Letters to the Editor – Thursday, December 9, 2021

The Fiji Bitter Wairiki Sevens carnival underway in Taveuni. Picture SERAFINA SILAITOGA

More than rugby

Excitement in the Garden Island of Taveuni is increasing by the hour and expected to become electric as matches at the Fiji Bitter Wairiki 7s progress. A number of teams from Viti Levu have travelled the ocean to participate in this event, making it a unique tournament but there are reasons beyond rugby to visit Taveuni. The natural beauty is majestic. One has to visit the waterfalls at Bouma and Lavena. Like they say words cannot describe this natural beauty and it’s best experienced in person. The scenery on the way to Vuna is breathtaking and the blow holes is another feature to look out for. If there is a trip I will cherish, then without a doubt the boat ride from Lavena offered scenery that cannot be described in words as one has to experience it. It somehow reminds one of a place called the Garden of Eden. Some visitors to the Garden Island have not only met but fallen for their soul mates. The natural landscapes and lush vegetation are a standout feature of this island, believed to be one of the youngest volcanoes in Fiji. All in all, there are many reasons beyond rugby to explore and visit Taveuni. For now may the best team win and fans enjoy the best of rugby in Wairiki. Floyd Robinson Toorak, Suva

Tavioka flour

Is the Minister for Agriculture even aware of the work on tavioka flour being done by the Tavioka Growers Association? In his address on import substitution for wheat (FT 08/12) when he launched a private company in Lautoka now processing organic tavioka flour, he never once mentioned the huge inroads being done by TGA on tavioka flour. Nothing against the Lautoka company but the scope of the operations being set up by TGA covers the whole of Fiji and is worth a visit by Government if it has not done so. Just saying. Emosi Balei Suva

Better than men

Once they were jeered and laughed at and not taken seriously, now they have gone and done it and changed things completely. They have beaten the men’s 7s team on the current table, coz they’ve become seven savvy and more than capable. The women’s current record is better than the men’s, two silver medals so far, even before Spain. While the men were in 9th place in both tournaments, who would have believed that kind of placement. These new players will just have to believe, that they can be winners, like in the Olympics. The women have now come out on top and could be the surprise from the next stop The men will now have to turn the tide and rise to the top of the table again, from way behind. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle Pacific Harbour

Change of heart

It is indeed heartening to know that the ministry has had a change of heart regarding the “unqualified teachers”. If I recall correctly, in their statements earlier, the permanent secretary and the Minister for Education had clearly stated that certificate and diploma holders were “not recognised as qualified teachers” and “parents wanted their children to be taught by qualified teachers”. And that “these teachers would be replaced by degree holders”. I have stated earlier and reiterate that the ministry cannot replace teachers just based on their qualification. Certificate and diploma holders, just like degree holders, are competent to teach as they met the minimum qualification requirement for the teaching position at the time of intake. Anyways, the stance taken by the ministry now is Christmas come early for concerned teachers. Arun Prasad Dilkusha, Nausori

Sexual harassment

The message to end all forms of violence — including sexual harassment against women in the workplace and elsewhere — is a message to us all. Women and all employees should demand to see a Sexual Harassment Policy from your employer to safeguard yourselves. This will ensure that your organisation is safe, respectable and equitable for all. Report anyone who harasses you at your workplace either verbally or physically. No more cover-ups. Jioji M Cakacaka Tadra, Votualevu, Nadi

Digital revolution

Walesi has launched a digital platform through which all future communications will take place. Thus a digital revolution in Fiji which will significantly improve our connectivity. Thus making access to information much easier and life worth living. The use of satellites to connect Fijians living in the interior of major islands and in maritime zones will certainly bring the nation closer together. The quality of service will also improve making life better and happier. The clients now have far greater options to choose from and enjoy the thrill! We live in the information age and have no choice but to accept new technologies as it unfolds. Dewan Chand Donu Place, Namadi Heights

