Letters to the Editor: Saturday February 22, 2020

Action from the Nawaka 7s tournament held at Prince Charles Park in Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Sevens show

THE 33rd Fiji Bitter Nawaka 7s kicked off at Prince Charles Park yesterday as big guns Westfield Babas, Red Rock, Police, Uluinakau, Ratu Filise, Wardens, Tabadamu and Nawaka set their eyes on the cup.

Like the Marist 7s, the Fiji Bitter Nawaka 7s holds a special place in the hearts of many 7s players for it is in this tournament that they display their skills before getting their big break in the national 7s team.

It is 33 years and the Nawaka 7s tournament continues to get bigger and better and I’m pleading with our 7s selectors (if we do have some) to be present at Prince Charles Park and pencil in stars who shine for their clubs.

A shining example is versatile Police rugger Suliano Volivoli who has been with the Police Blues unit and has been playing 7s tournaments all around Fiji.

Volivoli’s passion and hard work was rewarded as he was named in the national 7s team for the third leg of the WRSS.

You ask Suli and he will tell you that it doesn’t come easy to be given an opportunity to wear the national 7s jumper.

On the other hand, the organisers must be commended for taking the initiative to organise tournaments which are good 7s breeding grounds.

I commend the sponsors for coming onboard as it helps ease the load on the organisers. Finally, I’m sure fans in the West will enjoy the champagne 7s rugby on display in Nadi!

Police will be out to defend their title and the boys look sharp with some big names in their squad!



The power of The Fiji Times

THE Fiji Times has come out clear and stated that it has no association or connection to the so-called “The Fijian Times” which is a fake news site.

Fiji’s most popular and the best-selling newspaper, The Fiji Times, is credible, transparent and authentic and needs no explanation to the people of Fiji.

“The Fijian Times” on Facebook can claim to have links to The Fiji Times but those who are associated with The Fiji Times know too well that our newspaper doesn’t stoop that low to gain popularity.

I pay tribute to The Fiji Times for braving criticism and attacks and I’m glad that our newspaper, which is 150 years old, continues to pave the way forward for all media organisations.

Unfortunately, some prefer the short cut, fame and short-term glory.

The Fiji Times covered this week’s Parliament sessions boldly and readers can see the difference.

Thank you Fred Wesley and your team for displaying media ethics and principles!

Don’t worry about critics for one day they’ll run out of words but your influence on our society will continue to stay.

Long live The Fiji Times and please continue with the hard yards and great reporting!



The Fijian Times

WHOEVER is responsible for setting up the fake news site must be really desperate for the return of the FijiFirst Government after the next election.

DAN URAI Lautoka


Minister’s statement

AS reported, minister Ashneel Sudhakar said, “where there are kai-India, why do we have so much trouble?”

A writer said, “I hope that he realises that statement also applies to him for he is also a kai-India”.

The silence from the defender of some rights, Ashwin Raj, is noteworthy.

Why, I wonder?

Is it because he’s also a “kai-India?

Or he’s in the middle of something?”



Greenhouse gases

TERMITES are known to emit 10 times more greenhouse gasses than humans, according to an article in Nature Science.

The revelation in Parliament this week by Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy that 4000 dairy cattle were lost to bovine tuberculosis since 2010 must surely be music to the ears of climate change cryers.

How do? Cow emissions are supposedly more detrimental to the environment than all the cars on the road put together because cows burp methane which is far more active than other supposed greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and the more prolific water vapour.

In some countries cows are now wearing specially designed masks to catch cow burps supposedly to save the planet.

So to cut emissions we need only to exterminate a few million of those nasty Lautoka termites and also place surgical masks on our cows.

That would be a story to tell the next COP meeting in Glasgow.



Soccer embarrassment

THE star-sprinkled Blues outfit have now transformed themselves into a national embarrassment after their dreary performance in the 2020 OFC tourney in Vanuatu.

Shameful indeed.



Small question

I HAVE a small question for Simon Hazelman (Letter “Majority rules” FT 21/2).

The government that the FijiFirst Government replaced following the 2006 military coup, was that government “the choice of the people”?

RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia


Unruly behaviour

THE unruly behaviour prevalent among some students travelling on buses was recently splashed across social media with the bus company involved calling on the Education Ministry to intervene in one of our dailies.

Dear Mr Bus Operator, my humble view is that this behaviour is in some way associated/encouraged by those woofers, nightclub speakers and loud music blaring from your buses.



Grey campaign

THE Lautoka Blues’ campaign at the OFC Champions League has turned grey after the “converted try” loss.



Brilliant humans

ALLEN is so correct, that we have brilliant humans but we can’t deal with some situations which are so dear to the common men (FT 21/2).

At the King’s College Hospital in Britain, surgeons operated on a patient’s brain to remove a tumour while the patient played violin.

Why can’t they devise a way to defuse a tropical depression before it develops into a full blown cyclone.

Or for that matter defuse a tornado before it develops to full strength.



Debt collection

WHY don’t the town and city councils collect all the rates owing to them.

What is so hard in debt collection?

Most of the council workers I have talked to say they are under a lot of pressure and they wish the councilors are back.



Israel ties

ENCOURAGING that Israel is deepening ties in the region.

I recall Fiji’s UN representative was wearing the Palestine emblem in a UN meet some years ago.

DAN URAI Lautoka


Maha Shivratri

HINDUS all over Fiji will join hands today to fast and pray as they celebrate Maha Shivratri and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.

Wishing our Hindu families a blessed Maha Shivratri! Jai Bholenath Baba!



Fiji time

THE Fiji Times or “The Fijian Times”, one thing is for sure, everything and everyone are on Fiji time!

What makes the difference is how we perceive each story. I believe in this time and age it’s difficult to differentiate fake from genuine.

