Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Fijiana team celebrate after receiving their Olympic bronze medal at the Tokyo Stadium in Japan. Picture: TWITTER/WORLD RUGBY

Medal prospects

I had put pen to paper just before the start of the Tokyo Olympics that Fiji men’s and women’s 7s rugby teams were the only medal prospects for Team Fiji.

All of a sudden after the men’s golden win, the Fijiana created history with a bronze medal win.

Accolades keep pouring in for the Fijiana from all angles, even by the many critics.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said: “It was the beginning of a new chapter in women’s rugby for the nation with the start of a right future with the best yet to come”.

I wholeheartedly support head coach Saiasi Fuli that after months of being away from home it is time for them to be with family and take a rest.

Despite losing four key players through injuries – Tokasa Seniyasi, Reijeli Ulunayau, Vani Buleki and Luisa Tisolo, Fijiana made Fuli and his team display the strength of women power.

To FRU chief executive officer, John O’Connor, can you enlighten our diehard rugby fans the overall costs incurred.

By the national men’s 7s team compared with Fijiana to the Olympics?

Finally, I do hope Fiji FA president, Rajesh Patel, has congratulated our rugby champions.

By the way, FIFA has been pumping millions and millions of dollars for women’s football with more on the way.

When can we congratulate Fiji FA by taking us to the world stage?

The difference is clear.

Go Fiji go!

Raymond Singh, Golf Links, Lautoka

Hail Fijiana!

Yesterday’s front page with the colourful picture of members of the Fijiana and their team management with the bronze medal was a hit.

The words “Hail Fijiana” drew a lot of attention and emotions, and I thank The Fiji Times for giving the much-needed respect to our women’s 7s team, who gained a lot of fame and honour after defeating the 2016 Rio bronze medallist Canada 26-12, outmuscling the 2016 Rio gold medallists Australia 14-12, and then rattling eventual winners the Black Ferns, unfortunately going down 22-17.

The Fijiana then hammered Great Britain 21-12 to claim the historic bronze medal.

Having finished eighth five years ago and third in Townsville, the Saiasi Fuli coached Fijiana put up a lion heart’s performance.

I agree with honourable PM that the girls have begun a new chapter in women’s rugby – they just need support, resources and funding.

I also agree that the win has indicated a bright future for rugby in Fiji.

Our girls need to be rewarded for their efforts, as they performed beyond expectations!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

All inclusive people’s paper

Based on The Fiji Times dated Saturday (31/07), the following approximate figures (bearing in mind any errors in calculation of figures) reveal it being a highly public empowering and including paper.

News – 22.47 per cent, opinions – 15.85 per cent, pictures – 28.53 per cent, commercial and personal advertisements – 23.05 per cent, feature articles – 0.28 per cent, entertainment – 4.61 per cent, motoring/accessories – 0.86 per cent, sports – 4.32 per cent and others at 0.03 per cent.

This inclusivity is a testimony of its involvement in much-needed captures of a wide range of content for public consumption.

Apart from this very basic quantitative analysis the quality of information has almost close to nil bias and any levels of irresponsibility.

Imagine such amount of information and people’s opinions in one publication with pictures endorsing the information as evidence for $1.10 in this era of profit-making.

Quite a few have also been able to achieve much mileage through their writings in this people’s paper as it also ensures that writers amongst our midst are given such recognition.

This inclusivity by The Fiji Times is highly commendable where it ensures that it is not a one-way messenger but all inclusive.

Keep it up The Fiji Times and ensure our times are put to good use with you in our hands continuously.

Dhirendra Prasad, Lautoka

Need for security

Reference to Dan Urai’s (FT 01/08) intriguing question on why do powerful people need security.

Mr Urai, in my view, those who don’t need security are powerful people because they have the power to protect themselves.

The real power is scattered among the common individuals.

Those needing security are just revealing their insecurity.

Mr Urai, I’m sure you have no bodyguards.

Doesn’t that make you a genuinely powerful person.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Standard English

Your correspondent Arveen Puran (FT 31/7) laments that “grammatical errors are flooding in” in Fiji media and “students in schools are not grasping the basics”.

He is, of course, right.

The standard of English in Fiji (and the Pacific) has been declining since independence and there is no sign of any change.

At a certain level, however, it doesn’t matter.

The media personnel and teachers in our schools and universities are just using English as it is known to the vast majority of readers and listeners –– Fiji English.

So correcting their grammatical or whatever mistakes won’t make any difference.

That’s why I have yet to hear of any media or educational organisation making any attempt to improve the English of their staff.

Correcting the English mistakes in a newspaper won’t sell any more copies.

If we really want to improve the standard of English, then we must radically change our education system.

Learning a foreign language is best done, as indeed all learning, in the child’s vernacular.

So we must use our vernaculars as media of all education, including teaching of English, something that was standard practice in Fiji until the 1930s.

We are not an English-speaking nation, and have vernacular languages we should use to our advantage, not ignore.

Paul Geraghty, USP, Suva

A solution

I have a solution to reduce the death rate from COVID-19 in Fiji.

That is boosting the immune system as this is the last line of defence from the coronavirus.

There are a lot of boosters out there.

For my sake I chew on a garlic clove every morning before breakfast.

This is I believe the reason I was tested negative to SARS-CoV-2 virus when exposed and my story is in my Facebook page.

Now Dr James Fong says that those with mild symptoms to “self-isolate” at home and those with severe COVID-19 or high risk groups to visit screening clinics.

The virus is the same coronavirus but the symptoms are classified as either mild or severe symptoms.

