Letters to the Editor | Wednesday, January 31, 2024

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The Fiji 7s team after winning against NZ at the Perth 7s last weekend. Picture: TRYSPORTIMAGES

Room for improvement

There is a lot of room for improvement heading to the Vancouver and Los Angeles 7s next month. Fiji has been pooled against Argentina, Canada, and Spain. Canada will be a tough nut to crack on their home turf, while Argentina is incredible and is the team to beat. Spain, that qualified for the cup quarter-final in Perth, is improving and will be tough customers. Fiji is in dire need of motivation and psychological boost going into the Vancouver 7s 16 tournaments win less. Something is amiss as we have lost three consecutive semi-finals against South Africa 14-7 in Dubai,
and Australia 24-7 and 22-7, respectively in Cape Town and Perth. Our boys, who have been stars, have struggled to fi nd their feet and rhythm. Is it that we are missing the services of Naca Cawanibuka, who played a pivotal role in the success of the 7s team under Ben Ryan and Gareth Baber, or is something wrong somewhere? I leave it to FRU to fi nd out, but I urge those at Rugby House to rectify the losses. Losing is becoming painful and unbearable. Our boys need to get back to wining ways before the Paris Olympic Games! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Security systems

In the drug busts past and recent, the quantities seized is a major concern. It’s not a handful but armful. Whether shipped in or manufactured locally, its existence on our shores is a huge slap on our security systems and personnel. It not only reveals their laxity but maybe their involvement in this charade.  I believe without the collaboration of security forces the movement of such large hauls is impossible. Fiji, known as the hub of the Pacific, seems to be vying for the title of “Hub of Narcotics”! If our security forces can’t handle the issue of drugs on its own, imagine the chaos the introduction of a casino will bring. Drastic measures need to be taken on all concerned. The existing loopholes in our security system ought to be identified and narrowed not broadened. We can’t let our paradise be diced over and over again! PRAMEETA CHAND, Suva

Children and reading

I’m not an educator or a specialist in the field of education. But what do you think of winning the reading stakes with children — books or online video games and social media platforms? Tragically, the digitised world we’re living in has become the bedrock of entertainment and communication. The plethora of online attractions make hard copy books look like something from the ark. So there’s a huge backlash against reading because today’s children are digital “natives” whereas the rest of us are digital dinosaurs who’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into the wastelands of their technological wonderland. And let’s be honest, most of us have had to jump aboard the digital space station or be left behind in the wake of the revolution. So wouldn’t it be a lot more prudent to perhaps meet children where they’re at and introduce them to technology enhanced e-books that have interactive features such as music, sound effects, animations and buttons that encourage children to learn and read. Whether we like to admit it or not, hard copy books remind children of school and homework. So there’s a mental barrier to reading right there. Better for them to listen to an interactive e-book because it fits right into the digital head space of what they’re accustomed to. And there’s lots of fun activities children can do in the digital media space while reading and clicking buttons to enhance their learning, creativity and understanding. Just some food for thought. COLIN DEOKI,Australia

PM’s decision stands

I WISH to express my strong support for Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka’s decision not to reinstate Aseri Radrodro as Minister for Education. Prime Minister Rabuka has shown strong leadership qualities by exercising his prerogatives as head of government. It is important to note that the Prime Minister possesses certain powers that are vested in his position. These powers should not be subject to undue interference from outside. The decision to remove or retain a minister is a prerogative of the Prime Minister and he has made it clear that this authority will not be compromised. The matanigasau presented by Mr Radrodro and Ratu Inoke Takiveikata was rightly accepted by the PM. The Prime Minister’s distinction between the traditional apology and the ministerial decision is commendable. By promptly communicating this decision to his Deputy Prime Ministers and SODELPA, the Prime Minister has shown transparency and accountability in his leadership. Mr Rabuka’s commitment to his decision not to reinstate Mr Radrodro is proof to his strong leadership qualities, his dedication to the principles of good governance, and his focus on the betterment of the nation. SODELPA must now show full support for the PM and refrain from causing any further trouble for both the PM and the Coalition. SANJEET PRASAD, Labasa

End to wars

The Vatican’s call for an end to wars (FT 30/01), echoes what all peace-loving people around the world want and cry for. Unfortunately, it seems like a very hard ask and probably wishful thinking, given the drive by certain beneficiaries and stakeholders — at both the physical and spiritual levels — to ensure that wars remain very much part of our daily lives, albeit for their benefit! It also seem that only when love eventually conquers and overcome greed, hatred, jealousy and violence, will there be an end to war. But that also appears to be highly unlikely, when we look around our very material world today. But the good news is that, it is surely not impossible nor improbable, if one has faith and trust in God and believes in a spiritual outcome that was already prophesied and made known to mankind. EDWARD BLAKELOCK, Pacific Harbour

