Letters to the Editor – September 20, 2019

Captain Domoniko Waqaniburotu (with ball) on attack during the Flying Fijians training run at the Abashiri Sports Training Field in Hokkaido, Japan. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Stay focused at RWC 2019

To our Flying Fijians. You are busy with preparations for perhaps the most important era of your sporting lives now. A given, but have a sense of spiritual alignment that will make this easier than it is. Your inherent trust in yourselves, your peers, the divine and those who believe in you, near and far; will turn your dreams into tangible results. Focus on the task at hand, for the stakes are high. As high as it can get in our world. As the events unfold, especially the difficult ones; know that I for one; will not waver in my encouragement, support and belief I have for you all. Go out there, do it to them before they do it to you. Cheers lads. Vuka Viti! MANOJ LAL PATEL Drasa Ave, Lautoka

The Fiji Times lands in Japan

Our brave journalist Jo Makaba has landed in the country of the Brave Blossoms and I’m thrilled that I don’t have to rely on overseas news but news directly reported from Japan by our number one The Fiji Times. Reading Jo’s diary gives me the impression that this year’s RWC is going to be explosive, especially after the opening match between Japan and Russia on day two when the Flying Fijians battle the Wallabies, the Les Bleus take on the Pumas and the Webb Ellis trophy holders come face-to-face against the Rugby Championship champions the Springboks, which held them (16-16) at the “Cake Tin” this year. Our boys rounded up preparations at their base in Abashiri before shifting to Sapporo Dome for the ultimate Test against Australia, which has Fijian blood in the coaching panel and also in the team. Our boys need to remain focused on the task ahead and not get carried away with the distractions in the Land of the Rising Sun. This team is carrying the hopes of the nation and I see flags, jerseys and high hopes around me and I’m praying that these hopes do not turn into boos. On the other hand, I’m eagerly waiting for the battle between the All Blacks and the Springboks, which should set the perfect preview to this year’s RWC final on November 2. To The Fiji Times, thank you for the coverage from Japan and thank you for the beautiful match schedule. Trust me, it has lifted the spirits of many Fijians. Once again, you have proved to be the trendsetter. Cheers! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Rugby hype

Rugby madness will creep over our nation for a month and all eyes will be on the Flying Fijians and our road to our first RWC final! Yes all! I may sound odd but full marks to McKee, Matson and the boys… the preps look good and this is a first for a squad assembled with great depth and experience, agility and robust attacking and defence. The good point is our starting team against the Wallabies. If we can stay focused on our game plan for 80 minutes and not just 10-20 minutes or in the first half, we will live and breathe a historic opener. Captain Dominiko, if we can talanoa and show the veilomani for the full 80 minutes, we will create history on Saturday –– anything less we will succumb to be second best. Vinaka joka kece. Go Viti, go Fiji. Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Are we ready

Fiji is about to kick start its Rugby World Cup 2019 in a few hours’ time. Are we ready: 1. To kick penalties and conversions unlike the last world cup; 2. To avoid multiple knock-ons; 3. To avoid high tackles; 4. To avoid getting cards; and, 5. To avoid blaming –– it’s the referee’s blunder? If we are ready, we will see ourselves in the quarter-finals. Go Fiji go. Rizwan Ali Nakasi

Reckless ‘thrills’

“Pray like it’s your last prayer” has become something of an inside joke among passengers travelling from Suva to Koronivia/Lokia every afternoon. The ride has been likened to a roller-coaster experience, with drivers racing at great speed along the highway and recklessly switching between lanes without slowing down at all. This with a bus filled to capacity, and to the excitement of some high school students who don’t live in Koronivia/Lokia but board the bus every afternoon for the thrill. The construction of humps along the Koronivia/Lokia stretch hasn’t done much to deter some bus drivers from speeding right over them, having no regard for the passengers who bear the brunt of their recklessness. As much as we try to make light of our plight as commuters, the reality is we are left with little to no choice given that bus services to the area are limited and provided by a single operator. Already, we’ve endured several collisions on these afternoon travels, the most recent being this week (September 18) where the bus we travelled in was involved in two collisions at separate intervals and locations in one journey. I dread to think of the day this so-called thrill could end in serious tragedy. Samantha Rina Koronivia Rd

Minding toddlers

While minding some toddlers recently, I observed that they had picked on words that sounded impolite. For instance, in a demanding tone one kid said to another “I want a cookie and give me my share of the snack”. I thought a more polite tone would have been “may I have a cookie or can I have my share of the snack, please”. In a cultural context where everyone owes you something, politeness factor gets downgraded by far. King Solomon anciently and counter-culturally said “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver”. Asking properly in matters and manners of children is a parental responsibility that cannot be ignored. Sachida Nath Nadi

