Letters to the Editor | Monday, November 13, 2023

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Monisha Chand with Krishneel Chand at their compound during the Diwali celebrations at Sabeto, Nadi. Picture: FILE

Overriding darkness

Defeating darkness with open mindedness Idling ignorance keeping tact on arrogance Works of wellness driven towards togetherness Arrival of attracts with loads of brightness Lauds of longing reviving family and friends presence Inciting invites With joy, lights and delights Let’s adapt to unity ridding animosity Only then will brightness override Darkness with surety Happy Diwali to one and all (2023)! PRAMEETA CHAND Namadi heights, Suva

Happy Diwali

AS we celebrate Diwali today, Hindu s will express their joy and happiness by lighting lights and earthen diya, decorating their houses, bursting firecrackers, and inviting loved ones to their households to share savouries. Hindus celebrate the festival of lights which symbolises destruction of negative forces like wickedness, violence, lust, anger, envy, greed, bigotry, fear, injustice, oppression, and suffering. On the other hand, while we are celebrating the victory of good over evil, it is important to pay attention to the needs of the poor and needy in our communities who have been affected post-pandemic. These Fijian need our love and assistance more than ever. Families, who have lost their breadwinners, have also been affected, and they will need everyone’s assistance. Together we can join hands to make this year’s Diwali a blessed one. The cost of things has gone up and affected people, but the spirit of sharing, caring, and loving must prevail. Just like the bright colours, which add meaning to Diwali, let’s enrich our lives with brightness and love and make this year’s Diwali meaningful. The question of playing with firecrackers should not be an issue, as Diwali comes once in a year, and those who can afford it should be allowed to celebrate Diwali with firecrackers. On this day, memories of yesteryears come alight as I vividly remember the excitement with which I celebrated Diwali as a child. Diwali holds a special place in my heart, as it is associated with many memories. To my Hindu brothers and sisters celebrating Diwali, may this Diwali bring you good fortune, health, and countless blessings. May the glow of diya illuminate your life with endless joy and prosperity. May your life be filled with prosperity and your heart with contentment. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Keeping cool

WITH the scorching sun and heat being experienced here in the West, I feel for vendors in the open-air section of Nadi market. It is not difficult to point out that our women folk are the most disadvantaged, selling their produce under sweltering conditions, and it is also not difficult to imagine that the heat does not stop when these women return home. I would like to ask the municipal council to consider opening up the park opposite on market day for these women to sell from. The few baka trees provide natural protection from the sun at least. A cool solution, however, would be to install special heat reflective shade covers to shield vendors from the elements. These covers include solar panels to harvest energy during the day, which then power lights at night, allowing these women to extend their working hours. SAMU RAILOA Nadi

Celebrity status

I AGREE with Samu Silatolu (ST 12/11). There is no real need to garland government ministers and other state officials with salusalu etc for carrying out their ministerial duty. It is an abuse of the Fijian tradition. I suspect it might even be a legacy of our colonial past when we black folks ingratiated ourselves to our white rulers. I was very embarrassed when as a presiding officer in a Fiji general election I was adorned with a finely woven salusalu at Drekeniwai. As a state official simply doing his duty I felt there was no need for that. The local villagers feel they have an obligation to do that. Samu is right. There needs to be a change to get rid of this unnecessary “celebrity” culture surrounding ministerial duty and visits. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

Innocent lives

lost As 2023 slowly and steadily draws to an end, let us in private and silent prayer, remember all the of innocent civilian lives lost, most painfully during:  The unprovoked attack by Russia’s strong man, President Putin over Ukraine;  The long festering military occupation by Israel forces in the West Bank;  The Israeli settlers’ sustained and provocation in the West Bank stretching some 60-odd years and counting;  The mass slaughter of about 1400 innocent Israeli civilians at the hands of Hamas;  The continuing bombardment of the Gaza Strip by Israel and daily slaughter of 10,000-plus innocent Palestinian women, children, infants, expectant mothers, the sick, the wounded and the elderly, through extremely superior over-bearing fire-power; 1400 innocent Israeli lives compared to 10,000-plus equally innocent Palestinians make a mass mockery of human dignity, life and respect for property. Much of Ukraine and almost 50 per cent of the Gaza Strip is reduced to rubble. Who pays for war crimes? These are definite war crimes that cannot and must not go un-punished. Such acts are evil. The “scales of justice” will prevail. It is only a matter of time. The ICC and UNSC must intervene. The great USA, as a strong Israeli ally, must invoke its powers and see to the now-inevitable cessation of all hostilities in Palestinian territories. There is no other way. Guns must be silenced and all occupiers need to go home. Let peace prevail for God’s greater glory on Earth. All these wrongs are evil. There is no justification. None! RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Bigger problem

