Letters to the Editor – Thursday, November 25, 2021

Maheshwar Nand of Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka is excited to be one of the winners of The Fiji Times 152nd anniversary celebration October Draw. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Balanced news!

Most readers of The Fiji Times will agree that it presents “balanced news” and this gesture has for almost 50 years attracted the attention of 64-year-old Maheshwar Nand who has been reading The Fiji Times since he was 13 years old. Mr Nand, who won $152 for the month of October, paid tribute to The Fiji Times for its content and for giving factual news. Any good newspaper will balance its news to ensure that readers are given something which is credible, reliable and trusted, and for this there’s nothing else but to rely on the good old The Fiji Times. I’m sure my guru at Kava Place, sir Allen, will agree with this. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Why I bother

Not long ago someone asked me why I bother writing articles and letters especially since I live in Australia. Fair question. My reply was simple. Because I love and care for my birth country like my father and grandfather did. If there was a very small way I could make a positive contribution and difference like they did, then I feel I’ve done my bit. When the first coup crippled Fiji in 1987, we were advised to hastily change our nationality. We really didn’t want to. The interim government at the time refused all former citizens the right for dual citizenship. Yet many of us abroad still continue to contribute to the national economy via remittances and in many other ways. I believe those who live abroad need to cough up $3000 if we’re interested in dual citizenry. And just in case you’re left wondering, we’ve been doing our bit for over 38 years. Colin Deoki Australia

Disappointing matches

What a weekend of disappointing rugby matches it has been. Firstly, the super powers of rugby, the mighty All Blacks have their tails between their legs after a second straight loss to France. The French side did not allow previous loses of at least 13 encounters with the All Blacks dampened their spirits. In the end the All Blacks had their tails between their legs. The men from Down Under also recorded a painful loss in the dying moments of the game. Despite millions of dollars in backing and a highly structured development program these two super powers could not function in matches away from home. It looks like the Northern hemisphere tours are bad luck for them. Meanwhile, our performance against Georgia was simply disappointing as they held us to a draw despite an exciting performance against Wales a week earlier. Well as they say, life has to move on, but for now all eyes are on our sevens team in Dubai. A totally new team, but do not count them out. Floyd Robinson Toorak, Suva

Times editorial

Many of us through The Fiji Times editorial “When love and hope stand out” (FT 23/11) may be eager to read also about Farina, Nasir and Asif’s side of the story, also suggested by Allen (FT23/11). A united picture of the two families would speak volumes on sharing, sacrificing and caring, love from the heart. The love they shared made them one. Where there is love, life is complete when it comes from the heart. A mother’s loving heart can always see what eyes cannot. “There is no other love like a mother’s love for her child.” Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand Those reports Almost all international bodies have given us a thumbs down in their area of expertise. Be it human rights, democracy, corruption, statistics, elections and so on. Almost all the time we are told that such reports are politically influenced. My reaction is why the hell will all reputable world organisations suddenly decide to go against the Fiji state and its agencies? Are we a world power which they need to control? Do we have influential veto power in world affairs? Surely not. So please swallow your pride and ego and everything else and accept that we are not doing anything right expected of a true democracy. Rajendra Prasad Naulu, Nakasi

Disciplined Parliament

Standing Commitee on Justice, Law and Human Rights chairman Alvic Maharaj “frankly” proclaims that the Fijian Parliament is well disciplined (FT 23/11). LOL. I wonder what his opinions are of our astute A-G when he once taunted an Opposition member in Parliament by impersonating Star Wars character Darth Vader. I must admit, it was hilariously an “ape” of an enactment exhibited by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, supported by the laughter of  “disciplined” ministers sitting within close proximity of the A-G. There was also an intense episode involving our physically tough PM whereby he aggressively confronted and hassled the NFP president outside of Government Buildings. The latter’s spectacles were damaged during the process in plain sight of the public. It was a frightening sight indeed. So what form of discipline is Mr Maharaj referring to? He’s assertion of a “disciplined parliament” sounds contradictory, well at least to me. NISHANT SINGH  Latutoka

Leaking pipe

DURING one of my afternoon walks last week, I came across a group of residents in Nakasi standing on the side of the road and talking about a burst water pipe on the street they live in. I was stopped on this walk and they sought my assistance as they have all made several complaints to Water Authority of Fiji for the past six weeks and claimed not a single person came to check the problem. Their only concern was that whilst we had sent a delegation to COP26, water was running down the street 24 hours a day. I promised them that I would personally take this up to Water Authority in Nausori. I went to Water Authority in Nausori the next day and made another report and was promised they would attend to it the next day and they would call me before coming over to Nakasi. It had been seven days and no one called me. So I sent a Facebook message to my good friend and Minister Jone Usamate who also lives in Nakasi. Yesterday morning there were three twin cabs, one seven tonne truck, one digger and 10 people on the street! SERU ROKOSUKA Nakasi

