Fiji Times Letters to the Editor – Saturday, September 7, 2019

Members of the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua side during training at International School grounds in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Drua impact

IN 2017 the John Stewart-captained Fijian Drua made an impact in the ARC competition and finished third with 22 points – 7 points behind Canberra Vikings and Queensland Country.

Playing away from home the Drua lost to Brisbane City (45-36) and Canberra Vikings (66-5) but beat Melbourne Rising (45-24) and Greater Sydney Rams (57-31).

Playing at home the Drua beat NSW Country Eagles (31-14) and Perth Spirit (41-5) but lost to Queensland Country (24-17) and Sydney Rays (36-29).

The Drua lost in the semis to Queensland Country (57-21).

First season and a semi-final appearance was not too bad for the Drua!

Last year, Voka took the task of leading the Drua and playing away from home the Drua stunned Western Force (33-28) and Sydney Rays (34-31) but lost to Queensland Country (52-22).

At home, unlike the previous year, the Drua managed a clean sheet thrashing Melbourne Rising (40-17), Brisbane City (66-5), and NSW Country Eagles (48-7).

The Drua cruised past Canberra Vikings (40-35) and finished top of the standings (27 points) followed by Queensland Country (24), Western Force (23), and Canberra Vikings (22).

The Drua beat the Vikings (35-28) and Queensland Country (36-26) (for the first time after three previous losses) in the semis and final respectively and our boys not only won the ARC title for the first time but also defended the Tim-Horan Shield.

In 2017, a gem in the name of Peceli Nacebe was unveiled while Alivereti Veitokani stole the limelight last year.

Ironically, Nacebe is back with the Drua and scored two scintillating tries last week.

Today against the Force, who beat Queensland Country in the opening round (50-49), Nadroga warhorse Radrodro leads the charge with the likes of Veitayaki, Ducivaki, Naqali, Lawavou, Dyer, Vularika, Kurimudu, Reece, Navuma, Sauvoli, Matawalu, Koroiduadua, and Tovilevu.

After the historic (22-22) draw against Brisbane City our boys need a bonus-point win to keep pace with Canberra Vikings (5 points) and NSW Country Eagles and Force (4 points).

The battle will be tough.

Tovolea tale Drua!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Reconciliatory exercise

FRIDAY’S Fiji Sun of September 6, 2019, had the statement that Mr Tikoduadua and Mr Bainimarama should “reconcile, forget the past and get on with the business of running the nation”.

When derogatory remarks were made by Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu in 2015 and when vernacular language misconstrued by ruling government’s parliamentarians and alluded to Mr Bulitavu in 2019 were brought up in Parliament, why wasn’t this statement made then?

Is Fiji’s Government so biased that the alleged assault on a sitting parliamentarian is not an issue at all and reconciliation should be the right call?

If I remember correctly, Fiji’s current leaders actually burned the “Reconciliation Constitution” written for Fiji by the Professor Yash Ghai, before Fiji’s first elections.

In FijiFirst’s Constitution, they swear it upholds the law and that people have been brought to justice and jailed for same.

And yet the alleged assault on a sitting parliamentarian is a reconciliatory exercise.

Mr Tikoduadua is asking why should he apologise and reconcile what?

The truth is seen on the video which everyone in the world has seen.

Fiji’s Police Force and the individuals of the Parliamentary Privileges Committee are now under scrutiny.

Epeli Rabua, Suva

Brain drain

JUST recently the Ministry of Education permanent secretary said that teachers were being lured by better working conditions overseas, now we read that nurses and doctors will have to provide their own meals if working more than 36 hours.

Don’t be surprised if we soon see the migration of our medical people.

Allen Lockington, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Just ban paraquat

PARAQUAT has been around for far too long.

There is a reason it has been banned in so many countries in the world.

The foremost being that it is extremely toxic.

If you research on this chemical, there will not be any benefit listed that will outweigh the countless harmful effects on humans, animals, plants and the environment overall.

It accumulates in our bodies over time and causes many severe health conditions and not to mention the many lives that have already been lost because of this unnecessary chemical that is still made available.

