Letters to the Editor – November 30, 2019

Adi Naitasiri contestants for the Buiniga title , (from left) Koini Koro, Ro Sala Baikirewa, Doreen Daunitutu, Sainimere Ruanaiwau, Arieta Yanuyanulala and Losana Rakavau during their festival at Syria Park in Nausori . Picture: JONA KONATACI

Buiniga tradition a joy to see

It is a joy to see beautiful i-Taukei girls with their smiles and especially their ‘buiniga’, which is a traditional i-Taukei hairstyle, The Fiji Times 29/11. I am thankful for the province to have in their fundraising program the Adi Naitasiri contestants for the Buiniga category, for it brings to life a beautiful traditional hairstyle that is typical especially for i-Taukei ladies. I would like to kindly advise i-Taukei ladies to pick up The Fiji Times 29/11 to witness a photo that displayed the beauty of the six young ladies with their ‘buiniga’ for I believe it will definitely encourage them to maintain and promote a tradition that says much for our identity as i-Taukei. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Naitasiri Day celebrations

The photograph of the six lovely contestants for the Buiniga category (FT:29/11) is not only authentic, but elegant, distinctive and so original. Koini Koro, Ro Sala Baikirewa, Doreen Daunitutu, Sainimere Ruanaiwau, Arieta Yanuyanulala and Losana Rakavau, ought to be proud of the way they carry their hairstyle for it suits everything they are and everything that makes them an iTaukei beauty! A great initiative from the province to promote the traditional iTaukei buiniga hairstyle. A rarity these days! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Municipal councils, rates

Response to letter titled “Municipal councils and rates – Published on FT: November 23, 2019. The Ministry of Local Government and Fiji’s 13 municipal councils are determined to provide high quality and value-for-money services and amenities to all Fijians to enhance their quality of life. Fiji’s 13 municipal councils are led by capable and dynamic special administrators, carefully selected for their wide range of private sector experience and diverse viewpoints. They are working hard to transform councils by embedding good governance, revenue management, cost controls, outstanding customer service, and strategic staff development. The special administrators appreciate that Fijians are rightfully demanding modern towns and cities with clean, accessible markets and dependable waste collection services. The municipal councils all aim to deliver improved facilities and services to residents, and ensure that all monies, including rates, fees, and charges, paid to councils are used wisely and efficiently. The Local Government Act 1972, Cap. 125 empowers councils to carry out valuations. Valuations are the foundation for the setting of rates; rates are not set arbitrarily but reflect careful analysis so that they are as fair as possible. Once valuations are conducted, they will be examined by the teams of special administrators for the relevant municipality. Those special administrators will independently decide whether a rates increase is warranted. Fiji’s municipal councils must become financially sustainable; from a stable and secure financial position, the councils can pursue new developments to improve livability. Just as land and improvements to it have increased in value over the years, so too have service delivery and the construction of facilities. Municipal councils depend on their residents to pay their rates — rates that are updated and accurate —in a timely manner to fund council operations. Lastly, the ministry is pleased to clarify that the municipal councils work in close partnership with the Fiji Roads Authority to manage traffic, monitor road conditions, and schedule and make necessary repairs and improvements. The minister would be pleased to meet and discuss about municipal councils and rates further with any concerned citizens. Ministry of Local Government

Beauty pageants

While festivals and carnivals are a great place for family outings and entertainment, it is also important for us to see beyond this and appreciate festivals for their various charity and advocacy works. It’s quite entertaining to gather around the stage with friends and families and see the contestants gracing the catwalk but beauty pageants are more than pretty ladies in stilettos. It is a platform for talent, confidence and more importantly advocacy. It becomes our responsibility as the audience to encourage and learn from these beautiful and daring young women. Next time you go to a beauty pageant, try to learn a thing or two rather than blatantly fiddling with your laser lights. Anmol Narayan Lautoka

