Letters to the Editor | Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Pacific Crown Aviation helicopter that crash landed in rice field at Vunika outside Labasa on Vanua Levu. Picture: FT FILE

Back in History

Thank you for the Back in History page each day.

They are always interesting.

I can report to you, that the helicopter pilot in yesterday’s article (24/5) still has his pilot’s licence and is still flying, now in the USA.

He was just 23 years old when that accident happened and I cannot recall any other bad incident since then.

As his mother, I am proud that he did not panic, but managed to get the helicopter to a suitable place to put it safely down.

Tessa Mackenzie, Suva

Turtle meat

Six of the seven sea turtle species are classified as endangered due to human actions and lifestyles.

That don’t matter, eh!

Feeding the attendees of the Great Council of Chiefs meeting turtle meat is more important?

No thought of our future generations and the vital roles turtles play in maintaining the health of our ocean.

Shame on the whole lot of you!

Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

Nice strategy

A nice strategy by the Deputy Prime Minister Professor Biman Prasad when he spoke at the Rotuman gathering to encourage them to take part in the GCC so their voices can be heard.

In our new Fiji, it is all about unity and co-operation and it can only be possible through congregation and meetings like these.

This will definitely have a deep effect on our societies and there are a lot of changes to be expected.

The leaders are doing the best they can to bring people together so that there can be some encouragement and inspiration between them.

We, as citizens, should always know this because it is part of our crucial role to help maintain and build a stronger future as one, and it is and will always be possible with co-operation.


A new beginning

As the Rev Ilisavani Bosekoviti showed with his sermon at the welcome to the GCC on Monday night (FT 24/05), this is the time for plain speaking.

I believe there is no doubt that the Great Council of Chiefs, as a body, acted shamefully during the acts of the coups.

With gunmen and gangsters running rampant in that institution which once held that title “The August House” people were crying out for leadership, for someone with the stature to tell the criminals to get out of our lives, to tell the police and army to remain faithful to their oaths.

Cue the GCC.

This was their time to show why we held them in such high respect.

It all fell apart.

Today, the GCC has been regenerated as an institution, albeit still looking for a precise role in Fijian life.

I would have liked it to be more a Council of Elders, rather than chiefs with appointments from the provinces, not necessarily of chiefs, but of statesmen, of stature and not necessarily of any particular race.

I was so impressed, during the late Queen’s funeral to see how so many of the non-Anglo races have been welcomed and become a part of the British Institutions.

Fiji could well follow suit.

Terry Hulme, Russell St, Eastwood, NSW, Australia

Sniffing glue

I wonder if the chemistry students at the University of South Pacific can develop a non-toxic additive for glue that would give it a pungent or nauseating smell and thereby make it repellent to sniff.

Mercaptan is added to natural gas to make it smell like rotten eggs, so that a gas leak can be more easily detected.

Some similar compound added to glue may help to discourage sniffing.

Aren Nunnink, Savusavu

Saving kids

For the past 16 years, I believe, the FijiFirst government made no effort to save young Fijian kids.

There is hope with motherly love under the Coalition Government.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Poor parenting

Substance abuse among children such as glue sniffing, is a complicated problem with wide-ranging effects on both the individual and society.

It is essential to comprehend the underlying causes of this behaviour in order to create successful prevention and intervention strategies.

Substance abuse among children is influenced by a number of important factors.

The primary factor influencing a child’s behaviour and decisions is parental influence.

Children who experience parental disengagement, neglect, or inconsistent discipline may be more open to outside influences like drug use.

Children lack a moral compass to withstand the pressures and temptations related to substance abuse because of weak parental guidance.

Peer pressure is another important factor.

Teenagers frequently seek approval and affirmation from their peers.

Risky behaviour can result when someone feels pressured to live up to a group’s expectations.

Environment and family dynamics can also play a role in substance abuse.

Children who are raised in homes where drug abuse is common are more likely to see it as a typical behaviour.

Poor parenting undoubtedly plays a big part in a child’s involvement in substance abuse, even though it may not be the only factor.

