Letters to the Editor | Sunday, November 19, 2023

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

Landslide disaster

The Fiji Times picture of a landslide with Josevata and Ben Chang (FT 15/11) speaks a lot about the types of houses built on different foundations. We all want to live in our comfortable houses and secured land. I believe this should be approved with appropriate plans built on solid land. In this worsening climate change scenario, our day-to-day challenges for safety of lives and property remains paramount. The Fiji Times with pictures and reports always echoes precautionary messages for all to take heed of valuable advice. Safety with care matters the most. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Fact and fiction

The views Professor Wadan Narsey expresses in his article “The RFMF: the fiction and the facts” (FT 18/11) coincides with my own. The truth regarding the Fiji military’s role in the coups in the country – and the violence, trauma and economic setback associated with them – cannot be denied or glossed over. To do so would be to distort the true history of our military. Our military can and should make a new beginning on maintaining peace in Fiji keeping its past problematic history in mind. That I believe is the fervent hope of all the people of Fiji. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Watch dogs

UNDER the political coalition leadership, people are voicing their concerns and speaking up freely without fear of intimidation and persecution. People are now free from those watch dogs that once monitored what is spoken publicly. AREKI DAWAI Suva

Cashless or what?

Fiji is well on its way to a cashless economy according to the Minister of Finance. Except for bus fares. I believe that will go back from being cashless to full cash. So, this will be a Fiji-style cashless economy, I presume. Jan Nissar Sydney, NSW, Australia

That right turn

I was turning right whilst driving out of Extra Supermarket, Flagstaff in Suva on a weekday last week when I was stopped by a police officer just before the Mobil service station, who asked me if I knew why I was being stopped. When I replied in the negative he explained that the road rules stated that no vehicle is permitted to cross a double continuous line (DCL) for any reason. After driving for over 40 years it was the first time that I was made aware of the rules regarding DCL. I knew that no vehicle should overtake another on a DCL-marked road, but that was it. From the officer’s explanation, vehicles are not allowed to cross a DCL to turn right into a driveway, street or any other right-turning thoroughfare. So for drivers out there, a warning, especially if you are exiting from Extra Supermarket and need to travel towards Rewa St, you would have to turn left and then spin back at the Knolly St roundabout. This schooling from the courteous police officer supports the old adage that learning is a continuous life process. Emosi Balei Suva

Whose fault is it?

SAVENACA Narube, the Unity Fiji party leader, said (FT 17/11) that the Government is not settings its priorities clearly, that the Government is hardly doing anything about the cost of living. Consequently many people were not able to celebrate Diwali. This is a laughable assertion. My father used to say laziness moves so slowly that poverty soon overtakes it. And therein lies the problem. There is an acute labour shortage in Fiji and we have to get labourers from Bangladesh. But the number of beggars has increased dramatically. Last week, I had gone to Nadi Town and four men approached me asking for money as their houses had burnt down. I found that a little hard to believe as I had not seen any news about that on TV. Were the news reporters being derelict in their duties? But I gave these guys the benefit of the doubt. I told them to take me to where their houses got burnt. And I would give them some money. And none of them offered to take me. My wife thought this was a dumb idea as anyone of them could have taken me somewhere and beaten the crap out of me. But I digress. It is not the Government’s responsibility to eliminate poverty but to create circumstances that foster improvement in the economy. The onus is upon the people to benefit from it. I salute the successful Fijians who start their businesses. During the pandemic, when tourism has come to a standstill, many employees started to do other things to put food on the table. The Government gives grants to start small and medium enterprises. But most people would rather wait for handouts or beg or scam others. Begging is a shameful and demeaning vocation but it seems to be a way of life for some. They need to remember this quote, “If you are born poor, it is not your fault but if you die poor, it is your fault”. And it is sad that some leaders, instead of encouraging people to work harder, blame the Government. The Government is perfect. Far from it, actually. But those have who have the desire to succeed will do so in spite of it. The hardworking and enterprising segment of the society (20 per cent of the population) will do well regardless of who is in power and the lazy ones (the other 80 per cent) will refuse to take personal responsibility and blame others for their pathetic plight. The Pareto Principle is alive and well. ARVIND MANI, Nadi

