Letters to the Editor | Friday, March 1, 2024

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Fiji Airways Fiji men’s 7s team in Vancouver. Picture: MARTIN SERAS LIMA

Failed style

PRESSURE is mounting on the failed Fiji Airways Fiji men’s 7s team. The barrage of criticism on social media must not be taken lightly, as former coaches and players have spoken against Ben Gollings and his style of coaching and mentoring the players including the role of the strength and conditioning coach. Fiji is the King of 7s. We have produced class 7s players who have made headlines. Ben Ryan and Gareth Baber set the winning standard and there is no reason why Gollings has failed to win a single title after 18 tournaments. He failed twice at So Kon Po, which is our happy hunting ground. The current squad can beat any team on game day, but I’m worried about the inconsistency in our performance. The string of losses hurt, and I fail to understand why Peter Mazey and the FRU board are pretending that all is well when they can see that the 7s team is taking a nosedive. We are lucky to be third on the overall points table because of the poor outing by Australia, South Africa, Samoa, and the All Blacks 7s. It’s a pity that we trail Argentina by 24 points and are level on 54 points with Ireland. With the Paris Olympics fast approaching, I’m worried about the gold medal defence. I believe Gollings can’t make it. He has run out of ideas and armoury. Under him, Fiji has lost its flair and style. Thank you Waisale Koroiwasa for sharing the opinion raised by former 7s icon Osea Kolinisau (FT 27/02). The piece makes sense! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Climate crisis and funding

I READ with caution the Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad’s comments at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Pacific high-level conference dinner in Nadi. Prof Biman said the climate crisis was the gravest threat, the gravest challenge to the security and wellbeing of Pacific societies and economy and the Pacific region has had a negative experience in accessing climate funds. (FT 28/02) I differ with the Minister of Finance on this matter, for I believe that the gravest threat, the gravest challenge to the security and wellbeing of the Pacific societies and economy is corruption and not climate crisis. In addition, accessing climate funds will never resolve the climate crisis, but would only exacerbate the level of corruption in our Pacific societies especially within the political realm. Before blaming the climate crisis as the grave threat in order to access climate funds, I believe our Pacific political leaders should first come to the realisation of the level of corruption within our politics in almost every country in the Pacific. I believe we need to instil hygiene in our politics first, for if we do so, we then can guarantee that the climate fund can be better utilised to people and communities who are exposed to the issue of climate crises. KOSITATINO TIKOMAIBOLATAGANE Navua

Peace through mutual respect

WITH all due respect, I contest ambassador Filipo Tarakinikini’s words to the International Court of Justice, asking the court, on behalf of the Government of Fiji, to decline to provide an advisory opinion. Ambassador Tarakinikini is reported as saying, “It is essential to maintain and uphold the legal framework agreed”. Cannot our Government see that this is exactly where the problem lies? There has been much visible evidence over recent years of Israel’s total disregard for the original legal framework laid out for the formation of the modern state of Israel. The constant encroachment into Palestinian territory by Jewish settlements has caused the development of frustration and is the reason for the rise of organisations such as Hamas. I agree with ambassador Tarakinikini that sustainable peace can only be built on mutual trust. At present this is, by all accounts in the media, totally lacking in this Israel-Palestinian dispute. The International Court of Justice is the only international organisation that is able to provide a legal opinion on which to build the required mutual trust. I kindly request everyone, of every faith and tradition, and whichever side you support, to pray earnestly to God for peace in the troubled Israeli-Palestinian region. TESSA MACKENZIE Suva

Thank you

THE newly-opened Navo bridge is making the difference travellers wanted to see in the sense of traffic flow. To an extent the jamming has eased and waiting time has narrowed down following the launch of the brand new bridge. Credit goes to the previous government for making it possible. At this juncture, noteworthy are some of the other landmark developments delivered for the tourist town of Nadi by the FijiFirst government; like the four-lane road from Martintar to Nadi Airport, the Navakai bypass, additional wing for Nadi market, a new market in Namaka, new police station to name a few which we, as the citizens of the town, must be appreciative of. We say a big thank you. This is how governments are supposed to work. Identify the problems and shortcomings and resolve them. Action speaks louder than words is true when the previous government’s name comes up. Planning is necessary but it is no good if no action follows. The present Government should shift its focus on attending to other more important and pressing issues rather than just holding talks round the country. As citizens, we want to see developments taking place and the country progressing. SURESH CHAND NADI

