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Letters

Letters September 03, 2014

September 03
07:47 2014

Ebola threat
Mesake Colala, Suva

The WHO has recently warned that we could see 20,000 Ebola cases in a matter of months.
We need to be realistic and front-up to this crisis.
My question to the Government and to the Ministry of Health is what they are doing in preparation for the eventual arrival of the Ebola virus in Fiji.
The Ebola virus is both contagious and airborne, it has a 90 per cent fatality rate and has incubation period of 2 to 21 days. An infected person may initially suffer headaches, joint aches, sore throat and skin rashes. By the time the full-blown symptoms appear such as vomiting, diarrhoea, internal and external bleeding, the infected person has unknowingly infected hundreds or even thousands along the way. The main way this Ebola virus is spreading worldwide is via passenger airlines. I wholly encourage our Government officials to screen passengers at our airports, put quarantine centres in place, etc, or else it will be too late.

Jharoka
Josaia Rayawa, Savusavu

I don’t know about what the rest of Fiji thinks, but the story shared by Fiji TV on “Jharoka”, was one of the best ever local stories I have seen so far on Fiji Television.
It is a story of love, hard work and commitment between a Fijian iTaukei gentleman and an Indo-Fijian lady – a relationship spanning twenty-something years.
There are some wonderful nuggets of truth from this couple’s lives, we can all learn from. Their love and willingness to work at their relationship complimented by plain hard work is so refreshing to hear about.
The 57-year-old Seveci summarised his story by stating, “Don’t just rely on hope…you must have the willingness to work hard”.
He added: “I respect her religion as much as she respects mine”. He spoke fluent Hindi. Their romantic commitment to each other is the stuff of Mills and Boons or better. Their story is just a wonderful reminder that you can eradicate poverty through all of the above. It is a timely reminder to citizens around Fiji to realise that you don’t need to depend on government hand-outs, or any other hand-out for that matter to enable you to live with dignity. I know there are many wonderful NGOs and church groups who also give out support, but I think we need to be careful that we don’t become part of the problem by unintentionally creating a society with a hand-out mentality.
Seveci and his beautiful Indian wife are a classic example of how two races can learn from one another and eradicate the poverty mentality from their lives, through love that is worked on. He explained it by saying, something along the lines of “Falling in love is only the start, but understanding is created over time”.
If there is an award with Film Fiji that recognises such motivational stories, I vote for this Navua story on “Jharoka”. Seriously, it puts Shortland Street in the dumps! Not that I watch Shortland Street.

Stray dogs
Allen Lockington, Nadi

A friend who lives in the Drasa Seaside settlement just outside Lautoka asked me to write about the stray dog problem in that area.
Since the place is near the Vunato rubbish dump, the dog population is increasing. The dump is to the dogs what a five-star hotel is for us.
They live, eat, sleep and breed there. My friend’s concern is that they will soon outnumber human beings, especially the people who go and dump their unwanted litter of puppies there.
He is also concerned when he sees new strays and many with collars and look like they come from homes that neglected them.
Sad eh!

Error of fare
Kirti Patel, Lautoka

Fiji Airways had to turn down customers who bought airline tickets which was an offer on the airline’s website last week for free airfares from Auckland to Nadi but as clarified by the airline managing director and chief executive officer, Stefan Pichler, that it was an error on the Fiji Airways website.
We understand that some discount has been allocated for the frustrated customers but what about those customers who may not travel for a long time. It just does not sound like a good enough way of compensating those who had to be turned down on the situation that was not even their fault.
It’s ok such mistakes does happen but Mr Pichler please come up with some effective way of paying for that damage. I am sure you can do better than some discounts on the next flight which God knows when they will opt for.

Littering
Wise Muavono, Lautoka

We all enjoy carnivals and bazaars, but more often than not litter is left behind on the ground.
It took the Lautoka City Council two days to clean up after the bazaar that was held at Churchill Park last week.
Just shows how much litter that was left behind. Also it’s not an acceptable excuse to litter because they are from the rural areas. Can’t say much eh? It reminded me of what my mother used to say: “Sa oca sara ga na vosa.”

Constitutions
Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori

So much has been debated on how secure are Native Land on the 2013 Constitution.
In the 1997 Constitution, with all its protective clauses on land and with the presences of the Parliament, Senate and GCC, iTaukei land still got converted to state then to freehold at Momi and Denarau resulting in native land-owners losing their original land for ever.
The 2013 Constitution has stopped this and gives landowners benefit to minerals extracted from their land which the 1997 constitution does not provide.
The Parliament, Senate and GCC totals up to less than 350 people out of Fiji’s 850,000 population.
The 2013 Constitution, states that three quarters or 38 out of the 50 members of parliament plus three quarters or 412,500 out of our 550,000 registered voters will need to agree then we can change our current land laws. The vital question is:
Do we entrust our iTaukei land to less than 350 people (who have once before allowed the conversion of iTaukei land to freehold) or to the 412,500 people (including you and I) of which over 300,000 are iTaukei ?
In simple terms, the 1997 Constitution gives control on land laws to only 0.063 per cent (350/550,000) of our voting people while the 2013 Constitution gives control to 75 per cent. If we consider the iTaukei race only, the 1997 Constitution gives control to less than 350 iTaukei while the 2013 Constitution gives control to over 300,000 iTaukei people.
Whichever way you look at it, native land under the 2013 Constitution is 857 (300,000/350) to 1,190 (75/.063) times more secure than the 1997 Constitution.

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