Letters to the Editor – Monday, September 3, 2022

Suva Grammar School’s Philip Baselala on the attack against Natabua High School in their under-18 semi-final match of the Vodafone Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union Super Deans Championship at Prince Charles Park in Nadi. The Lions edged Natabua 30-26 to book themselves into the U18 final against Marist Brothers High School. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Lions roar, set to battle Marist

THE Suva Grammar School U-18 side is ready to end their 17-year wait as the Lions face Marist Brothers High School in the final at Churchill Park. The Lions were impressive with their set pieces. Led by Livai Tawake, the Lions demonstrated a fighting character, composure and team bonding to deny Natabua a shot at the crown beating the Western giant 30-26 and will face Marist which outclassed Ba Provincial 17-13. I was impressed with Grammar’s Livai Tawake, Philip Baselala, Mataiasi Tuisireli, Isaac Rabaka, Sairusi Masi, Caleb Levaci and Victor Sigavou, but I believe the Lions will have to work on their conversions which could haunt them. Marist’s win over Ba Provincial meant it would be an all-Suva final in the Vodafone Super Deans U-18. The boys from Flagstaff and the likes of Iowani Qalovi, Brandon Shawn and Manu Buinimasi stood out and shut out Ba Provincial’s onslaught and attacking prowess. In addition, I was impressed with the competition in the Raluve Championship. While attention will be on the U-18 final, the U-14, 15, 16, 17 and 19 finals between RKS and Marist, RKS and QVS, QVS and Grammar, Grammar and Marist, and Ra High and Ratu Navula, respectively, will add thrills to the grand finale. Secondary schools rugby is on track as evidenced by the crowd and support from fans and former scholars. Grammar last won the Deans in 2005, while Marist won it in 1978 which was 44 years ago. Ironically, both schools shared the trophy with RKS. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Nadawa, Nasinu

Tobacco kills

WE all have a role to play on tobacco cessation as per the message in The Fiji Times (FT27/9) launched in Suva by WHO Pacific NCDs and health team leader Dr Tomo. As we struggle to break smoking habits, we should consider those who are passively smoking at risk. We all can survive in this world by creating smoke-free societies to live longer. Prevention is the best medicine. TAHIR ALI Hamilton, New Zealand

Tea room

IT’S a pitiful sight, indeed, uniformed staff members seated on a dirty ground with their backs against a wall in a car park space, eating their lunch. These are staff members of a large supermarket in Nabua who have nowhere other than sharing the supermarket restaurant with customers to take their tea and lunch breaks. I believe they have no designated tea/lunch room. It is my belief that the way an employer treats employees reflects what value is placed on them and this includes providing suitable amenities including clean bathrooms and a tea room. I worked at an animal welfare organisation in Suva. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found the staff members eating their lunch in the quarantine room. At the rear of an embassy in Tamavua, during lunch time you will witness local contractors sitting against a wall by the road eating their lunch. It’s clear they’re not permitted inside during their breaks yet at the same time, there is no provision for a facility where they can take their breaks. The regulations which cover requirements for employees are covered under the Health and Safety at Work (General Workplace Conditions) Regulations 2003, Part 4 – Amenities. The Ministry of Employment is mandated by the Government to ensure employers abide by these regulations but it is clear, wherever you go, that Ministry of Employment inspectors are passing a blind eye to the poor workplace conditions many employees face. Shame on those employers, shame too on the Ministry of Employment. JULIE SUTHERLAND Tamavua, Suva

Champions of democracy

I BELIEVE we have the National Federation Party telling its provisional candidates not to speak with certain media organisations. I believe we have Opposition parties gagging their provisional candidates from speaking out freely. We have these same people complaining about living in fear and not having free speech because of the present Government. They shut out certain media organisations from their meetings and pressers. We have one newspaper giving unrivalled access only to certain political parties. I believe we have members of Opposition parties spreading lies, fear mongering and misinformation at unprecedented levels. And then these same parties and people profess to be champions of free speech and democracy. I think this type of hypocrisy may be unique to Fiji. We all know Fiji is a unique place! But someone must point out all the hypocrisy. Guess who? Again. JAN NISSAR NSW, Australia