Tora’s sentence 

IN The Fiji Times excerpts from May 1 to May 31, 1980 under May 14 we read: trade unionist and landowner’s leader Apisai Tora began a 12-month goal sentence at Natabua Goal after Lautoka Court convicted him of acting “in flagrant violation of the Constitution and laws of Fiji” (FT 18/11/23). Has anyone else been convicted of that since then considering we have had four coups since that time? RAJEND NAIDU SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Hamas and the IDF

Your newspaper seems to be carrying out more stories of the Gaza war favouring the civilians in Gaza. I believe they are themselves to be blamed when they were warned in advanced by the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to move out from North Gaza and into safer Southern Gaza but they stubbornly refused, siding instead with the terrorists Hamas. We all know how the Hamas terrorists use hospitals, schools, mosques and even ambulances as shields not to be attacked by IDF. This time IDF was not going to fall to any of the terrorist Hamas tricks. This is IDF’s opportunity to root out and annihilate the terrorist Hamas once and for all. Let us not forget October 7, who actually stirred the hornet’s nest so to speak? It was the terrorist Hamas that started the carnage since they chose war and not peace with the state of Israel. Then get ready to accept the bloody rotten option of your bloody choice which will mean the extinction of the terrorist Hamas! Good riddance! Waisea Navuruvuru Nasoso, Nadi Airport

Pacific Games

It’s really frustrating and upsetting that the people of Fiji are not able to witness our family and friends participating in the Pacific Games live on television. While there is regular update on the performances and results of our representatives, I do not understand why there is no live TV coverage. The whole idea of this event is to promote both minor and major sports and present those athletes to their nations in order to give people a sense of pride to witness them, however, the purpose seems defeated as no sport is broadcast in Fiji so far with no announcement being made in regards to it. Utterly disappointing! Raynav Chand Nakasi

Rawaqa joins Fijian Drua!

As the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua revealed its squad for the 2024 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season, marking its third campaign in the club’s infant history, it was pleasing to note that former Flying Fijians star lock Ifereimi Rawaqa was named the skills and development coach. Rawaqa had a successful career as a player, having donned the Flying Fijians jumper both in 7s and 15s. He is remembered by many for the role that he played in assisting Fiji beat England in the semi-final of the 2005 RWC 7s at the So Kon Po Stadium. Rawaqa, who has World Rugby Level 3 coaching accreditations, has 44 Test Caps under his belt. His inclusion into the Drua coaching panel is a plus point. After last year’s success (beating the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific champions Crusaders 25-24 and the Reds 41-17 in a do-or-die battle at home) and making the quarterfinal in just our second year of participation, fans are eager for more upsets and thrills, and with seven games in Fiji for the first time ever, they are excited to see the Drua take on the world’s best players at home. The Drua went down to the Crusaders 49-8 in Christchurch. I’m looking forward to a polished and improved performance from the Drua and a home quarterfinal as we host the Waratahs, Moana, Crusaders, Rebels and Force at Churchill Park and Reds and Hurricanes at the HFC Bank Stadium. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Eye check

Samu Silatolu has noticed Hamas has taken dehumanisation to another level (FT 18/11). Has he noticed any dehumanisation of the Palestinian people by the Israeli State? If he hasn’t he needs to go for an eye check up as a bare minimum. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Road accidents

I hope and only hope something will really happen. I believe those going to driving schools get their licence so easily that hardly anyone fails whether they take manual or automatic tests. I believe some driving examiners and driving schools are connected. Even for passing your vehicles for road worthy fitness, it is done so easily. I believe even vehicles with defects get their fitness with ease. I believe some vehicles are at home yet they get their fitness  without inspection. All these things add up to more accidents. PARAS NAIDU Lautoka

Sexual predators

THEY come in many forms, shapes, sizes and races. They can be influential people in our communities. At homes, it can be fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, brothers, nephews, neighbours, family friends, etc. Safety plans for women and children if you are reading this, identify your boundaries, practise saying “no” with a clear and forceful voice, defend your boundaries even with the smallest violation, speak up at any time if you feel uncomfortable. I know some predators too will be reading this; they will always be miles ahead in planning when to pounce on their next victim! JIOJI MASIVESI CAKACAKA CARRERASVOTUALEVU, NADI