Letters to the Editor | Thursday, September 28, 2023

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Josua Tuisova runs away to score Fiji’s try against Australia at Stade Geoffroy- Guichard, Saint Etienne, France. Picture: MARTIN SERAS LIMA

Improved discipline in RWC

I agree with Rodney Duthie that the Fiji Water Flying Fijians have vastly improved their discipline in France (FT 26/09). Poor discipline, which had been an Achilles heel for past Fiji teams, resulted in losses in crucial matches. This year, there’s no doubt that the coaching panel has worked hard to address our discipline. Swire Shipping Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne and his team management are commended for setting the platform. Team bonding sessions on the Garden Island and in Nadi, which were mainly about getting to know and understand each other and connecting with grassroot people, have worked wonders for Simon Raiwalui’s side. The Flying Fijians have conceded one yellow card and less than 10 penalties in their past four games (two Test matches against France and England and the first two RWC games against Wales and Australia). Our fitness level is a contributing factor to our success in France. Samoa head coach Seilala Mapusua is correct in sharing sentiments that the Fiji Water Flying Fijians have made tier two nations proud and that the Drua franchise is a success. This is just the beginning of better days at rugby house. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM
Nadawa, Nasinu

Child abuse

Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection Lynda Tabuya has once again raised the issue of child abuse. This time the abuse of children in Christian homes. This is shocking. The minister has asked the churches to sharpen their take on child abuse and help find a solution. Will the churches respond? The street children are too scared to go back home for fear of further abuse. Keeping in mind the traditional pattern of behaviour, we do expect parents to show anger by buturaki. I think we all are familiar with this pattern. Thus, to expect some solution from homes is delusional. I believe most of these homes are strapped in poverty and parents indulging in alcohol, grog or drug abuse. Thus, these homes are unsuited for child rehabilitation. I am of the opinion that Government must build homes for needy children and house them there and provide skills training. Once equipped with skills, these children will be able to earn a respectable living by honest living. Yes, here the churches can help by providing spiritual support, counselling and mentoring. Home visits by the church fraternity will also help. I can only wish the minister every success in her attempt to find a solution to the issue of street children. Dewan Chand Namadi Heights, Suva

Nadi bus stand

It must and needs to be acknowledged, Jetset Nadi boasts a modern international airport — the home of our own proud national carrier Fiji Airways. Denarau today also boasts a modern sea port good enough for luxury super yachts. The home of South Sea Cruises of Fijian Holdings fame. I believe from these two ports, tourism income boasts no less than 40 per cent of our gross domestic product. This has been made admirably achievable through enormous hard work by thousands over recent years. Some have “moved on” in life. Let us cherish their memories. We thank them all. Nadi’s ageing and tired looking bus stand requires a badly needed new lease of life, in my view. It is drab looking, lacks everything tourism needs. Similarly, Nadi Hospital needs some immediate attention in its profile. Some doctors, nurses and support staff work very hard maintaining required health delivery services. There is much room for infrastructure modernisation. Nadi Hospital badly lacks a qualified and hands-on maintenance person. Leaking taps, shower facilities, ceiling fans not working, TV’s are only ornaments on walls. Inpatients and outpatients deserve far better. I speak up as a caring retiree, Iam “kai Nadi” through and through. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

Proposed tariff increase

ENERGY Fiji Ltd (EFL) apparently has a number of infrastructure projects and investments as part of its 10-year power development plan. That sounds very encouraging indeed. Hope it’s all environmentally friendly and in keeping with our national commitments to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. However, to fund these, EFL proposes a tariff increase by 35 per cent over the next four years. This can only mean that the burden for these investments will largely be borne by the poor consumers, moreso the households. Isa! The households always seem to get the short end of the stick and where the buck ends in most of our development initiatives. I’m sure there are many other viable ways to harness the required funds without relying on the poor consumers such as reducing and streamlining operational and administrative costs; concessional loans; joint ventures; solar-powered streetlights; mini-hydro schemes; underground power lines; and so on. The consumers are already biting many bullets to support our national development needs. This will be another heavy one and probably and probably won’t be the last! EDWARD BLAKELOCK Pacific Harbour

Political rewards

THE current Government is on the trail of rewarding its affiliated members and financial sponsors with top government posts while excluding and taking no account of experienced and career civil servants. Some of these people misled others that their purpose in supporting the Coalition Government was merely to topple the Bainimarama government. Lo and behold, there were personal agendas behind their backing of the current leadership — that they will be rewarded so to speak. Anyway, no government has ever had clean hands! AREKI DAWAI SUVA

