Letters to the Editor – February 25, 2021

Mahezabeen Farzana Khan, a rugby league level three coach, wants to establish a girls team at Nasikawa Vision College in Nadroga. Picture: SOPHIA RALULU

Girl power

I compliment the efforts of our sports team, in particular Luke Nacei, for the inspirational and powerful write-up titled “Girl power” (FT 24/02) on Nasikawa Vision College principal Mahezabeen Khan, who has broken barriers and accomplished a major achievement as she became a level three rugby league coach. I saw madam Mahezabeen’s photo being uploaded on facebook as she attended a rugby league course at Marist Brothers High School, and I was elated with the positive comments that appeared. It’s pleasing to read that madam Khan is making heads turn in a male-dominated sport renowned for brazen burly men bulldozing their way across the field. As a leader, madam Khan believes in holistic development of students and women empowerment – kudos for this! All the best, madam Khan, in your endeavours! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Breaking barriers

In terms of breaking barriers and pursuing dreams, one cannot ignore Mahezabeen Farzana Khan. This principal is reported as being a level three rugby league coach. It’s a sport commonly associated with men but this lady has defied all odds and is an inspiration to other women. One could imagine the criticism she may have received while pursuing certification in a male dominated sport. All in all, one hopes that her example will pave the way for more female officials and players in rugby league. Floyd Robinson Suva

Media credibility

In her 23/2 PBS NewsHour panel discussion Radhika Jones, editor-in-chief Vanity Fair who previously also worked for the New York Times and Time magazine said the following on the question of regaining trust: “One thing that has happened, especially in the last four years, with the assault on the media and its credibility, has been a lot of hostility toward members of the press and reporters who I work with both at Vanity Fair and places in the past, who’ve endured threats and incredible hostility simply for doing their jobs…people in the media are not the enemy, they are actually holding powerful people to account, they are providing clarity, they are providing a service, and often a very community-based service.” I think many journalists in post coup Fiji can relate to that often on the basis of their own experience. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Lack of knowledge

MR Tudravu if there are officers that need to be investigated, I believe OC, station officers, sergeants and leaders of shift should also be held accountable. I wonder if your officers go through a briefing of what would and could be the happening of the day or week before they attend to their post. I believe its a standard procedure to undertake briefing before starting a shift, but I guess the lack of knowledge and awareness of the law is a contributing factor among your officers. I suggest Mr Tudravu and his commanding officers should conduct workshops for their policemen on the role of communicating with the public, media rights, respecting members of the public, understanding the laws of human rights, limitation of police powers etc. Hope for the best. AREKI DAWAI Suva

Purpose of notice

I want to raise my concern on the Notice of Application For a Special Prospecting Licence that was published in The Fiji Times (23/02). The containing area for this particular application covers 3488 hectares in the tikina of Rakiraki, Nakoro and Navolau and in the province of Ra. For public information, this is a huge area and one can just imagine the damage this development will do to biodiversities that exist within the zone. I believe the Fijian Government, being a champion voice of climate change globally, understands very well the importance of biodiversity and its link to the issue of climate change. Nevertheless, the purpose of the notice is to see if there might be any objection from the resource owners and the public with regard to the application. However, before seeking the resource owners’ view, is the Government concerned about the matter? If not, then I am worried, for I believe that all the deliberations on biodiversity and climate change is just a show and not a reality to be reckoned with. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Lions roar, scholarship

After heralding the Monday morning news that the Lions roared at Laucala on Sunday afternoon, I began to think of the amount of yaqona sales and the free flowing of the brew the previous evening. Still enjoying the hot news I quickly skimmed through The Fiji Times only to be saddened by a young lass who sacrificed a lot to get a scholarship to pursue an MBBS was shattered despite scoring the required marks. Year in, year out I believe governments have recruited doctors from India, the Philippines etc, to address the shortages. Jioji O. Toronibau Lajonia, Labasa

