Letters to the Editor – Sunday, March 26, 2023

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The invasive African tulip tree in Fiji. Picture: www.pixels.com

African tulip

THE African tulip is truly a pest and is steadily over-running our forests all along the Queen’s and King’s roads. This is most alarming. I am truly concerned. Over the years, through these columns, I have called for its eradication on many occasions. Somehow, no one took heed at all. I now make this appeal to the new Minister for Forests to come up with a solution. The conservator of forests needs to engage and participate with some urgency. Allow me to propose, through all provincial councils, to establish iTaukei youths to engage in some pilot project as a source of income with possible assistance from the European Union to commence its eradication before it is too late. Can the Ra Province lead in this direction please? African tulip trees have no commercial value I am reliably informed. The total eradication of this pest is absolutely necessary to safe guard our native trees, flora and fauna. I plead with both our dailies to make a real effect in promoting to eradicate this ever-spreading pest needlessly introduced to our shores. Vina va levu du. RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Exuberant celebrations

WITH so much exuberance which has quickly turned into ecstasy after this Government’s “win” with all the celebrations of glory by certain members of the government and their appointees — if people are wondering why it is a little slimy at the places where these celebrations were being held, they now know why. The huge celebration in Cakaudrove is a case in point where the Speaker of Parliament reaffirmed his independence and integrity for the job at hand. There is no embarrassment or shame in celebrating when you are the biggest losers and were rejected by the same people at the election if there is an environment of exuberance, I guess. Hopefully with the proposed change in media laws, reporters of Fiji can openly discuss these shenanigans without fear. JAN NISSAR NSW, Australia

Municipal elections

THE municipal elections had been sidelined for so many years by the previous government on the pretext of having the old Local Government Act reviewed and reformed. That government is no longer in power now. They now sit on the Opposition bench, nonetheless. For sixteen years the ratepayers of this country were denied their constitutional right to participate in the municipal elections. I believe never in the history of the local government was a period so bad and nonsensical than this one. To what stage had the review reached is a mystery. Did it start at all? Moving forward with this Coalition Government, things are looking more positive as media reports so far suggest. We acknowledge and thank the present Government for thinking and acting affirmatively towards bringing democracy back in the councils. However, ratepayers need to play their part by paying the dues on time. Again, I wish to thank the present Government for looking at the welfare of the ratepayers. SURESH CHAND Nadi

Manhole matter

I DON’T want to jump the gun as the new Government has only just begun the work of putting things right in the country but some things need to be done without delay because they pose a threat to public safety and welfare. The gapping manhole and inlet in The Fiji Times eyewitness photo (FT 24/3, FT 25/3) is an example of that. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Work harder and smarter

I MUST totally agree with our Honourable Prime Minister Mr Sitiveni Rabuka when he met civil servants at Taveuni Hospital. He gave a good talk and a really satisfying advice loyal civil servants must abide by — “Work hard, work well, work smart and cooperate with others for a happy workplace. Although there might be a saying that goes ”work smart, not hard”, I would like to ignore that and turn the table around instead. Like what our Honourable Prime Minister has stated, we all should work smart and hard. How can you work smart if you are not working that hard enough to pursue your dreams? In order to be smart, you must surely go through all types of circumstances, including sacrificing everything you have to make it possible for your future to shine bright. Through hardwork and dedication, your future dream will soon be revealed in a matter of time and through difficulties, your strength and capabilities will show who you truly are. KELEPI DAKUIYACO Waikalou, Serua

Fiji soccer

I GENUINELY do not see any hope for football in Fiji after seeing the ongoing Pacific Tri-Nations results and performances. The national side lost 2-1 to Solomon Islands and drew 2-2 with our own Under 20 squad. With one game remaining against Vanuatu, there is little to no hope for a victory despite the event taking place on our own soil. Even our Under 20 team held the national team to a draw, what could be worse than that? Fiji is better in every way in comparison with Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, in terms of team funding and facilities, however, if one watches the performances, it will seem otherwise, which is quite shameful for a country like ours that’s known to produce fantastic athletes, at least in the Pacific context. There seems to be no direction and no hunger or fight within the team to reach greater heights. The intensity is really low and the pattern of play is boring. Any person could sense that the team lacks chemistry. We are ranked 163rd in the world ranking and 6th in the Oceania region. Fiji’s World Cup dream looks to be futile for a long time. Youngsters in the country who plan to take up football as a career in Fiji should think twice before doing that because realistically, there are not many opportunities football could provide to them. RAYNAV CHAND NAKASI, NAUSORI

