Letters to the Editor – Saturday, May 18, 2019

Outgoing Fiji Times GM and Publisher Hank Arts and his wife Cherie with executives of the Fiji Times Ltd. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Bye Hank

Finally, the Fiji Times Pte Limited executive consultant Hank Arts was farewelled by staff members on Thursday after the great Mr Arts spent some eight good years with our number one newspaper.

Mr Arts has left behind a legacy for journalists to emulate and I hope that some will get a cue from this humble man about the roles and responsibilities of a good journalist.

As the Fiji Times Pte Limited welcomes Christine Lyons, I’m confident that our beloved and number one The Fiji Times will not compromise its stand on reporting fairly and with transparency.

After all, for the readers you remain number one.

Isa, vinaka vakalevu and moce mada Hank Arts for your time here!

God bless you sir!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Climate change

The UN Secretary-General may have made the most important comment related to climate change.

“The world is not on track”.

There has been many conferences, agreements, promises and plans but limited action.

The most significant actions have been from the smaller Pacific Island nations who are at the highest risk.

The bigger nations are not bothered.

I believe they are more concerned about their profits.

These bigger nations are choosing to ignore the extreme weather.

Unfortunately, decision making by influential people from around the world is not favouring the plight of low lying islands.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Well wishes

My well wishes are with the Fiji sevens coach Gareth Baber who was admitted in hospital.

Got the news that he will join the team next week on Monday which at least satisfied me a bit.

Get well soon boss!

Raynav Chand, Nakasi

Bus drivers

I am writing to express my concern on the issue that some bus drivers who the public trust to take them from one place to another are driving recklessly.

For the past couple of weeks while catching the bus from Valelevu to Suva to get to school, I’ve noticed that some bus drivers do not adhere to road safety rules and are occasionally driving above the normal speed limit, on several occasions the buses would be lined up in front of the Valelevu bus stop trying to off-load and get passengers on all at the same time.

The buses are not properly aligned to the bus stop area, rather just partially parked to get passengers on and off.

I understand that everyone is trying to get to their destination on time and simply to avoid the morning queue but what’s more important is everyone’s safety on that bus and the pedestrians on the road.

Therefore, it is only advisable that the local authorities could be more firm in enforcing road safety rules to ensure the safety of the public is the main priority.

Tomasi Rasoni, Valelevu, Suva

Opposition role

It is indeed the job of the Opposition to raise issues of public concern and to hold the government of the day to account as Prof Biman Prasad points out (FT 17/5).

It’s an Opposition only by name when it fails to do that.

Some hold the mistaken view that the job of the Opposition is to rubber stamp what the government does without any critical scrutiny.

It’s strange that some five decades after independence some members of Parliament need reminding of the role of the Opposition!

Rajend Naidu, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Fulfilling a promise

After the talanoa session with Government in the past Tailevu Provincial Council meeting, the Tikina Nakelo has seen a few promises fulfilled.

In the village of Namuka Nakelo, an old drive-through path has been renewed from the village entry to the river bank.

This not only has made the villagers happy but has renewed the landscape of the village.

Houses near the footpath have beautified their compounds.

Another project that has pleased the people of Nakelo is the streetlight at the Wainibokasi junction to the Naikelimusu bridge.

The lights have provided safety for villagers nearby and drivers have a clear view of pedestrians using the road at night.

The other issues that are yet to be looked at include the improvement of roads from Ratu Cakobau Rd to Wainibokasi, the footpath at Ratu Cakobau Rd to Nakelo school and the Naikelimusu bridge landfill.

The Naimalavau end of the bridge has had a huge landslide and the people of Naimalavau on one side have lost farmland and on the other side have lost a playground for their youth.

We are confident that these issues will be looked into as promised.

Tomasi Boginiso, Nasinu

Decry hate speech

Fiji was blessed to have the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his message in yesterday’s The Fiji Times was superb and I hope that it has found the right ears.