International Anti-Corruption Day

December 9 is International Anti-Corruption Day. It is a day for governments, businesses, civil society and the whole of society to renew our commitment to working together to end the devastating impact of corruption on people’s lives around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed gaping weaknesses in the ways many countries spend public resources and make decisions during crises. Corruption affects all areas of society. Preventing corruption unlocks progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, helps protect our planet, creates jobs, achieves gender equality, and secures wider access to essential services such as healthcare and education. Fun facts: It’s been said that police ranks top list under corruption throughout the world then others follow. While it is everyone’s right to benefit from strong anti-corruption efforts, misconduct and wrongdoing is stealing away valuable resources at a time when they are most needed to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. International Anti-Corruption Day is a time for political leaders, governments, legal bodies and lobby groups to work together against corruption work by promoting the day and the issues that surround this event. On this day, anti-corruption advocates organise events to engage the public to effectively fight against corruption and fraud in communities. Corruption is an issue that affects all countries around the world and Pacific nations as well. It can refer to the destruction of one’s honesty or loyalty through undermining moral integrity or acting in a way that shows a lack of integrity or honesty. It also refers to those who use a position of power or trust for dishonest gain. Corruption comes in various forms such as bribery, law-breaking without dealing with the consequences in a fair manner, unfairly amending election processes and results, and covering mistakes or silencing whistleblowers (those who expose corruption in hope that justice would be served). This International Anti-Corruption Day is an opportunity for us to recommit to collective action in preventing and addressing corruption, as we reflect on the devastating consequences of COVID-19 on governance institutions, the economy, and society. Happy International Anti-Corruption Day! Neelz Singh Lami

Grafted persons

Jan Nissar, rest assured, no right-thinking person in Fiji and Australia believes you when you say that “in Australia no one knew about the rugby sevens tournaments in Dubai”. I believe the real, original Australians knew full well about the tournament. The real, original Australians’ anthem Advance Australia Fair echoed over the ground in Dubai and beyond the seas on the three occasions when Australia played in the finals. Only pseudo-Australians like you will ridicule a favourite Australian pastime too — rugby 7s. Only pseudo-Australians like you don’t appreciate the effort and sweat put in by the real, original Australians. It pays to remember that pseudo-Australians like you are not the original stock but are grafted onto the original stock. And when the chips are down, I believe grafted pseudo-persons are always the first to abandon ship. William Rosa Ba

Fatal accidents

With the recent incidents of fatal vehicle accidents, police have still not clarified whether a traffic police officer can ask a driver why he or she is driving slowly, as in my case some months ago in Navua. My mobile number is 9565242. Asish Vinay Prasad Park Rd, Raiwasa, Suva

About a bridge

A bridge, a bridge, oh! What shall I give to get a bridge, to enable a gap to be filled, that’s a bridge, to join two places, that’s a bridge, the forging of lives, that’s a bridge. What doesn’t make a bridge, is a divide, so what makes a divide…OK that’s enough, eh scribe? Nigel Fiu Russell, New Zealand

Over 55

Does the retirement age of 55 also apply to permanent secretaries? Some of them look even over 60 to me. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

A choice

SOME times our politicians can be seen on television making comparison with other developed nations on how we should live, governed etc. Can those politicians be fair to us and review the policy of wearing a mask in public? I believe wearing a mask in public should not be compulsory but a choice. AREKI DAWAI Suva

Qualifications

Could the permanent secretary for Education Ministry find out how many nursing school and FNU instructors have any formal teaching certificates. I have also found out that some nurses have attained degrees, and could the Minister for Health enlighten us if these nurses with degrees get any pay rise? Sukha Singh Labasa

Precautions

On Tuesday (7/12), I heard on the radio, the permanent secretary for Health Ministry calling for heightening of precautions against an expected third COVID wave. Yesterday, I watched the video of a government minister doing the taralala in Sigatoka without a mask. Areh wah! Rick Eyre Labasa

New variant

Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong timely alerted all concerned to strengthen and maintain the Fiji border, bracing ourselves to fight the new variant Omicron. Let’s nip it in the bud, with our combined effort. We all have a role to play in this COVID-19 Omicron world. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

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