I WAS at the Government Buildings yesterday and couldn’t help noticing that the statue of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna is slowly being overwhelmed and hidden by the flamboyant tree branches and leaves growing nearby. Since his public holiday is being resurrected, I was wondering if something could be done by the powers that be to prune the tree branches to expose the statue to its full view and glory. I trust that an appropriate photo in your columns would have the desired effect.
Daniel Fatiaki, Ba
Culture of silence
WISE Muavono (FT 21/03) hits all of the buttons in his letter on adolescent pregnancies. Every year the rate does increase, annual figures are released, it makes a brief splash on the news, and then the subject sinks below the popular view. In 2020, 27.1 per cent of adolescent females (15-19 years) became pregnant. Reverend James Bhagwan has previously spoken of “A culture of silence among Pacific people”. This is a subject that needs to be spoken off and brought out into the open.
TERRY HULME Eastwood, NSW, Australia
RESTRICTING non-state media companies to only one medium of communication is anti-competitive and limits companies from growing their horizons. While we haven’t had a new player enter the market for quite some time now, what is wrong with existing media companies just expanding into other mediums? The goal of media companies is to communicate with and entertain the audience so the medium in which they connect doesn’t really matter. With certain mediums not having a bright future, companies should have the agility to be present in more than one medium. Who is the Government trying to protect here?
KIRAN KHATRI Samabula, Suva
THREE months after I bought a new VHF antenna, the FijiFirst government advocated and forced upon the people the Walesi service with its injunction. Anyway, my antenna is still hanging dearly on the porch and I haven’t yet decided to bring it down since the inception of Walesi. Last Sunday, I decided to install the Walesi app on my phone and my son’s tablet hoping to watch the Drua v Reds game, but it didn’t work. The Walesi app couldn’t provide me with the live coverage of the game as I tried both on the phone and tablet and the only word I can view on the screen was “too many connections”. By the way, is there a security concern that we need to fill in our personal details for a public service that is being facilitated by the government for the people? I hope that the Minister for Communications, Manoa Kamikamica, PM Sitiveni Rabuka and members of the Cabinet will look into why do we need Walesi!
AREKI DAWAI Suva
INTRODUCTION of the Walesi device by the previous government has left many television owners unable to enjoy programs. Many elderly still own the traditional television sets. They have difficulty using the Walesi device where technology is out of their reach similar to iPhones. Sadly, there are those who are unable to afford flat screen television sets. Unfortunately, these people miss out watching TV series, religious programs, local and international news, live programs hosted by TV presenters, sports etc. I request our Government for the removal of the Walesi device to enable everyone to enjoy their TV programs.
SARITA LAL Lautoka
Save the tiri
THE recent “Save the Tiri” campaign in Suva calls to mind the interconnected, interrelated nature of rights. The urgency and necessity to protect Suva’s last mangrove forest is due also to the fact of its undeniable relationship to people’s wellbeing. Safe and healthy lives are a basic right for the people of Suva, both present and future, are entitled to. Elsewhere in the Pacific, the destruction of mangroves has only contributed to increased vulnerability to climate change, loss of heritage sites and the weakening of ecosystems. We have to wonder what kind of precedent is set if the pursuit of an unsustainable model of development is placed over the quality of people’s lives. Surely it’s in our interest to set an example upcoming generations can follow.
LILIETA SOAKAI Suva
SINCE being sworn in, the three-legged Government seems to be blaming their predecessor for all the problems they are facing. From ailing infrastructure to skilled labour shortage. Why not just concentrate with the task at hand, find a solution and implement before you’re being sworn at!
WISE MUAVONO Balawa, Lautoka
FIRST identify whether it was inherited or was of their own making before complaining. Three months is too short a time to fix a 16-year-old problem.
DAN URAI Lautoka
SO, media reports have confirmed that the much-hyped 2022 election glitch was triggered by human error after all. I always knew something was shady. I even stumbled upon a local online fashion retailer endorsing “Glitch Me Baby” T-shirts. Funny. Anyway, if claims of human error have been validated, I believe Mohammed Saneem should immediately be grilled as I believe such anomalies had also surfaced in the past general elections. NISHANT SINGH Lautoka
WHAT is the job description of a chief and how is it monitored?
MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka
THERE is going to be a huge celebration for the chief of Cakaudrove for the second prize he got after his own people rejected him at the election. There is nothing wrong that I can see with the audacity and feeling of entitlement for these celebrations. I do not feel embarrassed at all either at this very important party. I reckon the people of Cakaudrove and indeed all of Fiji are truly blessed.
JAN NISSAR NSW, Australia
I LIKE to thank the Sugar Minister for exposing the corruption issues in the sugar industry and the Walesi set up. I would be very grateful to the Sugar Minister if he could find out why the Labasa Town Council swimming pool, which cost the ratepayers half a million dollars, is being rented for a mere $1000 per annum. By the way, who is the minister for corrupt issues.
SUKHA SINGH Labasa
IF Flying Fijians head coach Simon Raiwalui is serious about selecting the best 15s team for the June International Tests, I suggest he pick his in-form players from Europe and let them take the Fijian Drua head on. This will allow Raiwalui to gauge the performance of his side. After the intense battle, then name the strongest side to face the Ikale Tahi and Samoa in the Pacific Nations Cup, and the Brave Blossoms, Roses and Les Bleus in August. The Flying Fijians will face the Wallabies, Dragons, Lelos and Wolves (Portugal) in pool play in France. The last coach to take the Flying Fijians to the RWC quarters was Ilivasi Tabua in 2007. Ironically, Fiji tamed Wales 38-34 in the last pool match, and went down to the Springboks 37-20. The Boks won the Webb Ellis Cup. With abundance of talent at our disposal, Raiwalui, Senirusi Seruvakula and Seremaia Bai have the golden opportunity to create history. Tovolea mada Viti!
RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu
World Water Day
EACH year on March 22, the World Water Day celebrations are held across the globe. The intention is to focus attention on the importance of fresh water for human survival. It is a basic necessity. This year’s theme is: “Accelerating change” with the use of modern water management technology. The advocacy to combat the global freshwater crisis. This will enable us to solve water and sanitation crisis. Accelerating water management change is at the top of the agenda. Water affects us all on a daily basis. Therefore, it is of critical importance that we manage our fresh water sustainably. Only then will we be able to meet our 2030 agenda (SDG 6) to provide safe water and sanitation for all. Water is a miraculous element and exists in vapour, liquid and solid forms. All human communities spring up near fresh water sources: rivers, lakes, springs etc. Communities, healthcare institutions, schools, business-houses and industries all need fresh water. Human settlements need fresh drinking water on a reliable basis. Urban centres need piped water supply for survival. In rural areas, rivers, creeks, lakes and wells become a vital source for freshwater. As the human population expands and industries grow, water pollution becomes a huge challenge. Seasonal variations in rainfall can cause fresh water scarcity. Governments must plan to supply water to the affected people. Polluted water can cause water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria. Other challenges are: water shortages, poor water quality, inadequate sanitation, and chronic challenges for the vulnerable sectors of the society. Water is a natural resource essential for human, animal and plant life. Water determines ecological life systems. Therefore, it is imperative to use modern technology to manage our water resources. Recycling waste water and desalination plants can enable us to use saline sea water. The bottled water industry has sprung up across the globe. Rain water is harvested to mitigate the shortage situation. Therefore, we need to manage our fresh water with the dignity and urgency it needs. May I wish all a very happy World Water Day Celebrations 2023.
DEWAN CHAND Namadi Heights, Suva