Letters to the Editor – March 13, 2019

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One for the road

Thumbs up to our editor for yesterday’s editorial titled “One for the road” where he deliberated on the success of the Blitzbokke and mentioned that teams like Samoa, the USA and France were “actually improving in leaps and bounds”. Samoa made the Las Vegas final. The USA side has made it six cup semi-finals and five cup finals in a row while the French made their first cup final since Port Elizabeth way back in 2012. Spain is also improving and beat New Zealand for the first time since the inception of the WRSS circuit. Teams know too well that to beat Fiji they have to deny us possession and apply pressure defensively and that’s exactly what South Africa and NZ did and while South Africa had a walk in the park, the All Blacks lost. The pools for the Cathay Pacific/HSBC HK 7s have been drawn and Fiji faces NZ, Australia and Kenya in the pool of death and if we qualify from the pool, we will face Argentina or France in the cup quarters. It doesn’t get any better for Gareth Baber as an injury-stricken Fiji side looks to win five straight cup wins in the Happy Valley. Fred in his editorial mentioned that “we have an exciting side with a host of top class players — we have size, pace, aggression, flair and passion”. Baber must play his cards right and motivate our boys to deliver a sensational performance in HK. It’s time to rise and grab maximum points in HK! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Fiji 7s rugby

Allow me please to voice my opinion through this column regarding the Fiji sevens team. Totally concurred with Mohammed Imraz Janif in his letter to the editor on Tuesday, March 12. These players played well and to their very best in Canada. They showed courage and determination despite the injuries they carried and deserve to be rewarded for not thinking about themselves when they played against NZ, Samoa, and even South Africa. Their only thought was for God and country. With 800,000 people in Fiji and at least $1 or even $2 each is a just reward for their sacrifice and pain. Come on Fiji please! Mikaele Leawere Galoa Village, Serua

Levuka Town

Beach St, which is the main street of our World Heritage & Historical Town of Levuka, has to be hosed down on a frequent basis because of vehicle owners washing their vehicles on such public access. Upon completion of washing vehicles, the silt, gravel and other stuff are left by the roadside without any semblance of responsibility of cleaning/clearing same. Is the Local Government Ministry and other relevant authorities concerned, aware of such practices been undertaken within the municipalities, in this case, Levuka Town, a designated World Heritage Site? With the obvious “wear and tear” on the road, the silt, gravel and other stuff get washed into nearby drains and build up gradually to clog the drain resulting in blockage during a heavy downpour that eventually leads to flooding. Then the “easy way out” is to blame flooding on climate change which is a pity. In addition, daily commuters, including local residents and visitors alike, are inconvenienced by such practice. By the look of things, “illegal seems legal” in our World Heritage and historical town of Levuka. Sad. Anthony Sahai Levuka

Speak up

I believe in respect towards women and children. In today’s time, I believe sexual assault towards the young is increasing. The related authorities are doing their level best to address this issue. It’s about time that our society wakes up and speaks up. I believe lack of moral values among the elder generation is the problem. I believe it is them who need to be educated on this matter more. Humanity is draining out. I believe our children are no longer safe on roads and at home. I believe implementation of harsh punishment for perpetrators will reduce this issue. A concerted effort is needed by society, the media, related authorities and the ministers themselves. Now is the time to step up and speak up. Let’s build a safer community for our children. Mannishka Lal Nadera, Nasinu

TV tone

It is difficult not to notice the odd way that local TV reporters end their sentence while reporting on TV, weirdly with a higher note. Is it the official way for reporters to finish the last few words with a higher tone? It bugs me because it is not the normal way of talking. Emosi Balei Suva

Kill or be killed

The response from the World Mosquito Program in Fiji is appreciated. However, it is vague. Pertaining to mosquitoes, there has never been a dilemma “to kill or not to kill”. It is rather “kill or be killed”. It has always been to kill them by all means. If we don’t kill mosquitoes, they have the potential to kill us through deadly diseases. The twist arises through the introduction of Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes. Regardless of whether they bite or not, they have a precise and definite purpose. I don’t know what the odds are but if it is OK to whack the one flying near us, we can end up whacking, smoking and spraying them into extinction. Although mosquitoes are tiny, their impacts are catastrophic. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

FIFA Council member

Delightful to read that one of Fiji’s own, Fiji soccer president Rajesh Patel, has been elected as a member of the FIFA Council. It’s an achievement. My hope now is for Fiji soccer to be lifted to international standards. I am sure with FIFAs financial backing we can use the money to develop soccer from primary school to national level. Sometimes I am saddened by remarks made by soccer fans that Fiji soccer is still in the bazaar level. So Rajesh, use that membership to take us to the top. Congratulations. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Ground MAX 8

