Letters to the Editor | Wednesday, April 3, 2024

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Kabara players and supporters with the Fiji Cricket Easter Shield after defeating Komo in the National Easter Cricket tournament finals at Albert Park in Suva. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Easter cricket

Hearty congratulations to the Vosarogo Lawyers-sponsored Kabara Cricket team for winning the 2024 Fiji Cricket Easter tournament after defeating their neighbours Komo. Your hard work, dedication, and outstanding performance have truly paid off, and you have emerged as champions against a fiercely competitive opponent. This victory evoked memories from my younger days when I was learning to play cricket in Naikeleyaga, Kabara. Here is to celebrating this momentous occasion and to many more successes in the future. Thanks to Komo for providing a strong competition. Well done, Kabar team! Malo a qito. Kalougata jiko! DINESH KUMAR Ba

Crossing divides

The 2024 Annual Sangam Convention was officially closed by the honourable Professor Biman Prasad over the Easter weekend. Watching the nine-minute 57-second video on the Government’s page, it occurred to me that it was something special, truly special, unfolding in front of thousands of eyes. One needs no reminders on the inviter and the invitee and the political showdowns we have been seeing between them for several years, albeit having switched sides in the august house. Hon Bala invited Hon Prasad to do the honours of closing the Sangam Convention. Big man, Hon Bala. Only big men can do that. Now, one may argue that Hon Prasad is the bigger man for accepting the invite. Probably. Both big men. Salute to the two big men. Such sightings are soothing to the eyes that are painful and weary reading and watching all that’s going on around us. Donald Singh Suva

Water problem

Is there an end in sight to the Suva-Nausori water problem? After 5 or 6 days without water, by Tuesday, April 2, at least some households supplied from the Tamavua reservoir have had WAF water supply restored, although pressure remains low. A WAF spokesperson said that after the broken main pipeline had been fixed, Tamavua supply would still be only about half of normal for some time. Thanks to WAF staff for their hard work over the long Easter weekend. In the greater Suva area, however, water supply has been unreliable and often dirty for many years. The real problem is not due to recent rains and flooding. Little seems to have changed since donors approved $US255 million (roughly $F560 million) in soft loans and grants in 2016. This support from the Asian Development Bank ($US153m), the European Investment Bank ($US153m) and the Green Climate Fund ($S31m) was supposed to finance a new intake on the upper Rewa along with water treatment facilities, a pumping station, a reservoir, and pipes connecting to the existing system for reliable and sustainable long term water supply. There was also funding provided for improved wastewater treatment. A 2015 Fiji Government funding request to the Green Climate Fund expected completion by late 2022. A contract was apparently signed in early 2019 for constructing the new water intake and other major works about 50km upstream of the mouth of the Rewa river, high enough for protection against salt water and other climate change impacts. It is now April 2024. Can WAF please provide a progress report? Has any of the $560 million been spent on this new infrastructure? When will people living in the Suva-Nausori corridor have a clean and reliable water supply? WAF’s current CEO and board didn’t create this problem: it was inherited from many years of under funding and poor management. But after two years on the job, they should be able to explain to the public why WAF has been unable to make noticeable progress on the Rewa water supply and wastewater management investment program, eight years after funding was approved. Peter Johnston Tamavua, Suva

US geopolitics

It is now evident that as the ‘World’s Policeman’ US has overplayed its hand. The US is now entangled in Ukraine-Russia and Gaza war. Allies of the US, Taiwan and the Philippines have hostilities with China. Recently, the US was in a tug of war with Bharat with the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal in a liquor scam. The US State Dept made a statement in regards to this. Bharat’s MEA called the Charge d’affairs of the US Embassy in Delhi and in a 42-minute meeting, reminded them not to interfere in internal affairs of Bharat. It is believed that Mr Kejriwal is a stooge of the “deep state” of the USA. Europe is in recession and the USA has internal immigration, crime and gun violence issues. These are evidence of the West’s waning influence on rules based order made by themselves. The West’s desperate attempt to weaken the Modi government will be futile. The Modi government is expected to return with a huge majority after the April/May elections and poised to be the third largest economy by 2027. RAKESH CHAND SHARMA Nadi

Borrow more

That sounds so WEF -ish. What does? The IMF and World Bank’s recommendations, that there’s no need to be alarmed, about our debt issues. We just need their SAP, so as to borrow more of their money, to reach a stage tomorrow, where we’ll be happy when we have nothing. We are so deliriously oblivious, to where we are heading, made to be like it’s our choice! EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacifc Harbour

Martintar issues

I am not sure about anyone else, but it makes complete sense to me that once all the problems in Martintar in Nadi and the surrounding areas are fixed, the solutions to all the problems in the rest of Fiji will follow. It is only logical that the Government should prioritise Martintar because we all know that this place is the centre of Fiji. I have lived in the airport compound in my early years so I know. JAN NISSAR Sydney, NSW, Australia

