Letters to the Editor – September 19

Big challenge
AFTER a not so impressive win against Samoa 3-2 and then going down to Tahiti 3-0, the Yogendra Datt-coached national under-16 team beat New Caledonia 1-0 to book a semi-final spot. The Baby Bula Boys face the immense task of playing the hosts at an always jubilant and patriotic Lawson Tama Stadium. The Solomon Islands side whipped NZ and Vanuatu 5-0 and looks fast and promising. On the other hand, the task of upsetting the hosts is mammoth but certainly not impossible. It’s going to be an uphill and a David vs Goliath battle but with the right attitude and mental preparation, Fiji is capable of recording the biggest upset of the tournament. Finally, my best wishes to our under-16 boys as they take on the Solomon Islands in Honiara today! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Indigenous rights
CAN anyone from the opposition political parties explain to iTaukei people what they mean through their election campaigns that the protection of indigenous rights is of utmost importance to them. It seems it has been lost somewhere along the line. I am inclined to think that our superlative 2013 Constitution, through its preamble and Bill of Rights, is in good hands and guaranteed or have the opposition run out of ideas to obtain those votes in a transparent and honest manner. I believe some opposition candidates are only fooling themselves because iTaukei people no longer listen to their nonsense. TUKAI LAGONILAKEBA Namaka, Nadi

Bati Ni Tanoa

WE in the North were delighted and cheerful to witness another Bati Ni Tanoa show or “Butu Pala”. Our earthlings here were in droves to witness a night of laughing and dancing. But little did we know that the Bati Ni Tanoa proper which most of us expected to be at the earliest part of the show, was not included. Disappointment went through our systems and as always the “Friendly North chic” — “Why bother” ethics was bestowed on most of us as we swallowed our pride instead. What a sweet, hilarious and great entertainment night. My relatives charted a three-tonne truck to ferry them across from Tunuloa to the ground that evening. Equivalent to travelling from Suva to Lautaka and beyond. Imagine the patriotic and enthusiasm shown by our earthlings in the North. JOJI O TORONIBAU Navetau, Tunuloa

Real barbecue
THE Sugar Festival is over. I have to say the barbecue we bought from one of the stalls was a real barbecue. None of that noodles and there were two decent pieces of chops, one sausage, one egg and salad with tavioka. Not the ones we bought two weeks ago where the piece of lamb chop was like lace. Mate nai lavo. (Worth the money) I suppose the competition is what made it like this. Then I went to the commercial stalls and farm implements were so cheap. There were many things sold that were dirt cheap, and I am glad. But guess what, the rubbish left by the people seems to be getting bigger. Oh no, I’ve said too much. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Shortage of teachers

AT last Wednesday’s Fiji Head Teachers Association conference in Nadi, the Education Minister expressed his concern at the shortage of physics and maths teachers in Fiji. He also expressed the wish for educational reforms that would ensure that Fiji’s curriculum remains relevant to the changes in modern society. The South Pacific Physics Society, and at least two of our three universities have been aware of these issues. The Physics Society has been trying to work in collaboration with the universities to address them. An example is the Year 13 Physics Laboratory Workshop that the society revived last year with great success. The workshops were very popular among both the physics teachers and students, and reveal a short coming of the system in the lack of proper laboratory facilities and/or the lack of proper attitude towards learning through doing. But our efforts I believe are being hampered by the ministry’s lack of appropriate responsiveness. Firstly, as we are trying to help the ministry (and Fiji) with the problem, some expression of gratitude would have been very welcome. This has not been forthcoming. Instead we are still being asked to grapple through layers of permission-seeking and requirements before we can organise an event. We have been trying to establish an MOU with the ministry since early last year to facilitate our schools’ activities, but this remains stalled despite various efforts to communicate with the new leadership. The society supports and commends the ministry’s move towards reforms to ensure Fiji’s curriculum remains relevant to the changes in modern society. One of the biggest changes we are facing is climate change. And a subject of great relevance is renewable energy, which provides one
of the two means of mitigating climate change. Yet our current school curriculum is paying lip-service to this important topic. At least one university has taken the task of a relevant curriculum review on board. And the society is organising events that will further highlight the topic
among our teachers and students (if the ministry allows them to attend). The broad objectives of the South Pacific Physics Society are to support the welfare of physics and to promote the application of relevant physics and the sciences in Fiji and the region. I am sure that the minister
will see the great congruence between these aims and those of the ministry, and will hopefully provide greater support for our activities. ANIRUDH SINGH National President, South Pacific Physics Society

The effects of technology
ALLOW me to express my concern on the changing technology and its effect on teenagers nowadays. It is quite visible that the use of modern gadgets and technologies are buying up more time off teens. They spend more time on social media rather than reading books and newspapers and are more segregated than ever before. It is also a plea to parents to keep a check on their children because this can also have serious health issues.
I would suggest that children should make positive use of internet services and engage in research and community work. RAYNAV CHAND, Nakasi

