Letters to the Editor – March 2, 2019

Fiji and France players during the scrimmaging session in Las Vegas. Picture: ELENOA BASELALA

7s rugby chaos

I read with great interest yesterday’s headline titled “Chaos” and I was wondering what it all meant until I read Elenoa Baselala’s story that Baber wants our boys to create chaos when they try and regain their number one placing in the HSBC WRSS. “Chaos” means that our boys have been urged by their mentor to use their height advantage to win restarts and kickoffs and play with their traditional pace and tempo giving the opposition no room to breathe or settle and denying them possession. This is a strategy that NZ is so fond of using against Fiji. Last year Fiji topped pool A after beating Russia (38-0) and France (33-5) and lost to Kenya 17-14. In the quarters Fiji narrowly beat NZ 14-10 but then lost to USA 19-7. Fiji won bronze after skinning the Blitzboks 26-22. Our playmaker Tuwai made the USA 7s dream team alongside Argentina’s Osadczuk, Wales’s Luke Morgan, Afrika and USA’s Pinkelman, Baker and Barrett. The stories that have been coming from Las Vegas have lifted the morale of fans and I hope that this morale will be there regardless of the outcome. Vinaka vakalevu ‘Noa for the creative pieces and the wonderful stories that we would have missed out, had you not been at the sporting venue! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Deputy PM

When our prime minister is away overseas attending conferences, meetings and other official engagements he is still performing the duties of the prime minister. I am wondering whether there is a real need for the appointment of an acting prime minister when the incumbent is temporarily absent from Fiji. The normal practice in the public service is when a senior officer proceeds on long service leave or attends training for over a month then another officer will act in the vacant position during that period. Maybe it’s time we should have a deputy PM to manage the affairs when our PM is out of the country. We used to have them before. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Road repairs

May I be permitted to ask about road repairs. I have noticed that the company that is making road upgrades seems to neglect the densely populated areas where the working class people live. I notice that in the affluent areas, road repairs are done really well. In Waiyavi at the junction of Vesi Crescent and Kara Punja Rd, there is a pothole that has opened up for the 1 millionth time. Yes 1 million! The roads in densely populated areas are heavily used. It doesn’t take a road engineer to understand that, yet our roads are given a band aid treatment. Go to where the upper class, so to speak, areas and you will see immaculately groomed roads, nice foot-paths, which are hardly ever used, and no potholes. However, if a pothole does appear it is repaired so well that you wouldn’t know there were repair works done. In our area when a portion of the road is dug up for whatever reason, it can take months for repairs to be done. And even after that we still drive over the hump made by the repairs. Just let me remind you that we too pay taxes and are also human beings and citizens of Fiji. Oh, you think I sound angry, yes I am. Believe me, all the people who live in my area are not second-class citizens. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Bus woes

TravelLing from Lautoka to Suva yesterday on a very reliable service provider ended up in chaos when the bus we were travelling in came to a complete halt at Pacific Harbour. What was so unpleasant was that the driver completely ignored telling the passengers what was happening and the passengers were completely lost over what was happening. A few of us had to catch other transport because there was no assurance at all by the driver or whoever was making the decision. There was no checker on this leg which made it very difficult for the driver. Drivers should be taught to speak to passengers when problems arise, at least the passengers are eagerly waiting to know what is happening. Tomasi Boginiso Nasinu

Changing times

I feel the changing times in Fiji. People are able to freely air their views and concerns without fear of oppression. After all, people’s views do matter as long as they are constructive not destructive. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Sign language in schools

Yesterday marked the conclusion of the 6th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability. Here’s hoping sign language will soon be taught in all schools. It would encourage inclusiveness and could also initiate a career path for our children. Samantha Rina Koronivia Rd, Nausori

Prepared speech

I know the honourable PM was reading a prepared speech in Geneva but does he understand and believe what he says? Dan Urai Lautoka