Sevens talents

Fiji has a load of talented players and one of the top guns in 7s. We are just too proud to work together for the betterment of rugby. Osea, go and fly Fiji’s flag and blessings to the team, for the Hong Kong 7s. Go Fiji go! NAVNEET RAM (TD) Lautoka

Imported labourers

The sugar industry has put its foot down, to reinforce the shortage of labourers, within its line of work. It is a sensible move, because the involvement of this exercise is necessary for the industry’s years of struggle. Even before the NEC came into play, the difficulty to maintain the labour supply has been existing therein. It is labour that puts the difference on everything. It is the superior of capital and deserves higher consideration. All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. In fact, it is people, not raw materials or capital, that develop an economy. Samu Silatolu Nakasi

Gesture of goodwill

I was so pleased to see the TISI president welcoming the Minister of Finance during the Sangam tournament at the weekend. It was a great gesture of goodwill on each other’s part, although being political opponents for so long. However, I only wonder if the TISI president would have done the same if FijiFirst had been in power? Pranil Ram Auckland, New Zealand

Taking initiative

Hats off to the youths of Nanukuloa Village in Ra who took the initiative to construct concrete drains in their village to mitigate flooding. (FT 02/04) With the climate change issues directly confronting our communities in various forms, I believe the youth of Nanukuloa have shown us the way by taking the lead to address it rather than relying on the Government or others to do it for them. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Safe drinking water

It’s interesting to read in The Fiji Times (LTE) some writers urging the authorities to update swimming pools for recreation and beautification when many people are struggling for safe drinking water due to natural disasters. Water! Water! Everywhere, but not safe to drink! Swim for life or drink for life? Prioritise! Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Sevens test

I smiled as I read Dinesh Kumar’s letter (ST: 31/03) titled ‘Sevens test’. Like me, big brother from Ba is a passionate and crazy fan of our Fiji Airways Fiji men’s 7s team. Indeed Dinesh, we are sending our prayers, love, and warm wishes to incoming coach Osea Kolinisau, as he aims to end our losing run on the circuit. While Ben Gollings’ contract was terminated, and he is getting ready to file a lawsuit against FRU, let this not deter Kolinisau and the boys from achieving the mission — a win at the epic So Kon Po Stadium and an end to out 19-tournament winless run. Fiji has a solid and an explosive team. We have tireless forwards and a crafty mix of backline players, including the return of general Vatemo Ravouvou. Hence, I don’t see any reason why Fiji can’t win the prestigious Hong Kong 7s title. Kolinisau must work on our weaknesses from previous tournaments – defence, making tackles count, winning restarts, and individual play. Toso Viti! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Super kicker

Fiji rugby always had a problem over a reliable number 10 since the ’80s when super boot, Galoa native, Severo Koroduadua razzled and dazzled with his super kicks. We also had Nicky Little, Josh Matavesi and co., but still lacked a lot of depth in the playmaker role. When Caleb Muntz took the reigns, things started to change and we could feel a good potential attacking and kicking weapon in Muntz but injury stopped him from excelling and until today recovering. But young Isaiah Ravula Armstrong, in the last six rounds since the opening of the 2024 Super Rugby, has blown all expectations and taken the playmaker role to the next level. The crowd favourite whether rain or shine is a natural super boot, kicking at pace and is the overall top goal kicker in the competition and is second in the top points scored. He is only 20 years old and is truly the unsung hero in all of the Drua’s six games. His super boots are doing wonders and just imagine last week at the rain soaked Churchill Park, his kicks were all spot-on including the grubber that led to Masi’s try. His stature may not be that of Severo but his kicking abilities including some mana magic kicks cross field to his wingers almost led to creation of attacks on the Force’s goal line. He is a gem of a player and a great future in the footsteps of his uncle, the great All Black Richie Mounga. Joka dina Ravula … toso Drua, vacava Rebels, mai Melbourne mai! Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Rugby team support

I thank fellow writer Sanjeet Prasad of Labasa for his letter “Lack of support” (FT 01/04). I had shared the same sentiments in my letter (FT 30/03) which was about the lack of support for our Drua women’s team in their first match on home soil this year against the Waratahs on Saturday (23/03). Is this a deliberate act by the Drua management team in scheduling this match after the men’s Drua team’s game? They should have learnt from their first mistake on March 23 and not repeat the same mistake on March 30. Somehow our women won against Western Force after a vast improvement from their first match and congratulations to them and our men’s team! My only hope that DFAT is reading these two letters and takes a strong stand against the Drua management team for their unfair policy against our Drua women. Jioji M Cakacaka Carreras, Votualevu, Nadi 

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