Letters to the Editor – November 30

The Fiji Airways Fiji 7s boys in training. Picture: ATU RASEA

Sevens Rugby

Here we go again. Another season of sevens rugby at its best as we kick off the 2018–19 World Rugby Sevens Series first leg in Dubai this week and Cape Town next week. For us Fiji sevens fans, we are all looking forward to a Dubai victory, which will set the plan in motion for the ultimate goal of winning the 2018–19 series. I believe our boys are ready to bring home the Dubai title after winning the Oceania Sevens Tournament and the Test win by the Flying Fijians over France, would surely lift their spirits. Win or lose, we wish our Fiji sevens team all the best in the Dubai 7s and we all hope our boys will be in the final and if possible, win the first tournament of the series. Go Fiji, go. Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa Suva

Lone sportsman

A lone sportsman just returned to Fiji from Australia winning a gold medal. EJ, as he is known to us, represented Fiji in powerlifting. He paid his own way and flew the noble banner blue on the stage when he was presented the gold medal in his weight category. He loves the sport so much that he said, “I will go and represent Fiji even if I have to pay my way there.” And he did. Thank you EJ for being a gracious chap and not putting on a long face when funding did not eventuate. Perhaps your win will get the people at the helm to do something about it, like what is done with team sports. God bless you. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Dwelling on the past

It is very sad indeed that mostly what we hear in Parliament is finger pointing of who did what in the past. Let the past stay in the past and you all were not voted into Parliament to bring back the past nor to downgrade a person but rather to better it and upgrade Fiji to bring about a future that will be favourable to all. More constructive debate is needed in order for the country to move forward and prosper. Dwelling on the past won’t help and the only way up is working together as a team for the betterment of our beloved country and for all Fijians. TEAM — Together Everyone Achieve More. Samuela Rareba Raiwaqa, Suva

Tough assignment

The Dubai 7s, which serves up a cracking two day’s-worth of entertainment, kicks off tonight. Reigning WRSS champion Africa leads pool A alongside Samoa, Zimbabwe and Argentina while Fiji faces Kenya, Scotland and France. Commonwealth 7s gold medallists and RWC 7s champion NZ battles Spain, Wales and USA while Australia meets England, Japan and Canada. The Blitzboks go in as tournament favourites despite missing the likes of Afrika, Senatla, Agaba, Dylan Sage, Ruhan Nel, Kwagga Smith and Rhyno. However, Fiji will be looking for a much improved showing to their 2017 campaign. Our boys managed to claim fourth place in Dubai last year, which was a bit of a shock as Fiji had competed in three of the four previous finals. Furthermore, Baber’s men have enjoyed a solid pre-season winning the Oceania Sevens. I believe that Fiji is itching to make amendments for letting last season’s WRSS title slip through their hands and with the likes of Kunavula, Nasoko, Sevu, Tuwai, Jerry, Nacuqu, Vatemo, Nasilasila and Naduva hopes are high despite the loss of Paula, Josua, Jasa and Sau. Barring any upset I’m tipping Africa to play the first cup quarters against England, followed by NZ vs Kenya, Australia vs Argentina and Fiji vs USA. The semi-finals are likely to be played between Africa and NZ and Fiji and Australia. Hence, I’m predicting a Fiji vs Africa final. For our boys to do well in Dubai, the small things count and these include: avoid playing catch-up rugby, making one-on-one tackles, winning restarts, taking conversions accurately, winning set pieces, maintaining possession, discipline and composure, playing the length of the field, providing support play in attack and defence, taking every chance and communication. My best wishes to Gareth and our boys as they compete in Dubai. Toso Viti, toso! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

In solidarity

To victims of sexual offence or rape cases known as survivors, it is not your fault nor to be blamed for being raped. Perpetrators know very well what they do and not to blame liquor. To all survivors out there, I stand with you in solidarity. # Let’s do something together to stop rape in this year’s 16 Days of Activism. Jioji M Cakacaka Nadi

