Letters to the Editor | Thursday, September 21, 2023

FIJI Water Flying Fijian Simione Kuruvoli kicks a penalty against Australia at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Etienne, France where Fiji beat the Wallabies 22-15. Picture: Martin Seras Lima

Men of the match

MY men of the match are Simione Kuruvoli who booted us to an historic victory,

and Levani Botia the Jackler and never say die battler,

who won for us those crucial turnovers,

on a day the Aussies will rue,

when the coconut tree squashed the kangaroo!

Edward Blakelock, Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Thank you

For our super coach to say that he is hungry to battle more Tier 1 teams rather than wait for resources and funding is a classic example of sacrifice, passion, determination and patience.

Everyone needs good training facilities, resources and the latest technology to compete in the ever advancing game of rugby.

Vinaka Mr Raiwalui you fully deserve our support and wishes as you continue to stride in our quest for glory.

Gone are the days when the pride of our nation was sevens rugby from the 1980s.

We have grown and seen the king of sevens, the maestro, the wizard, the twinkle toes, the goose and side steps.

Now and wow we are experiencing the 15s revolution, The Bus, The Trailer, The Bossman, the Demolition Man, ball hunting skills, what a transformation and revamp.

Joka dina, kon roki the 15s era and fame has arrived.

Vinaka also to the volunteers, helping hands, those mothers, grandmothers in Somosomo that cooked for our boys, the fathers and grandfathers, sons, children that were on the sideline cheering, the journalists covering the World Cup, the villages that the team visited, The Fiji Times diaries by Rodney Duthie just makes me feel I am in France 2023.

Shalwyn Prasad, Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Hidden talents

Development and recognition of hidden talent at early age for own children or kids will take them to higher levels.

Let’s invest in those talents and nurture them and show pathways instead of just forcing them to complete school work just for the sake of doing it, and with no job in the future.

Support and recognition should be done in secondary school through counselling and careers programs.

Parents should be called in to support the child’s future.

Also basic education and respect comes from home?

So students and parents do take advantage of the school’s regulations.

If not taken care of now, will see a rise in unemployment and street kids and theft for the easier way out.

Parents, you need to teach the right things and lead by example.

Speak to school teachers and principals and you will see the pathway for your kids, latest technology has positive and negative consequences, so let’s work out positive things and help each other.

There should be debate on technology and mobile phones.

Time to drop my pen, and back to work.

Vineel Nand, Martintar, Nadi

EFL’s proposals

The outrageous proposal by the EFL, in yesterday’s edition of The Fiji Times, to seek protection from ‘rooftop solar’ is not only outrageous but ridiculous.

It goes against the global push for transitioning to a new future based on renewable energy technology, phasing out fossil fuels and reducing GHG emissions, to help save our planet from the huge impact of climate change.

The absurd justification of only the wealthy being able to afford solar systems is a nonsense.

There are funds available via various climate financing windows for small island developing countries like Fiji to get grants to make this happen.

Australia claims to have the highest percentage of roof solar in the world and surely our big brother would be waiting for any opportunity to provide such targeted support.

What efforts has EFL made to access the huge pool of funds available?

It seems, as has been highlighted on several occasions, it is the lack of vision by EFL to wean itself of expensive fossil fuels that has gotten us to this situation.

Surely it ought to have been strengthening and upgrading its grid infrastructure to prepare for this inevitability.

Such startling proposal not just points to poor policy and planning on the part of EFL, but is directly contradictory to the Government’s efforts through the ministries of Climate Change and Environment, Energy & Infrastructure etc to deal with the current and future impacts of climate change as the number one security issue for Fiji and the region.

Altauf Chand, Minto, NSW, Australia

Helping pensioners

JUST a day before I left Fiji for Sydney, my cousin who lives in Waidra, Navua phoned me and wanted to see me urgently.

Since he is 87 years old, I found a bit of time to see him.

He looked down and very frustrated.

His problem was that he travelled to a supermarket on two different days to get his pension and update his travel card.

According to the last Budget announcement he expected to get $125 but he received $115.

He expected $40 top up to his bus card but received $7.

The second day he travelled again only for clarification but again nothing changed.

Since I had no time to attend to his genuine concern, I requested one of my trusted friends to assist my cousin.

I gave him my cousin’s contact and details.

While in Sydney, I was listening to live broadcasts of our parliament debates.

To my surprise a member stood up and said that he received several complaints from older citizens about their social pension.

Instead of $125, they are given $115.

Now this confirmed my cousin’s complaint.

I humbly request the authorities that most of our older pensioners are not capable of running around so please give bit of priority to their concern.

If money is already allocated, then why short pay them?

VIJAY MAHARAJ, Sydney, Australia

Vat 69

After Fiji’s win over Australia after 69 years, I have switched from Gordon’s Gin to Vat 69 whiskey.

