Letters to the Editor – Friday, October 22, 2021

Alisi Merenayaca with her daughters Adi Tewa Sovawale (left) and Seinimili Botei at the Wainimakutu River in Namosi. Picture: ATU RASEA

Life-long lessons!

The pieces compiled by Litia Cava and Wanshika Kumar titled “Life-lessons of pandemic” and “Bainivalu’s love for flowers”, respectively, (FT 20/10) shred life-long lessons. The stories inspired girls and women. In her article, Litia shared the story of Alisi Merenayara who went out of her way to assist her husband in meeting their family’s needs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alisi shared the difficult and enduring period she went through, as she assisted her husband in little things. She also shared that the COVID-19 pandemic allowed her to relook at her own way of life. Wanshika, on the other hand, shared the story of 61-year-old Sainimili Bainivalu who has a lot of passion for flowers. Although the mother of five completed her education up to Year 11, she was able to raise her children, and become the first florist in her family. Her simple advice, which was to work hard and follow our passion, will take us a long way. These simple, but educational and inspirational pieces left readers with life-long lessons. Such pieces add glamour to the people’s newspaper. Vinaka vakalevu Litia and Wanshika for the great reads! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Saving $485 million

When you save something other than your breath, then you must have it with you tangibly. So, if the Government claims to have saved $485 million then it must be in its exchequer. Can the Government show it to silence its critics? If no, than it’s all pie in the sky. Analogically, a bloke wanted to spend $100 for his birthday bash but he didn’t have the money, so he dropped the idea and said I saved $100. Ravind Chandra Naidu Tuatua, Labasa

Burnt cane

Advice has been given on reasons burning of cane has detrimental effect on the soil. But seldom does a cane harvester machine harvest green cane. Operators prefer growers to burn cane before they will harvest. Maybe time for sector offices to upgrade their level of advice so the best results can be achieved. I note SRIF saying current fertilisers, canefarmers use is 30 years old and needs to be improved. (FT 21/10) There is common knowledge that acidity in soil is high but not enough done to improve it, as the annual yield decrease. Let’s hope with the new SRIF chief executive officer improvements will be seen and experienced. Dan Urai Lautoka

Politics, religion

I have often heard from political leaders and media personalities that people must not mix politics with religion. This can form a lethal mixture which can destroy society by generating a lot of ill will. Well, is this a realistic proposition? In my view it is not. The three major religions (Hinduism, Christianity and Islam) with their many brands and branches exert huge pressure on the political structure of a country. They affect any form of government. Politics is used as a tool to coerce people to vote for a political party or an individual. Therefore, one cannot separate the two, they act like twin brothers. Furthermore, I have often heard political leaders and religious leaders say that all religions teach the same thing: peace, compassion, joy, respect, etc. However, nothing could be further from the truth. There are divergent religious views which are at times diametrically opposed to each other. Different sects of the same religion can clash on issues of practices, beliefs, theology. They never see eye to eye. There is always a struggle to dominate the other. Hence, extremist behaviour is seen. Look around the world and see terrorist attacks, bombings, murders, lynchings, etc. These may not be taught in religious books but the followers do practise them. We will do well to remember that religions and ruling political parties wield enormous power to influence the thinking of the masses. Politics and religion can do a huge amount of good to people but at the same time in the hands of wrong people it can wreak havoc. Both are very sensitive issues and religious leaders and government leaders need to be mindful of these. In Fiji we are very fortunate to enjoy our religious and political freedoms as per our Constitution. In many parts of the world it is a distant dream. Dewan Chand Namadi Heights, Suva

Music to the ears

RECENTLY on the social media platform Facebook, I read the Fijian Government administered page a posted statement relating to the easing of restrictions, Government’s engagements in global, regional and national levels. Good job! However, what I read was a bit off the book and strange when the statement highlighted “your government” rather than the norm and usual “Bainimarama Government”, “My government” or the FijiFirst Government”. Maybe a switch of tune in desperate times brings desperate measures, but that “your government” is something new that is like soothing music to the ears. AREKI DAWAI Suva

