Letters to the Editor | Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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Shivom Murti, 2, with brother Shivaan Murti, 4 with their mum Artika Murti light sparkles to celebrate diwali at their home in Mukta Ben, Vatuwaqa. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Festival of lights

The wet weather failed to dampen spirits as Hindus joined hands to celebrate Deepawali — the Festival of Lights. Homes were lit up with lights. The light and noise from the firecrackers reincarnated the Deepawali festivity. The best part was sharing the spirit of Deepawali in a multiracial Fiji. Food, sweets, and savouries were shared in the most peaceful, loving, and caring manner, as it brought the different races and ethnic groups together. News of the tropical depression, that was getting closer to Fiji yesterday, drove a cloud of fear and disturbance, but all went well. I started my day with a prayer and ensured I spent maximum time with my loved ones. I also thought about the Year 13 students, who are in their external examination mood, as such weather extremes will have a negative impact on their preparations. I prayed for them as well. As we brace for this bad and rainy weather and a possible cyclone, let’s join hands to support and care for each other. Be safe, fellow Fijians! Let the spirit of loving, sharing, and caring take us through! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Be open

IF the Government claims to be transparent and accountable, then it must demonstrate it by being receptive to criticism and other opposing views. This is the way the public is exercising their democratic rights to hold the Government to account. Otherwise removing the restriction on media freedom will be meaningless. Not all criticisms are bad, as some are quite constructive and well-meaning. Rejecting them out rightly would be like throwing the baby away with the bath water. More importantly, our leaders must be seen to be open to scrutiny and criticism. As our Prime Minister has rightfully said “When you aspire to hold positions such as the one, I hold, you must expect criticisms and verbal abuse that is printed or uttered by those who don’t subscribe to your views and values.” (FT 11/11). SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Almost a year on

ALMOST a year after replacing the FijiFirst government the Rabuka Coalition Government has not reduced the extravagant ministerial allowance for overseas trips and the salary scale as they had promised to do before the election (FT 13/11). From the reaction of critics like FLP leader and former PM Mahendra Chaudhry, you get the distinct sense that the coalition mob in power has become a caricature of the FijiFirst mob who they used to condemn for their excesses. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Midwives, nurses

AFTER reading some past years The Fiji Times like I used to do, I came across this story, thank you The Fiji Times for sharing the history of our forgotten history of trained iTaukei midwives in the early 1900s by the colonial administrators in FT 07/11/21 (Pg 15). The Methodist Church was very much involved and influential in encouraging young iTaukei women at that time to take up this midwife’s profession at their various mission schools around Fiji and Matavelo which Ba Mission High School was one of them while some ended up as teachers. Bubu Lolohea or tai Lolohea Waqairawai of Narewa Village, Nadi was an early pioneer of the midwives’ profession who has delivered unaccounted lives, and they deserve government recognition because of their contribution to our health profession and education system despite the fact everything was not so modern compared with our times. There were difficulties in travelling to villages and settlements where there was no proper infrastructure such as roads, water, and electricity. Fiji owed it to Tai Lolohea and other midwives (Qele ni Ruve) who were trained at the Methodist Church of Fiji Mission Schools and should be included in our education curriculum history or social studies at the primary level. I wouldn’t know this part of history if The Fiji Times never printed it. Jioji Masivesi Cakacaka Carreras, Votualevu, Nadi

No genocide?

IN 2005, Israel disengaged itself from Gaza, and the “key” to manage Gaza’s own affairs was presented holistically, in its lap. Millions of dollars in aid were rained on Gaza for its development but it chose death, not life, by sleeping with Hamas. From my perspective, after 16 years of accommodating Hamas, the reality is exposed today. There is no genocide, it is just plain insanity. Samu Silatolu Nakasi

Ocean of peace

The “Ocean of peace” is indeed a grand idea as The Sunday Times editorial (12/11) so eloquently explains. But before we get to that what are we doing about the ocean of pollution in the Pacific? Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Lion walkabout

Kimba the circus lion left his circus cage and went for an impromptu walkabout in an Italian seaside town at night. He was located and safely captured and returned to his lion family at the circus. Kimba is lucky. If he had gone for the same walkabout in America. Some gun happy American would have shot him dead! Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

