Letters to the Editor | Monday, November 27, 2023

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The Fijiana Sevens team after winning the Gold in the Women’s Sevens competition at the Pacific Games in the Solomons. Picture: MELI LADPETER

7s teams continue dominance

HEARTY congratulations to the men’s and women’s 7s team for retaining their gold medal dominance at the Pacific Games. Despite the wet conditions and early scare from PNG and Samoa, our teams prevailed, much to the delight of the Fijian crowd. The women’s side defeated PNG 17-7 in a thrilling and pulsating final that kept fans at the edge of their seats. Fiji scored first through Elenoa Naimata, before PNG replied with a converted try, and as the match progressed, both teams attacked and put in some big hits. The Fijians got the job done in the second spell, with two scintillating tries to Naimara and Verenaisi Bari. This means Fiji remains the only side to win the title since the women’s competition was introduced in 2011. Furthermore, the threepeat was completed as Fiji and Samoa met for the fifth consecutive PG 7s decider. The battle was brutal, but tries from Suliano Volivoli and Sakiusa Siqila set the platform. There were tense moments in the camp, as Samoa threatened to make a comeback. The second half was tight, but Fiji added a try through Iowane Raturaciri. There was pressure on the new kids to bring home the gold medal, and they did well. Hence, there were smiles all around as the Fijians asserted their 7s dominance at the PG. The victories summed up the golden night for Fijian 7s fans. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Diplomacy in action

CHINESE President Xi Jinping and our Prime Minister met over a week ago and had some discussions on cooperation between the two countries, one an economic powerhouse and one a strategically key ally in the Pacific. Then merely days later, the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Zhou Jian, holds a presser reiterating China’s assistance to Fiji in its fight against climate change, outlining some projects designed to help Fiji com­bat changes in climatic conditions. Being an avid follower of Sino-Fiji relations and cooperation across various industries, I see Zhou Jian as a very competent and effective diplomat who didn’t drop the ball here: meeting last week between President Xi and Fiji PM, and the good ambassador follows it up without delay with this presser. Diplomacy in proper action. I’m sure what follows on the ground will be even better. DONALD SINGH Suva

Parliament drama

OH dear! The Minister for Fisheries, Kalaveti Vodo, was lost and thrown in the whirlwind in Parliament when the Speaker of the House allowed a supplementary question — if a minister can be the owner of a company that deals with the buying and selling of beche-de-mer — from Hon. Rinesh Sharma. Even the government enforcers were stunned that none of them came to the minister’s aid on the concerns of the opposition. A conflict of interest matter I should say. AREKI DAWAI Maharaj Place, Samabula, Suva

Women artists

I JOIN John Kamea in applauding all “the women artisans around the country who participated in the National Women’s Expo 2023” ( ST 26/11 ). I caught a snapshot of the wide range of traditional craft on display in SBS Viceland News here. It was amazing. The women artisans certainly deserve all the support for the reasons so well spelled out by John Kamea in his write-up. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

Email times

WITH modern technology, we may just be travelling through space in a time capsule just like that wrench. No more need to fly to places, we just get “emailed” over. A funny thought just occurred to me. Just imagine if the operator of the travel machine entered an incorrect email address. You’d end up somewhere else. Just like the joke about airlines sending you to your destination and your baggage to another place. NAVNEET RAM (TD) Lautoka

Hostages and detainees

QATAR has emerged as a good mediator in the Gaza conflict with the release of 24 Hamas-held hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian detainees back into the West Bank. Between hostage and detainee, though, aren’t both being held captive against their will? Or does the distinction lie between who is holding who? SAMU RAILOA Nadi

eBay inquiry

WHAT’S up with the eBay investigations? Anything! Have the cheats been found? If so, who are they? Transparency is the word. MANOJ LAL PATEL Drasa Ave, Lautoka

Rubbish in city

I ALWAYS go for early morning walk to the city and Marine Drive. The rubbish in Lautoka City is increasing day by day and it’s not the stray dogs, but the lack of cleaning by Lautoka City Council. Marine Drive rubbish is never picked up on time and the area is never raked. Saturday and Sunday our city is not swept nor washed like yesteryears. Can the CEO and special administrator see to this? GEOFFREY CHAND Lautoka

‘Tis the season

TIS the season to be jolly or more of a public annoyance, as I may aptly put. There has been a notable increase in street drinking parties and drunkards —both happy and scrappy —doing what they do best as observed during my early morning walks in the city. Could this be an indication that the Christmas festivities have arrived early for some?  And then we wonder why
three quarters of the famished Fijian population is living below the poverty threshold. NISHANT SINGH Lautoka

