Letters to the Editor – Saturday, January 19, 2019

Seona Smiles. Picture: babasiga.blogspot.com

50 years of writing

It was a delight to read that one of our veteran writers Seona Smiles has marked 50 years of writing for the No.1 newspaper in Fiji.

While I appreciate Seona for her steadfastness, vision and beautiful pieces, I must thank The Fiji Times editor for making sure that her articles appear in The Sunday Times, which I look forward to since secondary school days.

With the passing of each day, madam’s writing has grown from good to “the best” and I hope that she will continue to decorate her pieces with flavour and glamour.

Seona Smiles was the first editor of The Sunday Times and since then her contribution to our newspaper is valuable.

Seona’s wonderful moments with The Fiji Times will always be cherished!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Strengthening ties

Australian Prime Minister’s visit to Fiji is a timely one.

Especially at a time when we are renewing ties with our neighbouring partners.

Australia’s role in the Pacific including Fiji is a very significant one.

The support provided by the Australian government in areas of education, political, social reforms, sporting and many other areas is something to cherish.

This is a symbolic gesture of goodwill.

The Australian Prime Minister’s recent announcement of new initiatives is a welcome.

It is anticipated that many policy related initiatives will also be announced in the near future.

This surely is a step up in our bilateral ties with Australia.

Many times we as sovereign states have looked upon Australia to provide us with that level of support particularly in achieving our sustainable development goals.

These are positive signs for all of us and we hope that this continues to strengthen.

Pranil Ram, Votualevu, Nadi

Cash fare

We now learn from media reports that there is a shortage of $2 disposable cards from buses and that there are only cards of $5 value and upwards available for those without e-tickets.

We also hear that the authority has warned that a person is not entitled to free bus fare if disposable cards are not available with bus drivers.

I urge the new CEO for LTA to take the matter up with whoever is responsible that the only solution to all these problems which the travelling public want is to have cash fare as an option when travelling.

I would suggest once again to the authorities, to introduce cash fare even if this is set at a higher level than the card fare to motivate people to register for e-ticketing.

I believe the responsibility of preventing drivers from stealing is not Government’s.

Emosi Balei, Suva

Pedestrian crossing

A plea to whichever authority is responsible for the upkeep of Fiji’s pedestrian crossings.

Two nights ago I was driving between Tacirua and Tamavua in Suva in heavy rain and low cloud.

Approaching the crossing near the hospital at the last moment I saw three unfortunate people on the crossing.

Luckily I managed to avoid them and for giving them the scare of their lives I sincerely apologise.

But my point is I could have seriously injured these poor people or worse.

Surely for minimal expense LED solar powered lighting could be installed at these crossings which I’m sure could possibly save lives in the future.

Steve Illingworth, Tamavua, Suva

Roy’s ace

The Fiji born striker takes the outright lead after round 13 and it becomes a good news story for the Phoenix in the 2018/19 A- League series.

It’s a narrative that’s been reflected in the Alex Tobin Medal standings, with star forward Roy Krishna rocketing to the top of the leader board after a standout performance against the Mariners.

Krishna scored twice from the spot then went on a superb run to set up David Williams for the match winning goal, to claim the three votes in the 3-2 comeback victory.

A mesmerising performance with all his skills and tactics, sets a record and is a sports iconic role model that one should learn from with his sheer hard work and perseverance.

I wish him all the best in his future pursuits and endeavours in the sport he loves to play.

Nelson Narayan, Lautoka

Rugby question

With so many rugby tournaments around the country and new teams participating, one wonders how many rugby boots are sold nationally?

The shoe shops are certainly taking advantage and making the most of every opportunity to sell new boots.

Floyd Robinson, Toorak, Suva

Real test

The first real test for Man United’s caretaker manager was the Tottenham clash at Wembley.

I was cheering at the top of my voice at five in the morning watching Rashford score a beauty to claim a much important one-nil victory.

It’s Solskjaer once again to the rescue.

Raynav Chand, Nakasi

Traffic on roads

Will our roads get to a stage where traffic will be so congested that an ambulance will get stuck and a life will be lost?

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Street talk

In The Fiji Times (17/01), the question posed in Street talk was related to TELS.

Based on the responses, there exists some misconceived perceptions and one can deduce that basic awareness on TELS is lacking.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Bus fares

Some bus operators are asking for an increase in bus fares.

Their reason being fuel and oil prices.

But wasn’t the e-ticketing system introduced to justify a decrease in bus fares?

I remember some operators saying that drivers were not giving the full amount to bus owners.

Now e-ticketing is in place, so why the change in tune?

Isn’t this defeating the purpose of its introduction?

Steven Chandra, Suva

Laisa’s story

Reading Ms Vulakoro’s experience in the army camp some 12 years ago, the question that arises is what makes men and women act the way they did on an unarmed citizen?

