Letters to the Editor – October 11

Napolioni Gasevakatini of Suva attacks against Labasa during the Courts 2018 IDC semi final at ANZ Stadium this week. Picture: RAMA

Cities battle
As I celebrated Fiji Day, memories lingered and I thought about how we used to celebrate Fiji Day in the hidden paradise. If history corrects me the Fiji Day holiday coincided with the IDC finals. Those days it was 60 minutes of exciting, entertaining and fast-paced soccer. If we were lucky then Narains Park hosted a Bhartiya tournament and a big crowd gathered to watch the likes of Santos, Korovesi, Naqere, Grasshopper, Buca and Wairekaba battle one another. As I tune into Radio Fiji 2 with the voice of soccer for the IDC final, I miss those good days. On the other hand, Tuesday night proved scary as the Capital City boys outmuscled the northern bullets 4-0. After the completion of pool play, Labasa remained unbeaten and the “lions” were impressive in attack and defence and played as a unit, showing sublime skills to top the pool of death, beating our O-League representatives Ba and Lautoka and scoring eight goals. Furthermore, the “lions” had the attacking armory, skills, flair and pace in the likes of Waqa, Ralulu, Dan, Lino, Raju, Eddie, Kautoga, Chris, Pita, Logaivalu, Lolaivalu, Mataisuva and Lekima. However, Suva’s mastermind “Guru” buried our fortunes and he psyched up his boys to beat the Lions comprehensively. The Blues had a similar result coming from behind to dump the Jetsetters 3-1. This year’s IDC saw goals galore. Meanwhile, the “voice of soccer” Ray was at his usual best alongside FFA technical adviser Ravi. Finally, I believe that FFA owes a lot to the fans who flood soccer grounds during tournaments and I must at the outset thank FFA for honouring our former stars. The presence of Ratu Suli Matanitobua, Watisoni, Sami and Madigi lit the atmosphere. As the cities battled at the stadium, it was a pity seeing “lions” fans venting their frustrations on social media. To all the Labasa fans, please be good losers and accept the result and the fact that we lost to a better team. As I conclude, my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Rayaz, Nilesh, Ravnil, Johan, Varun, the players and sponsors for the outing this year! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Climate change
Please allow me to share the following concluding remarks from the article ‘8 things you need to know about the IPCC 1.5 report’ in Renew Economy 8 October 2018, which I believe best sums up where we are at on the climate change debate: Turning evidence into action “There’s no sugarcoating it: keeping warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will be hard. Really hard. But the IPCC report also makes it clear that the world has the scientific understanding, the technological capacity and the financial means to tackle climate change. Now what we need is the political will to precipitate the unprecedented concerted actions necessary to stabilise temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. There are substantial economic and development benefits from bold climate action. And even more important, limiting global warming to 1.5 is imperative. Falling short would lock in climate impacts so catastrophic our world would be unrecognisable. Governments, businesses and others have the clarity they need. Now it’s time for them to step up to the challenge”. As a layman I prefer to be guided by the expert, evidence based views of the world’s top climate scientists who have prepared that report. Why would any rational person not be guided by them? Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Politics and religion
I refer to the front page article in The Fiji Times (09/10). Finally the president of the Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji is prepared to take some action to see that our “Sanatan Dharm” is not involved in any sort of politics. Most of us the “Sanatanis” were really disturbed to see the way this year’s Sanatan annual convention was organised in Suva. It was full of politics. I also believe that it was very obvious that some of the officials of our religious body may have some hidden agenda to invite politicians in such religious functions. After witnessing some of the pictures in the media I expressed my opinion as a “Sanatani” in The Fiji Times of 19/07 with a title “Politics and religion”. Some sort of action should have been taken earlier but it’s still not too late. I sincerely hope that the national executive council meeting on Sunday will take this matter seriously and pass a resolution that in future no politician should be invited to officiate at our religious functions. Politics should be kept away from our religious activities. VIJAY MAHARAJ Navua

Crime hot spots
Listening to a colleague’s unexpected experience of being a victim of “grab and run” is sad, most unfortunate and indicates the need for us to be more vigilant. This is a situation during the afternoon where the victim is a minivan passenger and the perpetrator happens to be a pedestrian along the King’s Rd in Kinoya’s traffic congested elevated stretch towards Nausori. The passenger who is seated at the window seat while replying to a text message is immediately approached by the culprit-pedestrian who swiftly and firmly grabs the mobile phone then sprints off like Usain Bolt and never to be seen. I have also heard of similar incidents along the Nabua and Makoi traffic congestion sites especially during rush hour after work. We can infer that perpetrators obviously work in groups, develop better profiling skills over time and plan innovatively thus regarded as opportunists. Is it possible for these hot spots be looked into by our hardworking police force? In addition, we need to strengthen our community partnership with the police force to address problems as such. On the other hand, motorists and passengers should exercise caution in areas of heavy traffic jams especially along the Nabua, Kinoya and Makoi corridor in the Central Division. Please be alert, wind up or close your window seats and safely keep your possessions (phones, wallets, purses and bags) during your travel home after a hectic day from work or school. Remember prevention is better than cure and please take care. SPENCER ROBINSON, Suva.

