tiredness in the faces of election officials. But their effort enabled the achievement of the most smoothly run election in our nation’s history. I cannot comment about other polling stations and venues but here at Waila, we all respected and assisted each other in our small contribution to a free and fair election. Let us hope that those who we have today been elected to Parliament will take a hint from the polling at Waila in leaving their differences and personal agendas aside and work together for the bigger picture in moving this nation forward and to greater heights. Timoci Gaunavinaka Waila, Nausori

State criticism

I believe all governments improve on criticism. Positive that the Prime Minister sings an improved tune. Dan Urai Lautoka

Fake news

With all the fake news that was posted on social media regarding the election, I was surprised no one blamed Russia for meddling with the vote counting. Hahaha. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

World rugby sevens

Along with many others, I would like to see the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Fiji. The Western Division has good logistics available, Suva not as much. Weather is the major obstacle as tournaments are scheduled in the cyclone season. If a cyclone arrives just before or during the tournament, the financial implications will be huge and could deal a blow to Fiji’s tourism image going forward. A question to every Fijian is “would I finance it?” Allan Loosley Tavua

Election promises

Congratulations FijiFirst. Let’s pray the talks as promised, will be walked as the people’s hopes lie in dreams, in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams a reality. God bless Fiji. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Speaker and change

I don’t see any change coming for the next four years. I have a request to the FijiFirst Government, could we have a new Speaker this time? Sukha Singh Labasa

Police allegiance

“Our allegiance is to the government of the day and not to any political affiliation” – Rusiate Tudravu. Meanwhile, here I was with the wild thought that the police allegiance was to the citizens of Fiji. Samuela Savu Farm Rd, Nausori

Silent on issues

Two of my very dear friends will now be silent on issues because one voted for the wrong number and the other was late to vote. My oh my, what will they do now? Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka


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