Care for elderly

THE Director of Social Welfare has revealed that there is an increase in applications from people seeking to place elderly family members in homes (FT 24/11). I have come across many cases where elderly parents are living alone as their children are staying away from them. They have no concern for their welfare for they do not even visit them to check how they are doing. I also know of cases where one of the elderly spouses is taking care of his or her partner who is sick and bedridden. Some of them might have special needs. Sometimes, the neighbours also reach out to help where the partner is too old to manage this task on their own. I strongly suggest that some sort of special payment such as age care allowance be considered for these carers for taking care of the needs of the sick elderly. If a mobile nursing care clinic service could be introduced so regular home visits could be made to check on their health, give them a bath and feed them, it would be a big relief to the carers. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Easier said than done

Most respectfully, looking and caring for the elderly requires enormous tolerance, patience, understanding and tender loving care. Many do not have the “Florence Nightingale” skills needed. Much is easier said than done. Realistically, experience accomodating elderly loved ones 24/7 is no mean feat. You need to be a saint; well, almost. For those who have not had the experience, please think more than twice before making any further comment. I am serious. Caring for the elderly 24/7 is no mean feat. Special skills are necessary. Not everyone has the mindset to undertake such a task. Believe me. Some things just cannot be shared in public. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

That letter

Jan Nissar, unless you understand the indigenous Fijian culture and traditions and have a direct lineage to it, you will always be flabbergasted and appalled! The reality of the situation is that the kailoma understand the iTaukei from a standpoint that no one else can and it’s only obvious that this can be of great benefit to an iTaukei-based political party. I doubt very much you have a thorough understanding of what the iTaukei are all about, as a matter of fact, from reading your letters, I doubt you have any understanding of what the iTaukei are about as a people, as a nation and as indigenous people of the Fiji Islands. I’m a kailoma and have very close ties to the chiefly families of Viseisei, Vuda, and the chiefly families of the Tui Nasavusavu here at Nukubalavu, in Savusavu. We understand our place and hierarchy with our iTaukei connection and, most importantly, we clearly understand the iTaukei as a people, their values and their culture. Like the iTaukei, we, as well, would like to maintain their old cultural ways because it’s not only beautiful, when understood, it makes total sense and if Fiji were to be the way the world should be, it is their traditional culture and tradition that is the point of reference. I never mentioned anything about Indo-Fijians but since you’ve brought it up, I was married to an Indo-Fijian for over a decade and now have a family with a mix of Indo-Fijian, iTaukei and European lineage. I have great Indo-Fijian friends to this very day, friends that I’ve had since my primary school days. You see, as a kailoma and from experience, I understand the iTaukei well and I also understand the Indo-Fijians. My findings tell me that the iTaukei and the Indo-Fijians are two very different kinds of people. In fact, they are very different in many ways. They are people from very different poles with very different priorities. Just the fact that we’ve made it  this far truly amazes me and, I believe,
is mainly due to the iTaukei being very tolerable, kind-hearted, and considerate people, having lots of empathy. As the indigenous people of this land, I believe, they have all the right to have a fully fl edged iTaukei political party and to understand that, one needs to understand the iTaukei. All I’m suggesting is with our close connection, we, the kailoma, can make a huge difference to bringing about political success. SIMON JC HAZELMAN Rava Estate, Savusavu

Weak democracy

With IDEA’s report revealing a weak Fijian democracy (FT 24/11), I believe Fiji should be declared a totalitarian State since a thin or fragile democracy limits the effective functionality of a democratic nation. But, then again, that report could be “flawed”, as usual. Nishant Singh Lautoka

Masks galore

Unkol and I travel all over the West. Before we saw plastic bags lying around everywhere and now, we see discarded masks on the road. Kha hoye yaar! Navneet Ram Lautoka

SODELPA issue

When Mr Rabuka was removed as the leader of SODELPA, people said it was a political move to break the party by someone and it looks like it will not break but will be dead in the next election. Nardeo Mishra Suva

Question time

Will we, the people of Fiji, get to know who went to Glasgow? And why so many people went, what we achieved for the people who I serve that live in informal settlements? Tell me, I will go tell them. I don’t need a suit to go meet the people. That’s if you are game. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

High chiefs

I believe the three highest chiefs in the land are the leaders in SODELPA. Is anyone going to say something about this or, as with everything else, is it left up to me to speak up … again? Jan Nissar NSW, Australia

Cyclone

Are you ready? KELEPI DAKUIYACO Waikalou, Serua

Kailoma member

Simon should address the current situation where FijiFirst recognition, of its “kailoma” member of Parliament was an assistant minister’s post. I believe, under the FF party, ministers are merely a title with limited freedom of expression. If that’s inclusive, so be it. Dan Urai Lautoka

Education saga

Avoid attempting to correct, fix or improve what is already sufficient. It is possible that the attempted improvement is risky and might backfire. Siding the Education Minister. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Teachers’ pay

Did all teachers get the increments or are some still waiting? Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

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