Letters to the Editor – August 6, 2020

Usaia Tadu tie up his boot laces before the Rewa soccer team training at the Saraswati Primary School grounds in Nausori on Tuesday, August 04, 2020. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Tadu’s soccer journey

Tough Rewa defender Usaia Tadu is a classic example of a dedicated, committed and passionate player. At the age of 41 years, Tadu will be featuring in his 23rd Battle of the Giants tournament. His tough journey reminds me of Hendry Dyer who featured for Labasa and Dreketi. Tadu has just taught us that age is no barrier even when it comes to competitive sports. He has set a benchmark for all soccer players in Fiji – train hard and exercise regularly, eat well and have faith in the Lord Almighty. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

A life for football

Reading Tadu’s story inspires us all about how football has transformed his life. Continuing to play football at the age 41 is by no means an easy feat. Playing football for a career spanning 23 years in top flight is almost like giving his life for football. When a number of players hang up their boots in their late 30s, Tadu still continues to enjoy the game and gives his best. I am sure the players and coaches in the team must be looking upon the advice and motivation from Tadu. He must be a role model for the young footballers in the country, that discipline and commitment shall carry you long in football. Pranil Ram Votualevu, Nadi

Through soccer

It’s so good to read in The Fiji Times stories of players being able to put food on the table for their families through soccer. There was a time when parents and teachers told us not to waste time on soccer because it was “not going to feed us”. Times have changed for the better. I am happy for the new generation soccer players in Fiji. RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

Safe drinking water

Wainibuka in Tailevu is seeing worryingly high cases of typhoid in their community (FT 4/8/20). The cause, according to the turaganikoro, Wame Ratadai, is the lack of access to safe drinking water. Now, it seems very likely that Tailevu has plenty of rain during the year. Rain, unless you’re in a heavily industrialised area which Tailevu is not, is pretty safe drinking water. I use it myself, as I, too, live in an area without access to WAF water. Actually, I prefer this fresh water and collect rain water on my roof, storing it in big plastic water tanks. So it seems the problem is not access to safe drinking water but the infrastructure to harvest and use it. Can Government, WAF and perhaps provincial councils get their heads together to alleviate this problem for the villagers of Wainibuka and other similarly situated villages in remote areas where rain is available but no resources to use it? Prioritising a clean water supply and teaching good hygiene, especially in preparation of grog, are just two very effective ways of preventing typhoid infection. Vivien Counsell Mitchell Serua

Atomic bomb

Thursday, August 6, 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the devastating atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima by the United States in the closing stages of World War II. The use of this very first weapon of mass destruction on the city of 350,000 was followed by the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, a city of 270,000 on August 9. The first bomb was dropped in the morning as children were going to school and their parents went to work in factories and offices, farm and fish. The Hiroshima peace museum, which has hundreds of exhibits of deaths and destruction, says that mortality figures continue to rise. However the immediate deaths from nuclear fission blast winds, radiant heat and ionising radiation, and those that followed in the months after the bombs numbered 140,000 in Hiroshima and 73,000 in Nagasaki. A further 78,000 in Hiroshima and 77,000 in Nagasaki were injured with varying degrees of burns, fractures and wounds. The mushroom clouds and their aftermaths caused complete chaos in both cities with transportation, water supply and electricity as well as medical facilities disrupted and unable to cope. Homes, schools, roads, businesses and ports destroyed. A further 240,000 in both the cities became survivors who suffered a range of serious nuclear radiation-related diseases, leukemias and cancers. Known as Hibakusha, who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, social stigma and discrimination for much of their lives, the remaining survivors now in their 80s continue to speak out against the use of nuclear weapons. On the 71st anniversary of the bombing, the then US President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, and in his speech, said that human wisdom of science had created nuclear bombs but humanity had not succeeded in creating the ethical wisdom of abandoning nuclear weapons (Obama, 2016 cited in Masao Tomonga, 2019). The mayors of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have over the past 75 years called for an end to nuclear weapons making and use. Thankfully, in 2017, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was agreed to by 122 member states. I congratulate and commend the Government of Fiji for supporting and ratifying this pivotal treaty. Prof Vijay Naidu Suva

Two budgets

Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube made an intriguing analogy between the government budget and his Unity Fiji alternative budget. I gathered that his meticulous deliberation in a nutshell encapsulates the frailties of the government budget. There is certainly more than that the eyes can see. I  saw some strings attached in the government budget. However, long story short, Fiji, like any developing  country, is a constant work in progress. We need to get our acts together for the common good! I concurred with the notion of a bipartisan approach. That would have been a pleasant sight to all as  our representatives of
both sides of the House amalgamate for a common course which is fundamentally  to alleviate the contemporary predicaments. Alas, Government strongly refused that idea and yet they keep harping
about the need for us all to  unite and work together for the betterment of our nation  and all our people.
Such irony! ALIPATE TUBERI, Suva

Sniffer alert

WHILE media reports reveal a sharp increase in illicit activities, the peaceful and usually crime-free
suburb of Simla has been  disturbed by the presence of a glue-sniffer. He can be spotted in a  delusional state prowling the residential neighbourhoods and giving awkward stares to pedestrians and motorists.
Can the authorities confront and clear him off our streets at the earliest? No pun-pun in the neighbourhood please. NISHANT SINGH, Lautoka

