Letters to the Editor | Friday, September 22, 2023

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FIJI Water Flying Fijians players celebrate in the fi nal minute of their game against the Wallabies during the second pool match of the Rugby World Cup. Picture: MARTIN SERAS LIMA

Rugby in the Land Down Under

IT was that Fiji win in 1954 and our tour at the time, that helped to revive the game of rugby in Australia for the spectators, largely because of our carefree and free-flow style of rugby. Isa, but our win this week in the World Cup, might just do the opposite for rugby in Australia, especially when we are now ranked above them on the table. We revived it, then we killed it! LOL! Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Hindi Divas celebration

It was good to read on various platforms that certain institutions and organisations have celebrated Hindi day extremely well. In fact, we have been celebrating Hind day over years. There are world level conferences on Hindi as well. However, I have also noted that the very participants of celebrations use English to communicate even in their home environment. This negates all the positives emanating from such celebrations. Let us be genuine in promoting Hindi (both Fiji and standard) beginning from our homes. One has to take a look at our teacher training institutions in terms of preparing teachers to teach Hindi. This subject is one of the most neglected areas in terms of proficiency in teaching as well as the curricular content. Just ask children from primary schools and the feedback would confirm my statement. Just no one likes teaching Hindi and our children hate this subject given its status on the class timetable. Even our religious leaders have been ineffective in this area. What is this? How effective are our organised functions with regards to Hindi? No one knows. The only thing all know and neglect is that Hindi is slowly being buried in our education system together with our daily usage of such a mother tongue. In fact, we do not have many writers who can write scripts on our Fiji literature and experiences. Who is promoting this? Let us not celebrate Hindi day to meet the organisational output but to ensure the longevity of our identity realistically. It does not mean that you are user of Hindi and you are an outcast in this era. Nothing replaces your identity even upon your graduation with the highest qualification. God bless our Hindi language and its users. My salute to The Fiji Times for printing Shanti Dut for so many years without much support from our organistions that should have been supporting such a publication. In fact, it should be one of the basic roles of all our Hindi user institutions to get organised and begin publishing at least a monthly newspaper/magazine for us. Will this ever happen or the only thing our religious institutions will be concentrating on is the rituals and its rights and wrongs? Dhirendra Prasad Lautoka

EFL’s action

In most monopolies, at some point, consumers will suffer some inevitable consequences. EFL’s monopoly and almost complete strangle-hold on the nation’s power supply, in spite of making a cool, handsome and reported profit of some $58 million in 2022, this organisation is today seeking a 32% increase in tariffs. How absurd, from an ordinary lay-man and caring Nadi retiree? As a little voice for the silent majority, allow me, most respectfully, say: “No.” The majority of domestic consumers simply cannot, and will not afford any increase, at this time. I repeat, the retirees and those struggling in the margins of society, are finding it challenging to put three proper meals on their plates, each day and every day. Many of us are forced to manage with two meals. Some, even less. EFL’s monopoly as the nation’s energy provider must be broken. Competition is very healthy. It forces you to do better. Our very own proud national carrier, Fiji Airways, in the face of much competition from Air NZ, Jet Star, Qantas and Virgin Australia, still manages to capture 70 per cent of their market in tourists. What a gem! FJ is a very admirable “David and Goliath” living success story. They deserve a big round of applause for their sterling efforts under CEO and MD Andre Viljoen and his entire team. Cheers to them all! Simply awesome. Energy Fiji Limited, with extreme care, due diligence and responsibility, needs to take a page from Fiji Airways’ Standard Operating Procedures, in my view. EFL’s monopoly, in spite of the healthy $58 million 2022 profi t, is most uncaring and unhealthy, in my humble view, as I stand up for the silently struggling majority in society. EFL’s monopoly needs stiff competition. Monopolies do breed complacency. I will, however, stand corrected, should I err, in this instance. And publicly apologise, accordingly. Please do not push some of
us “over the edge”. Poverty is very real and alive. RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Teacher migration 

MASS migration of teachers, as revealed recently in The Fiji Times will affect Fiji education with brain drain. The Fiji Teachers Union history book by Krishna Dutt reveals that this has been in the system for quite some time. Temporary, untrained licensed teachers were employed to meet the demand on “hire and fire” basis on the expense of children’s education. They were paid peanuts. I believe the government will offer better pay and conditions for teachers, so that they will remain in this teaching-and-learning noble profession on par with their counterparts in other countries. The experience and well qualified teachers are always in demand in global, competitive job markets. They take up the challenges to “go forth to serve”, “putting service before self” and “child our hope” with blessings of God. Quality teachers, quality education with deserving pay matters most in nation building. Pay teachers the dues they rightly deserve. TAHIR ALI HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND

