Letters to the editor – Saturday, 18 March, 2023

Napolioni Bolaca during the Fijian Drua training session at the HFC Stadium in Suva in April 2022. Picture: FT FILE

Get well soon Bolaca!
Former Fiji 7s playmaker Napolioni Bolaca is in need of assistance. Bolaca had injured himself after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during a provincial rugby tournament and he was dropped from the Fijian Drua in May last year. I believe Bolaca needs approximately $30k for a specialised surgery to allow him to continue his professional rugby career. Meli Nauluvula set up the GoFundMe account and people have been generously contributing. Bolaca’s injury has hit him hard, but he has not given up his dream of donning the national 7s jumper again. Bolaca has made an enormous contribution to Fiji rugby and it is important that our former 7s star is provided with the necessary support and care.
Rajnesh Ishwar Longam, Nadawa, nasinu

Our Government
The Minister of Finance has appointed a very credible 2023 Fiscal Review Committee to get positive feedback on how Government manages its money. May our good Government also include Makereta Konrote, the former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Economy who served under the previous government. Her credentials speaks highly of her as I believe she has an MA in Environmental and Resource Economics from the Australian National University and BA in Economics from USP. She is also a graduate member of the Australian Institute of company Directors and having served on several boards of Financial Institutions in Fiji. Just my five arts take. In the meantime, some critics of this government were suggesting that all hell will break loose if a new government comes into power. I had stated that any new government that comes into power will also have taxpayer funding, donor agencies, development partners and borrowing from financial institutions. Already we can see Australia injecting $81.5 million for budget support to maintain essential services, protect the most vulnerable, and contribute to economic growth. China is offering red carpet treat to Fiji and the Pacific to improve livelihoods. The Korean government through KOICA will provide grant in aid of $F22 million for a new rehabilitation centre. Expect more development and donor agencies to come on board soon. All positives for our new Coalition Government. Finally, my early morning grog dopey dream told me that Alvick Maharaj, the written speech reader in Parliament will be the next to quit as an Opposition MP. God bless our Coalition Government, for the people, by the people.
Jan Nissar from Oz.I am still waiting for more sarcasm.
Raymond Singh Golf Links, Lautoka

Market stalls
All the market stalls opposite the Nakasi Health Centre are empty. Where have they gone to? It is not an eyesore, it is a money sore for the vendors. Mr minister, check your manifesto and by the way, when can we have a dental extraction here at the centre?
Joe Matatolu Waila 3A

Fight against litterbugs
The Fiji Times editor Fred Wesley’s editorial on March 17 “Let’s renew the fight against litterbugs” made interesting reading. Within his article he covers the problems that Lautoka City Council advise they have with respect to the Litter Act, applying fines and costs of clearing up rubbish. While this is understandable, some may consider it an excuse by the council, which could be unfair. In Lami we have a situation where one specific residence in Marine Drive is viewed almost daily with what would be considered kitchen waste strewn all around the public verge under a yellow plastic drum in which they daily place their trash, even on non-collection days. This being done with the full knowledge that birds and dogs are going to spread it. The CEO and management of Lami Council have been fully aware of this disgusting littering practice for the past year, it has not improved or stopped, which raises the question ‘why’? While the FT does a great job of raising Fiji’s litter problem with both articles and pictures it would be good to see some specific case investigative journalism to show where the real problems lie. Taking the above example of the residence in Marine Drive Lami, I would suggest a reporter interviews the CEO responsible for Lami Council and enquires about why the daily littering has continued at that location for at least a year, how many visits the council made to the residence to raise their concern and how many litter fines have been given weekly over the past year? The ensuing article could then possibly show that Lami Council has placed a number of littering fines over the past year, taken all actions available to them and can be exonerated from any blame and responsibility for the appalling sight. Or, it could be that Lami Council have not done everything within their power to deal with the problem.
Grahame Stageman, Lami

