Letters to the Editor | Friday, November 17, 2023

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Simione Tamanisau says a win at the Pacifi c Games this year will boost the younger generation of players. Picture: FILE

Veteran goalie backs Bula Boys

AS I read the story titled ‘Simi backs Fiji’ (FT: 16/11) by Rohit Deo, my mind drifted back to the 2003 South Pacific Games gold medal play-off where Fiji defeated a star-studded New Caledonia 2-0 at the National Stadium in front of a huge crowd. Fiji last won in 1991 when the SPG was held in PNG, and the 2003 victory was Fiji’s second since the SPG started in 1963. That evening captain Esala Masi and his cousin Manoa Masi were the heroes for Fiji scoring goals. Coach Tony Buesnel was ecstatic and emotional, expressing his delight at the victory. The likes of Simione Tamanisau, Lorima Dau, Malakai Kanihewe, Thomas Vulivuli, Ratu Veresa Toma, Taniela Waqa, Salesh Kumar, Seveci Rokotakala, Marika Rodu, Waisake Sabutu, Luke Veidovi, Emosi Baleinuku, Pita Rabo, Ronald Ram, Harris Bali, Laisiasa Vosailagi and Afroz Nabi were part of that epic victory. Simi, who is part of the Babasiga Lions outfit, has had an illustrious career and he shared with Rohit that memories of the 2003 win ran fresh for the 41-year-old. Simi added that the win 20 years ago came through teamwork. The Bula Boys are raring to break the hoodoo and win the gold medal, but they’ll have to beat the Northern Marianas and Tahiti, which are in their pool. I agree with Simi that a win would boost the younger generation of players. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Justice for pensioners

I WRITE this open letter to Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and Finance Minister, Professor Biman Prasad, seeking their attention to correct the gross injustice perpetrated on FNPF pensioners by the previous government. A legally binding pension contract was trashed and huge reductions were imposed in 2012. To make matters worse a draconian decree #51 was enforced so that pensioners could not seek justice in the courts of law. The said decree must be rescinded in the next sitting of Parliament so that justice can be given to the surviving pensioners. Currently, the FNPF pensioners are living below the poverty line and unable to meet the high cost of living. The high cost of tertiary medical expenses makes matters worse for the elderly and vulnerable pensioners. Therefore, in their case, justice delayed is justice denied! We are fully aware of the Coalition Government’s commitment to inclusiveness and correcting past government’s wrongs. This is a glaring example of injustice inflicted on a group of helpless workers who contributed to the development of our country. To make matters worse, I understand that the pensioners who opted for the new life pension will have their pensions terminated at the end of 12 years which is next year (2024). What happens to those who live beyond that point? This is grossly unfair and the current Government must act immediately to correct this wrong. In this age of digital technology, decisions should be made fast. I write on behalf of all FNPF pensioners who face this dilemma. Please have their pensions reinstated with immediate effect thus making the Coalition Government’s promise of inclusiveness a reality. DEWAN CHAND Namadi Heights, Suva

Diwali fireworks

THERE are some who react to criticism of the use of fireworks during Diwali by quickly pointing to brawls and drunkard behaviour during Christmas as worse than the former. While some religious and racial biases are detected from this reaction, they missed the mark altogether that while Diwali firecrackers are allowed by law, disturbances during the Christmas festive season could be reported for police intervention. The point here is the relationship of fireworks to the Diwali event. Not to mention the harmful and disturbing effects of fireworks on people and pets. Two wrongs don’t justify each other. Just saying. EMOSI BALEI Suva

FCCC, consumer council

THESE two organisations are not doing service to the people of Fiji, instead, the public is left in the dark. When these two organisations find out: which supermarkets are overcharging; which supermarkets are selling expired goods; which supermarkets are selling things; which are unhygienic; and which supermarkets are dirty and don’t meet health hygiene standards, they don’t publish their names. By withholding their names you are doing a disservice to the Fiji public. If people know which supermarkets they will avoid them. Why hide their names? It is our right to know as we, the people of Fiji pay your fat salaries. Don’t tell me there is corruption. PARAS NAIDU Lautoka

Fighting diabetes

WORLD Diabetes Day on November 14 with the theme “Access to diabetes care” should be everyone’s business. The golden principles to enjoy a healthy, wealthy, and happy life is by eating healthy food, and avoiding sweetened drinks and drugs. Diet and exercise with medical advice is the best natural way to keep NCDs away. Prevention pays dividends. TAHIR ALI Hamilton, New Zealand

Grog policy

THERE was a government directive in place prohibiting grog drinking in government offices. Has this directive been reversed? If not, why is the Minister for Disaster Management defending his actions with frivolous reasoning? Do we have an Orwellian government running the country? AJAI KUMAR Nadi

