Letters to the Editor | Friday, June 2, 2023

Fiji Times sports reporter Paulini Curuqara (holding framed photo) with fellow newsroom staff during her farewell in Suva yesterday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

A legacy is set

While calling it a day, The Fiji Times sports reporter Paulini Curuqara set a legacy. Having spent valuable time with the Sports department and covering sporting events Paulini earned accolades for the work that she did. She described her journey as amazing with some amazing people (FT: 01/06). That’s the beauty about the team at the trusted brand! She added emotion to her speech, “I grew as a human being working for this company and I thank the Lord for giving me an opportunity to work with some amazing people.” Paulini did a lot of fantastic reports on sports like rugby and football, being a female. The Fiji Times editor-in-chief Fred Wesley acknowledged Paulini’s contribution and wished her well in her future endeavours. As an ardent sports news reader, I’ll miss Paulini’s contributions. I thank her for her steadfastness and for being a great news reporter. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Coup frontman

‘Perhaps releasing 2000 coup frontman Ilikini Naitini, aka George Speight back into civilian life will be a blessing in disguise. Yes TD, the perpetrators behind the brutal overthrow of the democratically-elected People’s Coalition Government, including those elite business tycoons and tax evaders who purportedly bankrolled the 2000 rebellion must be praying the hardest that Speight remains incarcerated. Who knows, the reformed George may just let the cat out of the bag once absolved. Meow! Nishant Singh Lautoka

Children spitting

I was waiting at the lights in Samabula and couldn’t help but notice a group of senior primary school children from the school located close-by who were all out on the playing field spitting madly. They had been brushing their teeth. Their teachers should have directed them to spit out into a wash basin. Not only was it an ugly sight and very unhealthy, it is a fineable offence as stated in the Minor Offences Act 1971. How can we expect our children to know any better if teachers cannot guide them in the ways of correct behaviour? Julie Sutherland Tamavua, Suva

National debt

I remember the Deputy PM and Minister of Economy harping about the Bainimarama-led government for taking the national debt to unanticipated levels, leaving every Fijian a burden with about $10,000 debt around May, 2022. Can the Minister of Economy issue a press release on the current status of our national economy, if we are doing okay or are we making progress at all in paying our debt, because we hardly hear any updates since the National Economy Summit was held? It seems everything died down after the summit. Jioji M Cakacaka Carerrass, Votualevu, Nadi

Police method

The Fiji Police Force is reportedly testing a new method to manage traffic congestion during peak hours. I would say to the director of operations, SSP Kasiano Vusonilawe that, sir, it seems your new method of managing traffic from disposal ends is working. I guess you will find that perfection you are seeking very soon. Success on your end will enable road maintenance crews to work more efficiently. Donald Singh Suva

Excuse culture

It pains me to see a growing excuse culture in businesses. The other newspaper has become notorious for not often publishing puzzles and comic strips with a mere statement saying: “There is no… today because it was not made readily available yesterday for publishing”. Surely it is not the reader’s responsibility to procure the strips in time for publishing — it is the newspaper’s! The reader on the other hand is being shortchanged by being made to pay the full price for a paper that doesn’t contain the puzzles/comics s/he may be buying the newspaper for. At least the paper must put out a front-page headline banner declaring that the day’s paper does not contain a particular puzzle or comic strip. That would be the honourable thing to do instead of playing victim. What are Consumer Council and FCCC doing about such things? Inoke Vakalabure Yasiyasi Rd, Nadera

Decision time

More than $600 million accumulated in educational debts from the FFP government will be written off by our brave Coalition Government replacing it with a new system and vinaka vakalevu for the foresight which will definitely make our past Fijian students very happy and elated since its introduction in 2013 as it will alleviate their hardship of repaying their TELS scholarships. It is also heartening to note that PM Rabuka is keeping his side of the bargain with his Coalition Government partners. Freed and pardoned were three former prisoners last month who have spent 20 years in prison and now I believe Naitasiri chief Ratu Inoke Takiveikata may follow very soon and is great news. How about as a suggestion to please release all those that have spent more than 20 years of incarceration as it is such a waste for a small country like ours, bravo Coalition Government and its leadership. TUKAI LAGONILAKEBA Nadi

