Letters to the Editor – Saturday, February 27, 2021

Emele Vakavuvu at the FNU nasinu cmpus. Picture: Supplied

Making a move

Rakesh Kumar’s article titled “Making a move for the better” (FT 26/02) was quite inspirational and motivational as our secondary school students eye tertiary studies.

In the article, Rakesh ran the story of 19-year-old Emele Vakavuvu who had to make a difficult, but important decision to step out of her comfort zone to pursue a career in the teaching profession.

Ms Vakavuvu, who left her parents behind on Taveuni, will be pursuing tertiary studies at FNU in the Bachelor of Education (Secondary) majoring in English and geography.

It was not an easy move, but she had to take it in order to achieve qualification as a teacher.

I was touched by the enormous amount of respect that Emele had for teachers who make a difference in the lives of students.

Thank you so much Emele, and all the best in your endeavours!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

COVID-19 and accidents

What would happen if a vehicle transporting a confirmed COVID-19 case (infected person) from quarantine centres in Nadi to the isolation centre at Lautoka Hospital is involved in an accident?

How will the situation be dealt with?

How will we ensure that the health of passing passengers and those in nearby vehicles is protected?

All in all, a tricky question but one worth considering.

Floyd Robinson, Toorak, Suva

Prefects’ induction

I noticed that some schools get the parent of the student chosen to be prefect to badge their own child.

Isn’t that just wonderful?

It gives more importance to the occasion and especially to the child.

Thank you to the schools that do this.

And may I just add that schools invite former students to be chief guest instead of government ministers.

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Lautoka

Verbal gymnastics

Ashwin Raj the director of Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission can engage in as much verbal gymnastics as he fancies (FT 25/2), but his critics have a good grasp of where he is coming from in his feeble response to the arbitrary and undignified deportation of the USP VC Professor Pal Ahluwalia.

Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Unused bicycle lanes

I totally agree with the regular letter writer Areki Dawai that he had used the state-of-the-art bicycle lane from Nausori roundabout up to 9 miles without seeing a soul on a bicycle.

The reason can be that simply we do not have a pedal cycling culture as in the 70s probably because of the hazardous road condition and the attitudes of some of the drivers that have made our roads dangerous.

Building infrastructures such as the bicycle lanes and only hope in the pipedreams that it will be used will never eventuate unless Fiji’s climate change champion takes the starring role and leads by example, disseminating such health benefits to the public by riding every Saturday with his colleagues on the unused bicycle tracks.

They are the role models for the country and I believe that many will try to imitate the beneficiary exercise with the view to engage in the new paradigm shift.

But, please remember to have a reflector vest, hard hat and knee pads on for safety.

And, hey do not forget the mouthguards as there is a very good chance that you may collide with one of the many huge EFL pipe post that are still there in the middle of the cycling lane.

It would also be lovely if his entire team cycles to work once a week which will make the media go berserk to mark a new beginning of a craze for healthy lifestyle and environment emission reduction.

Satish Nakched, Suva

Actual rights

Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director Ashwin Raj is looking into the contractual agreements and policies of Professor Pal Ahluwalia rather than investigating the actual matter which is the breach of human rights.

I fail to understand what “authorities” he is referring to when he mentioned “awaiting the pending investigation from relevant authorities”.

Is he pulling down the “iron curtain” when the pressure falls on him?

Raynav Chand, Nakasi


When will people learn that whenever you align yourself with Rabuka, there is trouble for you?

I think the heads of those right-wing SODELPA members of Parliament including the Leader of the Opposition must be spinning like a washing machine.

They must feel caught between a rock and a hard place now they have found out what the rules are with being disloyal to your existing party.

Jan Nissar, NSW, Australia

State resources

I found the statement, “The use of state resources should be prohibited during campaigns”, by the Electoral Commission chairman Suresh Chandra so interesting that I could not stop smiling!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Universal values

When showing support for universal values, I think the stance should be uniform.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Rugby finance

After watching the second Fiji rugby 7s series last weekend, I believe teams that are better financed with proper training facilities performed better.

Hence, the grouping of teams into tier one and tier two will emerge as the series progresses.

This is an area Fiji Rugby Union should look into.

Do not be like those clowns at World Rugby.

Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

Endless curfew

There are some fairytales which are no longer practical for our children.

For example, how can they comprehend that Cinderella was out at a party until midnight?

Sigh, this endless curfew is making children’s stories obsolete.

Kiran Khatri, Samabula, Suva

No coconuts

As we all know, palusami is a dish of wrapped layers of rourou leaves with a filling of thick coconut cream and onions.

Open a locally produced can palusami, you’d think there are no coconuts in Fiji because it contains only plain rourou.

Hence, they should change the product name from “palusami” to rourou vakarakara.

Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

PM for a day

If I become the above for a day I will decrease the interest rate to 4.75 per cent fixed!

Sharif Shah, Savusavu

To beard or not to beard

I believe all secondary schools should implement one invariant approach regarding students fashioning a beard (fijivillage.com).

No exceptions.

To beard or not to beard, that’s the question.

