Letters to the Editor – October 25, 2018

The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry drinks a bowl of Kava while Dutchess Meghan Markle watches with delight during their traditional welcoming ceremony by the Vanua o Vuda and Nakelo at Albert Park in Suva on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Royal visit

If I were in charge of Harry and Meghan’s Fiji itinerary, I’d make it as simple and enjoyable as possible for the couple.

Cut out all the diplomatic protocols and social dignitary functions, get them out to meet as many ordinary Fijians as possible and then send them to one of our top resort properties for total relaxation the rest of their stay!

Do that and we’ll have Harry and Meghan back more often.

Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

In the rain

People from all walks of life braved the rain and gave the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a warm welcome as they ignited Fijian soil on their first official visit to the country.

There was a lot of hype throughout the month.

I felt quite proud knowing that the world would witness our beautiful islands and that we were one of the first countries to catch a live glimpse of the most famous couple in the world, at the moment.

Hoping that the enchanting couple enjoyed their stay in the tropical islands of Fiji.

Raynav Chand, Nakasi

Fijian culture

As the United Nations Charter for Indigenous Rights fights to protect fading minority cultures and traditions around the world, I believe our own government has taken it upon themselves to assist in the perishing of our own unique Fijian culture and traditions.

It is unfortunate that the Queen’s grandson, the Duke of Sussex — Prince Harry and his wife the Duchess — Meghan Markle, were accorded a watered-down concept of Fijian cultural traditions on their arrival.

The whole world watched as the supposedly grand occasion was blemished by a performance from local Fijians which never acknowledged the three Fijian confederacies and further tarnished the occasion by a lacklustre “meke”.

That a direct line of the Queen of England was never accorded the proper traditional Fijian cultural protocols by the proper Fijian people is a sure sign that Fiji does not ratify the UN Charter for the protection of indigenous cultures and traditions.

I believe it is already degrading the Fijian culture, with the whole world watching!

It is a sad day for all Fijians.

Our own cultural traditions being destroyed by our very own people, with no sense of pride or respect to the royal family of England and the United Kingdom.

The Fijian motto on our Coat of Arms — “Rerevaka Na Kalou, Ka Doka Na Tui”, was never shown to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and I apologise as a Fijian.

Epeli Rabua, Suva

Overseas trips

No doubt as soon as the election is over, aircraft will be loaded with government ministers, civil servants, hangers on etc., all headed for junkets overseas, most of which will be a waste of time.

When I was growing up in the UK, one of the newspapers, I think The Telegraph, published daily a list of those (as designated above) who were headed abroad and why they were going, and who was footing the bill.

Something like this is desperately needed in Fiji.

Most Fijians barely have spare cash around at any time, and to see politicians and others swanning around overseas, usually with no obvious benefits to Fiji, must be a source of annoyance.

Let us see what is going on with these junkets and let the people judge whether the money is better spent bettering their lives.

I for one have no doubt what the response would be.

Allan Loosley, Tavua

Rain and landslide

Whenever there is heavy rain, the Naqia landslide is always ready to explode with huge rocks and soil scattered over the portion of the Kings Rd.

It has been like that for years and yet FRA is still looking for a solution or maybe running out of it.

Rather than clearing out rocks and soil after every landslide, they should come up with an alternative otherwise they will have to be answerable if a major disaster happens on that Naqia landslide site.

They should make roads that are accessible and safer for travelers alike.

Otherwise there is no point of road safety awareness which has been an ongoing issue when there is a major obstacle in our midst.

It’s a real hazard for motorists along the Kings Rd.

Pita Soroaqali, Nadarivatu

A clean nation

Everybody’s talking about “climate change” these days but we seldom get the same attention for the rubbish that floats on our oceans and spoils the image of our shoreline.

One just needs to take a walk along it to see the impact.

This is our beloved nation for crying out loud and it is everyone’s responsibility to maintain and keep it clean.

It is as simple as putting our rubbish in the bin.

I truly believe that it is about time to train and have our own environmental police unit to monitor and tackle this problem.

It can be done!

M. S. Kaleca, Nakasi

Duke of Sussex

“Malo,” HRH The Duke of Sussex.

Samuela Savu, Farm Road, Nakasi

Road closure

Was it really necessary to close the Suva – Nausori corridor road?

Just being curious.

Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

Goal Fiji

I wish to thank The Fiji Times for the eight-page pictorial lift out of “Goal Fiji,” where the 43rd Fiji Primary Schools’ IDC held in Lautoka, was also covered.