Money scam 

IT is truly astonishing that Fijians could be deceived into investing over a million dollars in a “get-rich-quick” scheme. This incident is not the first to exploit vulnerable Fijians by enticing them to part with their hardearned money, nor will it be the last. A quick look at social media platforms shows the persistent posting of advertisements promoting similar “get-rich-quick” scams on a daily basis. When will Fijians learn that no one will reward them $1000 in exchange for sending $50? SANJEET PRASAD MANI RD, BULILEKA, LABASA

Backing the Flying Fijians

Like many of you, I still get emotional thinking about the game against the Wallabies. There were just so many magical moments that I continue watching replays to savour the overwhelming feelings that wash over all of us. I’ve read comments and watched a plethora of videos capturing those history making moments. Before, during as well as after the game. But what gets me is how some berate certain players because of their performance. That these negative naysayers view life through the lens of a half empty glass says everything about them. What they fail to understand or appreciate is the hours, days, weeks, months and years these amazing athletes take to hone their craft. One game doesn’t define who they are and what they’ve had to endure and overcome to get where they are. There will always be armchair experts giving their two cents without appreciating the mammoth task it takes to wear the colours of the national team. Give them a break and get on board with the rest of the country and back these amazing warriors who are giving their all to make us all proud. Win, lose or draw I’m with the Flying Fijians all the way. Thank you to each and every one of you in this awesome team for giving us unforgettable moments and memories. Colin Deoki Australia

RWC tournament unites Fijians!

The beauty about this year’s RWC tournament is that it has united Fijians and brought our nation together. People from all walks of life and all ages join hands to cheer for the boys. Against Wales and the Wallabies, race, ethnicity, colour and gender were put aside as people became one voice. Since the victory over the Roses and achieving a seventh-place finish for the first time, heading into the RWC tournament, Fijians have given their utmost support to the boys, who did not let them down, as they delivered a sizzling and powerful performance against the Dragons and the Wallabies. This Fijian team is truly supported by the nation. Whatever the outcome, the team management and boys have made Fiji proud. Who would have imagined Fiji to be ranked seventh, above England, Australia, and Wales, and beating Australia? The stories by Rodney Duthie from France and the editorials by our rock-solid editor-in-chief Fred Wesley have added glamour and flavour to our win versus the Wallabies. I’m looking forward to the battle versus The Lelos. Our boys have a week to rest, recover, and get ready to put their bodies on the line. Toso Viti! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Sangam spirit

The Fiji Times report on “Bad blood among the Sangam fraternity at Malolo in Nadi” (FT 20/9) indicates the need for a better understanding in the Sangam community of what Sangam means and stands for and its true spirit. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Moon project

A couple of weeks ago, India celebrated one of her great achievements to be the first nation to land on the south pole of the moon. Such achievement was globally acknowledged, I question the total amount of money spent on such a project. While India celebrated, however, I wonder whether the money spent on the project could be well used on feeding the poor and those who starve in the many corners of India. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Fighter jet

A state-of-the-art US fighter jet — said to be the most sophisticated of its kind — costing over $100 million developed problems forcing the pilot to parachute out. Despite its built in tracing devices the jet had disappeared for over 24 hours and now debris have reportedly been located (PBS NewsHour 18/9). Wonder how many people could have access to clean drinking water with $100 million? And I am not talking about people in poor third world countries but in America itself! Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Influential story

Dharmendra Maharaj’s demonstration of resilience and determination is a rousing one (FT 18/09). After losing employment during the unrelenting COVID pandemic, Mr Maharaj did not depend on government handouts but resolutely formulated alternative measures to earn a decent income and provide for his humble family. He firmly believes that laziness is the key to poverty but with a little motivation and perseverance, one can gradually be unbounded by the shackles of an improvised life. Mr Maharaj’s influential story and his fruitful attainment of success should be an inspiration to thousands of Fijians, 75 per cent of whom are living below the poverty line. You can also positively create your own parcels of success, just like the modest Mr Maharaj. Nishant Singh Lautoka

FCCC clarifies

FCCC chief executive officer has confirmed there’s no law in Fiji that goes against businesses having a registered name and a different trading name. Citizens lost money since Ebay Shop was registered. Let’s get to the root of the problem. There is no transformation without a break. Keep people’s hopes alive don’t throw in the towel yet. Navneet Ram (TD) Lautoka

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