Letters to the Editor – July 27, 2021

Fiji after the game against Japan during the 2020 Olympics in Japan yesterday. Picture: JAPAN RUGBY

Nervy start

IT was a nervy start from our players against Japan in the first pool match in Tokyo. Having the favourites tag, combined with added pressure to defend the gold medal, seemed to have overtaken our performance for some time. But we bounced back and almost pulled it out of the fire. When the stakes are really high, this is the level of competition expected at the Olympics. I am sure, except for Jerry, the other first-timers in the team had a good taste of what Olympic rugby is about. I am certain that the team will come out stronger as we move closer to the business end. On a positive note, it is always good to be tested in the first match of the tournament because this will always remind you to get the best of you as the competition progresses. Go Fiji go. PRANIL RAM Votualevu, Nadi

Fingers crossed

ALL the best to our players.While everything and anything  is possible at this stage, let’s keep our fingers crossed for that victory to slide our side once again. Go Fiji for gold. KIRTI PATEL Lautoka

Close call

AGAINST the resilient Japanese, it was a close call. I think it was fortunate for Fiji that the stands were empty. With thousands of screaming fans behind Japan, the story could have been different. MOHAMMED IMRAZ

Tricky escape

OUR boys settled their nerves in Tokyo as they faced a sensational Japanese outfit. Japan was tough in their backyard although they had not beaten Fiji in 7s, but Fiji came out victorious 24-19. Chihito Matsui was named Japan’s captain as Lote Tuqiri, Kazushi Hano and Masakatsu Hiko returned to the Olympics squad after helping Japan to the semis in Rio. Japan had then shocked NZ 14- 12 in their opening game win at the Deodoro Stadium and went on to secure fourth place after losing 54-14 against South Africa in the bronze medal match. Tuqiri dotted down to help Japan defeat France 12-7 in the quarterfinals before they lost to Fiji 20-5 in the semis. The likes of Naoki Motomura, Jose Seru, Kameli Soejima, Lote Tuqiri and Kazushi Hano added thrust, as Fiji made some crucial errors. Our boys were shocked with the passion and stamina that the hosts brought. We missed vital tackles and there were a few knock-ons. We conceded penalties and communication was lacking. Tuivuaka was sin binned and lucky Japan made an error and could not capitalise on their oneman advantage. However, the first game is always tough and I congratulate the boys for coming out top in the blistering Japanese heat. Canada was next and Great Britain is up today in our last pool game before the quarters. Great Britain hammered Canada 24-0 in their pool match. All the best to the boys for today! Let’s continue to pray for them! Toso Viti! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Mickey Mouse game

I REFER to Jan Nissar’s letter of 23/7 on the above subject. Jan should, first of all, realise that these games are a short respite for Fijians during this time of crisis. It is uncalled for to brand it as a Mickey Mouse game. This game  brings all Fijians together irrespective of their religion, race or gender. He must be thankful that it puts a smile on all Fijians. As for Radradra, he has earned his spot through hard work, unlike some critics, like Jan, choosing to rate rugby as a second-rate game and have not donned a rugby jersey in their lifetime. BILL KUNAVATU Mission Hill, Levuka

Please, stay home

PLEASE, people, stay at home as much as possible, do your shopping once a week, not every day, as this might risk your life if you will keep on going to the towns. By doing this, you will not only save thousands of lives but will also help save your loved ones from this COVID-19. Think about doctors and nurses who work long hours so that we are safe. They need family time as well. They are human beings and want to spend family time as well with their loved ones. So if you really think you can do something for your country, do it now by staying home. Together, we can fight, everything might get back to normal at the end of this year. SHWETA KUMAR Korovou, Nabilo