Fiji Airways must immediately ground its 737 MAX jets. Singapore is the latest country to ban the jets. The damage has already been done to its image. Yesterday’s online edition of CNN (12/3) has now listed Fiji Airways as among the airlines still flying 737 MAX jets. I believe the impact on our tourism industry will follow. Could the stakeholders please act quickly? Jito Vanualailai Suva

Fitness guru

One notable absentee in the Fiji sevens camp was the fitness scientist guru Tikiko who had mapped out the training program for the team in Hamilton and Sydney. His presence would have lifted the fitness levels of the game at crucial times. On a more serious note with the series on the line and the Olympics just a year away can the stakeholders focus on the sevens management make up. Our Ben Ryan had Chris Cracknell as assistant coach, a scrum coach a defence coach and even a kicking coach with a fitness expert and physio. It’s the business end and with valuable series points Gareth is fighting the battle on his own. We saw a couple of experts in Hamilton and Sydney but in the American leg it was evident Gareth lacked management experts which other teams are fully equipped with. I understand the 15s season and road to the World Cup is the focus but we simply cannot produce results without proper resources. Seriously the game was lost off the field. At one time I saw on TV Gareth running to the fourth official with what looked like the team sheet to change a player. We are losing the battle off the field and that is now evident in the field. Joka na qito joka o Viti kei na vuravura. Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Congratulations in order

Congratulations to the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team for finishing third in Vancouver. The injury-hit team, despite losing to Canada in pool play regrouped to beat fierce rival and Pacific neighbour, Samoa to qualify for the quarter finals. More importantly the Fijians chipped the wings of the top two front runners in the 2018/2019 HSBC sevens series points table, New Zealand and USA. Likewise, hearty congratulations to Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel to be elected as a FIFA Council member during the OFC extraordinary congress at Sky City Grand Hotel in Auckalnd, NZ. According to Fiji FA chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf, Mr Patel is the first Fijian elected and a proud moment for Fiji FA and Mr Patel. Yusuf commented that it was a major achievement for football in Fiji and around the region for a first Fijian to sit at this high ranked position of a FIFA council member. Wow, what an achievement for Mr Patel and Fiji FA, but my million dollar question is when will our national football team be part of the World Cup? Oops, I suppose we are heading in the right direction by playing in this month’s international matches against New Caledonia and Mauritius. Come on Mr Patel you being the first Fijian to be elected as a FIFA Council member is not as important as to improve our soccer ranking and to take the national team to the world stage. Our soccer loving fans deserve better. In conclusion, I can only say that you will have to keep congratulating our Fijian 7s and 15s rugby success. Soccer will never come close to competing against the big guns compared with rugby. Simply because I believe Fiji FA’s success lies in the hosting of boring local tournaments. Let’s enjoy the rugby side and success. Go Fiji go.
RAYMOND SINGH, Lautoka

School fire

I thank the Education Ministry for the immediate rehabilitation response to the boarding school that caught fire on Monday, March 11 this week. Can I suggest that maintenance repairs and proper electrical, plumbing, building, and OHS reinforcements be done immediately for boarding and government schools currently in need of renovation and refurbishment? Conducive environment facilitates successful results. I believe such repairs, provisions and resource support have been long overdue. Also noted are poor quality of foreign aid and tradespeople brought in to rebuild boarding schools damaged after Cyclone Winston. Finau Naigulevu Turaga Nadi Airport

Warriors set platform

The Swire Shipping sponsored Fiji Warriors showed class and precision to thrash the Tongan Warriors on Friday evening and replicate the efforts of the Fiji Airways Drua side which won last year’s Australian Rugby Championship in its second year of participation. Seruvakula and Veitokani walked away with the top honours at the Fiji Sports Awards and I hope that this will inject motivation as the Warriors prepare to play the Samoans, who were outclassed by Junior Japan. My best wishes to the Warriors outfit! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Grocery bag

In the olden days, when bags were free, the supermarket cashiers cheerfully put my groceries in the sack as they were ringing in the purchases. Once they started to charge, and I started to provide my own bags, they no longer fill them and, if they do, it is no longer cheerful. Is it just me, or do other people have more important things to worry about? Lorrie Nolin Oneviro, Levuka

Boeing 737 MAX 8

Big Asian countries have suspended the services of their MAX 8 and our country think they are better off providing the services of our new aircraft. Come on Fiji Airways, wake up. Moses Mani Auckland, New Zealand

Benefits for Pacific

All of a sudden, Australia wants to bring back its focus to the Pacific. I believe this attention giving stance has been induced by China’s presence. A win win situation for the Pacific, benefit from an Oceania giant and an Asian superpower. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

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