Letters to the Editor | Thursday, February 1, 2024

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Lusiana Kalokalo Niudamu, with her main source of motivation- her husband and their children. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mum returns to class

As the 2024 academic year started, Lusiana Niudamu’s story titled “Mum returns to class” set the benchmark, as it motivated readers and students. Lusiana’s story reveals that people, who live with impossible situations, can thrive, provided they have the right people beside them and the right attitude. Lusiana shared that as a teen and a school dropout, she was filled with depression, anxiety, and envy for people her age pursuing their careers, and while her family members resented her, her aunt remained by her side throughout her pregnancy. Lusiana enrolled at Nakauvadra High School and scored the highest marks in the school. She enrolled for a Bachelor’s in English and iTaukei program at FNU in Lautoka and is on the verge of graduating in September. She had to juggle motherhood and housewife duties with her studies, but she persevered. Her story is a beacon of hope for others like her, and her courage in the face of adversity will motivate other women and girls to attain success. She encouraged readers to keep striving, as there was light at the end of the tunnel. Her story is a beauty and one to read. Thank you Sainimili Magimagi and The Fiji Times for the beautiful piece!

Back to school

The 2024 academic year for Fiji has kicked off to a spectacular start. While the teachers began on Monday, January 29 with their student free day (SFD), the students resumed lessons on Tuesday, January 30. The social media was pulsating on Tuesday with parents posting pictures of their children in school attire geared up for another exciting year of learning. Based on the appearances, I would say that the $200 assistance by the Coalition Government was put to good use. However, what really captured my attention was a picture taken by Emmy Radrodro and posted by Kesaia Bulou Yalomamarau on Facebook which was undoubtedly the most inspiring picture on the internet for that day. It is a picture of three female students in green uniform, probably siblings attending a primary school, crossing a river on a bilibili to reach their school on the first day of 2024. That’s the spirit guys! All the best to all the teachers and students in Fiji for a successful academic year ahead. DINESH KUMAR, Ba

Fiji sevens structure

“STRUCTURED chaos” was what Fiji 7s teams of the past showcased at all events they participated in worldwide. They played with all standard structure thrown out the window and as only a Fijian can, with guile, innate skill and flamboyancy to boot. Today’s team is making too much of a simple game. The Fiji 7s team is playing like all other 7s teams. Foreign “structure” is being forced on the 7s players, inhibiting the natural flair of the Fijian psyche to play 7s the way they should. Acquiring the services of foreign coaches is not bad. Fiji has had some great foreign coaches. The successful ones only tweaked a couple of areas, the defensive patterns and fitness. Fiji 7s in 2024 is looking downright tired right now. When we have the greatest rugby 7s player in the world and who coached Fiji to its first rugby 7s series win including a Rugby 7s World Cup, why are we looking elsewhere for a coach? Given that we have only six months to the Paris Olympics, Waisale Serevi should be given the opportunity and I believe he has the knowledge and nous to pull Fiji 7s up to its rightful place, as the masters of the 7s game. It’s not too late. If anyone can, Serevi can and will bring back Fiji 7s lost glory. Fiji rugby’s dismissive stance towards the world’s greatest of all time 7s player, is at our own risk! EPELI RABUA, Suva

Taveuni and development

I read loud and clear that the people, in my home island Taveuni according to The Fiji Times 31/01, have raised their concerns with the Minister for Rural, Maritime Development Sakiasi Ditoka that development on the island is at a slow pace. First and foremost, as a Taveuni lad, I would like to know what type of development people are referring to when they talk about development. Why I want to know this is because not all developments are good and I have just been to Taveuni for Christmas and New Year with my family and I must say that the people of Taveuni are faring well in this modern era and there is no need to fast-track development. I must remind the people of Taveuni to be content with the little you have and hold firm to cultures, traditions that are keeping communities together, for “development” as in its western concepts, focuses more on enriching people materialistically and destroys cultures and traditions which are foundation to a happy, resilient community. When we now witness the amount of drugs in Fiji, crimes, homeless, violences and so forth, these I believe are repercussions of fast “developments”, and I don’t want the people of my beautiful island of Taveuni to be victims of such repercussions in the name of “development”. KOSITATINO TIKOMAIBOLATAGANE, Navua

