Letters to the Editor – November 29

Manasa Saulo, Vereniki Goneva and Eroni Sau waving to fans after defeating France 21-14 at the Stade De France stadium in Paris, France. Picture: AP/Christoffe Ena

Lapping up victory to the brim

After watching the historic game between our very own gallant warriors against the might of Les Bleus, I must say the boys threw everything into that game, but there are a few wrinkles we need to iron out. One being our line-out, and I was very sceptical about Sam as hooker but I must say I really liked his work rate, but he may just need to tweak his throwing and timing with his jumpers. The second being that we need to have back-up kickers as we do not want a replay of 2007 where our ace kicker was denied a chance to play in that magical quarter-final. Until Sunday I still rated that game and the win over Wales in 2007 as the best game ever by our Flying Fijians in the modern era. Not to take away the feat of the 1999 squad who are also above par but were robbed of a victory against the Les Bleus by the man in the middle. Which brings my third point, the man in the middle will dictate again if we do well on the day or not and that includes the touch judges and video ref, as the second score by Tuisova was disallowed because of a late charge on French winger Yoann Huget, but what they did not replay was how Tuisova was grabbed by the neck and dumped after he had passed the ball, before that mishap. But for the moment I will savour the win and just hope that the bigwigs in the white house will take note. Lastly kudos to the Drua boys for putting their hands up as they proved what I’ve been saying all along that we can send a local based team in the future. Toso Viti! Lawrence Wara Suva

Rugby challenge

The figure eight sideways denotes the concept. The Fiji 15s team has made it to number eight in the World Rugby rankings. Take the same sign and cut it in half laterally, stand it up and lo and behold you have a figure 3. What say lads, cut laterally who stand in your way to get to that 3. You can! Just believe in Phil 4/13 and in yourselves. He and we, all are with you all the way. Get there and just stretch that 3 to a 1. Tall task, but you are as tough as they come. Infinite possibilities. In the meantime, some “junglee murga” (rooster) curry? MANOJ LAL PATEL Drasa Avenue, Lautoka

Option for tourists

Steve Illingworth’s letter (FT 26/11) and his story about the New Zealand hotelier is timely. It needs to be heeded by everyone in the hospitality and retail industries, but more so the authorities. Prices are outrageously expensive in certain areas of the retail tourist trade including duty free. Fluctuating prices for simple things like coffee can cause lots of angst as tourists can feel victimised when they’re charged differently than the locals. People, no matter who they are and where they come from, want fair treatment. Most tourists won’t say anything about how they feel and when they’re accosted by pushy store assistants it can really grate on their nerves because it’s not what they’d expect after hearing about the charming, encouraging stories of Fijian hospitality. However, when they arrive back home, bad news travels quickly. Sadly, it’s something that’s been happening for as long as I can remember and even when I was living here it used to be a thorny issue. The pushy attitude of certain store assistants flies in the face of everything they believe is synonymous with the true Fijian spirit of hospitality. Perhaps it’s time for addressing and removing this stigma by training some of our local retail industry sales assistants in the art and skill of connecting with people without coming across as being pushy and impolite. Because when it’s all said and done, there are a host of attractive resorts available very cheaply to Australians and New Zealanders like Bali and Thailand where the perceived value is greater than what Fiji is currently offering. Colin Deoki Australia

Night-time spearfishing

Night-time spearfishing is having a major impact on our inner reefs. Not only are divers returning with a majority of juvenile fish and crustaceans, but coral that took years to become established have been broken and destroyed as a result of being trampled on and by the impact of high-speed spear heads. In its current state, our reefs will take decades to recover and I suppose, as is our custom, action will finally be taken when we’ve lost the plot! The situation is obviously in dire need of serious controls. Simon Hazelman Savusavu

Agriculture view

The proposed establishment by Government of a thinktank of experts to look at the future development of our agricultural sector, is welcome news indeed (FT 27/11). This should have been done many years ago. It should also be a strategy used in the other sectors as well. While we have national plans and strategies in place with their own review mechanisms, the creation of a thinktank of experts can help, among other things, to provide a technical input into the review process, with a “lesson learnt” approach for the appropriate and strategic development of the sector. All these will ensure that we are heading in the right direction and that the amazing unfulfilled potential of the sector is fully and finally realised. I would even venture to say that the future prosperity and stability of this country lies in fully utilising the potential, comparative advantages and missed
opportunities available in our agriculture sector. I firmly believe that it should be our total focus over the next four years. Our future generations will
forever be grateful to us for making that move today. Let’s not waste it. EDWARD BLAKELOCK, Admiral Circle, Deuba

