Letters to the Editor | Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Iosefo Masi sprints away for a try for Fijian Drua against Moana Pasifika during the Super Rugby clash at Churchill Park in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

A nail-biter in the end

THE Moana Pasifika was seconds away from creating history (recording its first ever win in the Super Rugby Pacific competition) and breaking thousands of Fijian hearts, but former ACT Brumbies star player Christian Leali’ifano, missed the crucial conversion that would have seen the Pacific Islanders sneak ahead by a point. As summed up by the editor-in-chief in The Sunday Times, the crunch battle between the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika was a nail-biter in the end and that it was a classic display of running rugby at its best, filled with Pacific rivalry, fierce competition, and a lot of hard knocks along the trenches. Leading 47- 27, the Drua had wrapped up the game, but the casual approach almost cost another upset. Against the Reds, the Drua needs a win (a bonus point win will be supplementary) and hope for other results to go its way. The Drua is still in the hunt, but a solid performance is required to beat the visitors who are also in the hunt and will need a win versus the Drua to seal the deal. On the other hand, Iosefo Masi has booked a ticket for the RWC 15s in France. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Importance of literacy

Retired teacher Suliasi Kalounisiga (FT26/5) is absolutely right when he connects illiteracy with indiscipline, and adds that one of the reasons for poor reading skills is the current custom of “forcing our indigenous children to know English from a very young age.” He is also right to point out that Japanese children are only introduced to a second language when they reach Year 5. I would add that this is not peculiar to Japan, but it is true in the vast majority of countries throughout the world, that children are taught in their mother tongue, as far as is practicable, at primary level, and are usually introduced to a second language in secondary school. As long as we continue with our latter-day colonial custom of denying children their right to an education in their mother tongue, we will continue to produce semi-linguals — children who speak and write two languages badly — who feel they have no future in a country where success is determined by fluency in a foreign language. Paul Geraghty USP, Suva

Children’s challenges

Many children are marginalised in many ways at their homes. Some when their parents are divorced and the father marries again, or else one of their parents dies. Most of them grow up in pain and are bullied or neglected by their loved ones. Some of these children are being forced into bad habits like theft, sniffing glue and prostitution. There are some children who couldn’t cope with these challenges and have committed suicide. Through experience, I know many children have faced a lot of challenges growing up. A few of these children grow up strong though. The message I want to pass is no matter what these children are going through in life please don’t let them engage in illegal acts that can destroy their lives or allow them to be misled by the wrong people. They need attention. It’s easy to say bad things about them but hard to understand and appreciate the challenges they are going through. Navneet Ram (TD) Lautoka Embracing diversity As we celebrate Ratu Sukuna Day after so many years, it is truly heartening to see the sense of inclusivity and unity that has been fostered among Fijians. After 16 years of FijiFirst ruling, the happiness and joy among the people is palpable, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds. It is a testament to the resilience and strength of our nation that we can come together to celebrate the life and legacy of Ratu Sukuna, a great leader and champion of Fijian culture and heritage. This day serves as a reminder of the importance of our shared history and the need to preserve our cultural identity. What is even more inspiring is the fact that this celebration transcends race and ethnicity, and brings together all Fijians under one banner. This is a testament to the power of unity and inclusivity, and the positive impact it can have on the lives of our people. As we move forward as a nation, let us continue to embrace the values of inclusivity, tolerance, and respect for diversity. Let us celebrate our differences and work towards a brighter future for all. Avena Serutabua Nabukelevu Village, Serua

Drug possession

The chief operation officer, ACP Livai Driu, revealing the arrest of those in possession of unlawful drugs like marijuana in different areas (FT29/5) should concern us all. Let’s put up a strong fight through everyone’s co-operation. It’s urgently needed to get rid of this deadly drug problem before it’s too late. We all should support the police at all cost to urgently and effectively tackle this ongoing drug dealing trade. We have a long way to go to win the battle against drug trafficking. It’s like a killer disease. TAHIR ALI Hamilton, New Zealand

