Letters to the Editor – January 17, 2019

Outrigger Sigatoka Blues’ Pita Kadralevu (with ball) runs away to score a try against Nailaga during the McDonald’s Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens youth division competition at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Best platform for local players

I agree with rugby legend Lote Tuqiri that the McDonald’s Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens tournament was the best platform for local Fijian players to secure overseas contracts. Fijians are blessed as we get a chance to witness a feast of 7s year in, year out and watch unknowns become household names. Tuqiri cited Dogotuki lad and former Babasiga Lions star Filipo Daugunu who played for the Wardens club and then secured a contract with Queensland Reds. The McDonald’s Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens tournament organisers must be commended for taking the initiative to host a tournament of such magnitude and for ensuring that a former 7s legend Rupeni Caucau got inducted into the hall of fame. Having the likes of Tuqiri and Gollings is an inspiration to our local rugby players who I’m sure will be working hard to impress Baber and the national 7s selectors! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Interesting pictures

The two pictures on the front page and back page of The Fiji Times (16/01) is not just colourful and interesting but point to a reality that most players ignore or realise before it is too late. The front page has a young player of Outrigger Sigatoka Blues doing a back pass with one hand while the other has a picture of retired players such as Lote Tuqiri and Ben Gollings. The hard reality of professional rugby is that despite the money and fame sports can offer, ones playing days is limited by age and/or injuries. In this regard, one hopes that coaching sessions for existing players is not only geared towards improving their performance in the search for a professional contract but more importantly, players begin to plan for retirement phase. Sadly, many of our talented players have fallen victim to a lack of planning and some have had to endure a hard and painful struggle after professional rugby. Floyd Robinson Toorak, Suva

Rain harvest

It would have been good, if we had in place a rain-harvesting strategy adopted nationwide, so as to capture for future use, the amazing amount of rainfall that is falling around the country right now, as cyclonic weather approaches us. Such an event happens in every cyclone season. The lead-up to our cyclone season has often been dry with drought like conditions becoming prevalent in the dryer parts of the country. Right now these very places are experiencing heavy rainfall. Yet often times, the rainfall just runs off roofs of houses and normally not saved, for those non-rainy days later, as evident from stories we often hear of households, settlements and villages facing water shortages. By now, we should have had a more proactive and positive approach to saving a resource (rainwater), that’s literally just going down the drain right now. Perhaps, making it mandatory or compulsory for all houses and buildings to have a rain harvesting and collection system, to collect, for future use, such freely given rainwater. Of course, it has to be done within the necessary health requirements and bylaws. Perhaps, our National Building Code could also include this and other climate change mitigating and eco-friendly measures as well. A wasted resource today will always be a valuable and a much needed resource in the future. Rainwater is a good example. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Visiting schools

What is the big fuss about the minister of education visiting schools without notice? It is a school and she is the academic leader. Simple as that. I believe this is the best thing as the clear picture can be brought to the surface. Why worry when there’s nothing to hide? One should feel proud and grateful for the sudden visit. It’s another thing that the hospitality may not have been as it could be in the planned visit, however, I am sure that was least of the minister’s expectation. This may be just the tip of the iceberg. Good job dear minister but there’s more to look into. Kirti Patel Lautoka

Low performing schools

It is good to see that the Ministry of Education is now coming down hard on underperforming schools. They will be now closely monitoring the classroom performance of both the students and the teachers. The teachers will be now more accountable towards producing better results. We have noticed that teachers from low performing schools are often shuffled around and transferred to rural-based schools. And most of them are nearing their retirement age. The heads of the schools and the staff members need to lift their game if they really want to improve the performance standards in their schools. For at the end of the day the academic results not only reflect back on them but also have an adverse impact on the image of the school as well. They should take full advantage of the assistance being offered by the ministry to set benchmarks for improvement in both internal and external examinations. I would urge the unions and the management to work together and support the ministry and the school heads in this endeavour. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Education and kava

