Letters to the Editor – Monday, August 8, 2022

Fiji 7s forward Semi Kunatani battles for possession against Wales in their pool game at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. Picture: ROHIT DEO

Time to strategise for 2026!

This year’s Commonwealth Games competition ended for Fiji without any gold medal. We had placed our bets on the men’s 7s team to end the losing jinx in the 7s competition, but the side was blown apart by Neil Powell’s green machine. We ended the All Blacks winning run in the Commonwealth Games 7s, but failed to repeat that mighty performance against South Africa, getting beaten 31-7. The consolation was the silver medal that was won by the Fijiana 7s. Despite taking a big contingent, Team Fiji managed two silver and two bronze medals and could finish on 24th position. We should strategise now for 2026 and aim at weightlifting and rugby 7s to win some gold medals. Even Samoa managed one gold medal. Had Eileen Cikamatana represented Fiji, we definitely would have won one gold medal. It’s no use crying over spilt milk as the damage has been done. Fiji nurtured history-making Eileen and we are capable of unearthing more like her if we unite. I t’s time to draw up plans and rope in people who are capable of doing the job. Until 2026, vinaka vakalevu Team Fiji for being good ambassadors! Thank you Rohit Deo and The Fiji Times for the daily diaries, colourful pictures and stories directly from the Games village! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

EFL capital works

MY quick perusal of the over half a billion dollars proposed EFL infrastructure investment shows almost nothing set aside for renewable energy investments, not only for things like and solar and wind, but also for much needed grid upgrade to allow for the entry of more alternative, non fossil fuel-based energy systems. Is it surprising that Fiji lags almost the entire Pacific small island countries in terms of investment in new clean technology sources. If it was not for our hydro resources, something we should thank the governments in the ’70s and ’80s, Fiji would be a laggard in terms of our lack of serious policies to move to cleaner and greener energy. This also has implication on energy security and the recent rise of fuel prices show why we need to invest in alternative and indigenous sources. I wonder how this stacks up against our claims to be climate champions. ALTAUF CHAND Minto, NSW

Tension escalates

THE tension between the US and China has escalated to new heights. China’s threat to President Joe Biden not to play with fire lest he might get burnt. This was after China heard that the US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, would visit Taiwan during her South East Asian tour. Using one China policy as a basis China has claimed that Taiwan is a renegade state of China . Thus Nancy Pelosi’s visit heightened China’s anger. It unleashed the most deadly weapons in its armory. It launched an aggressive military drill in the seas around Taiwan . Hundreds of amphibious tanks, ballistic missiles, helicopters, fighter jets, armed ships etc were deployed to blockade Taiwan.International flights cancelled and ships diverted. Nancy Pelosi came in a military plane, escorted by fighter jets, visited Taiwan and went back. The Chinese threat fell flat on its face for it failed to deter Nancy. This was a great humiliation for China. In response the military drills escalated and continued. despite the international outcry. Taiwan in response put its military on red alert. China immediately banned Nancy Pelosi and her family from visiting China. Further, it nullified all agreements with the US on security, cyber crime, drugs etc. In retaliation the US called the Chinese ambassador in Washington and expressed its displeasure and asked that the drill be stopped forthwith. But the Chinese military is continuing its saber rattling. In the meantime the US has ordered that the 7th Fleet be sent to the South China Sea to keep a watch on developments and to assist Taiwan should the need arise. China does not have the stomach to attack Taiwan in the face of American solidarity pledges to come to its rescue. It seems China is continuing these drills more to impress the Chinese people as Xi does not want to look like a weak leader as he is seeking a third term as the President of China. China at this point in time cannot afford to engage with the US in a full blown war. With a downward spiralling economy and aging population China has lost the plot. China has fully realised that the current brinkmanship will not work in the current situation. Therefore, the “re-education plan” of Taiwan will have to be put on hold. DEWAN CHAND Donu Place, Namadi Heights, Suva

Constitution discussions

I DIDN’T know Dr Nakarawa personally nor ever I have met him face to face, but I envy him for his simple layman’s explanation as he was a guest on Sashi Singh Talking Point episode 25 on Sunday, June 26, 2022, which was aired on the SSTP Facebook Page every Sunday, 1pm Fiji time. I like when he was discussing with his interviewee SSTP, the pros and cons of the 2013 Constitution and the role of the military. He mentioned that the military’s role is to look outward beyond our borders while our police look within. It may sound simple, but absolutely correct. But it may get complicated in the translation of words which used by the legal drafters of the said constitution? I would love to listen more to these five men and four women if it ever occurs in my lifetime – Dr Nakawara, Richard Naidu, John Apted, Ashwin Raj, Siromi Turaga, Imrana Jalal, Tanya Waqaniika, Seini Nabou and Shamima Ali – to further sit in one platform and further dwell on our Constitution’s legal interpretation by being invited speakers at a forum. I cannot miss John Samy who was the brainchild of the People’s Charter. Invitation too can be sent to our Hon A-G, who is the architect of our 2013 Constitution and only fair that he interprets the clauses on the role of military. But let’s see if he has guts to accept this virtual invitation? I’m looking forward to my friend SSTP to anchor this program/forum. Great minds think alike. JIOJI CAKACAKA Tadra-Votualevu, Nadi

