Letters to the Editor | Thursday, November 30, 2023

Listen to this article:

Former Tavua College student Yeshnil Karan. Picture: MELI LADPETER

Karan scoops gold!

Congratulations to former Tavua College student Yeshnil Karan for writing a new sports history, after winning the first track gold medal at the new stadium in Honiara at the Pacific Games. Karan, who clocked a time of 32:32:30 seconds in the 10,000 metres, has made Fijians and the Tavua community proud. His commitment, hard work, passion, dedication, and determination took him through to the golden tape. Karan has a bright future and Athletics Fiji must nurture him well. Good job Yeshnil Karan! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Unregistered teachers

I find it difficult to comprehend and stomach the fact that 94 teachers, as highlighted by The Fiji Times, who have not renewed their licences, are still teaching. Their licences expired on 31/12/22 and we are almost in December 2023 and despite weekly reminders, these teachers have not cared to have their licences renewed. As pointed out by the chief executive officer of the Fiji Teachers Registration Authority (FTRA), Sangeeta Singh, these teachers are in serious breach of FTR Act 2008, “no person was permitted to teach at a school in Fiji unless the person held a Certificate of Registration”. FTRA has now given these teachers until December 8, 2023 to do the needful and renew their licences. Failure to do so would mean de-registration. The teaching licence is the legal permission given to a person to enter in a classroom and what we can infer now is that these teachers are illegally in the classrooms. I urge the permanent secretary for the Ministry for Education to take cognizance of the call of FTRA CEO and start thinking of plan B, should these 94 teachers decide to take FTRA for a ride. In this modern time and era, there is no excuse why the 94 teachers cannot have their licence renewed in a timely manner. Arun Prasad Dilkusha, Nausori

Bus cards

MR Blakelock (FT 28/11) talks about the old folks bus card savings and MP Tabuya states that some folk don’t use their full top ups of $25 and allow others to utilise their cards. Well for me, for the past three months I’ve received $15, $18 and $18 and have had to pay $20-$25 monthly from my pension to go to town to shop, so why can’t Social Welfare put the $25 as well as the $125 into my bank account and then I can top up as required. Alastair Ward Tamavua, Suva

Dangerous driving

I note all letters to this noble column of late and adding to the already disgruntled writers and unhappy public. It has reached a dangerous level as people are losing lives through dangerous driving. I had suggested to several LTA officers on several occasions but no one has taken the suggestion seriously. I know they were customer service staff but they should have passed on the suggestion to their superiors. Many vehicles on our roads have dash cams in them and we have on too many occasions witnessed dangerous drivers who have gotten away with murder as the saying goes. Requesting LTA install a system in their office where if and when we witness these acts. We can download it to LTA app and the perpetrators are charged. This way we teach the drivers a lesson and is a learning experience for them. It’s called preventative maintenance and is a learning experience for the offenders Hopefully this will assist in helping prevent and improve the performance of our road users. Edwin RF Sandys Padam Lala Rd, Namadi Heights, Suva

Where are our sprinters?

Yesterday marked the day in the Solomons that we no longer rule the 100m etc on the tracks. Sprinter Jone Delai started it all since in a brilliant fashion and ended yesterday. Sadly both the female and male runners came last if I am correct. Not the last girls and boys but build up strong and move on. Sky as they say is the limit. Jioji O Toronibau Tunuloa

Bainimarama’s condemnation

FORMER prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama has “condemned” the “shameful” treatment meted out to the late and suspended chief justice Kamal Kumar (God rest his soul) – FT 28/11. It’s a bit rich coming from a coupist and a hypocrite as such inhumane and humiliating conducts were the hallmarks of the Fiji- First regime during their repressive 16-year rule. Has Voreqe conveniently forgotten his infamous carpark assault on Hon Pio Tikoduadua during the former’s reign as prime minister? What about the arrest and deportation of academic Prof Pal Ahluwalia by the regime’s military goons under the cover of darkness (midnight to be precise). Did Voreqe condemn the manner in which renowned scholar Prof Brij Lal was treated as a second-class citizen and barred from entering the country of his birth? Did Voreqe condemn the detainment of trade unionists who were against FijiFirst’s disputed policies and conduct? What about the persecution and imprisonment of former politicians and political candidates who were perceived as threats and barred from contesting the 2022 general election? What about the intense media suppression and journalists who were swiftly rounded up by the security thugs? (a typical trait of the Bainimarama/ Khaiyum regime). And lastly a constitution that was drafted without collective public consultation and forced upon gullible Fijians. These were just a trickle of barbarity executed at the whim of the former twomen authoritarian government which Mr Bainimarama, in his capacity as prime minister had opportunely and shamelessly decided to turn a blind eye to. He should be the last person to be talking about “condemning” vile behaviour. I suggest he sit under a mango tree and sip on some home brew. NISHANT SINGH LAUTOKA

