Letters to the Editor | November 16, 2023

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Josevata Gagalia and Ben Chang at the site of landslide at Vataleka Settlement in Wailoku. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Early precautionary measures a plus point

As Tropical Cyclone Mal developed into a category three system, precautionary measures were taken to mitigate the likely devastation. Fijians, who were living in low-lying areas, were warned about the chances of flooding, while those, who could have been on the receiving end, prepared themselves to face strong winds. Evacuation centres were opened, and security was evident for women, girls, and the elderly. The presence of police officers made things easy. Hats off to honourable Aseri Radrodro and his team at the Ministry of Education for taking into consideration the safety and welfare of students and shifting the Years 12 and 13 external examinations. Ample time was also given to school managements and heads to secure schools. Shoppers bought bottles of water and other essential items and prepared themselves for water cuts and power outage. The radio stations were spot-on with the weather bulletin, continuously warning Fijians to take heed. Our journalists were also spot on, covering the arrival of TC Mal. Honourable Sakiasi Ditoka visited evacuation centres with food packs. His presence boosted the morale of the occupants. The early precautionary measures taken assisted Fijians to combat the impact of TC Mal. At the outset, I commend director NDMO Vasiti Soko and her able team for standing tall during the ordeal. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Next occasion

On the next occasion when a severe weather system approaches the Fiji group, I suggest those who would be part of the emergency response team to stop eating, drinking, going to the washroom, breathing etc. They are to be fully focused on the task. If that is not enough, travel towards the severe weather system and when near, shout, swear, fight and even start a military war. That should prevent all forms of criticism. However, I am surprised that since there were power blackouts here and there, no one has questioned if the tanoa, bilo and basins were solar powered? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Transform economy

I totally agree with Savenaca Narube that we should transform the economy, not reset it. The astronomical price of things has gone out of hand. People can’t make ends meet. Professor Biman Prasad seems not to understand this. He should take advice from Mr Narube because he has both experience and expertise. ANZ Bank International Economist Pacific Dr Kishti Sen suggested in a media conference this week the Government may not be fully in tune with the reality on the ground given its reliance on outdated inflation data. Wake up Prof Prasad. People are going through difficult times. My suggestion is that you visit poor communities to understand their plight. Paras Naidu Lautoka

Tunnel hideouts

WELL, if Hamas keeps hiding in their tunnels underneath hospitals, schools, refugee camps and residential blocks, then obviously the Israelis will keep bombing these buildings to target them and destroy their hideouts. The unfortunate thing is that it comes with a price — innocent civilian lives as collateral damage! Who is then at fault here, the bomber, or the one that puts their own citizens knowingly or unknowingly at great risk as human shields? Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Some crazy drivers

Last week I had to drive from Suva to Vuda and returned a few days later on the Queen’s Rd where that terrible accident claimed three lives at Lomawai. I was amazed at just how many crazy drivers are on our roads. Speeding, passing on solid white lines, and not indicating when passing or turning onto side roads What is the situation with heavy vehicles including buses? They all have printed at the rear of the vehicle “60KPH” — yet these vehicles go shooting past you when you are in the 80KPH speed zone. I have never seen the Fiji Police radar officers ever pull them over and book them for exceeding the speed limit. Digby Bossley Tamavua, Suva

Bloody suppression

I refer to the report by Reuters (FT 02/11) on King Charles III seeking official apologies for wrong doings to Kenyans by the British Empire. The report said Britain agreed to pay reparations worth 20 million pound to their former colony. Not only Britain but Western nations like Germany have been asked to pay reparations to descendants of people wronged under their reign. How about the Mid-Eastern modern nation of Turkey? Will it pay for atrocities of the 600-year reign of the Ottoman Empire? The reign of this empire caused the death of a million Armenian according to Wikipedia. It makes me wonder why the reparations are required of the West only. But not from other empires of antiquity for their bloody suppression. Sachida Nath Nadi

Embarrassing situation

It is really embarrassing and shameful for people going door to door into communities asking for sweets during Diwali. It is sad because through my experience, during my Diwali Laxmi prayers, people, young and old were shaking and knocking on our gates while we were having our prayers at 6pm. We give our little share to our Fijian brothers and sisters, but we cannot cater for 30 to 40 people knocking on our doors for sweets. We make sweets for our families and friends. There were drunk people also knocking on the gates and when we could not give them sweets, they swore at us and threw stones and harassed us, saying they will burn our house. We don’t go and ask for lovo and palusami during Christmas. There are so many sweet sellers in Fiji, and I request all the sweet beggars to go and buy sweets from the sweet sellers and leave us alone. The police should warn these people not to interfere with us during our Diwali prayers and refrain from asking for sweets during Diwali. What can be done to avoid all this nonsense? Keshwin Nand Kishore Bhindi Rd, Laucala Beach Estate

