Letters to the Editor | Monday, February 19, 2024

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Former Fiji police chief of intelligence and investigations Henry Brown stresses a point during his interview with The Lens@177 in Suva. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Giving serious attention to drugs

Former Assistant Commissioner of Police Henry Brown revealed how he had led a billion dollar drug bust that resulted in the shutting down of a meth lab and the arrest of both local and international criminals (The Sunday Times 18/2). A Transnational Crimes Unit was formed that included countries such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. This Unit worked covertly
to monitor persons of interest and their activities that eventually led to the successful raid on the meth lab. Given the current rise in drug-related issues in Fiji, it’s essential to inquire whether a similar unit exists within the police force. If it does, it’s commendable. It’s reasonable for their operations to remain covert, with no obligation to disclose their identities publicly. However, if such a unit doesn’t exist, authorities should consider establishing one to address the escalating drug problem effectively. Law enforcement needs to stay a step ahead of the drug cartels and do whatever it takes to put them behind bars. SANJEET PRASAD Mani Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

FIFA-ranked matches

The ceo of Fiji Football Association (FFA) comes up with a new excuse that FIFA ranking matches are very costly and that is one of the reasons that Fiji soccer is ranked low. Mr CEO, for your kind information Fiji is called the hub of the Pacific so don’t tell us that our geographical location is the problem. The problem is the executives of Fiji Football Association who get high salaries and are full time enjoying. The profit of FFA says a lot in regards to finance. By the way FFA doesn’t pay district players or districts directly for the games they play. I’m told districts need to find their own sponsors. So where does all the grant from FIFA and Oceania go? The Minister for Youth and Sports was right when he said FFA needs to pull up and improve. I challenge the CEO, president and board members for a public forum where some people can ask questions about finance, soccer rankings, referees standards and how FFA can improve soccer rankings. If our rugby team can be ranked 8, I believe soccer can be ranked 50? GEOFFREY CHAND, Lautoka

Qatar and India

Soon after Israel Hamas war began, Qatar arrested eight Indian naval officers for espionage and were given the death penalty. This was done as to pressure Bharat not to support Israel. The Modi Government delayed export of food, medicines and fruits and vegetables thus creating a shortage. The Qatar Government had no choice, but to agree to release the naval officers. They also signed an agreement to sell Bharat 7.5 million tonnes of LNG gas per year until 2048 for $78 billion. Qatar, with a population of 2.1 million people and its propaganda arm Al-Jazeera TV, always try to punch above its weight. The Modi Government has used the opportunity to develop its relations further. This is Modi’s geopolitics. RAKESH CHAND SHARMA, Nadi

Great service

I wish to acknowledge the outstanding services rendered to me by the staff of Shop N Save Lautoka (Shop # 3). Special shout out to “Nileshni” (Butcher section), despite the frenzied atmosphere, she managed to promptly assist customers in a very cool, calm and collected manner. Putting on a brave smile, she adeptly ensured that arduous customers were attended to in an appropriate and an efficient manner. Grocery shopping on a bustling Saturday in a crowded retail outlet can be a chaotic and an aggravating chore, but employees with Nileshni’s personality can certainly ensure a pleasant shopping experience. To the top brass of Shop N Save, Nileshni undoubtedly warrants a promotion and a generous raise. She is an embodiment of exceptional customer service, which the majority of our retail chains critically lack across Fiji. We need more “Nileshnis” in supermarkets. NISHANT SINGH, Lautoka

Lack of a choice

Doctor Jemesa Tudravu said during the multi-sectoral stateholders’ workshop on NCDs in Suva on Friday that a study on food systems and nutrition highlighted the lack of healthier food options around school, various barriers to nutritional practices including affordability. So very true. I am a diabetic and find it near impossible to find non-sugar foods and beverages, e.g. jams, soft drinks, biscuits and cakes to name a few items. Local soft drink manufacturers only have Coke No Sugar – why not 7 Up? Why do other soft drink manufacturers have non-sugar options? Perhaps the government needs to legislate mandating that a percentage of their production needs to be non-sugar (at affordable cost and excise tax free). Fiji needs a whole of nation support to fight NCDs and businesses need to play their part. Their current involvement in our fight against NCDs is good, but they need to do much more in their business such as make available healthy food choices in your products. CHRISTOPHER JACKSON MAR Qanville Estate, Nasoso, Nadi

