Letters to the Editor | Thursday, June 1, 2023

Filipe Korovou of the Naqali Meke Group performing at the Ratu Sukuna Day celebrations at Albert Park in Suva, on Mon 29 May 2023. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

The late statesman, a true son

THE week-long Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day celebration concluded on a bright and high note at Albert Park on Monday. The week’s celebration to commemorate the first statesman for the country was well-received by many, considering that the celebration was taking place after more than a decade. I agree with Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka that Fiji’s progress as one of the most economically-developed countries in the Pacific was supported by the initiatives made by Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna years ago. The Editor-in-chief penned a powerful editorial, dedicating it to the soldier, scholar and statesman. There was so much literature on the statesman available and I must acknowledge the role the good old The Fiji Times played in raising awareness on the life of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna. The public holiday in honour of a fallen warrior brought different races together. The presence of the students of Wairuku Primary School, which Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna attended, at Albert Park was the icing on the cake. As the celebration concluded, as Fijians, let’s embrace the principles Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna’s life was based on. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Nadi Town

Nadi Town is built in a very confined and restricted area of real estate. There is no room for any expansion. Far too much traffic cause enormous frustration. Traffic heading from Suva towards Nadi Airport and onwards to Lautoka; or vice versa, need to proceed through Nadi Town, needlessly — or via the Nadi back road. I am given to understand some years ago in one drawing board and/or master plan, a by-pass road from around the Navo area towards the Denarau by-pass, was considered. If this is so, our authorities with due consultation with Government and Fiji Roads Authority, might want to re-consider such implementation when finances are made available. Nadi Town is hopelessly flooded with far too many vehicles, needlessly, each day and every day. One-way streets are made out of sheer necessity to maintain good traffic flow. I understand all the fuss and frustrations to return to the “good old days”. One road experts say otherwise. I concur. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

Tobacco deaths

Annually, more than 1200 Fijians succumb to tobacco related deaths. Now that’s a huge number for a tiny island nation like ours. Health authorities have aggressively been bidding to tackle cigarette smoking but believe their vigorous efforts have “gone up in smoke” as there has been an evident surge in tobacco abuse over the recent years, predominantly in youths. As I have reiterated for like a thousandth time via this column, the only effective way to curb and prevent Fijians from picking up this morbid and addictive practice is to immediately shut down that “cancer stick” factory in Nabua. Otherwise, Dr James Fong and his medical team will continue to sound like a broken record attempting to contain this plague. Game over! Nishant Singh Lautoka

Pathetic effort

The recent performance by the U-20 soccer team is pathetic. They not only failed to win a single game but had a total of 16 goals scored against them. If this is the situation of our U-20 team, what are the prospects of our future national team? Fiji has been playing soccer for the past 85 years and if this is their standard then what has Fiji Football achieved in all these years? It is indeed time for heads to roll. The current officials should do the honourable thing and resign. Our rugby brothers started playing much later but look at their world standing. They are placed much better than our soccer team. It is time to get our priorities right. Kiran Kapadia Samabula, Suva

National election

With municipal elections around the corner, I believe that the grog dopeys of Fiji should get together and form a political party to contest these elections. I know that grog dopeys have all the solutions to Fiji’s problems. And, I believe, since a significant proportion of voters are grog dopeys, their election is assured. Once they fix the local government issues, they can then contest the national elections in three years’ time. I cannot think of a better way to get rid of recycled leftovers from some 40 years ago. We are at the dawn of a new era as we all know. Jan Nissar Sydney, NSW, Australia

An eyesore

KNOWN for its serenity and splendour, the once iconic suburb of Simla, which I consider to be the “Beverly Hills” of the West, is literally going down to the dogs. What was once a welcoming neighbourhood with unpolluted streets and well manicured parks is now strewn with household refuse scattered by the ever increasing stray canine population. With such an unhygienic environment, it has become eyesore indeed. My beloved Kuata St can effortlessly be voted as the filthiest in Simla, with almost every driveway littered with uncollected debris, dog poo (I know who the four legged culprits are) and green waste which the authorities have not collected in a while. And then we wonder why our drainage system gets clogged after every downpour. The stray dog menace is correspondingly and equally contributing to this grime and the well-fed mozzies have no hesitation in making a happy meal out of me every night. The hostile presence of those mean street dogs scavenging through piles of fly infested rubbish has also been an unpalatable sight for Biku (my cat), who often prides on his personal wellbeing, hygiene and security. As a concerned ratepayer, I urge the Lautoka City Council to immediately address this filth of a concern. This is not the Simla I evolved in. NISHANT SINGH LAUTOKA

