Letters to the Editor – September 16, 2019

Motibhai group of companies directors, Jinesh Patel, right, and Rajesh Patel, second right, look on as The Fiji Times editor Fred Wesley places a wreath on the grave of the late George Littleton Griffiths at the Suva Cemetery. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

Iconic photos

TWO iconic photos in The Fiji Times September 5, 2019, appeared side by side — 50 years apart. The first shows Claude Griffiths putting a wreath on his father’s grave, the late G L Griffiths on September 6, 1969. The second is of Motibhai Group of Companies directors Rajesh Patel and Jinesh Patel as they look on as The Fiji Times editor Fred Wesley places a wreath on the grave of the late George Littleton Griffiths at the Suva Cemetery. I was just thinking if I will be still around in another 50 years to celebrate another milestone in this wonderful newspaper’s history. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Disappointing Fiji Drua

DISAPPOINTINGLY, and ever-so very sad for Fiji Airways Fijian Drua, third time unlucky, especially in light of being defending NRC champs. Two away drawn matches and one humiliating home loss. Frustratingly we dropped seven championship points in our first three matches. I am not proud. Something is seriously not right. Did we lose continuity as champs by banking heavily on much player turnover? Did we honestly think our surviving experienced seasoned campaigners would rise to the occasion and lead with badly-needed strength, pride, dignity and respect? Many tough questions must be answered, going into round 4 at Churchill Park, Lautoka this Saturday. Tovolea tale, Viti Drua. Tabu soro. Ma’e na ma’e. RONNIE CHANG Mountainview, Martintar, Nadi

Rugby World Cup fever

SO the excitement is building up, the jewel in the crown of rugby union hits the Japanese shores in a few days’ time. Ex-players and rugby pundits have given their verdict of what Fiji needs to do to perform well. Fans are equally excited and gearing up to support the Flying Fijians. Now, the biggest talk around the town is how Fiji can topple Australia. Unlike previous editions, what makes the upcoming world cup more exciting is the renewed belief among tier 2 nations to upset the big guns. I believe there will be much more twists and turns in this year’s world cup. I am sure the fans will bring in different qualities of emotions, superstitious beliefs and expertise of predicting who wins or loses. The fans’ passion for the game will surely be put to test, as they will be glued to the screens and screaming — cheering along with friends hoping that our Flying Fijians do well. PRANIL RAM Votualevu, Nadi

Shocking protest

I MYSTERIOUSLY received a short unedited video clip of those that were protesting in Sydney last night. To say that I was shocked at the manner this protest was conducted is an understatement to say the least. With children among the throng the protesters were swearing, laughing and singing hymns at the top of their voices at the PM and his entourage! Astonished, I had to view it twice to try and comprehend this new concept of protest. Swearing and praising God at the same time? Is something amiss here? Are we psychologically sound upstairs? I am all for public protests, yes, we have a legal right to protest subject to approval, but singing hymns, loudly swearing sexual innuendos and judging people in front of their children is way beyond. E dui dui! What kind of Christians have we become? Like the masses I may either agree or not agree with some of the Government’s “doings” or actions, but this public display of utter garbage is downright deplorable and is just not us, it’s just not “Fijian like”. Sa nia so, vina du riki. BEN KUSH Canberra, Australia.

Condolences to Hong Tiy family

PEOPLE of Fiji please join me in sending our condolences to the family of the late Francis Hong Tiy. I had the privilege of making his acquaintance way back in my primary school days at Marist Brother’s Primary School. I came up with his son Bernie from Class 1 right through high school and over that period witnessed his work of charity towards the school, the church and even the vanua. That same charismatic attitude is being followed by his son today, but that is another story. If I remember correctly, Mr Hong Tiy was an integral part of the shipping service in Fiji, starting with the then Burns Philp and later on to forming the company Shipping Services. A true son of Fiji has been called to join the angels in heaven and we thank him and his family for his service to the nation and to every organisation he has been involved in and we pray to the Almighty to comfort them in their time of sorrow. Moce mada Mr Hong Tiy. LAWRENCE WARA, Santa Rosa, California, USA

