Letters to the Editor | Wednesday, July 24, 2023

Glue sniffing. Picture: SUPPLIED

Glue problem

The question is: Why do children want to sniff glue or any other inhalant?

The quick answer is: It provides a quick high or a buzz.

But there are so many other cheap alternatives as well like gasoline, paint thinners, lighter fluid, nail polish remover including a host of other inhalants, all within easy access and even available in the home.

Educating children about the dangers is Step No 1.

Because inhalant abuse is linked to sudden death as well as to serious damage to major organs.

The most common cause of death when sniffing glue is heart failure.

When children are shown the dangerous and harmful effects of inhalant addiction there’s a chance they’ll refrain from experimenting.

Sometimes graphic footage and descriptions of the harmful effects can have a positive impact.

Although education is the key.

Colin Deoki, Australia

Glue sniffing

We never seem to be running out of social problems.

Now it is glue sniffing.

Most households keep glue of some kind, either to fix shoes or to use on PVC pipes, so it is a common item at home.

The talk of tackling substance abuse through legislation or restricted sale and availability is not a total solution as people will find alternative ways to lay their hands on it.

There is also methylated spirit, which will also give you a good kick, therefore identifying and addressing the root cause should be the starting point.

Addressing poverty and a fair distribution of wealth are food for thought.

Ajai Kumar, Nadi

Bau ready to host GCC meet

THE chiefly island of Bau is ready to host the 2023 Great Council of Chiefs meeting.

The GCC meeting is taking place after a lapse of 16 years and excitement is high as the villagers are ready to welcome the chiefs to their shores.

Having being suspended in April 2007, the Coalition Government brought relief and joy as it approved the re-convening of the GCC on the chiefly island, with an estimated 3000 people expected to be part of the first day.

Having added touches to preparations, the chiefly Island of Bau is ready to host the GCC meeting, having hosted the meeting in 1982.

The meeting, which will be officially opened by his excellency Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, is set to unite Fijians.

My best wishes to the chiefs and dignitaries who will converge in Bau for the historic three-day meeting!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Historical documentaries

I firmly believe that it is urgent for our local academics and media organisations to work together to create historical documentaries about Fiji.

Additionally, I humbly request the government to support the dissemination of these documentaries to the younger generations.

This idea crossed my mind as we commemorate the life of Ratu Sir Lalabalavu Vana’ali’ali Sukuna, one of Fiji’s most forward-thinking statesmen who helped build the foundation for the country to achieve self-governance.

One must keep in mind that this prestigious event is being recognised and celebrated after a 13-year absence.

This means that many of the teenagers in Fiji and our children are unlikely to know who this great statesman is.

Historical documentaries would be the most effective method of teaching our history to this generation because they are more accustomed to visual and photographic learning methods and less to reading from books.

In addition to Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, we need documentaries and commentary on the legacy of our girmitiya ancestors, and other famous people of Fiji.

I commend the Coalition Government once more for honouring Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna with celebrations this week and the Girmit celebrations last week.


Coastal inundation

The alertness for control of affected areas as in The Fiji Times with maps from meteorological services and pictures (FT 22/5) should be given some serious thought to save lives and properties.

It’s not a quick solution but there should be quick action before it is too late.

For life safety, relocation of many affected islands should be activated for new settlers to use fertile lands for food production for the benefit of all of us.

Whatever reasons given by Fiji Met, high or low pressure, the main pressure is on those living on drowning islands. Building sea walls will only be temporary, but relocation is a must before it is too late.

It’s encouraging to hear some neighbouring countries like New Zealand are supportive in terms of financing and technical expertise to come to our rescue.

Avoid risks and save lives.

Tahir Ali, Hamilton, New Zealand

A visionary leader

Celebration is starting for a great statesman Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna.

What a start with the celebrations of the reinstatement and opening of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) meeting on Bau Island.

History speaks for itself, the qualities, the vision and the mission this great statesman had.

Let’s all commemorate and remember visionary leaders such as Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna.

The public holiday on Monday, May 29 is the day dedicated to the great statesman.

What a coincidence, just after 4-day Girmit celebrations when Fijians commemorated and remembered the Girmitiya lives.

It’s time to learn about Fiji’s history in schools, and this must be extensively embedded into social science discipline and the history curriculum rather than learning history elsewhere.

This will definitely promote national pride, nation building and cohesiveness through history in the young minds of the future of Fiji.