Madam Rosy ji?

Nishant Singh, Lautoka

Wake up Fiji

How much longer will our learned powers in authority, in the name of COVID-19 pandemic allow our badly dented economy to destructively contract even further?

Our huge investments in Fiji tourism can no longer sustain further daily losses.

All our brave local stakeholders are suffering intolerable economic hardship.

Fiji cannot continue to have and eat its insatiable proverbial “humble pie”.

Cool, calm, responsible, collective and astute brains trust are desperately needed now to restart the crippled economy, post haste.

This is no longer a laughing matter.

Wake up, Fiji.

While the once vibrant Fiji tourism industry silently continues its downward spiral, trajectory and “death throes” thousands of civil servants and all their executives enjoy their fortnightly pay packets, unheeded.

The once vibrant tourism industry and backbone of the national economy and 40 per cent of GDP, is effectively 99.9 per cent dead. Is this fair and just?

I think not.

Sustenance and survival now are key words.

No less.

Ronnie Chang, Martintar, Nadi

Waiting for facts

Arvind Mani’s letter rang true (FT 24/2) on the waiting for facts by the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission on the deportation of Professor Pal Ahluwalia and his wife.

A commission implies more than one person.

It is not or should not be a one person operation.

Where is the team to support the investigation?

At the least, the public need to be updated.

We have waited too long.

It sounds like Mr Mani must have seen eye to eye with his wife on this matter and there was no need for even a discussion else we would have read how he would need to appease her and console her and win her over with lavish gifts.

I missed hearing about this.

It’s a trademark of his letters.

I love the way he treats his wife like a goddess even though he may fear her at times.

I just hope everything is OK?

Julie Sutherland, Tamavua, Suva

Kaiviti Silktails win hearts

The Kaiviti Silktails won hearts in Australia as they thanked the Lord and the hardworking staff members of the hotel to celebrate the end of their 14-day isolation period in quarantine.

Their actions received praises and accolades.

Split across three floors of the hotel, the 28-member team and five officials serenaded the staff members and police officers with three well-known spirituals which were so lively that staff from the high rise buildings across came out to watch, and wave and so did those who were walking on the roadside.

Such a gesture has raised the profile of the Kaiviti Silktails, and they have won fame and fans, and they are set to receive a positive response as they prepare to take part in the Ron Massey Cup competition.

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Reality check

A reality check

A matter of clarification

To find the cause of the wreck

As pressure is above the neck

But a reality check

of life and relationships

of values and principles

of goals and targets

of one’s position and place

of methods and strategies

of assessing the situation

of what is really happening

of confronting the facts

of predicting the future

Reality check showing the way

As it cleared the misperceptions

But thankful for this wreck

As it resulted in a reality check


Dreams unlimited

Dreamers in wander lands

Roaming freely without restrictions

Intoxicated in freedom

Craving for experiences to enjoy

To experience thrilling adventures

Wanting to escape to surprises

Relaxing and enjoying

Feeling joyfulness and exhilaration

Feeling positive and hopeful

The pleasure of exploits and excursions

Everything filled with happiness

Embracing euphoria and celebration

Soaring above imaginations

Dreaming of fulfilling and achieving

Unlocking dreams unlimited


Rollerblading units

Could rollerblading units be an answer to strengthening the efforts of our police officers?

Well, for now, police in Karachi, Pakistan have deployed rollerblading units on the street to curb crime.

In situations when a lack of transportation delays the response of our officers to crime scenes and serious issues, rollerblade officers may be the answer.

In addition, the deployment of rollerblade officers is likely to catch offenders by surprise as they would arrive without the sirens and flashing lights. Given the increasing traffic problem across major towns and cities, the rollerblade officers could easily make their way through traffic jam.

All in all, this may be an option worth pursuing.

Floyd Robinson Toorak, Suva

Super Rugby Aotearoa

This is the second edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa, and there will be 20 round-robin matches with each team playing each other twice on a home and away basis.

However, unlike last season, the 2021 season will include the addition of a one versus two final to decide the champion.

The mighty Crusaders are the defending champs after finishing first at the end of last year’s round-robin tournament, six points ahead of the Blues.

Fans will recall that the Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy is called Tu Kotahi Aotearoa (Stand As One New Zealand), and was created by Wellington carver Bill Doyle.

Each team will have four home matches and two byes with the final between the top two qualifying teams, and I’m adamant that the 2021 season would build on the excitement generated by the first edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Super Rugby Aotearoa fans saw how exciting the home and away format was last year, and with the availability of the All Blacks locked in for round one, there are going to be fireworks from the opening whistle.

Last night, the Highlanders hosted the defending champs at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, while tonight the Hurricanes will host the Blues at the Sky Stadium.

Wishing the super powers and our Fijian boys all the best for the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Wanted list

A centre page “wanted and bench warrant list” is published every Monday in the Fiji Sun.

It appears that some pictures have found a permanent place in the newspaper.

In this regards, I offer the following suggestions to the relevant authorities;  Publish the list in both newspapers (Fiji Sun and The Fiji Times) for a wider coverage and value-adding.