It is basically having an extremely dangerous weapon so why is it so cheap, easily accessible and not at all regulated?

There are not even any proper procedure or checks when one goes to buy this product, how is that reasonable when you need a prescription to even get good cough syrup in our country?

There shouldn’t even be a debate, paraquat is harmful and if you want to get rid of grass in your yards, best to cut it then expose yourselves, your family members, pets, plants and other people in your community to such toxins.

It’s 2019, we ought to just ban it already!

Radhia Fasa Ave, Nadi

Will a million dollars make you happy?

WHAT makes us happy in life?

It seems like a straightforward question, but it’s one that we find ourselves asking every day.

There have been several possible answers as to where happiness comes from.

One of the most debated concepts is that happiness comes from having more money.

But Dr Sanjiv Chopra, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, disagrees.

“Winning a $20 million lottery ticket won’t make you happier. Research has shown that after one year, lottery winners go back to their baseline. Some are even less happy,” he said in a TED Talk earlier this year.

“A few probably spent their money on a big house or a fancy car. Maybe they spent. But even so, at the end of three months, it’s just a house, it’s just a nice car. You get used to it,” says Dr Chopra.

He calls this phenomenon “hedonic adaptation”, which is a concept that refers to people’s general tendency to return to a set level of happiness despite life’s ups and downs.

In the talk, Dr Chopra explains the four things that have been scientifically linked to happiness: 1. Friends and family.

Developing a close bond with people we trust and confide in is essential to our overall wellbeing.

“Choose your friends wisely and celebrate everything small and good with them,” Dr Chopra says.

It is important to have deep and meaningful relationships.

“The world is suffering from an epidemic of loneliness,” former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy wrote in a 2017 Harvard Business Review article.

“If we cannot rebuild strong, authentic social connections, we will continue to splinter apart — in the workplace and in society.”

Researchers have also warned that “loneliness and social isolation can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day,” whereas friendships can “reduce the risk of mortality or developing certain diseases and can speed recovery in those who fall ill.”

2. Forgiveness

“The ability to forgive frees you from the burdens of hate and other unhealthy emotions that can negatively impact your happiness quotient,” says Chopra.

He cites Nelson Mandela as a hero who truly mastered the art of forgiveness.

In 1990, when the legendary freedom fighter emerged from his 27 years of prison, he was asked whether he had any resentment toward his captors.

“I have no bitterness, I have no resentment. Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies,” Mandela responded.

Anyone who’s ever felt they’ve been mistreated knows that the act of forgiving can be challenging making a conscious decision to let go of negative feelings whether the person deserves it or not can lead to more than just increased happiness.

3. Giving

Chopra says that getting involved with charities and donating money to help others is one of the most fulfilling ways to spend your time and money.

Researchers have even suggested that people who volunteer experience greater happiness, higher self-esteem and a lower mortality rate.

A study found that giving, rather than receiving, leads to long-term happiness.

In one experiment, 96 participants were given $5 every day for five days — with the option to either spend it on themselves or on others.

Everyone started off with similar levels of happiness.

Those who spent money on themselves reported a steady decline in happiness over the five-day period.

But happiness didn’t seem to fade for those who gave their money to someone else.

4. Gratitude

“There’s a wonderful quote, ‘If you don’t know the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness,'” Chopra tells the audience.

Practising gratitude can be as simple as saying “I’m grateful” at least once a day.

In fact, one study found that doing so can help people savour positive experiences, cope with stressful circumstances and strengthen relationships.

Happiness flows not from physical or external conditions such as bodily pleasures or wealth and power but from living a life that’s right for your soul, your deepest good.

Arvind Mani, Nadi

All the best flyers

OUR Flying Fijians flew out to Japan yesterday afternoon after their final training session on home soil.

Lee-Roy Atalifo is back with the team after an injury to Kalivati Tawake.

Nonetheless, the team is in tip-top condition and the boys were in high spirits and looked confident.

Tovolea mada boys!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Anniversary celebration

AT the ongoing 150th anniversary celebrations of The Fiji Times, I hope Raj and Tukuna are having the time of their lives.