Disturbing news

The news that more than a million tonnes of radioactive contaminated water may soon be dumped into the Pacific Ocean from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, for lack of storage space (FT 18/09) is most disturbing and alarming. I just cannot imagine the immediate and long-term effects of this on the marine life, particularly the deep sea fishery stock in the north Pacific Ocean. Not to mention the very lives of the island inhabitants in this vast ocean region, including the Pacific Rim countries. Since we in the South Pacific also source our tuna and other fishery from the cold northern oceans, we will all likely be consuming contaminated seafood in the near future. I just hope that the various environmental organisations, regional fishery organisations and the regional island countries themselves can all convey their formal stance on this dumping, which is bound to affect the very life of the Pacific Ocean and its people. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Doctored video

Hang on, the file has been passed onto the DPP (FT17/09). What’s this I read that the A-G says (FT 18/09) that a copy of the video could have been doctored? Excuse me the honourable (yes I say honourable) Prime Minister has apologised, that means he acknowledges that he had acted in an inappropriate manner, and I salute him for that. So what’s this about the video being doctored? Did the PM apologise for something that happened on a doctored video? These are two things all together. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Law society

It is good to see the Fiji Law Society speaking up about the upholding of law in Fiji (FT 14/09). I had always heard about the separation of powers in government. They are the legislature — those who make the law; executive — those who administer the law; and the judiciary — those who interpret the law. They are exclusive to their respective institutions. Right now in Fiji we are about to see this tested and so publicly. Time will tell how we fare. Korina Waibuta Knollys St, Suva

Interesting read

The verbatim account of the privileges committee proceedings (FT 19/09) makes very interesting reading. I believe the report, through the contents of the individual contributions of the committee members, sheds light on the very characters and standards of the speakers. It was very revealing indeed. Emosi Balei Suva

Illegal activities

The stern warning given by the president of the Fiji Taxi Association (FTA) to taxidrivers and owners to stop engaging in illegal activities (FT 19/09) is not only powerless but a useless remark. I believe our Fiji taxis are the arteries through which all kinds of illegal activities are taking place. The question I have is if there is a law that outlines what taxidrivers are responsible for? Laws that outline actions that a taxidriver needs to perform if there are illegal activities happening in the backseat? As it is, I believe as long as the driver is not part of that illegal activity they are not responsible for that crime. So for instance I believe if the driver is involved in a crime or is an accessory to that crime then the driver has committed a crime, but if a passenger is doing drugs, moving drugs, or selling drugs from the backseat, I believe those crimes are not the drivers’ crime. The responsibility of the driver is to report such crimes to the police, but I believe they know that by doing so they will lose much needed business. This brings me to question if it is illegal for taxidrivers to not report a crime? As far as I know, our Fiji taxidrivers have a great relationship with their passengers and will protect them. Good luck managing that! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Powerhouse 15

John McKee has named a powerhouse starting 15. Great idea to shift Radradra to the wing and bring in Nayacalevu. All arsenal should be on board. The Wallabies are as beatable as any other team in the world. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Don’t complain

Don’t complain Simon (FT 19/09), just don’t read. Whatever happens in Parliament is not politically petty. Dan Urai Lautoka

Surprise visit

I urge the Minister for Education to try and make a surprise visit to some of the rural remote schools and see for herself the reality I am talking about. I believe she will be more surprised rather than those at the schools. Pita Soraqali Nadarivatu

Power tariffs

After the request from Energy Fiji Ltd (EFL) for an increase in electricity tariffs, the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission arrived at 2.74 per cent. They relied on the assistance from New Zealand Commerce Commission, nationwide consultations and EFL’s past 10 years of financial performance. EFL, based on the same 10 years, what is the estimated monetary value of the 2.74 per cent from October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Ends meet

The ever increasing and rise in cost of living nowadays has seen people of all walks of life trying their best to make ends meet. I believe if someone opens a new third or fourth hand clothing shop still people will rush in to buy as it will be cheaper and affordable. And it will also be history in the making. Sa qai oti vakadua! Pita Soroaqali Nadarivatu

Team naming

The Flying Fijians were named to face Australia and one notable omission was “The Beast” Semi Kunatani. I was also surprised with McKee’s call to run “The Trailer” at wing alongside “The Bus” while Nayacalevu pairs Botia at centre. It’s a delight to see that big names like Ma’afu, Sam, Ravai, Cavubati, Nakarawa, Waqaniburotu, Yato, Mata, Lomani, Ben and Kini have made the 15-member team while Vugakoto, Mawi, Saulo, Ratuva, Voka, Matawalu, Veitokani and Goneva are expected to spark the attack from the bench. Now that the team has been named our boys need everyone’s support and prayers! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

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