Letters to the Editor – Saturday, March 25, 2023

The late executive director of the Spinal Injuries Association, Joshco Wakaniyasi. Picture: FILE

Tribute to Joshco Wakaniyasi

THE community of civil society organisations has lost a friend, a mentor, an advocate, a thinker, a strategist, and above all a leader of high standing. He championed the cause and issues of persons with disabilities, or differently abled people, with great courage, compassion and zeal that none of us can compare or match. As the FCOSS executive director, we had the honour and privilege to work with him in a very wide range of issues of not only the people with disability but the entire civil society community. It’s a great loss to Fiji because Joshco was an honest, sincere and dedicated person who spoke his mind. It will be hard to find such an intelligent and compassionate social work leader. Hopefully, his death will be celebrated annually on March 21 as it happens to be the World Social Work Day. May his soul rest in peace. MOHAMMED HASSAN KHAN, chairman, Suva Relief Fund Trust —Pearce Home

Aiyaz’s claim

FORMER A-G Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s claim that ministers in the Bainimarama government who were given bodyguards did not have “any control” over what the bodyguards carried (FT 23/3) is hard to believe. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was known as the “Minister for Everything” precisely because there was the perception that he had control over everything in post-coup Fiji. Hence his claim seems far fetched. By the way which other government minister apart from Mr Sayed-Khaiyum had bodyguards with guns onboard domestic flights? RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Who was it?

IF an airline domestically carries guns and ammunition without approval from the aviation authority, what are the penalties? Is there a fine, or a tickle behind the ear? Imagine if the weapon is used on the plane. What is the range for cost of damage over a short-term gain? Who then is responsible? The airline, or the civil aviation authority? Someone must be held accountable for risking the lives of passengers and potential loss of a multi-million-dollar asset. Who was that person? RICK EYRE Labasa

Refugees in Fiji

IT might be a controversial idea but it is worth thinking about. By providing a stable home to refugees, Fiji can utilise their manpower and skills-set to fill in the gaps in our current workforce. With heavy migration out of Fiji, resettling refugees in Fiji might be an answer. It may require a thorough criteria but if done right, the refugee community can also be placed in under-developed places like Vanua Levu and help those economic zones grow. The increased population and diversity will help propel economic growth in the country and at the same time be seen as a big humanitarian step by the international community. KIRAN KHATRI Samabula, Suva

Media plea

ANYONE with an iota of empathy with the political interference, control and coercion the Fiji media endured for 16 long years under the repressive Bainimarama regime would understand and support the media organisation’s call for the Coalition Government to repeal the draconian Media Industry Development Act that was arbitrarily imposed by the Bainimarama regime. I support the Fiji media call 100 per cent. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Night flights

I REFER to A Shariff Shah’s letter in the FT (23/3) on the above subject. This matter was raised several times during the FijiFirst government’s reign but no response was provided. Night operations into Labasa aerodrome was part of the FijiFirst government’s 2018 election manifesto. I say that there is more than the eye can see, therefore, the Minister for Civil Aviation (ex-board member of CAAF) is urged to undertake a small investigation and he will be surprised to see what comes up. AJAI KUMAR Nadi

Policy removal

I AM writing to express my gratitude on the removal of the “No jab no job” policy that was implemented by the previous government. Because of this policy many people had to quit their jobs and were left out in the dark and could not access certain basic necessities for their survival. Furthermore, it was revealed in Parliament by the Honourable Minister for Women Ms Lynda Tabuya that those recipients of welfare who did not get the jab were being denied their services even after death. Such incidents were very inhumane and a violation of their rights. I believe the announcement was welcomed across the board. I speak from personal experience that a majority of unvaccinated people are sickly individuals and also the older generation as well. With this welcoming news, the older, sickly individuals will be able to access much needed assistance again and also a lot of qualified, experienced individuals would certainly be able to work and continue with their contribution to the wellbeing of the economy as a whole. AFITAREKI TAKAYAWA MELI Suva

MPs leaving 

THE former prime minister and the Opposition MPs who have resigned from Parliament clearly indicate that their past service was mainly for some other reason. The people’s hopes for them were not a priority, they were just there for reasons best known to them. After they lost the elections, they left. Another reason is the questions they will encounter when Parliament commences. I believe there will be more resignations. All to be dealt accordingly and by the law. TOMASI BOGINISO BOA NSW, AUSTRALIA