That movie

Just last week I watched the Bollywood movie Gully Boy and what a movie it was! A good friend of mine suggested to give a review to the newspaper so I thought I’d give it a try. Ranveer Singh starred in the film which was projected on the lives of street rappers who make it big in the industry. He portrayed his role brilliantly and was well supported by debutant Sidhant Chaturvedi in the role of MC Sher, who I think was the best support role cast I have ever seen. Gully Boy also had the firepower of Alia Bhat and she was tremendous in her role too. Overall, it was a blockbuster and I loved the fact that it was realistic and all music lovers would definitely love this movie. I rate it 4.7 stars out of 5. Raynav Chand Nakasi

Boring shows

I get bored whenever I switch on the TV. It’s a pain to see so many repeated programs. To top it off, the repeated advertisements, man every three minutes! A SHARIFF SHAH Savusavu

Teacher woes

According to media reports, the Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar, has expressed her concern for the shortage of maths and science teachers in Fijian schools. I am not so surprised. I believe this situation is the cumulative result of years of neglect and stepmotherly treatment meted out to teachers. I believe they are the most overworked and underpaid lot in the civil service. They do not enjoy the same perks as other civil servants. The curse of the teachers is their sheer large numbers and I believe successive governments have attempted to cut costs by underpaying teachers. Teachers’ job evaluation exercise was carried out and some form of parity was reached but not entirely satisfactory. As a result, I believe the teaching profession never attracted the bright brains from our school system. For most in teaching this was their last resort. Those who opted to study science and mathematics usually did so with a clear vision to move on to tertiary teaching or to migrate to Australia, New Zealand, USA or Canada. The well-paid teaching jobs were readily available in the above-mentioned countries. I believe the teacher unions have been systematically reduced to a talking shop with little or no bargaining power. I believe this is another factor which has demoralised teachers. I believe the current employment based on contracts has not gone well and the emigration from the teaching sector continues unabated. Hence, the shortage of science and maths teachers in Fijian schools. Thought of employing retired teachers to meet the shortage is not a very good option. Recently, I was keenly following the prefects investiture ceremonies and was horrified to learn that now the prefects can report on their teachers directly to the Ministry of Education. I believe this is culturally very insensitive and very demoralising for teachers. I enjoyed 30 years of secondary school teaching and administration. It was very fulfilling indeed. However, I will dread to go back to teaching. Dewan Chand Namadi Heights, Suva

Go Fiji, go

Time to cry havoc and let slip our dogs of war. All the best boys. Simi Kuruvoli Cunningham, Suva


Will we accept a loss at the Las Vegas tournament and continue to support our national 7s team? Even more, are we prepared to accept yellow cards and red cards dished out at our team members? Whatever one calls it, it’s about sportsmanship and good character in times of defeat and victory. Floyd Robinson Toorak, Suva

Dog owners

A friend from Suva asked me if I could ask the Suva City Council to curb the dog nuisance such as unnecessary howling whole night. He wants the council to impound the pet dogs found wandering around the streets. He also suggested for dog owners to have a leash when taking their dogs for a walk and to have a plastic bag to pick up the excretion from the dog if it does excrete during the daily walk. Sukha Singh Labasa

Clearance time

IT’S good to note that a bank has reduced the fees for withdrawals made from its ATMs by customers of other banks. However, a lot of people are asking when the banks will improve their interoperability towards reducing the clearance time for cheques belonging to other banks. Currently, customers have to wait for at least four working days for it to clear which is unreasonably long given the advanced internet facilities available to the banks. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Drug fight

It is noted that addictive drugs produce euphoric effects in the brain and can cause seizures, stroke, direct toxic effects, addiction, brain disorder that occurs when repeated drug use leads to changes in the function of multiple brain circuits that control pleasures/reward, stress, decision-making, impulse control, learning and memory. The widespread availability and use locally is a worrying fact coupled with reports that most of the seized drugs in custody have been eaten away by rats. Param Singh Navua


Please Mr Government man, can you buy shorter pipelines and the one we currently have is far too long. Nigel Fiu Owls Perch Lautoka

Suva history

I would love to know the history of Suva and the botanical gardens dating back to the 1800s. Just to enlighten the people. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka


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