Letters to the Editor: Wednesday November 28, 2019

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians centre Semi Radradra on attack against Wales during their pool match at the Oita Stadium in Oita, Japan . Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FILE

Radradra is such a delight to watch

Semi ‘The Trailer’ Radradra has been making a name for himself on the rugby fields for many years now.

To watch him play is such a delight. He is fast, strong and a thinking player.

He is good in defence and attack — and that’s what makes a rugby player a good rugby player.

Now I read (FT 02/11) that he could be playing in the English premier competition after a report revealed yesterday and was being lured to play in Bristol for $3 million.

The Daily Telegraph report stated that billionaire Stephen Lansdown, owner of Bristol Rugby, has put the two-year offer for the former NRL superstar “that is too good to refuse”.

In today’s game, sport is big business, rules have been changed to make the games flow and a delight to watch. And thus people go to be entertained and they pay.

I wish Semi all the best.

Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

LETTER OF THE WEEK- 4/11-10/11

Joske’s Thumb experience

THERE is much I can add to your excellent article on the “Devil’s Thumb”.

I first conquered this peak at the age of 14 years in 1963. During the mid-sixties, I climbed it with my friends a total of 11 times. My climbing companion for the first and many other climbs was Eugene Southwick.

We did this in a fit of jealousy because our brothers Andrew and Graham had climbed it earlier in 1960 and 1961.

Others included several of my schoolmates at Marist Brothers High School including Warden Narsey and Rodney Samuels. I was a willing unpaid guide for members of the Fiji Rucksack Club.

None of them came back for a second attempt. We tried to scale the peak on the steep side, but like Sir Edmund Hillary before us (WWII), we failed.

The cliff face curves outward and it may be impossible to scale. We followed the rusted steel pitons that Hillary had driven into the rock face.

These were formed by huge gas bubbles in the lava flow when the thumb was actually the vent of a volcano.

In these caves, human remains were found, and were given to the Fiji Museum. We camped in a cave under a gigantic boulder that had split off the cliff face on the north side.

Joske’s was only one peak of dozens that we climbed in the sixties. Our strange aim was to climb every peak on Viti Levu and raft every river. We conquered the Medrausucu Peak in Waimaro.

Our companion was Fiji rugby rep, Apenisa Tokairavua.

We failed to scale the highest peak in the Korobasabasaga Range in Namosi, stopping 50m short of the summit.

We were there with Sam Levu as guide during the rains that brought the worst flooding of Rewa River.

This peak may be impossible to climb. The only other peak that defeated us was Natodra in Magodro.

I was privileged to see the interior in a truly pristine state, which explains why I cannot now return to these places.

It is time to declare and patrol a national forest park around Joske’s Thumb or Rama peak and other areas outstanding biodiversity and natural beauty, especially in Namosi province.

These adventures prepared me for the dangers of a different kind in fighting the pine forest fires and housing the homeless.



Safety first

While there is so much on the focus on the measles outbreak, there are certain programs and activities being cancelled because of the announcement from the Education and Health ministries.

This call is for the safety of the people.

No doubt there will be certain frustrations and disappointments but one has to understand it’s for a good cause.

Some people told me to write why the change when there is nothing wrong with people or environment around them, and some people have been planning ahead for certain programs and activities.

Well, I personally feel when the directives come directly from the top, it has to be followed taking into consideration that there are genuine reasons behind it.

After all, it’s for the public’s safety and no harm in the programs being postponed for the reasons above.

Nothing is more important than our safety.

Let’s hope the measles outbreak is well dealt with and once things are cleared, the functions or programs can be given the green light. This is the time for understanding and teamwork.

We don’t have to wait until something worse happens then we do something about it or regret it later on.

Safety is most paramount and this is what is being practised here.

Better be safe than sorry.



Soapstone extraction

I write to inform Lands Department, Land Transport Authority, Fiji Roads Authority and Suva City Council regarding the extraction of soapstone from a hill at the end of Donu Rd, Namadi Heights in Suva.

This operation has been going on for over two months now and there seems to be no sign of cessation.

The constant rev of heavy truck engines from dusk to dawn has created restlessness in the community here.