Their friendship has been strengthening over the years.

Through their hilarious insights, they have gone through thick and thin but because of the “brown glue”, they have become inseparable.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Walking for 55 years

I JUST don’t know how Mr Vakalolo managed to walk around for 55 years selling The Fiji Times and never got fed up.

Selling papers, collecting the money and delivering it to The Fiji Times office every day for 55 years is really a very hard job.

Anasa Vakalolo you must have really loved your job.

Sukha Singh, Labasa

Statesman and politician

FIND me a statesman who does not have a cunning brain in his heart, and I will give you a politician who is not worried about the next election.

Samu Railoa, Nadi

Robbing the beggar

WELL, that’s what has happened in our towns lately.

And the message is clear.

Pita Soroaqali, Nadarivatu

Noisy world

OFTEN I heard through some sermons that the world is too noisy, “vuravura sosa”.

Yes, you will notice that in just a short span of time softwares were created by great thinkers FB, Instagram, Viber, Twitter etcetera.

People’s attitude also twisted to the tune of these softwares so to speak.

Some, to the extent of using black money amid transmissions through software.

Joji O Toronibau, Tunuloa

Technological advancement

WE are in the midst of a technology revolution.

We’d be so technologically advanced, there would be no more carrying cash.

On the subject during a kava session, someone quipped, “When going to a reguregu, we’ll just ask the host, kerea mada nomudou EFTPOS machine.”


Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

The Fiji Times 150th anniversary

REGULAR contributor to the Letters to the Editor column Kiniviliame Keteca wrote a brilliant piece (FT 06/09) as he paid tribute to The Fiji Times on the occasion of its 150th anniversary.

Indeed Kini, The Fiji Times continues to be the voice of the voiceless on countless occasions and our newspaper has stood up to the many critics who wished to silence this newspaper.

My journey with The Fiji Times started in the ’90s when I attended Khemendra Bhartiya School and because I loved sports, my focus was on sports stories especially the sports lift-out in The Fiji Times then.

Back then The Fiji Times cost 50 cents but my parents did not mind buying one as everyone in the family had an opportunity to read news.

When I reached secondary school, the cost went up to 60 cents and I vividly remember one child would contribute 10 cents per week so our class was able to buy a copy of The Fiji Times from Monday to Friday from Reddy’s Supermarket in Wainikoro.

My first letter to the editor was an obituary to the late Tu Kiti our former 7s coach and then until 2003 I wrote a few letters on our 7s team.

I had to post the letters from Labasa Post Office.

My interest in writing declined and then I must say that our letter to the editor guru Allen Lockington inspired me to write and I started writing again from 2014 and to date my letters can only be found in The Fiji Times because I believe in the newspaper’s ethics and principles and the stand The Fiji Times has taken to report what is accurate.

Even today when I read stories from the Parliament house, I am proud that The Fiji Times reports accurately.

When you read both newspapers the difference becomes crystal clear and for this I thank our newspaper.

Last night The Fiji Times staff members and management celebrated the 150th anniversary in a grand way at GPH and once again I salute The Fiji Times for holding the true ideals of journalism.

I also thank my fellow writers for sharing their experiences with The Fiji Times and after reading the many letters I can conclude soundly that The Fiji Times is getting stronger and stronger.

Thus, congratulations to the staff members and management of The Fiji Times.

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Congratulations The Fiji Times

ONE hundred and fifty years of experience is not easy to achieve, nevertheless, The Fiji Times has achieved this milestone.

Despite this great milestone achievement, we must not forget the many trials The Fiji Times has been put through especially in time of crisis and turmoil in Fiji’s history, yet it is still standing and surviving thus far.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the courageous staff members of The Fiji Times, past and present, those who have passed on and those who are still around, for the great contributions they have made to bring The Fiji Times to this day and era.

I wish The Fiji Times during its 150-year celebration and I sincerely hope that it will continue to do the good work it is doing especially in being a true voice of the people of Fiji.

Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Heartbreaking, sad story

WHILE Sikeli Kavoro’s story (FT 02/09) is heartbreaking and sad, I’m wondering why he can’t go back to his village, Vunisea, on the island of Kadavu?

