Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Fijian Drua inside centre Apisalome Vota bursting his way against the Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby clash at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia last week. Picture: STU ALLEN

Heart-breaking loss

Heartbreaking as the Queensland Reds survived a furious Fijian Drua finish to post a 27-24 win in Brisbane and climb the Super Rugby Pacific ladder to sixth place. Filipo Daugunu won a crucial turnover in the 79th minute to repel the momentum of the Drua. It was the Reds first game at their spiritual home of Suncorp Stadium this year and the hosts gave everything they had in the tank. The Fijian Drua started well, collecting the first points in the game through the boots of Frank Lomani, but the Reds responded through two Josh Flook tries for the 12-3 lead at the break. Kitione Salawa was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle and Harry Wilson and Suliasi Vunivalu crossed over. However, the Fijian Drua did not give up and Ratu Rotuisolia and Kalaveti Ravouvou crossed over to close the gap to 24-17. Tom Lynagh’s penalty extended the Reds’ lead to 27-17, but Iosefo Masi gave the Fijian Drua some hope when he scored. The Fijian Drua was a much better side in the second half, but it was too late as the Reds defended well. Our boys must play 80 minutes of rugby and minimise silly errors. We had the game, but rushed attack cost us dearly. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Nadawa, Nasinu

Traditional protocol

The Australian prime minister kissing the whale’s tooth when he was accorded a traditional ceremony at the RFMF Blackrock Camp in Nadi was pleasing to see. I would suggest that the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs brief the diplomat on words to speak (in their preferred language of course) when receiving the whale’s tooth or yaqona reciprocating the gesture from the hosts. This can be in a written form that can be read or memorised. This will only enhance visiting diplomats and foreign viewers understanding of the traditional protocols and we shouldn’t allow language to be a barrier. We have observed visiting diplomats holding the tabua or yaqona in silence before passing it on, we can change this to ensure all voices are head and the traditional protocol is intact. Sailosi Naewe Naduru Rd, Nausori

City of potholes

Enter from the left Enter from the right Beauty galore meets your eyes Cruise around safe and sound Until your head hits the roof The smooth ride, gone in a poof Have no fear A pot-hole is near or under your car hold on tight Else, you’ll be flung far. Joan McGoon Kuata St, Lautoka

A town issue

Nadi being a tourist town needs to be kept in tip top condition if we are to improve on our chances of luring more tourists to our shores. Besides maintaining the town clear of all dirt and other obstacles, it is also important to consider how best your public facilities are kept and finding them wasn’t hard too. One of the best ways to help your visitors is to have a town directory and signs that are clear and easy to understand. These tools need to be strategically placed in such a location where they could be easily found by everyone. We also need to look at our town’s walkway to ensure pedestrians have a safe passage always. At this juncture, I wish to remind the council to consider putting proper footpaths along the entire length of Lodhia St which is not only a commercial zone but also a common entrance which locals and tourists use on a daily basis. While at it, you may also like to consider the Sagayam Rd which at the moment also has no proper footpath. This is another area which sees commercial activity on the rise. The gist of the letter is to awaken the local authority to the reality on the ground. Like many others, I want to see our town progressing and flourishing. Suresh Chand Nadi

WAF must explain

Frequent water woes faced by the greater Suva-Nausori corridor residents has become habitual and normal for WAF! And the lives of the residents of these areas are adversely affected in so many ways. There is no need to mention any. But assurances given by the responsible minister in the people’s Coalition Government is very encouraging and most welcome. Thank you, Ro Filipe Tuisawau for such a vision and mission in rectifying and taking all necessary steps to improve the water woes. Coalition Government’s commitments and assurances are very much appreciated. The Suva-Nausori corridor population has increased to unmanageable limits in terms of the State’s critical assets management system. It has become highly desirable to carry out urgent reviews of the critical assets in order to resolve pending issues over the past two decades. The commitment, investments and improvements in the most critical assets management by the people’s Coalition Government will definitely gain popularity. Under the previous government, I believe WAF had assured under the Residential Customer Segment Agenda in one of their forums: WAF Annual Customer Forum, that by 2023, when the Waila Treatment Plant in improved operations, customers will have access to clean water and sanitation for a better life. WAF must explain and come out clean here about what went wrong. INDAR DEO BISUN Sakoca Heights, Tamavua

Cash from trash

THERE’S a famous saying that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, meaning whatever may seem useless to one person is valuable to another. Asinate Lewabeka from Nailuva, Ra has proved it right once again. Residing near Vunato dumpsite in Lautoka, she has been a regular waste picker, turning trash into cash. (FT 20/03) Thanks to The Fiji Times for sharing another inspirational life story. The Lautoka City Council is preparing to relocate the same dumpsite as it has become a health and environmental hazard, according to another article titled “Plans to relocate dumpsite” on Page 14 of the same edition. My one-cent worth suggestion would be to raise greater awareness about recycling and waste sorting. Giving creative people like Asinate more freedom might help to some extent with the dumpsite’s problems with waste management. I sincerely thank LCC for the wonderful 3R competitive program they have been implementing in all the Lautoka schools, both urban and rural. You are undoubtedly promoting efficient waste management to young minds. DINESH KUMAR BA

