Letters to the Editor | Friday, February 16, 2024

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Containers of drugs discovered by police at Maqalevu, Nadi. Picture: FIJI POLICE FORCE

Losing the drug battle

Reading through all the current news, views and stories, it appears to me that the police are losing the battle in investigating the large drug find.

My assumption is that for every 100 people netted during the investigations, the catch includes several high ranking police officers, politicians and of course drug lords.

In this scenario, why have the police not engaged senior retired people of their own or positively offer rewards or declare war on drugs?

What is the use of the views expressed by retired senior police officer Henry Brown and featuring him on the front page of The Fiji Times for two consecutive days?

Or showing the previous Acting COMPOL giving out certificates to someone.

Are they not good resources any more?

So the stumbling block in this drug case is the police.

I believe most of the top brass of the police establishment is incompetent in dealing independently with the involvement of high profile individuals.

They guard exhibits and their colleagues tamper with it.

How?

Isn’t this arrangement similar to Dracula being put in charge of the blood bank?

You and I know that tampered exhibits don’t have any legs in a court of law to convict anyone so if they can’t handle it, why don’t they deposit it at the military camp?

It does not look like the Acting COMPOL has the expertise to be in control at all as administratively he is junior to many others.

And by now the Minister for Home Affairs or his Acting COMPOL should be featuring regularly on TV similar to the appearances of the previous PS for Health Dr James Fong who subsequently became a household name.

Both these gentlemen should have been red hot and spewing fire by now.

Finally, who is going to emerge a hero in the drug case?

None, I suppose as we are fighting a losing battle.

Ajai Kumar, Nadi

Scary factor

Hard drugs have been a hot topic on social media these days after the recent drug bust in Nadi and Suva lately especially because of the magnitude of the meth being seized from various locations.

Former assistant police commissioner Henry Brown said it’s “scary” and he further stated that “this is a different beast” (FT 15/02).

Pondering on what Mr Brown said, I believe, the Government, religious institutions and the vanua should be concerned.

Hard questions need to be asked, especially considering the direction we are taking as a country whether we are moving in the right direction or not.

For I am adamant that if we are moving in the right direction as a country, our government, our churches and our vanua, such problems of drugs, violence, abuse to name a few wouldn’t be surfacing as we witness today which is indeed “scary”.

Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Uphill battle

I agree with the former assistant commissioner of police Henry Brown that war on drugs is an uphill battle.

He described the discovery as scary.

The rate at which people are caught with meth is alarming and I fear this meth ending up in innocent hands.

The fear, that our children are used as drug peddlers, is real and must be addressed.

Honourable Lynda Tabuya summed it aptly that children should not be used for the purpose of adults benefitting at all and that children need to be protected from harmful drugs.

It’s time to introduce harsher penalties on those who are caught with drugs and those who use children as drug peddlers.

As a nation, we must join hands to fight the uphill battle.

The battle against drugs is getting bigger and scarier and our police officers need everyone’s support and commitment.

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Influential person

My wife is a volunteer at a local charity.

She works two days a week and loves what she does.

And the interaction she has with the other volunteers is really something she enjoys.

She was sharing a story with me about one of the volunteers who’s 88.

This volunteer does line dancing as well as her charitable work.

And she’s fit and sprightly.

According to my wife this amazing lady doesn’t look her age.

And when my wife asked what her secret was, she casually said that we just need to keep moving and enjoying each and every moment of our lives with those we love.

Man, I’m looking forward to meeting this lady one day soon because she’s such an inspiration.

Reminds me of Tessa Mackenzie.

Although we’ve never met I get a tremendous amount of inspiration from you Tessa.

Thank you for your insights and enlightening wisdom.

Colin Deoki, Australia

Volunteer allowances

The Fiji Times article on increase in volunteer allowances for graduates is encouraging.

This will give them a boost for opportunities in the global job market.

The Minister for Work Productivity and Industrial Relations, Agni Deo Singh, has a wealth of experience with Fiji Teachers Confederation Solidarity Support to address the volunteer scheme.

The members and the graduates were considered into the job market.

I still recall the strong worded banner displayed in the protest march “Ali – your boxing days are over”.

The young graduates aspiring to get into the job market should keep updating their qualifications for the progress of the nation with secured jobs.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Tahir Ali, Hamilton, New Zealand

Nuclear waste water

IT’S good to hear that it’s all good thus far on the effects of the nuclear waste water released from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

So says the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

They also reiterated that plants from other nations had been doing the same for a number of years now.