Getting fit

WHY do civil servants get a Wednesday afternoon off every week for their Wellness Program? Where did that come from and how is that supposed to advance their reason-forbeing in serving the public when they are out there playing sports etc? I think it should be done away with because as it is we have a lot of public holidays and these types of programs are prone to abuse by some civil servants who will opt out of the sports and going straight home. Why should the public subsidise their get fit programs? That ought to be their own consideration. MAREKO VULI DELAIDOGO SETTLEMENT WAINIBUKU RD

Fijian Drua

For a second year team in the big league of Super Pacific Rugby, the Fijian Drua has defied all odds. With the last game, a decider for a spot in the preliminary finals, we have our destiny in our own hands. A win with a bonus point and with other results going our way, we might just get into the preliminary finals and create history. Communication is key. Coach Byrne has given his approval for the quick taps on penalties awarded the Drua. However, most of the players are not reactive in the moment and concede reverse penalties. In this aspect of the game the Drua can do a lot better and be there for each other. A victory on the day is very possible and doable. Back in the old days, a Fijian team used to provide warm-up matches at Fiji’s National Stadium then, against the Brumbies, Waratahs and Queensland Reds before the Super Rugby season began. The Fijian team would defeat all three teams on occasions and in one particular victory, a media article read – “….we were defeated by 14 backs and 1 fullback!” Only a Fijian team can repeat this statement. Fijian Drua, you got this! Epeli Rabua Ragg Avenue, Tamavua, Suva

Young minds

In today’s world, it’s the global trend that excessive phone use can lead to depression and poor school performance, but building academic confidence can forge healthier habits. But one question arises, how to help students resist their phones and develop better digital habits The fact that students have access to anything they want to learn in an instant is truly a miracle. Yet, we can’t ignore the fact that this miracle has a dark side. This means that parents and teachers need to help kids integrate technology usage into their study routines, instead of seeing tech as the enemy of academic success. The long-standing interest of professional educators in cultivating study skills (as far back as the 1930s) gives us a good foundation for setting kids up for the school year with a tech toolkit that complements what we know about effective learning. Technology use is ubiquitous. Our students are immersed in a technological world, and we need to learn ways to control the use of phones in class. However, banning cell phones from classrooms can backfire, but teachers can help students think critically about this addictive technology. The old paradigm of banning phones doesn’t work — it just leads to more behavioral challenges in our classroom. Instead, there are some ideas for how to readjust our thinking about cell phones in the classroom. Indar Deo Bisun Sakoca Heights, Tamavua, Suva

Hair cut

Just from the mention of the name, do you think the Speight cut is about to make a grand return? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Speight pardon

So the 2000 coup leader George Speight has applied to the Mercy Commission for a Presidential Pardon (FT 31/5). According to the A-G a decision is expected to be made in a month’s time. It’s the President’s prerogative to grant or not to grant the pardon. I had this intuition that something was cooking when forgiveness was sought during the Girmit celebration for the events of 1987 and 2000. Be that as it may, George has already served more than 20 years in prison whereas others who have committed similar offence were granted immunity from prosecution. Is justice finally being done? SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Road signs

I feel the concerned authorities should consider putting road signs on the roads that are full of pot holes. “Pot holes ahead-Drive with care.” This may be a way to prevent the preventable road accidents. Following road safety rules with common sense is a way to stay safe on roads. Road safety is life safety. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Magnificent 11

Kudos on the appointment of new permanent secretaries to their respective and challenging roles. Despite the debatable racial imbalance, (with only one beaming Indo-Fijian in the lineup), I am positive that the “magnificent 11” will carry out their responsibilities in a resourceful manner. Just like the Bollywood “nepo” star kids, I wonder if cronyism also played a pivotal role in the PS selection process. Nishant Singh Lautoka

Fiji soccer

Kiran Kapadia is right (FT 1/6). It is time for heads to roll on account of the “pathetic effort” of the Fiji soccer side at the U-20 meet. Yes, “current officials should do the honourable thing and resign”. But have Fiji FA officials ever done that! One thing we notice is it’s usual for national soccer officials to vegetate in their positions for decades, regardless of the status of Fiji soccer. I believe that trend will continue. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia


Ever wondered why we learn or attempt to learn stuff in school which we never utilise in our entire lives? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Online banking

Can online banking be introduced to our senior citizens? We should have done this long ago. It’s always hard to travel to town and stand in waiting lines. One senior citizen in his 70s told me while I was dropping him off home: “My legs and head are sore.” Navneet Ram Lautoka

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