COVID-19 stress

THE first six months of 2021 have been the most challenging period for businesses across Fiji because of the overlapping of the first attack and second wave of COVID-19. This has triggered a chain of activities and events that have had a devastating impact on the Fijian economy. From reduced working hours, massive terminations, to businesses closing altogether including the closing of our schools. As a consequence, the Fijian economy is on its knees which can lead to bigger financial problems – the most severe contraction in our modern history. As a resident of Nadi for the past 20 years, the majority of all families across the Western Division are affected, one way or another. The hotel and tourism and aviation industries, which most of us in Nadi depend on, have been closed. To all fathers, mothers and sole breadwinners, even children, if you need to talk to someone to ease your stress, you are not alone. Always seek help from your friends, families or buddies and remember, God is always around even when no one is willing to help or talk to you. Venting your stress on the low price of alcohol will not solve your problem but add to your existing problems by using your limited budget which is meant for day to day living, food and other important daily necessities, rather than alcohol. JIOJI M CAKACAKA Tadra- Votualevu, Nadi

Disregard for protocols

IT was both surprising and alarming to see that some overseas athletes were not wearing masks during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. I would have thought that the officials and organisers would have got such a simple and mandatory instruction down pat. They had more than enough time to sort out these basic things. It just places unnecessary risks on everyone else – more so our own team – when there is blatant disregard for COVID-19 protocols. They should have been banned saraga from the stadium “same time”. I hope no one in our team will be affected by these careless and inconsiderate athletes, even before participating. That indeed will be a real shame, especially after waiting to compete for a year now and for some, since 2016. Vaka mosi ulu dina! EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

‘It’s about respect’

“Why not show people some respect?” are the closing words of Richard Naidu’s article in FT 24/7. Dr Kris Naidu’s article in the same FT edition pointed to an answer. We humans have limitations we often are not aware of or are prepared to admit, and this becomes evident in those who rise to positions of power. Dr Naidu reveals the psychological effects of power, whether it is political power, power in the business field, or even within the family. Power can cause a psychological inability to see others’ points of view and an empathy deficit. This causes a lack of respect. Therefore there is a need for anyone elected, or chosen in any way to a position of power, to be aware and alert to this danger, and to take steps to consciously maintain their humility and respect for others. It is no excuse to yield to a psychological disorder, any more than NCDs can be blamed on the temptations of  junk food and an unhealthy lifestyle that we ourselves can conquer. Unfortunately a lack of respect for others on the part of those in powerful and public positions breeds a lack of respect for them, and, like a virus, this can spread throughout society. The result is a general lack of respect for all others, and a build-up of behaviour governed by total self-interest. This can then lead to rebellion and outrageous behaviour such as that displayed in USA in recent times, where peaceful demonstrations seeking respect for the rights of others were overtaken by mobs bent on vandalism and worse. Here in Fiji, we see a lack of respect for others in the numbers of those who do not follow the health advice about COVID-19, do not bother with masks, nor maintain social distancing, and those who opt out of vaccination unnecessarily. The recent demonstrations against lockdown in Sydney show how easily self-interest destroys respect. Please Fiji, wake up! Check yourself and analyse your behaviour. Ask yourself, “am I giving due respect to others?” Let us all take responsibility for our actions and think of others before ourselves. TESSA MACKENZIE Suva

Nationwide lockdown call

WOW! Thank you, Nadi Chamber, Commerce and Industry president, Dr Ram Raju for adding your valuable voice in calling for a nationwide lockdown – FT Monday, July 26, 2021. Finally, we hear this call from you, Doc. I congratulate you for your courage and conviction. This is the only proven and viable way forward from a medical standpoint. Both big brothers, Australia and New Zealand, lockdown so easily. Sadly, we are a stumbling block. Will we ever know why?  Let us pray, politics does not keep getting in the way of internationally -proven medical sciences and protocols. Only in Fiji, there is still this dogged-determination and resistance to go down this road – Take the bitter pill and force a lockdown. It is evidently clear, the national economy somehow, inadvertently overrides 184 human lives lost since April 2021; and counting on a daily basis. (Just as many resist to take the COVID jab). There is a clear connection. Lord God, in all your infinite power and wisdom, please save your struggling South Pacific Island, Fiji and her people. Please intervene for your greater glory, in Jesus holy name, we pray. Please raise the lowly; And humble the proud-hearted. AMEN. RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

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