Ideals of good journalism

I refer to the special editorial that appeared on Page 11 of yesterday’s edition. In it, Mr Wesley laments as follows: “A great challenge lies in living up to the ideals of good journalism. Emotions matter greatly, but in a scenario that must embrace differing views, we realise this should not dictate our actions.” He adds: “The Fiji Times has come under attack in Parliament. It’s nothing new though. We have been castigated. We have been accused of many things we are not.” In summation, he says: “We may not be able to satisfy everyone, but we will do our best to portray a balance in our coverage and uphold the values of good journalism”. I’m an avid reader of The Fiji Times. I thank Mr Wesley for valuing the views of our people, whether they be for or against a particular issue. In my support of their journalistic values and standards, may I share once again, my views which were printed some four years ago. This is what I said then. I believe they are equally apt today. “Despite the many challenges, you have remained steadfast in your calling. You have been the voice of the voiceless on countless occasions. You have stood up to regimes and critics who wished that you be silenced. You have highlighted the plight of many, the underprivileged, the poor, the disenfranchised and many more. “You have spoken out when it was so easy to look the other way and not report at all. You brought to the fore and raised questions when some of our citizens suffered at the hands of those who should be protecting them. You chose not to look the other way. You also celebrated the success stories of many. You shared the dreams of our sports people and administrators. You shared the achievements of farmers, fishermen and entrepreneurs. “You reported on the devastation of cyclones and floods. This meant that your reporters were out in the cold when they could have remained indoors in the comforts of their beds. You continuously spoke out against littering and the need to protect our fragile environment. You stood for the protection of the kawakawa and other species in the seas. You reported on crimes. You reported on the functioning criminal justice system and how perpetrators of crimes accounted for their misdeeds. You also highlighted the successes and achievements of governments and their officials. You did not shirk in your duties to question government expenditure of public funds. “You promoted racial equality when some quarters of our society sought elitism. As I’ve said before, above all, you had the courage to speak out and demonstrated your freedom from fear!” I’m reminded of some passages from your first editorial; more than 150 years ago. It went like this: “We make no pretensions of greatness and remember that little boats, to be safe, must keep near the shore. “We shall maintain the liberty of the press and the rights to all men. “Many subjects of vital importance need ventilating, and for the lovers of the country, of industry, commerce, morals and humanity, there is a vast field of usefulness. “There is plenty of room for us all, for our pens, for our purses, for our efforts! Let us put our shoulders to the wheel and heave together for the general good.” I’m a firm believer in fairness; honesty too. As an avid reader of your paper for some decades now, I submit that The Fiji Times has indeed remained true to its original goals of “maintaining the liberty of the press and the rights of all men”. I further submit that you have done more. You have not remained close to shore; you are no longer a “little boat”. You have ventured afar and beyond the boundaries of your small beginnings. Paraphrasing your first editorial — I firmly believe that — The Fiji Times is now a public good; a practical, useful and honest medium for the support of honour, truth and right”.  So today, having checked your bearings,I again wish you well. May you continue to give us a newspaper “that holds true to the ideals of good journalism!” Vinaka. KINIVILIAME KETECA, Nausori

Lebanon explosion

I was sad to see how the blast happened in Beirut, Lebanon, where many have lost their lives. We pray for their recovery and those who lost their lives may rest in peace. Jaheed Buksh Korolevu, Sigatoka

Plastics issue

WHAT is the purpose when plastics less than 50 microns in thickness are still manufactured and used for packaging? Theoretically there is no ban on plastics, just replacements and adjustment, right! AREKI DAWAI Suva

Curfew hours

Fiji wants to kick-start its tourism market. But first thing first mada kerekere, get rid of that curfew. Having it in place sends a wrong signal to possible holidaymakers, that something dangerous, not safe, life threatening or lethal lurks between 11pm and 5am. Kurai Vakalalabure Christchurch, NZ

careFIJI app

Allen Lockington should be more nationalistic and lead by example by purchasing a phone where he can download the careFIJI app. Dinau from Wise who can approach Cameron’s uncle to assist. Don’t kerekere the hardworking A-G who has just delivered a stunning budget and received praise from Simon. Dan Urai Lautoka

Fare subsidy reduction

Well Narube and a few others asked for reductions in civil service pay and road and bridge construction and many other things. I see one notable reduction in the bus fare subsidy for the over 60-year people by 75 per cent. Could the Government tell us how much will they save from this reduction and where will they use this money? I am sure this reduction is to lessen the movement of the elderly because they are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Sukha Singh Labasa

That picture

When I read Bharat Morris’ letter about the death trap bridge, I laughed out loud, thank you Bharat for beating me to it. I was gonna write about it. Now perhaps a minister will say it’s an old photo and that he/she has verified it. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Enjoy life

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” – Charles Darwin. So enjoy the most while you’re still alive. Jioji Masivesi Cakacaka Tadra- Votualevu, Nadi

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