New coach

With the 2023 Rugby World Cup well and over, there is another big question pending. When or how long do we have to wait before the next national coach is announced? Whatever ones opinions, I would not be surprised that come 2026 the Fijian Drua coach Mick Byrne will be given the role of guiding us to the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia. We cannot afford to lose the technical services of Naca Cawanibuka. Whatever one’s opinions, I am hoping the new coach is determined sooner rather than later. Other nations have already kicked off their plans and journey to the 2027 Rugby World Cup. Floyd Robinson Micronesia

Weather news

Cyclone warning over the media has been very poor. I tried to look for the latest forecast on the internet and radio on Monday morning, only news available was a day old. Radio announcers (Hindi) don’t seem to know East from West. Urging people responsible to please improve weather news forecast. Ajay Singh Natabua, Lautoka

Ceasefire call

Ceasefire echoes all over the world but not heard by those responsible for it. Help us God to stop man made disasters. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand


Some say Diwali is celebrated because Lord Rama returned from a 14-year-exile. I was going to celebrate it this year because of our new Government which came after 16 years. Looking at the Government’s performance I think I might as well just get drunk. Sukha Singh Labasa

Error rate

The Fijian men’s team needs to address the high error rate and get rid of the casual attitude. Otherwise they have an interesting and promising group of boys for the upcoming tournaments. Go Viti. Emosi Balei Suva

7s rugby

Allow me to respectfully express my disappointment on how our men’s 7s rugby team squandered a 10 – 0 lead to eventual winners New Zealand by 17 – 24. We appeared somewhat lethargic allowing the Kiwis to bounce back scoring three back-to-back tries. It was saddening to witness us falter in this way. It was not an easy match to watch. Very disappointing indeed, Fiji 7s. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day is a global occasion on which people with diabetes, health professionals, diabetes advocates, media, the public and government organisations unite to raise awareness of diabetes. November 14 – is key to the success of the campaign. Taking part can be exciting and hugely rewarding! Millions of people with diabetes around the world do not have access to diabetes care. People with diabetes require ongoing care and support to manage their condition and avoid complications. We cannot wait any longer for: l Medicine, technologies, support and care to be made available to all people with diabetes that require them. l Governments to increase investment in diabetes care and prevention. In 2023, the campaign focuses on the importance of knowing your risk of type 2 diabetes to help delay or prevent the condition and highlighting the impact of diabetes-related complications and the importance of having access to the right information and care to ensure timely treatment and management. One in 10 adults worldwide have diabetes. Over 90 per cent have type 2 diabetes. Close to half are not yet diagnosed. In many cases, type 2 diabetes and its complications can be delayed or prevented by adopting and maintaining healthy habits. When not detected and treated early, diabetes can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications. For people at risk of type 2 diabetes, knowing your risk and what to do is important to support prevention, early diagnosis and timely treatment. For people living with diabetes, awareness and access to the correct information and best available medicines and tools to support self-care is vital to delay or prevent complications. For healthcare professionals, access to sufficient training and resources is required to detect complications early and provide the best possible care. Regular physical activity is an important part of diabetes management and reducing the risk of diabetes. Whether indoors or outdoors, every step counts to help stay healthy! Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet which will bring the best out of you. Neelz Singh Nelson, New Zealand

Fireworks issue

Despite it being an integral part of the Deepawali tradition for centuries, there have been repeated cries by a few concerned citizens in Fiji on the significance of fireworks, (FT letters 13/11). Of course, it can be an absolute annoyance if inconsiderate individuals light them up at abnormal hours, resulting in unnecessary noise and air pollution. With the festive season fast approaching, what sort of relevance, if any, does alcoholic beverages play during Christmas? No offence but rather than attending a place of worship celebrating the life of Christ, it has become a norm to observe many individuals who belong to the Christian faith in a state of drunkenness staggering onto the streets on Christmas day. Booze-fueled parties, violent street brawls, public harassment, disturbing the peace with unpleasant profanities are just some of the many incidents witnessed during the jolly season, with alcohol being the primary catalyst. So would you rather tolerate a few hours of fireworks display on Diwali night or stumble upon this utter nuisance of heavily intoxicated and wannabe street fighters slugging it out on early Christmas morning? Diwali is celebrated once a year and the fireworks are here to stay. Those who are unfortunately whining about it’s “significance” should learn to deal with it! Nishant Singh Lautoka