Letters to the Editor | Thursday, February 15, 2024

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Fiji 7s players Solomoni Rauqe (left), Ropate Rere, Viliame Naikausa and Napolioni Bolaca at the Nadi International Airport before they departure for the Vancouver 7s on Tuesday. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Ready for South American leg!

Fiji men’s 7s team head coach Ben Gollings named an explosive team for the South American leg of the 2023/24 HSBC SVNS WRSS. The regular faces have been joined by Napolioni Bolaca and newcomers Viliame Naikusa and Solomoni Rauqe. Both players bring the dynamism of the 7s game- fitness, robust playing style and are dynamic. Bolaca will be our lethal weapon, with the ability to strike from any part of the field. The team is expected to undergo a week’s intensive training in Vancouver before the battle a week later. I plead with Gollings to rectify the errors made in Perth and get our first gold medal on the circuit. We have a tough pool, and the eliminations won’t get any easy. Gollings has set his target- to win the Vancouver 7s. Impressive, but we need to fine tune our performance. We are 14 points behind the hottest team- Argentina. Will we be able to catch them? Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Fiji Airways charter

The Fiji Airways charter flight to Israel for the repatriation of Fiji and others of the Christian faith, is much ado about nothing! One must realise that a human life is priceless. If the debt is a, or several million dollars it still, cannot afford a human life. So, what is the big issue? I am definitely sure if Fijians of other religions were in such a predicament elsewhere in the world, Fiji Airways would do the same. As we embark on the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday, and for the next 40 days let us pray for our nation of Fiji and Israel, the world and for the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Oh! And Happy Valentine’s Day to all. Epeli Rabua Tamavua, Suva

Qawali and drama

It is no surprise that qawali competitions have been taking place in Fiji for a number of years, however, it is at an all-time fame with the usage of social media, especially TikTok. Qawali singers once used to be known as top artists in their respective communities, but are now regarded as people who unnecessarily run their mouths for a few days of fame. Gone are the days when these singers showed actual talent and provided entertainment with lots of serenity in their voices. What I see these days is artists trying to downgrade each other by swearing and using derogatory language in their music. Just recently, a local girl gained popularity for all the wrong reasons while presenting an exotic dance at a private Qawali competition. Netizens showed their disapproval at the performance, given the nature of the dance being presented at an event which was supposed to deliver traditional folk songs such as Qawali. I would not mind TikTok being banned in Fiji seeing the type of content people produce and the type of language people of our country use on the platform. Raynav Chand Nakasi

Drug challenge

It’s no secret that unethical police officers have been abetting those involved in the intricate criminal drug trade. Media reports have now indicated that they have also been tinkering with methamphetamine seized in the recent busts at the Totogo police station. No wonder all these “El Chapos” (drug lords) and their acquaintances walk away scot-free due to absence of evidence. I believe all these deceitful lawmen should be publicly named and shamed, before being dealt with severely in the court of law. Speaking of naming and shaming, the Consumer Council of Fiji CEO had earlier mentioned that they were in negotiations with the Trade Ministry to reveal businesses who were habitually engaged in unscrupulous practices. Any progress on these meetings Ms Shandil? Nishant Singh Lautoka

Years of perseverance

The article entitled “Hockey in the blood” which focuses on the journey of a young Kristoffer Quazi Josef Mock is inspiring but no coincidence. Having played alongside him in the Stingers Hockey club several years back, he stood out as an individual having the potential to progress to greater heights. Kristoffer not only displayed speed and an eagerness to learn at a young age but continued to persevere. Unlike, many young men in Fiji who commence playing competitive sports with commitment before gradually loosing interest, Kristoffer persevered. The ability to score four goals at the recent Hockey 5s World Cup is a testimony to years of his perseverance. Always good to hear of successful sportsmen acknowledging their families unwavering support. By the way, Shaun Corrie deserves acknowledgement for his valued contributions to a sport now putting Fiji on the world map. My playing days for this sport are definitely over but always interesting to read of updates about action on the hockey turf. FLOYD ROBINSON Micronesia

The package

The Attorney-General Siromi Turaga speaking during the opening of the border control training workshop at the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service office in Suva said that drugs come in a ‘package’ that includes arms, smuggling and prostitution (FT 13/02). I want to bring to the A-G’s attention that casinos too come in a “package” that includes drugs, arms, smuggling and prostitution as well. I sincerely hope that the Coalition Government, especially those responsible in the Casino negotiation, are aware of the “package”. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Evidence tampering