Is this a choosy virus or are there two types of coronaviruses infecting people in Fiji? My logical 2 cents analysis is that those with weak immune systems fall into the severe or critical COVID-19 classification.

Fereti Motufaga, Suva

Finance value

With regards to Fiji Airports securing a finance facility, how come the total value is regarded as confidential in Fiji while the amount is readily available in Australia?

What else should the Fijian public be aware of with relation to the finance facility?

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Vaxi cards

With the “no jab, no assistance” policy placed by the Government, will we see more fake vaxi cards?

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Lautoka

Fijiana coach

Fijiana coach you are a genius (tamata geniasi).

I believe you have proven to the world Fiji does not need an expatriate coach.

You have been with the team for a very short time and showed the world what you can do.

Sukha Singh, Labasa

Our masks

Masks are natural now, we see it all around us, even on TV, those without masks are quickly noticed as they can now be classed as the abnormal.

Nigel Fiu, Owls Perch, Lautoka

Taking the jab

The number of cases are increasing in the Western Division, to those who are having double thoughts for jabs, do you wish to survive temporary on mask or permanently on ventilators?

The choice is yours.

Don’t blame others at the very last point.

Jaheed Buksh, Korolevu, Sigatoka

Week of glitter

To have so little and yet to achieve so much is a feat worthy of veneration.

Excited for the future of womens’ 7s rugby in Fiji.

Up and beyond from here on.

Bronze is the new gold!

Alveena Prasad, Kini St, Suva

The reality

The reality of the pandemic’s devastation hits harder, when a family member succumbs to it.

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Lautoka

Smiles back

Despite the fight to arrest the Delta variant virus in our Fiji the way the world should be, our boys brought the smiles back with 7s gold.

At least the COVID headlines were missing.


Vinaka the kaukauwa Viti Times for the change, at least one day we can relax and enjoy and smile, be happy and forget the virus.

Shalwyn Prasad, Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Sunday Times

Thank you The Fiji Times for bringing back the printed version of The Sunday Times.

Now my early morning walks to the bread shop is back to normal for the whole week.

Nothing beats a good read of the dailies in the mornings, lying in bed, with a cup of hot tea on the side.

Vijay P Madhavan, Borron Rd, Suva

All hail Fijiana!

All hail Fijiana, as this has been the story so far.

The recent performances from Fijiana during the Olympics and ultimately winning the bronze medal have become the talking point amongst rugby pundits and fans.

A team which had suffered lot of setbacks leading up to these games gave a performance of a lifetime and one which will relive in our memories forever.


One of the eye catching performances from Fijiana had been the manner in which they took the game to the Black Ferns sevens and pushed them to the limit, before being beaten in extra time.

Nobody had thought that Fijiana could be this good, and give the other higher ranked teams a good run for their money.

I deeply believe that given the right systems in place coupled with support from rugby stakeholders, it’s not too far that Fijians will become an international force in women’s rugby.

Pranil Ram, Votualevu, Nadi

COVID-19 strategies

It seems that this ongoing pandemic is out of control because the number of deaths and infected victims keeps on increasing daily.

When will these numbers reduce or stop?

Can the PM or Minister for Health have answers to these questions?

I believe the public health strategies are not working nor functioning.

Since our Government leadership failed miserably, it will be more honourable if they just throw in the towel and call it the end of their day because I believe they cannot control this pandemic unlike other neighbouring Pacific Island countries.

I believe we have other capable Fijians who can steer our country to greater heights with humility respect and integrity.

We may need the experience and expertise of Dr Fong but a good team is imminent to turn the table around.

And we have these experiences and capable taskforce in Fiji and we do not need to seek overseas expatriates but rather technical expertise.

I’m not frighten nor intimidated to say this because of the high number of dying Fijians every day.

For the past five days I have lost seven families and friends including a close neighbour of mine in Nasinu early yesterday morning.

May their souls rest in peace.

Jioji M Cakacaka, Tadra, Votualevu, Nadi

Silent walls

Yes! Fiji won a gold and a bronze.

Yes! they won our hearts on the pitch.

All emotions aside, this was one of, if not the worst events I have witnessed.

The atmosphere at the Tokyo Olympics has just not been there without the fans and it makes me wonder how the athletes and players must be feeling like playing in front of silent walls.

Unfortunately, the situation is not in anyone’s hands but the spirit of the Olympics has been taken away.

Such a shame for the biggest sporting event on the globe.

Paris 2024, be better to us please!

Raynav Chand, Nakasi

Historical wins

It’s a week of historical wins in 7s, first our men’s 7s warriors retaining gold in Tokyo erasing the rumours that the Rio 2016 was a fluke.

Saiasi Fuli’s Fijiana girls have inspired many with their flawless effort first to tame the defending gold champs in Rio the Australians before going down to the ABs in extra time.

Did you ever imagine our COVID heroes.

It is a week of our Fiji boys downing the ABs but in the girls the AB girls downing our Fijiana in extra time.

Joka dina Fijiana Viti kei na vuravura.

Shalwyn Prasad, Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Winning effort

What a gold winning performance by the brilliant Fijiana squad.

Although, a little disappointing to see not enough coverage on their achievements.

The girls definitely deserve more support from us.

Vinaka Fijiana team, you have made all of us proud with such beautiful display of game, be it offloads, solid defence, breakthroughs and sprinting tries.

You did it, you made us beam with pride.

Little girls everywhere in Fiji now will be dreaming of donning our white jerseys.

Go Fiji go.

Tejal Lad Lochan Lane, Lautoka

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