Letters to the Editor | Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Leone Manu riding past many of the damaged houses, a common sight on the island of Koro, months after TC Winston in 2016. Pictue: File

Winston’s rage

Today marks eight years since Category 5 Severe Tropical Cylone Winston devastated our country, leaving a trail of damage that is still fresh in our minds. It was a moment of truth the full wrath of nature with full force hitting the mainland. Almost everyone in the two main islands and outer islands were affected with the Government initiating a nation wide appeal. We still pray for the lives that were lost, their family, those that are still living and breathing in tents, including schools, those whose immediate family were affected, the farmers who lost their root crops, the many jobs that were lost and the list keeps going on. The effect of climate change is truly upon us and even after eight years, there is no turning back, rising sea levels across the globe, the depletion of the ozone layer, the El Nino impact the world is embracing for more changes and this will inevitably continue. We must be alert and embrace the change and stay vigilant on what is happening around us. Let’s pray and keep the faith that mother nature will continue to test us daily and what ever happens we are resilient and ready to accept the change. God bless Fiji for ever and ever. Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Export more labour

I have always maintained that since foreign remittances currently make up Fiji’s largest export earnings, we should be exporting more of our labour to places like Australia and New Zealand. It is easy money for Fiji. Our government, and its ministers can then continue to enjoy themselves by doing very little, there is no need for new ideas or creativity or policies which do not work. More importantly, landowners can feel safe by not leasing any land to anyone for development for fear the lessee packs the land in their bag and takes it away to a foreign place forever. That way traditional lands will remain forever traditional and natural. Jan Nissar Sydney, NSW, Australia

Play as a team!

Jasa Veremalua is no stranger to 7s rugby. He was part of Ben Gollings’ 7s success and is an Olympic gold medallist. Jasa made his debut for the national 7s team in 2013 at the Wellington 7s. He started his 7s career playing for the Red Rock 7s team which was coached by the late Lote Rasiga. In 2012, Jasa was the recipient the Campese-Serevi Medal. In 2016, his performance in USA saw him win the DHL Impact player of the tournament. He was instrumental in helping Fiji win the 2015-16 HSBC WRSS overall title. He was crowned the DHL Impact Player of the 2015–16 series as well as making the Dream Team. Hence, his message to 7s head coach Ben Gollings must not fall on deaf ears. Jasa encouraged the 7s team to play as a team to win a tournament. He also pleaded with the crazy 7s fans to support the boys even though they had not been good in the past few tournaments. He stood by coach Gollings. I’m sure Jasa’s advice will be taken in good faith, and we will see an improvement in the performance of the 7s team, as they aim to end the winless run. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Parental roles

Becoming a parent of a child or some children adds more responsibility to the parents. These responsibilities are fundamental to instilling discipline and healthy living in the children under their care. These days more and more of our children are being neglected either intentionally or otherwise. This may be due to many factors. However, those who are in custody of children must ensure that supervision and continuous guidance is provided to them. A lot is being said on the NCD issues and how to control this. There are suggestions of depriving our children the sugary items that we as children enjoyed. Very few (if any) are promoting through their suggestions that our children should be involved in regular physical activities, both at school and at home on a daily basis. This is not a matter for others to decide what our children eat. It is us parents who should instill healthy eating habits together with healthy lifestyle where all work to sweat and burn the calories added throughout the day. If only all parents and guardians really involve themselves in rearing their child, our community will definitely become a heavenly place with good families. Dhirendra Prasad Lautoka

Pension withdrawals

The Fiji Times news on pension withdrawals not compulsory at age 55 with pictures of members queuing at Suva headquarters (FT 18/2) should be noted well by the members to take extreme care of their options. The FNPF general manager services Alipate’s advice for the members is to exercise their independent rights to choose the options given. I feel we should be in a position to assess our needs and wants as we look forward to our healthy and happy retirement with our hard-earned contributions. I believe many would prefer going on pensions rather than lump sum. It’s very easy to be tempted to take the lump sum and lose control of your money. The pension being controlled by FNPF will help finance you throughout your life. There are some members who opted for lifetime joint pension and are enjoying their retirements wherever they are. Vinaka! FNPF for securing the future of the members. Pension or lump sum? The choice is yours. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Levuka wharf

Captain Cook’s MS Caledonian Sky sailed into the Levuka harbour on Monday morning (19/02/2024) with tourists on board. Unfortunately, the vessel couldn’t berth at the wharf due to the dilapidated state of the said infrastructure. It’s been neglected for years now despite numerous reassurances from Government that they would embark on repairs/maintenance works. Captain Cook’s qualified and well-trained crews had to ensure the safety of the tourist’s in slightly rough and windy conditions, as they shuttled them on small rubber dinghies from their anchorage location in the harbour to the main wharf. How much longer will it take to have our Levuka wharf repaired, so that all visiting ships/vessels can berth alongside instead of inconveniently anchoring out in the harbour? Anyone in Government listening? I invite all government ministers and other senior officials to visit my Facebook page to view the relevant pictures and subsequently, you’re all most welcome to send me Friend Requests too. Anthony Sahai Levuka, Ovalau

Heavy rain

The continuous heavy downpour is sure to highlight the poor drainage in many high-end places across the country. While the geographical setting of many areas is a major factor for most western towns and low-lying areas in the central and northern divisions, I am most disappointed with the poor drainage in Suva. Known as the hub of the Pacific, it is sad to see the state of such a globally renowned city having so many issues. The road behind MHCC is flooded almost every time, with people having to walk through ankle-level and sometimes calf-muscle-level water to catch taxis or just to cross the road. I wonder if the city council reviews and assesses its drainage system and old buildings because everything catches on age with time. Raynav Chand Nakasi

Thanks Tessa

Aww thanks Tessa. That’s so very sweet and kind of you. Would love to meet you too at some stage. And a few other writers too. We did travel back home last year but unfortunately both my wife and I got sick and couldn’t get to see a lot of our friends we were hoping to see. Next time I will definitely check to see if you’re available to make your acquaintance. Till then, ni sa moce. Colin Deoki Australia

The package

Interesting to read in the front page of The Fiji Times (19/02) two related headlines at least I believe. First the 12kg of cocaine seized in Lautoka and the tourism industry booms with the $1.3b in projects. As the Attorney-General Siromi Turaga stated that drugs come with a ‘package’, with it comes arms, smuggling and prostitution. Well I believe that tourism also comes with a ‘package’ and drugs is one of those packages. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Taxi plates

What happened to the coloured taxi plates which were supposed to cover all cities and towns? Will it be extended beyond Lautoka and Nadi? Or are we running out of colour codes and ideas? Pita Soroaqali Rakiraki

How ironic

Isn’t it ironic that a place called the Holy land is the location of the ferocious aggressiveness and extreme hatred in the world. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

School zoning

Does it really serve its purpose or it was just an illusion policy which undermines the values of human rights and democracy? Pita Soroaqali Rakiraki

Drug issue

If we’re to believe the stinging allegations of nepotism and corruption in the Police Force then is it one of the reasons why Fiji has become a drug trafficking nation? I believe the huge drug busts that have occurred could not have happened without the collusion of law enforcement officers? And why on Earth were military personnel directed to transfer to the Police Force? What was the real purpose? I believe whoever was directing the traffic of all that has been alleged has compromised the integrity of the establishment. The previous administration has so much to answer for. Their stranglehold strategy is mind boggling. So nothing surprises me anymore. Colin Deoki Australia

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