Maiden speech

In his maiden speech, honourable Alvick Maharaj (FT 29/11) took a swipe at honourable Sitiveni Rabuka on his conduct during the 1987 coup when he was supposed to have fired a shot in the Parliament. One part of me cringed at the memory and another part of me felt embarrassed for the young man’s poorly placed remarks about an event that happened more than 30 years ago. I believe dragging up a sordid part of history to earn a political brownie point either shows a lack of maturity (understandability) or a lack of wisdom or perhaps both. After the election, and in his opening address to Parliament, the Prime Minister honourable Voreqe Bainimarama has publicly called for the unification of the country, for people who voted for FijiFirst and those that didn’t, and this includes many people who voted for different parties other than FijiFirst which includes all members of the Opposition. If the PM is sincere, and I have no doubt that he is, then he needs to encourage his team to focus on issues affecting the people of Fiji rather than brandishing brazen barbs at a person who is trying to make amends at least this is what I believe naively or not. “If any among you has not sinned, cast the first stone!” (Jesus Christ) Colin Deoki Australia

Make a difference

While parliamentarians go about giving their maiden speeches in the first sitting of Parliament, it’s also a prime time to contemplate what really motivated them to getting a seat in Parliament? We’ve already heard the majority of maiden speeches and apart from thanking those who voted them in and sharing their thoughts and suggestions, none of them have acknowledged the taxpayers of the country who will be paying their salaries and perks for the next four years? For those of us who are not aware, I believe approximate salaries per annum for sitting parliamentarians are as follows; Ministers $185,000; Assistant ministers $90,000; Opposition Leader $120,000 and Opposition parliamentarians $50,000; Accommodation, meals, travel and insurance allowances are a bonus. After just a day of sitting, I believe they have already made an increase to their salary by voting anonymously to increase Parliament sittings from 30 days to 45 days! I believe each parliamentarian stands to earn $200 per sitting day. I believe it’s gone from $6000 to $9000 per MP in an instant, a total increase of $153,000! I wonder if any of the sitting parliamentarians would ever serve for no more than their basic cost of service? None I presume? No doubt, salary and perks are a motivating factor for all parliamentarians. We just hope that they have the same, if not more motivation to serve the nation in the most productive and efficient manner. Parliamentarians need to be reminded that they are getting paid by the hardworking people of Fiji and they need to show some gratitude and put a stop to nonsensical arguments and disruptions that waste time. You are the people who have been voted in as the people’s representatives to discuss the problems faced by our nation and to find solutions to them. A nephew of mine cut the long story short in two words, “Nothing’s free!” So make a great difference and make it count because every second is paid for! Simon Hazelman Savusavu

Graduation ceremonies

Couldn’t help noticing that the proliferation of silly gowns and even sillier hats in “graduation” ceremonies (FT 22/11) appears to be in inverse proportion to the standards of literacy and numeracy in our schools. Paul Geraghty USP, Suva

Bus sticker

I Saw on the back of a bus a sticker that says, “No airbag, we die like real men.” Kemudou! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

With style

See what having more women in the House can do? Parliament opened with some style this week. Their political parties may have not got the required votes to be sitting on the government side, but their new lady members made a statement with their elegant outfits. Well, as the editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Winston said, “if you can’t be better than your competition, just dress better”. Did you notice that extra spring in the heels of the men too? Samu Railoa Tailevu

Minister Bala

From Professor Biman’s speech we have come to know that honourable Bala had a lot of good things to say about the 1997 Constitution. It just shows honourable Bala was an experienced politician well before he entered Parliament. I would like to know from honourable Bala if he deliberately disallowed the council elections or he was instructed to do so by his superiors? Sukha Singh Labasa

Termites, black ants

The relevant ministry should start finding concrete solutions to encounter these two pests. They may need to collaborate with research institutions. These tiny annoying pests are having an effect on our basic needs. They are attacking housing and agriculture. Therefore, it becomes economically important that we act before it becomes too late. A lot of resources have already been wasted. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Brewery burning

SOMEONE sent me a picture of the brewery burning, I very nearly passed out. I composed myself and got my act together. Thank God, yesterday (FT 29/11) I read that and I quote “No immediate shortage in beer and alcoholic beverages”. “Fiji’s leading manufacturer of beer and spirits Paradise Beverages has clarified there will be no immediate shortages in both beverages despite Tuesday’s fire.” If you heard a huge kaila, it was from Kava Place. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

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