Letters to the Editor – May 6, 2019


Press freedom, your freedom

John Kamea’s article titled “Press freedom, your freedom” in The Sunday Times was worth reading and summed up the letters and articles that have been printed in this week’s The Fiji Times in support for press freedom and the stories about the deaths of the journalists moved hearts as it showed the tremendous risk journalists take to report stories. On the other hand, it is worthy to note that about 1010 journalists have lost their lives and sadly, in 9 out of 10 cases the perpetrators are never brought to justice. John summed up his article with these words, “freedom of the press recognises that you are a human and your human dignity needs to be promoted, preserved and protected”. As we commemorate Press Freedom Day, let’s pay tribute to the efforts of our hardworking and committed journalists who work hard to bring out credible news, articles and stories! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

ADB meeting

Such a big event like the 52nd annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank Board of Governors at Denarau in Nadi was never seen in this region before. Fiji is really blessed having been given the opportunity to host the event. Delegates from about sixty countries are believed attending the globally-recognised event, something that is so great for a developing island nation such as Fiji. As a tourist destination, the marketing Fiji receives through this assembly will be definitely felt in the near future. I think if Fiji delivers this event to the satisfaction of the event co-ordinators, who knows they might come back again. Things look very good as we have not heard any adverse report so far. As 400 police officers are deployed, you can imagine the magnitude of the assembly. As the meeting continues so do the police vehicle siren in Nadi. I am sure the warmth of our hospitality and fine weather would have already been experienced by the visiting delegates. May I take this opportunity to wish all the participants all the very best. I also wish to thank you The Fiji Times for keeping us well-informed. Suresh Chand Nadi

Fiji’s athletics administrators

Generally there has been improvement in the athletics facilities in Fiji, but despite this, results over the past couple of decades have been ordinary and nothing special at all. This is because of the ineffectiveness of sports administrators which I believe is mainly because of personality traits being exhibited individually. It’s about time our athletics administrators go through a validated self development questionnaire to see how credible they are. A personality test should also be used to screen administrators before they get involved in sports management We definitely have overrated administrators with little to nothing to show for! Time to bring in the professionals for better results. Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Bus stops

Recently we have seen a major upgrade of bus stops in the Central Division with very nice-looking bus shelters and bus bays which allows buses to pull over for the purposes of picking up and dropping off passengers. However, it seems that these bus stops are hardly being used as buses are seen stopping everywhere apart from these bus stops. It’s a humble request to all bus drivers to be considerate of other motorists as stopping along the main roads causes a lot of traffic hold ups. It is just a matter of realigning our attitudes towards the road rules for the betterment of every one. Second term has now started and it’s a humble request for all bus drivers to please use the bus stops. Krishan Keshwan Suva

Political co-operation

The last election resulted in the ruling party, reducing its majority to a questionable two seats. A letter writer (FT 3/5/19) has rightfully suggested that as a developing country nationwide co-operation is a key to our success as a nation. He observes that the two main political parties have only co-operated on salary increase for parliamentarians and that the Opposition need to work closely with the ruling FijiFirst party because they have won the majority of the seats. I believe a smart political leader can predict the direction voters vote in future based on past results. It is with this view that it is important that the ruling political party treats the Opposition the same way it wants to be treated when they hold the Opposition portfolio. We hope and pray that when the Opposition is given the mandate to take over Government by the people, they will do so with more maturity, good governance and respect everyone’s culture, tradition and language. Dan Urai Lautoka

Fiji soccer

The humble plea from the Fiji Football Association (FFA) president arose because the soccer loving public are losing interest in Fiji soccer. The extent to which the president has gone in publicly asking the dwindling number of soccer fans for fresh ideas to bring in more spectators shows the desperate situation of FFA. The president has to go back to the history books when Fiji was a powerhouse in the South Pacific. We used to look forward to Fiji winning the gold medal in the South Pacific Games. He has to go back to the glorious days when Fiji was managing to beat Australia and New Zealand. Those were the exciting days. Now, the local soccer season is routine and boring. He has to go back to those years when club soccer attracted more spectators than national league matches nowadays. The FFA records will show how dramatically club teams have decreased in Fiji. Officials, approach and structure is killing soccer in Fiji. Mr President, have you ever wondered why there are more spectators during the annual religious conventions every year? It is interest. In these various conventions, there are so many teams. Teams which represent their communities. But these same community teams do not participate in local club games. In Lautoka, there were around sixty clubs. The competition was divided into three divisions. Today, only a handful remain. You have to re-look at club soccer in Fiji. Another aspect which the FFA should analyse is the number of games various districts play throughout the season. They are too less. As the people started losing interest in national league matches, FFA introduced Fiji FACT and BOG alongside IDC. Now, it is creeping into tournaments. In top soccer countries, alongside domestic league matches, teams play each other for various cups. All teams participate, not a selected few. This is spread throughout the season. Why can’t Fiji do the same? Why can’t we have a double header in Labasa for the BOG cup where Labasa plays Levuka and Suva plays Taveuni? Adopt this concept across Fiji. Progressively, the results will even out. In 1972, non-league Southern Division side Hereford beat Newcastle 2-1 to go through to the fourth round in the biggest FA Cup upset of all time. Other teams have achieved similar feats because they have the opportunity to participate. FFA has done the opposite in reducing top league teams from ten to eight. Mr President, long-term solutions to your call lies in re-building interest, not the FFA bank balance. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Repaying debt

I refer to The Fiji Times article “No problem with Fiji repaying debt to China: A-G” ( ST 5/5 ). The A-G is a government minister. It is predictable that he should have a rose coloured glasses outlook on Fiji’s debt situation. But can we hear from economic experts what Fiji’s debt situation actually is and entails for the country and its people now and into the future? Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Term 2 starts

My best wishes to all our teachers and students (as they kick-start term 2) with the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant”! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Corporate booth

Lautoka got fancy corporate booths at the city mall from where one can enjoy the games played at Churchill Park. While watching Fiji FACT I noticed that not a single person was sitting in that area. May I ask why? Narayan Reddy Lautoka

Great news

The PM indicated at the ADB meeting Fiji will have the largest convention hall with FNPF funding. Could FNPF hint the locations please. Joe Smith Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour, Deuba


Minister for Labour Parveen Kumar in his speech during the Fiji FACT made another promise to the people of Lautoka. This time he promised a brand new stadium and another upgrade of Churchill Park. His last promise and groundbreaking at the botanical garden swimming pool has taken two years and budget busted by almost 90 per cent is still to be completed. Another project that was promised was an indoor multipurpose grounds at Nadovu Park which is still in the pipeline. When you promised a new Churchill Park stadium I hope you understand the financial issues that comes with it. I hope it’s not another failed project like the two I mentioned. John Brown Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka

Divisions in Fiji

Although this could be wrong and an incorrect observation, I think as the sun rises and sets each day, the divisions in Fiji are getting wider and wider. Our opinions are influenced by taking of sides. Even if it is through the creation of a conflict between our inner view and outer view. As stories are born and develop, we jump to take sides. Amid all this, the three sides of the story remains. Mine, yours and the truth. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

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