Dan Urai, Lautoka

New resolutions

This year, a lot of people made resolutions and then immediately broke them.


Because they’re not really resolving to do anything different.

They’re just wishing.

As for my future father-in-law Allen, he decided to give up kava for a few days.

This is possible to achieve because it’s not an audacious goal.

Also, this intentional process he chose will make his skin look smoother and softer.

Wara na sponge.

Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

Health minister

It is reassuring that our Health Minister is taking the issue of rude doctors seriously.

I have encountered some in Lautoka and I hope they would be mindful of this at last.

However, I have also noted that some of them have changed in their talk but are retaliating through extreme medical examination requests (tests) to get their vengeance on the complainants.

This can be questionable as health is better known to them but a sudden increase in the seriousness of the sickness especially at the surgical outpatient department (SOPD) can be frustrating, stressful and time consuming.

I believe questionable diagnosis is evident from them and while some remain caring they become “extra caring” through excessive test requests.

Creating fear among patients is wrong and should stop.

Doctors should be positive and reassuring within the limits of the seriousness.

They should be taught during training that even dying can be a thrilling experience.

I hope I will not be misquoted but understood within the context as we have an abundance of well qualified people in Fiji to grasp the essence of this article.

Dhirendra Prasad, Lautoka

Those complaints

Of the 2000 plus complaints against medical professionals, some surrounded their attitude.

I agree it is unethical but these medical professionals are no different from the rest of us.

Just like us, they have flaws and bad days.

The complaints could have arisen from tiredness, personal issues, pesty patients and relatives.

Whatever the circumstances, the attitude of medical professionals currently are far better than the horrendous experiences from the past.

We can encourage these important people to keep trying but I think it will never be picture perfect.

It is easier to be a spectator in the audience than a player in the field.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Firm advice

I must commend the Minister of Health Dr Waqainabete, for his firm advice to doctors as highlighted in The Fiji Times (17/01) in an article title “Docs reminded of duty”.

Dr Waqainabete delivered his firm reminder to the induction of 82 new doctors and at the same time trying to address the issue of the more than 2000 complaints received by his ministry in regard to uncaring doctors around the country hospitals.

The complaints mostly revolved around doctors being rude and uncaring in their dealing with patients to which the minister described as being sad news.

However, in his advice he beautifully puts it in his own words saying, “As you go about your work, wherever you may be posted, it is vital that you retain the essential humanity and humility, which have been the hallmarks of our profession for centuries”.

I am confident that if doctors take heed of such reminder, they would always serve patients with great care and respect, no matter the circumstances.

Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Sevens thriller

Heavy rain and ankle deep water did not deter tournament favourites Tuva Youth from Semo Village to wrap up their third Coral Coast 7s Youth cup final after downing Ratu Filise 10-0.

Tuva Youth, which had the services of members from Cuvu College under-18 team, won their pool games convincingly and with high levels of fitness displayed entertaining rugby and pushed aside the likes of Ravuka Sharks and Gaunavou to complete a hat-trick, something which the Police side will hope to emulate.

The abundance of talents from teams like Kings 7s Select, Wesley Fijians and Ratu Filise shows the need to have a rugby 7s competition organised at secondary school level.

Perhaps a lot of focus is spent on rugby league in term 1 and the Deans playoffs in term 2.

Perhaps FRU could work with schools to organise 7s rugby in term 1 to expose more talents as shown by the likes of Napolioni Ratu, Ratu Meli Derenalagi and Filimoni Botitu.

Furthermore, Tuva Youth prop Sanaila Daniva, who was crowned the Lote Tuqiri Medal for Best Player Award is a rising star.

As competition intensifies today, I am adamant that Gareth Baber will include more players in his training squad to replace our ageing 7s players and the fact that we will need new blood as the 2020 Olympic Games nears.

Today’s showdown at Lawaqa Park will definitely bring out the best from our local ruggers who will face off with their overseas counterparts!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Pool of death

While passing through a market the other day, I overheard a group of men around the tanoa talking about the Pool of Death at the Coral Coast Sevens tournament and in Hamilton next week.

For a while I was a little taken back as to why they called it the Pool of Death.

Are teams in the pool made up of dead men or fit and living men?

If there was a tournament or game of dead people, literally it would be a tournament of ghosts and ghosts as spectators.

I would rather call it a pool of excitement.

All in all, fans have every right to discuss rugby including names which they may give for certain pools.

Floyd Robinson, Toorak, Suva

Coral Coast 7s

The much anticipated Coral Coast 7s senior tournament is taking shape with all the hype of the sevens festival in Sigatoka, the “home of rugby” in Fiji.

Tabadamu looks in good form after their victory at Ratu Cakobau Park last week but it is a different story altogether when it comes to this masterpiece at Lawaqa Park.

