Letters to the Editor – Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Republic of the Fiji Military Forces Commander Major General Ro Jone Kalouniwai speaks to the media during a joint press conference at Suvavou House in Suva on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Military position

It is absolutely uplifting to hear the Fiji military chief Kalouniwai tell his soldiers that the position of the military is “to honour the democratic process by respecting the outcome of the votes in 2022 General Election” (FT 6/12). The people of Fiji couldn’t have asked for a more assuring message from the military on the eve of the elections. It helps to give people confidence in the democratic process relating to the conduct of a free and fair election. Thank you to the military chief for your timely message. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Thank you Commander

Thank you to the Commander of the RFMF Major General Ro Jone Kalouniwai for assuring the voters that it was important that they honoured the democratic process by respecting the outcome of the votes. Yes, sir, let’s vote for our families, children, less fortunate, the needy and the vulnerable and I totally agree that God is still our sovereign. Likewise, hats off to the Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho and his team led by Chief Operations Officer ACP Abdul Khan to remind their officers to remain apolitical towards a safe and conducive environment for the 2022 General Election. NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad is on the go to keep addressing issues affecting people, all the personal attacks hold no water but the outcome will be decided at the ballot box. Countdown to December 14 is upon us, come on voters, make the right choice for now and into the future. The climate of fear shall be removed with the assurance from Major General Kalouniwai. Vinaka sir and may God bless all Fijians. RAYMOND SINGH, Marine Drive, Lautoka

Christmas spirit

Christmas season is once again upon us. The hustle and bustle of preparing for it will dominate our lives — from the sweet Fijian smiles of little children to the warm hugs from grandparents when families gather to share this special season together. We are each in different stages in our lives. It is our care and love for others that defines us. From a handshake, kiss or smile, our eyes show our real meaning even in a glance. This season brings a gentleness when a door opens to welcome someone in any situation. We Fijians connect like lights on a Christmas tree by our love. If we could put our Christmas spirit in a bottle and sprinkle it through the New Year, it could be magical. May the true meaning of Christmas fill you and yours with peace and happiness now and in the New Year, and God bless all. Kashmita Rao Suva

Retirement age

My sincere thanks goes to Tahir Ali, Hamilton, New Zealand — The Fiji Times, Tuesday, December 6, 2022. I fully concur. Most of us here in Fiji live under significantly different sets of rules. The huge majority are forced into early retirement at age 55. No choice. There are the very privileged few. No kidding. Some enjoy lavish pay cheques at age 65, 70, 75 and some, even at 80 years. These are the elite. An uneven “play-ground” is set for the majority. This is truth at its finest. Blessed are the meek. They shall live to endure much hardship. And survive. Better days are ahead. God watches the silent majority. Sometimes, exclusive man-made rules are “bent” to suit the top 0.1 per cent of our population. The truth always hurts. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

Tripartite forum

The tripartite forum has died. Here’s what Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi said in 2005: “In terms of industrial relations, there appears to be insufficient co-operation among the tripartite partners. The government does not appear interested in bringing business and unions together. While it has developed close ties with the captains of industry, there is a concern that it is not paying sufficient attention to the workforce or to the needs of small and middle level businesses which employ the largest number of workers.” Fergus Garrett Vatuwaqa, Suva

Students’ behaviour

IT was embarrassing to go through the FT article of 10/10 regarding students’ unruly behaviour on buses. Although parents are responsible to discipline their children, I totally disagree with the Minister for Education that teachers are not responsible for students after they knock off from school and are out of the compound. Students spend about eight hours in school and they need to be disciplined by teachers right from school until they reach home. The past regulation of students walking in pairs on the right hand side of the road from their respective schools to the bus stand has been long neglected. Similarly, years back teachers warned students to behave on their way from school. Teachers also advised students to behave on buses. And during those days, hardly any murmur was heard among students on their way back from school. For many years, I believe the negligence of some teachers and parents hasn’t changed the mindset of schoolchildren. Instead, they occupy the whole street while walking where drivers take risks to prevent accidents. On the way from school, students throw sticks and stones for mangoes and guavas regardless of parked cars on the road side and littering as well. They also throw stones and sticks at dogs raised in their owners fenced premises. Students shouting in numbers and kicking empty plastic bottles have become a norm on their way back from school. Students also pass rude remarks to residents here. We have witnessed these sorts of behaviour on a daily basis from many students of prominent primary and secondary schools close to the CBD of Lautoka. Previous year twice I boarded the Fiji Transport bus which picked about 60 secondary school students from Nailaga in Ba. I don’t want to repeat what their behaviour was like on their way to Lautoka City. I felt sorry for the driver. Furthermore, some tertiary students boarding the bus from Namosau in Ba did misbehave which was surprising for me. But it’s understandable they are same ex-students from secondary schools who haven’t grown up. Finally, as per the FT article dated December 3, High Court judge Justice Salesi Temo said courts had been left to deal with discipline cases since schools, parents and religious bodies have failed to teach their children. Justice Temo also mentioned the Ministry of Education needed to regulate measures for discipline of students. SARITA LAL LAUTOKA

