Letters to the Editor – May 1, 2019

Fiji's Vatemo Ravouvou fends off the France defense on day one of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Cape Town on 8 December, 2018. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Ravouvou moves on

Olympian Vatemo Ravouvou now joins the exodus of players from our 2016 golden team in the Rio Olympics. We now only have Jerry Tuwai and Kitione Taliga, the only two home-based players from Ben Ryan’s golden team. While Jerry continues to impress at the World Rugby Sevens Series, Kitione is almost unknown and whether he makes a comeback is anyone’s guess. What does this mean? Our team to Tokyo 2020 will be a remarkable and completely new team with only Jerry in the mix. This then leads to our overseas hopefuls such as Josh Tuisova or Viliame Mata or Leone Nakarawa, however, in order to get them in the mix and start the combination going we need them together to perform in the sevens series. We cannot go far back and look at the debacle in the Commonwealth and World Cup sevens where we rushed these stars to join and play and it backfired. The stakeholders are busy with the 15s World Cup preparation and no one is talking sevens now. Lastly, we have missed a golden chance to test magnet of a man Sevu Reece and I could imagine seeing him getting launched at Test level in sevens in the world series and World Cup in 2020 alongside The Bus Tuisova and The Trailer Radradra. Joka o Reece number dua o Viti. SHALWYN PRASAD, Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

No small feat

It’s a pity that certain media outlets often overlook the five principles of ethical journalism. One must wonder if they proofread what they report on before it goes to press. Sometimes I feel like I’m reading some good ole’ medieval propaganda to the nine, and oftentimes I marvel at the absence, or lack thereof, of euphemisms. It’s almost like hearing my nephew speak to me about his eventful school day, well, maybe I’d be accused of bias if I say his language is much too sophisticated for a six-year-old but nevertheless. I’d like to give a special commendation to the editor for allowing us to voice our thoughts on this forum. I’m certain finding time to filter myopic thinking; condescension and prejudice is no small feat. To allow these opinions a platform albeit a difference in views, including your own perhaps, is a triumph for us in our quest for democracy. Talei Driso Nailuva Rd, Suva

Global economy

An agenda item in the 2019 ADB meeting being held in Nadi this week is a discussion on ways in which member countries will respond to the heightening global economic uncertainty. One could surmise that this is referring to a possible global economic slowdown in the very near future. Pacific Island nations are usually at the receiving end of whatever economic events are happening globally. However, the degree to which our countries will be affected will largely depend on our economic relationships with the rest of the world, particularly our trade and aid partners. As recipients, it will therefore be interesting to see what protective measures and strategies our regional island countries will put in place to buffer any negative impacts of a global economic slowdown. For Fiji, I guess that the outcome and resolutions of this ADB meeting will be translated into the economic strategies to be adopted in the upcoming 2019/2020 Budget Estimates. Will we see a more concerted move towards a much more manageable budget deficit? Will we also see a review of our capital expenditures strategies and programs, particularly infrastructural expenditures? Will this also mean changing the loans and grant ratio to GDP, so as to make our national debt more mangeable for us? We just have to wait and see. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Well done

Yesterday you reported Aisake Raratabu of the Department of Town and Country Planning explaining that “developments are advertised for the sake of transparency” and to allow for public objections. On the same day a public meeting was advertised to consider the findings of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Wainikoroiluva Hydropower Project. Well done, both. Consultation with the tax paying public is a fundamental element of democracy in action. Also Jonathan Moore of the Fiji Roads Authority announced that the route for the new four-lane highway from Nadi to Lautoka has been finalised and that work will begin next year. This is a major infrastructure project which will affect thousands and which will have a very significant environmental impact. May we assume that the planned route will be open for inspection by the public and that their comments will be taken into account before the bulldozers move in? Michael Scott Morris St, Lautoka

Cabbies on the go

It has come to pass. I went shopping yesterday and as I pushed my trolley full of groceries out of the supermarket, two taxidrivers came running towards me. They both said, “Bro taxi?” So here I was looking at two desperate taxidrivers who probably had not earned enough for the day. I didn’t know what to do, so I just said that I was waiting for someone. One of the drivers asked me where I stayed and started to load my groceries into his taxi. Meanwhile, the other guy is letting him have
it in words that I cannot print. I kinda felt proud of myself having two drivers fighting for my fare. And a thought hit me
— so this is how a woman feels when two men fight over her. Kaila! ALLEN LOCKINGTON, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Key issue

IT is interesting to note that Oxfam have identified climate finance as a key issue leading up to the 52nd Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting on Denarau Island which will take place from May 1 to 5 as reported in The Fiji Times 30/04/19.
My question is this, money for who, the victims of climate change or for Oxfam? If money is the key interest for fighting climate
change then our fight is in vain for money as they say is the “root of evil”. Bob Marley said that if it takes money for you to be happy and well than your search for happiness and wellness will never end for money is numbers and numbers never end.

