Letters to the Editor – September 15, 2019

Editor-in-Chief,The Fiji Times Pty Ltd Fred Wesley (left) delivers his speech during the 150th year celebration at GPH last week. Picture: RAMA

Good journalism

THE Fiji Times editor-in-chief Fred Wesley said in his 150th year The Fiji Times anniversary celebration speech that: “We are not anti-government and we are not pro-government” ( FT 14/09 ). That is as it should be. A good newspaper should be neither. But a good independent newspaper has to be anti-bad governance and must hold power to account in the public interest. Failure to do that is an abdication of its public watchdog role. The Fiji Times has certainly demonstrated diligence in upholding and fulfilling that role and I join the many others in applauding The Fiji Times for it. RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

Behaviour in Parliament

MATE Allan Loosley, there are much severe behaviour shown by parliamentarians than in the UK. I believe they swear, throw items at each other and even have a free for all. In the end, they face the consequences for their unruly behaviour. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Empty chairs

OF what I saw on my bookface, there were quite a few more empty chairs then the floor space taken by the welcoming committee. You really should wonder, why! By the way, one empty chair is an irk to a self-grandiose speechmaker. There were so so many. MANOJ LAL PATEL Drasa Ave., Lautoka

iTaukei language

I WONDER if there is an iTaukei out there, who is as widely conversant and knowledgeable about the iTaukei language, its various dialects and all its intricacies as Dr Paul Geraghty, aka Paula Gereti. It would certainly be a shame if the professor is currently the only one with such a profound all-round knowledge of the language. It’s even more astounding that Dr. Geraghty is a non-iTaukei. Having a scholastic background in language and linguistics and his period of work in the Fijian (iTaukei) dictionary project compiling the dictionary from the early ’80s until its publication, which I recall was in 2007, has certainly set him apart from everyone else in speaking and understanding this language. I just hope that one day soon, we will see and hear of an iTaukei – maybe a USP linguistic graduate – who will continue “carrying the flag” such as Vueta Na Vosa and educating all of us, especially the native speakers on the evolution, depth and intricacies of the iTaukei language, before all its purity is lost through assimilation by other languages. EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Cir., Pacific Harbour

Service issue

LTA has implemented a new requirement that recent photos are needed when renewing drivers licence. (I agree, because some people still have the photo of themselves taken when they first got their licence, and they look nothing like the young days.) Here is a joke. I waited for a very very very long time for my number to be called at the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew my driver’s licence. As I approached the window, the clerk asked how she could help me. I replied: “Renewal of drivers licence please.” She said: “You need to get a recent passport size photo of yourself.” I replied: “Yes, I have a photograph of me when I got here and I have just taken another photograph of myself when my number was called!” The staff looked at the photos and fainted. My point is we have aged – the speed of service is still the same, even in these here digital times. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Chief guests

IT is great to see that other important people are getting invited as chief guests in official programs. I believe that on many occasions, people in communities who have made significant contributions are left behind because people with political affiliation take preference as chief guests. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Cancer in Fiji

A LETTER writer has asked the million dollar question – why are our children getting cancer? ( FT 14/09). I believe that he has given a sixty-four dollar answer. What we should really be asking is why we in Fiji have such a high rate of cancer each year? A staggering 1200 cases of cancer in our small population of less than a million people. We would become millionaires if we had all the answers but playing the blame game helps no one. It is traumatic for all concerned — read Asinate Tupou’s recount of her experience ( FT 14/09). KORINA WAIBUTA Knollys St, Suva


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