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Letters To The Editor 3rd May 2018

Letters To The Editor 3rd May 2018
May 03
10:56 2018

Excellent reporting

Savenaca Nacanaitaba, Suva

Excellent news stories and back-page photo in Tuesday’s Fiji Sun (May 1, 2018) on the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team victory in the recent HSBC Singapore Sevens tournament!

I should mention that I have watched the Fiji 7s games several times, listening carefully to the commentaries, and have read overseas media stories on the internet.

I expected that our local media will make special effort in reporting on the Singapore gold medal win.

I was pleased, therefore, to see the half-page photo of the victorious Fiji Airways 7s team, eyes closed and hands raised together in prayer at the National Stadium in Singapore.

It is a fitting photo for the two related stories, written by Anasilini Ratuva and edited by Osea Bola, on the powerful and memorable words of wisdom spoken, in the locker room, to our sevens heroes from national coach Gareth Baber, strength and conditioning coach Nacanieli Cawanibuka, and Sevens legend Waisale Serevi.

Thank you for the use of direct speech (quotations) in stories from this semi-private and special moment. It helped me imagine what that occasion must have been like.

I thought that these locker-room speeches might be worth capturing (recording or re-recording, perhaps by the newspaper or the Fiji Rugby Union) for use as training video for the future, for young men and women in the 7s and 15s codes!

You also carried an interesting and thoughtful story on page 38, from Sam Agars of the South China Morning Post newspaper, on the Hong Kong Sevens and Commonwealth Games fixture.

Vinaka, Fiji Sun!

 

7S Magic

Norman Yee, Martintar Nadi

What a great heart-stopping weekend by our 7s gladiators! It seems ok the G-Factor that did it apart from their self belief, discipline and fitness.

My pressure began to rise after the referee allowed the forward pass.

But I relaxed when I realised God was in control and we would win despite a biased ref.

I wonder if our coach has complained to World Rugby about the one-sided referring. My wife, who never watched the games live, woke up at the last minute and realised it was do or die and began to pray fervently.

It’s now harvest time for coach Baber, having finally honed his team to be the perfect weapon for Fiji!

Anyway, congratulations Team Fiji and keep those twinkle toes on the pedal!

Go Fiji!

 

G-Factor

Amenatave Yaconisau, Delainavesi

I understand there is a God factor in the Singapore 7s win, but the fact remains in the content of their contract.

If you treat the team well, they can move mountains if happy. I suppose any reciprocal relationship is like that.

This ‘armchair critic’ is of that view unlike some silent observers.

 

Good coach

Sukha Singh, Labasa

To be a good coach you need players who do not require coaching.

 

Chinese cigarettes

Narayan Reddy, Lautoka.

When I was reading about smuggling concerns by the Custom department it triggered my memory. I remember

Chinese – made cigarettes were sold for half the price compared to local cigarettes.

Upon enquiring I was told that one can buy 10 rolls for $5 or a packet of 20 for $10.

With so many smokers around and with the ever increasing price of cigarettes our local people are actually buying the Chinease – made cigarettes for cheap.

 

Transportation woes

Nilesh Lal, Suva

The issue of sustainability of our urban transportation systems has become a key development problem in recent times with the high incidence of road congestion around urban centres.

The greater Suva area (GSA), stretching from Lami to Nausori, is undergoing an unprecedented urban sprawl and the pseudo-urbanisation that is being experienced is giving rise to a number of development issues – mobility being one of them.

It is important to point out that mobility is one of the most important living standards and is key to a sustainable urban lifestyle.

By 2020, it is projected that more than a third of Fiji’s entire population would be residing between Lami and Nausori.

If left unchecked, this will greatly aggravate mobility issues.

It is imperative that different statutory and non-statutory bodies, e.g FRA, LTA, municipal council, town planning department, EFL, WAF, bus operators, taxi operators, private sector, NGOs, etc.) need to work together to address this growing problem.

As the sugar industry continues to disintegrate, shanty towns will further develop or expand in the GSA and the mobility issue further aggravated.

It is apparent in Fiji’s case that visionary town and country planning has never been done, and the consequence is our narrow winding roads with limited spaces on either sides to expand.

Laxity in compliance and implementation (and possible corruption) has meant that real estate owners have built too close to the road. Suva, which expanded out of a trading seaport, is situated on the edge of the island, meaning that points for external access are limited.

We also have a monocentric city model with majority of jobs located in the CBD and its surrounding areas, giving rise to tidal commuting in one particular direction. In contrast, a polycentric structure would have dispersed employment to peripheral areas, and given rise to more orbital and multi-directional traffic flows.

Sustained growth of the national economy in recent years which has resulted in an expanding middle class and the removal or lowering of tariffs on hybrid cars has led to an influx of cars into our road networks.

This has arguably been one of the greatest contributors to our traffic problems.

The Bainimarama Government has the objective of making cars and other first World luxuries such as mobile communication devices accessible to a wide range of Fijians.

Indeed, great strides have been made in these two areas. However, given the sobering fact that our road networks, suffering from a lack of visionary and long term planning, does not have the capacity to handle more vehicles, it has to be taken into cognisance.

It is apparent that we have a too low purchase barrier. With growing affluence, the ability to purchase cars has greatly increased and this has to be considered.

This is not to suggest that cars should only be affordable for wealthy elites.

An alternate model, for instance, could be to establish a quota for car ownership by family.

In addition to the strategies for transportation management that have been developed by the FRA, there is a need for dialogue and engagement between a range of development actors to draw up a more comprehensive list of measures, including policy measures to address the problem of urban mobility.

For example, encouraging uptake of public transportation will not happen merely by decreasing bus commute times through dedicated bus lanes, etc. as the FRA strategies document espouses.

In contrast, some attitudinal changes in society may be necessary, which NGOs can help with.

It is clear that the problem is a complex one and the solution, too, needs to be a sophisticated one, which has been developed locally in consultation with different stakeholders.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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