Government’s stance not working

Richard Naidu of Suva is spot on about how we ought to be dealing with marijuana (FT 24/02). I’ve been saying it all along through this forum. The current stance by government is definitely not working, and it will never work no matter how much they try. With over 300 islands it’s an impossible task. All available indicators suggest that global cannabis production is rising, and so is the volume of cannabis seized by police internationally. Global demand is increasing fast. What’s interesting as well is that in the past decade cannabis use is growing faster than the use of cocaine and opiates. What I can’t get over is the ignorance and stubbornness of government not wanting to deal with the issue in a much more appropriately way. I believe what’s concerning at this very time domestically, is that hard drugs have become cheaper and much more available because of the hard stance on marijuana, and the serious question is why aren’t we making more arrests on hard drugs? I find that rather strange? The faster we open it up the faster we get to clearly understand the issue and how best to deal with it. Like tobacco, alcohol, and kava, government stands to receive the much needed tax revenue. Again I say, marijuana is no different from tobacco, alcohol, and kava. I believe they all do exactly the same thing, in that they alter the state of the mind. It makes no sense at all legalising three and not the other. As Richard mentioned, if government don’t care, it’s time we start. Here’s a clear message to all political parties, include the legalisation of marijuana in your mandate and you stand a great chance of finding success at the 2022 elections, seriously! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Marijuana market

THE revelation that marijuana valued at $321 million was seized last year should not raise any eyebrow. Despite so many seizures the planting has not ceased and will never cease. Because of the growing demand. We now have to accept that we have lost the battle to combat this illicit trade. Like it or not I believe drugs are here to stay. There are many who have thrived from this trade and are enjoying their ill-gotten money. I believe that day is not too far away when we will have to legalise recreational drugs like some states in Australia. It cannot be denied that our economy also benefits directly or indirectly from the drug business. Hypothetically, say if 20 per cent of this quantity slips undetected and ends up in the market you are looking at $64 million in black market trade, a chunk of which eventually flows back into the formal economy. Black money is not kept in the bank but spent on goods and services. As such it is also contributing to our GDP and supporting the livelihood of many families. I am not saying it’s a good thing but one cannot ignore the positive effect of it. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

PM for a day

What would you do if you were made PM for a day? Kirti Patel Lautoka

Bragging rights

The winner of the Champion versus Champion series receives the bragging rights for being the undisputed champions of Fiji soccer. Labasa recently retained the title, but strangely, I believe they have never taken part in the OFC Champions League. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Fiji Airways loan

Just a simple layman’s question. As taxpayers, is the Government of Fiji still paying the $38 million loan per month on Fiji Airways leased planes? As a Fijian, I have the right to demand for a simple answer. Yes, or no? Jioji M Cakacaka Votualevu, Nadi

Contract irony

The honourable Speaker described the former secretary general to Parliament as resilient, disciplined and visionary, citing she was instrumental in the re-establishment of Parliament in 2014, during her farewell lunch. (FT 23/4) Yet no one found it fitting to renew the contract of such an exemplary worker. Dan Urai Lautoka

Today’s thought

The Fiji Times’ (23/2) Today’s thought: No man is good enough to govern another man without the others consent — Abraham Lincoln. Wonder if the Myanmar military rulers are aware of that? Not that they care too much about obtaining anybody’s consent in imposing their rule on the people of Myanmar. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Bicycle lane

I went to check on the bicycle lane in Nasinu. I tread on it from Nausori roundabout ending up at the front of Bhawani Dayal Arya College. I didn’t pass or saw any other bicycle on both lanes, but it was a good sweat. Come on momo Allen, this present government walks the talk and they don’t believe in making noise inside that hot aluminum pot. Se vacava Mr Climate Change champion! AREKI DAWAI Suva

10 out of 10

The Opposition parties, I believe, get 10 out of 10 for being totally useless. Jan Nissar NSW, Australia


I believe the honourable PM may have run out of things to say. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

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