SO this guy had an acute stomach ache. He tried medical means to be ready for the Diwali intake. With no apparent difference taking place, he decided something else. You know how people use the measuring technique from years gone by and give a verdict like nada ukhad ge. A wannabe carried out the procedure and the diagnosis revealed a difference of many centimetres. What that meant according to him was the revelation of a bigger problem. Naddi ukhad ge. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Proposed tariff rise

IN light of EFL’s reported and recorded massive profit of $58 million in 2022, their request for a 32 per cent rise in tariff over four years, when most Fijians are struggling to put three proper meals on their plates, each day, cannot be authorised or condoned. This is most unpatriotic, to say the least. It is truly unimaginable that this corporate body is asking such a tariff rise. EFL’s executives are being grossly unreasonable at a time when poverty in Fiji, at this time, is very real. This does not make any sense, in my view. I thank SODELPA in its petition opposing any tariff increment. Other patriotic and caring organisations need to have their voices heard, loud and clear, too. RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Travelling allowance

I BELIEVE it would be wise of the Minister of Finance, Biman Prasad, to make a statement and explain to the taxpayers the purpose behind the extravagant Prime Minister’s $3400 overseas daily travelling allowance. It would be of much clarity if Mr Prasad could provide the taxpayers a breakdown of the hefty allowance and the type of compensation it is for. If it’s intended to cover for the cost incurred on meals, drinks, transportation, accommodation, accompanying spouse etc, I guess than the PM must be paying for the VIP treatment provided by host nation and our resident commission overseas. Given that the majority of the taxpayers are facing hardship to provide healthy food to their families, the politicians travelling allowance offsets the dynamics of what an ordinary taxpayer is going through daily. It’s almost a year in leadership yet our government are too slow to rectify the unreasonable perks our politicians are utilising while they can. AREKI DAWAI Maharaj Place, Samabula, Suva

Rewards for students

AS we round up the academic year and our students are sitting for their external examination, I’m glad that those who performed well in their schools were rewarded accordingly during their school’s prize-giving ceremony. I’m thankful that the team from the Kaila! newspaper was on the ground to cover the joy and emotions of the prize getters and share their success stories. Apart from covering the prize-giving ceremony, the team highlighted the achievements of schools like Vaturu District School in Nadi which witnessed the commissioning of their new water borehole by the Education Minister Aseri Radrodro. The smiles on the faces of the students of BMS spoke about their excitement as they got an insight into their future career path. On the other hand, smiles galore as the Year 8 students of Delana Methodist Primary School completed their external examination. I thank the hands who treated the students to a hearty meal. The Assistant Minister for Education Iliesa Vanawalu visited the two boarding schools in Tailevu and wished the students all the best for their external examinations. Such an interesting Kaila! piece motivates students to achieve excellence in schools. Hats off to the Kaila! team! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Cost of firecrackers

WHILE concerns of firecrackers sale and importation being affected due to variation in prices and people’s safety is being highlighted by some retailers, it makes one wonder if their concerns are genuine for the suffering people or a cry out for the drop in their sales. Just saying aye! KIRTI PATEL Mohan Singh Pl, Lautoka

Diwali wishes

WISHING the The Fiji Times’ team and all the readers a joyous and happy Diwali. May this day bring blessings to your families. During these challenging times, if possible, be a light in someone’s darkness. Be safe. RODNEY CLARENCE RAJ Naleba, Labasa

Contemporary fascism

THE gruesome Hamas killings and kidnapping of Israelis and the subsequent Israeli killing of Palestinian civilians including children reminds me of the prophetic warning of the ideology/politics of hate by Jeff Sparrow in his book Fascists Among Us ( 2019 ). The book is said to be “essential reading for anyone who wants to take a stand against hate”. I trust there are many in Fiji who want to do that. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

Coral in fish

AFTER my latest fishing trip I noticed something very unusual. When I gutted the fish i found a lot of coral pieces in fish which never feed on coral. I hope this not from the treated water discharge in Japan. I would like some marine biologist to find out the reason for this occurrence SUKHA SINGH Labasa

Issue with fireworks

I COULD not agree more with Paras Naidu about wastage of resources on fireworks during Diwali celebrations. For years, I am still trying to relate what do fireworks contribute to the general belief behind this event. I understand how candles, diyas and lights are associated with Diwali through triumph of light over darkness. But fireworks? As far as I’m concerned, I totally agree with Paras Naidu that expense on fireworks is wastage and of more concern to me, that with all the loud noises, it is a time of torture and suffering for our pets and the animal and human kingdom in general. The latter being totally against the basis of Diwali celebrations. EMOSI BALEI Suva