Adolescent pregnancy

Recently while browsing Facebook, I noticed something worrying. There seems to be an increase of single adolescent girls pictured with their newborn. I believe pregnancy among adolescents is a serious issue that has to be addressed urgently. Wake up Fiji! The grim reality is that adolescent pregnancy is rampant across the country and has remained so for some time now, despite the periodic outcry whenever statistics on the matter are released. This calls for greater effort in addressing this menace that blocks our girls’ path towards realising their full potential. The gravity of the matter is well-known. Despite the rising numbers of adolescent pregnancies, parents, religious and political leaders are hesitant to address the matter. Many parents eschew the topic of sex education as they find it awkward to have to discuss such matters with their children. This should, however, not be the case as it is their children’s future they are endangering. The early pregnancy issue needs to remain at the top of the Government’s agenda, but the irony in our country is that it finds its way into public discourse only when triggered by certain events, after which it gets buried and we continue with business as usual. There is an urgent need to address the drivers of adolescent pregnancies by coming up with and implementing relevant and cost-effective programs. From social media, peer pressure to religious beliefs, these are drivers or adolescent pregnancy. We need to confront hard truths and realities on the issue with openness and honesty. Whenever the idea of teaching sexuality issues crops up, it is often dismissed on the argument that it might end up encouraging teens to indulge in sex. This view needs to be reconsidered if we are to save our adolescents. It is high time we came out and faced our problems without fear and deal with reality. Parents should be open with their children and allow them to express themselves where necessary. These conversations are vital because sometimes young people indulge in sex due to curiosity or to find out how it feels, yet the results end up becoming a burden to them and their parents. Most males still think that contraception is the sole responsibility of the female and so rather than it takes two to make a baby, it becomes, she got pregnant and, on some level, it is now her responsibility. So let’s educate our girls on daily issues that they are expected to encounter and we shall save them from early pregnancy and other sex-related challenges. Just as there is no one “cause” for unintended pregnancy, there is no one simple solution. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Strong spirit

In the Fijian Drua’s 24-27 loss to the Queensland Reds, in Suncorp Stadium, I am immensely proud of our “go-down-fighting” spirit. Towards the end of the third quarter, the Drua surged to score three converted tries, all of 21 huge points, in 17 amazing minutes. What an amazing effort. We take the loss, with much pride. Whilst it is still “work in progress” I wish the Fiji Drua showed more than three points on the scoreboard in the first 40 minutes. What a difference this could have been? Every Drua fan wishes our team well as they take on the Highlanders this coming weekend. May sweet success and victory come your way, this time. Believe! You can deliver. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

NZ imports

Is Fiji totally dependent on NZ for our imports of our daily potato and onion needs? Reliable sources say this is the norm. Is this true? Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

Futsal team

To the Fiji FA, can we have a national Futsal team each for the main national team, players from the super premier/premier districts only? A premier futsal national team, players from the Premier districts only, under-12, 16 and 20 national futsal teams each from both the super premier and premier districts. Same for women please. A. SHARIFF SHAH Savusavu

Power play

Kelepi Dakuiyaco Waikalou (FT 18/2) asks what the implications for Fiji are in Australia’s strategy to counter Chinese moves in the Pacific Islands, a strategy involving US nuclear powered submarines. He and every politician in Fiji should read the latest edition of Australian Foreign Affairs, issue 17, February, “Girt by China, Power Play in the Pacific”. I presume the USP and parliamentary libraries have it. Christopher Griffin Perth, Australia

Airline survival

While re-instatement of airline workers is appreciated, I believe the fact remains flight attendants offered to go on leave without pay during the pandemic. I believe the airline board and management refused this noble gesture. I believe to say workers were removed to ensure the airline’s survival (FT/20/3) is not true. Fiji Airways workers are thankful and indebted to Rabuka and the Coalition Government which directed re-instatement. Not forgetting the solidarity shown by its union members Dan Urai Lautoka

EFL poles

Could the EFL put in a few more poles in some settlements in and around Labasa? The price of the service mains have gone up and in some places you can touch the service mains. I also want to know if the Government is still doing the rural electrification. Sukha Singh Labasa

World poverty

Imagination is a powerful tool to create possible scenarios which is available to every human being. Any person could therefore see how the trillions of dollars used by world powers to maintain their military might, could be utilised to eradicate world poverty. Why couldn’t world leaders see this? “Imagine all the people, livin life in peace…”. Emosi Balei Suva

Lazy start

A lazy start from the Drua cost us the game against Reds at Suncorp Stadium. We cannot afford to play catch-up rugby nowadays. Despite the latter onslaught by our boys, the Reds managed to hang on and finally came out as the winner to their relief. All the best against Brumbies this week! Waisale Moce Nadarivatu

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