Women – A treasured gift

A WOMAN is an embodiment of sacrifice, compassion, energy and love A great asset to family, community, society, nation and the world Women and men are like two wheels of a chariot Its smooth movement squarely depends On how the two wheels move in harmony Women and men are not on a rat-race They are expected to work hand-in hand To achieve shared goals in all spheres of activities Therein lies peace and tranquility of humanity Women play multiple roles in family, community, society, nation and the world The complexity of these roles and responsibilities are seldom understood by men This leads to frustrations, depression, negativity and anguish The competitive spirit of women With the sole purpose to surpass men as a sign of victory in the name of equality May not augur well in the long run Women have the intelligence and grit to survive in male dominated fields Proving that women have the determination To excel in numerous domains of human endeavours Let’s join hands to give our full support to women To attain their full potential in all spheres of their lives Women play pivotal role in the progress of humanity They should be encouraged and empowered to access what they aspire for And be given opportunities to use their knowledge, skills, experiences and talents In this changing world driven by digital technology Women have made innumerable contributions to the digital world To make the world a better, peaceful and meaningful place to live in It’s vital to admire, recognize, appreciate, respect and celebrate the feminine energy. BHAGWANJI BHINDI Laucala Beach Estate, Nasinu

Time to reflect

TRIAL by media. Due process. Natural justice. Did you extend the same courtesy to the outspoken critics of your administration? Or have you forgotten how you surreptitiously flogged them (figuratively speaking) while in power when all they were doing was exercising their democratic right. Now that the boots on the other foot, perhaps you now know what it feels like to walk in the shoes of the downtrodden and marginalised. And while you’re in the “naughty corner” hopefully you’ll have time to reflect and rearrange your head-space. Or will you conveniently have a memory meltdown? Or is it just plain sour grapes? COLIN DEOKI Australia

The task

THE young boy darted and weaved, as he quickly manoeuvred, through the crowds in the street, running where it thinned. He had to get to the butcher, to buy soup bones for his mother. She was waiting at home, and he did not want to be late again. He wanted to avoid a scolding, like he got last Saturday morning. His friends sat by the tree laughing and that was really, really embarrassing. When you’re late or even linger, the response is a good “kana quita”! When you “bera”, don’t “bera”. close your eyes and just “vosota”! EDWARD BLAKELOCK Pacific Harbour

What is the point

WHAT is the point of changing the media laws when all the reporters in Fiji have their tails between their legs? That is obvious to me at least. JAN NISSAR NSW Australia

Passing the buck

BUT Aiyaz, you were the Civil Aviation Minister, and since you seemed to know everything (or pretended to), how come you were not aware that guns were not permitted on flights? (FT 23/03). Trying to pass the buck as usual, are we? The fact of the matter is, you should perhaps be drafted into our skillful Drua rugby team since you are a master of timely offloads of your fiascos onto others. NISHANT SINGH Lautoka

Trial by media

MR Sayed-Khaiyum’s (former A-G) lament on trial by media is understandable. Trial by media does not favour the accused but the consolation is that the media in Fiji is not as aggressive as their overseas counterparts who could run down anyone as it suits their agenda. My advise to those who choose to hold public office should be able to stand strong and face public criticisms and ridicule. Finally, if a person is really aggrieved with trial by media, he/she should follow due process of law and seek redress from the courts for an appropriate restraining order. AJAI KUMAR Nadi

Wooden house

THANK you Mr Tuiloa for shaking that wooden house as an interim CEO and bringing to light the concerns of players’ welfare and house promises. By the way, someone needs a big sasa broom to sweep out those old cobwebs clinging on that wooden house anyway! AREKI DAWAI Suva

Water problems

THE biggest problem in Fiji is we use the same good water for drinking, cooking and flushing the toilets. Just use sea or river water for flushing toilets. Each time a toilet is flushed, you can use up to 20 litres of good clean water. SUKHA SINGH Labasa

Swimming pool

WHEN will the Local Government Minister inform the people of Lautoka about the million dollar swimming pool. I hope it will be build in his four-year term. GEOFFREY CHAND Lautoka

Guards with guns

IN the first place, why did those two bodies require guarding in such a manner? In my view, they were just attempting to raise their importance. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

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