Letters to the Editor – November 20, 2019

Flying Fijians Patrick Osborne takes on the Barbarians defence last Sunday. Picture: BBC

Good game of rugby

While many people didn’t swallow their selection, the youthful Flying Fijians have set the platform for 2023 RWC with the win over the Barbarians. I personally think the involvement of Senirusi Seruvakula creates the difference in the game plan, which eventually gave us the victory at Twickenham. Statistics- wise, our entry to the RWC quarter-final in 1987 and 2007 were achieved by local coaches. Ratu Josateki Sovau and Ilivasi Tabua proved their worth in their respective performance against France and South Africa in their quarter-final matches. International TV commentators are still lamenting these two matches up to this day and many believed we could have made it to the semi-final in the 1987 and 2007 RWC with that kind of performance. Moving forward, it is now time to use our local resources to take us to 2023. Ilivasi and Senirusi, the warriors from Wainibuka with talatala Rinakama should be considered as the coaching team to take us to France in 2023. Give them the right management, technical, scientific and financial support, our dream to be in RWC semi-final would certainly materialise. We salute the local boys for the never say die performance on Saturday night in London. Ilaitia Bose Suva

Breakfast time

While dropping off a passenger in the interior of Nausori, I was invited by the passenger’s mum for a cup of tea and breakfast. Driver mai unu tea! I was really overwhelmed by the kind gesture and this shows how “wild at heart” Fijians are while showing their hospitality towards each other. I bet no other country can beat Fiji for our friendly smiles and hospitality. Vinaka nau for the mouth-watering tea and slice of long loaf! My Fiji, my pride. Shamal Chand Kuku Bau Rd, Nausori

Sporting issues

As a small South Pacific Island nation, little Fiji, with a big big heart, we are truly blessed the government of the day, is extremely supportive of many sporting extravaganzas. Additionally, Fiji also has a huge base of platinum, gold, silver and bronze medal generous corporate sponsors. By New Zealand and Australian standards, Fiji’s population of less than a million (around 900,000) is small. New Zealand approximately 4.8 million (November, 2019). Australia 25.4 million (2018). The Fiji Bureau of Statistics do not show figures of our country’s total workforce for 2018. I will stand corrected, though. However, subject to confirmation, I believe the figure to be around 120,000 some years ago. Of this, approximately 70 per cent is in the low to middle income bracket. There is just not enough “spare cash” freely available to support and enjoy all our teams. We are very limited in terms of sporting “spendability”. With this in mind, it is almost impossible to imagine, return, if any, to all sporting investments. Our “numbers all-round” will not allow any admirable return on investments. Breaking even or making a minimum return, is the best we can hope for. Let us be glad, happy and thankful to all our generous sponsors, as mentioned above. Let us not forget the live TV coverages we generously enjoy. The print media must also be thanked for their efforts. Let us also acknowledge the huge generous unchallenged and unmatched contribution given by my motherland, China, for the ANZ Stadium, the Vodafone Dome, to name a few. To all our sportsmen, sportswomen and all athletes, wherever you are, thank you for all your efforts. We win some. We lose some. Sometimes, we fail miserably. Get up. Stand up. Give it your best learning shot, next time. To you all, our vina va levu du. Xie Xie. Ronnie Chang Martintar Nadi

Missing guns

So far and thank God we have never experienced gun violence similar to that of some of our Pacific Island neighbours. If there are lots of guns floating around as stated by Opposition MP Salote Radrodro, in Parliament (FT 19/11) then why haven’t we had any shootings? Lots of guns but no bullets maybe? Many locals are licensed holders of guns and bullets and so far all have kept to the strict guidelines of its use. Of the many concerning things to talk about that are affecting the nation Opposition MP Radrodro brings up an issue that is not a problem at all! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu Police action The Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho has mentioned he will personally look into the matter of recent police brutality on a suspect. Well looking into the matter and actually doing something about it are two different matters. Not all listening ears have the ability to bring about change. I know people who are good in listening and that even makes you feel better to some extent but they are not in the situation to make improvements although they have the powers. This can create lack of confidence. This is the reason people knock on doors that are higher so that something can be done. Just don’t listen but also do something. When nothing is being done that’s when a lot can happen. KIRTI PATEL, Lautoka