Apart from the noise pollution there is heavy dust pollution and the traffic congestion in the narrow Donu Rd.

These truck drivers are so thoughtless that they even block driveways thus causing inconvenience and risk of accidents.

In the beginning the truck drivers were careful to cover their loads with tarpaulin but now they are carrying loads openly spewing some on the road and surely leaving a lot of dust nuisance around.

Is someone checking the weight of the loads?

If not this must be causing massive damage to our roads and potholes are already a serious problem.

Could the authorities concerned please check the legality of this extraction operation and bring about some sort of sanity in its operation.

It is paramount in the interest of public health and safety.

DEWAN CHAND Donu Rd, Namadi Heights, Suva


The Fiji Times online

Reading The Fiji Times online was a bit difficult as I missed the hard copy.

Thank you The Fiji Times for keeping me abreast here in Dunedin, NZ with whatever is happening home.

It makes me miss home!



Our new plane

Good to read the Prime Minister enjoyed his flight on the new plane, which he said was the flight of his life.

Did it really fly over Viti Levu?

If it did, no wonder it didn’t come to Lautoka.

ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka


No partying

In his BBC interview, Prince Andrew said he “never really partied”.

Now, there you have a misleading statement.

I believe a false statement in fact.

You have some people in high places make such statements which distort the truth.

I believe Dan Urai can confirm that.

RAJEN NAIDU Sydney, Australia


Black ash

Can Joshua Wycliffe please look at the thick black ash emitting from FSC Lautoka.

It’s an environmental and health problem.

JOHN BROWN Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka


Slow growth

I believe weak democratic governments result in bad governance and slow growth.

DAN URAI Lautoka


Road humps

The most impressive part about roadworks currently taking place in Natabua is the construction of road humps.

Otherwise, this road would have doubled up as a racetrack.



Blood pressure

Want to see if you have high blood pressure? Go join the queue at a certain bank.

Simi Kuruvoli Makoi, Nasinu


Hidden from public

The report on investigations into allegations of past mismanagement at the USP is not to be made public (FT 27/11).

So what is being hidden from the public?

That will be the inevitable public perception.

It does the prestigious university’s reputation no good.

Whose interest is being served by withholding the report from the public?

RAJEND NAIDU Naidu Sydney, Australia


Band of brothers

Yes, Sevuloni Mocenacagi and his two brothers Isoa and Kavekini Tabu will be making history for Fiji by becoming the first sibling trio to don the white jersey in a team playing in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

(FJ 27/11) I can see that Fiji has a formidable side. Just imagine brothers playing alongside each other, they will have probably played rugby when they were younger in the back yard or the village, and mind you as many Fijian rugby stories go — they may have used a coconut or an empty plastic bottle as a ball.

I bet Sevu is a role model to his brothers and what a way to go when they followed in his footsteps.

Good luck to team Fiji and Sevuloni and his brothers.

ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka


Olympic setback

It’s a pity that we may not be able to see our own Eileen Cikamatana, who is the World Junior Weightlifting record holder, participating at the Tokyo Games next year because she missed the first year of qualifiers.

However, we could see her on the big stage at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and then if God permits the Paris 2024 Olympics.

I just hope that based on her fantastic and epic performance the organisers of next year’s Olympics become flexible and allow her to participate and I’m sure they’re not going to be let down as Eileen is sure to walk away with a medal for her adopted country!



Quality weightlifters

Good question by The Fiji Times editor, Fred Wesley, at the end of his “Powerful statement” editorial (FT:27/11) about young weightlifting champion Eileen Cikamatana.

What has happened to the rest of the top quality weightlifters from Levuka?

Can the president of Weightlifting Fiji, Atma Maharaj, Fiji Sports Council CEO, Litiana Loabuka, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Maretino Nemani, and the Minister for Youth and Sports, honourable Parveen Kumar, please produce a statement to the public as to what is the current situation of our quality weightlifters from Levuka?

It clearly seems like they have been left out in the cold without any support and guidance?

If this is the case then I believe those I’ve mentioned above have failed in their positions to foster, promote and develop weightlifting in Fiji.

SIMON HAZELMAN Rava Estate, Savusavu


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