Letters to the Editor – November 9

A family celebrates Diwali. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Diwali sweets and all

The much hyped and fun-filled Diwali festivities are over. The skies glittered with an array of fireworks and it certainly was a marvel to watch such a bright display on the darkest night. Mouth-watering sweets and scrumptious food and pleasantries were gleefully exchanged, which reminds I probably need to get a sugar test done after care freely indulging in ladoos, pedas, barfis, gulab jamun and an assortment of other goodies. I sincerely wish to thank the fire authority for playing a vigilant role in ensuring everyone enjoyed the incident free celebrations. Your efforts ought to be applauded guys. I hope the cheerful door to door sweet collectors cashed in well on the tempting treats. They have been part and parcel of the celebrations for many years now. For without them, the festival of lights would be a dull affair. Until we meet again fellas. Nishant Singh Lautoka |

Victoria Cross hope – Letter of the week ending 29/10-4/11

THE award of a posthumous VC to our famous and forgotten fallen hero- the late Sgt Talaiasi Labalaba BEM, would I believe deservedly be the ultimate official recognition by Queen and country for the ultimate sacrifice made 46 years ago in Mirbat. While public and official recognition is not an expected outcome for the line of work undertaken by the group in Hereford, I would imagine that after a long campaign they will be immensely proud if the VC was finally awarded to their fallen comrade. It will be icing on the cake after the posthumous Mentioned in Despatches as well as the two statues in Hereford and here in Fiji. We wait in anticipation for that day. EDWARD BLACKELOCK Admiral Circle Pacific Harbour

Rubbish woes – Letter of the week ending 29/10-04/11

I KNOW why rubbish is strewn all over the place at festivals. People don’t care. The bins are small. I have seen bins at the Sugar Festival that were overflowing and rubbish piled up beside it and paper blowing away in the wind. I saw parents with children leave food wrappers and Styrofoam food containers where they sat to eat and walk away. Children now do the same. Why not have a few of those large commercial bins that are brought by lorries so that cleaning cintractors can simply empty the smaller bins into them on a constant basis. Will it cost too much? If someone says it will cost too much, how much do we value our environment? Anyway, I feel it’s more efficient way to keep the festivals until the end of the day to clean up the eyesore. MERE LAGILAGI Lovu, Lautoka

Road condition- Letter of the week ending 22/10-28/10

ONCE again I am forced to raise the issue of the deplorable condition of the surface of Khalsa Road. With the recent month long spell of heavy rain, the road is again riddled with deep potholes which in many places, are forcing drivers to slow to a crawl, less than 5km/ph, to negotiate the craters and avoid damage to their vehicles. In addition, I have witnessed several near misses where vehicles have almost collided head on because of both drivers swerving to avoid the holes. Last weekend the repair crews were out filling some potholes, seemingly at random and presumably at a higher hourly rate of pay but since the start of the working week there’s not been a repair crew in sight and the vast majority of these massive holes remain unfilled. As I have mentioned previously in the 2017 budget it was stated that substantial funds were to be put aside for the upgrade of Mead, Cunningham and Khalsa roads. The first two have been upgraded to a reasonable standard but Khalsa Rd remains a minefield for motorists and the current policy of throwing a shovel full of tarseal into the hole and patting it down doesn’t last past the next heavy downpour. STEVE ILLINGWORTH Tamavua, Suva

UNHRC Seat – Letter of the week ending 15/10-21/10

SO, Fiji makes it into the UNHRC. Awesome! The powers that are, walk the talk. As Mother Teresa said, part of it at least; ” Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government, they are every human beings’ entitlement by virtue of his humanity.” Sa kila? MANOJ LAL PATEL Drasa Avenue, Lautoka

Dialysis subsidy – Letter of the week ending 8/10-14/10

I DON’T understand why the cost of dialysis is so high in Fiji but I must at the outset commend the Health Minister for coming to the rescue of those kidney patients with less than $30k income and who are having dialysis treatment as now these patients will be paying $75 per session for dialysis treatment, which previously cost around $150. This would provide some assistance but I hope that the Health Minister has plans in the pipeline for all patients regardless of income to have dialysis at the minimum cost while raising awareness on the importance of eating healthy food and doing regular exercise. Thank you madam Rosy Akbar for coming to the rescue of our fellow Fijians who are undergoing dialysis! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Where are the parents – Letter of the week ending 1/10-7/10