Why leave a village setting in the islands to go live on the streets in Suva?

What’s stopping him from going back to his village?

Is he banned from Vunisea?

While there may be many reasons Sikeli can’t return, he is far better off being at home than on the streets of Suva.

Authorities need to investigate each and every homeless person and liaise with family members, their village, and chief, and work out a way to get them back to their homes.

Wouldn’t it be way better to be sleeping under a coconut tree on the beach at Vunisea than on a dirty concrete urban walkway?

Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

Rugby World Cup

IS the Flying Fijians team ready for the 2019 Rugby World Cup?

Watching our team play against Tonga last week, one noted several of our forwards having their knees strapped or bandaged.

There will be a lot of pressure in the scrums, breakdowns and mauls against our opponents in Japan.

Let’s just hope our players have adequate recuperation time and are highly motivated come the Rugby World Cup.

The results of our matches are as good as our players’ minds and attitudes.

I am certainly looking forward to the Rugby World Cup and have an eerie feeling that Fiji will upset the Wallabies.

Floyd Robinson, Toorak, Suva

Relegation battle

CONGRATULATIONS to Ba and Navua for winning the Vodafone Premier League and the Vodafone Senior League respectively.

With the win, Navua has gained promotion to the Premier League.

Both teams are undefeated so far.

Ba has two matches remaining while Navua has one game remaining.

Navua has recorded 15 straight wins in the league this season.

Thanks and appreciation to the hardworking officials including the president, Rajeev Prasad, the coach, Shafil Mohammed and the vice-presidents, Rajesh Naidu and Istafaqu Hussain (Manju).

Navua is in the Premier League after a lapse of five years and we must say thank you to all the officials and the hardworking players for their sacrifice and contribution.

With the winners declared, the battle for relegation is only heating up.

Nasinu, Rewa and Tavua are battling to stay in the premier division next year.

Nasinu is on 13 points and has remaining matches against Labasa and Suva.

Rewa has 11 points and has remaining matches against Ba and Tavua.

Tavua has nine points and has to negotiate past Lautoka and Rewa.

Looking at the table, if Tavua fails to collect maximum points against Lautoka and Rewa avoids defeat against Ba, Tavua’s fate will very much be sealed this weekend.

Tavua looks set to be demoted unless they upstage the high flying Blues and the Delta Tigers.

Shad Alfaz Ali, Navua

Flying Fijians to 2019 RWC

AFTER a gruelling preparation for the Rugby World Cup, John McKee has come up with his best to represent Fiji.

No doubt at all there should be some surprises at the Rugby World Cup.

With experienced players such as Ma’afu, Ravai, Saulo in the front and behind them the likes of Nakarawa, Ratuva, Kunatani, Mata, Yato and captain Waqaniburotu, fans should expect something special from our flyers.

Matawalu, Lomani and Seniloli will compete for the halfback position.

Then comes the superstars of Fijian rugby, the ones I believe fans support the most, Botia, Goneva, Radradra, Tuisova and Volavola who Fiji will be depending on to make moves that only Fijians can do and to score tries.

But watch out for Matavesi brothers, Mosese Voka, Waisea Nayacalevu and my favourite Alivereti Veitokani.

This newcomer will spring out some surprises come Rugby World Cup.

Fans who will be in Japan, bring out the best cheering battle of all time, and for those at home and abroad, prayers and support is all they require so let’s cheer them all the way.

Go Fiji, go.

Tomasi Boginiso, Nasinu

Our incredible body

I BELIEVE far too many of us Fijians are suffering from non-communicable diseases and many of us continue to nurture the same lifestyle that brought about the sickness or sicknesses, which only worsens the situation.

What is amazing about the human body is that it was designed to heal itself.

The power that made our body heals our body.

If you cut your finger or toe it bleeds, a scab forms and it heals.

One should never lose hope by accepting the bad situation one is in but instead change one’s lifestyle in order for one’s body to rejuvenate and heal.

