Letters to the Editor, October 22, 2014

Diwali 2014 Dewan Chand, Suva Deepawali, the largest Hindu festival of lights will be celebrated on October 23, 2014. The horizon will explode with myriads of firecrackers and millions of
22 Oct 2014 13:36

Diwali 2014

Dewan Chand, Suva

Deepawali, the largest Hindu festival of lights will be celebrated on October 23, 2014. The horizon will explode with myriads of firecrackers and millions of lights will illuminate the sky.

Etymologically speaking deep =light and awali = rows. Thus, Deepawali is a festival of rows of lights. Light means knowledge or truth and driving ignorance from one’s life. In essence, simple living and high thinking. Learning to share and care with the disadvantaged in our society.

India is a land of extremes and diversities and deepawali is an ancient festival. In different parts of India it is celebrated for different reason. In the north it is the end of the harvest season and farmers celebrate deepawali as a thanksgiving festival. Others celebrate to mark the emergence of goddess Maha Laxmi , the goddess of wealth and prosperity from the ocean of nectar. Some celebrate to mark the killing of Narkasura, the demon king, by Lord Krishna.

However, the most popular belief is that deepawali is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama and his consort Sita with their entourage to Ajodhya, after fourteen years exile . The people of Ajodhya in their jubilation lit millions of diyas to welcome their king Ram and queen Sita. This being the darkest night, they wanted to illuminaate their path.

Cleanliness in homes and environment and upliftment of spirituality is the essential feature of deepawali. Buying of new clothes for the family members, cooking sweet dishes and heaps of food to be shared with friends and the disadvantaged in our society.

This year deepawali has a special significance for all Fijians as this is a national holiday. Recently we concluded a very successful democratic elections thus ushering in the parliamentary form of government. This has given people a sense of confidence and renewed lease of life. There is a sense of trust. oneness, acceptability and a sense of jubilation all around. People are prepared to go an extra mile to make Fiji the paradise of the Pacific.

We simply cannot go wrong as we see hope and jubilation in the eyes of all Fijians.

The evening sky is lit with firecrackers and hive of buying spree is ample proof of this

The infectious camaraderie is not far away. You are lucky indeed to be living in Fiji in such an exciting time.

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous deepawali.


Education system
Neelz Singh , Lami

The educational establishment of the Pacific divides fairly neatly into three groups: Those who recognise the need for radical and sustained improvement but fear that it’s impossible, those who actively oppose change because their allegiances require them to defend failure and that small, but growing and inspiring group of advocates who see a way to improve and are actually making it happen.

It’s an ongoing discussion of how to boost the education and skill levels of the Pacific and Fijian workforce. One central issue is rarely addressed – assessment and standardisation. Exams are not the only way of accessing students, there are many means and ways as it should be holistic way of approach to measure learning outcomes.


Overseas accounts

Tukai Lagonilakeba, Nadi

The Leader of the FLP was convicted for contravening the Foreign Exchange Act. It resulted in him not being able to contest the election as he was found guilty of collecting monies offshore without following the rules and deposited them in his personal bank account in Australia.

Similarly, can those in Government who regulate religious activities, please investigate all religious heads and iTalatala, who also on the same pretext have collected monies during their overseas travels to preach to Fijians the world over. They were given monies in the guise of soli or tithing in their own country’s currency, but cannot bring them into Fiji because there is so much collected and exceed the limit allowed into our country.

Most of these reverends have overseas bank accounts whereby they deposit these vast undeclared amounts which they will only specifically use for their personal use when offshore.

I have relatives whom with myself are all willing to attest to this with some of them are in the British Army, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel and the USA who all tell of such stories of collections.

If Mr Chaudhry was investigated and convicted for such crimes, I do not see why Government cannot do the same for this lot.
How the greatest fall

Osea Sivo Naisau, Ba

Recently it’s been reported that Muhammad Ali AKA ‘The Greatest’ has been hospitalised.

The Parkinson disease syndrome that had ravaged his body for years seems to be taking its toll.

Last week, I was watching a disc, an ESPN film entitled Muhammad and Larry by Albert Maysles and Bradley Kaplan.

In which many boxing experts shared their thoughts about a boxing match, the heavyweight title bout, between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes that should not have taken place.

In the build-up to the bout, a medical check-up conducted on Ali showed that he was unfit mentally and physically.

A co-ordination and reflexes test showed that he was well below the standard.

His condition prior to the bout wasn’t made public, but was known by some in Ali’s camp.

From the opening bell to the round that the match was stopped, Holmes completely dominated ‘The Greatest’ in all facets of the sweet science.

Dr Freddie Pacheco, Ali’s former doctor said concerning the bout that it was an “abomination, a crime and all those involved in it should be arrested”.

Prior to the fight Ali stated: “Mark my word. Take the film, if I get whipped then I’ll be a fool’.

After playing a vital role in ending sport’s most popular icon’s career Holmes shed tears in front of his wife and the interviewing reporter. After all they were friends and former sparring partners, Larry had a soft spot for Ali just like most of those who knew him well.

One of Ali’s closest friend Bundini Brown when asked to best describe his personality replied “Like a child”.

While Tim Witherspoon, a sparring partner and later WBC heavyweight champ said of the “Greatest”. “If everybody had the qualities of Ali the world could be a better place”.

At the end of the film, the 1964 title bout between Sonny Liston and Cassius Clay AKA Mohammed Ali was replayed.

An ageing Liston couldn’t answer the bell for Round Seven. Fast forward a few years later, the ageing Ali tasted the same medicine in the hands of a young champ.

Then an ageing champ lost to a young challenger. Now an ageing challenger lost to a young champ.

In life what goes around comes around. For time and tide waits for no one.

Only a few people in history are head and shoulders above the rest of us in words and deeds. One of them has to be Cassius Marcellus Clay AKA Muhammed Ali AKA the Greatest.

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