Letters to the Editor – November 15, 2019

Police taser guns. Picture: staradvertiser

Police and taser guns

Fiji police is planning to get taser guns to help them counter the attact by civilians. The late Andrew Hughes our former police commissioner had that same idea about 15 years back. Why we had to wait for 15 years to decide that we need taser guns? Let’s look at things realistically, police gets taser guns and civilians will come up with something. We humans got a habit of hitting back. If you can give punches, be ready to receive. I am not saying assaulting a police officer is OK, what I am saying is that the police needs to come down to the people and discuss ways to work together. The community policing is not working because I believe people don’t trust police officers any more. Our Prime Minister always says to lead by example, so let the police lead by example first. Fiji police needs to earn that respect and not fight force with force. Taser guns will only make it worse. John Brown Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka

Use of tasers

So the NFP, according to a Times report, believes tasers are designed to kill people (first paragraph of relevant article). How much research has the NFP done to substantiate its claims? Of course the Police Commisioner is correct that rarely people die when tasers are deployed, but more frequently the taser shock is not the ultimate cause of a person’s demise. Did the NFP look at statistics for countries that have mainly unarmed police forces (guns etc), that employ tasers. Take the UK as an example which has tasers in use only by a few highly trained officers. In the 17 years tasers have been available, 18 people have died when shot at by a taser. Of course inquests were held in each case, and no inquest so far has pointed to taser as the cause of death, although there are outstanding cases which may do so. Space limits me from going into these but the information is freely available on line. In the 17 years the tasers have been available, they have been “armed” on numerous occasions, but fired less than 90 per cent of the time, which to me indicates their deterrent value. Fighting off drug-crazed loonies armed with axes against a baton and pepper spray is hardly a fair fight is it? I know Fiji is a hot, humid place, but as an interim measure police could wear stab proof vests, at least minimising injuries from knife attacks. Allan Loosley Tavua

Police scenarios

When a police officer walks into a place where they have been called out, I believe they always walk in fearing what could happen. Someone could maybe jump out with a knife, however, in America, I believe police know they are going to rule the situation when someone is told to put their hands up, they normally do that a lot faster with a firearm pointing at them. I agree police shouldn’t be classed as violent people but they do need some form of weaponry to ensure peace. Sometimes the police can’t always fight people that are 50ft away with a stick. The police need to be feared by criminals and trusted by the civilians. Simi Kuruvoli Makoi, Nasinu

Genetic variation

The revelation in a recent new NZ study, that an inbuilt genetic variation in our bodies may instead be the cause of gout, obesity, diabetes and other metabolic diseases. This basically means that they are not necessarily “lifestyle diseases”, as popularly believed, which are caused by poor diet and little exercise. (FT 13/11). In other words, its inbuilt into our genes and not necessarily the result of an unhealthy Western -type of diet or today’s lifestyle. These diseases would of course no longer be called non-communicable diseases (NCDs), because they can be transmitted to others through the genes in the blood. Wow! If that is indeed verified by other studies, then it will most certainly be a game-changer and “good news” for those currently being wrongly vilified. However, while some may now be jumping for joy and wanting to throw caution to the wind, the study further cautions that despite this amazing turnaround, we still all need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and continue to eat a healthy diet, because it is probably only part of the cause and not the total cause. Well that is a sobering thought. What is even more sobering to me now, is that if it is in our genes, the likelihood of a cure is not as easily determined or managed, as if it was an exogenous and easily managed reasons like our diet and lifestyle. Well I guess we can’t always win in the end. We just have to wait and see after the verification process. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle Pacific Harbour

Two things

On my most recent visit to Lami, Suva recently, two things stood out distinctly clearly. Numerous potholes on the road down to Qauia. It appears poor workmanship over an extended period of time and/or improper work ethics……Caka me rawa mentality……Qai macala ena dua tale na siga. Additionally, part of Nakoba St is clearly eroded and in need of immediate attention. Mr Fiji Roads Authority CEO, seeing is believing. Many unsecured dogs along Nakoba St is becoming a public nuisance. It appears, some dog owners just don’t care. Pups and dogs are left to freely roam day and night. Unfed. Left to fend for themselves. Will Suva SPCA care to carry out an inspection for themselves? Seeing young primary school students actually stoning dogs just to get down to their nearest bus stop is a common occurrence. So sad, indeed. These are problems waiting to be fixed without pointing fingers. Ronnie Chang Martintar Nadi