Road safety
The Fiji Times continues to campaign on road safety awareness FT15/3. Road safety is life safety. The authorities are always there to ensure that the roads are well maintained to prevent accidents at all times at all cost. Fix the road first or fix the drivers first! Keep calm and drive safely.
Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Done at last
Finally after almost a year’s wait the section of Andrews Rd in front of my residence has been properly sealed. May I be allowed to thank FRA for completing the said work which had been long pending. I hope the residents will be forgiven for venting their frustration due to the delay caused.
Suresh Chand Nadi

In se on?
He asked: “Which was it, who let the guns in, se, who let the guns on?” “Bera va levu bu!” They replied in unison. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour No more No more “no jab, no job” policy. No more victimisation. No more fear and intimidation. No more bullying. No more hypocrisy. No more suppression of freedom of speech. No more ‘glitch’. No more dictatorship. No more Fiji First rule!

Radio presenters I find some of the presenters in our local context very well delivered and professionally executed. But, to the contrary, some interviewers are too annoying as if they know it all, and little explanation is given by the interviewees. Short, to the point questions are easy to digest rather then the long narrative questions.
Jioji O Toronibau Labasa

Hear! Hear!
Wow! Vina du va levu Dan Urai – FT 17/3. Sa yawa! Too good your shortcode, F.A.G. (former attorney-general). I enjoyed a good hearty and healthy laugh. Thank you, sir. Made my day.
Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

Stiff neck
It’s a common sight nowadays seeing people of all ages looking down on their mobile gadgets for long periods of time. It’s a wonder some haven’t suffered from stiff neck muscles and tendons. Anthony Sahai iko baci stiff kece eh! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka No freebies When Swire Shipping Fijian Drua chief executive Mark Evans says that no ticket will ever be given for free, he makes perfect sense. Freebies have never built anything, let alone making ourselves look good as hosts.
Donald Singh Suva

Digital health
The article on “digital health” by Naleen Nageshwar (14/3) was a wonderful read, and I hope the Ministry of Health has taken note of how it could improve health services for everyone in Fiji, especially ‘marginalised folk’. I was particularly impressed by the reference to language, and the proposal that any patient could arrange for medical services “in their own language”. While many civil servants do indeed talk to people they serve in the vernaculars when possible, Fiji is way behind other countries in the use of the vernaculars in official communication. New Zealand and Australia have probably more government notices, forms etc in Fijian than does the government of Fiji. This was understandable with the previous government, which laboured under the delusion that “everyone in Fiji speaks English”. Even under the much-maligned colonial government, civil servants who passed exams in Fijian and Hindi were given increments. So I look forward to a government that increasingly serves the people in the languages of the people. This will not be easy, for at least three reasons. One is that people have been used to being linguistically disenfranchised, and do not realise that the constitutions (any of them) forbid discrimination on the grounds of language. Another is that the education system at present does not teach people to use their vernaculars in official communication, concentrating largely on archaisms. Finally, there will be resistance from some civil servants themselves, who have attained their prestigious positions by being literate in English, and spend much of their time filling in forms and writing letters for their friends and kin. If communication with officialdom was available in Fijian and Fiji Hindi, their prestige would plummet — but on the other hand, they would have more time to do their jobs!
Paul Geraghty USP, Suva

Attributes of a graduate
Graduation is one of the joyful moments in a graduand’s life After years of sweat, sacrifice, dedication and persistence A student graduates from a college or university It’s a journey every student dreams of attaining It’s the attributes and qualities of a graduate That would make one successful in one’s career, and life Lifelong learning and the thirst for knowledge and human values Empowers a graduate to scale greater heights of success In all sphere of life A graduate is expected to create new knowledge and understanding Through the process of research and inquiry Team work, problem solving and critical thinking Are skills that form the rock foundation of a graduate A knowledge based graduate devoid of other finer attributes May not be able to fully contribute to any organization, institution, society or nation Because the organisation or institution would require values-based performance Ethical, grateful, responsible and adaptable conduct Embedded with integrity, compassion, commitment, trust Respect, upright and conscientious character Are the fundamental attributes of a successful graduate. Bhagwanji Bhindi Laucala Beach Estate, Nasinu

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