Media freedom

JOHN Kamea is too right (The Sunday Times 7/8). When media freedom is threatened by authoritarian state tendencies democracy is threatened and diminished. That is the kind of deleterious media regime post-coup Fiji has. No two ways about it as Kamea points out so succinctly in his article. Will the call for needed change be heeded by those in power in Fiji? Unfortunately for the journalists and media people and indeed the citizens of Fiji the ruling elite do not have a good track record on that front. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

Must watch

SASHI Singh’s Talking Point (SSTP) on YouTube and Facebook is a must watch for all Fijians before our upcoming national elections. It gives voters an opportunity to watch and, listen to our politicians, provisional candidates, key figures, friends of Fiji share their knowledge and experience on important issues that touch our everyday lives here at home. I highly recommend this program to all the trollers and youth out there. Let us hear the other side of the story in the true Pacific way, we so proudly boast of. We have some very good provisional candidates from all walks of life in different political parties. Who knows, maybe a government of national unity is in the making? Time will tell. SSTP is very interesting, informative and well researched. Time flies by when watching it. Sashi Singh appears to get his cues from the people he talks to, moving from point to point in a relaxing and non-provocative atmosphere. It is run well with zero tolerance to the use of swears or vulgar words from scribers. I look forward to the day our very own FijiFirst MPs do appear on this forum. Come on Voreqe Bainimarama and A-G, this is just your cup of tea. It should be smooth sailing for you both. The public awaits you. KORINA WAIBUTA Knollys St, Suva

Foster’s time is up

AFTER the disaster at home during the 2-1 series loss to Ireland, the All Blacks travelled to South Africa with hopes of getting their form back. However, Ian Foster’s brigade were handed a drubbing at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. South Africa ground down an out-of-form All Blacks 26-10 to win the opener and pile pressure on the All Blacks with their fifth defeat in six matches. The All Blacks were poor in most facets of the play as South Africa dominated the scrums and set-pieces. After John Plumtree and Brad Mooar’s contracts were terminated, Jason Ryan joined the team, but the All Blacks were torn apart and it looks like that head coach Ian Foster’s time is up. Even captain Sam Cane is under the radar. The performance of senior players such as Dane Coles, Jordie Barrett, Aaron Smith and Akira and Reiko Iowane came under the microscope. Foster is in deep trouble and a defeat this week could see him kiss good bye to his job. It is high time NZ Rugby Union appoints coaches like Joe Schmidt, Scott Robertson and Leon MacDonald who have had success. NZRU selectors must forget past reputation and select players based on performance. While some aging players need a rest, the string of losses haunts All Blacks fans. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Top of the world

I WONDER if Weightlifting Fiji executives skip past Eileen Cikamatana’s gold medal winning video when it is sent to them. Sadly what I want to tell the executives cannot be printed here. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka

Losing streak

SPRINGBOKS 26-10 All Blacks! Rather strangely, as if in an alternate reality, the All Blacks’ nightmare and losing streak continues. Coach Ian Foster just cannot find a solution to return to winning ways. Will his job be on the line sooner? Congratulations Springboks. Commiserations All Blacks. RONNIE CHANG Martintar Nadi

One out of six

IN defence of their 26-10 loss to South Africa, NZ coach Ian Foster muttered that “the line-out worked well, the maul defence was good and our overall defence was pretty solid”. Everything was well, good and pretty solid, except on the score card. In my view, that was a further disappointment for NZ following that first home Test series defeat by Ireland last month. One win out of six Tests? Welcome to the Pacific Nations forum boys. SAMU RAILOA Nadi

McCaw era

THE All Blacks would be lucky to even reach the 2023 RWC semi-finals based on current performance. If NZR lets the coach go then it should also let the players, who more concerned with having fancy hairstyles and having weird hand signals after scoring a try, go. Bring back the grit, discipline, process after process basics such as how to catch the ball, how to ruck, intelligence and humility of the McCaw era. MELI MATANATOTO Suva

Foreign input

HOW come foreigners and foreign input is not acceptable for Fiji media, but is perfectly alright for the installation of military facilities in the country and for budget supplementation? RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

Election date

THE FijiFirst party, as reported through the social media, are confident that they will win the next election. What is stopping them from announcing the election date if they are so confident or are they ? DAN URAI Lautoka

Asia move

IT is opportune time for Fiji sporting organisations to move towards Asia. The competition and exposure to world class facilities will greatly benefit them. In 1998 if Fiji FA had only listened to move to Asia. The rest is history. ASISH VINAY PRASAD Park Rd, Raiwasa, Suva

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