Letters to the Editor – March 6, 2019

Selina Sera with her students at Buyabuya Kindergarten School. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Kind and dedicated Sulita

When I read the article about Selina Sulita (FT 5/3) my heart immediately went out to her. Isa, the picture of her home that she has turned into a kindergarten, will be the beginning of many better things to come for this dedicated and kind person. Many people do not wait to start something, they just go ahead with what they have. I know her story will reach many people and there are donors out there who will pitch in to help her. Thank you Ms Sulita, you are one in a million and I thank The Fiji Times for telling us her story. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

A teacher’s love

I accord my appreciation and gratitude to schoolteacher Selina Sulita for taking a giant step to ensure that the children under her care had a roof to use it as their kindergarten. Furthermore, thank you to The Fiji Times for highlighting the plight of Buyabuya Kindergarten School. The actions of the teacher speak volumes of her passion and commitment and the fact that not having a room was no hindrance to her children attaining preschool education. Go Selina, keep the dedication and commitment flowing! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Parking infringement

My both thumbs went up and there was a smile on my face in response to the level playing field work attitude of the Suva City Council traffic officer, who gave parking infringement notices to government vehicles that were illegally parked. Suva St in Suva was busy on Thursday last week as police officers were gathered at the CID headquarters before going out to pay their last respects to their fallen comrades. There were no parking spots available on this end of Suva St, so most drivers thought that by parking their vehicles on the footpaths away from the yellow no parking line, they would be safe. But this council worker did not spare anyone who broke the law, issuing infringement notices to police vehicles, a vehicle from the Judicial Department and vehicles owned by police officers. We know that our Government treats all Fijians on a level playing field and I hope that this non-discrimination is reflected in all areas of service. What we really all want to know is: “Do government departments or ministries actually pay parking fines to the Suva City Council or is it thrown in the bin at the end of the day?” Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa Suva

Women’s day

As different organisations prepare to or are commemorating International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, it is important to be reminded of the essence of this day. The herstory of IWD is grounded in women’s activism, marches, protests and fighting for women’s fundamental rights such as basic working conditions, right to vote and freedom of expression. However, advertisements by business commercialising IWDs to sell their products and services, organisations hosting panels and men being invited as keynote speakers for IWD have been a trademark for the 2019 International Women’s Day. This is not what IWD is about. Don’t make a mockery of the many girls and women who continue to be discriminated and experience violence daily. Don’t trivialise girls and women’s lives and experiences. It is also not yours to celebrate or commemorate when women in your companies are sexually harassed, do not have access to flexible working hours for childcare, are not paid maternity leave, are not paid the same as men for doing the same work, and where your senior management is overwhelmingly made up of men or in many cases no women at all. I believe businesses are abusing this and organisations are doing more harm than good in their endeavour to promote women’s rights and gender equality. I refuse to let corporations take over this day — a day for which many women have put their lives on the line. If you are sincere in your efforts then launch a sexual harassment policy, hold a sexual harassment awareness workshop for all your staff members, announce flexible working hours for parents, subsidise or provide childcare services, commit to a gender equality policy for your organisation, implement policies to not hire staff with domestic violence convictions and so forth. There is so much more businesses can do that is not tokenistic and trivialising. Roshika Deo Howell Rd, Samabula, Suva

Suva sights

The beautiful coastal view along Victoria Pde and Queen Elizabeth Drive is astonishing, particularly in the morning and at sunset. I am sure you would agree with me on that. However, I am not sure whether you would agree again that the seafront environment there needs to be improved immediately. In a morning walk from the President’s house to USP, you will see rubbish and litter floating in the sea, with the seaweed flushed up to the shore, disgusting smell annoys people. A very nice morning walk has always turned to an unpleasant run-away. Why can’t the Suva City Council do something to clean it up regularly? For example, a certain amount of tax could be allocated to fund the seafront cleaning and volunteers could be motivated. YUANFENG FU, Suva

4 million trees

HIS excellency the President Jioji Konrote and our Minister for Forests Osea Naiqamu must be commended for taking the lead role in our endeavour to plant four million trees in four years. Our schoolchildren are great advocates should they be encouraged from schools to motivate their friends
and families to be part of this planting exercise, our village heads, settlements and farming communities advisory councilors, tikina councils and the roko tui offices must all be encouraged to help in the promotion of such useful initiatives for the country. Everything starts at home. TUKAI LAGONILAKEBA, Namaka, Nadi