Island paradise
SUICIDES, road accident deaths, defilements, murder and attempted murder, illicit drug infestation, mystery substance in river, NCDs. Have I missed anything here? Our tropical island paradise reduced to a land of umpteen troubles. MANOJ LAL PATEL, Drasa Ave, Lautoka

Ice threat

SUDDENLY “ice” is flooding the news. It’s also floating at sea. I heard it’s being made at homes. I also heard it’s for sale on the streets. Have we been overwhelmed by this? Was our guard down? Are the manufacturers and importers smarter than the border control guys? Too many questions, no space to write all the questions. But I say to the enforcers … hurry up already please. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Water restriction
THE Water Authority of Fiji seems to be on alert when the drought season takes its toll in our country. There are a lot of public announcements and our news media runs the top story of the day. But I believe when it suddenly rains for a few days, the Water Authority of Fiji becomes silent. The public are awaiting news whether they could start washing their cars again or clean their driveways or maybe water the gardens. With the digital world now around us, there are so many ways of advising the public or will we have to wait for the next drought. TOMASI BOGINISO Nasinu

Dry season

WHILE some people are suffering without clean drinking water in this dry season, Lautoka City Council continues to waste precious clean tap water washing the Lautoka market. What a shame. JOHN BROWN Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka

Pedestrian deaths

YOUR front page (FT Monday 17/09) article on a family in mourning and another fatal road accident in Suva is a concerning series of pedestrian deaths recorded in the past few weeks. Even walking on the streets I believe is not safe and when will this carnage end? Speeding and more speeding seems to be a concern. However, the recent Nabou fatality and this Kanace Rd incidents are all morning (6-9am) cases. I believe not enough sleep or rest and fatigue is forcing drivers to speed to reach destinations and is causing these fatal accidents. Scientists on mental order state you must give complete rest to your body and take a good sleep for maximum of seven hours, nothing less. Let’s fight the war against careless driving by ensuring we only sit on that wheel after all is cleared. Anything apart from this is a big risk. Say no to speed and yes to sleep. SHALWYN PRASAD Mukta Ben Place, Nabua

Park closure
DORINE Narayan (FT 18/09) has succinctly jotted down the frustrations felt by the Albert Park users. Why has the park been closed to the ratepayers for the past five weeks and why are only organised team sports allowed to be played during the weekends? These are public interest questions that deserve a response, but don’t hold your breath. On a separate but related matter, when are democratic municipal council elections going to be held? Yes, I know that enabling legislations are pretty complex and requires at least 10 years to draft, but I do hope our democratic administrators of our so-called democracy recognise that such elections are the foundational enablers of a democratic society and gets on with it. Of course, once that happens, we can voice our displeasure with regards to Albert Park in the most appropriate way. JAMES MASTAPHA Tamavua, Suva

Funny stories

I VERY much enjoy reading The Fiji Time’s Flotsam and Jetsam segment, especially when this “regular scribe” from the West shares his almost daily hilarious experiences. It also makes me wonder whether his encounters and stories hold any water or should I say truth. Or are they just “cooked up” purely for entertainment purposes to put a smile on those avid readers. NISHANT SINGH Lautoka

Road accidents
WHENEVER two vehicles graze each other on our roads, other road users are left either at the mercy of the two drivers’ ability to reach a settlement or how long traffic police take to arrive. No one in authority has had the imagination to see how this could be improved. DAN URAI Lautoka

True democracy
THE responses of the opposition parties in this newspaper regarding their views about transparency and accountability of governing is interesting (FT 15/9). Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane said the same in his letter in this newspaper about the absence of consultation. Let’s be accountable to the people. AMENATAVE YACONISAU Palm Drive, Delainavesi

7s challenge
LOOKS like the Fiji 7s coach will still be looking for players when his term is over without winning any trophy or championship. We want the Fiji team to win, end of story. NACA NABUKAVOU Waqadra, Nadi

No drains
THE hurricane season is just around the corner and I would like to bring to the attention of the bigwigs that they created footpaths in Cunningham with the outlet for drainage but no drains. Now I’m no engineer, but shouldn’t those two go hand in glove. Once you build something, you must have an access otherwise it will cause unnecessary flooding. Also note only those in the plains have proper footpaths and the others don’t, it probably could be because of lack of funding, but hey what do I know, I’m just the common man. LAWRENCE WARA Suva

WOULDN’T it be better if the messages printed on billboards could just be sent to both the newspapers with the writer’s name and address. It would also save a lot of money which could be used for free bus fares for the over 60 gang. SUKHA SINGH Labasa

NIGEL Fiu, the owl only hoots at night but our ambulance drivers’ sirens are turned on even if they are going to buy bread, that’s the reason some drivers don’t give way to a speeding ambulance but a hearse is always driven at a slow pace and drivers show respect to the dead. NARAYAN REDDY Lautoka

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