Letters to the Editor – October 23, 2019

Flying Fijians coach John McKee and captain, Domoniko Waqaniburotu during the press conference. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Food for thought

To err is human yet so much has been said to and about Mr McKee, our 15s rugby coach. Fiji has an unforgiving rugby crazy fan club. While it is the prerogative of teh Fiji Rugby Union to pick a coach, aspiring coaches should take heed of this. At all times there are thousands of assistant coaches who have played little or no rugby at all and have no training whatsoever in coaching a rugby team. Yet day and night people are tweeting, texting, sending messages and talking about Fiji rugby be it 15s or 7s. Right now it is 15s rugby but when we can’t flog that dead horse anymore we will move on to 7s. I am just wondering whether this is actually misplaced attention on our part. Most people would not want to comment on the status quo of our country which is irksome to them, yet they would happily jump on to the bandwagon that attacks Fiji Rugby Union, rugby coaches and players at every turn. Food for thought! Korina Waibuta Knollys St, Suva

Life after the RWC

The RWC has not ended the way some top players and coaches would have loved to. Samu Kerevi, Campese Ma’afu and Josh Matavesi have announced their retirement from international rugby while veteran Rory Best, who is by far one of the best front-rowers, failed to ignite the Irish against NZ and they failed to progress. Irish fly-half Jonathan Sexton failed to spark his countrymen against the reigning champions. The high-flying Michael Leitch watched in vain as the clock ticked by and the Brave Blossoms’ RWC dream run came to a halt. On the other hand, Michael Cheika (Wallabies coach) and Jacques Brunel (France coach) have accepted their team’s fate and have stood down from their coaching positions despite taking their teams through to the top eight while our guru John McKee is adamant that he will continue despite having a poor winning record in two RWCs. In 2015 Fiji won one out of the four pool matches played and this year Fiji also won one out of the four matches played and on both occasions we failed to beat a tier one team. This means that in two RWCs McKee has won only two matches and that against tier two nations (Uruguay and Georgia). Hence, McKee’s success rate is 25 per cent. Shocking, aye! Isa, John McKee! The writing is crystal clear! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Hands and legs

I clearly remember how it was a joy for families to visit friends and relatives taking with them baked pies and cakes as visitation snacks. Longer visits would include longer-lasting food like root crops and fish. Nowadays it’s those that are visited who have to cater to visitors providing things like grog, cigarettes and booze. Visitors have basically become more of a burden now than a joy! It’s just a hands and legs visit these days! Are people finding it hard or are we just getting cunningly smarter! I believe the latter is the attitude we seem to possess. Give us an inch and we take a mile and keep stretching it! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

People first, trips later

Five married tax paying tireless educators living with their school principal in Serua, an obvious shortage reported to the authorities more than five years ago. Unsuitable sanitation still in existence in most of our villages in this day and age, Serua Village heads advised to seek aid from foreign missions directly I believe is basically being told don’t come to “us”, frequent junkets overseas by entourages perhaps more than their Australian and New Zealand counterparts and the list goes on. Something is not right here, just not right. I believe it just shows how the powers that be are prioritising issues of importance and duty of care. We do live in interesting times indeed Allen mate. God help us. Ben Kush Canberra, Australia The wrong paper Is there any other local newspaper which is sold daily at a price more than The Fiji Times? They say you get what you pay for. Price is a proxy for quality. Quality is satisfaction which is attained through genuine performance. I glance at “The first newspaper published in the world every day”. If it is the wrong paper, this has to be a “catastrophe”. It has been going on for 150 years. To decide for oneself, scrutiny reveals extensive and in-depth coverage. It accommodates criticism as well. Then where has it gone wrong? Google time! Wrong paper is an error which occurs during printing because of reasons such as paper size setting does not match the size of the paper in the tray. I’ll skip this. It appears irrelevant. The Fiji Times belongs to the group of “one size fits all”. Next option, what is the right paper? The United Nations 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”. In the first editorial of The Fiji Times, George Littleton Griffiths mentioned a promise. “The only promise that we can make is that we shall try to make our paper a public good; a practical useful and honest medium for the support of honour, truth and right.” He added, “We have no party interests to serve and our columns are open on all occasions for free discussion, subject only to the usual restrictions of a free press.” Why do people continue their association with the wrong paper? Contributors and readers range from members of parliament to students. I may again add, for 150 years. Then how does one conclude that The Fiji Times is the wrong paper without being a reader? George R R Martin said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one”. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Rugby World Cup 2019

