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Letters To The Editor 2nd August, 2018

Letters To The Editor 2nd August, 2018
August 02
10:00 2018

NFP denial

Dharmendra Kumar, Suva

The National Federation Party (NFP) leader continues to deny that a provisional candidate made anti-Muslim comments in his campaign, despite so many people coming forward.

It’s no surprise to me that Biman Prasad is using this strategy.

Denial is a defence mechanism in which a person, faced with a painful fact, rejects the reality of that fact.

They will insist that the fact is not true, despite what may be overwhelming and irrefutable evidence.

Denial to me is the worst kind of lie because it’s a lie you tell yourself, but deep down you know the truth.

Even denying it a thousand times will not change the truth Mr Prasad.

As a leader Mr Prasad needs to solve problems by digging at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.

Rabuka’s leadership

Amenatave Yaconisau, Suva

I refer to your analysis by Nemani Delaibatiki in which he discussed Rabuka’s leadership (FS 1/8).

Sitiveni Rabuka obviously has a sway in providing policy making leadership to SODELPA.

The sale of the disc ($10) is probably part of that or merely a fundraising exercise. Certainly he is the citadel of iTaukei interest illustrated by his nationalist policies and perhaps manipulative opportunism to cement it.

Obviously his radical politics can be compared with cross fertilisation of nationalistic policies of Buta’s type and iTaukei politics. His control of party bureaucracy is extensive and ruthless. This is long gone.

One nation

Taitusi Sokiveta, Phoenix, USA

We need to read all of Mahatma Ghandi’s books and put into action his love for everyone.

Gandhi loved everyone. It doesn’t matter if you a Hindu, Muslim or a Christian, he loved everybody the same. Women, children, men, whole families including all foreigners and those who don’t look like him became his father, mother, brother, sister and family.   

There are many good people on earth like Ghandi. The late Mother Teresa of Calcutta, India, Pope John Paul and Jesus Christ himself – famous for love thy neighbour as thyself.

It was the work of non violence that Jesus preached thousands of years ago that Mahatma Gandhi followed and later Dr Martin Luther King followed Gandhi’s non-violence approach to bring freedom to African Americans in the United States.

Nelson Mandela united South Africa with forgiveness, working together as one people and loving your neighbour as yourself. All in Fiji should start a lesson on Ghandi so our children can learn loving thy neighbour early on in life.

We are all Fijians now. Citizens of Fiji,   let’s all come together and become one nation under God.

Wainisavulevu weir

Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori

The issues surrounding the raising of the weir at Wainisavulevu reveals many factors and raises further questions to the Department of Environment (DOE) and Energy Fiji Limited (EFL).

For over four years, I was National Co-ordinator for the Fiji Wetlands Working Group preparing Fiji’s accession to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Wetlands, by definition, include mangroves, coral reefs, rivers and their tributaries and all lakes and ponds.

This includes the catchment area surrounding Wainisavulevu and the dam itself, the whole Monasavu catchment and dam.

In 2003 I was part of the team that presented a proposal to Cabinet requesting;

1. For Fiji to ratify the Ramsar Convention on wetlands.

2. For the Department of Environment to prioritise Fiji’s wetlands.

3. For the Fiji Wetlands working group to be officially recognised as the Wetlands Steering Committee and to advise Government on all wetland issues.

All three proposals were endorsed and approved by Government then.

Dr Dick Watling and Marika Tuiwawa, who later became founding members of Mareqeti Viti Nature Fiji, were senior members of our committee and we worked very closely with Government then.

Also in our committee were representatives from the Department of Fisheries, Department of Lands, Department of Forestry, Department of Agriculture, USP, NLTB, Fijian Affairs Board, National Trust of Fiji and conservation NGOs such as WWF, Live and Learn, WCS, Birdlife International and etc.

Behind this committee is more than 200 years of combined experience in the field of conservation and environment.

No one in Fiji knows and understands the ecology of Monasavu and its surrounding areas more than this group.

They are regular visitors there and I have camped with them in those thick dense forests for up to two weeks at a time while doing field surveys.

Dr Dick Watling has been the author of the Fiji Government’s “Status of Environment Report” and has done countless work for Fiji and the region.

I find it sad that their warning was taken lightly by the Director of Environment and Energy Fiji Limited (EFL).

If the Wetlands Steering Committee was active and still running today this problem at Wainisavulevu would have never happened because they would be the first people Government would have referred to for advice as endorsed in our proposal to Cabinet.

The fact that a site in the affected area is marked as a site of national significance because of its biodiversity values is worrying. Fiji is a signatory to the Convention on Biodiversity and it was the funding from this agreement that assisted in the establishment of our Department of Environment in the first place.

Let us hope an amicable solution can be found early and let this be a lesson to both DOE and EFL.

Maybe multiple EIAs should be done for developments of such magnitude to ensure various opinions are taken and a thorough assessment is carried out.

If the Prime Minister can ride horses, cross rivers on foot and climb hills to visit rural communities, why can’t the top brass of DOE and EFL visit their assets and sites around the country to fully understand and comprehend what actually transpires on the ground?

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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