Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Rugby Union - Rugby Championship - South Africa v New Zealand - Mbombela Stadium, Mbombela, South Africa - August 6, 2022 South Africa's Damian Willemse in action with New Zealand's Sam Cane and Angus Ta'avao REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

All Blacks Boks-ed in Rugby Championship

AS an All Blacks 15s fan, I’m shocked with the string of losses that the giants of rugby have suffered. The All Blacks, who lost back-to-back matches against Ireland at home for the first time, were taught a rugby lesson by the Springboks at the Mbombela Stadium. Just as the name of the stadium suggests, the hosts dropped a huge bomb on the ranking, relegating the All Blacks to fourth spot behind Ireland, France and South Africa and piling pressure and misery on coach Ian Foster and skipper Sam Cane. The All Blacks have suffered three losses in a row. As an ardent All Blacks fan, I wonder what has stung our prowess and flair. Watching the match on Sunday morning, I figured out that the Springboks were too clinical and on top of their game – qualities the All Blacks once had. I was saddened to note we have lost our status as the number one side in 15s, but I’m adamant that after these rainy days, the sun will come out. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Nadawa, Nasinu

Child abuse

I AM sure none of us realise that we teach our children to be prejudice from the day they are born. We teach innocent minds what religion to follow, what to eat, how to dress, how to behave with others who are not from the same background and there are a myriad of other such unconscious and casual prejudices that they are brought up with. Among these are acceptance of grog dopeys as a normal part of life, barking dogs all night, shops boarded up as solitary confinement prisons, domestic violence, child beatings, coercive control of women, etc. I believe this is child abuse from the day they are born. So, what are we going to do about it? I mean, apart from me, is there anyone else who is going to do something about it? And then we all wonder why Fiji is the way it is when it is us and proud grog dopeys who are perpetuating the situation. This has nothing to do with the Government of the day and changing the Government will not solve any of these problems. JAN NISSAR NSW, Australia

Ongoing issues

THE state of our public hospitals and health centres speak volumes about the day-to-day running of our Government. I believe the state of hospitals have been like this for a long time and it cannot be blamed on previous governments as the present Government has been in power for the past 16 years. I believe most of the time medicines are not available in State hospitals, half the time modern equipment, machines are not working, and sometimes lifts do not work and so forth. These are ongoing issues which so far have not been fixed. On one hand freebies are being dished out while on the other the very place where we seek medical help is being left out. Why the blame has to go to the past governments? To those who say “no other government has done what this Government has done”, go look at the hospitals and health centres and experience the life and the decaying state of it. Then again, that is just one area being pointed out which almost every soul is well aware of. If NFP comes into power, I believe there certainly will be changes for the betterment which can be done in a cost-effective way. NFP is very much focused on improving the lives of our daily struggling people. Mr Biman Prasad has always advocated on these daily improvements and if he comes into power, I believe it will be fruitful in terms of deliverance. Support NFP/PAP for the greater vision we have for our prideful country. In the coming election, vote wisely and remember, this is your only time to help bring about the much-needed change, which is obvious. KIRTI PATEL Lautoka

Raksha Bandhan

RAKSHA Bandhan is an auspicious festival of togetherness and is enthusiastically commemorated across our country. As Raksha means protection and Bandhan means link, celebrating Raksha Bandhan represents the protective relationship between a sister who ties the holy thread on her brother’s wrist. With this, the sister wishes her brother a good life, and the brother assures her that he will defend her in every situation. Rakhi is just around the corner and is celebrated on August 11, 2022. This day falls on the full moon or Purnima day in the Shravan month. The festival of Raksha Bandhan is observed as a symbol of duty between brothers and sisters. The occasion is meant to celebrate any type of brother-sister relationship between men and women who may not be biologically related. Spending this day in the presence of each other is no less than a blessing for the siblings. The beautiful relationship between a brother and sister is unique and cannot be described in words. Sibling bonds are extraordinary and are essential in almost every part of the world. Wishing all the best on this occasion. NEELZ SINGH Lami

Election date

THE election date has to be a huge topic of interest. Not only in this column but “outdoors” as well. I realised how serious this has become when over the weekend, I heard a lower primary school age child ask an adult about it. Anyway, in democratic Fiji where we have media freedom (another subject of huge interest), why doesn’t a journalist ask the Attorney-General, Minister for Economy, Minister Responsible for Elections… But ops! I’ll have to hurry (Category 5) and end this because I hear the Salala van just entered our street. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Media freedom