As the RWC 2019 comes to the closing stages, you can’t help but wonder that the whole competition was designed in such a way that the Tier 1 nations will be in the top eight, but every now and then a Tier 2 nation ruins the party for one of them, but that’s where it ends, after four years there is no change. But hey this story is for another day, my concern now is where do we go from here now. As I’ve said before the RWC that we seem to be only aiming for the RWC and there is no real development done. There are calls for us to join the Tier 1 competitions like the Six Nations or Rugby Championship, but in reality we are not yet ready. We need to either develop locally and have players playing in specialist positions at all levels and not convert them only when they come to play for Fiji. We need our front row playing in at least the Mitre 10 competition level and in their positions as goes for our loosies and not have them playing on the wings at their overseas clubs. The same can be said of our back line, where both the halves combination are playing in that position regularly, not in any other position for their clubs. The same goes for all other positions, because once we are all playing our positions at that level on a regular basis only then can you expect to perform on the test level. Also once at the test level, we need to be playing together more and not only for the end of the year tours. I believe if Ratu Peni can achieve the impossible with the core of his gold medal winning team all locally based, we can also do that in the full code. We just need to have people who have rugby at heart leading us, like in the ’80s where the technical advisers actually toured the country looking for raw talent, like Timoci Wainiqolo or Joe Veitayaki and recently Ratu Peni finding the likes of Kalioni Nasoko. So the onus now is on the bigwigs in the white house to step up their game, and please stop comparing the Drua with the Flying Fijians as they are at two different levels, what we need to do is start drafting them into the main team, because only then will they mature. Good luck to the rest of the teams left in the competition and to our own Flying Fijians keep your heads up, to all aspiring ruggers in Fiji, either representing your province, club or the Drua or even overseas clubs be true to the game and you will achieve your dream. Toso Viti. Lawrence Wara Santa Rosa, USA

Soccer games

I salute the president of the Fiji Primary Schools Football Association for organising a good championship at Ratu Cakobau Park. Congratulations to the winners but bigger congratulation to the other participating teams as without you there would never have been champions. However, as stated by the president that FFA had provided $500 grant for a tournament of such a nature (not clear of any increase — to be corrected) does not qualify for such a level of praise as in his speech. He has also very correctly requested for an increase in grant for zonal playoffs. This is the real challenge. I do understand the challenge of the relationship of being an affiliated organisation which warrants praises. FFA, please listen to the calls of your affiliated associations and help strengthen their capabilities to improve our soccer standards at the best level that could be improved. My salutations to teachers for keeping the spirit of soccer alive in this country. Dhirendra Prasad Lautoka

Citizen’s arrest

What would our police do if there has been an illegal citizens arrest? If carried out on a 16-year-old, could it be kidnapping? Do we still have a Human Rights Commission? They seem to be particularly silent on this one. Hello? Rick Eyre Lautoka

Assist please

I would like to thank the executive chairman Faiz Khan for the $38.35 million operating profit for Fiji Pine Ltd. Wouldn’t it be a good idea if Mr Khan is allowed to help sort out FSC’s financial problems? Sukha Singh Labasa

State policies

I believe policies of this government have led to more underemployment. Dan Urai Lautoka

Driving issues

With the increasing number of traffic infringements, road rage and tragic road accidents these days, it appears to me that most of our drivers have got the more extroverted and “offensive driving techniques” down and passed the test with flying colours. All that is left now is to be schooled in the boring, introverted and albeit safe art of “defensive driving”. Choosing the one in which you get to see your family at the end of each day, is not rocket science! Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Police force

Many of us are critical of the police force in general at times. However, we should never forget that officers are there to protect our lives and property, and some pay the ultimate price to do just that. My sincere condolences to the family and relatives of officer Niumataiwalu and sympathies to the force. I have advocated before that some members of the force be equipped with tasers to subdue violent suspects. I suggest this be followed up, especially given the drug fuelled violence that is on the increase. Allan Loosley Tavua

Take a bow

Take a bow Japan, you are giant-killers. You’ve set a standard for the rest of the smaller teams. You played the mighty Springboks and held then but the ‘Boks just showed their class. You lost, but you won the hearts of many fans around the world. Take a bow Japan. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

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