Letters to the Editor – Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians singing the Fiji national anthem before facing Georgia at the 2019 Rugby World Cup pool game. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

One team unity

The Brave Blossoms describe themselves as “One team” and their advancement to the quarter-finals has been a collective effort based on the Japanese work ethic (The Japan Times).

Japanese people, the majority of them, are efficient, productive people, and when they set their minds to something, they will collectively devote themselves to achieve it, as a team.

One questions the team unity of our Flying Fijians.

Before each of our pool matches, Leone Nakarawa stayed away from performing the cibi.

From the start Nakarawa showed disunity with the way in which our team performs.

His reasoning is that he would rather glorify God before he goes into battle on the rugby paddock.

He can do the cibi and still worship God!

I admire Leone Nakarawa and his game but I believe he should not have been given the option to stay out of performing the cibi.

He showed disunity from the start and such an act would not sit easy with others.

The mighty All Blacks won the past two Rugby World Cup tournaments (2011, 2015) and they will most likely win again this time around in Japan, and each and every player must perform the haka before every match.

There is no other option.

The question Nakarawa needs to ask himself is what he achieved by sitting out of performing the team cibi?

It was nothing more than disunity.

While the cibi dates back to Fiji’s war-torn past, the performance of the teivovo right before each match is significant in psyching the team into battle.

We had a one player disunity and that is enough to disrupt a team’s performance!

Simon Hazelman, Rava Estate, Savusavu

No more paraquat

Thank you honourable minister.

Finally, paraquat will no longer be available for sale or use, effective January 1, 2020.

Fiji has paid a very heavy price.

Far too many lives lost.

I personally sorrowfully witnessed the immense needless pain and unnecessary suffering immediately prior to ultimate death back on September 17, 2008.

Another personal mission accomplished.

Ronnie Chang, Mountainview, Martintar, Nadi

Guideline and the tackler

Samoa’s Seilala Lam had just been yellow carded for smashing his shoulder into the head of a stooping Jacob Stockdale’s.

“What do you want us to do?” pleaded captain Jack Lam.

Australian referee Nic Berry replied simply: “Tackle lower.”

It should be that simple, and to many it is.

Others insist the new guidelines are impossible to apply in such a high-speed, contact sport and are littered with inconsistency.

So when a player is coming at high speed to tackle, it’s never his intention to go for the head.

Every right-thinking player will tackle, and hard, but not to injure.

Well that’s how I see it.

So when Seilala is coming at top speed and the opponent suddenly stoops lower to avoid the tackle, what do the referees suggest that the tackler do — go lower?

I will have to ask a referee to do the same, put himself in Seilala’s position and come full speed at an opponent and the opponent suddenly ducks, what can he (the ref) do?

If he says he will go lower, then please show me.

You will need to have super powers to be able to do it.

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Poverty eradication

Tackling inequality and corruption while promoting political will can help overcome global poverty, but how can we determine people are below the poverty line.

What tools can be used to monitor how people face challenges in everyday life to overcome poverty.

According to the United Nations, the main purpose of such days is to raise awareness, generate support, and call attention to unresolved problems, important and pending issues in our communities.

This awareness is intended to encourage governments to enact policies toward achieving a determined goal, or to demonstrate support for citizens to demand the same from their representatives.

Working together as a community and help those in need was a major focus for our government of the day, so such implementation of CARE programs were set to tackle such issues.

Now the challenges are: cost of living and prices of basic food items; cost of fuel and gas prices, fluctuation of global fuel price market; misuse of CARE programs fund and other initiative programs, fraud, and other cost factors such as needs and wants are burdens.

However, many wonder, have we reduced poverty?

If the answer is no, or the result achieved is limited, then we need to ask: What factors stand in the way of eliminating poverty, and what steps should be taken to do so?

This kind of awareness is what we need with World Food Day yesterday.

Global food security is a major concern, and one thing leads to the next.

Thus, today marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, celebrated since 1993.

We can act upon the worthy cause by joining hands and support people in need.

Neelz Singh, Lami

Coconut industry

The Minister for Agriculture, Mahendra Reddy, stated that the Fijian Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture is fully committed to rehabilitating and strengthening the coconut industry by vigorously promoting replacement planting of senile plantations and to strengthen the marketing of coconut-based products for domestic and export markets (FT 15/10).

At present if one drives along the southern coastline of Vanua Levu, one will notice that lots of coconut plantations are not getting harvested of coconuts.