Perhaps, we need to wait another few more years, before we really begin to see any of its negative effects on Pacific Island people.

Hopefully, there is none, as the quantum according to the science, may be too small and ineffective.

We can only hope, for all our sakes!

Edward Blakelock, Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

New Navo bridge

The opening of the new Navo Bridge is being held back since its completion last year.

I believe it was opened for a brief period then closed sine die.

The old bridge is wearing out whereby driving on it may no longer be safe.

The bridge has sustained enough weight and pressure to a point where it now needs full time rest.

If the new bridge has been fully constructed then I believe it should be opened for use unless there is valid reason not to do so.

Long queues are seen building up every day because traffic through the old bridge has to go slowly.

Drivers are cautious of the condition of the dilapidated and aging bridge.

The public deserves to know what is holding the bridge from opening for service.

I really feel pity for the travellers who are caught in the traffic jam which is not of their making.

Suresh Chand, Nadi

Overdue grievance

Company resolves 17-year grievance!

I mean, does it take almost two decades, over four government eras and a whole new generation to find the answer?

Seriously Fiji we really need to get our act together!

Noleen Billings, Savusavu

FNPF pensions

Mohan Lal on paying those surviving pensioners their deserving dues as highlighted in The Fiji Times (14/2) should be honoured as FNPF secures our future.

It’s never too late for those still living, but too late for those who are resting in peace.

Pensions should be paid justifiably for peaceful living.

Tahir Ali, Hamliton, New Zealand

Political starrer

I read somewhere that Bollywood director Ravi Chopra is in the country trying to stitch up a movie deal.

Mr Chopra, if you’re still in Fiji when this letter is published, please seriously consider making a movie on Fiji’s political scene.

You may use some other name for Fiji and change all names.

The important part: I’ll play main villain, whoever it is, but I won’t die in the end.

That’s if you can figure out the end!

Meanwhile, sir, enjoy our unique and wonderful country.

Donald Singh, Suva

Pancake race

If we ever have a pancake race here like they do in England and other countries (FT 15 /02), where the ladies sprint 400 metres through the streets with their frying pans filled with pancakes, our version should be to sprint and not taubale, with a pot of topoi se purini, or just a frying pan filled with babakau!

Edward Blakelock, Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Vunisea morgue

The Vunisea Hospital morgue hasn’t been in operation for two years, as stated by the Kadavu Special Administrator.

And anyone who needed more than two days for a funeral gathering, has to have appropriate financial means.

It is sad, in my view, for a public government medical facility, to be ignored within such a period.

The scenario simply depicts total irresponsibility, from the government’s end.

Whatever the issue was, it is immaterial, the people of Kadavu are suffering financially and emotionally.

Samu Silatolu, Nakasi

Drua academy

Refer to FT15/02/24 and reading the sports page titled Drua academy, the first thing that enters my mind was, that my dream of the Web Ellis trophy one day gracing our shores, looks brighter.

Way to go to Fiji rugby.

For Fiji ever Fiji.

S. Vuniwaqa, Nadera

Mad drivers

Almost daily we read about another accident.

Recently a friend, in avoiding a car heading towards him, ended up in the ditch.

The police, however, charged him with dangerous driving!

It seems, according to statistics released, most accidents were caused by speeding, overtaking around bends, drink driving, falling asleep and using mobile phones.

These are among the 18 to 40-year-olds, if I remember correctly.

It’s alarming.

And it’s mostly young drivers.

To feel the speed.

Whenever I am on the road keeping within the speed limit, hosts of cars continue to overtake me on the double highway outside Nadi, including buses.

How to curb these drivers?

Use demerit points, take away their licences, ban them for a certain time?

To me it seems the root cause might be right at the beginning when a person begins to learn to drive.

Did the instructor just teach the techniques of driving, how to use clutch and brakes, how to steer the wheel and the road rules?

Do they teach attitude, defensive driving, showing courtesy?

Hope they do.

Should LTA have a closer look at the driving schools where most of the students learn to drive?

What about speed cameras?

Do we have enough of them?

It was good the other day to see a motorcycle policeman booking drivers near the airport.

There should be more of them.

Norman Yee, Martintar, Nadi

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