Visa-free system

PROFESSOR Biman Prasad has been advocating for a fully integrated visa-free system for the Pacific region. I think a lower hanging fruit will be to suggest, at least, to the Australian government, any way that Fiji can help alleviate the serious recruiting problem that bedevils the Australian Defence Force (ADF). That, I think, will be a more tenable proposition to the Aussies than that advocated by Prof Biman Prasad, at least in the interim. MAEKO VULI NAKASI, NAUSORI

Child abuse report

During the recent launch of the “Violence Against Children In Fiji” report, Lynda Tabuya, the Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection, revealed a staggering statistic: four out of every five children in Fiji experience some form of abuse. This figure is deeply alarming. Child abuse is a deeply concerning issue with severe and long-lasting consequences for children. Child abuse, particularly in the forms of physical and emotional abuse, can have devastating consequences on children. These effects include physical injuries, emotional trauma leading to mental health issues and long-term repercussions on their ability to form healthy relationships and succeed in life. Child abuse also disrupts families and communities, eroding trust. These abuse cases often go unreported because of fear and stigma. To minimise child abuse, a comprehensive approach is necessary. Firstly, it requires raising awareness among the general public regarding the signs of abuse and the far-reaching consequences it can have on victims. Additionally, it involves creating a robust reporting system that guarantees the safety of children when they come forward to disclose abuse incidents. Laws that hold perpetrators accountable for their actions have to be enforced strictly. Support services aimed at aiding survivors of abuse and providing assistance to their families during the healing process need to be made available. By addressing the root causes of child abuse and involving multiple stakeholders, we can work collectively to create a safer environment for children to grow and thrive. SANJEET PRASAD Labasa

Pinktober pledges

We heard a lot of testimonies and stories from families and friends who have claimed to be healed through traditional medicine and care which I believe is a myth but my advice to all women in Fiji, especially young women, please go for an early check up to the nearest hospital because cancer kills and does not discriminate anyone either young or old. I’m happy and honoured to be an advocate now on breast cancer together with my family especially my son and daughter since my wife and mother of our children is a breast cancer survivor since 2019. Since I can not walk at length, climb mountains nor run because of my limited mobility, I can raise awareness through the use of my pen in writing via my Letters to the Editor. Like that saying and I quote “The pen is mightier than the sword” — Edward Bulwer Lytton, 1839. For those who follow my Letters to the Editor either on social or mainstream media, please donate to this worthy cause any amount to the following: Fiji Cancer Society M-Paisa Number 9986983 or Fiji Cancer Society Pinktober Awareness WBC Suva Bank Account #1271099900. Just write your narration as JMC F/T LTE- Pinktober 2023. Jioji Masivesi Cakacaka Votualevu, Nadi

Volunteer work

In case Jan Nissar of Sydney (FT 26/9) has not noticed volunteer community work is a very big thing in Australia even though Australia is one of the richest countries in the world. It shows there are issues of community concern about which people feel deeply enough to altruistically devote their time and effort and talent to. Volunteerism is a manifestation of a caring and compassionate society. It’s the same in Fiji. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Magic needed

I believe “miracle man” and the Acting Prime Minister who has performed magic in his tourism portfolio, should perform his magic on the potholes in Fiji before the prime minister returns. It is actually more so for my return. Jan Nissar Sydney, Australia

Scam warning

There has been another scam warning. So Fiji could become the scam capital of the Pacific. And this time again it is linked to M-PaiSA somehow. I asked a wannabe why. He brushed it aside stating that after the eBay drama, he only has M left for the scammers but no paisa. I did not ask him what M stands for. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Lautoka flooding

In recent years Lautoka gets flooded whenever it rains heavily. Our city engineers and city planners need to relook at the drain size. Most of these drains were build centuries ago and the population, building and development in these years have gone up. Can bigger drains be made to cater for excessive storm water? Geoffrey Chand Lautoka

Thought on reincarnation

The other day I wondered about people who believe in reincarnation. Are the words “Rest in Peace” written on their headstone? My workmate Ananaisa will have “I’ll Be Back” written on his. Wara o Terminator! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Triumphant Blues

Nothing is more exciting or uplifting than seeing a team rise to the challenge and win a prestigious competition. Congratulations to the Lautoka FC for their extraordinary talent, unwavering determination, and pure devotion in winning this year’s Digicel Premier League. Hats off to the entire team players, coaches, officials, technical and logistics staff for making the fans proud. All the best for the OFC playoffs. DINESH KUMAR Ba