A true legend

I could not hold back tears reading about Ratu Sir Josefa Lalabalavu Vana’ali’ali Sukuna. He was a disciplined and gallant soldier, statesman and respected chief. He is regarded as the fore runner of the post independence leadership of Fiji. A true legend in his lifetime, he proved himself as a scholar, achieved esteem education as a chief. He was in the fore front joining the French Foreign Legion. He also wrote selected books which are still displayed in London. French media still recognise his contribution as a soldier and why not? He is living and breathing as an inspiration for all of us. Lastly I was touched by one of his quotes in the 1936 Great Council of Chiefs meeting: “We are the leaders of the people, on us is the duty of pointing out to them the right course”. Such a humble statesman who dedicated his life with so much to cherish not for me but our children and many more generations. He was born on April 22, 1888 on Bau Island and how apt we are reviving the GCC on Bau. Thank you to the government as we remember our true leader who was full of action and not just a position. He died on May 30, 1958 in the Indian Ocean. We are less than a million in population but I have a million reasons to put my hand up and say vinaka vakalevu sir. Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Pl, Nabua, Suva

No Tobacco Day

Every year on May 31, people around the world observe No Tobacco Day to spread awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco and encourage a tobacco-free lifestyle. This day is meant to serve as an important reminder of the terrible effects that tobacco use can have on people, communities, and entire societies. “We Need Food, Not Tobacco” is the theme for this year. The use of tobacco contributes significantly to public health problems and results in millions of deaths annually. In addition to harming non-smokers’ health, secondhand smoke exposes smokers to health risks that include cancer, respiratory illnesses, and cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of the risks associated with tobacco use and to motivate people to either stop using it completely or cut down. It highlights the significance of implementing healthier substitutes and establishing smoke-free environments. Governments, healthcare institutions, and advocacy organisations all play a significant part in putting policies and campaigns to reduce tobacco use and safeguard public health into action. No Tobacco Day contributes to the general wellbeing of people and communities by increasing awareness of the risks associated with tobacco use and encouraging smoke-free environments. It acts as a catalyst for improvement, motivating people to take charge of their health and make wise lifestyle choices. It always serves as an important reminder to combat tobacco use and its negative effects. It encourages teamwork in the direction of a tobacco-free future where people can live healthier lives and societies can prosper. Everyone must work together to raise awareness, assist those who are battling tobacco addiction, and promote a tobacco-free world. Let us make everyday a no tobacco day! DINESH KUMAR Ba

Well spoken

What a dignified, well spoken Queen’s English. When for the first time to hear Ratu Sukuna’s speech at the Queens global tour, I was in awe. They were spoken with vigour and charisma. They were simple with an accent befitting the Queen and her entourage and not some form of half cooked forced flowery and fancy English often heard in the last decade. Jioji O. Toronibau Labasa

Nightclub hours

It is great news to hear that Parliament will soon discuss the Bill re: Nightclub hours etc. Just a thought if this item is not included in that Bill: that nightclub owners should not be serving patrons or their friends if they are already inebriated. If they do they should be charged by police. This means the police would need to check this out regularly. 1am close down is a good place to start. Norman Yee Martintar, Nadi

Back to basics

The rising cost of groceries and produce sold at our markets is only a timely reminder that difficult times lie ahead. There are many interpretations but this should force most of us back to the basics. Home gardening will become not a leisure but a need. As the Government prepares a new budget, at household level, we will need to adjust our consumption and spending habits as these influence our budgets. It looks like it will become tougher but this a new beginning. One where budgeting and home gardening will become even greater priorities. Floyd Robinson Micronesia

GCC issue

I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants when I heard mentioned that the GCC is to look after the interest and welfare of the iTaukei people. Joke of the year right there! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Municipal councils

With all the talk about bringing back elected municipal councils, l am haunted by the thought that council elections will adopt the same process as for the election of our Members of Parliament? Now that would be a dreadful “glitch”. Daniel Fatiaki Nailuva Rd, Raiwai, Suva

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