A love for culture

AS we fear the loss of our culture and traditions, Emele Watisusu, who featured in the People column (FT 01/10) as she shared her story with Meli Laddpeter, had a sound advice, “We must keep our culture, our yau (traditional resources and art) because it is what defines us as indigenous Fijians. What will we become if we do not know who we are?” Sharing her story, Emele urged Fijians to treasure their culture as it would take care of them like it had done to her all throughout her life. The 62-year-old also inspired the elders that old age could be one of the most rewarding times in life. She shared that her heart ached whenever she heard that many young girls had lost touch with their Fijian culture and tradition and that they did not take pride in their culture, which was
a reason they were slowly forgetting them. Her story is an eye-opener as it urges parents to ensure their children take pride in their traditions and culture at a time when technology and the social media have gripped their tentacles around our young ones. I’m sure readers will pay attention to Emele’s advice and make efforts to revive our tradition and culture! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Navratri festival

THE Hindu festival of Navratri is currently underway (September 26 to October 4) which also marks the last month of the Hindu calendar. The last month of the Hindu year witnesses a profusion of religious activities judiciously crammed into thirty days. The bright half of the month (Sukul Paksha) starts with the Navratri festival where women celebrate the nine different forms (nine energy forms) of goddess Durga. On the tenth day Dashera and on the fifteenth Sharad Punam, the night in which Lord Krishna played Maha Ras Leela with Gopis. The dark half or Krishna Pakcha witnesses the festivities reaching a fervent pitch on the ongoing battle for righteousness over evil. Dhanteras and Deepawali follow to finish the year on a high note. During these festive occasions the devotees carry out spiritual cleansing by controlling their thought process and control on indriyas (senses). Thought, word and deed must be soaked in spirituality so that one’s spiritual battery is recharged and revitalised for activities in the new year. Devotees fast, pray and sing hymns, remain vegetarian and abstain from sexual activities. The highlight of the Navratri festival is when goddess Durga vanquishes the evil demon Mahisasur who had terrorised the world, signifying the victory of good over evil. In temples women/men dance garbha and dandia dances. This is to perpetuate self discipline in a man-woman relationship. May I wish all Hindu devotees a very happy Navratri festival. DEWAN CHAND Namadi Heights, Suva

Perpetrators and survivors

WE need to ask ourselves why is this happening in our beloved Fiji, which we claim “the way the world should be”. We learn from the media on the continuous rape cases and other physical assault and attempted murder against women and girls who are considered minors. In some cases the perpetrators and survivors are also minors (under 18 years) according to the ODPP released monthly statistics. Imagine the scar and pain that will torment these young girls and boys for the rest of their lives. Why is this happening in Fiji now? What are the root causes for men and boys to commit such crimes? These are the kind of questions we have to ask ourselves as individuals, families and as a community. I plead that we stop such inhumane acts because these victims are young children just like me. We want to grow up and enjoy our childhood experiences like other children before and after us. Our parents and elders never taught us to do such acts to any human beings. JADON E MASIVESI QVS, Nukuvuto

Xavier rules

HEARTY congratulations to Ba’s Xavier College for winning all the grades in the 2022 Digicel Fiji Secondary Schools Football Championship that concluded on Friday at Churchill Park. Xavier College won the U-15, 17, 19 and girls titles, defeating Vashist Muni College 4-3 in penalty kicks, Korovuto College 1-0, Labasa Muslim College 1-0 and Vunimono High School 4-1. Hence, Xavier College created history by becoming the first school to win all the grades. This was possible because of the efforts put in by the Xavier College coaching staff, players, parents, sponsors, former scholars and well-wishers. As I congratulate Xavier College, I thank Aminesh Ram and his dedicated team for organising the secondary schools football IDC! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Phones in schools

PHONE abuse by children in schools is a distractor as commented by a letter writer in The Fiji Times (29/9). While it is difficult for teachers to monitor, parents should be more responsible because they are the providers. Education in partnership matters most. TAHIR ALI Hamilton, New Zealand

Book title

EVERY now and then we get a book whose title says it all. That is the case with New York Times writer Maggie Haberman’s new book Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Circus play

AFTER meeting the President of America at the US Pacific summit, I guess the FijiFirst led Government and PAP circus play of who has met who has now being settled. Next drama please, keep petty issues between you two, no need for the world to know. AREKI DAWAI Suva

Emergency numbers

I BELIEVE this is very common where many calls are not answered at many public service places. Either it’s not answered or is answered after several attempts are made. Calls made to emergency lines such as the fire, police and medical should be answered at its earliest. There is not much point in having these numbers established if it cannot be attended to on time. KIRTI PATEL Lautoka

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