Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Fiji 7s forward Semi Kunatani battles for possession against Wales in their pool game at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. Picture: ROHIT DEO

Commonwealth 7s gold medal evades Fiji

After four years of anxious waiting, fans suffered another heart-break as the Commonwealth Games 7s gold medal slipped away from our grasp. Hopes were high that the Fijiana and the men’s 7s team were going to win the gold medal, but both sides were soundly beaten by Australia and South Africa respectively. They looked weary and tired as pressure mounted and found the going tough against two well-oiled, polished and clinical sides on the HSBC WRSS circuit. South Africa retained bulk of its players from the circuit, while we roped in our 15s players from Europe and the writing was clear and as the going got tough, our players made errors and lost their cool and composure and the opposition benefitted. Despite the losses and the fact that we settled for silver medals, I salute the efforts of the Fijiana and the men’s 7s side. Definitely the ghost from the Commonwealth Games 7s competition is haunting us. Valuable lessons have been learnt and let’s prepare for the RWC 7s tournament in South Africa. It’s going to be tough so let’s prepare well and work on our set-pieces, team work, defence, missed tackles, conversions and restarts. Toso Viti! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Worthy opponent

s On the day, we were worthy opponents. In the 2022 Commonwealth Games 7s rugby finals, both our national teams — men and women — did Fiji proud. We were not quite good enough. Nevertheless, Fijiana and our men’s 7s teams must hold their heads up high. We take our losses. We will get better. Winning Commonwealth Games 7s rugby silver medals is no mean feat. We take our commiserations. Congratulations Australian women and South African men. On the day, you rose to the pinnacle of the occasion. You are worthy and deserved winners. RONNIE CHANG, Martintar, Nadi

Car break-in

One day I was walking along a footpath when I saw two suspicious girls in their teen years lurking around as if they were hiding from someone. They didn’t seem to notice me walking past since it was dark. I didn’t pay much attention and continued walking until I saw this woman standing beside her car looking confused. I continued walking when she stopped me and asked if I had seen someone lurking around near her car. I asked why, she replied someone had broken into her car and taken something out. That’s when I realised that those two girls must be the ones since there was nobody else in the parking lot. After that day I must urge everyone to get at least a small hidden camera and place it inside their car if possible. With this, the police can do their job more easily with such big evidence. KELEPI DAKUIYACO Waikalou, Serua

Rope-a-dope technique

Sukha Singh’s opinion on a fly weight trying to knock out a heavy weight with rope-a-dope technique and let others tire themselves out (FT 29/7) should be out of date in today’s boxing ring. These days the heavy weights are throwing more challenges than punches to keep the weaker ones to hang their gloves for good. Many times the opponents start hitting below the belt, throwing the towel for good when faced with the “float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee”. However, there comes a time when the super boxers’ boxing days come to an end. Retired but not forgotten. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Uncollected rubbish

Is it just me or can those highly paid Lautoka City Council staff members also see the dirty condition of the Lautoka bus station and market surrounding areas every morning. Last Sunday the uncollected rubbish was everything around the market, making it difficult for people to buy vegetables and root crops. I saw some staff members of LCC driving around in new air-conditioned vehicles and maybe they can’t see how dirty our city has become. Can the newly-appointed special administration team just drive around 7am any day around the market and bus station just to see what I am talking about? Tasha Becks Simla, Lautoka

Abortion debate

With reference to Colin Deoki (FT 29/7) and Conan Hatch (FT 31/7). Colin refers to his belief in “the sanctity of life” which is a position I find difficult to separate from the death penalty and the human propensity to wage war. But I certainly appreciate Colin’s opinion that he is not prepared to act as judge and jury in the matter of abortion. A major factor of misunderstanding in the abortion debate is that the anti-abortionists cleverly use semantics by claiming that they are “pro-life”, thereby insinuating that those who are pro-abortion are anti-life; ignoring the “right to choose” argument. Conan Hatch claims that the child in the womb is a separate human being and therefore has its own right to be born. This is the basic premise of the anti-abortion faction, but begs the question — when is a foetus a human being? I have extensively researched this subject and find that Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic (USA) explain it in the simplest terms, which may prove surprising to most readers. In brief: Week 2 following intercourse is when conception will actually take place. Week 3 is when fertilisation takes place. Week 4 is when implantation takes place and the embryo begins to form. Week 5 sees the beginning of heart formation and a rudimentary circulatory system when the embryo divides into the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm – this is the start of development of the foetus. Weeks 6 and 7 show rapid growth with the earliest formation of the heart and other organs. This is when the brain begins to slowly
develop, with the greatest growth taking place between week 27 and birth. Therefore one can logically contend that until the one-month three-week stage the foetus is not a human being, arguably up to the end of the first trimester, or three months from the date of the last menses. David Paintin, Emeritus Reader of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St Mary’s, London, who for 27 years performed thousands of terminations, goes further. He says . . . In my opinion a foetus is not a person in the way a woman is. Personhood is conferred by the woman giving birth. It (the foetus) has no ethical status until it is independent and breathing air. Surely a woman’s full  rights over her own body must include the right to an abortion, and she should not be denied that right by legislation. SUE CAUTY Pacific Harbour