The month Movember

MOVEMBER is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues such as: prostate cancer; testicular cancer; and men’s suicide. The Movember Foundation runs the charity event to raise money to fight the cause. The goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health to suit the change within mind and body. By encouraging men — whom the charity refers to as “Mo Bros” — to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Some sports stars and celebrities now take part for a good cause to support the charity. Movember is an incredible way to break the silence and stigma surrounding men’s health on a global scale. Some facts on Movember: The King of Hearts is the only king in a deck of cards without a moustache. According to Guinness World Records, Ram Singh Chauhan holds the record for longest moustache, spanning 14 feet long. He has been growing it since 1982, after a friend with a seven-foot-long moustache suggested it. Over the years, Movember has contributed to significant advancements in men’s health research and has encouraged men to take charge of their well-being. Support a good cause and wishing you best for this Movember. NEELZ SINGH Nelson, New Zealand

Authorised to beg

AN authorised beggar, with a letter from the Commissioner’s Office, came to my home asking for money on behalf of his sister. He gave me the letter and said he had authority to ask for money. When I proceeded to read it, he became upset and impatient and said “why are you reading it? Just look at the signature at the back. The commissioner signed it.” I asked him to read the second paragraph and he said that it was OK and he knew what it said. I politely asked him to just read it. He looked at the paper and said that he couldn’t read. I told him that the document authorised only his sister to collect and only from the Nadi area. He said all members of the family had photocopies of the letter and were begging on behalf of his sister. When I told him what the letter said, he said: “Do you want to give or not?” I looked at him and wondered if he was really a relative of the person mentioned in the letter. I asked for ID and he took out a driver’s licence, but was reluctant to hand it to me and just held it up for me to look at. I was curious and insisted that I take a look at it closely. He handed it to me and when I wrote down the number he was furious. He asked me again whether I was going to give or not and I said that I would. This went on for a while and he pulled out a receipt book and pointed to a $10 that had been receipted and said: “See one man gave $10, if you don’t want to give tell me so I can go.” I was shocked. Is this one of the many people who take advantage of the system to get money? Something must be done to curb legalised begging, it turns good people into monsters and the authorities have the power to do this. NAVNEET RAM (TD) Lautoka


Would Government urgently consider dismantling those dictatorial decrees introduced by the FijiFirst administration which sought to restrict and trample on the rights of the people of Fiji? One such law relates to the suppression of the rights of pensioners to seek justice from the courts when pension rates were unilaterally reduced by FNPF. This and other degrading and dictatorial decrees and legislations must not be allowed to exist or continue to see the light of day. EMOSI BALEI Suva

GCC matter

RESTORATION of GCC a priority — PM (FT 25/11). Are there no other preferable priorities for the Government to build, change, implement, assist in or fix for the betterment of all struggling Fijians? “The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones”. Brandon Sanderson. AREKI DAWAI Maharaj Place, Samabula

A way out

SO much has been said about poverty and people finding it difficult to make ends meet. I feel we should heavily invest in agriculture to get out of this. At the moment we are not self-sufficient in anything. A good example is Harjeet Singh, a vegetable farmer of Wainibuku Nasinu, who makes enough money to meet all his needs. Unemployed and younger people should be encouraged to take up farming. They should be empowered and given the right guidance. PARAS NAIDU Lautoka

No graffiti

ALLOW me to say a big “thank you” to the Nadi Town Council and authorities concerned for removing these unsightly graffiti from the bus shelter closest to Mount Saint Mary’s Crescent, Martintar, Nadi. Thank you for your efforts in striving to keep Nadi cleaner and tidier. There are always some irresponsible persons who thrive on such works of idle hands with their unsightly graffiti. Please stop this. Nadi deserves better. RONNIE CHANG Martintar Nadi

Service key

A TWO-HOUR, one stop trip to Vanuatu should be eventless compared to travelling to Europe, I thought. I landed on a Saturday minus my luggage. I was told to go to the airport to retrieve my luggage on Monday morning. The luggage had arrived on Sunday, but they were too busy to deliver it to the hotel despite earlier assurances. Wearing the same clothes for three days is not worth the experience. A friend joked I may have had better service if I had travelled business class, not the $2000 return economy. I looked at my Tabua club membership card and wondered. DAN URAI Lautoka || P9 short letters – Nov 26 || DecreesWould Government urgently consider disman