Letters to the Editor – February 20, 2020

Fiji 7s players after the team’s captain’s run at the Old Salesyard Reserve Park in Sydney, Australia. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Let’s prepare well

WITH about five months to go for the Olympics, WRSS leaders the New Zealand men’s and women’s teams have named experienced and formidable outfits as part of their training squads. Both the teams will head in as favourites especially with the way they have performed in the series so far. While the New Zealand women’s team looks set to win the gold medal in Tokyo, their counterparts will pose a serious threat to Fiji’s Olympics title defence as Laidlaw has named household names in Baker, Molia, Clarke, Collier, Curry, Dickson, Knewstubb, McGarvey Black, Mikkelson, Seturo, Ng Shiu, Ware, Webber and our Fijian blood in Koroi, Ravouvou, Rayasi and Rokolisoa. It’s a pity that the Hong Kong and Singapore 7s tournaments have been postponed and the fact that our sevens team needs game time especially if Baber is planning to include overseas based players. I’m urging FRU and the management to prepare well. I’m not prepared to lose the Olympics gold medal! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Weak Opposition

THE FijiFirst Government and its brand of fairness, justice and equal opportunities under Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has made the party the most commanding and vigorous force in Fijian politics over the past decade, and one that the Opposition has obviously struggled to counter. Interesting watching the first day of sitting as it portrayed a huge gap and the lack of understanding by the Opposition. I believe it is obvious that the Opposition too often resorts to representing itself as simply anti-Bainimarama, instead of presenting an alternative vision for the country. This weakness of the Opposition is exactly why the Opposition is unable to carry out their roles of political counterweight to the FijiFirst party and in leaders as Mr Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Most times it makes no sense listening to the Opposition, as the more I do the more they fail to convince me and I’m wondering how and why people voted them in, in the first place? This weak Opposition is bad news for Fiji because strong opposition is vital in a democracy. But what else can we say, at a time when we should be focusing on holding Government accountable, the major Opposition party is busy in-fighting. The Opposition are indeed fearful and weakened by a very strong FijiFirst party! SIMON HAZELMAN Rava Estate, Savusavu

Fiji Hindi

This is Fiji not India. Yes, we are Indians and learning the rightful Hindi which is shudh Hindi is important. When I was in primary school, I was very good with Hindi and most of the time I got highest in it. It did not affect my Fiji Hindi speaking though. While moving on to high school, we did not learn Hindi and now we just manage to read with some struggle. The point is how many even want to learn in depth? The ones who are interested will learn somehow. While teaching, it should be practised the right way otherwise while listening to the radio station it should not affect us. The radio stations are doing their job the way they feel is right to them to attract listeners. I believe for them what and how they say things is more important than what form of Hindi they speak. How about rather than making a fuss, focus on the way the teaching and learning can be attractive. I believe once the focus of this fuss is over, the answer to that will be attained. KIRTI PATEL Lautoka

Education system

A FEW of my relatives came in from the maritime islands for my birthday. One of the things that struck me was when one of them said that to keep the people on the islands, the education system needs to be improved. The best teachers and facilities should be sent there and a good allowance given to the teachers. As it is the trend for parents to send their children to Viti Levu to school. So many leave home to attend primary school, they have experienced the real village life and all its callings. Many of these children find it hard to fit into the city life and soon get depressed and move out to the streets. Many of them are treated badly. While I do not have data on this, one can just see the many youths roaming the streets of Suva searching for the life they came for. Many who come to Suva and do get good grades get good jobs, get married and never return to the village. Reason being is that they leave home at a tender age and never really experienced life in the village as a young adult. I was told that Year 13 and foundation should be introduced to them so that they are young adults when they leave the islands. They will have experienced village life of fishing, planting, attending village functions and learning the ways of the people. Urban drift is taking a toll on the city and town
infrastructures. We spend millions on upgrades of water, housing, electricity.
Our towns and cities seem to be busting at the seams — well just look at the traffic jams. Why not invest in education. I’m sure we can do my relatives suggestions.
ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka

Coronavirus front

On the coronavirus front, it is a concern that 242 people were killed in China on the very day that Beijing’s medical adviser reported that they had the lowest number of new coronavirus cases in two weeks (FT 13/02). He went further and gave a forecast that the coronavirus outbreak will end by April. Later that day it was reported that the diagnosis was rapid because of the use of their CT scanner. However, on the Al Jazeera news, it was reported that parents in China were photocopying their childrens’ textbooks as they saw no end soon to the coronavirus saga. Today Beijing is downplaying their coronavirus infection numbers and trying to close the China chapter, moving it off to Japan (FT 19/02). Meanwhile, The New York Times best seller author, Dean Koontz’s book titled The Eyes of Darkness has surfaced. He wrote this book in 1981. In it Koontz talks about an illness which will spread throughout the world in the year 2020. He names the causative agent as ‘Wuhan – 400’ and it all begins just outside of Wuhan, China. Is this a coincidence? A friend who ordered an e-copy of the above book tells me that page 333 that contains the above is now missing. Korina Waibuta Knollys St, Suva

Vaccines issue

Supposing someone in Fiji gets this coronavirus, do we have the equipment and the vaccines to cure the patient? Could the Minister for Health let us know please. Sukha Singh Labasa

Blues mission

After the embarrassing administrative joke in the national soccer league, not even a washdown will be enough for Lautoka soccer fans to drown their sorrows following the humiliating loss in Vanuatu. I had read “Lautoka resets mission” (FT 18/02). Now I visualise mission impossible. In this tournament last season which includes teams from New Zealand, two New Caledonian teams played in the final and one went on to represent the region at the world meet. I strongly think that this is a sign of the future of Fiji soccer and the national team at the regional level. Forget about the World Cup, Fiji soccer will be progressive and happy as long as a local team wins the Pacific Cup (whatever on Earth that is). These are the warning tidal waves which are flowing in for a thorough washing of Fiji soccer from the inside out. Otherwise, a wipeout is imminent. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Scoreline unacceptable

Lautoka could have just defended their goalmouth to keep the scoreline little respectable, it was evident from the start of the game that they did not have the strikers who could score goals. This kind of scoreline is just unacceptable. Ajay Singh Natabua, Lautoka

State of soccer

The 7-0 score received by Lautoka against Lae City in the OFC Champions League is a huge embarrassment to Fiji soccer. It’s a scoreline that one normally associates with Futsal soccer or perhaps rugby. The loss derails the Blues campaign to qualify for the quarter-final especially after securing a 1-1 draw against Malampa on Saturday. Lautoka entered the OFC Champions League on the back of two convincing wins against Nasinu and Nadi but were no match for the PNG-based club. The loss shows just how far we have fallen in terms of competing against the regional teams. It seems like our players are lacking the basic soccer skills and techniques. Fiji FA needs to carry out a proper investigation of Lautoka FC to identify the reasons for the humiliation and also identify areas in which we can improve on. Perhaps Fiji FA should start considering setting up professional age-group development academies so that our players are developed right from a very young age under the guidance of professionals. Shad Alfaz Ali N

In the pipeline

According to the Health Minister, the purchasing of 14 new dialysis machines that was promised in the 2017 budget is awaiting the facility upgrade and training of staff. Indirectly implying that it’s still in the pipeline! Alipate Tuberi Old Cunningham Rd, Suva

Know it all

At this moment in time I have a feeling that some people in high places think they know it all. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Parliament noise

After observing Parliament sessions over the years on TV and the contribution by the leader of NFP Prof Biman Prasad on workers’ rights during the current seating, it appeared to me that the interjections from the opposite side became very loud, bordering on rowdiness when facts were being stated. So I pay attention when the debate becomes boisterous. Emosi Balei Kini St, Suva

Missing shelters

We see that a number of bus bays in the Nadi/Namaka corridor are still without bus shelters. As I am curious, may I know is this project still going on or is it done? Do we believe that because of the budgetary constraints the remaining shelters will be done later? Or are they off the master plan for now? The travelling public which also includes the schoolchildren will love to see the remaining shelters done in the near future. You saw fit to create the bus bay, why not the shelter? Thank you. Suresh Chand Nadi

Fijian flag

I could not believe my eyes when I saw some local people in Vanuatu carried the Fiji flag during the games. Later I found out that they were former Fijians who have migrated to Vanuatu. So the saying that you can’t take Fiji away from its people is true. Narayan Reddy Santo, Vanuatu

Our Speaker

Reading the short resolute lecture delivered by the honourable Speaker, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau in rejecting the Attorney-General’s recommendation that the Opposition be punished for walking out of Parliament, speaks volumes of the impartiality and tranquillity of our Parliament Speaker. No wonder he is the best man for the job and is widely admired! There is none like you sir! Sa malo aupito munu! Alipate Tuberi Old Cunningham Rd, Suva


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