Procurement of laptops or tablets

With reference to the announcement made by the honourable Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts for schools to start utilising the grant money for the procurement of laptops or tablets per student in schools. Although this is a welcoming and sound step towards a more digitalised learning for the education sector, a few questions arise regarding the venture. Firstly, was there any feasibility study undertaken before the education system could fully adopt this venture? Will the schools be provided with extra IT support staff for the setup, service, backup, maintenance etc? Secondly, will students be allowed to take the rather expensive material home? In case of theft or otherwise, what will be the school’s mitigation measures? Device insurance and so forth? Thirdly, there is the question of classroom setup for availability of charging ports per laptops which will also affect the electricity payload and safety? Fourthly, the extra financial cost associated with the mentioned setup and support staff? Additionally, will the schools have a cloud system for backup for teaching materials imparted? Server systems etc? Classrooms will also need to be provided with optimum temperatures as laptops produce heat while in operation and say 30 laptops operating at close proximity will produce a lot of heat which could cause problems etc. While there are a lot more one could ask, these are few questions I would like addressed before commencement of this great endeavour. The above questions are not to undermine the good work the ministry is doing and is in no way an objection to the endevour. Ronish Prakash Namadi Heights, Suva

Speed factor

When we play the Blitzbokkes and as we all know one of their famous franchise is the Cheetahs, we simply need to stack speed in our ammunition to counter them. The South African team is stacked with so much speed from forwards to backs and their game plan is centered around this lethal weapon. They don’t have big forwards and size does not matter but they do have so much pace off the block and that is the reason we fazed and lost energy trying to catch up. Thumps up to Neil Powell and we also forgot that this was South Africa’s first quest for a gold medal just like us. We go down, we stand up now and we need to immediately look at the liability of players that we have in the squad to get fresh players and with speed off the mark both in the front and back. We have so much flair in offloads, kick offs etc, but we simply need to stack speed in our game for 14 minutes. As they say sevens rugby is speeding fast, just look at the Fijiana girls from bronze to silver and who knows it might be gold next. We missed a rare chance to grab a double gold here but as Ratu Ben Ryan keeps saying talanoa, talanoa and veilomani. Thank you for the effort and let’s stand up again. Joka kece! We are the best and we need to bounce back. Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Press freedom

I believe the threat of being taken to court is the worst form of attack on freedom of the press. The Fiji Times, I believe, can vouch for this. Dan Urai Lautoka

Second best

Congratulations for coming second best. Both the women and men’s 7s teams management can not see the little errors committed at the break downs and improve. Not quick enough. Jioji O Toronibau Navetau, Tunuloa

Humble request

On behalf of the climate growth in an area near Suva, this regarding the bus stop shelter below the Vatuwaqa Primary School, Laucala Bay, Suva. A request to the Suva City Council to erect this bus stop shelter again and the bus stop sign near Api Tonga so students and the public living in that area are safe from rain and sunshine. I believe this bus shelter was destroyed by the corroded iron which was its frame and never repaired from 2020 until now. For it’s a sore in the eye when bus drivers don’t want to pick up students who are wet, and the public who utilise the shelter during rainy season. Your assistance to our humble request is highly appreciated. Onisimo Naikovu Suva

Missing persons

It is quite alarming to see notices of missing persons and it seems to be on a rise, do we need to be concerned about this? Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Message is clear

When seven players can’t score against five players, the message is clear. Dan Urai Lautoka

Role and responsibility

Anthony Sahai sets the record straight on whose responsibility it is in the final analysis to better things in the heritage town of Levuka (FT 1/8). Hope the Local Government minister learns a thing or two from Anthony’s no nonsense letter on State role and responsibility. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

More Stories