Roadworks issue

The heavy rain in the past few weeks have proven a few things and apart from extreme change in whether patterns caused by climate change, I believe the rain has become a true witness to the cheap and poor work upgrades that have been done by FRA contractors. In the past three years, I have witnessed the road upgrade work that have been happening along the Suva- Navua corridor which really does not last long. I have been raising it in a few of my letters in this column and no one seemed to care especially the FRA. Now after all those work being done at the expense of the taxpayers of this country, the rain in the past weeks have come as blessing to show the FRA how tax payers money have been wasted witnessing the many huge potholes on the roads, especially on those that have been upgraded. I would request the CEO of FRA to visit the Suva-Navua corridor to see with his own eyes the damage on the roads and how costly it is to the taxpayers who paid for the upgrades and now have to pay for the damage done to their vehicles by the poor road conditions. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Child abuse

While walking down the streets of Raiwai the other day, I encountered a motorist yelling and verbally abusing a child who was selling bananas by the roadside, and had overheard the person who was outrageously taking out his anger on a child for wanting to sell the banana. I was shaken by the incident especially the behaviour that had been portrayed by the individual and felt really sorry for the child. This incident has moved me into writing, in expressing my views on child abuse. The scene that just occurred was an emotional abuse, whereby, the person inclusively and verbally attacked the child without any concern or reason. As a child it is his or her right to make a positive decision. We don’t really know what these kids have been through, the struggles and hardships they had to endure. I beg the people of our beloved nation to act responsibly in front of our children, also, would humbly ask parents not to let their children be victims of vulnerable situations. I have noticed that child abuse is very common among our society. As many as 748 cases of child abuse had been reported last year, which gives a number and is sad to see our children who are the future of tomorrow suffering such as this. I kindly request the members of the public to be considerate of the way they speak or the words they use to children, before you say something think of the kind of situation that they are facing. We can help them which could distinctively change their lives. Sofaia Digitaki Olga Place, Raiwaqa, Suva

Plastic bags

A popular service station at Makoi does not have any plastic bags at all. Shopping there a month ago and again a month later they still don’t have plastic bags. The station is a fully stocked shop but very annoying when buying lots of stuff ending up with no plastic is very disappointing. The girls that serve at the station are rude when I ask for a plastic bag. Hopefully the Consumer Council will look into the issue. Tomasi Boginiso Nasinu

Pothole repairs

Can anyone explain the logic (or lack of it) behind the scheduling of pothole repairs in Suva? On Monday and again yesterday a small crew was repairing a few potholes near Kundan Singh in Princes Rd. Now the crew has left but further up the road outside the Tamavua Hospital remain several large areas pitted with a large number of very deep craters which bring the traffic almost to a standstill while drivers zig-zag wildly in an effort to avoid damage to their cars. At rush hour the queues in both directions are horrendous. The road has been in this condition before last weekend with not a repair crew in sight. Drivers may ask themselves what they are paying the annual wheel tax for. Maybe someone from the FRA would care to answer. Steve Illingworth Tamavua, Suva

Rest in peace

Reena With a heavy heart I was informed about the death of a schoolteacher and our famous bare-foot long distance runner Reena Devi, who created waves when she outpaced rival Donna Cavuilati in the 1500m race in the secondary school’s athletics competition. Reena recently lost her husband (the late weatherman Mr Ravind Kumar) and her dad. She was a gentle and compassionate teacher. I pray that the good Lord blesses her soul and may she find solace! Rest in peace madam Reena! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Education reforms

Dr Neelesh Gounder didn’t mince his words when he spoke about the impact of education reforms. To sum it up, I believe the continuous rapid changing of implemented changes through trial and error in the name of education reforms has deformed the education sector. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka


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