Loud worshippers

NO religion prescribes that prayers should be performed by disturbing the peace of others nor does it preach that they should be through voice amplifiers. Are we worshipping Gods with a hearing problem? WISE MUAVONO BALAWA, LAUTOKA

Gollings selects squad for HK

BEN Gollings unveiled his 13-member squad for HK and Singapore 7s tournaments, and I was surprised that former 7s playmaker Napolioni Bolaca, whose knee injury has been the talk around the tanoa, made the cut after he was cleared by the doctor. Alongside Bolaca, Joseva Talacolo, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Vuiviawa Naduvalo and Police Blue robust forward Suliano Volivoli make their return. Calls were made by the public for Bolaca and Police Blue kingpin Terio Tamani, who played a crucial role in the side’s victory over Fiji in the Marist 7s final, to be part of the team, and their prayers were answered. Talacolo will provide the much-needed firepower in the pack against Argentina and Samoa. On the other hand, Josese Batirerega, Ponipate Loganimasi, Tevita Daugunu, Pilipo Bukayaro, Waisea Nacuqu, Manueli Maisamoa and Iowane Teba retained their spots in the 7s team. It is a pity that the likes of Josua Vakurunabili, Alasio Naduva, Anasa Qaranivalu, Jerry Tuwai and Rokoua Rasaku missed the cut, but on paper we have an experienced side gunning to win our first cup title on the HSBC WRSS circuit. I hope Gollings and company will join hands to gift Fijians a wonderful Palm Sunday and Easter gift. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Poor road condition

IT has come to our notice the road condition in Nakabuta, Bua. It has been over a month now and still the road condition is extremely bad because of the landslide. The schoolchildren and the general public are using this very same road to get to schools and also to Nabouwalu. I earnestly request the concerned authorities to take proper action regarding this matter as soon as possible. ALOWESI BUIDRAVO Makoi, Nasinu

Roads and fines

THE Land Transport Authority and the Fiji police is ever ready to hand over tickets to car owners and drivers for slight mishaps or minor issues without giving regard to the terrible road conditions Fiji has. Dodging potholes is like an easier way to see God but we will get tickets regardless. RAYNAV CHAND Nakasi, Nausori

Zombie drug

I BELIEVE one of the major disadvantages and inevitable consequences of globalisation is the introduction of illegal drugs. For example, in the 1990s there was hardly any mention of cocaine and meth on our streets but sadly, this is no longer the case. Skimming through the news the other day, one noticed a new and scary drug in the USA. The zombie drug or tranq is so scary that one hopes it does not reach our shores. Unfortunately, it makes users behave like zombies and is known to have side effects like rotting of the users skin. Let’s pray our border control agencies are quick to work with international counterparts in preventing this from landing on our shores. One only has to do a google search of this drug to realise how scary it is. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in and there is every danger of this drug landing in the Pacific. FLOYD ROBINSON Federated States of Micronesia

No development

ASSOCIATE Professor Shailendra Singh, the head of USP’s journalism faculty, makes the observation that whereas the Bainimarama government imposed Media Act was titled Media Industry Development Act “the focus was on regulation” and “no attention at all paid to development” (FT 25/3). Yes, titles can be something of a misnomer. North Korea’s official title is “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”. There is nothing democratic about North Korea. It’s a dictatorship. We have some familiarity with that in post-coup Fiji when the aforementioned Media Act was put in place. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Manchester United

THE club owners are asking for 20 billion Fijian dollars Our national debt is 10 billion dollars. I wonder how much is Fiji soccer worth and how much are those trophies worth that is at stake at every FFA tournament that players die for playing four 90-minute matches in four days. A SHARIFF SHAH Savusavu

Donald Trump

SEEMS like some people don’t have more important things to do  then pile cases on Donald Trump or eagerly await his incarnation. STEVEN CHANDRA Suva

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