Video for evidence

Recently a video released by Al Jazeera News on Youtube titled Escaping Korea’s Pacific Cult is disturbing to watch. I really feel not many people who are victims as shown in the video will go this far just to lie. The fact that there are videos for evidence is really distressing. Korean nationals are seen thrashed and when the Al Jazeera correspondent came to Fiji she was stopped from taking pictures or videos of the Grace Road dairy farm based in Navua. I believe parents have lost their children to this cult organisation from Korea. I went for a field trip in 2017 to Grace Road Farms based at Navua. All I could see were shoes and slippers. All workers had their heads down and were in the farm. Not a single greeting from them when we said bula. Only their manager spoke to us. May God bless Fiji. Amrit Singh Bau Rd, Nausori

Grace Road business

I believe this company has done the right thing as a bonefide investor. They were screened by the Investment Fiji board and were accordingly provided their Business Investment certification. Grace Road have met all the criteria and complied with all the requirements relevant to their many business interests for the country, but business aside their religious conduct or belief is a separate matter and they have every right to practise it as enshrined in our 2013 constitution. That is something SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka and NFP’s Biman Prasad must be reminded of and there are government regulatory institutions that will separately take care of any infringements by Grace Road should they not comply. Their leader Ms. Shin Ok-Ju is jailed in South Korea for the wrongs she had done and I am sure the Fiji police would have investigated her should any of the employees have reported their leader for her wrongs, but it is business as usual for the Grace Road company and their employees here in Fiji. Tukai Lagonilakeba Namaka, Nadi

Road to Owls Perch

Give me the road to the Owls Perch any day (FT 19/11). Rain or sun I will travel it even though it’s rocky and not graceful and cars have to drive slowly. The bottom of the car will touch in some really “ungraceful” places and passengers have to get off to lighten the load. But give me the road to that beautiful place where the road is not graceful but rocky. When you get to the house (which is called the Owls Perch) and mix the grog and sit on the verandah, you are in heaven. You sit gracefully and look out to sea and see fishing and motor boats pass by. It’s a scene from Nirvana. In the evening when the sun sets gracefully behind the Malolo and Yasawa islands, you look to the sky and you can almost see paradise. If you reached up you can touch the sky, it’s that gracefully beautiful. But I will not, I will never travel that road that we have been told has grace. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Video brings memory

If it wasn’t for the Al Jazeera video everyone in Fiji had forgotten about Grace Roads company of Korea and its founder. By the way what happened to the driver that was involved in an accident where a few people died? Sukha Singh Labasa

Free education

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Around a month from Christmas, madam Education Minister has shared that free education is a gift to the underprivileged and less fortunate. According to Wikipedia, “a gift is given to someone without the expectation of payment or anything in return. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation or reciprocity, a gift is meant to be free”. As gifts symbolise the affection and appreciation we have for one another, merry Christmas to all the taxpayers of this nation. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Sedition question

Sedition — “conduct or speech inciting people, against the authority of a State or monarch”. Now I’ll view the video again. Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Footage doctor

I want to become a doctor of footage. I’ll be an expert. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Sugarcane cutters

With due respect to our Vanuatu brothers or the next generation, maybe labelled as Girmitya who are here to cut sugarcane, where are our prisoners who are sitting idle and have absolutely nothing to do? Can they assist farmers in harvesting cane — at a minimum wage and the yellow ribbon project sounds fruitful? Food for thought with some sugar coating. It is embarrassing to hear that Fiji has labour shortage and people are complaining of unemployment. Charity begins at home. Bob Singh Surrey BC, Canada

Success vs value

‘Thought for today’ (yesterday) had this Albert Einstein quote: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value”. Many in today’s world, especially in the world of politics and business, abandon the latter to attain the former. That success is philosophically shallow. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Making comparisons

Why is Government always making comparisons with other nations when increasing fares, prices and fees but not wages? Pita Soroaqali Nadarivatu


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