Letters to the Editor – September 3

Fruits and vegetables at the Suva Market. Picture: FT FILE

Prepare yourself
Not only is life precious but it is indeed short! So many people could live longer if they weren’t so ignorant of their health and spiritual wellbeing. We live in a time in which we are faced with far too many unhealthy and unspiritual choices. And it’s the choices we make that ultimately decide our fate! The right choices are generally the most simple ones, so keep it simple and do it right! Prepare and take good care of yourself that you may live a long and healthy life. There is a beautiful world out there and a new world to come for those who care! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Atmosphere of celebration

Just yesterday there was an atmosphere of celebration. The celebration centred around fathers. We are so fortunate that we have such great fathers around, especially our own. They have ensured that we get the best affordable cording to them for us. The very fact that they protected us from all forms of fear when we needed them is godly in itself. They have also sacrificed their time and life for us. My personal salutations to all such role responsible fathers. However, it is saddening and frightening to note that there are some fathers who predate upon their own offspring. I pray that all fathers understand their role as fathers and appreciate that they have a responsibility towards the society. Instead of becoming a bully and a beast they should ensure that they work to provide the best for their family. In fact there is no personal life for a father. He works and works for the family that he is responsible for. There are also some who will talk a lot about bigger issues in the nation but a little peep into their personal life would reveal the truth about their status on the fulfilment of the basic obligation as a father. To the fathers of our nation, please be humble, appreciate the contributions and criticisms of your children (citizens) and make every effort to create a safe and fearless society. God bless our fathers and the families they are responsible for. Dhirendra Prasad, Lautoka.

Missionary journeys

Your correspondent, Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, having commended PM Bainimarama’s efforts to travel to remote villages in the interior of Viti Levu before election, he then advanced to draw comparison with Paul’s missionary journeys in the book of Acts (310818). Now what about the aims of these two journeys? Paul’s objective was to spread the good news message of God’s grace that Jesus was the Christ. For this he met opposition from fellow Jews whenever he held public meetings to preach. In Ephesus his presence caused a riot; in Philippi Paul with Silas were imprisoned. In Thessalonica they were accused before people’s assembly for turning the whole world upside down because they claimed there is another king, Jesus. And Paul’s journey was not for political motives like the Prime Minister’s seeking people’s votes in the buildup to the 2014 elections and now for the 2018 election for which date is yet unknown to the Fijian voters. Paul expected hardships and difficulties and announced that persecution and death awaited him. Bainimarama met with smiles and joy as Vakaliwaliwa observed and expecting to win another election. It’s not so much about what you do but why you do it! Akuila D Yabaki, Suva.

Walkout mentality
A person or group who begins to nurture a spirit or mentality of walking out when the going gets tough, will be called a loser or a bunch of losers by many of us! I believe the SODELPA MPs’ walkout from the Parliament special sitting to appoint the President is a disgrace and disrespectful, especially when the Opposition NFP MPs did not walk out with them. The general election is expected to be announced soon, with the re-appointment of our President and I believe the SODELPA MPs should have stood their ground, present their case and show their supporters that despite being outnumbered, they will keep fighting to the end! With the Government majority in Parliament, we all know that everything discussed or voted in Parliament will go their way. We are told that the President is allowed by law to serve another three years and I believe all Fijians agree that his excellency has done an excellent job as reported in the dailies. From the SODELPA MPs’ walkout, one can assume that they disagree with the Government, the NFP MPs and the majority of Fijians in the re-appoinment of our President. SAVENACA VAKALIWALIWA, Suva.