Natural reaction

FOR government MP Premila Kumar to say that the alleged assault by Prime Minster Voreqe Bainimarama on Pio Tikoduadua was a “natural reaction” to defend family is a very risky statement (FT 12/09). The action is not about defending, but anger mismanagement which leads to violence and this is one of the root causes of violence especially against women and children. I believe therefore that condoning such action is like supporting violence in society, an issue that many institutions are fighting against including the government. She further said and I quote “we protect our family … we naturally defend our family. This is central to the Bainimarama leadership”. Sad to say that if this kind of protecting and defending action is central to Bainimarama leadership, then I believe the violence in our society will definitely increase. KOSITATINO TIKOMAIBOLATAGANE Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

The big question

EARLY Saturday morning I read in The Fiji Times (14/9) USP academic Dr Neelesh Gounder saying “Peaceful protest is and should be regarded as a vital and legitimate tool to bring about a positive social change” but that this right has repeatedly been denied to the trade unions in Fiji which means they are not having “the opportunity to act like a democratic nation”. Late the same day again I read in The Fiji Times Fiji’s PM Voreqe Bainimarama telling the Fijian diaspora in Sydney that young Fijians are “making themselves heard in a democracy where their rights cannot be infringed and their voices cannot be silenced”. That is as should be in a democracy. But has post-coup Fiji transitioned to that kind of democracy? Or, is the “over policing “(Dr Gounder’s descriptor) still a manifestation of the police state? (see my opinion ‘Fiji: A police state?’ Scoop Independent News 8/1/13) That’s the big question. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Celebrate the life of Pohiva

IT is sad to hear that Akilisi Pohiva, the Prime Minister of Tonga, has passed away at the age of 78. But many will rejoice that a person of humble beginning and a commoner has achieved what seemed impossible to become Prime Minister. He was able to battle against odds in a South Pacific nation where there are still hierarchical structures as obstacles in the way. I got to know Akilisi personally as a life-long democracy advocate and indomitable campaigner for human rights both at home and abroad. He demonstrated this again at the recent Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Funafuti, Tuvalu, where he was very outspoken against alleged violation in West Papua and the urgency of climate action. Akilisi’ is an example for the young generation of Pacific leaders not to be diverted from speaking truth to power when situation demands. REVEREND AKUILA YABAKI Toninaiwau Subdivision, Colo-i-Suva

Small evil

SO a small evil was committed? Small or big an evil is still an evil. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Of interest

COULD the police spokeswoman elaborate what she actually means by “persons of interest”? SUKHA SINGH Labasa

Allowance gap

CAN someone from relevant authorities explain the arrangement implemented to justify the determination of allowance gap between village nurses and turaganikoro in Fiji? Or was it, the efficacy of the Ministry of Health in compensating their untiring field workers and the incompetency of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs to reward their workforce on the ground. ALIPATE SENIKUTA Nadoi Village, Rewa

Weighing evidence

THE parliamentary debate on the recommendations of the privileges committee during the last session revealed what appeared to be standards in the weighing of evidence. It seems that the landscape has changed where victims of any crime could be held responsible and punished for provoking any retaliatory action. Could our legal eagles give their learned opinion whether the decision reached by the highest institution in our land could affect the application of our laws relating to crime? Because if it does then it could give a new dimension to the application of laws in Fiji in as far as victims of assaults are concerned. EMOSI BALEI Kini St, Suva

A day for democracy

THE Sunday Times (15/09) has devoted two full pages to Democracy Day messages. As I look down from my 90-year-old perch, I must lament that “democracy” no longer exists in Fiji towns and cities. It can only be restored when we are able to elect our representatives. I have always been taught that democracy consists in “government of the people, by the people”. For many years I have admired the words of our present Speaker of Parliament. Today he says “Democracy is only as important as the public participation of citizens, and this must be increased for social cooperation and development” We cannot participate until we have a voice. When town and city elections are restored we can enjoy democracy. PAUL B SLOAN Samabula, Suva

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