Not effective

I believe marijuana farming is still thriving in Fiji despite all the raids and arrests. Endlessly new growers and fresh farms are being discovered every day which is indicative of the fact that the campaign is having no effect and growers are undeterred. Agreed that many of the farmers found cultivating the illicit drug have been successfully prosecuted and put behind bars but this has no bearing as new farms are being discovered as you move on. It is fair to say that so far the campaign is proven to be ineffective and non-productive, too. I think time has come to use the resources more sensibly like changing the plan altogether. Let us place emphasis more on the users who are the main reason for the farmers to plant the illegal drug in the first place. Once the users are eradicated, planting will stop by itself. It’s really time to think again. Suresh Chand Nadi

Flooded Irish crossing

THE Irish crossing near the village is now impassable,’coz it was flooded during TC Mal’s passage, making movement impossible. The children will now have to wait, until the flood subsided. The marketing will have to be deferred, until the crops can be transported. The elders will have to ask for assistance, to have a proper bridge constructed. It may take a year or more, for that to happen. It’ll have to be programmed first before, it can be erected. Meanwhile, the Irish crossing provides the only access, the villagers have this time, to the outside world each day. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Ready for the Games

The Fiji team contingent, which consists of 280 athletes and officials, arrived safely in Honiara, adding hype and excitement to the 2023 Pacific Games. Months of preparations will be tested when our athletes compete in the various sports. As the nation is reeling from the aftermath of TC Mal, it’s a relief that our athletes arrived safely in Honiara and are ready to fly Fiji’s flag. Honiara is ready to welcome and host the guests, who are on their shores, getting ready for the opening ceremony which will be held on Sunday where Team Fiji will perform its first Pacific Games cibi. Wishing our athletes and officials all the best! I wish Talei Matairakula and Meli Laddpeter (The Fiji Times), Akuila Cama (FBC) and Irfaan Khan (Fiji One) all the best as they cover the Pacific Games from Honiara. Fijians will be glued to the TV, watching all the action from the PG! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Diwali prayer

This Diwali, I prayed for the children of Gaza be made safe from the whole scale slaughter perpetrated by insane adults. I prayed for light over the darkness that has engulfed their lives. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Failed projects

The previous government accomplished some commendable work in the past. It also had many failures. The Lautoka swimming pool and FNU campus in Labasa are just two notable examples. Could the Finance Minister provide a comprehensive list of all unsuccessful projects undertaken by the previous government along with the corresponding monetary values associated with each project? SANJEET PRASAD Mani Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

Coconut oil

Diabetes, as well as high cholesterol are huge problems worldwide but significantly more so in places like Fiji. Yet there could well be a solution right outside your doorstep. Yep, coconut oil. Checkout the studies online then consult with your medical professional and see what they have to say about using coconut oil as an alternative to insulin especially for Type 2 Diabetes and reducing the harmful LDL cholesterol. Colin Deoki Australia

Soccer greats

Cheeta to join Manurewa (FT 15/11). When it comes to putting the label “great” to former Fiji soccer players, Cheeta and his older brother Macha fall easily into that category. They were brilliant skilful players with the kind of football artistry rarely seen these days in Fiji soccer. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Vinaka Viljoen

It’s great to note there is a shift in the number of senior captains and qualified pilots in the Fiji Airways hierarchy as opposed to the many expatriates with different perks and conditions they used to employ before. Our local men and women are very highly sought after worldwide and are very experienced and qualified, but it seems Fiji Airways is now proactive in the recruitment of Fijians. This is Fiji for Fijians and Fijians for Fiji Airways, the pride of our nation. Tukai Lagonilakeba Nadi

Cyclone precaution

Despite continuous warnings on cyclones and natural disasters, we still see or hear of people not paying heed to advice. People are seen crossing flooded passages, vehicles travelling at high speed, all leading to mishaps. Instead of playing cautious, people are being careless, inviting trouble not only to themselves but harming innocent lives as well. If one does not adhere to precautionary measures stated above then who’s to blame for the tragedy that strikes? Let’s control foolishness to avoid havoc following! Prameeta Chand Namadi Heights, Suva