Letters to the Editor | Monday, December 4, 2023

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Team Fiji women’s hockey captain Catherine Fabiano acknowledges the crowd during the Pacific Games closing ceremony in Honiara, Solomon Islands on Saturday night. Team Fiji finished sixth on the medal tally. The next Pacific Games will be held in Tahiti in 2027. Picture: PACIFIC GAMES NEWS SERVICE

End of the Pacific Games

AS the curtains fell on the 17th Pacific Games, team Fiji finished sixth. The games officially ended with a spectacular night of colour and music, ending a fortnight of incredible sporting achievements from across the Pacific Islands, presenting some incredible moments. It was a delight seeing the dancers, a large figure made of plastic, symbolic of the need to protect our oceans. Congratulations to Jenly Wini and our own Taniela Rainibogi who were named best female and male athletes. The government and the people of Solomon Islands, under the leadership of PM Manasseh Sogavare, by hosting the games united and strengthened the bond between the people of Solomon Islands and that of the Pacific. Team Fiji created a handful of historic achievements at the games, winning a gold medal in tennis for the first time and a gold medal in boxing after a span of 20 years. Team Fiji bagged 21 gold medals, 30 silver and 40 bronze medals. In 2003, Fiji scooped 65 gold medals. Four years later, Fiji scooped 39 gold medals. In 2011 and 2015, Fiji won 33 gold medals, while in 2019, Fiji won 35 gold medals. This year, we won only 21 gold medals, 14 gold medals short of 2019. A thorough post-mortem is needed to identify downfalls and areas of improvement. Sporting Federations must take Tahiti 2027 seriously! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Sporting facilities

THE 2023 Pacific Games ended as a successful games. One outstanding feature of the Solomon games is the fascinating sports infrastructures. The state of the sports stadium with pavilions on both sides, the track and field and other sporting infrastructure was really amazing to see. These have changed the sporting landscape in the Solomon Islands and a tourism boost to uplift the local economy. When is Fiji’s turn? SHALWYN PRASAD Mukta Ben Place Nabua

Building code

OUR national building code should by all means be all inclusive, especially in a natural disaster-prone country such as ours. To exclude buildings that are built for domestic use on iTaukei land (FT 02/12) is really excluding a large proportion of structures in our national data base. To do this, in my humble opinion, makes the code very limited and apparently insufficient and virtually meaningless. After in-draft form for many years, this apparent final form is astounding and unbelievable, to say the least! EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Why not Labasa?

IT’S great to see that the Government has allocated $3 million for the Termite Control Assistance Program in Lautoka. Termites have been a major problem for many years. What irks me, though, is why Labasa has been left out. Homes in Labasa are also infested by termites and are falling apart. Isn’t the government aware of this? It would have been wise if a portion of the $3 million was also allocated for Labasa. Government and decision-makers, please keep in mind that Fiji extends beyond Suva or Lautoka. Labasa is a significant part of Fiji and the people and their homes there also matter. Do not neglect the Friendly North. SANJEET PRASAD Mani Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

Less skilled workers

THE article ‘Repair works delay’ (FT 02/12) makes me think that privatising services such as that carried out by the Public Works Department, as we knew it, was a big mistake! In doing so the government was obviously blinded to the future needs where now ‘the high demand for external contractors in the construction market, is affecting the Colonial War Memorial Hospital’s efforts in finding a suitable contractor to carry out remedial works’. Interestingly, or maybe as a coincidence, on page five of the same newspaper the Construction Industry Council president, Gordon Jenkins, tells us that amongst other factors, many organisations including construction is losing skilled workers. He went on to say that this was due to workers migrating in search of greener pastures and that he did not know what the answer was! “I think we’ve just got to realise that our skilled activities are shrinking rapidly, and we need to start thinking about how we can increase our activities, or our education, so we can start building it up. But as everybody has always said, we train people, and they immediately depart the country and go somewhere else”. In Fiji, networking is probably our biggest problem in that everyone seems to be thinking alike only when it comes to rising fuel and food costs. If we were to stay in touch with each other in that we knew what the other was doing and study the performance of each and more so, look at the challengers being faced by each service provider then we’d know immediately when a problem arose, how it would affect one’s organisation and we’d then be brainstorming timely solutions. Here, we prefer to work together only when the problem becomes way bigger than what we can handle and we’re gasping for breath and drowning. We just love being in a jam! What flavours? Mixed fruit I guess! To summarise for our Medical Department:

  • Your service provider for maintenance was privatised and so you don’t have that service readily available to you now
  • You have become like the rest of us who have to look for maintenance providers in the private sector;
  • The private sector don’t have enough skilled workers;
  • The education system can’t train fast enough.
  • You are now in the same boat as us;
  • Welcome aboard! Guess there’s one way you could help. What is the medicine for kida bera?

NOLEEN BILLINGS Savusavu

COP agenda

IN the wake of the Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Dubai, allow me to share a brief history of such a meeting and my personal take on it. The first COP meeting was held in Berlin in the year 1995, which makes it 28 years this year, therefore, makes the current meeting in Dubai COP28. In the third year of the COP meeting in 1997, the Kyoto COP 3 agreed the first legally binding protocol to limit greenhouse gas emissions and 25 years down the line nothing seems to eventuate. Again in 2015 a legally binding international treaty on climate change was adopted called the Paris Agreement, which entered into force on November 4, 2016 and again almost 10 years down the line nothing is eventuating. The only success claimed in the history of the COP meeting is about money which they cleverly coined as climate finance. With the concept of climate finance birthed during the COP meetings, I personally believe that the COP meetings have become a platform for vulnerable communities like Fiji, to present our vulnerability as an excuse, to access climate funding from powerful nations like the US, Britain, France, China to name a few. The way I see it, this is another new dimension of colonisation where we the vulnerable communities or less developed nations still depend on the powerful ones for survival especially financially. Last but not the least I am adamant that the COP meetings will never be able to address the issue of climate change and save our common home because it is focussing more on the very root problem of climate change which is money. KOSITATINO TIKOMAIBOLATAGANE Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Out of order escalator

THE Sugar City Mall escalator has not been operating for a very longtime, CEO changes, special administrator team changes, many general elections happened, meetings, promises by Local Government Minister and list goes longer, but no one tried to fix the escalator problem. Only thing we hear is selling of parks, name change, swimming pool, some coffee shop and night markets, but Lautoka City Council can’t fix the escalator for years. What is wrong? LCC may not have the money to fix the escalator or you all got your own never-ending beautification work? GEOFFREY CHAND Lautoka

Call to end violence

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a key moment to call for an end to violence against women and girls. Commemorated from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until December 10 (Human Rights Day), it is a reminder to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to help end all types of violence against women and girls. I believe that in every country and culture, more action is needed to ensure women and girls in all their diversity live a life free of violence and coercion. On Saturday, the Fiji Teachers Union National Women’s Wing organised a session on this, and the chief guest was Sashi Kiran who elaborated on the importance of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and strategies that could be employed to address violence at homes and in communities and societies. The FTU southern zone women members were enriched with the session. I believe we all play a role in preventing violence against women and girls. It must start at home. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

China trip

I AM pretty sure the GCC are only taking up the trip to China on behalf of their people and a desire to serve them well. I mean why else would they be going to China? RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

GB 7s win

IT’S hard to believe that our men’s 7s side, which thrashed France 40-5, was handed a drubbing by Great Britain 24-0. GB lost to USA and France – both sides losing to Fiji. Our boys looked confused and shell-shocked. Let’s hope the loss to GB ignites the side to deliver a better performance in Dubai! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

HSBC 7s

WHAT happened to the TV broadcast? No takers this year? EMOSI BALEI Suva

Gaza bombing

BOMBS fall on Gaza again (ST 3/12 ) and the indiscriminate killing of civilians continue. And next door in Dubai 7000 delegates gather with the usual fanfare for the COP talkfest. An extraterrestrial would find the human race a strange lot. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

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