Soccer’s direction

TAKING cue from Fiji rugby’s success over the weekend, Fiji FA should start organising matches between district teams and reputable clubs from Australia and New Zealand. This should take place after completion of the local season. They should get rid of the meaningless Pacific Cup
and one of the local tournaments. This opportunity should be foremost for teams qualifying for OFC. It would serve as an ideal buildup.
Playing against quality professional clubs would be an opportune event for much needed exposure for local players. They may also be able to catch the attention of scouts. Fiji FA has the same routine program every year which yields the same results. It needs to dramatically venture into new frontiers.
Having beaten Australia and New Zealand years ago, we are now struggling to match Pacific Island teams. It won’t be long before a team from Kadavu or Rotuma will thrash the national soccer team. I would request expertise from the Rugby House to contest the next Fiji FA elections. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF, Natabua, Lautoka

Escaped prisoners

How on Earth did five high-risk prisoners manage to escape from the Suva courthouse cell block? The circumstances surrounding the escape is rather suspicious. I believe those immediately responsible for guarding these prisoners are the very ones to be reprimanded and charged for allowing these prisoners to escape. No excuse from the guards should be tolerated! Simon Hazelman Savusavu

Everything starts at home

Thank you outgoing Western Division police commander Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Verani Nakauyaca for your concerned statement on the road deaths this year in the Western Division. This statement is contained at page 5 of yesterday’s The Fiji Times (28/11). SSP Nakauyaca said, “We are seeing people being ignorant of the laws when they choose to drink and drive.” He also made a pivotal declaration that there was a need for elder family members to teach their children about road rules. He then made a profound leave-taking words: “Everything starts at home. Obviously, police cannot work alone to stop this growing problem.” I grew up in the mid-1950s as a teenager in the Nasova/Nasese police compound. I lived with my elder brother, the late police officer 587 Revoni Kunawave and his late wife Mereisi Kunawave. The Sergeant Major (turaganikoro) of Nasova/Nasese police compound during that time was Mr Lesi. The discipline within the compound was extraordinary and it permeated into every home and lives within each family. For us who were teenagers then, we benefited enormously and have inculcated such discipline in our respective homes and families to date. We thank our parents and guardians for inculcating Godly values and the respect for the law during our residency in Nasova/Nasese police compound. The penultimate paragraph of the preamble to the 1997 Constitution reaffirm us to recognise “the human rights and fundamental freedom of all individuals and groups, safeguarded by adherence to the rule of law, and our respect for human dignity and for the importance of the family”. Who are the key leaders in the families? Husbands and dads! They are the preachers, teachers, role models and mentors for the children in their homes from year one to year 21. Of course, they have to battle against the wicked forces of the world that are penetrating into their homes and families. SSP Nakauyaca, we the people of this nation honour and praise you for the remarkable service you have rendered as a servant to the people of the Republic of Fiji. God will honour your faithfulness (Matthew 25:23). Pita K Nacuva Griffith Place, Namadi Heights, Suva

Fiji of stability

I would like to believe the comment by our Prime Minister in Parliament that, “this is a Fiji of stability, equality, healthy employee and employer relationship, business growth and investment, of adherence to higher international standards, practices and laws, of regional and global leadership,” but part of me cringes inside and I believe that 50 per cent of those who voted feel the same way. Sailosi Naewe Naduru Rd, Nausori

Climate warning

President Trump says he doesn’t believe his own government’s climate warning. I wonder when Trump will tell us he believes the Earth is flat? Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Victory over France

Our victory over France at the weekend revealed that it is time we are also given a chance to wrestle with the big boys in rugby. The quicker this decision is affirmed the better. Over to you FRU! Joeli Naleca Natabua, Lautoka

What they wear

As a voter and a responsible citizen of this country, I don’t mind what a parliamentarian wears into Parliament as long as it is decent and he or she is making ripples with contributions rather than worthless sounds in Parliament. Or soundless gesture which is worthless for that matter. Pita Soroaqali Nadarivatu

Police visibility

Increased police presence for the festive season is commendable. Highway patrols should stop hiding in the hope of catching speeding drivers. Lives are saved when drivers are aware of police presence on our roads. Dan Urai Lautoka

No to violence

The picture in yesterday’s The Fiji Times served as a timely reminder that we must join hands and say no to violence. The smiles on the faces of our women and children spoke volumes of the type of society that we must create for this vulnerable group. As we approach the festive season, let’s co-operate to make the festive season safe for women, girls and children. The 16 days of activism campaign against gender-based violence has been launched but it can only be a success if the male counterparts pledge their full support. Thank you The Fiji Times for the coverage and apt reminder! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

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