Nature grown trees

I READ with interest the Minister for Local Government’s statement regarding nature grown trees and man planted trees (FT 4/3) where she is reported as saying, “I have studied the environment and it always says that we should leave nature as it is. But if it is man planted, surely it is
not natural”. If that’s the case then I wonder why she was silent during the debate in Parliament over clearing part of the forest at the Thurston
Gardens to make way for building the Indian High Commission chancery. I believe those raintrees are also growing naturally. By the way how do we differentiate which trees were nature grown and which were planted. And what about the nature grown trees that pose a threat to nearby buildings
because of their vulnerability to cyclones? SELWA NANDAN, Lautoka

A top finish

Should Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team head coach Gareth Baber fail to guarantee and deliver Fiji a top four finish, in the 2018/2019 HSBC 7s rugby series for automatic qualification to the 2020 Olympics, it might be wise enough to begin the search for a possible successor. Fiji’s commercial business entities still have very generous corporate sponsors. Our Government of the day can rise to the occasion by making financial contributions of minimum $200,000 per sponsor, 150 per cent tax deductible for this worthy sporting cause, in view of our very special first gold medal finish in Rio. Food for thought, well in advance. Ronnie Chang Nadi

Las Vegas 7s

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Las Vegas 7s. The tournament format may have been a factor as there were good quality matches and it was great to see Samoa advance into the finals. It’s unfortunate that we did not do well but as a spectator and fan of sevens rugby, the intensity of every match was the same and great to watch. The game has also turned out to be a game of wits and the challenge is to outwit the other. If you watched the game against England, after the ruck in the final seconds, you will notice an England hand pulling back a Fijian player to reduce our numbers in defence. England obviously got away with it but that’s something our players have to deal with in the next tournament. Let’s continue to support our players. They have shown us what they are capable of in Cape Town and Hamilton and there’s no doubt they can repeat the same feat in Vancouver and tournaments to come Sailosi Naewe Naduru Rd, Nausori

Messages and tactics

The lead-up coverage to the Las Vegas sevens tournament revealed notable messages and tactics. The coach advised the boys to create “sevens chaos” and they were training to “hit low”. For each one, I had to quickly scrutinise to understand what they both meant. It all went wrong. At times it does. Let’s rise up. The next event is only a few days away. Boys, do the contrary this weekend. Create a “sevens order” to “hit high”. Literally, show the world how the game of sevens rugby is played and who are the kings. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

7s rugby justice

Strangely there is an obvious bias in the dispensing of sporting justice. When Fiji’s Mocenacagi did his tip tackle in the recent Sydney 7s, the referee conveniently saw the incident and offending player copped an immediate card plus swift three-match suspension. When Australian 7s captain Lewis Holland threw his high and collar-fracturing shot on Nacuqu, duty referee conveniently “missed” seeing this ugly incident. Judicial officer, Jim Russell of USA saw collar-fracturing incident as “mid range” and dished out the same three-match suspension. To say the least, this lenient punishment is most unjust. Nacuqu is ruled out for 3-4 months. Similarly, the Aussie captain should be ruled out for a similar duration. As a supporter of Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team, my humble opinion, might be seen as wreaking of bias. Ronnie Chang Nadi

Rising Samoans

Finally, self-belief and determination struck the national sevens rugby team of Samoa. Their fans are beaming with confidence following their team’s excellent performance in Las Vegas over the weekend. One can be certain that they are gunning for nothing less then the best in Canada this weekend. Meanwhile, the statistic for our national sevens team is alarming as we have received 13 yellow cards and two red cards so far. Our national sevens team need not look far for inspiration but to our neighbouring Pacific islanders of Samoa who appear to be on the rise for now. Floyd Robinson Toorak, Suva

Footpaths and trees

To the Minister for Local Government, may I inform you that we are grateful for the new footpaths. The reason the people complain about the trees is because we care. The trees that were cut down was the place a poor farmer used to sell his vegetables every afternoon. Do you realise that by cutting those trees you have taken somebody’s bread and butter away? The people of Lautoka are proud of all the trees that were planted by our forefathers. Build around the trees and if the contractor doesn’t know how do build around the trees then I can offer them free classes. Please leave the trees alone. John Brown Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka

Teacher issue

I have been told that a teacher appointed by the Ministry of Education allegedly assaulted a student at a school in Ba. Lately there have been a lot of heated arguments and just when things were cooling down, this had to happen. Teachers are supposed to be role models but in this case it was the opposite. Can the madam minister look into this issue which happened in her hometown. Narayan Reddy Lautoka

Traffic fines

It has been a while since I paid for traffic infringement fines from the LTA. Based on my payments, they obviously think illegal parking is more dangerous than speeding. Simi Kuruvoli Cunningham, Suva

Tietjens factor

Is this gentleman up to it again? With his team recently reaching the final, he is getting me worried. During Serevi’s playing days, this man was hardly seen sitting for the entire match. Is he gonna get me standing too as long as his team is playing? Steven Chandra Suva


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