NZ water slide

I read The New Zealand Herald online and found that New Zealand’s largest water slide and sustainable thermal pools have officially opened. It’s a $4.5 million development, including New Zealand’s largest water slide, it was officially opened at the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa on Friday morning. From the pictures it looks huge. It’s jaw-dropping huge. Unlike our Lautoka pool in progress, it will be the deepest. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Save the future

In the early 1980s, in my now adopted country there was a nation- wide panic about child sexual abuse in schools, where children were literally coerced by parents and authorities unintentionally to fabricate lies about their teachers. A decade later nothing could be proven about those earlier cases, but by then the damage was already done. Now in the 2000 era there are more young adults either on the streets, single mothers and unemployment is on the rise and the cycle continues. I, for one, have seen this in my work at the Catholic charities at the homeless shelter, and something as simple as in Fiji like leaving your child unattended in a room can warrant a call to the authorities and both parent and child will be separated, even disciplining your child is a no-no, you must “talk” to your child. But even with this modern day and ag what with our busy schedules does it really work? The moral of my story is that our beloved Fiji if not careful will end like America, it is already evident with people disrespecting the law and those who enforce it, we will have a the future of tomorrow growing up thinking they are privileged. Where they won’t have the skills to make decisions because they are given an easy path in life. I believe exams were put in place so a child can grow up knowing the value of hard work, competitions were created so we can be competitive in life and not drown in our sorrows, now we are all being rewarded for participating. If we aren’t careful, our situation will get worse, and please don’t tell me it can’t happen in Fiji, because I have seen it too in Fiji, people just turn a blind eye and hope it goes away. It’s not too late to save the future of tomorrow. Lawrence Wara Santa Rosa

Radio program

May I contribute to the celebration of the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC). Congratulations to the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation for reaching a milestone of 65 years this year. It has been a long journey way back in 1954. I can still remember in the mid ’60s there used to be a program called Na Kilakila Mada. This was a question and answer competition but it was in the iTaukei language. Only two primary schools took part – Suva Methodist Boys and Annesley Girls. These two schools were neighbours in Toorak. The inside of the studio was soundproof and so cold that most of us had to wear warm tops. During intervals we had to rush outside to get some sunshine before going in again. Prizes included exercise books, pencils, rulers, rubbers, ball pen, colour pencils, sellotape and glue. In those days all the prizes that we won were so precious. Our quiz co-ordinator was Vasiti Raiwalui (RIP). We also had a male voice choir in our school and did some recording in the studio singing some Christmas carols. I believe the recording is still there with FBC. Our choirmasters were master Aisake Wiliame and master Malakai Salabula (both RIP). Vili Yaranamua Nadi

Diabetes day

World Diabetes Day falls on November 14 “Diabetes: Protect Your Family”, should be an awareness and action campaign for all of us. It should highlight how families are greatly affected by diabetes and the importance of their active role in the management, care, prevention and education. Eat healthy, exercise more, sleep well and be happy is the way forward to controlling diabetes. See what you eat, and not eat what you see. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Letters column

Someone told me that if I needed to address issues I should go to the organisation concerned. I told him, “What for my query to take three years to look into, that’s a pipeline job”. And that’s why I admire Hasmukh Patel CEO EFL. He responds via the letters column. He is modern. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Police attacks

Identify the root cause and I believe we are on the way to resolving the issue. Dan Urai Lautoka

Taser gun use

Will the proposed use of taser guns by police control the violent attitude? I doubt it. Pita Soroaqali Nadarivatu

Possible action

The Ministry of Health has announced the measles outbreak in Serua/Namosi subdivisions, which is only about 35km from Suva City. As a possible counter measure and to prevent the disease from spreading, maybe it is time to close all schools in the Central Division and send children home for the holiday. Ilaitia Bose Suva

All answers

It’s true no state has all the answers to its challenges (FT 11/10). It would achieve utopia if it did. But I believe that does not stop some state parties from pretending to have the panacea to all the ails of society since taking over governance of the country and from denigrating past leadership. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Learning time

I wish SODELPA had a platform about how to really address the problems that people face, instead of just focusing on fighting FijiFirst. Maybe learn from Hope! AREKI DAWAI Suva

Come to pass

Where’s the KaBoom? There was supposed to be Earth-shattering KaBoom! So said Marvin the martian. It might come to pass if we do not bring the temp down one per cent. Pronto too! MANOJ LAL PATEL Drasa Ave, Lautoka

Role of the force

Stop flogging a dead horse. Analyse and review the people treatment. It may help. Dan Urai Lautoka

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