COVID-19 pandemic

Over the past year and a half this topic has been in the news, newspapers, television and most people’s minds. It is something that has hit our country as well as other nations like a tonne of bricks. It has caused so much heartache, hardship and even death. There is still a lot of speculation of where the virus originated. Scientists, doctors, labs and other professionals have tried to pinpoint where it originated without success. Something like this that came upon us in a split second was shocking and scary to many. Never in a million years would we have expected something this deadly to happen to us. This pandemic has created so many uncertainties than more of us ever dreamt could happen. Our country has suffered a lot since this pandemic began. People have lost their jobs, and so many restrictions was placed on everyone. Just when you think you might see a little light at the end of the tunnel something else happens. A variant developed from the virus. Lives again are torn apart. Now I’m going to give you an idea of what I believe “COVID” should spell out. C Christ O Offers V Victory I In D Diseases The more I think about it, I believe it makes good sense. It actually helps me not to be afraid of this virus. Even though I lost my faith in God after losing my wife two years ago, I believe as I have always believed that God is the one and only that can keep us safe and healthy. All the findings and cures in the world can’t do what God can do. He is our rock and our salvation. God has promised that he will never leave or forsake you or me. I now believe this with all my heart. In order for all of us to survive, we have to have a strong faith, a steadfast hope and a lot of love to show and give. God bless Fiji. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Some questions

It would be a good idea if any research organisation would do a survey in Fiji to find out the following (and much more): Will you vote next year? Will you consider the age of the candidate when voting? Will you consider the education of the candidate when voting? Will you consider the gender of the candidate when voting? Will you consider which town/village the candidate hails from? Will you consider the ethnicity of the candidate you vote for? Will you consider the religion of the candidate you vote for? Will you consider the profession of the candidate? Will you consider the political experience of the candidate? The next year’s elections will be a different ball game. Data will play a key role in targeting the voters. Kiran Khatri Samabula, Suva

Cane farming

Why can’t canegrowers be paid on delivery of cane at the mills? Dan Urai Lautoka

Climate change

The news ‘Africa’s rare glaciers soon to disappear – report’ (FT21/10) no longer has the surprise or shock effect. It has become so common to receive reports on this or that critical landscape or species disappearing or being threatened with extinction “because of climate change” over decades. It’s a shame. Let’s hope this last chance to save the planet from climate catastrophe at the Glasgow summit does come up with what needs to be done urgently! Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia


I think someone is desperately trying to reconnect with the common people of Fiji. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka


It should also be mentioned that former US secretary of state and joint chief of staff, General Colin Powell was fully vaccinated when he passed away at 84 with coronavirus infection complications. Sailosi Naewe Naduru Rd, Nausori

Road hump

Drivers in Tavakubu, there is a new road hump at Ghandi Bhawan Memorial School. Don’t get a shock when your car jumps two metres into the air, when you hit it. Fiji Road Authority please paint it pink or polka-dot so it’s very visible. I nearly flew out the car when TD forgot about it. Polka-dot ga best. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka


A concerned citizen is taking time and spending money to travel the country and identify government projects that either did not start, partly completed or left in abeyance. Why is there silence from government? Is there no explanation to the reason or reasons why they publicise projects that they either can’t start or complete for lack of funds? I believe it paints a bleak picture of “FijiFirst”. Dan Urai Lautoka


I believe it’s true people who have pre-disposed medical conditions or are otherwise in poor health are more susceptible to succumb to COVID-19. But this deadly virus can afflict even “healthier people” (FT21/10) and seriously impair health and wellbeing, even cause death as cases around the world show. So it makes good sense for everyone, healthier people included, to take all necessary precautions to guard against this virus. I reiterate, I believe nobody is safe from COVID-19. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

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