It is good to see the national teams of other countries are opting to play in our local tournament with the hope of gaining exposure against our local ruggers.

Teams like Hong Kong and Australia are here to learn the “Fijian way” of rugby.

Police sevens will be eager to make it three in-a-rowthis year with them securing the services of former Fiji national team star man Kitione Taliga.

It will all come down to the basics and fitness for the main events when the dust settles at the Salad Bowl town.

Raynav Chand, Nakasi

Soccer season

The Vodafone Premier League kicks off this weekend with minnows Nasinu and Tavua pitched in to face western giants Ba and Lautoka respectively.

Doesn’t sound good to me as I had expected the western heavyweights to test each other before they face Oceania’s best soccer teams in the much-anticipated and awaited O-League competition!

To boost their confidence, Nasinu and Tavua should have been drawn against each other before facing much bigger teams.

Anyways, I’ll leave that to the Fiji Football Association (FFA) league committee officials as they are the think tank of Fiji soccer.

However, next week’s cracker between Ba and Labasa is sure to add flavour to the league as Ba will be out to avenge last year’s 2-1 loss to the Babasiga Lions.

I believe that Ba and Lautoka need some tough Test matches to make them competitive at Oceania level.

As the transfer window heats up and players are expected to be lured with lucrative contracts, I urge our players to make a wise decision as changing districts could hamper performance.

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Bus cards

It seems that a lot of people still don’t have e-cards either they have not owned any or made an effort to get a new one when they have lost their previous one.

On a daily basis I have noticed people still handing cash over to the driver.

Some drivers demand for the purchase of disposable cards but some drivers just accept whatever money is offered.

There are also people who know their e-card has no funds but keep tapping them waiting for the driver to wave them in for a free ride.

We would understand travelling from rural to urban areas some would face the above issues but vice versa travelling from towns and cities to the interior, there shouldn’t be any problems at all because all sources are available in all centres.

As the disposal e-cards are for non-Fiji residents and for emergencies only, some people think it’s for their use.

Tomasi Boginiso, Nepani Rd, Nasinu

Waiting list

Waiting lists in government departments should be a thing of the past now.

Given the higher salaries and safety in high numbers of workers than 10 years ago, it should be a fast disappearing entity.

Thank you Dr Jaoji Vulibeci, Medical Superintendent of Labasa Hospital for your hospital’s “no waiting list” stand (FT 11/1).

I am positive that soon Lautoka and the Colonial War Memorial hospitals will follow suit especially with regards to the special outpatient department (SOPD) consultations and operation waiting lists.

Korina Waibuta, Knollys St, Suva

Thank you

Awesome letter, the Rev Father Kevin McGuire (FT 16/01).

Well written, thank you, Father!

In addition, FT readers might be interested to take note.

About 10 years ago, Catholics on these beautiful God-given shores, made up about 10 per cent of Fiji’s total population.

Generous thanks, respect and appreciation must go to all our founding missionaries for their immense sacrifice, exemplary vision, corporate planning and wisdom, the Roman Catholic Church in Fiji has the highest number of educational institutions/schools.

Proudly, unsurpassed.

And continue to educate many thousands of members from the non-Catholic communities.

Many leaders today, in the corridors of power and authority, respectfully with pride and dignity, attended one of our schools, by choice.

Many successful non-Catholic Fijians freely chose our schools too.

Our principals and headteachers are forthrightly worthy of their hard-earned positions and respectfully deserve to be treated fairly.

Discrimination, in such claimed instances, is far-fetched and grossly unworthy proclamation.

With due concurrence, I respectfully beg to differ without fear, favour and rancour.

In any partnership, prior consultation, before affecting any change, is a vital healthy necessity.

Please do not shirk this.

Ronnie Chang, Nadi

Pedestrian crossings

There are two pedestrian crossings at the Fletcher Rd and the Toa St junction just before the new Vatuwaqa Bridge when coming from the city side and are merely 40-feet from each other.

The area is not a heavily populated residential area and definitely there was no need to have two pedestrian crossings so close to each other and many can not understand the road engineer’s logical reason for doing that.

Recently the pedestrian crossing furthest away from the bridge was painted over in black, signs removed and pedestrians had to use the other one.

I believe that was a sensible thing to do because there was no demand to have two in close vicinity.

However, because of the heavy traffic and the adverse weather, the black paint faded away and exposed the white zebra crossing again.

Some pedestrians use this as an official and a safe crossing point and kind drivers oblige, stop and allow the people to get to the other side.

Other drivers do not recognise this pedestrian crossing that has resurfaced and do not stop.

This confusion compromises the public’s safety and immediate corrective action must be taken to eliminate this hazard.

Satish Nakched, Suva

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