Get rid of the stress, eat good, balanced healthy foods only, eat in moderation and at specific times, do some light work like gardening and house chores and sleep at least eight hours every night.

Rest when the body needs to is critical and most importantly, keep the water going.

The functions of good clean water in your body is vital as the body depends on water to function.

Water is life and it is precious as it delivers important nutrients to all our cells.

There can be no life without water.

Without water one’s body will slowly but surely start to shut down.

Stop the alcohol, stop the kava, stop the tobacco, stop the sugar and salt, stop carbonated beverages, stop processed foods and snacks, but don’t ever stop the sex as it will keep your hormones, heart and brain in top condition.

I believe the more you have sex, the better the benefits.

It’s even a good form of exercise.

Change and discipline oneself with a healthy lifestyle and one can have a great chance of recovering from any sickness.

Our body is amazing and it will heal itself if we treat and feed it right.

Do not wait but start now as it will take as much time to heal as it took for you to get sick!

Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

Showdown looms

WE have a weekend of rugby treat as the Ikale Tahi battles the All Blacks and the Wallabies host Samoa.

I’m eagerly waiting for the bruising battle, exciting runs, enterprising rugby and hard hits from the four teams who have named their best sides for the grand showdown.

Against Samoa, the Wallabies have named big names in Banks, Cooper, Koroibete, Foley, Genia, Pocock, Coleman, Kepu, Simmons, Slipper, Sio, Tupou, Valetini and O’Connor while Samoa will rely on Alaalatoa, TJ Ioane, Pisi, Fidow, Leiua, Tuatagaloa, and Chiefs star Tim-Nanai Williams.

The All Blacks have named a formidable outfit in the likes of Moody, Taylor, Laulala, Tuipulotu, Whitelock, Savea, Todd, Read, Perenara, Barrett, Bridge, Crotty, Lienert-Brown, Reece, and veteran Ben Smith to conquer the Ikale Tahi. Coltman, Tu’ungafasi, Ta’avao, brother’s Scott and Jordie Barrett, Jacobson, Aaron Smith and, Josh Ioane will lift the momentum coming off the bench while Halaifonua, Vuna, Piutau, Lolohea, Morath, Lokotui, Fifita, Maile and Fiji’ihoi will carry the passion and aspirations of the passionate Tongans.

It’s a pity that Argentina closed down the opportunity to play the Flying Fijians for it would have been a glorious opportunity for both teams to test their players against a quality opposition.

Anyway, let’s keep our pool opponents guessing and unleash the beast against the Wallabies and then torture Georgia, Uruguay, and Wales to make it from the pool!

Toso Viti and go All Blacks, go!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Moral decay of society

THERE is so much trouble in the world, and I believe even more in our beautiful Fiji.

So much so that the social aspect of society and morals that our forefathers were raised upon is slowly eroding away like the sands of time.

How long must the people suffer until the bigwigs finally bite the bullet and confirm there is a problem, and I don’t mean the drugs or the increase in rape cases against our females or violent crimes being committed, because all these are just the ripple effect of the socio-economic problems the nation is facing.

Now a lot of people will start wagging their tails and barking out for me to show some figures or facts, these are the same people who are either being part of the problem or who tend to turn a blind eye to what’s happening around them, because I can tell you the common man is struggling from day to day.

Take for example the increase in corruption cases, OK that may have not been a good comparison, so let’s compare the statistics of Fiji citizens who are looking for greener pastures or are going overseas on the pretence of a holiday but in actual fact have gone to work as they will make more money in a week then they do in a fortnight or for some even in a month.

Until the “real economic” growth is shared by the common man — and when I say shared not through freebies or any other giveaways but through affordable and comfortable housing, better pay and working conditions, ease of traffic congestion and an improvement in services for both the rural and urban areas — then just maybe we may be able curb this moral decay of our society and thus cut down or eradicate all the social ills that is plaguing the country.

Oh and if anyone thinks I should not be commenting on issues pertaining to home, well I believe I still have the right seeing that it has just been five months since I left our beautiful shores, so I still have a feel of what is happening with the common man.

Lawrence Wara, Santa Rosa


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