Prompt action needed

Fiji Rugby Union chairman Peter Mazey has stated that any decisions regarding the coaching staff of the national 7s team will only be made after thorough discussions with all parties, including players and support staff. It would be wise for Peter to conduct these discussions as soon as possible and show Ben Gollings the exit door. The 7s team is running out of time and 7s fans are running out of patience. I believe the sooner Ben departs, the better for Fiji 7s. SANJEET PRASAD, Labasa

National civil service day
I believe it is really sensible for the Rabuka Coalition Government to introduce a national civil service day June 28, 2024 and thereafter. I believe most civil servants were working under duress over the past 16 years, with some having been unlawfully relegated and even terminated. And with the new government’s political environment, in my view, reassurance and re-bonding cultures are in the making within the civil service. Keep up the great effort of upholding the common good. SAMU SILATOLU, Nakasi, Nausori

Visit by CIA
The visit of the CIA deputy director presents an ideal opportunity for the Minister for Home Affairs to seek their assistance with our unresolved murder cases which has been pending for years. The perpetrators must be brought to justice so the cases can be brought to a closure for the sake of the families of the victims. SELWA NANDAN, Lautoka

Free Palestine
If only the world could free Palestine from the radical Islamic Resistance Movement in Gaza that has caused the unwanted infiltration of the IDF. AREKI DAWAI, Suva

Direction is vital
The Coalition Government is changing things slowly, people need to understand that the direction they are taking us is more important than speed. GEOFFREY CHAND, Lautoka

Drug burst
The week started just three days ago and my eyes and ears are already tired of what is happening in Fiji. Nadi’s massive drug raid and the viral Tik Tok fights have been the talk of the town and I can only imagine what more is coming in the coming weeks. It now depends on what excites people more. RAYNAV CHAND, Nakasi

Pig therapy
Japanese cafe’s customers enjoying cuddling with pigs (FT 31/1). The interaction with the miniature pigs is so popular 10 cafes now feature them. Fiji should open one perhaps in Nadi the tourist town (or is it city?). Such a cafe would not suit everyone’s taste in Fiji. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Aged care
To be eligible for aged care in the form of professional employment, one needs to have academic certification with the necessary practicalities from a recognised registered institute but to take care of the aged within the household, no such training or certification is required. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

The barge
So, who own’s “the barge”. That barge, the one which carts the white stuff from the edge of our maritime EEZ. Or does it cross over to collect the white stuff? Name and shame. MANOJ LAL PATEL, Lautoka

Cover up
What’s the use of headcover when media releases their identity? Nonsense! PITA SOROAQALI, Rakiraki

Sex worker’s plight
It was heartbreaking to go through the above article in The Fiji Times of 30/01 where a 14-year-old girl had to endure the dim lights of the street alleys to make ends meet. Mary, not her real name, was illtreated by her mother who was more concerned about the welfare of her partners. Mary left home to fend for herself. She went through the stigma of being a sex worker. Ridiculed by those who used her and others, brutality and hatred had degraded Mary. Rather than showering her with some love by offering her a decent home, a decent job and decent people around her, Mary had no option but to adhere to the harsh reality of being a sex worker. After 10 years in the profession, people gave her confidence to fight back. What else could Mary do to defend herself? And yet she told her friends she opted for a decent job. Similarly, two young boys who earned a living on the streets of Suva shared similar sentiments lately with their mothers’ de facto relationship. Similar circumstances have left many unfortunate children on the streets they now know as home. These children are branded with stigma as well, however, how many of us can understand them. My only advice to all mothers is to prioritise nurturing their children until they are mature enough to lead successful lives. Without de-facto relationship or partners, all mothers could raise their children with love and care. After all, a mother’s love is unconditional and unquestionable. Lead by examples so children could be leaders for future generations. SARITA LAL, Lautoka

FRU support
Wow, FRU has decided to remain fully committed to supporting its current coaching staff and players, fostering a positive environment for all its national teams. I suggest Peter Mazey take an honest opinion from 7s experts regarding the performance of head coach Ben Gollings and his coaching staff. With the Paris Olympic Games fast coming up and with the South American leg in Vancouver and Los Angeles at the end of the month, I’m expecting FRU to make some hard decisions. Please do not rely on reports from Gollings alone. Take in critics’ analysis and opinion and then decide. For me personally, 16 tournaments without a gold medal and with “star players” raises credibility on the performance of the head coach. Imagine if Sir Gordon Tietjens had these players — Fiji would have been a standout team on the HSBC SVNS WRSS circuit! Anyways, I respect the decision made by Mazey and his team. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

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