Lemon tree lesson

Fiji is a nation of unique potentials partly because of our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious make-up. But this uniqueness sits on a fragile borderline of good and evil. On one hand it can be tapped and properly utilised to bring out the best in us if we attempt to pursue achievements in various endeavours of our common interest. It can also be manipulated to magnify our differences making everything we see perceived on a “them against us” basis. A few years ago, I asked a Gujarat friend of mine who runs a successful business in both Nausori and Suva if he can explain to me in a very simple way why Gujarat people are better in running business compared with us iTaukei in his opinion. I asked him to put his answer in very simple terms so that if I take it to the villages, they will understand. No technical explanation, and he can take his time before he gives his answer. About half an hour later and after a few glasses of beer, he told me this. “When we Gujarat plant a lemon tree, we manure it, water it and nurture it as it grows. When the tree starts bearing small fruits, we never touch it. The fruits get bigger then start to ripen. Still we never touch them. Then the fruits fall on the ground and rot, still we do not touch them. “When dozens of seedlings start to sprout from those rotten fruits, we then transplant them to different parts of our yard. Again we manure, water and nurture these seedlings to grow. Then the dozens of trees start bearing small fruits and still we do not touch them. When the fruits from this second generation of trees start to ripen, we then harvest half of it and let the other half follow the same process. “But for most iTaukei, when the fruits of the first tree are still green, you harvest all of them.” Could this be a reason why many iTaukei businesses collapse, giving birth to the slogan, “Bisinisi ni iTaukei, duri ga me davo” ? (iTaukei businesses were meant to stand and fall). I want to share this because I believe it may help some of us iTaukei in making right decisions in management whether it is at family level, private business, village development committee, school committee and etc. Sometimes when we run a community project, we quickly want to harvest the benefits before the project has sustained itself in the first place. Sometimes the project may still be in its teething period and we arrogantly assume that it is thriving so well. Sometimes, the lack of transparency opens the opportunity for abuse because some may see it as an insult to ask questions that needs to be asked just because they may breach traditional or cultural protocols. Our multi-cultural and multi-ethnic make-up can be a huge blessing propelling us to unity, development and prosperity if we use it correctly and learn vital lessons that needs to be learnt. But it can also become a curse if we choose to just focus on everything negative we can find in it. Today our nation sits on this vital cross road between cultural and governance reform against those who insist that we should go back and live in the old ways despite the fact that our whole world is moving forward. The decisions we make today will reflect on our future generations tomorrow. Timoci Gaunavinaka, Waila, Nausori.

Savusavu police

I am very impressed with the Savusavu police. They are on the beat 24/7. I called them and they were on my doorsteps in three minutes. Vinaka guys! SHARIFF SHAH, Savusavu.

Waste of public funds
THOUSANDS of litres of water are carted by trucks on a weekly basis to the residents of Koronubu and Namau in Ba at a huge cost. I believe it will be more cost effective if the reservoir and broken pipelines are repaired to restore the supply in these areas. It will save unnecessary wastage of public funds, which can be utilised for a more needy purpose or kept aside for a rainy day. Meanwhile, the reservoir is overflowing. What a waste of scarce resource. I urge the authorities concerned to please look into this. SELWA NANDAN, Lautoka.

Conserving water

Now that we’ve been advised to conserve water, I will refrain washing my hair daily. Only washing my lower front and back is important. Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka.

Protest option

I agree with South Pacific academic Dr Neelesh Gounder (FT 01/09) on protest as an option gives a message but the committee are specialised in this field and they have majority of members and they can defeat anything they dislike. I believe the constitutionality of the decision may be decided by the court if it makes everyone happy. Amenatave Yaconisau, Palm Drive, Delainavesi.

Baka trees
Navua and Pacific Harbour are touted as two of the swankiest neighbourhoods to buy property. And now one of their famous landmarks being the matured baka trees are being cut down for farm development. Why cut trees and grow crops? Just trim them and our arborists should know how. We need to develop a green program to make us a garden nation. Trees help fight climate change and provide oxygen and cools the air. They mop up carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air which cools the earth. A mature canopy tree absorbs carbon and releases oxygen to sustain human beings! Let us not destroy nature as nature will one day destroy us. Param Singh, Navua.

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