Letters to the Editor – September 16, 2020

Mereani Tuidama at the Lautoka Market. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO

COVID-19 inspiration

If there’s something that Fijians need now to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, it is inspiration. Repeka Nasiko’s article titled “Tuidama stays focused” (FT: 15/09) would have lifted the hearts and spirits of many Fijians who are struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Mereani Tuidama, who is a market vendor at the Lautoka market, shared her experiences as she battles to adjust to the new normal and her story would have inspired those in the business sector and affected by COVID-19. According to Tuidama despite the struggles she found that her self-made business was a better choice in the face of the global pandemic. Thank you Mereani Tuidama and The Fiji Times for another powerful inspiration! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Vendors in Ba

I write to respond to Jaheed Buksh’s letter on vendors in Ba (FT12/09). I wish to inform Mr Buksh that the reason the honourable minister is urging vendors not to sell outside the market is because of the fact that spaces are available within the market from where vendors can sell. We wish to assure vendors that their livelihoods are not being forgotten. It is important to understand that selling outside the market defeats the whole purpose of having a market. It poses a danger and insecurity for the vendors and their produce and also for the consumers who buy from them. It also causes congestion, especially for those vendors and customers who sell and buy from footpaths and the roadside. At times, selling from outside the market leads to misunderstanding between the vendor and the shop owners from where the vendor is selling. Therefore, in order to prevent this from happening, it is important that market vendors adhere to the council’s market bylaws and sell from the market. If vendors from other municipal markets are successfully selling their produce from the market, I can assure Mr Buksh that the same will happen to the Ba market vendors. Dimity Fifer Ministry for Local Government permanent secretary

Nasty letter

If there is an award for the nastiest letter it should go to Jan Nissar’s “Two men” (FT 15/9) hands down. It’s mind boggling how a good newspaper such as The Fiji Times could see it fit to publish a rotten letter such as that. It’s in very bad taste.(Aside: According to Hindu philosophy every person has “one foot in the grave” from the very day he or she was born. So it’s not only Rabuka and Chaudhry who have “one foot in the grave” as Nissar obscenely states. Human life has a precarious existence. Anyone can go anytime. It is not determined by chronological age. Nissar needs to remember that. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Regional disparities

In respect to PM: We cannot have two Fiji (15/0/2019), my opinion strongly supports the honourable PM’s vision of governance to thrive for providing equally distributing government services to the entire nation. The persistence of regional disparities contradicts fairness. A major factor for the regional imbalance is the income polarisation that creates a sociopolitical instability that inversely impacts the national economic growth reflected in economic performance. The Government’s attempts to provide equal opportunities for health and clean water is a step forward to address the question of spatial inequalities. Imbalance in regional underperformance results as a threat of national instability, the adverse social outcome in terms of disease, and loss of social cohesion. Historical and geographical factors have contributed in creating regional disparities that can be partially rectified by the policy of equal development. Urban and rural divisions are man-made so these need to be erased or reduced to the possible extent to work together for national growth. Hope we will achieve this in the near future. Dr Sakul Kundra Lautoka

Donation to FASA

I am writing to you (president-Fiji Rotary Club) in my capacity as the national secretary of the Federated Airlines Staff Association with regards to the above subject matter. In conjunction with a very close friend of the association who is also the national secretary of your organisation, sister Teresa Ali, our women and youth committees have identified members who were in dire need of assistance. The hampers provided by your group have brought instant relief to the aforementioned members at a time when they really needed it. Your actions have given us meaning to a  popular quote from an American Rabbi by the name of Harold S Kushner who said: “Do things for people, not
because of who they are or what they can give in return… but because of who you are”. The act of kindness you have shown has given us hope in a time of uncertainty. A sense of triumph in the face of calamity. These acts of selflessness
are kind reminders of what it means to be human and the moral obligation of oneself to his or her brethren. On behalf of the national president, the national executive committee and the members of the Federated Airlines Staff Association, I would like to convey our sincere gratitude for the kind gesture. I certainly hope and pray that our almighty Father continue to use you and your organisation to keep bringing light to a somewhat dim world.  The world surely needs more people like you at a time like this. May God continue to bless your organisation and  we wish you all the best in your endeavours. MANASA RATUVILI National secretary, FASA

Repatriation flights

I BELIEVE the jury is still out, on whether repatriation flights are a good or a bad move. However, recent COVID-19 infections overseas seem to indicate a close link between new positive cases and repatriation flights. It therefore seems that the balance is heavily skewed in one direction. At the end of the day, it’s really about striking the  right balance between the safety of the total population and that of a selected stranded few, more so, the  applicable moral and humane justifications therein. It can be a hard ask. Time will usually tell, as to the “lie of the land” and  the verdict on this one. EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Rugby story