Fighting spirit

The early morning heavenly shower did not dampen the fighting spirit of the police and army football teams. The police team was laced with current and former district reps and on paper they were to make easy meat of the challengers. But it was not the case. Army showed resilience, determination and sheer guts to match their counter parts. However, police scored first in the 34th minute of play with a deft touch from Mohammed Zahid,leaving army keeper Epeli Loaniceva in no man’s land. Army came out firing in the second half and with the help of the lung power from the sideline, they launched attack after attack. What awed me the most was the army supporters along the sideline clapping and cheering for their team. Their effort paid dividend in the 48th minute when Wasasala, like a loose cannon, zoomed in to head the ball past the stranded police keeper. Wasasala had two redeemable opportunities to ensure that the football title went to the barracks but unfortunately it was not his day to hit the target. Finally, both teams had to settle for a draw, allowing police to retain the title of the Sukuna Bowl Football challenge. Arun Prasad Dilkusha, Nausori

Fijian soccer

The Bula Boys lost out on gold or silver medal at the 2023 Pacific Games. Our Fiji soccer team lost out in all competitions this year. From the age group team (Junior Bula Boys) to the main team (Bula Boys) they lost in all tournaments. Bula Boys have a history of getting red cards in all tournaments this year and if there was a gold medal for that then Fiji Football Association will get the gold medal for most red cards received. The Bula Boys management and coaching staff members should all be fired for the shameful performance by the team but it will never happen because many of the soccer loving public knows that team management and coaches are all overseas people who just come to make money in Fiji. Fiji soccer should have a local team management and all local coaching staff if they want to bring victory. Geoffrey Chand Lautoka

Why Fiji FA?

When the top eight teams in the recent Rugby World Cup lost their quarters, four coaches resigned straight away. No complaints. Same happened in the soccer World Cup. Not only the coaches but also some presidents and managers too. So why the hell doesn’t it happen in Fiji soccer? I was totally surprised when the FIFA president uttered his rubbish. Past presidents legacy speaks volumes. Fiji FA is no exception. A. SHARIFF SHAH Savusavu

Hard drugs challenge

I am very concerned with the marijuana and hard drugs epidemic in our country. I know that the police are doing a lot of work to try and tackle this problem and I fully support them. As a suggestion, if they are not doing so already, can they set up an undercover unit that specialises in apprehending these drug traffickers and dealers? To ensure their success, the identity of all undercover cops should be classified. On another note, strengthen the penal code to punish these criminals with harsher sentences and shorten the timeline for these criminals to be charged and made to stand trial. With every young person being seduced into drugs, a life is potentially lost. Conan Hatch Nadi Airport

Pay decision Since parliamentarians can have a direct input in their pay determination process, shouldn’t the same apply to civil servants? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Shameful act

When Voreqe Bainimarama speaks in public one can easily depict the depth of it all. Dan Urai Lautoka

Labour mobility

The Government is now realising the proportion of our migrant workers that are leaving the country. Such an exodus is not new, in my view, since it happens to most developing countries that have been struggling economically. On the other side of the coin, the number of permits for foreign workers have tripled. Who is to be blamed? What is the Government’s response? Samu Silatolu Nakasi

GCC issue

Some tend to think that the Great Council of Chiefs was established under Section 116 of the 1997 Constitution. Wrong! Two years after Fiji was ceded to the United Kingdom, the British colonial rulers established the Council of Chiefs as an advisory body in 1876. I wonder what they did for the common people that was so relevant and noteworthy to require adding the term “Great” sometime later in the 20th century. Now they are tasked with looking after iTaukei interests and safeguarding matters for all Fijians. Will they? The council now seen by many as insignificant, was once viewed as the living embodiment of a unified iTaukei people. Wara o Jisu! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

USP saga

The latest USP saga surrounding vice-chancellor Prof Pal Ahluwalia strikes me as a case of ahloo (potato) gone bad! Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Traditional turtles

The seven turtles which showed up to shore when the high chief of Macuata arrived last week (FT 25/11) were probably unaware that they could very well end up as the choicest magiti on the chiefly banquet. Tui Macuata and President of Fiji Ratu Wiliame Katonivere was also caught between the devil and the deep blue sea here — observing traditional protocol and his ideals as a marine conservation champion. Samu Railoa Nadi