Letters to the Editor – March 12, 2019

Fiji's Jerry Tuwai in action at the Canada 7s in Vancouver. Picture: SUPPLIED

Honouring Jerry Tuwai

May I suggest that Fiji bestow an honour on Jerry Tuwai. It can be by a combination of the following: 1. Honoured at a public function; and, 2. An offer of a job. Watching him play shows that he is punching way about his weight. He seems to be like an old warhorse that refuses to go down. He works so tirelessly that he tackles guys much bigger than him. Recognise the guy please. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Not our day

After outmuscling Kenya, Fiji stumbled against Canada. The likes of Fuailefau, Kaay, Harry Jones, Mullins, McCloskey, back to back DHL Impact Player Connor Braid, Hirayama, Berna, Zaruba and Kay fronted Fiji with heaps of aggression and did not disappoint their fans. We looked like school kids being bullied by a bunch of forces. However, our boys organised their structure and delivered well to qualify from the pool just when fans thought that Samoa would have a walk in the park. Earlier on fans had seen the French upset Australia and Spain record a historic win against NZ. Even Argentina was fired up and so was the England outfit. On day two Fiji came from behind to beat NZ 22-21. NZ beat Fiji in Sydney (36-14) and Las Vegas (19-14) while Fiji had beaten the All Blacks in Singapore (24-19), London (27-7) and Paris (26-17). Fiji and NZ had met 100 times and Fiji won 51 times. NZ looked set for another win but Naduva saved us from the jaws of defeat and Fiji marched on. Laidlaw’s ploy of using Koroi and Ravouvou almost paid dividends. On the other hand, against the Blitzbokke, Fiji was shattered and ended up getting thrashed 31-12. We were starved of possession and the green machine confronted us physically and made direct runs. The Olympic gold medallists were defeated by the WRSS defending champs. Finally, Fiji gathered momentum to beat the USA Eagles for the third straight time to finish third and it was a beautiful sight seeing Josua kiss Carlin Isles (who was tackled out of play by Jerry) at the conclusion of the match. Great sportsmanship by our boys who managed a bronze despite carrying an injury-stricken squad! Now that the third leg is over and we are third on the overall WRSS points table trailing the USA by 12 and NZ by 5 points, Gareth Baber needs to prepare well to defend the HK and Singapore 7s titles and put immense pressure on NZ and USA. It’s not over yet and Fiji has an opportunity to win the overall WRSS title. We just need to find the rhythm from Cape Town and Hamilton and play with more passion! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Nothing new

The concern raised by a Labasa schoolteacher over the selection process for school heads is nothing new. For whatever reasons stated, many teachers retire from this profession as normal classroom teachers on base salary. The Education Minister commented that these occurrences are due to the system put in place by those who don’t understand them. What system can be implemented that will accommodate each and every teacher to progress and become a headteacher? Get real, many students make far more progress than their teachers ever do. I believe the teaching profession does not provide a progressive career path like other professions. Perhaps this is one of the biggest ironies, teachers spend their working life pushing students to progress. Yet they are left behind stagnant for many years or sadly until retirement. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Imbalance in society

I am sure every right-thinking individual will applaud the efforts being made to eliminate imbalances in our society. As pointed out by our Stock Exchange CEO Krishika Narayan (FT 09/03), only 19 of the 112 members of SPSE listed company boards are women, and this imbalance needs to be investigated and if necessary corrected, leading to a ‘more gender-balanced world’. I am equally sure that every right-thinking individual will agree that discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity is also distasteful and pernicious, not to mention unconstitutional. Therefore I am sure we would all welcome similar figures on the ethnicity of board members, and indeed in other areas such as civil service appointments. Then we can compare them with current statistics on ethnicity in Fiji to determine which ethnic groups are under-represented in various fields and if necessary take corrective action, leading to a ‘more ethnically-balanced world’. Paul Geraghty USP, Suva

Municipal councils

Government is very clear with its plans to do away with the old system and instead have teams of special administrators to manage our cities and towns. It’s a decision we need to respect and uphold. It’s not difficult to understand why Government has taken this stance over the old system, which I believe allows for unethical practices. We cannot conclude whether this new system will work or not, but there is one thing for sure, and that is we need a much more productive, visionary, and efficient system to replace the old one. Again I say growth means change and change involves risks as we step from the known into the unknown. We need to start responding positively to the many new changes taking place as it can only be a good thing! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Daylight robbery

I wish to shed some light on an article in the newspaper regarding the above subject on Friday (22/02/19). A colleague of mine went through the same incident last week at the Suva Bus Stand where a young boy between the age of 18-25 grabbed her purse and ran off with it. Luckily there was a group of boys (bara boys) that ran after the guy, and caught him. He was then taken to the Suva Market Police Post where he was later interrogated. Good thing for my colleague as she recovered her purse with money in it. This is to let the public be aware of their surroundings, to be careful and stay alert, not to hold their wallets and phones in their hands as it can be easily stolen, whereas for the youths out there to refrain from such behaviour as there are other legal means to earn money. Parents also play an important role in moulding their children to become better citizens of tomorrow. Rokomeiva Baleinagaga Davuilevu