Police attention

Assaults on police officers have risen, does this tell us something? And, police officers assaulting suspects have been reported. We are supposed to be in the 20th century, we are the modern man. There was an alleged assault in the precincts of Parliament. Have we learnt anything from history? Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Pages of history

The “150th birthday” feature articles, along with the “extracts of The Fiji Times” of yesteryears in Saturday’s The Fiji Times, as well as the “Look Back”, “Today in History” and “Discovering Fiji” feature articles in The Sunday Times, are always interesting and must read each weekend. They provide a valuable insight into our colourful past and help us to be better educated on and better understand our history and the famous and infamous people that made it all happen. Oftentimes, in our moving forward, we sometimes forget to appreciate and learn from the successes and failures in our history, which we can often gain from such articles. It is an unfortunate nature of the education system that we inherited, that we tend to learn much more about the outside world, rather than our very own history and the people who made it. May I suggest that perhaps one way to avoid this apparent neglect, is that The Fiji Times, actually compile all these articles into five separate booklets for greater public accessibility and also despatch them to our schools, universities and libraries around the country. Otherwise, this very valuable historical information will just be lost among all the other information that is available in the print, broadcast and social media, and not disseminated to ensure that our past is never ever forgotten or brushed aside. I acknowledge the excellent research work being done by The Fiji Times in this regard and hope that these articles continue to be published, even after the 150th celebration period. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Days of activism

Sixteen Days of Activism 2019 began with unprecedented numbers of women, children and men walking through Fiji’s cities and towns chanting slogans and carrying banners expressing their opposition to violence against women and children — and indeed all forms of violence including workplace violence. Led by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, these demonstrations saw women’s civil society organisations and NGOs as well as human rights organisations calling for end to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women and children. Interestingly in Suva one major religious group and the Catholic Archbishop turned up to support this call. Violence against women and children as was noted by Nilesh Gounder in the FT not so long ago is a global problem. The UN Secretary-General noted that a third of the women in the world today have been subjected to violence. Sadly in Fiji, more than two thirds of our women and girls have suffered and are suffering violence by those close to them. This violence can be emotional and psychological, physical, and sexual. In its extreme form women have been killed by their intimate partners. Gender violence is linked to the inequality between men and women or patriarchy. To address this basic gender inequality and male entitlement, there is a need for families, communities, religious denominations, educational institutions, the media, trade unions and professional bodies, law enforcement agencies, the court system and government as well as leaders, politicians and opinion leaders to step up in the campaign to end violence against women and children. Vijay Naidu Nailuva Rd, Suva

Child friendly

We have so many rights for children nowadays. Let me just ask — are they child friendly? Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Opposition member

I saw a picture of Viliame Gavoka in the new A350 plane, was he the only Opposition member invited to fly on it? Sukha Singh Labasa

Measles vaccinations

With what our island neighbours are experiencing and the increasing cases here at home, shouldn’t there be a huge scrambling and shouting from the rooftops by the powers that be, on measles vaccinations, even conduct door to door campaigns, are they waiting for the start of the death count, or is that deemed as the wrong type of campaigning? Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Measles and kava

Will recent reminders about the contagious nature of measles by the Ministry of Health affect kava consumption? When the talanoa and kava becomes sweeter, people don’t mind drinking from the same bowls. Sometimes, this has hygiene implications, let alone whether one washes one’s hands when visiting the toilets. They say it’s the festive season with lots of functions happening soon but don’t forget to take precautions and stay safe. Floyd Robinson Toorak, Suva

Safe place

We are being assured that Fiji is a safe place for us and the tourists and that police officers are and will keep trying to curb the ongoing issues that affect the public. We do know that the authorities must be trying their best but the question remains, is Fiji still a safe place? Kirti Patel Lautoka

Marrying a woman

Marrying a woman doesn’t mean that she is your personal property like a house or car. She is a human being and should be treated with respect and utmost care at all times. Make her your queen, love her with honour and give her a reason to treat you the same. End violence against our woman and girls. Jioji Masivesi Votualevu, Nadi

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