Freedom of expression

LETTER to the editor contributors provide diverse views through their writings. They come from all walks of life, ethnicity, and religious beliefs, but they all have a common goal of letting us know how they feel and stand for or against a particular issue. We respect that because every individual is entitled to give his own opinion regardless one agrees with it or not. Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of any democracy. You see different men often view the same subject in different lights. It is a vital ingredient of consensus building if you like. At this juncture, let us acknowledge and thank all the letter writers for their input towards making the newspaper even more interesting and informative at the same time. Let us urge more people to become members and contributors to the letters column. Who knows, your writing can be an inspiration to others. They say the more the merrier. Before I conclude, I wish to thank the Almighty for keeping us protected from harm’s way. SURESH CHAND NADI

Park rename

PLANS are in progress to rename Lautoka’s celebrated Churchill Park as proposed by the Lautoka City Council. Well, it’s a no brainer, our iconic sporting venue should aptly be renamed as the “Allen Lockington Park”, after the late philanthropist and esteemed humanitarian who, until his last breath, relentlessly aided the underprivileged communities in the West for years. Sadly, during Fiji’s majestic 50-year independence celebrations, where every man and his dog, (including FijiFirst regime boot lickers/polishers), were honoured with commemorative medals, Unkol Allen was a conspicuous omission from that medal list. It’s only fair that he be posthumously commended, honoured and applauded by renaming Churchill Park in his everlasting memory. I will be very annoyed if the park is retitled after some wealthy businessman, politician or a local celebrity. I hope the LCC takes my suggestion into consideration. NISHANT SINGH Lautoka

Dubai sevens

DURING the Oceania 7s Championship, Fiji went down 17-24 to the All Blacks 7s. The boys gave up the 10-0 handy lead to trail 10-24 and just as they were into the game an error gave NZ victory. The All Blacks 7s controlled the tempo of the match, while we rushed things and the number of missed tackles didn’t help. With the start of the Dubai 7s, Ben Gollings has work on his plate. Communication, kick-offs, winning restarts, taking conversions, giving away penalties, missed tackles and teamwork are top on my list after watching the three-day tournament. On the other hand, I was impressed with the performances delivered by our tower of strength Joseva Talacolo, nippy Terio Tamani, crafty Pilipo Bukayaro, speed merchant Vuiviawa Naduvalo, and Kaminieli Rasaku. The hard work starts now if we are to win the Dubai 7s. Our pool is tough. We face France, Great Britain, and USA. While we can celebrate our spot in next year’s Paris Olympic Games, we can’t be complacent and rest on our laurels. Let’s start with a bang. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Power restoration

IT takes seconds to lose electricity whenever there are strong winds and cyclones, but it takes ages for its restoration. The excuse of the CEO that safety is paramount is his old song being played over and over. At his level and being in the job for many years, he should tell the consumers how has EFL, if at all, made the infrastructure any more resilient to natural disasters than what it was 10 years go. Continuous maintenance of the infrastructure with electricity outages is not the answer expected. AJAI KUMAR Waqadra Co-op Rd, Nadi

Vanuatu Parliament

VANUATU President Nikenike Vurobaravu has rejected request to dissolve parliament (FT 16/11). There are significant political differences among the political leadership in the country. The good thing though is that solutions are sought within the democratic framework rather than resort to coups. Coups make a bad situation worse for the country and its people. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

28-day month

JAN Nissar (FT 15/11) laments about how his internet service provider has cleverly made good business with a 13th month by shrinking a month to 28 days. Bro, some time ago I lamented on how my Sky TV service provider did the same. Nobody seemed to have heard my cry then. But bro, you are lucky. I have heard your cry, and it strikes the same note as mine! However, we can cry an ocean in vain. This year everyone seems to be very clever in business. Only that they are not clever, but outright unscrupulous. And no one can touch them. What shall we name that 13th month? Dismember? DONALD SINGH Suva

Al-Shifa Hospital

THE Israeli military raid on Al-Shifa Hospital shows no place is safe for the Palestinians in the Gaza concentration camp. History is repeating itself. What a crying shame! RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

Opposition member

MINISTER Charan Jeath Singh aptly described him as a “small kid”. He consistently proves that the minister was correct. SANJEET PRASAD Mani Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

Daily allowance

LATELY there had been a lot of news on social media about the $3000 daily allowance for ministers travelling overseas. Can the Minister of Finance Biman Prasad clarify this, whether it is true or not? I hope Mr Biman Prasad would respond to my question, for his silence would mean, I assume, would mean that the news is true. KOSITATINO TIKOMAIBOLATAGANE Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Monetary reward

WHEN pets go missing, owners in Fiji offer monetary rewards, but when people are listed as missing, nothing as such is offered by anyone. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Pacific family

WHEN Fiji wants foreign investment and to grow its economy, it should look to powerhouses such as Kiribati and Cook Islands, not forgetting Nauru, Niue and Tuvalu. They are all part of the Pacific family after all. JAN NISSAR Sydney, NSW, Australia