Letters to the Editor – Sunday, February 5, 2023

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Maria Qio Yasa at her stall at the Nausori Handicraft Centre in the Nausori Market. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The journey towards success

“Never let your talents go to waste,” was the apt message that Marica Qio Yasa, who shared her story with Pauliasi Mateboto (FT 03/03), had for readers.

She stated that life often threw challenges not to break one’s spirit, but to bring out one’s untapped potential.

As Marica shared the challenges that she faced, she reflected on her journey that led her to be one of the most trusted vendors at the Nausori flea market.

I agree with Marica that everyone has talents that could be put to use to earn a living, and Marica used her talents to become a successful entrepreneur.

Through her hard work and commitment, her business flourished, and she was able to fund her daughter’s education.

Pauliasi penned another beautiful piece on Nausori market vendor Mohini Lata, whose message, “You might have to struggle in order to have success. Sometimes you need to learn how to work very hard. Complaining every time will never help,” is worth pondering on!

Despite losing her husband, Mohini continues to surge ahead.

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Lawyer not fined

I am glad the news item concerning Mehboob Raza has been corrected with an apology from the editor for the mistake (FT 9/1).

Thank you Subhas Parshotam who acted as the counsel for Mr Raza for providing the full facts regarding the case.

As far as I know as a veteran lawyer and former DPP Mr Raza carries an impeccable and unblemished reputation and standing in the legal profession.

As my former boss always used to tell me, choice of words is very important as wrong words has a propensity to misrepresent facts.

That reminds of the old adage that words are like arrows shot from a bow, once they leave the bow they can never return.

Thank you Mr Raza for your long and distinguished service.

Wishing you all the best and a happy retirement.


Enlightening article

Reading Richard Naidu’s article (FT 04/23) was not only enlightening and informative, it was also infuriating.

How can any government do so much damage, create untold fear and heartache to a nation and still get away with it?

And yet thousands still voted for them thinking they were the solution and saviour to Fiji’s ills.

I hope many right-thinking Fijians, including those in SODELPA, have woken from their slumber.

To support such an anarchistic rabble is almost tantamount to collusion.

The heavy-handed imposition and countless control mechanisms put in place to muzzle the masses must be lifted and placed in the garbage bin of history.

If you were one of those swayed by their high profile glitz and glamour I hope you can forgive yourself for your imprudent choice.

I pray that Fijians never allow such blatant hypocrisy, victimisation and injustices to prevail over their nation ever again.

And whatever happens, please do not become complacent thinking that you can rest on your laurels.

The road is long and it’ll be littered with many craters and obstacles and dead ends.

At times it may feel like you’re going nowhere fast.

You may even feel like throwing in the towel.

Remember to lean on each other during times of frustration.

And more than anything remember to lean on the Almighty for refreshment and more importantly, direction and wisdom for the way forward.

Colin Deoki, Australia

Rugby understudy

It’s time the Fiji Rugby Union include local understudy to foreign coaches as a long-term strategy.

Set up various standards for locals to be aware of and work with stakeholders to build the development criteria.

I believe running around on the eve of the World Cup looking for a replacement coach does not help in building confidence.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

GCC to start soon

The Great Council of Chiefs should be convening very soon as stated by our PM.

As we understand from 1990, it has 55 members, mainly chiefs, with some specially qualified commoners.

Is it not proper that only 14 provincial councillors be elected from Fiji’s 14 provinces?

Whatever we do to get back on our feet, make sure it is moral and that our upcoming success is at the service of others, not at the expense of others.

Samu Silatolu, Nakasi

The spirit

SO sad to see the spirit of the Opposition Leader not bowing his head to the person he chose to be our President at the official opening of Parliament.

Perhaps they were also super busy not to attend the reception hosted by his excellency.

Dua beka na ca makawa!


An experience

We were amazed by what we have been experiencing now.

Thank you for revealing the truth.

A learned gentleman wrote centuries ago and said: “No one is more hated than the one who speaks the truth”– Plato.

Jioji O Toronibau, Navetau, Tunuloa

Military and the law

The article by Fiji National University law lecturer Ana Rokomokoti on Saturday (FT 04/02) on the inferred powers of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) drawn from Section 131(2) of Fiji’s Constitution raises a lot of interest.

It is particularly thought-provoking to hear a different side to the accepted powers under this constitutional provision, with the RFMF as the last bastion of democracy, which many felt could have threatened the very existence of the current coalition Government immediately after the 2022 general elections.

Ms Rokomokoti has provided another angle under her argument that Section 131(2) should be read together with other laws which she believes would always subject the military to the executive arm of Government through the Minister for Home Affairs.

These refreshing views regarding the “guardian role” of the military should be explored by the legal fraternity and attempt to establish a legal consensus on the arguments offered.

The environment has been provided by the new government to take up this challenge and establish what is right for the interest of the people of Fiji.

Emosi Balei, Suva

Fighting NCDs

Last year it was reported that NCDs cost Fiji around $591 million.

I disagree — it cost even more: mental stress, cut off limbs, and more dishearteningly lives.

In recent decades, NCDs have become the biggest killer in Fiji, causing thousands of deaths every year – many of those deaths were premature – and affecting the lives of many more.

Around 80 per cent of deaths in Fiji are caused by an NCDs and those numbers are growing.

No matter what age you are, male or female, iTaukei or Fijian of Indian descent, you are vulnerable to NCDs.

If you live an unhealthy lifestyle, you are increasing your risk.

We make unhealthy choices that are detrimental to our health.

I’m urging the Ministry of Health to do more campaigning in raising awareness on NCD — more advertisements, more conversations every day and a lot of work to erase the astigmatism around the word “NCD”.

Ashneel J Prasad, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Interesting salaries


I think we should wait and watch if somebody has crossed a million dollar salary per annum.

It would be a “phooh!” once again!

ARTI VERMA, Simla, Lautoka

The same

The Flying Fijians are in the same boat as Wallabies, Wales and England teams.

These Tier 1 teams lost their coaches and replacements were announced instantly to rebuild and focus ahead.

Fiji should get a coach who will take the massive task of building a team to the World Cup in eight months.

Former coach Wayne Pivac is in line for a comeback, we have sacked Wallabies mentor Dave Rennie in the mix or former renowned Flying Fijians Greg Smith, Simon Raiwalui, Sireli Bobo, Seremaia Bai and Senirusi Seruvakula also in the running.

Even five-time World Cup veteran our own wizard Waisale Serevi is an option and my final name on paper is 2016 sevens gold guru and our very own and my favourite Ratu Peni Rayani aka Ben Ryan to come back, he did some robust coaching and mentoring after 2016 in 15s so why not start the talanoa and veilomani.

Who knows Fiji could become the first country in the world to be coached by a 7s and 15s guru and could make history to lift the Webb Ellis trophy… kon roki!

Anything can happen in 2023. Na gauna ni veisau, change is inevitable.

Go for it!

Joka kece.

Toso Viti.

Shalwyn Prasad, Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Governance issue

My education at the USP in critical thinking enabled me to see the way Bainimarama and his right-hand man Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum were running the country since the 2006 military takeover was bad governance.

But in my wildest dreams I didn’t imagine it being so appallingly bad until the recent revelations of the salaries and perks of the two and top executives installed in entities under government control.

That is like adding insult to injury suffered by the people of Fiji with the suppression/abuse of their civil rights and freedoms during their reign in power.

The Fijian people must collectively say “never again” to such rotten governance in the country.

Rajend Naidu, Sydney, Australia

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