We can reduce the risk factors that lead to kids using drugs and encourage healthier outcomes by highlighting the value of parental involvement, emotional support, and consistent discipline.



I asked three young children I encountered on Tuesday (23/5) if they had gone back to school.

Only two said io.

I asked why the third didn’t and he said he was too lazy.

Truancy was always the responsibility of schools to follow-up on?

Have they passed the buck?

If this small sample (and statisticians will argue it is too small and insignificant) if anything to go by, does that suggest a third of all students are truant?

Is there no wonder national literacy levels are low?

Is this not an area for concern as it seems pretty obvious that parents are not?

Julie Sutherland, Tamavua, Suva

Never again

After 16 years, I received two invites from our Government to attend the opening of the GCC and the Ratu Sukuna Day celebrations on Monday.

Vinaka vakalevu Minister Vasu.

These are momentous occasions in our delicate and fragile history.

Let’s hope against hope that we’ll never, never ever go down this road again where our chiefs are rudely told to go and drink homebrew under a mango tree.

My 16-year-old son reminded me this morning that it’s so offensive for someone to utter such words, let alone, a person we collectively allowed to dictate things to us and take our drua to the edge of the abyss.

I submit that we, with our children, families, villages, communities and respective vanua, like the defenders of Masada, shout loudly, clearly and with conviction — “never again!”

May our chiefs, in their wisdom, have a successful two days of deliberations to chart a new course so our drua as a nation will always find a safe port.

Kiniviliame Keteca, Nausori

Not new!

It has been quite a while that the “glue sniffing” issue has been part of Fiji’s social problem within our communities.

This is not something new because “benzine sniffing” was also done back in the day.

However, my view in uprooting the source has to be rediscovering the family concept.

Until “family headships” continue their role, such social problems will worsen besides the respective financial costs.

A healthy family produces a stable, secure and productive society.

Samu Silatolu, Nakasi

Cost of wearing Fiji colours

The image of 7s super-star and wonder-boy Jerry Tuwai shedding tears during the singing of the national anthem prior to the London 7s final melted hearts.

Jerry, who holds a special place in the hearts of fans, has won everything, except the Commonwealth Games gold medal.

He has been dubbed the greatest Fijian 7s player and the 7s wizard has lived up to this tag.

Jerry shared with The Fiji Times sports reporter Waisale Koroiwasa (22/05) the reason for wearing number 30 on his jersey.

He related the number to his favourite soccer player Lionel Messi.

Jerry also shared that despite the death of his father, Vuiviawa Naduvalo chose to be with the team.

The little master further shared what the players went through and how people said careless things and words about the team.

Jerry will go down in the annals of Fiji 7s history and will be remembered in the years to come.

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

London 7s

Argentina beat Fiji 35-14 in the Cup final at London 7s on Sunday and as that happens the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 also gets completed.

It was Argentina’s third gold medal victory while Fiji got nothing this season.

Because we are not used to a scenario of this sort all the time, the situation is hard to overcome.

It is perhaps the juncture where all heads must start rolling if we want things not to get any worse.

Discipline is not the only worry we deal with as there other areas like player recruitment etc that needs also to be looked at.

Whatever needs done needs to be done with seriousness and people who understand and have the solution.

No string pulling and no politics.

We need good sports people to put the train back on track.

Before I conclude, I sincerely thank our boys for trying their best.

To the Argentines, enjoy your spoils until we meet again.

Suresh Chand, Nadi

Blind offloads

Finally, it has been decided that blind offloads will be cut out by the Fijian Drua.

I think a “law” should have been passed long ago.

This should be made applicable to the men’s and women’s 7s teams, Fiji’s representatives in the Super Rugby and the men’s and women’s national fifteens rugby teams.

Why cheaply provide possession to the opposition?

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Something new

Loosening of suit jackets by unbuttoning when being seated has been around.

It may be fashionable, comforting and less straining on the attire but a new phenomenon has been on the rise.

It is unbuttoning of the top trouser button when sitting down.

I guess, it provides comfort around the belly area.

No oops moments though!

I didn’t mean it in that way but the top trouser button flying off due to excessive pressure from the belly button.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

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