2022 FIFA World Cup

The World Cup Qatar 2022 is progressing very well without any set back worth noticing thus far. Round of 16 fixtures are currently underway wherein big guns are getting the results in their favour as expected. Australia v Argentina was one of the matches I enjoyed watching very much. The barrage of attacks that Australia mounted late in the second half was world-class. Only luck was not on their side otherwise the encounter could have gone into extra time and the story might have been different. Though nothing is to be taken away from the team that means business. Their iconic captain, Lionel Messi, is not showing any sign of slowing down. He is still full of energy and his touches are simply so magical. Who knows this might be his last world cup appearance, let’s see what’s in store as his team marches on. As I write I am thinking of the good people who are behind making it possible for the entire proceedings to be shown on TV without asking a cent from the viewers. There are plenty of action yet to be seen so stay tuned. Please don’t let the opportunity pass. Make the most of it if you can. It is my wish to see Messi and Ronaldo facing each other in this World Cup at some stage. I take the opportunity to wish all the participants all the best. Thank you. Suresh Chand Nadi

Japanese performance moves hearts!

Although the brave Japanese team bowed out of the World Cup, the side was given a standing ovation for its performance throughout the 2022 WC tournament in Qatar. 27-year-old Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, who saved three of Japan’s four penalties, made himself a national hero as Croatia beat Japan on penalties 1-1 (3-1). Croatia’s players immediately ran to Livakovic in celebration as Japan’s brilliant run at Qatar ended in heartbreak. The Samurai Blue was bidding to reach the men’s quarters for the first time in its history, having been knocked out of the last 16 in 2002, 2010 and 2018. A shootout was needed to separate the two sides after the game had finished 1-1 at the full-time whistle, with Ivan Perisic’s powerful header canceling out Daizen Maeda’s first-half strike. I was moved to see passionate Japanese fans, who won hearts after cleaning and tidying up stadiums, shed tears as their team bid the WC goodbye. On the other hand, Neymar scored a goal in his return from injury as Brazil beat South Korea 4-1. Vinicius Junior, Richarlison, who scored a breathtaking goal, and Lucas Paqueta added to the tally as Brazil made it to the quarters for the eighth straight time where The Selecao will meet Croatia. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

A lot to cheer for

Yet again Brazil gave their fans a lot to cheer for. With Neymar back in the squad, their engine was tuned to full throttle. And full throttle they went from the first whistle. Vinicius Junior’s 7th, Neymar’s 13th (penalty), Richarlison’s 29th and Paqueta’s 36th minute goals sent the sea of yellow and blue into a frenzy. After each goal, the players celebrated with a different dance. Their performance on the field was more like the artists on stage. The ball danced to the tune of Brazilians feet. Having scored four goals in the first half, Brazil, as expected, played cautiously to avoid injury. South Korea’s Paik fired a bullet of a shot to pull one back. It gave the final score 4-1 some respect. Brazil dedicated the win to the king of soccer Pele, who has just been released from hospital. The team proudly displayed the banner with Pele’s picture. I am sure Pele is proud of the 2022 Brazilian squad. All the soccer lovers pray for your quick recovery, Pele, the king of soccer. Arun Prasad Dilkusha, Nausori

National debt

Opposition parties and anti-government economists are harping about national debt to score political points. All countries in the world have national debt. I believe the United States has a debt of about $30 trillion and about 40 million people live in poverty, more than the combined population of South Pacific countries. Raj Kumar Vinod St, Vatuwaqa, Suva

Election call

Answered an early morning phone call with the intense reluctance of receiving unpleasant news. Fortunately it was an election related call. I was asked: “Why are you voting for candidate number 252?” I replied: “From personal observation and experience, he has been assisting Fijians from all walks of life with issues concerning health and medical, education, water, electricity, sanitation, land, social welfare and housing. Particularly the disabled, disadvantaged and downtrodden. This was well before and after he decided to take up politics in 2014”. That is a sign of being selfless and compassionate, fuelled by wisdom and equanimity. 252 is indeed an angel number. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

United Fiji

Patience, perseverance, persistence, peace and prosperity in mind, our small nation can slowly find our way provided our leaders have a mission and vision to unite the nation and work together as people in unity and harmony. Pranil Ram Votualevu, Nadi

Messi’s games

They say Messi has played a thousand games and also scored in his thousandth game this week against Australia. Could someone tell me in which year was Messi’s first game for Argentina? I would also like to know more details of Messi’s thousand games. Sukha Singh Labasa

The PM

MANY Fijians do not like his bold vosa vakadodonu style of leadership. One thing I admire about the Prime Minister is that he does not dwell on emotions or entertain one-sided topics. AREKI DAWAI Suva

Road condition

Can someone from Fiji Roads visit J P Bailey Rd in Lautoka and see the size of lovo pits on there? If only one political rally is held at Navutu Village by those in power, that road would be fixed the same day. Fiji Roads can you do something about this road? Geoffrey Chand Lautoka

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