Sukha Singh, Labasa


Regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, do you know whose version of the truth will be most relevant?

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Duty allowance

In my view, to justify the $10,000 parliamentary duty allowance on the basis that previously the MPs were paid $7000 is like comparing apples with oranges.

Let me explain.

Firstly, at that time the salaries for parliamentarians were much less than what they are paid now.

Secondly, the decision is inconsistent with the pre-election promise made by the Coalition partners where they had pledged to reduce the salaries and allowances for MPs if they formed the government.

Lastly, the Prime Minister had said on many occasions that his government is the servant of the people.

To me it means they are there to serve and not to serve themselves.

I therefore fail to rationalise the justification behind this allowance when the MPs are already paid an annual salary for their parliamentary duties.


Fiji soccer

Sports lovers all over Fiji can not stop praising the performance of Fiji rugby team.

And why not?

They deserve all the praise.

On the other hand, sports lovers all over Fiji can not stop criticising Fiji soccer.

And why not?

They deserve all the criticism.

SANJEET PRASAD, Mani Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

Land issue

I wonder if there are any land that was seized or owned by the crown during the colonial era that should be transferred back to the original owners, be it a tribe or clan?


Fatal crash

The Minister for Transport said in Parliament that from January 23 to May 23, 53 per cent of fatal crashes involved private class 2 vehicles.

It would be interesting to know which age groups were involved with the most accidents.

Is it the younger drivers enjoying the thrill of speed?

Older drivers would have grown out of the speed thrills.

Minister for Transport please ask LTA to analyse the age groups involved.

Norman Yee, Martintar, Nadi

Teachers’ challenges

Teaching is becoming more and more challenging.

Class numbers in many schools are outrageously high making it difficult for teachers to deliver effectively.

Mass migration to greener pastures has left a void that cannot be easily filled by new graduates.

Dealing with a new generation of young minds influenced by digital platforms and changing social norms is an added challenge.

This is further compounded by the different expectations of different school leaders, different interpretations of the Ministry of Education guidelines and sometimes personal ideas about how to best ‘handle staff’.

This may not always stem from good leadership principles.

Given the immense challenges teachers face, it is only prudent that they be encouraged and guided in the best way possible so they can nurture the children under their care.

Sadly, teachers have often been the target of ridicule in the public forum as well as in their own schools.

This destroys self-esteem and can only lead to less productivity.

Teachers are only human!

The Ministry of Education has a common curriculum for all schools.

The same syllabi is followed by all schools.

Why should teachers have to be burdened by churning out the same work plans for the same old lessons over and over again?

Why can the MOE not hand out work plans to follow?

Or why can our honourable Department and school heads not use these same plans each year by handing it out to the teachers?

No, they won’t!

Because they would like to test their teachers ability to produce work plans rather than focus on quality classroom teaching and managing the unbelievable number of students they teach!

What a waste of time, human resource and stationery!

Yes, stationery too, because our leaders like to have printed copies filed for their archives even though the world is going digital.

Teaching is about learning from each other and helping each other.

Some leaders have a problem sharing resources too!

How awful the teaching profession is becoming!

At the end of the day, it is the students who will suffer.

The success of education is in the hands of good leaders who should rise above petty things to pick on so that they can build a dynamic team.

Pushpa Wati, Pacific Harbour

Not over yet

No words can describe the immense pride and joy I felt after the Flying Fijians’ victory over the Wallabies on Monday and I am sure thousands of other Fijian fans felt the same.

For a country of such stature, punching above its weight against these big nations, with limited resources and funding, nothing can be taken away from the celebrations taking place this week in the country.

However, I wish to reiterate that the job is not over yet!

We still have two more pool matches to go and looking back at the shock defeat to Uruguay at the 2019 World Cup, I do not want to count the chicks before they are hatched.

We have a tendency to play our hearts out against the “big boys” while underestimating what the minnows of rugby can potentially bring to the table.

The good thing is that after two gruesome matches, our Fijian ruggers get a much needed rest this week as they are on ‘bye’ week, hence, giving ample time for recovery and rebooting their mindset for the next two clashes.

If we settle only for this historic occasion and fail to qualify from the group, I will see it as a failure because I know the capabilities these boys have.

It is not a pessimistic approach but just a perspective that we have what it takes to compete at the highest and limiting ourselves to this victory does not justify the qualities we have.

On top of this, coach Simon Raiwalui is yet to unleash big names like Meli Derenalagi, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Vilive Miramira and Iosefo Masi to name a few.

I have faith in this squad and I am sure they will deliver cometh the hour, however, we must stay focused and not underestimate Georgia and Portugal.

RAYNAV CHAND, Nakasi, Nausori

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