Nazareth Prayer Centre

WAS truly shocked when I read in The Fiji Times dated September 29, 2018, that the Roman Catholic Archdiocesan of Suva is inviting expression of interest (EOI) “for the lease and development” of its 18.62 acres of land at Wailekutu, Lami which is currently zoned as Civic Community Development. This invitation for EOI goes on to state: “The incumbent will also be responsible for the relocation of the churchs prayer centre and proper demarcation and fencing of Father Law Home which are currently on the land”. For those of you who do not know of the Nazareth Prayer/Meditation Centre, it is located on the hillside next to the Father Law Home in Wailekutu, Lami. The prayer centre occupies a unique location overlooking Draunibota Bay and is surrounded by a beautiful garden, mature trees and pristine vegetation. For decades, its tranquility and exceptional hospitality has provided its countless visitors (Catholic and non-Catholic, local and overseas) a retreat and guidance for prayer, spiritual contemplation and meditation. Those who look after the prayer centre, as well as its considerable outreach work both here in Fiji and elsewhere in the South Pacific, do so with remarkable dedication, devotion and humility. What could possibly justify the church in effect abandoning the prayer centre and all that it has, and could continue, to contribute to the spiritual life of so many? Surely the Catholic Church is not so short of money as to necessitate this drastic and irreversible action. Who among the Catholic community were consulted and who ultimately makes the decision regarding this matter? In his encyclical on the environment, The Pope Francis presents his profound thoughts on our responsibility for protecting the environment and our role in climate change is what is being proposed and its inevitable environmental consequences. In accordance with The Pope’s encyclical, the prayer centre is not a factory that can simply be “relocated”. Anyone who has visited the prayer centre would recognise that it occupies an exceptional site for those seeking peace and tranquility from today’s increasingly hectic life. I challenge anyone to identify a comparable location. And what are the plans for the chapel which was donated and consecrated ? Is it to be sacrilegiously bull-dozed? Is this not a classic case of a “mess of pottage”. This expression refers to something immediately attractive but of little value taken foolishly and carelessly in exchange for something more distant and perhaps less tangible but immensely more valuable. Reference is made to a mess of pottage in Genesis 25: 29-34 where Esau sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of lentil soup. However, it should be noted that poor Esau only did this because he was facing starvation. To lease for “development” this unique spiritual asset will inevitably result in its destruction and would seem difficult to justify. I know that I am not alone in asking the authorities concerned to seriously reconsider this decision before it is too late. TIM HOWICK-SMITH Lami

Power failure
IT had to be expected, an Energy Fiji Ltd (EFL) power failure for seven hours on Independence Day in the Tavua area. What is worse the voltage to my house, and probably others, was 160 for about 30 minutes before the power was fully turned off. An explanation from EFL is required and an investigation necessary. ALLAN LOOSLEY Tavua

Politics and religion
I BELIEVE that as soon as an office bearer of any religious body decides to switch codes from the arena of religion to that of politics, he or she should do the honourable thing, relinquish the post. I believe that mixing the two can be catastrophic to both the individual and the organisation. ARUN PRASAD Dilkusha, Nausori

Bus service
WHAT has happened to the bus service to the greater Nadarivatu area? Can LTA and relevant authorities look into this matter as we the members of the community are victims of dictatorial attitude of these kinds of bus companies? We also deserve to travel in comfort and not in mafia-like slinging from the back of twin cabs and carriers. PITA SOROAQALI Nadarivatu

English comprehension

ALLEN Lockington (FT09/10) clearly needs to improve his English comprehension to better understand what Professor Vijay Naidu said (FT08/10 ) about the demographic of the Fiji voting public and the challenges associated with it for the political parties contesting the election. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Lautoka’s victory

HATS off to the Blues for a pulsating performance in 2018 IDC final. Six large coming up to conclude the Fiji Day celebration and Lautoka’s sweet success in defending the coveted title. “Mind nai karna babba log, Baby Blues ke diaper strong raha.” NISHANT SINGH Lautoka

Water tanks
I HAVE a suggestion for the Water Authority of Fiji. Why not leave the water tanks at people’s home for safekeeping? I am willing to have one stored in my yard. This could save the authority time and money when there is a another major water cut. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Waiyavi Lautoka

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