Thank you so much Mr Guterres for your timely visit to Fiji.

It’s going to help build a profile for our small island nation!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Soccer format

The Fiji Football Association’s proposal to hold the BOG and Fiji FACT over three weeks needs to be relooked at because I think it will make the game boring.

I think it is far better to have it finished at once rather than drag and kill the interest of the game.

I don’t see soccer improving this way.

You will only make the fans poorer, that’s it.

Suresh Chand, Nadi

Plastic bags

Bill Kunavatu (FT 17/5) asks the question of why the Government doesn’t just ban plastic bags and infers that Government is in it just for the money.

Bill should know that the shop still pays for the bag but the 20c levy is passed on to the Government where it is deposited in the ECAL fund.

The bags are good, but their disposal is bad.

If we want the rest of the world to go green, we should not complain of a few cents which directly helps the Fiji environment.

The 60 solar-powered freezers being distributed to the outer islands by the ministry for fisheries are funded from the ECAL scheme. Government could do a better job of selling the plastic bag levy concept to the public.

Terry Hulme, Eastwood, NSW, Australia

Cane assistance

Encouraging the assistance to canegrowers (FT/17/4/19).

I look forward as a canegrower to the assistance that will be rendered years after placing an application.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Roy celebration

I am so grateful to Fiji Football Association for wanting to celebrate Roy Krishna winning the best player award in Australia just a few days ago.

I would have liked them to do this celebration at his Siberia Village in Labasa as Roy Krishna did mention in his speech that he grew up in a village.

Anyway, wherever you hold the celebrations, it will cost a lot of money.

I would like to know also why can’t Fiji Football Association let its players keep their track suits after coming back from tours.

Sukha Singh, Labasa

Rugby 7s X-factor

As the 7s team left our shores in high spirits, it’s interesting to note that nippy playmaker and our X-factor Wise Nacuqu will shoulder the responsibility of leading the charge in defending the London 7s title.

7s guru Baber maintained the core of his team to feature in London and Paris and it’s a delight to have Ikanikoda, Tuwai and Nacuqu back in the team.

I’m banking on courageous captain Paula to lead like a warrior and I’m happy that Baber has not made too many changes and included Napolioni Ratu in the mix as Ratu scored a beauty against South Africa in the final of the Singapore 7s.

Furthermore, prominent players such as Naduva, Meli, Tuimaba, Josua, Sevu, Botitu and Cakaubalavu are expected to provide guidance to Tuivoka and Tabu as it’s a matter of survival on the big stage.

Finally, with three points separating Fiji and the Eagles, a lot is at stake.

Fiji faces Kenya, France and Samoa and it’s going to be tough but I’m confident of a brave outing.

Our boys paid their respects to fallen warrior and the trainer of the Stallions — the late Nimilote Dau and the blessings from Rukurukulevu Village will be with the side as they prepare to win the 2018/19 WRSS since the 2015-16 win.

Toso Viti!

My best wishes to Baber for a quick recovery so that the Welshman can team up with our 7s side!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Greenhouse gas

The amount of greenhouse gas (GHG), primarily carbon dioxide, released into Earth’s atmosphere increasingly since the industrial revolution is known to cause global warming and climate change that now threatens life in Fiji and worldwide.

I believe Fiji’s production of GHG is low compared for example with Australia where per capita GHG emission is about eight times greater than ours, and with only 0.01 per cent of world population Fiji’s contribution to global warming is minuscule.

Passenger cars are the greatest source of GHG in the Australian transport sector and with relatively low GHG from industry and agriculture sectors here compared with Australia, cars are responsible for a major portion of Fiji’s total GHG emission.

The growing number of cars here increases our per capita GHG emission yet Fiji apparently lacks political will to promote the use of public transport by lowering bus, taxi and carrier fares and improving their services while increasing tax on private motoring.

Greater support for public transport and fewer private cars on our roads cannot be bad for tourism and would alleviate the urgent need to spend more on roadways.

