Letters to the Editor – Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Elisabeta Torava Waqa taking orders on social media. Picture: SUPPLIED

Beautiful write-up of a mother’s rise to success

Wata Shaw is congratulated for her beautiful write-up on the plight of a single mother’s rise to success – FT, Tuesday, March 28, 2023. Elisabeta Torava Waqa, the exemplary and determined single mother of nine, against all odds, is a huge success story that needs sharing. For the benefit of Suva-siders, who long for that occasional helping of a nice lovo meal, Elisabeta’s phone contact and/or email address, will be extremely beneficial. I can only wish Elisabeta every success and blessing in her endeavours. RONNIE CHANG, Martintar, Nadi

Time to ‘move on’

It’s very appropriate for the Deputy Prime Minister Professor Biman Prasad to articulate on ‘it’s time to move on’ to the Opposition parliament members. The Coalition Government and Prime Minister are very inclusive, consultative, and have humanitarian type leadership qualities. Congratulations and many hearty thanks to the Coalition Government for moving Fiji forward, though with massive national debts. The Coalition Government gave grace periods to the Opposition Leader to reside in the Prime Minister’s official residence. The Coalition Government also offered the Opposition Leader government quarters in the official capacity as the Leader of the Opposition. The Coalition Government gave seats to three Opposition members in the parliamentary committees. I believe they were missing in the past 16 years of FFP’s reign. What a humanitarian approach by the Coalition Government. What’s next? Now, the Coalition Government is reviewing travel allowances. The FFP government feasted on hefty travel allowances, but when the time comes for the Coalition Government MPs to reap the benefits, they have opted to review it. Moreover, the fiscal review committee has been set up and public consultation dates have been confirmed via the news media. The taxation processes after review could offer better for the low to medium income earners. Who knows what’s the outcome of the Fiscal Review committee. All depends upon public presentations and airing their expectations. Hoping for the best for the poorest of the poor people of this country. Indar Deo Bisun Sakoca Heights, Tamavua

Bula Boys’ performance

I express my disappointment on the performance of the Digicel Bula Boys in their three-match Test series that was held at Churchill Park. Hundreds of vocal football critics expressed their concerns at the fact that the national side recorded two losses and a draw. It’s tough to digest that the side failed to beat Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands and managed a draw against the national U-20 side. Lack of preparation was evident. We did not take the Tri-Series seriously. For me, it was just a formality. I feel for the players as they tried their best, but the structure, combination and football tactics were missing. Football in Fiji is taking nose-dive compared with rugby, although we have so many talents on hand. The disappointing performance of the national side has hurt players and officials who have devoted their lives and efforts towards improving the standard of football in Fiji. The rate at which we are going I’m worried a time will come when we will find it hard to beat Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu and the Cook Islands. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Drama – Letter of the week ending 23/1 – 29/1

WITH all the political dramas after last month’s general election, Shortland Street come nowhere. WISE MUAVONO Balawa, Lautoka

Rubbish collectors – Letter of the week ending 30/1-5/2 

I HAVE great sympathy for rubbish collectors. They go above and beyond to collect household waste that comes from garbage bags and strewn all over the place without any apparent complaining despite it being an offence for households to use garbage bags and not rubbish bins. Another concern is for the health and safety of the rubbish collectors as they jump off and on and hang off the back of the rubbish collection trucks many times a day as thye go about their work. After the rubbish is collected in my street, the truck races back down to the end at high speed. It must be hard to hold on so tightly and avoid falling off. This practice whereby rubbish collectors are at risk of injury or worse is not accepted under the Health and Safety at Work Act 96, but rather blatantly ignoring the regulations. It is the responsibility of the employer, namely the municipal council in this case, to ensure employees have correct and full PPE and the workers are safe in the workplace at all times. It is clearly not happening. This needs to be addressed. There is no time to waste. Julie Sutherland Tamavua