Houdini act

SELF-PROCLAIMED social media commentator and motor mouth is now a wanted soul after his sudden disappearance (FT 29/02). Kishore Kumar’s Houdinilike act certainly reminds me of that eminent Lautokabased human rights lawyer who also pulled off one of Fiji’s greatest escapes to avoid prison time in Fiji. I believe he later re-surfaced in Australia and taunted the influenced Fijian judiciary system, much to the embarrassment of the former FijiFirst regime. NISHANT SINGH LAUTOKA

Bad eggs

RECENTLY, I came across the country’s largest egg producer, (I think) delivering their eggs at a major Martintar, Nadi shopping complex. I was horrified to notice many big blow flies hovering at the back of their truck. This was very unsightly; most unhygienic. Was this the same egg producer who was pulled up recently for occupational health issues? Or, am I wrong? Familiarity, almost always breeds contempt. This truck was definitely not temperature controlled. In the heat and humidity, thousands of glad-wrapped trays of eggs will go off very quickly. Strangely, this producer/supplier does not pay any attention. At home, on several instances, we have come across bad eggs. Are we supposed to return bad eggs to our supermarkets? Answers please! This is a consumer council issue that must be pursued. Eggs must be transported in temperature controlled trucks. Compliance is an absolute necessity, in my view. RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Strategic plan

SEVENS rugby has very much changed now. All the teams in the world have adopted the free-flowing or stop-start rugby, coaches are analysing every game and changing tactics and the fitness level is the same. Look at Argentina, when they came into the arena. They really did well with their free-flowing rugby. It is really entertaining to watch them. Someone told me this was how the Fijians should be playing, but we changed and adopted the stop-start and committed game rather than running away from the tackler, moving the ball and running hard through holes and off-loading. I hope we will get the right players to execute coach Ben Gollings style of rugby. Yes, I agree we must give them time, but for how long? NAVNEET RAM Lautoka

The future of Nadi

BECAUSE of the short notice, I did not attend the recent meeting in Nadi regarding the “Future Strategic Development Planning Sessions”. Few things to include in the plan for Nadi. 1. There’s no need for another multi-million stadium in competition with Sigatoka and Lautoka. The scarce funds could be used to beautify Newtown Beach with a promenade with lovely flowering trees, etc since this is the tourist hub of Fiji. Some major construction has been planned for this area. 2. Nadi Town itself needs a face-lift. Do away with the dratted one-way system imposed on us by the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA). The townspeople have been complaining to no avail. Flooding occurs regularly in the bus stand and market areas. So the drains need to be fixed. 3. A four-lane road from Burger King direct to Nadi Town is a must. This will complete the four-lane system from the airport to town. Nadi, the best in the West. NORMAN YEE Martintar, Nadi

Is it possible

AFTER reading an online article about Navua residents living in fear because of drug dealings in their area, I asked myself a question, “Could the Fiji Police Force be the most corrupt public agency in the country?” Either an endemic corruption or a growing rampant culture of police ill-discipline. Isa! WISE MUAVONO Balawa, Lautoka

India trip

THE Sugar Minister and 14 sugarcane growers will be visiting India under the ITEC program, funded by the Indian Government. A “wise decision” in my view, as it will provide the “actuals” to observe, learn and return, with first-hand experience prior to sharing with respective colleagues. Previously, only ministers and directors usually made the trip, that was not always intentionally fruitful, practically. And such an exercise, has to be a “precedent” to reckon with, for other government ministries. SAMU SILATOLU Nakasi, Nausori

Potholes

TWO by (approx) 12-metre square potholes. Eight people, one road roller, one excavator and trucks. Potholes still not fixed as I write on a Thursday afternoon. Right after Ba bridge, towards Lautoka. ASHIS KUMAR Ba

Graveyard

CLIMATE change will turn Earth into the world’s biggest graveyard. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Service fee

THE Local Government Ministry wants to increase service delivery fees for city and towns, may I ask them what is the reason? As a ratepayer I am concerned that I am paying for all informal settlement garbage collection, cleaning etc but those living in informal settlement don’t pay any rates but get equal treatment. Now I am told that those non-ratepayers will vote in municipal election. I am not paying any city rates starting this year because of the double standard. Time for free ride is finished. I request the Minister for Local Government to look into this matter. GEOFFREY CHAND Lautoka

Evidence

THE God of the Holy Bible gave the Israelites land from the River of Egypt to the River of Euphrates as recorded in the Holy Bible in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 15, verse 18 (New King James Version). The land from the river of Egypt to the river of Euphrates comprises part of Egypt, part of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and part of Iraq and includes Gaza, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (now called West Bank). RAJ KUMAR Vatuwaqa, Suva

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