Men’s 7s team

Can the current FRU administrators come out clean and make a statement if our men’s 7s team have been paid to date, including the last two legs, because incentives can play a part in their inability to win a leg in the 2023-2023 World Rugby 7s Series? Is our 7s coach, Ben Gollings being paid his wages accordingly and up to date? They (players) should be paid first and not the FRU office staff? How about our 7s women’s team and Drua women 15s team? The upcoming New York 7s is quite hefty in terms of its winning prize of $US1 million. If our Fiji men’s team wins that tournament which they will, I would suggest 90 per cent of the prize-money be divided equally among players and coaching staff while 10 per cent for FRU. I’m sure all logistics will be paid for by tournament organisers inclusive of per diems for all players and their preparations while in Fiji. Jioji M Cakacaka Carerras, Votualevu, Nadi

Clean environment

The Fiji Times reporting with picture of PRF and WRFL staff on clean up exercise (FT 30/5) with loud message to stop using environment as toilets and dumps. It’s not an attractive picture to promote tourism. We all should be involved in whatever way we can to protect our environment from being polluted. Safe and clean environment is cheaper than any medicine. Be a part of the solution, not part of pollution. Civic pride should be everyone’s concern. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

What a find!

I can very well recall the morning news of July 24, 1999 about PC121 flight that crashed in the dense forest and hilltops of Mataicicia, Delailasakau in Naitasiri. That year, I was a teacher at Navai Primary School in the interior of Seaqaqa. I had only a TV with Fiji 1 news accessibility at that time in the school compound and the villagers of Navudi and Navai flocked into my quarters to see the PC 121 flight crash pictures other than news. It was a very shocking news when 17 lives were lost. But its scattered trail of charred remains and wreckage of rear bottom end of the plane found after 24 years of the crash is also shocking and a matter of great concern. This means that a thorough search and full recovery of the crash was not done. The relevant authorities must address this concern appropriately. Many thanks and appreciation to the police training platoon who came across the wreckage of the plane. The exercise schedule turned out to be part of a historic find and the unit must be complimented for this. What a find! It’s time for the authorities to recover the wreckage of the plane and keep it securely as part of our history. Indar Deo Bisun Sakoca Heights, Tamavua, Suva


FORMER permanent secretary Jioji Kotobalavu says Parliament should be representative of all ethnic communities living in Fiji including the minorities. I will go a step further and say the same should be applied at all levels of Government. The Coalition Government has been advocating a lot about unity and inclusivity. Therefore, it is incumbent upon them to practise what they preach. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

George Speight

Maybe let the authorities decide George Speight’s freedom but what will Fiji achieve after releasing him? I believe the coupists, businessmen, extremists and opportunists fear if George Speight is released they will be exposed. Navneet Ram (TD) Lautoka

Plastic bags

The previous government did its best to eradicate use of plastic bags. A major supplier agreed to the impacts of such and mentioned about certain macron plastic bags which would be supplied by the company. We were not certain if that quality of plastic bags was biodegradable. Eventually, all sorts of plastic bags are being used for customers in the municipal markets. Most vendors of Lautoka Municipal Market have replaced newspaper with plastic bags. I hope our government will take stringent measures to once again eradicate the use of plastic bags. SARITA LAL Sydney, NSW, Australia

Way forward

BEFORE the opening of the GCC meeting there were chiefs and representatives appointed by the respective provincial councils to represent their provinces while three chiefs were separately appointed by the government. Question, are there preferences between whose a bigger and smaller fish favoured by the Coalition Government or should it not be the case, but merely chiefs to meet and discuss a better and harmonious way forward for the iTaukei? “The ego seeks to divide and separate. Spirit seeks to unify and heal.” – Pema Chodron. AREKI DAWAI Suva


Can the districts demand a Commission of Inquiry into the failure of the Fiji Under 20 team World Cup qualifying games last month? Asish Vinay Prasad Park Rd, Raiwasa, Suva

A coup is a coup

It has often been said that a coup is a coup. So how come only George Speight is doing jail time for his coup? He has done 20 years and is now applying for presidential pardon. Given the national display of forgiveness we have been witnessing in recent days I believe the pardon should be granted. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

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