Technology – a blast from the past – LETTER OF THE WEEK ENDING 6/2 -12/2

EVERY week I look forward to Saturday as the day when The Fiji Times will have a specially good collection of opinion articles. I will read almost all of them, except Ilaitia Tuisawau’s technology page, assuming it will be beyond me. For I am what Ilaitia deems to be a monk. We have a little gender problem here, but if we change it to “nun”, we will miss the point. We know and see nuns in Fiji and we are familiar with and appreciate the good work that they do. Monks we do not see, not as far as I know, and not the quiet, gentle men dressed in long brown robes, with a girdle around the waist. Ilaitia’s use of the term monk to describe our lives twenty years ago just about exactly describes me. I have no mobile phone, but I am still here, in the shops, walking the streets, buying my veggies in the Suva market, and catching the taxis. I am 88 years old and admit that I do have a laptop and I access the internet for emails and I keep in contact with my family overseas through skype. I can produce a word document, save it, print it, and send it, but that is about my limit. I use my faithful landline to contact my local friends. I look for information in the encyclopedia and other books. I do not “Google” information nor do I use social media. My daily The Fiji Times gives me information as well as news, stories and all the much-appreciated opinion columns. Enough about me, back to Ilaitia. Last Saturday, February 4, his article was titled “ The double-edged sword”. This intrigued me. I started to read and did not stop until the end. Thank you Ilaitia. You raised a number of interesting points, some of which I will dispute but I was especially struck by your admission that you feel that the smart devices rule over people. I will return to this. First, I want to assure Ilaitia, and everyone out there, that, during the COVID lockdown, my monk friends (of same generation)and I continued life much as our normal. We could not meet, but we used phones (landline and mobiles) to keep in contact and sometimes we would visit one another and, standing in the garden, about four metres apart, have a pleasant conversation. It was good to see and talk. Personally, I did not watch movies. I read a little more in lockdown. I visited the shops to get food and essentials when necessary, always early before the crowds wearing a mask and well sanitised. I cooked, cleaned and generally life was almost normal. I was very concerned and sorry for the many who lost their jobs and did what I could, but I am no Allen, so deserve no thanks. I am concerned that Ilaitia feels that modern technology is overpowering. He may be right. It seems to me that too many people have their handheld device in their hands or at their ears all the time. This looks to me to be a form of addiction, as they seem powerless to put them away. Ilaitia admitted that it is almost impossible not to have one’s device close to hand if not in actual use. What I am told and read about the use of social media, I find very concerning. It seems that many people have lost all sense of respect for others and even for themselves. This needs to be addressed because the ability to be in close contact with others can be a real blessing. I understand well why my family would like me to join them on the social media they use. Having factual data so readily available to all should be counted as another blessing. Again, it is how it is used or misused that can cause problems. As Ilaitia notes, all this technology has come to us too fast. The speed of its development is truly phenomenal. Never in history has there been such a change in people’s lives over such a short period — only 20 years! Too much knowledge of facts may prevent formation of ideas and concepts and using the mind to think. Sadly our education system has concentrated on learning facts and has not encouraged our children to think and explore ideas and subjects. However, do not despair. You cannot suppress all children’s desire to explore the world. Yes, I regret the loss of the days games outside on the street, marbles, flying kites, climbing trees, and all those outside activities that built strong lean bodies. Too many children are already obese before they reach teenage. I miss the days of cubs and boys scouts, camps in the bush and by the sea, and campfires with toasted marshmallows and sing-alongs. There are still many youngsters who want to explore the world of ideas and tease out the facts to find all that lies behind them. They will need this desire when they reach university where individual thinking and ideas are still expected. They do “ look at what is in front of them”, and put their technological devices away at least for some periods of time. This old monk, who every day looks out at the real world with wonder and sometimes excitement is still a director of an NGO. Why? (I am sure the younger staff members ask why) I have one precious gift to offer, something that can be gained over years of watching, listening and contemplating all that happens around us, that is wisdom. I do not have much wisdom, but I have enough to make it worthwhile for the organisation to keep me on and sometimes to listen to me. One of the things that has heartened me recently is the move to find ways for artists to be able to earn a living. We have talented artists, who can draw and paint provocative and beautiful work, we have talented singers and musicians, we have talented dancers and it’s good to see local dance schools flourishing. These are the people who are living the modern technological life and being creative. They are the salt of the Earth and will save us from dictatorial rule by phones. This week we have had some of our thinkers discussing these issues and perhaps my little voice is not needed. It is great that they are looking to address the issues such as addiction. They give us hope for the future. Ilaitia’s penultimate paragraph “we live in a fallen age, thinking we are rising” is true, but the situation is not irredeemable. Like this old monk, Ilaitia, please have hope for the future. TESSA MACKENZIE SUVA

Save our kids

The Fiji Times ran an article about US Republican Governor, Spencer Cox of Utah, who recently signed a bill limiting social media use for minors. The governor is quoted as saying, “We’re no longer willing to let social media companies continue to harm the mental health of our youth”. At last. Someone willing to swim against the tsunami, to #SaveOurKids. Hello? Parliament? Summer Kabakoro Dolores, CO, USA


The parking lot at the Lautoka’s Tappoos mall is so riddled with potholes. Perhaps the rain to blame. I was surprised when I hit a pothole which almost threw me in the shopping centre. Navneet Ram (TD) Lautoka

It is time

The Fiji Times headline “It’s time to move on”, FT28/3 should be taken seriously with forgive and forget attitude to the benefit of all the Fijians and Fiji. Every individual should be a part of the solution not the problem. Let yesterday be history as we work for a better tomorrow with unity and high hopes. God bless us all. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand


The term “pre-industrial temperatures,” with respect to global climate change targets, is commonly used. Technically speaking, the phrase is nonsensical because it is incomplete. I think the more correct and logical phrase is “pre-industrial revolution temperatures” or even “pre-industrial age temperatures.” Small technicality, but it matters! Edward Blakelock Pacific Harbour

Water woes

I would like to draw attention to the issue of the irregular water supply in our area. Water is a commodity that is essential for the survival of any human being. We need water for the most basic of things. Recently, there has been irregular supply of water in our area. Things have gotten to a point that there is no sense of the coming and going of water. I hope the concerned authorities will solve this problem. Alowesi Buidravo Makoi, Nasinu

Work opportunities

VINAKA vakalevu Australia and New Zealand for providing a lucrative opportunity to our fellow Fijian brothers and sisters where they are able to provide financial and sufficient support to their families here at home. NANISE SOKO Suva

Best joke

Mr Rabuka wanting to send the former climate champ Mr Seruiratu to the next COP meeting could be a joke or some kind of bribe. If you really don’t want to go, at least send the Sugar Minister! Sukha Singh Labasa

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