The heading “Ba rules U12 event” aptly gave the “kids in Black” the recognition they deserve.

I scanned the eight pages more than a dozen times for the heading “Suva rules U14 event”.

My scanner failed!

I wonder why they missed out on the coverage!

Arun Prasad, Dilkusha, Nausori

Clean up

LIVING amongst concerned citizens my biggest hope is to see continuous clean up and beautification of public places here at home.

We don’t need public figures on visits so that municipals and government willingly upgrade places but to keep our home island in the best shape is practical common sense.

No public funds wasted!

Areki Dawai, Samabula, Suva

Yaqona theft

Yaqona is a multimillion dollar business.

Theft of yaqona has increased.

Maybe a Ministry for Yaqona should be set up.

And for me to be inspector for yaqona quality.

Now won’t that be a lark, inspector for yaqona and living in Kava Place.

Wow!

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Minimum wage rate

If our economy is in a healthy state compared to previous years and governments, why can’t the government raise the minimum wage rate to $3 an hour for unskilled workers?

At least we get rid of that $2 mark which has been there for so long while the cost of living has skyrocketed on a daily basis.

Just a thought though!

Pita Soroaqali, Nadarivatu

Our journalists

Isa, I pity our journalists who have defied their roles and have become political campaigners.

They have buried the ethics of journalism!

Talk about media impartiality, which I don’t see with the conduct of some journalists who have been carried away with the election hype and who can’t remain neutral.

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Rugby outing

When my sons heard that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were coming to visit Fiji, my eldest said, “Na, we going to watch the parade?”

They know that I had saved some money to enable us to go and watch the final of the Drua versus Queensland Country game.

I told them we could go but that would cancel the rugby outing.

They fell silent and the youngest said, “Na tou sarava ga na Drua” (We watch the rugby).

I held back a tear and hugged my son.

I told him that if I had enough money, we could go and watch the royal visitor and the rugby.

Like I said in a previous letter, my children love rugby.

It is so hard as a single parent to get all what my children need.

So we will be at Churchill Park cheering.

With the meager finances we have, the win by the Drua will be like a million dollars for us.

So, to the Drua, you have this small family’s support.

And we have saved a bit to buy some bread and tomatoes that will be our meal at the ground.

Go Drua, go.

Mere Lagilagi, Lovu, Lautoka

Sentimental value

Three years ago my younger brother gave me an ordinary wrist watch which he brought from the United States.

By last year, its glass was broken and its band also gone.

I have tried getting the watch repair shops in Suva to fix it for me but all of them told me that it was better for me to buy a new cheap watch.

They did not know that this cheap watch has a very sentimental value to me, so I kept it and have been walking around without a watch for the past one year.

While in Savusavu last year, I was impressed with a watch repair shop next to the Savusavu Market, who had fixed a problem with a friend’s watch.

So when I traveled out there on Friday, I took my glass-less, not working watch to this watch repairer to fix.

A new glass, new battery, new pins and new band cost me $25.

I was so happy that I shared to the watch repairer the story behind this watch and its sentimental value to me.

He replied: Only Savusavu can!

I added, Io, Savusavu ga sa rawata!

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

Illegal lights

Can the Land Transport Authority and Traffic Police clamp down on the numerous vehicles that have illegal lights installed on them.

Some of these vehicles look more like a ‘ferris-wheel’ rather than a car.

They are a danger to oncoming vehicles because some of the lights they have on are too bright or blinking, distracting and blurring the oncoming drivers’ vision.

These may and have been the cause of some accidents and if nothing is done about it, we can only brace ourselves for more.

We must not entertain double standards because the number of vehicles on the roads are ever increasing and the traffic jam especially in the rush hours are pathetic.

Enough said!

M. S. Kaleca, Nakasi

Party sponsors

It is suggested that political candidates wear sponsor jackets of the companies sponsoring their campaign!

It’s the simplest way to declare where their support is coming from and who owns them.

Otherwise can the Fijian Elections Office please publish details of donations to political parties?

The Political Parties Act 2013 introduced accountability and transparency with respect to the funding and accounts of political parties.

The Act also states that political parties may only be funded by membership fees and contributions from individuals.

It also states that such funding must be disclosed.

So please disclose these details to the public to help us make more informed decisions on who we should be voting for.

The sponsorship jacket is a great idea though!

I would rather vote for a yaqona plant or a marijuana leaf than be backed by a corporation by far!

Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

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