JOHN Kamea is too right (The Sunday Times 7/8). When media freedom is threatened by authoritarian state tendencies, democracy is threatened and diminished. I believe that is the kind of deleterious media regime post-coup Fiji has. No two ways about it as Kamea points out so succinctly in his article. Will the call for needed change be heeded by the mob in power in Fiji? Unfortunately, for the journalists and media people and indeed the citizens of Fiji, the ruling elite do not have a good track record on that front. Its modus operandi has been authoritarian notwithstanding its claim to have made Fiji a “true democracy” for the first time in its history. A very farfetched claim considering the ground realities. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Lions roar at home

THE Babasiga Lions thrashed Ba 4-0 at the Subrail Park on Saturday. Having lost to Lautoka the previous Sunday at the Churchill Park 2-1, the Lions bounced back to hand the Men in Black a drubbing. Goals to Ratu Anare and Christopher Wasasala sealed the deal for the northern bullets. Nadi also made their mark in the DPL competition, beating Suva via the golden boot of former Lion Siotame Kubu. Nadroga’s 2-0 win over Nasinu has threatened the former giant-killers’ chances of staying in the top flight. Tailevu Naitasiri shocked many, holding giant Lautoka to a 2-2 draw. As teams build-up for this year’s Battle of the Giants tournament, Rewa is battling it out in the OFC Champions League. I wish the side all the best and I salute the Babasiga Lions for the gallant effort against Ba. Vinaka vakalevu to the team officials and players! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Gender-based violence stats

THESE statistics are facts and not myths. Aren’t you tired nor worried after seeing the trend and statistics of sexual offences in Fiji? If you want to help, join the movement against rape and all forms of violence against women and girls by contacting your nearest FWCC branch. According to the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre statistics and data collected from January 2016 to December 2021 (five-plus years), there were a total of 818 rape survivors of which 225 were children between the ages of two years and 17 years. 483 were marital rape cases or otherwise known as rape within marriage. 836 perpetrators were known to the survivors, 639 or 76 per cent of the known perpetrators were related to the survivors, while only 34 perpetrators like 4 per cent were strangers to the survivors. Two in every three women get raped in this country which is very high considering our population. In Fiji, I believe we often take rape very lightly because it is happening to women and girls and we shift the blame on the victims most of the time. So the rapists or potential rapists or the people who are thinking they can rape – they get encouraged because they know women won’t report if there’s a lot of pressure on them not to report, and if they do report, they know they will be blamed. JIOJI MASIVESI Tadra, Votualevu, Nadi

Guard cat

A MISSISSIPPI man claims that his cat prevented a robbery at his home in Tupelo (FT 08/22). Meanwhile, Fiji cats, whole day only meow. RODNEY CLARENCE RAJ Labasa

Cents and sense

WHILE we are still rounding up or down. Someone throws in an 88 cents note. Wouldn’t an $8 note make more “cents”? RICK EYRE Labasa

Drug issue

THE matter of drug abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs is not new for Fiji. Awareness has been raised numerously year in year out, yet the problem still exists. Needless to say, it is getting worse by the day. Vulnerable youths and even children have been tempted into drug peddling and addiction. I totally agree with the views expressed by Professor Steven Ratuva and Selina Kuruleca that youths see the drug trade as a means of making an easy buck. Youths fail to realise the actual depth of the drug pit. All these facts induce us to ponder upon the question – “Where did we go wrong?” As parents, relatives, educators and leaders; did we ever pledge to provide the right incentives to our children and youths? Did we guide them on the right path or on the contrary, did we also benefit from the drug trade? The Government is not solely obliged to solve this drug problem. We all have to do our share in making sure that our children and youths have a bright future. DINESH KUMAR Ba

Healthy environment

NOW that the UN has declared our right to a clean and healthy environment, I demand all stray animals (especially dogs) be removed from Waiyavi (including their poop). Well, I hope the local government or election of a mayor is brought back soon since the administrators seem to have fallen asleep together with their councillors. If cleanliness is next to godliness, then no wonder crime is rising (ungodliness), with the filthy environment surrounding us. EDWARD KUMAR Lautoka

Fiji’s economy

HOW is it that “over 90 per cent of Fijians are happy with the state of Fiji’s economy” (Tarun Tikaram letter FT 7/8) when over 50 per cent are said to be in poverty according expert economic analyst Professor Wadan Narsey and grassroots community leaders who provide humanitarian aid to the struggling poor? RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australi

More Stories