Letters to the Editor – Monday, May 20, 2019

Nadroga rugby players in action during a Skipper Cup match at Lawaqa Park. Picture: FT FILE

Stallions end Highlanders winning run

The Stallions ended Naitasiri’s unbeaten run in the Skipper Cup and now that the traditional giants of Fiji have found their winning rhythm, momentum and attacking flair, it’s going to take a mountain for the other teams to defeat the Stallions.

Radrodro, Nasilasila and Vucago showed their class and composure as the hosts recorded another bonus point win.

Wananavu and hakwa Nadroga!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Religion and culture

We believe that the same God exists in all religions.

I believe every religion teaches us to have respect and treat all equally.

I think every religion teaches us to let all remain in his or her own religion and let him or her realise the brotherhood of all religion and let all religions co-exist together in this world peacefully.

Fortunately or unfortunately some people do convert to other religion because of their belief and desire to do so.

Of course deciding to join another religion is deeply a personal choice but I think decision making is quite hard.

Changing the religion means you are abandoning one and owning another.

You are simply leaving a culture and adopting a new one.

As long as people have conviction and live happily, no religion and culture is bad.

Let us all commit ourselves to leading a respected and faithful life.

Thank you.

Suresh Chand, Nadi

Our roads

I think Fiji roads are in a deplorable state because of the usage of substandard materials, not rain.

Rain is beyond our control.

I’d use this analogy.

In rainy weather, those who will rely on home-made paper umbrellas will suffer continually until they decide to budget and purchase umbrellas certified to repel rain.

Fiji’s long struggle to free itself from the shackles of road quality phobia seems endless.

When will the realisation settle in that the issue is quality?

We don’t visit the dentist with the same tooth problem every day for years.

We make a stand, consult and decide on the best course of action.

The same should apply to our roads.

Recurring road repairs has been a massive waste of resources.

From our years of frustration, this point should be crystal clear.

Unless, just like sevens rugby, the sorry state of the roads are part of our normal Fijian lives.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Lest we forget

I am extremely grateful to Professor Brij Lal and The Fiji Times for his article ‘Madness in May’ in Saturday’s edition (18/5), recalling the events of 14th May 1987, a date I can never pass by without deep sadness.

Now, there are increasingly few of us who were there and have our stories to tell of where we were, how we heard, our disbelief, and our sinking feeling when we realised that the rumours were true, and how we struggled to get through the next few weeks.

Fourteenth May Eighty Seven was the day we in Fiji lost our democracy, infant though it was at that time.

That loss made some of us come to realise the importance of human rights, good governance and multi-culturalism, and set us to strive to regain what was lost and build a better Fiji.

The struggle continues today as we witness Shamima Ali challenging the status quo.

That madness in May needs to be remembered.

In the same paper there was a letter that brought back better memories, from Arvind Mani, describing the sort of childhood enjoyed by those born between 1940 and 1970.

Actually, I was a mid-thirties baby but I also grew up running barefoot through the grass, bush, forest and mud, playing games that stretched our imagination, and probably stretched our mothers’ patience as she faced the subsequent pile of laundry to be done by hand!

When the weather was bad we made up games in the house round the furniture, even knowing that we had to tidy and clean up afterwards.

We helped dig and weed in the vegetable patch, harvested the fruit from the trees, searched for the chickens’ eggs, ran errands to the local shop.

Was this really child labour?

We had fresh food, good exercise and grew up strong and healthy.

Now technology and fastfood make the environment for children entirely different and it seems they grow up far less strong and healthy than us.

Do they understand when we talk of the past?

Do they want to hear?

They seem to live in the present.

If they face the future without care for the past, where will they find the lessons to be learned from the good and the bad that has gone before?

Tessa McKenzie, Suva

Future stars

Did I spot a future Waisale Serevi, William Ryder or Semi Radradra of Indian descent in the Stella Maris under-11 Kaji rugby team (FT 19/05)?

A rare venture into uncharted territories by this smiling youngster among his iTaukei friends is admirable.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Ruling party

In the 2014 election, the ruling party won majority of the seats.

2018 elections they lost the most seats but are ruling with a two-seat majority.

I believe 2022 elections is therefore predictable.

