Letters to the Editor – November 21, 2019

Members of the Suva Atheletics squad after the final of the Chow Games as the overall winner at the ANZ Stadium.Picture: ATU RASEA

Suva athletes celebrate

The athletes from the Capital City had every reason to celebrate as they walked away with the boys, girls and overall title when the FMF Chow Games came to a conclusion. The hard work and commitment of the athletes, officials and parents paid off as the defending champs made a clean sweep and defended their title. Athletes from Nadroga/Navosa and Nadi put up a brave show but found it hard to dethrone Suva. I agree with the Pacific’s sprint king and FMF Foods Ltd brand ambassador Banuve Tabakaucoro that the athletes showed Fiji what athletics was all about and that regardless of whether one received a medal or not he/she was a champion. On the other hand, while Suva dominated the boys division, the girls division was closely contested between Suva and Nadroga/Navosa and it all came down to the silver medals count whereby Suva was declared the winner. This year’s standard was high and I’m looking forward to seeing athletes from the U-14 grade compete in next year’s Fiji finals. Hence, my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to every athlete, official, parent and sponsor for making this year’s competition a success! A big vinaka vakalevu to The Fiji Times for all the beautiful pictures and stories! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Nadawa, Nasinu

Decades of division

One of the many things mentioned by the Prime Minister in his response to the President’s opening address in Parliament was his vision and promise to end the decades of division. He added, this is one of those things which have been coming to pass every year. I assume, for the latter, he refers to the period from December 2006 onwards. Based on the ensuing general election results, I beg to differ. I refer to the period from 2014 to 2018 which is around 40 per cent of a decade. The support which the FijiFirst party received in 2014 slipped to an almost 50-50 split in 2018. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Our roads

I write this open letter to the CEO/FRA (Fiji Roads Authority) to express my disgust at the deteriorating condition of our national roads. At many critical junctions and thoroughfares, the roads are riddled with millions of potholes and poorly done patch work. And this surely leaves much to be desired. The vehicle owners pay hefty road levy tax, wheel tax, third party insurance and general tax with a view to receiving good motor-able roads for safe driving and minimum damage to vehicles. Alas, this is not the case. I believe many accidents happen on a daily basis because of poor and unacceptable road conditions in Fiji. After heavy rains, I often see gangs of workers filling in the massive potholes with premix coal tar and a mini ramming machine. For a few days this bumpy patch looks all right but invariably it opens up again creating greater chance of accidents and loss of lives. Can the FRA wake up to this national disgrace and get into the act of building really durable national roads so that we too can be proud of our nation. Can you imagine the negative impression it leaves on the minds of thousands of tourists visiting our shores. The minister responsible for our national roads must ask for increased allocation to tackle the situation if we are serious about providing the best for all Fijians and those who visit our shores. For those who cannot perform to expectation must be replaced as no one is indispensable. Dewan Chand Lower Rag Avenue, Suva

Police officers

Imagine what our police officers will expect if they are armed with the proposed tasers? Even with batons they are countered by punches, stones and knives. Pita Soroaqali Nadarivatu

No respect for PM

I hope those people who have asked the PM to resign are not referred to the privileges committee. It just shows they have no respect for our PM and our Government. Sukha Singh Labasa

Life after graduation

It’s that time of the year again and as I travel around Lautoka, I see the many schools that have erected sheds, or hired halls, or decorated their school halls for prize-giving. At kindergartens, I see the many parents getting gowns sewn for the graduation of their child. It’s fun and something to look forward to. It could be a boost for some children. Then we see the hundreds if not thousands of people graduating from our three universities. It’s full of pomp and ceremony. Families have feasts and party to congratulate their child’s achievements and photos are posted on Facebook of the happy occasion. Then I think about life after graduation, for some there is opportunity, some have their father’s business to go to, and of course there are those whose fathers know someone in high places. And for others there is hope. And for the rest, they could make up the thousands of highly qualified unemployed who go on in life working in a job different from their uni degree. But they make it. Sorry if I may sound too rough, but it’s the reality of things. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Winning start

Gareth Baber, like any other coach on the circuit, wants his team to have a good start in the 2019/20 WRSS as teams are gunning for the Olympics gold medal. Unlike previous years where we lost a host number of players before the start of the new 7s series, Baber has the bulk of his players from the last WRSS and we can expect more from our trump cards Nacuqu, Ratu, Botitu, Derenalagi and Tuimaba. Last year in Dubai Fiji won the fifth-place final, beating South Africa (24-19) in an extra-time thriller with two tries from debutant Tuimaba. The All Blacks, on the other hand, won their first crown in Dubai since 2009 beating the USA Eagles (21-5). However, Fiji bounced back to win the Cape Town 7s while the All Blacks buckled under pressure. The Dubai 7s will set the tone as far as the Rio gold medal defence is concerned. The gold medal win in 2016 is precious to every Fijian and Baber must realise the enormous work ahead of him as he failed to win the Melrose Cup and the Commonwealth 7s gold medal, losing both to the eventual winner — NZ. It’s almost two weeks to the Dubai 7s! I’m equally excited! Toso Viti! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Six sittings

Anybody can see and hear that the current parliamentary sittings are nothing but a waste of time. I believe issues of no significance is pretty much the order of proceedings. Thrashing each other instead of deliberating urgent national issues seems to be the main objective. I believe six sittings will not only save time but money as well, something I believe the nation has very little of! We need more action and less talking! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Grace Road saga

As I was analysing the tales around the Grace Road cult saga, a popular metaphor came to my mind which states “Fish rots from the head the whole fish is bad” which means, that if the person in charge does a bad job, it will have a negative implication for everyone working under him or her. How then can a country like ours which is transparent and accountable, as claimed by our leaders, be associated with an organisation that has it’s founder guilty of fraud and abuse? Is something fishy going on? Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Rugby lesson

I read that the Fijiana were taught a rugby lesson by the NZ Black Ferns Development XV. There should be a recognition that the team needs to regularly play these types of matches and Fijiana players have to start landing overseas contracts. Otherwise, a lesson was taught but not learnt. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Debate sessions

After hearing honourable Qereqeretabua’s and other Opposition members’ parliamentary speeches, I can now understand why this Government has shortened parliamentary debate sessions. Dan Urai Lautoka

Stealing the show

I think Nawaikula steals the show whenever he speaks in Parliament. Sukha Singh Labasa Grace Road I wonder if Mareko Vuli thinks Tukai Lagonilakeba’s letter on the Grace Road Church issue (FT 20/11) is a case of defending the indefensible? I believe prima facie evidence from the Al Jazeera documentary suggest it is. Does Tukai have a problem with facing up to the truth? Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Something wrong

There is something seriously wrong in Fiji today. Way too much crime. Way too many problems. Visible and felt. Even with eyes and ears wide shut. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Mystery deaths

First, the bodies of two dismembered Russians washed up on a beach in the West. Then, six months ago this week two American tourists died at Denarau. Yet these matters of massive public interest have never been explained. Why? Interpol was surely involved in the first, and the FBI or CIA, I imagine, in the second. The Fiji police regularly ask for public help in their inquiries, but proper communication flows both ways. Christopher Griffin Perth, Australia

Minister’s criteria

I cannot understand how and what criteria the Local Government minister will use to give the people living in squatter settlements a 99-year land lease. She has three years remaining to finish what she is promising. The last time houses in Tomuka and Lovu seaside in Lautoka were numbered but nothing was done. The squatters in Lovu seaside will suffer from flooding again if a cyclone or bad weather affects the western part of Viti Levu. With three years remaining, the Local Government minister should do something quickly. John Brown Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka

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