Use of marijuana

The marijuana and cocaine trade is only beneficial for a few Fijians involved, according to the assessment by Sabeto, Nadi native ACP Driu. But it does help our GDP with its economic values – illegal or legal – whatever one may want to call it. I personally feel government should legalise marijuana also as it has a very similar nature to that of medicinal marijuana. Marijuana studies have been conducted a thousand times in the past to determine its use, but where are we as a small nation? TUKAI LAGONILAKEBA, Nadi

Fear and greed

In Washington Week (chat show) with The Atlantic (18/2/24) a panellist informs us that in an interview with the economist, the fearless Putin critic Alexei Navalny had put Putin’s modus operandi in a nutshell when said Putin was driven by two things – fear and greed. That is, and has been, a common and quite succinct drive of tyrants all over the world and all through human history. Navalny’s legacy in his own words is never to give in to such a rotten leader. His legacy will live on as the worldwide reaction to his sudden death in a notorious Arctic prison shows. May Navalny RIP. RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Making a stand

Villages in the Yasawa Group have made a vow to stop hard drugs from entering their territory. A very wise decision, in my opinion, is preventative measures instead of curing. They took the initiative to have monthly meetings, as an awareness, throughout the island group. And such an exercise has to be an example, for all villages. Let us stand up hand in hand together to conquer the drug pandemic from invading our country. SAMU SILATOLU, Nakasi

Cardinal sin

I believe if we keep on covering up the cardinal sins of our fellow citizens on national level. We will never be able to see the light of harmony that the nation deserves amongst the people. AREKI DAWAI Maharaj Place, Samabula, Suva

FIFA ranking

Fiji soccer wants to improve its ranking. If you have the opportunity try researching how Tahiti is currently performing at the 2024 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in UAE. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Keep the faith

There is no use blabbering over the issue of temple and mosque ruins in Ayodhya during Mogul rule. Justice prevailed in 2019 when Supreme Court of India ruled out for a temple on the demolished site and a plot for mosque in Ayodhya. Over the years, human beings have fought and died for borders, sea and land. What have they taken with them? Hindus and Muslims should be grateful for the Supreme Court ruling where faith in God is most valuable.

Influential persons

I wish to thank Colin Deoki for his kind words. It has taken me a little time to reply because I am not sure that I am an influential person. If I am, I thank God, because any inspiration that helps others comes from the Lord. I hope that you, Colin, will visit Fiji soon because I would very much like to meet you. Your writings are always of great interest to me and always call for a response. I apologise that I do not always get around to responding. I fear you will not find me line dancing, though I will get up and jig a bit to a good traditional Jazz tune! TESSA MACKENZIE, Suva

Functions of GCC

If and when our Constitution is amended or even replaced, the now re-established Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) should also be re-established as a constitutional body under the provisions of the new Constitution, as was done in the 1997 Constitution and previously. The new constitutional provisions should also state its structure, functions and advisory role(s). However, the detailed and related provisions thereof, should be included in the relevant legislation – the iTaukei Affairs Act and not be part of these new constitutional provisions. EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Risky service

It is a known fact that doctors, nurses and even surgeons are sometimes on a 36-hour shift. However, the proper functioning of these medical staff after 12 hours would be questionable. After 24 hours there’s no doubt that you will get inferior and potentially dangerous service from an over-worked body and mind. I’m not from a medical background, but Google tells me you should sleep after every 16 to 18 hours. Why doesn’t this apply to medical professionals? Doesn’t it seem the Ministry of Health is ignoring the quality of service being provided to the public? Such working conditions put the lives of the unknowing public at risk? I strongly believe this practice needs to stop. Let’s not toy with people’s lives. KIRAN KHATRI Samabula, Suva

Corporate culture

Without taking anything away from the excellent, insightful article by Arvind Mani on the my way or the highway corporate culture that has come to being the dominant norm in society (Why some people don’t fit in? The Sunday Times 18/2) I would like to add one title to the illuminating book list Arvind provides. The book is The Managerial Mystique: Restoring Leadership in Business ( 1989 ) by Abraham Zaleznik. It provides a critical assessment of the dangers of the managerial tunnel vision, questions the lessons of today’s elite MBA programs, and highlights the elements of successful leadership. The book has broader relevance for all round leadership. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

Robbing the poor

Still fervently waiting for an update from the Consumer Council of Fiji on when they will expose the names of those businesses that were caught operating fraudulently. CEO Seema Shandil had recently cited that they were in “talks” with the Trade Ministry to reveal these traders to the public. Why is the process taking so long? Are delaying tactics at play here? Suffer the poor, vulnerable people while these daubutako/chor business owners continue to get rich through their deceitful practices. NISHANT SINGH, Lautoka

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