Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Vasiti Saratibau of Raiwaqa gives a thumbs up in Suva on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. Her name was announced as one of the 10 winners of The Fiji Times 152nd birthday promotion September draw. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

‘Surprise’ win for Saratibau!

Vasiti Saratibau, who is an avid reader of The Fiji Times and was among the 10 winners of The Fiji Times 152nd anniversary promotion September draw, was on cloud nine.

She shared that she never missed out on buying the newspaper every morning.

She shared that she never missed a day without reading The Fiji Times because she loved the crossword section.

She also shared that it was the first time she took part in the promotion, and she counted her lucky stars, winning $152.

I’m glad some passionate, committed and dedicated readers have walked away with the 152nd anniversary promotion September draw, and I’m adamant we’ll read more beautiful pieces from winners when the October draw is done.

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Letter to the editor

The Fiji Times publishes all letters to the editor, either pro or against our government.

I wonder why the other newspaper doesn’t do the same.

So much so about media freedom.

Sharif Shah, Savusavu

Quarantine issue

I fully endorse Nardeo Mishra’s observations in respect of the requirement for three days quarantine for returning residents.

I believe this is not based on any logic or science.

Travellers will need to be fully vaccinated, have a negative test 72 hours prior to arrival and be tested on arrival.

If authorities are really serious about the concern for these people to be carriers of the virus, evidence has shown that many develop symptoms within 14 days.

So what is the point of caging people for three days at great costs and inconvenience?

The only reason I can think of is to squeeze more dollars out of these people for the benefit of the hotels.

Returning residents and diaspora are desperate to catch up with loved ones, many have lost close families and friends and have been unable to attend funerals, many are waiting to see ill and old families and participate in weddings and other religious ceremonies.

I believe the Government conveniently forgets that it is the remittances from this diaspora which has been the single largest contributor to Fiji’s foreign exchange earnings over the past 18 months.

And these people will spend more, assisting the needy families with food, building, maintenance.

Many will be shopping, travelling within the country and indeed take local tours and even spend time in resorts.

As it is they will be taking great risks given the perilous state of our health system.

Why put them through more stress?

I am sure they could be allowed some flexibility, even letting them to stay in home quarantine, if necessary.

Altauf Chand, Minto, NSW, Australia

Patriotism factor

While the Ministry of Education has good intentions of increasing patriotism in children, one has to ask, ‘What went wrong last time?’

How were our children less patriotic?

How was this measured?

Our children have dealt with so much with this pandemic and what they need when they return to school is an emotionally, intelligent environment that caters to nurturing them as responsible and healthy human beings regardless of the languages that they speak or the cultures that they follow.

This will follow them even when they leave our shores and not even have the opportunities to speak their mother tongues.

That will also bring recognition and develop deep roots to their motherland.

Our children already learn their mother tongue at home and as they interact with each other outside of the classroom.

Let us broaden their horizons with learning other Polynesian/Melanesian languages, French, German, Chinese, Russian, sign-language and others.

We are a tourist country and these will assist them in communicating with our visitors and improving their experiences on our shores.

Let’s not limit our children to the classroom.

Joan McGoon, Simla, Lautoka

New academy

According to the PM, Fiji Airways will save $14m annually from the academy.

It would be helpful if he could also indicate how much it would cost to maintain and upgrade the academy annually.

Moreover, does it mean that Fiji Airways will not hire expatriate pilots, now that they have their own aviation academy?

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Climate change

‘Queen: Don’t just talk, act on climate’ (FT 18/10).

The Queen couldn’t have put it more succinctly – the imperative for climate change action.

That’s what experts and activists have been urging for a very long time to save our only habitable planet from catastrophic calamity.

Let’s hope the Glasgow climate summit produces what is urgently required.

Rajend Naidu, Sydney, Australia

People’s views

As we approach the next general election, three political parties have joined forces.

One party has opened its arms for potential interest.

Some parties are quiet while others are confident of doing it on their own.

Obviously, all political parties are interested in attracting our votes next year.

Would any of the registered political parties be interested in the people’s views regarding the important Parliament sitting this Friday?

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Days in the sun

Does it not feel just a bit lighter?

The days also seem kinda brighter

Are these our days in the sun?

Let’s just hope that the very next morn won’t be darker and more forlorn.

Let’s all make “hay” while we can

or should I say, plant tavioka on the land,

because the time may soon come,

as inevitable as the setting sun,

when natural and human disaster events,

will become much more prevalent,

to upset our days in the sun

and hopefully not take us all back to square one!

Edward Blakelock, Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Our champions

We have a climate change champion, now we have Pacific’s High-Level Champion for Oceans at COP26.

Too good, hope we get some hefty funding to actually clean up our environment.

Gulp!

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Lautoka

Returning home

After the busy schedule of travelling in the West is completed, can the PM take time to sort out issues faced by residents of Vanua Levu who, I believe, have been sent round in circles by the system when trying to get a pass to return home.

I’m sure residents of Vanua Levu would greatly appreciate that.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Safe mask disposal

Masks are going to be around for a while to come, it seems.

We are seeing more and more single-use masks being disposed of irresponsibly.

Anywhere it is possible to throw rubbish, masks can be found there, too.

Birds and other creatures are being trapped by the elastic straps and posing a threat to their existence.

The masks also are finding their way into drains and rivers; ultimately ending up in the sea.

Single-use masks are becoming a major source of pollution and a real environmental concern.

Single-use or disposable masks are made using a variety of plastics, including polypropylene, polyethylene and vinyl – which means they can take up to 450 years to break down.

Even then, the plastic stays around as tiny microplastics.

Before responsibly disposing the mask in a bin, the straps should be cut to reduce the risk of injury or death to wildlife.

Julie Sutherland, Tamavua

Now or never

Rabuka says he is a changed man.

A handful might believe him.

Many might not.

Certainly, I am not because I did not vote for him before.

In fact, I won’t vote for him in the next election either.

The fact of the matter is I have never ever voted for any candidate.

But hey, I can change too.

Just like Rabuka.

But for me to change, it’s important for Rabuka to tell this beautiful nation and its people what the truth is and the facts about what transpired for him to do what he did.

Come on, Rabuka, we want to hear from you.

The facts only.

You don’t have to campaign.

People will change overnight.

Speak up or keep quiet.

If you don’t speak up now then you are history.

I, again, won’t vote.

This is your last chance, mate.

Now or never.

Sharif Shah, Savusavu

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