News about drugs have dominated the front page of The Fiji Times for the past two weeks. This indicates the severity of the issue concerning drugs. Yesterday’s headline reported allegations of drug tampering while being kept at Suva’s Totogo Police Station. It’s widely known that instances of evidence tampering have occurred in the past. Several court cases have been dismissed because crucial evidence related to the cases have disappeared from police exhibit rooms. This raises questions about whether the room where exhibits are kept as evidence is equipped with CCTV. If not, it begs the question of why such measures haven’t been taken despite the police force being aware of dishonest police officers among them. The presence of CCTV in exhibit rooms will discourage dishonest police officers from engaging in any illegal activity. This will minimize or even eliminate cases of evidence tampering. SANJEET PRASAD Mani Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

Meth tampering

Methamphetamine raided in a recent drug bust has been tampered with according to Fiji Village news, and goes to show the possible lure of easy and high monetary benefits, not even sparing our law-keepers. The acting commissioner says those involved will be removed from the organisation. If held accountable in colluding and abetting in the illicit trade, they should be penalised to the max to set an example. Vikel Lal Makoi

Love and compassion

How, and why can Japan, a powerful country in the world bluntly, and arrogantly stated through its Foreign Affairs Minister, Yoko Kamikawa that it continues to support a resilient, sustainable, and stable Fiji, and the Pacific, after it ignored the plea of Pacific peoples (with the exception of Sitiveni Rabuka) by dumping nuclear waste in the Pacific since August, 2023. This is the third time Japan is invading our Pacific Islands. The first and second, were in World War I, and World War II, but luckily, for Fiji and the Pacific, friendly and powerful allies like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand came to our aid. Unfortunately, this third time around, our former allies have not been so helpful, in fact they deliberately choose to adopt this well known pandemic highlighted last week by General Secretary of Pacific Council of Churches, the Rev Simione Tugi in what is known as the culture of silence. On the other hand, our own Fiji Prime Minister, honourable Sitiveni Rabuka to the dismay, disbelief, disappointment and horror of our Pacific countries, and peoples, especially his own fellow Fijians, came out in open support of Japan’s decision to dump nuclear waste in the Pacific. What makes it more shocking is that not only the majority of Pacific countries, and our peoples, were in total opposition to this dumping, but Fiji’s Parliament by overwhelming majority also voted against it in 2023. Honourable Rabuka based his decision on what he called, ‘Prime Minister’s prerogative’. Nobody in or outside of Government has been able to explain the legality, or lawfulness of his action, (or is it part of the
culture of silence?), and whether his actions or omissions require punitive and remedial actions under the law.My plea to Japan, our powerful neighbours like the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand and our own honourable PM Rabuka, is that what our people desire most is to be treated with love and compassion, as members of God’s family here on this planet. Other important values like honesty, and trust will follow suit. SAVERIO BALEIKANACEA Delainavesi, Lami

A suggestion

I HAVE received a suggestion for an improvement in the services provided by the Land Transport Authority. Particularly, targeting reduction in waiting time. Their checkpoints to double up as temporary drive through customer service centres. It is what this guy regards as taking the services to the people. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF NATABUA, LAUTOKA

Drug trade

SOME police officers involved in the drug trade? No! “I just gun belief it!” NAVNEET RAM (TD) LAUTOKA

Sick inmate

IF a sickly person is taken into custody who bears the cost of medication? DAN URAI LAUTOKA

Use of ‘salusalu’

I HAVE followed Fiji governments since Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara’s Alliance Party and I am sure that the use of salusalu garlands in all the governments since then would be exceeded by the use of them by the current government. I’m sure it’s good for the makers of salusalu , but politicians are servants of the people (frequently forgotten by those in power) and as such should consider themselves no higher than the people they serve. So my plea is for politicians to refrain from the use of salusalu , come back down from their pedestals, and become one with the common people they have pledged to serve. PETER ARNOLD TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA

Boxing tragedy

IT is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of the promising young boxer star Tanzeela Raza, aged 17, who tragically became one of the victims in a fatal road accident in Nadi (FT 14/02). She had the potential to become one of the athletes representing Fiji in the coming years. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the grieving families. RODNEY CLARENCE RAJ NALEBA, LABASA


I BELIEVE what the Ministry of Labour has advised employers, regarding allowances for attachees in their workplaces, is very encouraging. Such a strategy should compensate for the drought our “green pasture seekers” have brought on to our local labour market. And with the shared financial responsibility provided, it is also an initiative for employers, towards the rebuilding of our national economy. It is people, not capital or raw material, that develop an economy. SAMU SILATOLU NAKASI

Meth subject

THIS meth subject in Fiji is turning out to be like a very difficult math problem. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF NATABUA, LAUTOKA


Someone quoted Valentine Day in iTaukei as ‘siga ni veidomoni’. Really? PITA SOROAQALI RAKIRAKI

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