I wholeheartedly support the newly appointed Education Ministry national education service delivery unit head Timoci Bure with regards to the excessive consumption of kava by schoolteachers. For me teachers are role models, they should be shining examples, not kanikani examples. But Mr Bure could have just said for teachers to control their consumption, be diplomatic. A bit rough saying: “Throw the sulu and kava and everything … throw it away in the bin.” Mr Bure, I know you know how much kava costs today. But that’s another story. Anyway, to any teacher who wants to throw their kava away, Kava Place can come and collect it. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Travel record

Online, it is very easy to access travel statistics of American government officials. For Secretaries of State, we know that John Kerry has travelled the most air miles — well over a million; and that Hillary Clinton visited the most countries — 112 — while in office for four years. For the sake of transparency and accountability, it would be a good idea if our prime minister’s travel records are made public. A quick glance at Facebook reveals that a lot of people fear he is doing too much travelling at the taxpayers’ expense. Perhaps perspective into how much the PM travels and comparison with other world leaders’ travels will allay such fears or, actually, confirm it. Samuela Savu Farm Rd, Nakasi

Merit award

Sukha Singh from Labasa deserves a merit award and should be bestowed with the title Sir Sukha Singh … triple “S” for a gentleman with genuine concerns for the North and Labasa. His evergreen short and crisp letters are a delight to read. Joka Sir Sukha Singh … SSS for a babasiga rajah. Happy New Year to the pioneers Allan, Wise, Imraz, Simon, Donald and all regular writers. Sa yawa dina 2020 joka. Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Tackle height

Amusing discussions are taking place about proposed changes to tackle height in rugby union. The tackle height is to face a reduction. Waist downwards. It could become a baffling sport because the referees would scoop the MVP awards. We could also witness presence of an orchestra in the stands to harmonise with the on field whistles. Apart from interfering with the blood pressure of rugby fans, it will be testing times for lock forwards. They are taller players. Will they be permitted to go down on their knees during matches? To carry out perfectly legitimate tackles on opposition halfbacks, not to propose! Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Potholes fixed

Last year potholes and the roads were awesomely repaired at Kuku Village. Just a few potholes out of many were seen this year which were again quickly repaired. Thanks relevant authorities for doing high standard repairs. Just wondering where the other potholes disappeared? Let’s wish they went to Bermuda Triangle and never come back! Shamal Chand Kuku Bau Rd, Nausori

Garbage rate

Just a few years ago the Labasa Town rates were increased by 37 per cent. From this year I believe the garbage rates are going up from $148.80 to $446.40. All I want to ask the minister concerned is — is this why you do not want the ratepayers to run the councils? Sukha Singh Labasa

Soccer season

The soccer season is about to start in Fiji and I can see the buying and selling of players. Can someone check that these players are not cheated while making deals. John Brown Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka

NFL coverage

I hope our local TV broadcasters will consider televising the National Football League (NFL) which culminates with the annual championship game of the Super Bowl. The first Super Bowl was played 53 years ago and is the most watched TV program in North America. It is also the most watched sporting event worldwide second to the UEFA championship final. The sport may be new to local viewers but its rich history and worldwide appeal should draw in local fans. Who knows, after the short stint by Jarryd Hayne with the San Francisco 49ers we could be watching local players in the league in years to come. Sailosi Naewe Naduru Rd, Nausori

Silence

Evil will only flourish when good people keep silent. Gabe Simpson Rakiraki

Mobile network

If indeed the tom-tom drums have been sidelined then the Phantom’s mobile phone network provider must be commended for what must be excellent, and enviable, coverage within the jungle. But they should be warned as I believe that the Old Jungle saying is “Phantom without a connection signal is a signal for his network provider to start running”. Peter Johnson Stamford, UK

Bus driver

Bus driver told my Year 6 son to get out of the bus on Wednesday (15/01) as he can’t use his card to tap for my Year 4 daughter and Year 1 niece. Luckily one of the teachers was there so he talked to the driver. My Year 1 nephew doesn’t want to go to school as he wants his own card after yesterday’s incident. School bus drivers please, it was just the third day of school. Mereseini G. Taukave Tavua

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