Presently those who do not read the Fiji Sun are not privy to the list.

 Print statistics of additions and deletions on a monthly basis so people can see progress

 Offer a reward relevant to the crime for each wanted person in the list for information leading to a successful arrest.

Since a lot of people are unemployed, I am sure they would look around hard and earn some money.

 Send pictures on mobiles on a regular basis so people are constantly reminded to be vigilant and report if they see a face matching with those on the wanted list.

Ajai Kumar, Nadi

Mangroves can make money

I am trying to make sense out of the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Joshua Wycliffe’s comment when he said and I quote “Mangroves can make money”. (FT 25/02)

How can mangroves make money, do they grow it?

I do not understand.

He further highlighted that mangroves were invaluable for their primitive properties for coastal areas like acting as wind and wave breakers, a pollutant filtrations system stopping coastal erosion, providing a habitat for marine life and bolstering food security. (FT 25/02)

If mangroves are invaluable how can you put money value to it?

Furthermore, if mangroves have pivotal roles, as mentioned above by Mr Wycliffe, why then the government of the day is allowing some developments to take place around Fiji which are damaging the mangrove swamps?

I am beginning to notice that there seemed to be a lot of inconsistencies by our government with regard to what is said and what is done.

Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Wounded Tiger

Golfing great Tiger Woods, was rushed to hospital mid-week after being involved in a car crash in the United States.

It came to me as a shock and I quickly searched up if he was conscious after the crash, luckily he was, and he even answered questions by the local sheriffs.

Well wishes flowed throughout the week for Woods, who is regarded as the greatest golfer of all time by many.

He underwent immediate surgery and has suffered multiple fractures to his legs and upper back.

It was a single car crash and the main cause, I believe, was speeding by Woods.

I am glad he is alive but what a lesson for the people: do not speed!

Hoping for a speedy recovery for the wounded Tiger.

Raynav Chand, Nakasi

Zone battle

I commend Waisale Koroiwasa, Noa Biudole, Jonacani Lalakobau and The Fiji Times for the extensive coverage of the Nabua Secondary School and Suva Sangam’s inter-house athletics meet.

These two schools are small in athletics compared with the big names – Marist, Grammar, RKS, QVS, Lelean and Natabua, but I was impressed with the level of commitment and dedication shown by the athletes.

While there were some athletes who were preparing for the zone meet, some took part because they wanted to participate and share the sporting spirit.

Hats off to these athletes for taking part, and putting pressure on those who are aiming for medals at the zonal meet.

Our photographer Jo captured a beautiful click of Nabua Secondary School student William Raiwalui as he competed in the intermediate boys long jump event (FT: 26/02), while Noa and Wise, as he is fondly known in the sports circle, did a good coverage.

I compliment The Fiji Times for covering the small schools, and for bringing delight to the students as they see their pictures in the most widely read newspaper and the trusted brand.

Good on you The Fiji Times!


Nawaka 7s battle

One of Fiji’s biggest 7s tournaments kicked off yesterday at Prince Charles Park with 90 teams taking part.

The 34th edition of the Nawaka 7s attracted a huge crowd and fans were entertained to exciting 7s rugby on day one of pool games.

Today, teams will battle for the $40,000 which is on offer in the two-day tournament.

Nawaka Rugby Club executive Jeff Tamata shared this with reporter Zanzeer Singh (FT 26/02), “We want to grow rugby in this category and the only way we can do that is by increasing the number of teams.”

Furthermore, in order to spice up the tournament, consolation prizes will be up for grabs.

The prize purse of $40,000 and 50 cartons of beer is set to add the much-needed thrill and spill.

Paradise Beverages must be commended for partnering with organisers of the Nawaka 7s tournament to ensure the success of the Nawaka 7s.

As teams battle for supremacy, I wish the participating teams all the best!

I’m positive that we will unearth talents in the 2021 Nawaka 7s tournament!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Thick skin

I could not believe my eyes when the news content on TV (Fiji One 26/02) explained how the Australian government Immigration and Border Control Department was conducting training for their Fiji counterparts!

I must commend the Australian government for continuing its assistance without letting the unfortunate deportation of one of its distinguished citizens and academic and his wife, in the middle of the night, affect its stance on Fiji.

It seems that people grow really thick skins in politics.

Emosi Balei, Kini St, Suva

Best market

Is Suva the best market in the South Pacific on Saturdays?

Come to think of it, there is a diversity of market vendors selling a range of fruits, vegetables, spices and seafood.

I love the fact that seaweed like lumi and nama are abundant on Saturdays.

There is freshly cooked fish, octopus and many other seafoods available.

The wide selection of fruits, vegetables and root crops is amazing.

Another favourite of mine is the bu and pawpaws from Tailevu.

The selection of kava, species and nuts on level 1 is another attraction.

Even when the load becomes heavy, there are wheelbarrow boys available for a cheap price.

All in all, I am looking forward to glancing the Suva market on Saturday.

Floyd Robinson, Suva

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