The thought that we do away with the opposition is not a bright one as the current ruling party may make good opposition in future.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Media awards

RNZ’s Phil Pennington won the Reporter of the Year award at the Voyager Media Awards 2019 for doing reports that did not go chasing headlines but served the public good (FT 19/05).

That’s what good journalism is meant to do.

The more challenging test is to undertake that kind of journalism in a politically hostile media environment.

The Fiji Times has met that challenge admirably in post-coup Fiji.

We can’t say the same for some other media mob in Fiji.

Rajend Naidu, Chiang Mai, Thailand

$US2b payout

In a recent California court case, Monsanto was ordered to pay more than $US2 billion ($F4.31b) in damages to a couple who sued on grounds that the weedkiller Roundup caused their cancer.

The award was the latest in a series of court defeats for Monsanto over their glysophate based product.

Incidentally, this is the same type of weedkiller which is widely used here in Fiji.

It is time now for our government to ban this product and give our doctors a break as they tackle the rising rates of cancer and kidney failure.

Gabriel Simpson, Rakiraki

Rain, roads

Travelling on roads in countries exposed to prolonged rain, sun and snow but remain intact, I ask myself why couldn’t Fiji’s government seek advice or assistance from such countries to help build its roads which give birth to potholes every time the heavens pour.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Madness in May

Professor Brij Lal is right in reminding us that we have not dealt honestly with the ‘Madness in May’ — the May 14 military coup of 1987 — and the subsequent coups that followed it ( FT 18/05 ).

Are we therefore vulnerable to repeating the mistakes of the past notwithstanding the claim that the 2006 coup was a coup to end the coup culture in Fiji?

Rajend Naidu, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Latui’s last ditch effort

I commend the Fijian Latui for the great character and fightback to defeat Kagifa Samoa in the Sugar City.

Nadroga warrior Ifereimi Tovilevu scored a beautiful try to deny Kagifa Samoa an upset win at Churchill Park.

While I commend the Latui’s off-loads and good teamwork, I’m worried about our boys’ discipline as John Stewart and Necani Waqadau were shown yellow cards.

On the other hand, the likes of Mawi, Dolokoto, Naulago, Voka, Mudu, Tagi, Stewart, Daveta, Waqatabu, Tuidraki, Dyer, Tovilevu and Veitayaki stood out with a scintillating performance.

Vinaka vakalevu Seruvakula and the Latui for a great start and all the best for the ultimate test against the Western Force!

Toso Viti!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Sugar decline

A rather vague statement by Dan Urai regarding the sugar industry (FT19/05).

He seems to be implying that the problems faced in the industry is the fault of the FijiFirst Government.

It just confirms that he lacks the knowledge and understanding of the issues at hand, and instead of discriminating the ruling party, why not offer some solutions.

The sugar industry, Dan, is where it is today because of several factors, none of which were caused by the FijiFirst Government.

It sure seems like you are clueless with regards to this!

I will need at least two pages of the daily to explain to you but then again I suggest you research for yourself so that you get a clear understanding of why the industry is where it is today.

It’s not an industry where you just collect members dues to pay yourself!

It requires much more significant work in having enough leased land and workers to cultivate and harvest the sugar cane, transport it to the mills, process it into sugar, negotiate the sale of the sugar, and transport it to the industrial clients.

The task is easier said than done and the work is undertaken at an industrial scale where you and I will be of no significance if we got involved.

Co-operation and understanding Dan!

Simon Hazelman, Rava Estate, Savusavu

White flour

Someone should do a study on how much white flour an average person in Fiji consumes in a year.

In America, an average person consumes about 133 pounds (60kg) of flour in their food per year and some may consume much more.

That is about 6kg per day.

Because of the high carbohydrate levels available in white flour, it is affecting our insulin level by elevating it when consumed.

And when we continue consuming it in large amounts it would lead to high insulin resistance which is the underlying cause of obesity.

Given the high number of people being diagnosed with diabetes in Fiji, perhaps our people should look at other ways of substituting it by consuming other low carbohydrate alternative such as coconut flour.

This is another way our coconut farmers and the Government could explore and having greater benefits from which is to get coconut flour to be processed by them locally instead of concentrating on producing pure coconut oil alone.

Etuate Uluinaceva, Papanui, Christchurch, NZ

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