Letters to the Editor | Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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Solomon Islands impressed viewers with a spectacular Pacifi c Games opening ceremony which kicked off with a riot of colour and sound. Picture: SOL2023 XVII PACIFIC GAMES

Colourful, spectacular opening ceremony

Solomon Islands impressed viewers with a spectacular Pacific Games opening ceremony which kicked off with a riot of colour and sound, as the Pacific united for the significant event. A huge crowd packed the stadium to formally open the games. It was a touching sight, as Samoa, the previous hosts, led the parade of athletes. Spectators held up pictures of the flags of the 24 countries as their teams entered, and cheers and chants echoed through the stadium as the athletes took their turn on the stage. I commend the hosts for ensuring that the opening ceremony was a momentous occasion that marked the culmination of countless hours of planning, dedication, and teamwork. The spectators were reminded that the Pacific Games were not merely a sporting event, but a celebration of human achievement, camaraderie, and the indomitable spirit of competition. They were reminded that the hosts strived to create an unforgettable experience for participants and spectators, with the aim of showcasing the competitor’s remarkable athletic prowess and the unique cultural heritage and vibrant spirit of the Pacific. As the paddle-shaped baton, which made its way around the Pacific, was placed into a waterfall that connected the Solomon Islands to the rest of the region, this line lingered, “This ceremony is a celebration of the spirit of unity and friendship that the Games embody. As athletes from different nations gather on the field, remember that despite diverse backgrounds and experiences, we are all united by the common language of sport.” Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Sniffer dogs in school

I beg to differ with Tukai Lagonilakeba of Nadi (FT 20/11) who asked the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Education to deploy sniffer dogs in schools in order to combat the drug trafficking issue. Although Mr Lagonilakeba is right to be concerned about the serious problem of drug misuse and trade among the younger generation, his suggestion to utilise sniffer dogs in schools is just too risky. Here, we are dealing with minors, not infamous criminals. Teachers are using the regulations and procedures set up by the ministry to end the problem of illegal drugs in their schools. Sniffer dogs, in my opinion, ought to be used as a last resort when all other humanitarian measures and regulations have failed. DINESH KUMAR Ba

Soccer ranking

Shah Shariff (FT 20/11) has gone on a rant about our 170th ranking and has called on the Fiji FA president to ship out. Shariff, please don’t attack the president. Never mind he has never kicked a ball. Never mind he has no clue on how to develop soccer. Never mind his lofty positions at FIFA bodies. Never mind all his connections. Brother, just don’t ask him to leave his position. It’s useless asking. It’s pointless worrying about soccer. Remember when the FIFA president visited? These gang made him believe their development plans! Donald Singh Suva

Customs and tradition

My granduncle is in his mid 70s, Amino Nabure. His village is Solotavui in Nakasaleka, Kadavu. I asked him “are there other households or villages within Viti that are mataisau as well?”. To which he replied “by the 1930s there was a unwritten rule that all history, knowledge, experiences, customs and traditions of Viti was to be systematically oppressed”. Which meant the formal education system was not to contain any of it. My granduncle further added “by the 1970s due to the influence of missionaries and the church (or lotu), the household of mataisau across the nation of Viti had denied any connection whatsoever with their yavusa ‘Nakamakama’. “The mataisau people nevertheless existed but they had abandoned or denied themselves of who they truly were, except for two villages, Solotavui in Nakasaleka and Nukutubu in Rewa.” So in response to the article by Zifirah Vunileba (FT 20/11), you must know that anybody who is a direct descendant (whether paternal or maternal, or even through your grandmother) of Rokola, the patriarch and god of craftsmanship, you would be born with the in-built set of skills of a mataisau. It’s in you. You just have to believe it and activate the DNA in you. Regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion. Some things cannot be changed and one of them is your itutu vakavanua. So all those wood carvers in your article would’ve have had some sort of connection, by blood, if it were to be traced back through lineage. Waisele Duikoro Waila

Alternative provider

Internet service provider Starlink’s admission into the Fiji market will certainly benefit and boost connectivity for an increasing number of internet savvy Fijians (FT 20/11). Similarly, it would be greatly appreciated if the Coalition Government could also permit an alternative electricity provider into the country to keep EFL and bright spark Hasmukh Patel’s decades of monopolistic approach in check. Such competition is really going to be very “ex-static”. Nishant Singh Lautoka

At it again!

Savenaca Narube is at it again. I guess he was once the governor of RBF. One year ago I believe he wanted the government to “print the notes” to boost the economy. Now he is at it again. Mr PM has said it rightly, don’t stir the nest. To all the critics that lost the last election and elections before that, please rest in peace and enjoy your privacy. Instead of “print the note” please go and plant tavioka! A SHARIFF SHAH SAVUSAVU

Prostate peril 

I REFER to the article by Pauliasi Mateboto titled ‘Silent killer’ (FT 20/11), which discusses the loss of 50 men annually to prostate cancer in Fiji. Prostate cancer develops when abnormal cells form and grow in the prostate gland, commonly affecting men between 46 and 69 years. According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. To narrow the figures down to our land, 50 lives are lost annually (Fiji Cancer Society). That’s losing 500 men in a decade. Let’s hope we, male readers, do not fall into this pool of death. Soon there will be a month allocated for men to fight prostate cancer like breast cancer. RODNEY CLARENCE RAJ NALEBA, LABASA