Thought from this letter: Leaders like Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna had tirelessly built Fiji by accepting people from the other nations, but today there are many migrating to other countries rapidly.

What a visionary leader sir!

I salute you for good deeds to us.

Indar Deo Bisun, Sakoca Heights, Tamavua

Reporting style

Do you think there has been a change in the reporting style of certain mainstream media organisations in Fiji after the general elections last year?

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

GCC meeting

THE saddest part of the convening of the Great Council of Chiefs meeting is that they had to seek funding and funds to cater for the three days meeting yet most of the GCC members are the biggest land owners.


Girmitiya descendants

I wonder why wasn’t the British Government part of the grimitiya reconciliation event during the Girmit national public holiday which has closed a few of its dark chapters.

I believe the British Empire at that time were responsible for bringing the girmitiya to Fiji and should apologise to its living descendants to close that dark chapter!

Jioji M Cakacaka, Carerras, Votualevu, Nadi

Curfew hours

So many deaths on the highway and it must be addressed with serious concerns and warnings.

How long can we bear the burden of reported road accidents?

This is alarming and most lives are at stake just because of some or probably most ignorant people who show no care of others safety.

What can be the best solution to stop this chaos?

Increase charges?

You know, during the pandemic when curfew hours were introduced, there wasn’t any road accident.

If the Government actually brought back curfew hours, I wouldn’t be surprised, rather I’ll be more thankful and relieved.


My journey

Based on imaging and sputum test results, I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis.

A relatively uncommon condition and I’m certain most wouldn’t have heard of.

Bronchiectasis is a long term (or chronic) disease that gets worse over time.

The abilities of the lungs slowly worsens over years.

There is no cure.

Most often it is secondary to an infectious process, that results in the abnormal, scarring and distortion of one or more of the conducting bronchi or airways.

In simpler terms, the tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs become thickened and damaged.

This makes it harder to breath.

There are good and bad phases.

On bad days there are flare-ups.

These are flare-ups of severe breathing problems and extreme tiredness from time to time.

Medical personnel may call them exacerbations.

It can last days or weeks and vary in severity.

With all the symptoms such as coughing up phlegm or blood, night sweats, weight loss, chest pain, wheezing and frequent respiratory infections, daily tiredness is the most loathed.

The body is working so much harder to accomplish basic bodily functions like breathing so therefore can burn 10 times more calories than a healthy person causing the all day everyday tiredness.

Most days it can cause to disrupt your daily chores and it is worrying because it could be perceived as being lazy.

I joined an overseas Bronchiectasis Support Group because there is none locally.

Recently a woman posted about losing his son due to the condition and he was supposed to turn 3-years-old last Saturday.

It was saddening reading her post which she ended with “Bronchiectasis is such an evil disease”.

Unfortunately, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle occasional flare-ups may still occur.

I believe the only hope is drug therapy, usage of medical devices and regular medical check-ups will assist slowing down progression of the disease.

I am truly grateful that I am seeing a doctor who has been very accommodating and helpful with all my needs concerning the condition.

Living with Bronchiectasis is stressful and very frustrating.

* If you are reading this and have been diagnosed with the condition or know someone who has, please contact me as we can offer each other support My details can be supplied by this esteemed newspaper.

Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

Ministry’s concern

Violence against women and girls is truly a very sad and bad reflection of some irresponsible men in society.

They do not see, but totally expose their weaknesses; their frailty and the “macho-ness” they profess to own and display.

Our penalties for such heinous crimes, in my view are not deterrent enough.

Incarceration on its own, firstly is a huge waste of hard-earned valuable taxpayers funds.

Human rights laws do not allow any corporal punishment.

Yet, our victims suffer life-long physical or mental scars.

Some sadly pay the ultimate price.

I will stand corrected.

Sometimes, I get this feeling our laws are “too soft” towards such cowardly men.

I know the pain, loss and suffering.

Our very own beloved dad was murdered that fateful Saturday morning, in our shop in Sabeto, Nadi — January 22, 1972.

Sadly, dad did not live to see his 51st birthday.

Fifty-one long years later, I still breakdown occasionally at his graveside.

Rest in heavenly peace, dad.

In God’s perfect time, We will meet again; One sweet day; Way out yonder; Beyond the stars and pearly gates; Where orchids, roses, guardenias and seni jale never fade.

Rest in perfect peace all who paid the ultimate price.

We do live in a cruel world.

Some men are simply cowards.

Nothing more and nothing less.


Ronnie Chang, Martintar, Nadi

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