Thank you so much to my mataqali Sireli Kaloucava for his encouraging rugby story and testimony during a local TV vernacular rugby show; Na Rakavi Me iCavai that left viewers like me captivated. Known to many as “the aggressor”; Sireli Kaloucava is a local household name in rugby and needs little to no introduction at all to those that followed local rugby for long enough. He is the captain of the Naitasiri provincial team in the Skipper Cup and Farebrother competition. A police officer by profession, he led the police team to victory in the Ratu Sukuna Bowl challenge of 2016. He had been, earlier this year, plying his trade overseas before being repatriated after the pandemic breakout. Synonymous with every other budding rugby player, he had to overcome several obstacles to achieve his dream. Being raised single-handedly by his late mum, going to school without lunch and having walked distances to and post training were his motivation. He further shared that during his younger days, he normally trained alone on the playground under the noon hot sun much to the mockery of onlookers. But he got his eyes fixed on his goal and naysayers weren’t going to impede that. While in school at Lelean Memorial School, he declared to his cousin that he would soon start flying around the world after the Dean’s competition. A fortnight after, he began travelling the world. He also shares a unique leadership quality in that he sets aside time to sit down with the rest of the players and gather their thoughts about him leading the team. And also ensures the welfare of the boys are taken care of. In conclusion he acknowledges and attributes his rugby journey and career success to some notable names and mentors the likes of Padre Joji Rinakama; Master Bill Gadolo and Waisake Tuisese. And to his family and late mum as well. He also emphasised that education should always take precedence or at least balance with rugby and never be the lesser. Because one time your legs will not carry you running any more in rugby and that’s when tuition comes in to keep you afloat and carry you through the rest of life. Listening to him sharing his story, virtues that springed to mind was humility; honesty and sacrifice; commitment and dedication. Loyalty and passion. I hope our young people learn a few things from Sireli’s rugby story. I wish him well for the remainder of the season. Keep on keeping on martz! Toso tikoga mata! Alipate Tuberi Suva

Nadro comeback

The wounded but resilient Nadroga side almost achieved a rare and massive comeback against Suva last weekend with a strong second half action play. Down 0-22 and the passion to fight back with 26 points in 30 minutes is not an easy feat. One must realise this was not the strongest Nadroga team as the bigger challenge awaits this week in the form of the Farebrother Sullivan Trophy challenge with Namosi. Only the best will survive such a setback and hit you with a comeback. We are sure Nadroga officials are playing their cards right and come this Saturday Tiko and his officials know its business end from here both the Farebrother and Skipper will await its resting ground. Hakwa Nadro all the way. Lave mai na rara cauravou, Joka kece! Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

USP saga

How come Winston Thompson had no problems with the former vice-chancellor? Why are the fees charged at USP so high? Sukha Singh Labasa

Crisis centre

It’s high time we have a men’s crises centre! Sharif Shah Savusavu

Bad picture

The ongoing problems at Ratu Kadavulevu School, the University of the South Pacific and also those few articles being read about the University of Fiji is not painting a good picture for the academic institutions. Can this problem be rectified and fixed as soon as possible for the sake of the students and education? The solutions can be taken out if people are being heard. How about leaving the dirty politics out of it for a start? Let’s instil confidence once again in the terms of education. Kirti Patel Lautoka

LTA issues

I believe LTA in Fiji is one of those entities that may have sustained little shock or not been affected by the financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet I believe some of its offices are closed and even its main offices are closed on Saturdays. This is causing undue constraints of vehicle owners. Come on LTA, I believe you are still getting your share of the revenue through all compulsory payments that vehicle owners have to comply with annually apart from all the fines issued by more than the usual LTA presence along our roadways. Open up your offices around the country and I suggest on Sundays as well to receive fines plus the usual fees of vehicle registration and inspections. Dhirendra Prasad Lautoka

50 years

In less than a month, all Fijians would realise that in 50 independent years, Fiji has taken small Fijian steps forward and four giant Fijian leaps backwards. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

PM’s term

If Jan Nissar (FT 15/9) pokes his memory gland he will recall Mr Chaudhry was never given the opportunity to complete his term as PM. Dan Urai Lautoka

Overtime pay

After reading that a certain radiographer received overtime allowances amounting to more than 240 per cent of annual salary every year for the past six years, I now also want to be a radiographer. This much overtime pay is just unheard of. Kemudou! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

More Stories