One can be sure though that truth will always prevail and time is the wisest counsellor!

SIMON HAZELMAN Rava Estate, Savusavu


The Fiji Times

WE are The Fiji Times (Editorial FT 21/2). Discerning minds know that only too well.

The Fiji Times is Fiji’s number one newspaper for people both at home and abroad. Merchants of fake news can masquerade all they like but there is no substitute for The Fiji Times for authentic news on Fiji.

RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia


Baber names side

WHEN Gareth Baber named his 14-member team for the third leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, I was delighted to read that lanky Police forward and captain Suliano Volivoli, who had been knocking on the doors of the national 7s side for two years, was named in the squad.

According to Baber, he was impressed with Suli’s consistent work ethic and attitude towards training and the fact that Suli had shown a lot of maturity.

Well done, Suli! Apart from Suli, regulars Sevu, Josua, Tabu, Ben, Meli, Vili, Wise, Jerry, Naduva, Tuimaba, Livai, Tuivuaka and Ratu made the cut to Los Angeles and Vancouver.

It’s nice to see that Baber has focused on building the team’s bonding and understanding.

From the four tournaments Fiji has managed to win only one and our boys failed to defend the Cape Town and Hamilton 7s titles and our boys will be aiming to win the Los Angeles and Vancouver 7s tournaments that will be defended by the USA Eagles and the Blitzbokke respectively.

Furthermore, just like Fiji, the ABs squad has been named and it’s a pleasure to note that Waikato lad and co-captain Tim Mikkelson will run out for his 90th tournament.

This means that Tim will surpass ABs 7s sensation DJ Forbes as the most capped NZ 7s player.

In addition, coach Laidlaw has named Clarke, Dickson, Knewstubb, McGarvey-Black, Molia, Nanai-Seturo, Ng Shiu, Nicole, Webber, Ravouvou, Rokolisoa and Warbrick.

Fiji will face South Korea, France and Argentina and both France and Argentina knocked Fiji out from pool play in Dubai. Hence, it’s all about mental preparation and keeping away from distraction.

Baber has urged our team to step up while Jerry urged the boys to cut down on basic mistakes. Our boys must not be carried away with the Sydney 7s win and must remain humble.

Thus, I wish Baber and our warriors all the best for the Los Angeles and Vancouver 7s tournaments!



Football hooligans

THE decision by Fiji FA to ban football hooligans from attending games is most welcome and perhaps long overdue.

Apart from those who act violently and threaten match officials, can the body also consider banning those obnoxious and sometimes overlay-wayward fans who constantly hurl abusive words while cheering for their teams with no respect to women and children around?

Cheering can be done respectfully, and likewise one can morally remonstrate to unsatisfactory outcomes without regressive showcasing of any uncivilisation which seems to be a common feature in most soccer games.

BIMAL PRASAD Wailoaloa, Nadi


UEFA Champions League

THIS week’s UEFA Champions League knockout stages had some brilliant goals and sensational results.

Dortmund’s 19-year-old wonderboy Erling Haaland scored a brace as they sunk PSG 2-1 in the first leg.

It was a seesaw affair as the world’s two most expensive players, Neymar and Mbappe, failed to deliver in the much-anticipated clash.

On the other hand, defending champions Liverpool suffered a shock 0-1 defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital.

However, Liverpool cannot be written out yet as the return leg at Anfield has much to offer.

Everyone remembers their heroics last season when they overturned a 0-3 deficit to dump Barcelona out of the tie with a 4-0 win at home.

Moving to the only UCL game in England this week, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side suffered an embarrassing 0-1 home defeat from Leipzig.

The injury setbacks in the squad had proven to be the major cause in their unimpressive display and it will be interesting to watch if they can overturn the tie in Germany in two weeks’ time.

In another fixture, Italian giant-killers Atalanta inflicted a heavy 4-1 victory underdogs Valencia.

The match saw plenty of action and contained probably the best goals this season.

It gets better when teams like these find a name for themselves in the European competitions. Next week Real Madrid faces Manchester City which I reckon will be the biggest game of the week.

Napoli will host Messi and co at home in which new manager Quiqui Setien will manage his first UCL game for Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Lyon will clash with Cristiano Ronaldo’s in-form Juventus side in another emphatic match.

The final round of 16 games will see Bayern Munich go head to head with bitter rivals Chelsea and this will be another fixture to look forward for. The excitement only grows more and more for football fans!

It’s going to be fun aye!

RAYNAV CHAND Nakasi, Nausori


Dangerous drivers

ALLOW me to vent my frustration in regards to some of the truck drivers who cart soil and stones from Tawatawa and Saru Back Rd.

The road is gravel and the dust generated from the speeding trucks is enormous but that is another issue. It is common sense that when roads are narrow, vehicles need to slow down to approaching vehicles – simple courtesy.

But no! On Thursday afternoon while returning from work, near the Saru Water Treatment Plant, a 10-wheeler truck was barging down with no sign of slowing down — it just passed within inches of my car at top speed leaving behind a cloud of dust and flying pebbles.

I believe that these drivers have no common sense that a major accident may one day occur. Well, maybe they do not care as they are sitting high in their monster trucks with their sunglasses knowing very well that if an accident occurs, they will be safe anyway.

Yes, the relevant authority had been informed from time to time regarding their dangerous driving and they have come to carry snap checks.

However, the drivers change their tune when they see the LTA vehicles in the vicinity. On a few occasions, the company bosses of these drivers have also been informed about the drivers’ behaviour – but nothing changes. What should the residents of this area do to counter these ruthless, foolish drivers now?

Start throwing stones at them to make them slow down?

AZEEM UD DEAN Saru, Lautoka





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