Referees’ decisions

I am sad to say that the inconsistencies of referees’ decisions in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is killing the spirit of the game and very costly to many teams. The rules on high tackle and rucks seem to be confusing and there are many fifty-fifty calls which from my point of view the teams favoured by the referees are the ones who benefit. The rules of interceptions too seemed to split referees’ decisions, that the commentators used to say it as risk or reward. Some referees give a penalty and a yellow card to the player who loses the ball in an interception attempt, and some referees just give it a scrum for a knock-on call. I would call on World Rugby to properly orientate referees, especially the newly introduced ones so they may be familiar with the law to help in the consistency of decision-making and keep the spirit of the game. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Open play

Fiji improved its standing wise, but game wise needs to regroup and open up play more. We lost the game in one of our favourite grounds, and have let down our fans in Vancouver. We did not win in this leg, lost our captain on the last day, had lots of new blood in the team, injury took its toll and discipline needs to be looked at seriously. All players did their part but we still lack in the finishing part. Naduva spent more time running away from the defence than to the try line. Fatigue was noticed after a try or hard work in defence. Whatever we failed in this leg should be a lesson for the Hong Kong and Singapore leg. With Hong Kong being the mecca of 7s, more vocal crowd and with every team wanting victory in there should not worry Fiji in any way. Vinaka boys, we are all behind you and keep up with the pace you should be victorious in the next leg. Tomasi Boginiso Nasinu

7s players

Is there any provision in the contracts of sevens players for periodic performance reviews and pay rises or are they just subjected to bonuses if the team performs well? These players work hard and spend a lot of time away from family members in camps and sevens venues. There are players who get overseas contracts and move on. There are also those who commit themselves to Fiji 7s for a good number of years. This level of commitment should be recognised and rewarded. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

To kill or not to kill

Mohammed, in his letter “Little friends” (FT 09/03), asked how to differentiate between our good Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes and the wild Aedes aegypti that can spread dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Mohammed hopes to protect Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes from coil smoke and sprays. Great question! The mosquitoes we release are the same as wild Aedes aegypti, except for one thing — they carry Wolbachia! Our mosquitoes also bite, so yes, it’s OK to “whack the one flying near you”. There isn’t a way to differentiate between them just by looking. That’s why we encourage you to continue protecting yourselves from all mosquito bites. Our method is compatible with traditional protection methods. Drop us a line at World Mosquito Program Fiji Facebook page or email fiji@worldmosquito.org if you have more questions! Priya Chand World Mosquito Program in Fiji

Back to winning ways

Player of the final Selvyn Davids mentioned that “If we can jell together, we can do anything”. Unity and teamwork was evident as South Africa brushed aside France to win a tournament since the 2018 Paris 7s. In addition, it was the 121st tournament since France had last won (Paris 2005) but the Blitzbokke, who were an absolute class, put on a massive effort and showed that they were the best in Vancouver. The new kids — Visser, Pretorius, Gans and Plessis were superb while for France the likes of Parez, Lakafia, Laugel, Barraque and Bonnefond stood out. South Africa’s win has opened the overall title race and brought the series champs back into the top four as injured captain Snyman commended his team for playing fantastic rugby! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Economy, loans

A politician says the economy is growing, people are spending. Just wondering whether banks have stopped giving out loans? Dan Urai Lautoka

Professor Lal

Professor Brij Lal’s article on USP’s history (FT 09/03) prompts me to ask — like Professor Vijay Naidu and others have asked before — when is Government going to allow Prof Lal back into Fiji. His credentials don’t need revisiting; his reputation as an internationally renowned scholar is well known. Now that Fiji and Canberra are back on track, together this might be a good time for the Government to step up. Christopher Griffin Perth, Australia

Crazy for 7s

Fiji fans are just too crazy when it comes to 7s rugby. When our team wins, we are so crazy we ask for a holiday, but when our team loses we go mad and ask the doctor for a sick sheet. Win or lose Fiji is still the best! Kelera Talebulamai Naitasiri

Politically incorrect

It is good to know that SCC is organising its first quarterly environmental clean-up, where bulky household garbage, white goods, etc., will be collected from the 19th of this month. I was told of this after calling SCC to enquire if there was a clean-up soon; I was told that the notice was in the Fiji Sun of last Saturday. It is a pity though because it is a notice for the public; it is, yes? I wonder why notices like this only come out in the Fiji Sun? I guess ignorance of something is not an excuse, it is politically incorrect. Moses Fong Suva

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