If we can’t manage to reduce the GHG emission from our transport sector how can we expect the rest of the world to do any better?

How can Fiji purport to play a leading role in combating climate change if resolute action is not taken to control the ever growing number of private cars we import?

Willard Miller, Suva

Cracker of a match

The two matches between the Maori All Blacks and Flying Fijians is critical as historically speaking they have been important gauges to the Rugby World Cup.

The last two times we played against the All Blacks Maori side, we did not win but performed well in the Rugby World Cup which was few months away.

This time around, the Flying Fijians have an opportunity to change the course of history by defeating the Maori All Blacks and causing upset with their pool at the word cup which some have termed as the pool of death.

All in all, this will be two exciting matches as the Maori All Blacks will want to maintain their winning record while the Flying Fijians will want to register a long overdue victory.

Looking forward to this cracker of a match in Suva and beyond that, the 2019 Ruby World Cup.

Floyd Robinson, Toorak, Suva

Big Bill

Another milestone for Viliame Mata when called up for the Barbarian’s clash against England at Twickenham on June 2.

For Mata it will be a great opportunity especially being a World Cup year.

Head coach Pat Lam has called up fullback Charles Piutau from his own club Bristol Bears along with Edinburgh’s award-winning Fijian No.8 Viliame Mata and Toulon back row forwards Liam Messam and Facundo Isa.

It increases the depth of talent available to Lam, whose side beat England 63-45 scoreline in the Quilter Cup match last year.

Tomasi Boginiso, Nasinu

Some questions

I got on a taxi on the weekend and the driver and I got talking.

I saw the first-aid box, no smoking and the put on your seat belt sign.

Then I asked him why he wasn’t wearing his seat belt.

He said that taxidrivers were exempt, but I knew that.

I know that under the LTA Act taxidrivers are exempt.

Now we have rural service licensed vehicles, hire cars, licenced carriers, mini buses all carry the public, I was just wondering if they will one day be exempt.

By the way, do all drivers know first aid?

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Public holidays

Fiji currently has 10 public holidays.

The year starts off with New Year’s Day.

There are seven religious public holidays which mark important celebrations for the three dominant faiths in Fiji.

October reminds us of our independence status.

With all due respect, the odd one is Constitution Day.

I think it would be much better and more significant if we replace the Constitution Day holiday with a public holiday to celebrate and commemorate the arrival of our ancestors from various parts of the world.

They brought with them the culture and traditions which we are starting to forget.

They began a journey which we now call Fiji.

A Fiji which is unmatched in its unique rich multilingual, multicultural and multiracial state.

This is worth recognising and celebrating.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Traffic jams

How do decision-makers plan to tackle traffic jams in Fiji when the number of vehicles on the roads are ever increasing?

I felt sorry for the lone iTaukei police officer at the junction of Ratu Naevo Rd (Nadi) on Thursday morning (16/5).

He was doing his level best to keep the traffic flowing.

Vehicles were moving out of town towards Naicker St.

Vehicles were also turning right towards the Nadi Back Rd.

Vehicles moving into town came from Raniga St, Naicker St, Nadi College Rd and Ratu Naevo Rd.

On top of this, buses moving in and out of the bus station.

Imagine the congestion.

The police officer had his work cut out.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Parliament system

While parliamentary sittings are somewhat a necessity, watching these rules and ethic proceedings is rather boring and only one thing comes to mind; what a waste of time and money.

For a small nation as ours we need a government parliamentary system that is simple, much more efficient, much more productive, much more streamlined, and one that suits our budget.

The convenience of telecommunication technology allows for direct link with the nation.

Why not just have the ruling party, do away with the Opposition, and deal direct with the people?

Simply highlight and present the pros and cons of issues and laws and let the nation decide.

You can’t get more democratic than that!

Simon Hazelman, Rava Estate, Savusavu

Shanti Dut new edition

Shanti Dut was the only Hindi newspaper for the past seven-eight decades published in Hindi writing.

