Letters To The Editor, December 31, 2014

Refreshing change Dr Sushil k. Sharma, Lautoka Fiji National University is one of the largest employers in the country and should you chat with any existing or former staff or
31 Dec 2014 07:55

Refreshing change

Dr Sushil k. Sharma, Lautoka

Fiji National University is one of the largest employers in the country and should you chat with any existing or former staff or student, you will hear many tales either about them or their friends, who were treated badly, victimised in some way or given the marching orders.

FNU staff morale had ebbed to an all time low, with many local and international academics leaving the university due to disagreements over academic, administrative, and personal matters; often disgruntled after a serious fallout with management.

Various campuses around Fiji were run by so called campus co-ordinators who were sometimes totally unqualified for the job.

Many staff wrote long emails and reports all the way to the Prime Minister’s Office but to no avail. They tried to form a staff union, but those who attended the meetings had their names passed.

To gauge what I am saying, the Government should set up a free call line, and encourage every single staff or student who has had some issue with the FNU management call in or write them a report.

They will be surprised at what tales and information they will gather.

During management meetings, drinks flowed openly, goat, duck and other meat and poultry was aplenty – but in the class room you may not have enough chairs or even a white board marker.

The Minister for Education knows well from his own experiences and those that staff and students shared with him when he was only a dean.

We welcome Professor Ian Rouse as the acting vice- chancellor, and I am sure that any wholesale changes will be much easier, as Professor Rouse and Dr Reddy are both fully familiar with the pitfalls and the errors of the ways the FNU was being managed till now.

I am sure that the good majority of all staff and students, both former and present, welcome this much needed change.


Speaking out

Susana Tuisawau, Suva

I have noticed that in three of Tukai Lagonilakeba’s letters to The Fiji Sun, my name was mentioned although I had never in any of the letters I had written to your column, referred to him nor to any of the issues he had previously raised.

I thank him for his thoughts anyway and assure him that I will always respect his right to express what he thinks. I wish him well in all his endeavours.

May I just assure the good gentleman that I did not vote for SODELPA in the last elections-lest he thinks that I am prejudiced.

In fact I did not vote at the last elections. It is perhaps my profession as a teacher, my long involvement with the trade unions and NGO work that have driven some of us towards activism where we just analyse issues and speak out against what we perceive is wrong –no matter which side of the political divide it is committed.

To many of us, the most important point to be made is that all citizens –no matter what political affiliations we have, each has a conscience and a good sense of what is right and wrong.

We all know when a crime is being committed or when citizens’ rights are unjustly denied.

It is consequently our civic duty to be the conscience of the nation and speak out when we perceive incidences of injustice; political bullying or where parliamentary leaders could improve on a situation.

We cannot continue to be silent if an illegal or undemocratic or dictatorial act is or was committed just because it was committed by our political hero or party.

That will not help our leaders practice good governance nor would it help Fiji gain credibility as a democratic nation. We the citizens have a critical role to continue to hold our leaders responsible and accountable.


Unfair letters

Amenatave Yaconisau,


It seems that the ongoing letter duel with Tukai Lagonilakeba is not going to end soon (FS 28/12/14) despite the entry of other upsetters like him.

The Nadi smear artist is exhibiting more undesirable behaviour now.

He and other like him love nothing more than to please their masters with exceptional loyalty through their comments

He and others like him seem to believe their freedom to attack the dignity of an individual is absolute and should not be restrained by this newspaper because there is legitimate interest to freely criticise.

Far from it according to section 17(3)(d) of the 2013 Constitution. They personally villify parlimentarians and respectable people treading on their faces at will.

Our parliamentarians are clearly competent. loyal and efficient people and should be allowed to get on with their jobs without the persistent denigration motivated by the fact that they are opposition members.

Their performance will be decided by their contracts, team leaders, standing orders and more so through the ballot box not by Tukai and Sushil.

I have sympathy for all the victims for having endured such relentless personal vilification.

They have demonstrated complete disregard for good manners. If they consider it their duty to hurt peoples feeling they can be straightforward with it without being nasty.

They should consider themselves lucky that people who read this good newspaper are tolerant in view of their unmitigated attack on people; against the very grain of decency accepted in this country.

No one including the gatekeepers of this newspaper should betray the freedom of citizens of this land by refusing to condemn such writers.

I wish to let them know that I’m not a supporter of any political ideology but the rule of law in this country.


Qarase story

Jalesi Nakarawa

Hamilton, New Zealand

The article (FS 28/12) on Qarase is not only misleading but sensationalism at its best. The issue is simply one in which Qarase is trying to get what is due to him, no more and no less.

Despite all that has happened in the past, let us be fair to the guy.


Labasa Town

Sukha Singh, Labasa

I was at the 75th anniversary of Labasa Town courtesy of one of the organisers Kamlesh Prasad .As a double rate payer I would have appreciated a direct invitation from the council.

Anyway, I would just like to know the total number of gold medals presented and their costs.


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