My take

I BELIEVE FLP’s Mahendra Chaudhry was never a Maths teacher nor was he a qualified economist from a known Fiji university so he is not a guru to talk about our country’s economy or does he love listening to himself and wants to be relevant. Prof Biman Prasad is much more qualified as a Maths engineer than Mr Chaudhry in terms of economics and is in a better position to judge as he is in Government. TUKAI LAGONILAKEBA NAMAKA, NADI

Heart-breaking loss

During the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup final last Sunday, Australia defeated India by six wickets in the Narendra Modi stadium, breaking the hearts of billions of Indian cricket fans. After winning 10 matches to go to the finals, India was favoured against Australia, which had won eight and lost two. After winning the toss, Australia chose to field first, while the Indians were pleased to bat first. Rohit Sharma, the captain, and Shubman Gill, the opener, were an overconfident combination. Gill only managed four runs. Just 47 runs were scored by Rohit before he went out. At four runs, renowned batsman Shreyas Iyer was thrown out. Even the “King Kholi,” who was removed from the field by Pat Cummins at 54 runs, was unable to display his “virat” (mammoth) form. India lost 10 wickets but still managed to score 240 runs. Glen Maxwell and Adam Zampa each grabbed one wicket, while Mitchell Starc claimed three, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins two each. I gave up my sleep to watch the cricket final, just like other cricket enthusiasts, and was let down when it was all over. Did Rohit need to play so offensively and KL Rahul so defensively? Well, the Indian cricket team’s players and supporters will always be haunted by this loss in front of their own audience and on their home pitch. It was a gut-wrenching sight to see the Indian cricketers sobbing like children. India had won the ICC Cricket World Cup only twice – once, under Kapil Dev’s captaincy in 1983, and again, under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s guidance in 2011. Congratulations on the sixth World Cup victory for the Australian cricket team. Your team was excellent. DINESH KUMAR Ba

Australia claims title!

Indian cricket fans suffered an agonizing heartbreak as Australia emerged victorious defeating the hosts by six wickets to claim the ICC Cricket World Cup title at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The stadium was packed with passionate and patriotic Indian supporters, and one can imagine the pain they went through after watching their side humbled on their home turf. Luck was on Australia’s side as they won the toss and elected to field first. They did well and came out firing, restricting India to a total of 240 runs all out, thanks to a solid bowling performance from Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Adam Zampa. Travis Head, who scored a century, and Marnus Labuschagne put on a brilliant partnership of 132 runs. Australia’s victory was their sixth World Cup title. They have now won more World Cups than any other team. Travis Head, who was brilliant and was Australia’s top scorer, was named player of the match, while India’s Virat Kohli, who was the leading run-scorer for India, was named player of the tournament. As Australian fans celebrated, Indian fans tried their best to drown their sorrows. Congratulations Australia! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Pin-drop silence

The Australian cricket team stunned the Indian crowd into a pin-drop silence as they lifted the coveted World Cup trophy in style after beating the hosts by six wickets. It was a display of grit and courage from the Aussies, led by their inspirational captain Pat Cummins, who decided on bowling after winning the toss, as they held the Indian batting prowess to just 240 runs while bowling them all out. India, on the other hand, could not deliver the same energy in their bowling game, despite being the only undefeated side heading into the final, as Australia comfortably chased their target of 241 runs inside 43 overs, sending the 130,000 Indian fans in Ahmedabad into a silence of horror. Batsman Travis Head was the star of the show scoring an astonishing 137 off just 120 balls as he withstood the top speed spin from Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, to clinch a record-extending sixth World Cup title for Australia. India may feel hard done by the final results, as they clearly were the best side throughout the tournament, however, the beauty of sports is that no one knows what each day brings, and Australia were levels above India on the day it mattered the most. Congratulations to the Aussies! RAYNAV CHAND Nakasi


It’s exciting news that a new internet service provider (ISP) is poised to enter the market soon. This development is expected to introduce robust competition to the current ISPs, which have been known for offering slow internet, escalating data bundle prices and limiting the duration for which data can be utilised. I am eagerly anticipating the entry of the new ISP into the market to see what innovations and improvements they bring to the table. SANJEET PRASAD Mani Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

State of affairs

To the naked eye, it seems there are three musketeers within that grandstander political party. Two vague matured men and a fashionable woman. But I believe there is indeed no split in that political party FT 19/11. However, birds singing that there is a complex state of affairs and cobweb ties within various tunnels among ranges of people. No wonder there are (swear word) ups within the decision makers from that party! AREKI DAWAI Suva

No split

The Deputy PM said “No split in the party”. Did he mean physically or mentally? The physical aspect can be still intact whereas mentally, the “thinking capacity” is under scrutiny. No cohesion and no confidence for its direction. No man can serve two masters; either he will hate one and love the other or else he will hold to one and despise the other. Samu Silatolu Nakasi

Garbage disposal

Commercial companies being impractically penalised the amount of a measly $40 for unlawful waste dumping sounds like a tasteless joke (FT 20/11). Is the Lautoka City Council thinking straight and strategically these days? Do consider increasing the fines in the four figure scopes to daunt such actions of these irresponsible and immature profit focused businesses. And again, why aren’t the names of these companies being exposed publicly? Why the name suppression? Nishant Singh Lautoka

Parliament sitting

What a joyous occasion! Rejoice, for our beloved Parliament is gracing us with its presence once again, ready to dazzle and amuse. Brace yourselves for a whole week of this spectacular circus. The excitement is simply overwhelming! SANJEET PRASAD Mani Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

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