I fail to understand why the new team has to post-mortem the paper.

This is the only newspaper in the world which has two halves of Hindi written and Hindi in English upside down writing.

The new management has taken out the interesting part such as: Your voice aap ka bichaar; Baithki; Shyari; Religious teachings; School knowledge, etc.

It was a very interesting newspaper before, read by all young and old and also a lot of contribution towards the columns.

It’s a pity for the old people who used to enjoy reading the paper before. I hope the executives of this newspaper relook at it and give a good feedback to the public.

I am sure the sales must have gone down.

Rishi Deo, Nausori (Editor: We appreciate and value such feedback from readers on our various publications and digital platforms. They are very important, for they allow us to reflect on strategies and take appropriate action.)

Bring it on

The much-anticipated clash between the BNZ Crusaders and the Gallagher Chiefs here is adding excitement.

Pre-sale tickets are going good and fans have been spotted wearing the Crusaders and Chiefs jersey.

I was lucky enough to be given a brand new Crusaders jersey by my brother from Dunedin and some Crusaders banners and flags which will be used on June 1.

The Crusaders beat the Chiefs in 2017 when the two sides last met in Fiji (31-24) and we are confident of another victory this year.

While the Crusaders had a grand start to the Super Rugby season the Chiefs have struggled and after suffocating the Bulls at home the defending champions face the Stormers at Newlands.

The Crusaders have scored 55 tries in 12 matches‚ which is 10 more than the Hurricanes‚ who are the next best in the competition and Stormers coach Fleck has named a solid outfit in Willemse‚ Senatla‚ Engelbrecht‚ Damian de Allende‚ Jantjies‚ Coetzee‚ Pieter-Steph du Toit‚ Siya Kolisi, Eben Etzebeth‚ Louw‚ Mbonambi‚ Kitshoff, Fourie‚ Jean-Luc du Plessis and Dan Kriel to face the likes of Havili‚ Reece‚ Goodhue‚ Crotty‚ Bridge‚ Mo’unga‚ Hall‚ Read‚ Todd‚ Blackadder‚ Whitelock‚ Barrett‚ Taylor, Bower, Alaalatoa, Makalio‚ Romano‚ Taufua‚ Drummond‚ Hunt and Ennor.

The hosts will have to be frantic and error-ridden and will need to match the Crusaders intensity up front as the Crusaders are loaded with All Blacks and they have a decent pack.

My best wishes to the Crusaders for Sunday’s battle!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Ticket price

Just wondering how much the Super Rugby tickets cost when the matches are played in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa?

Sukha Singh, Labasa

Street or road

There is a lane which is about 50 metres in length behind the ANZ Stadium connecting the Laucala Bay Rd called Waisale Serevi Rd.

This, I believe, could be the shortest road in history and the major flaw in the sign is the mix up of using the words road or a street after the name.

I believe the difference is a matter of place and purpose.

The roads run between two distant points and destinations or between towns or cities.

Streets are local access within a suburb and some places have paved roads lined with houses and other buildings on the sides.

This is more common in residential setups.

There is a need to bring in some formality and standards to decide whether it should be called a street or a road and probably the FRA may identify another short turn off and call it a road.

Satish Nakched, Suva

Farmers’ plea

It is hoped that the cane lorry cartage fee is finalised to the satisfaction of the farmers who raised the matter before the crushing starts this year.

Suresh Chand, Nadi

Standing time

I believe that standing in a queue for any form of service is a thing of the past.

I was in a bank recently and standing time was over an hour.

I don’t mind the standing but I felt sorry for the elderly who had to stand for long durations to be served.

Prolonged standing does impact the legs, the joints, spine and shoulders.

For customers with children it is even worse when the standing parent has to deal with a child that throws a tantrum.

I believe there are better ways of managing queues without the legs giving way and many organisations have proved this.

It only takes a matter of heart and consideration to make a difference.

Sailosi Naewe, Naduru Rd, Nausori

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