Raiwalui joins World Rugby!
It’s a proud moment for Fijians that former Flying Fijians head coach Simon Raiwalui has been appointed the new general manager of World Rugby’s High-Performance Unit. Raiwalui, who took over from Vern Cotter, resigned as head coach, following the team’s exit at the quarterfinal stage of the RWC, after the controversial loss at the hands of England. While we would have loved him to continue, he resigned, citing family commitments. Raiwalui will be remembered for the role that he played in breaking a 69-year-old drought against the Wallabies and the 16-year-old wait for the RWC quarters. Under Raiwalui’s coaching tenure, Fiji beat England for the first time and that too at Twickenham. Raiwalui will be an asset to World Rugby. He has proved himself, with a decorated and colourful CV and his addition is a significant investment by World Rugby. I’m adamant that Simon will provide technical expertise and assistance to Fiji, Samoa and Tonga to develop rugby. Congrats Simon! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu
The Department of Energy seemed shocked after a Power Purchase Agreement was signed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry with IPC, an American Renewable Energy Company. If it did not even know, from my perspective, then what has transpired involving renewable energy, is null and void, technically. Who then is accountable to who? Looks like individual “castle building” is still in place. There is a saying, “Without corruption, democracy can not exist”. Rabuka, before venturing outside, please, clean up your own backyard. Samu Silatolu Nakasi
Power by Christmas!
In July 2018 my daughter-in-law excitedly rang me with the good news. The big boss of FEA had gone on television to announce that electricity would reach the Matei area by Christmas. Unfortunately, as I pointed out to her, there was no mention about what Christmas and of what year. Many Christmases have gone by, FEA no longer exists, it has now being replaced with EFL. However, thankfully, EFL have partly fulfilled their promise. Of an evening, I’ll mix my grog, sit on my porch, and after my first bowl, wistfully look at the beautiful powerpole in my driveway, and wonder: “When will we get the electricity, will it be this Christmas or maybe next?”. Donald Thomas Pickering Matei, Taveuni
I do not wish to “rain on the parade” of the GCC delegation to China to see how they manage their villages. But a basic lesson they will learn, which I can see all the way from here with my X-ray eyes, is that in China there aren’t 6000 chiefs in a tiny little population. That is the whole problem, I believe. How can the Chinese fix a problem which is endemic from within? The solution is basic — change traditions or stop complaining and stay where you are. But enjoy the free ride. The people of Fiji are truly blessed. Jan Nissar Sydney, NSW, Australia
I am pretty sure you have experienced this. People entering your office nowadays and swearing it is heaven. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka
How did that happen?
Sukha Singh wants to know ‘How did that happen?’ (FT 3/12). That refers to a $122m American turbine investment deal without going through relevant ministers and processes. You see in a coup country all sorts of foreign investors will converge to jack up deals by circumventing the norms of good ethical enterprise. Some succeed. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia
Fijian women’s soccer
In the 2023 Pacific Games women’s soccer final for gold, Fiji made a total of four defensive blunders to allow PNG four goals. It was a hard match to watch. Rather embarrassing. I am not impressed. Congratulations must go to PNG for their 4-1 over a shameful Fiji performance. Where does Fiji women’s soccer go from here? Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi
I attended my daughters’ prize-giving ceremony the other day (1/12/23) at Namata District School in Bau, Nausori where the current acting director of Public Prosecution, John Rabuku was the chief guest. Actually, Mr Rabuku is from the same village and it was a proud moment for him to be the chief guest amongst his own people. It was amazing to hear the hard work that the acting DPP did during his schools days taking him to where he is today. Despite having a very short conversation with him, I could sense the humbleness in him with a nice sense of humour. Rabuku is a renowned name and it was evident when a couple of students with Rabuku as surname worked across the main dias to collect their respective prizes during the ceremony. As this happened, I could see the scintillating expression on acting DPP’s face. He was a be-fitting chief guest as he shared his school life to inspire and motivate students during the momentous occasion. I wish you all the best sir in your current role. ROHITESH CHAND Lomawai, Nadroga
Three decades after the idea was first mooted, the long-awaited Damage and Loss Fund was finally launched on day one of COP28. The fund, totalling around $US400 million ($F888m) lights up the hopes of poor countries which have suffered from climate-related weather events such as droughts and storms. This is not new money though, and while the fund is simply not enough, it’s a relief to note that the richer countries are now virtually certain that we are living through climate collapse in real time, noting that 2023 will be the hottest year on record. Samu Railoa Nadi
There are two very commendable adverts on FBC TV that bring out Fiji’s multiracial composition and the bonds between our two main races. By a coincidence the two TV adverts come one after another during the evening news. They deserve special recognition. The first is from RC Manubhai showing their truck coming to a humble but neat rural Indo-Fijian home with the young son excitedly calling out: Lorry coming. Three smiling iTaukei men deliver timber and then all sit down on the floor of the veranda while the housewife serves them tea. What a picture of harmony, dignity and respect for one another! The second is one of the clips from HFC. It shows a young iTaukei man helping an elderly Indo-Fijian lady by carrying her bundle of dry coconuts while holding an umbrella over her head. This type of assistance happens all the time but is not often recognised! Last year I seem to recall a TV advert by one of the chicken companies that showed an iTaukei and an Indo-Fijian family sharing their Christmas lunch. I wish there were more adverts that bring out Fiji’s multicultural society and these would be a nice message to foster more goodwill among our people. Sadly I can’t say the same about Radio Mirchi’s jokes. They have a great team of announcers, even if the representatives of some of the main sponsor companies get hysterical with their red, white and blue pen deals! Sadly I believe Radio Mirchi has a woeful store of about six jokes that they have been repeatedly playing for many months, daily and repeatedly, like the first date and the boy in the park. I wonder if the staff still enjoy laughing at these jokes? Maybe I have lost my sense of humour as I wince each time one of these comes up! Come on Radio Mirchi, if it’s too much work to refresh the jokes, please just remove what you are inflicting on your listeners! Bernard Chandra Nasoso
The Fiji Times reports that employees failed to pay their deductions amounting to $65.13m in 2022 (FT22/11). I think this explains how difficult it is to put food on the table with the ever rising cost of living. The FNPF comes to the rescue of its members in times of their needs. Members always look forward to quality services accordingly with justified allowance for our meaningful retirements. Invest your future with FNPF. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand
Drawback for football!
The Digicel Bula Boys failed yet again to emulate the success of the 2003 national football team that won the gold medal in the football competition, after defeating New Caledonia 2-0. Goals from cousins Esala and Manoa Masi, two prolific strikers of their time, gifted Fiji the gold medal in Suva. Hopes were high when the boys qualified for the semis, but our discipline, fitness, inability to find the back of the net and lack of confidence attributed to our downfall against the hosts at the iconic Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara. We were lucky that the hosts missed several sitters, or else we would have been embarrassed. It’s 20 years now that the Pacific Games gold medal has evaded the national football team and discussion must focus on getting back the glory days. It starts at home — get back to basics and re-ignite club competition, focus on player welfare and the pride in wearing the national jumper and pick players based on performance rather than name. Some players in the team played below their standard or expected level. Let’s get a local coach who can do the job – we have capable people right here in Fiji. Rope in senior administrators, who have a proven record and those who can guide and manage the team. Finally, preparations must start early and not days before the competition! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu