Letters to the Editor – Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Derenalagi’s message!

Meli Derenalagi has gained fame and prominence because of his courageous character, fighting spirit and leadership qualities. He is a tough man, and like his dad Vuniani Derenalagi, who was dubbed ‘The White Shark’ during his prime days, is a shining star. At a tender age, he captained the 7s side. He won the HSBC WRSS overall title (2018-19) and was part of the side which defended the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games gold medal. Derenalagi was appointed captain of the Fijian Drua in Nemani Nagusa’s absence. Last week against the Moana Pasifika, Derenalagi reminded the players to write their names on stone and not on sand when they faced the Moana. I quote his message, which inspired the warriors, who delivered a phenomenal performance, “I just motivated them and tried to tell them that to keep our mind open. “Whatever happens, this game was to write your legacy on the stone, not on the sand.” Well done Derenalagi! With this performance, he is in the Flying Fijians squad for the RWC in France! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Rights and freedoms

WHILE officiating at the 143rd anniversary of the Girmit Day celebration at Suva’s Civic Centre last week Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said, “At the heart of this change sits the 2013 Fijian Constitution, which enshrines my Government’s unwavering commitment to protect the rights and freedoms of every Fijian – equally.” (FT 15/5). It is indeed reassuring for the descendants of girmitiyas to know that their rights are secured and that Fiji is their home. On the same note I believe this celebration presented a grand opportunity for the Government to demonstrate a gesture of goodwill by lifting the ban imposed on Padma Lal to allow her to perform her husband’s last rites at his place of birth. In my opinion Professor Brij Lal was merely exercising his right to freedom of speech when he spoke against the illegal takeover of an elected government. Let us not forget that he was one of the architects of the 1997 Constitution. In contrast, I believe more severe criticism has been levelled against 1987 and 2000 coups. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Death news

The news about the death of a two-year-old girl after drowning in a swimming pool struck me hard. I know the pain of losing a child as I have also lost my youngest daughter to a serious, unpreventable illness. The heaviest load for any parent to carry is the coffin of his child to the grave. Therefore, my heart goes out to the parents and immediate family members of this girl. However, according to the statement obtained from the police, “the child was allegedly left unattended”. (FT 17/05) A two-year-old is a toddler and a toddler does not know what is right and what isn’t. I wonder if there were other people in the swimming pool at that particular resort. Someone could have seen her heading towards the pool. Usually the resort pools have lifeguards on duty. I still believe that this loss could have been prevented. My sincere condolences to the grieving family. Rest high in the heavenly kingdom little princess. You will be in my prayers. DINESH KUMAR Ba

Old age

The residents of Pearce Home, celebrating Family Day (FT 16/5 – picture by Jona Konataci) have a great lifetime reminder that we all have to face ageing and wish it comes gracefully. The chairman of Pearce Home Trust, Hassan Khan, has emphasised that there is no worse enemy for an older person than loneliness itself. Sometimes we depend only on our children’s promises, to care for us, as we grow old, but their priorities change with time. They have their own families with lots of challenges to live in this modern world. They have to live their own lives, not ours. Loneliness and isolation become part of our lives. I feel we should raise more awareness programs on the importance of family values occasionally, or else it’s too late to send flowers to rest in peace. “Don’t send me flowers when I am dead. If you like me send them when I am alive.” – Brian Clough. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Beautiful day

Yesterday I went to the CWMH’s eye clinic at Brown St for a check up. I went with worries, timidity and a lot of fear. Beginning from the Reception Desk did the uncertainties I went with, start to recede; and from there on, in the two hours I was there, I discerned the atmosphere of cool, calm and devoted service being given to the people. There were a lot of us (patients), not one of us I would declare, was not given tender care. Many thanks to all of you there, it is comforting to the public the caring service you give. Moses Fong Suva

Race card

It is a pity that the government leaders used the remembrance day of girmitiya to play their race card. The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainmarama said that everyone should know the story of the girmitiya and this should be taught in school (FT 16/05) My questions are, why did they not implement it back in 2014 or in 2018 when they were in power all the time? Why all these concerns now for the girmitiya compared with last year and the past years? Well I believe the answer is clear, the election is near. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

The messenger

Just pass the message, without the personal comments. We truly value your opinion and your freedom to say it. But please always maintain, a personal and social distance and just give us the message. You are supposed to be the messenger and not the social commenter. You’re in my ear by invitation, don’t ruin the unwritten obligation. It just creates frustration and unnecessary exasperation, when you cross the unwritten boundary, between the acceptable and the unsavoury. This may sound truly negative, but I’m really trying to be positive. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Cost of modernity

The increase in prices of food items recently is hurting many ordinary Fijians and the increase in bus fare is even making matters worse. While the FijiFirst government is boasting about the many developments it is making, boasting about lowering poverty level, boasting about economic growth, boasting about modernising Fiji, however, one cannot deny the fact that the consequences of these claims are befalling the ordinary Fijian who now struggle to cope with the increase in cost of living. In my personal view, I believe in the pursuit of becoming a modern society, many Fijians are being left behind because they hardly can cope with the associated cost of modernity. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Hazardous stunt- Letter of the week ending 11/4/22-17/4/22

WITH jaywalking and lack of road safety awareness a major concern in Fiji, I as a motorist, have witnessed on several instances where pedestrians would suddenly cross a busy road and while in the process of reaching the other side, they would perform a quick cheeky “goosestep” in front of a moving vehicle. I honestly cannot understand the rationale behind this hazardous stunt. Just visualise the grim consequences if one inadvertently trips and is run over by a “motor car”. You would either be goosestepping with your life in a medical facility or worse, up in heaven or hell. I suggest such demonstration of skills and abilities should be best left on the rugby pitch and not on our roads please. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. NISHANT SINGH Lautoka

‘Free range lamb’- Letter of the week ending 18/4/2022-24/4/2022 

BEING apolitical and keeping clear of controversy, I found something to write about, and it isn’t like two friends from the same locality asking each other on these pages where they would drink at night. This supermarket is selling lamb at $32.95 per kilogram and calls it “Free Range Lamb Leg, Bone In”. I asked a colleague what “free range” meant with lamb. She didn’t know, I mean, isn’t all lamb “free range”? Or are some kept in coops? I understand sheep are farmed differently on those large farms in Australia and New Zealand, but hey, they graze freely on lush pastures apart from the supplements they are fed. Free range eggs are OK, but lamb? Is this misleading advertising or am I just being overcurious? Which authority is tasked with verifying such claims, especially when the tag attached is as scary as $32.95 per kg? Someone please test this “free range lamb” claim. DONALD SINGH Lautoka

Sandalwood plantations

We read in the Vanuatu Daily Post 17/5 that “The harvesting and exporting of sandalwood logs is now underway” in Vanuatu. Do we still have sandalwood plantations in Fiji? I recall from my primary school classes that sandalwood was a major trade commodity during early colonial times in Fiji. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Acid test

I deeply believe the Friday night blockbuster between the Fijian Drua and Crusaders will be an acid test for the Drua. With the Drua’s highs and lows during the season and losing some games just by a few points, the match against the powerhouse of Super Rugby will no doubt provide the acid test for them. Currently third in the rugby standing, the Crusaders overall supremacy in this competition is what most teams envy. Playing the Crusaders at their home ground and beating them at the back end of the season will not be an easy feat although not impossible. I am sure this match will be our real measure of standards in this maiden season. I wish our Drua all the best and I hope they give Crusaders a good run for their money. Pranil Ram Votualevu, Nadi

Invasion of Ukraine

In the Russian invasion of Ukraine, what possible inspiration and motivation could the Russian soldiers be carrying? Unlike the Ukrainian soldiers and civilians who are defending their land with their lives. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

New COVID cases

This is troubling. 39 new COVID-19 cases is troubling. Bus loads of unmasked passengers is not the way forward. Stadiums and grounds jam-packed with unmasked spectators are excellent spreaders of this COVID virus. Fiji must not be complacent. Masks will help. Our “brains-trust” must act with life-saving haste. Do not let your guard down now. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

Tax laws

A friend wanted to know that if rice attracts zero per cent VAT, how much VAT should restaurants charge for fried rice? We know the answer but these drastic changes in tax laws surely can confuse ordinary Fijians especially when FRCS itself is scratching its head on how to implement the changes in their systems and thus has given an extension on VAT lodgements. Kiran Khatri Samabula, Suva

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