Nuts are scattered all over the place, all growing vara (shoots).

How can we be talking about planting new trees and marketing coconut products when we are not harvesting coconuts now?

There is so much potential in coconut products but we somehow just cannot get it progressing towards its full potential.

I guess yaqona and marijuana are much more enticing.

It just confirms the kind of people we are and the poor attitudes we portray.

Doped and stoned!

Feel sorry for the nuts!

Simon Hazelman, Rava Estate, Savusavu

Ministry circular

Through an official circular, there is an urge from the Ministry of Education for prizegiving ceremonies to be held towards the end of the third term.

This is in the name of eliminating student distraction and accommodating all students in the recognition process.

But quite recently, wasn’t the Minister for Education chief guest at a prominent secondary school’s prizegiving ceremony?

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Issue of change

I believe we can’t change people but we can change the attitude of people.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Wrong paper

If we accept for arguments sake that The Fiji Times is the “wrong paper” as the police chief claims, can we also claim that we have the “wrong people” in certain high positions in post-coup Fiji?

Rajend Naidu, Sydney, Australia

Local rates

I believe all hotels and resorts should offer reasonable local rates during the low season to encourage locals to utilise their facilities and keep workers earning sustainable livelihood.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Why should I

Seriously McKee?

You didn’t get off the plane drunk, or did ya?

Nishant ‘Vulagi’ Singh, Lautoka

Sporting people


Without athletes, there will be no sports.

Ills of society creep into sports.

What ills?





You might want to tell that to Eileen.

Let’s see what her comeback is.

I am still absolutely flabbergasted over how we lost her to the Aussies.

Any sage words about that?


Manoj Lal Patel, Drasa Ave, Lautoka

Grog session

Yesterday I could see a lot of workers from civil and construction sites at the Lautoka Market enjoying their grog session, as most of the companies closed for the day.

Some are saying we should have one rainy day per month so we can enjoy grog sessions with workmates.

This is true Fijian style thinking.

Amol Kumar, Lautoka

School’s IDC

The Delta town will come alive today — our future soccer stars battle their skills and knowledge as the Fiji Primary School’s IDC kicks off.

If we want to improve our soccer ranking then please FFA target these kids as they will be wearing their district jerseys one day.

I wish our primary school soccer stars and their coaches and managers all the best.

My friend and southern co-ordinator Rameshwar Lal and his executives will be at their best as they aim to complete the tournament on time!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Climate change claim

In an exclusive, “The Australian” newspaper reported that Defence and Foreign Affairs Minister, and former climate champion, Inia Seruiratu was quoted as saying Australia “was doing its part” during his meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his recent visit to Fiji.

He further went on to say that “Australia is committed to the Paris Agreement as well”.

For some of us who have been agitating and urging Australia to do more, and to see how Scott Morrison has been arrogantly dismissing the climate change threat, and given that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are going up, this is hugely callous and disappointing.

It also goes against PM Bainimarama’s statement.

For minister Seruiratu to say this is a slap in the face of the rest of the Pacific and indeed the world which is urging countries like Australia to do more, given it is one of the highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases.

If there was any hope for regionalism, this sort of ill-informed observation basically shows that we have a long way to go in our co-operation against this existential threat.

This minister purported to be a “climate champion” during Fiji’s COP presidency.

Clearly this shows Fiji is less than sincere and there is a huge gulf between what it says and what it actually believes in.

Altauf Chand Minto, NSW, Australia

Awards functions

The permanent secretary of Education madam Burchell had asked schools to hold their awards functions mid-November, and I totally concur.

I actually found it rather unusual that a number of schools held theirs last week.

Madam minister was a chief guest at one school.

More or better dialogue at the top would help avoid such contradictions on key matters in the future.

We get confused.

It’s good that most schools have scheduled theirs for Week 11 onwards.

While I have this space, let me ask.

It has been revealed that foundation students were awarded NTS scholarships previously, and from now on, NTS will only be for Year 13 graduates on merit.

That’s very positive.

However, previously, was it legitimate for foundation students to get NTS scholarships?

If it was legitimate, then I am happy the policy correction has been made.

But if it was anything else, then were the relevant personnel at TLSB taken to task?

The mind wonders, but it’s always good to ask occasionally lest the mind wonders, wanders and wanders into the wilderness.

Donald Singh, Lautoka

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