IN the evenings as I commute home after work, I walk through the Cost U Less car park and then on to Damodar City Centre. And on most occasions I come across young children no more than 12 years old selling fruits, pies and roti parcels and at times begging people to buy their food items before they can go home. I find this to be quite disheartening. These children should be at home under the supervision of their parents, instead they are sent out most evenings to try to make extra money. With all that is happening here in Fiji pertaining to young people going missing and the high rate of child abuse, I encourage all parents and guardians to ensure that their children are given all the opportunities to get educated and to be within a protected environment at home. I firmly believe that parents must supervise their children and protect them from all forms of ill-treatment, exploitation and suffering. A.V.ANTHONY Suva

New inclusions

Nasoko has been given the daunting task of captaining the 7s team. I must also compliment Baber for including the likes of Ratu, Botitu, Vudolo, Vota and Uluiyata in the team to compete in the Oceania 7s tournament. The All Blacks, Samoa and Australia have strong squads as they prepare for the Oceania rivalry before facing giants USA, Kenya, England, France, Africa and Canada in the WRSS. The All Blacks did not do too well on the World Rugby Sevens Series but they won the Commonwealth gold medal and the Melrose Cup and Tom Cama Jnr has brought an experienced squad with the likes of Collier, Curry, Dickson, Masirewa, Mikkelson and Ravouvou, and rising stars Bunce, Haugh, Joass, Shiu, Nicole, Knewstubb and Black. On the other hand, 7s mastermind Tietjens has opted for depth in his team and has retained star players like Motoga, Mealoi, Tusitala and Afamasaga and named three new players — Ene, Savaiinaea and Samuelu. Aussie 7s coach Tim Walsh has the most experienced squad boasting big names like Holland, Parahi, Malouf, 7s Player of the Year nominee O’Donnell, Hutchison, Anstee and Porch. These players have made headlines during the World Rugby Sevens Series. Hence, the battle is going to be between Fiji, NZ, Samoa and Australia. World Rugby Sevens Series commentator and former All Black Karl Te Nana, who tasted victory here in 2000 when NZ beat Fiji 31-5 during the Fiji International 7s, said that it was a mammoth task to beat the Fijians in front of their home fans. Perhaps this is why the All Blacks and Aussies have brought formidable outfits. Last year Fiji won the Oceania 7s in style after demolishing NZ 26-0 despite the slow start to the tournament beating American Samoa 24-5 and New Caledonia 35-0. In the quarters Fiji walloped Cook Islands 57-0 and then outclassed Samoa 17-7 in slippery conditions. For this tournament, Baber has named an experienced side and apart from the five rookies, he has bulk of his players like Josua, Sevu, Cakaubalavu, Wise, Jerry and Naduva who have played at international level. I am sure that the squad will rise to the challenge and cover the gap left by Nasilasila, Sau, Jasa and Draunisinukula. The Oceania 7s is the perfect build-up that our side needs before Dubai and Africa and let’s hope that our boys will make use of this opportunity. My best wishes to Baber and our boys for the Oceania 7s title defence! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

TV station

I BELIEVE one of the biggest national TV company appears to be bent on reporting against the biggest Opposition party and its leadership during its news segment (06/11) in the evening. I believe no other party received similar attention. I believe media companies must at least appear to be fair in their reporting. EMOSI BALEI Suva

Party manifesto

HOW can the voters know what to expect when a political party cannot reveal their manifesto in writing and distribute it well before the election? Can the next government make this mandatory to all political parties in future elections? It’s far more important than taking down billboards on roads reserve. Just a thought! PITA SOROAQALI Nadarivatu

Race card

I heard on radio that a political party was talking about Indians and Muslims that were affected in the 1987 coup. I thought the race card thing was not allowed to be used! Mere Lagilagi Lovu, Lautoka

A grade effort

In the debate, you were so cool, calm and collected. Your rebuttals were done professionally and you were not carried away by your emotions. Your replies to the questions and the contradicted statements made against you were forthright and spot on. I gave you an A grade for your performance. Thank you sir. You can count me in! Joeli Naleca Natabua, Lautoka

Diwali holiday

Can our government please relook at its stand on the above. I believe the timing is wrong. Diwali is celebrated at night …throughout the night…so it’s only fair that the holiday falls the following day. Productivity/progress the following day is nearly a third. Understandably lots of hang overs. Children of all races are seen playing and enjoying deep into the night only for some to miss school the following day. Some might argue the point raised and with due respect they have solid grounds to do so. But there are so many who prepare well in advance. A. SHARIFF SHAH Savusavu

Festival spirit

DIWALI is a time when our hearts should be filled with love, kindness, tolerance and forgiveness towards each other. But the hatred and mudslinging spewing out of the political rhetoric has negated its true spirit and has disturbed the celebrative mood of the people. This is the time for us to embrace our enemies and not to put them down. Those sending out Diwali messages should walk the talk and first practise those values themselves. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

 

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