Biggest irony

The biggest irony in Fiji 7s is the fact that we have the World Rugby Sevens Series highest point scorer in former playmaker and star for England 7s Ben Gollings now coaching Fiji. Yet we are still searching, testing, uncertain on who is our kingpin and playmaker who will orchestrate our defence at the Olympic Games let alone the sevens series. SHALWYN PRASAD Nabua, Suva

Levuka mortuary

Can the Government of the day please provide an update as to when will the “dysfunctionally-inoperable” burnt-out Levuka Hospital mortuary be replaced? It’s approximately two months now. Or are we busy “flying here and there”, pocketing allowances that Levuka is forgotten about? ANTHONY SAHAI, Levuka

First day

On the first day of the 2024 school year, which do you think was the happier group, the teachers or the parents? MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Mandela’s ANC

South Africa’s ruling ANC Party has suspended former president Jacob Zuma. Mandela might rest better in his final resting place knowing the party he founded is upholding his ideals and keeping rogue leaders in check. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Off the grid

If revelations and allegations are true that persons of interest in the case of drug bust slipped out of the country through some incompetent officers, then they should be shown the exit door as their body is not in the place where their soul is. It’s high time to set up a Yavato unit from within the force to follow up corrupt officers. It’s been long overdue. PITA SOROAQALI, Rakiraki

Government backbenchers

It’s interesting that the now former minister will actually become the only real backbencher in Parliament on the government side because all the other government backbenchers are currently Assistant Ministers! EDDIE BLAKELOCK, Pacific Harbour

What a start

Political dramas, salacious scandal, and billion dollars worth of synthetic drug bust. Just like in the movies eh! All within the first month of 2024. Kemudou! WISE MUAVONO Balawa, Lautoka

Fiery battle looms

The mighty Blues have landed a crucial victory as they beat the Men in Black in the first leg of the CVC by 2-1 at Churchill Park last Sunday. Of course they have territorial advantage which thus far works in their favour. Like a lion, they would do everything to defend their territory at all costs. The Sugar City boys have thus far kept their boat sailing in the right direction. Will this win be their saviour in giving them the third CVC title, only time will tell. That said, nothing is to be taken away from the Men in Black as they are not used to losing the battle so easily. The return leg this Sunday will determine the end result, however, should there be a tie then obviously the series extends further and to a neutral venue. Soccer fans can expect a fiery battle between the neighbours and arch-rivals come Sunday. I think the gate takings have been good which augurs well for the organisers and the city council of Lautoka. My best wishes go to both the teams. SURESH CHAND, Nadi

CWM Hospital services

I commend Raynav Chand’s letter dated January 28, 2024 on the CWMH face-lift. I, however, believe there needs to be a big uplift in the service delivery of meals and quality of beds at CWM Hospital. I got admitted on Friday, January 19, 2024 and firstly the bed was so hard, it was like lying on a wooden bed. If you were admitted sick, the bed would make your illness worse. They use the normal cheap mattress that when you lay down, you are lying on the hard surface as the mattress flattens soft and offers no relief to the sick. Maybe they should upgrade and buy high density mattresses which are slightly more expensive but guarantees quality sleep. I have a couple and they lasted more than 10 years. Delivery of breakfast is another problem. On the morning of January 20, breakfast was delivered to us at 8.52am. We were not offered noon tea at all. On the second morning, breakfast arrived at 9.02am and the other four mornings was just as bad. All breakfast arrived after 8.30am and I am a diabetic and used to having breakfast at 6am. The matter was raised with doctors and nurses but to no avail. Eventually, I brought my electric-pot and made my own breakfast with hard biscuit every morning. In fact, I supplied tea to all patients in the acute ward we were in. My question to the Honourable Minister for Health is, why does the hospital not supply tea for breakfast and dinner? I was advised on my second last day that certain wards were receiving tea for both meals but we were deprived. Why the discrimination and was this a directive from you to the kitchen staff? If not can you ensure this practice ceases and the sick patients are properly fed and on time and no discrimination. These problems should be urgently addressed to ensure the sick gets better instead of suffering any more please. EDWIN RF SANDYS Namadi Heights, Suva

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