Letters To The Editor, January 29, 2015

New locomotives Nardeo Mishra, Nasinu It’s good to see that FSC has brought in seven new locomotives to ease the transportation problems. So it is obvious the number of cane
29 Jan 2015 12:24

New locomotives

Nardeo Mishra, Nasinu

It’s good to see that FSC has brought in seven new locomotives to ease the transportation problems.

So it is obvious the number of cane carts will also increase to facilitate the increased demand.

Lets hope that FSC this year opens the tramline up to Sigatoka town so that the cane farmers in that area can also benefit from this service.

Lastly may we know what is happening to the repair of the old rail bridge in Sigatoka so that the farmers in Kavanagasau and surrounding areas can again start cane plantation.

Any plans or any money allocated in this years budget?


Bus fare vouchers

Dorsami Naidu, Nadi

I feel so sorry for the parents of students who are forced to go to Justices of the Peace to have their forms witnessed.

Some even have to take several hours off work for this purpose and stand in line for a few hours.

I take my hat off to the JPs for having the patience to attend to these parents on a voluntary basis .

What I am unable to understand is why the Ministry of Education and the Minister is allowing this to happen.

At the bottom of the form it clearly states that Head Teachers and Principals can also be witnesses.

The overwhelming majority of students and their parents are known to the teachers though the same would not apply to JPs .

So can we have some sanity and order by requiring the teachers to be the witnessing officer because most, if not all, refuse to sign telling parents and students to go to a JP.

Netball Fiji

Vilitati Yaranamua, Nadi

My applause to all those who saw and witness the Oceania Netball Tri-Series held at the Vodafone Arena, and the comments made in our two dailies especially regarding our Fiji Pearls.

I still can recall about five years ago in this column, when we were ranked fifth in the world, I suggested to Netball Fiji to select more tall players probably six feet plus.

We all know the reason for that,battle of heights. Other International teams have got the advantage of this over us.

They are are tall, strong, physical, fast and fit.

Thank you New Zealand, thank you Samoa and please do come again.

Fiji loves to see you again next year.


Rounds reply

Dennis Rounds, Suva

Allow me to respond to your front page article “Aussies Snubbed? ” of 28 February 2015 and specifically to references to me on Page 3.

It is my firm belief that newspapers not only serve to inform the public but also act as a “Reference” for historical research.

It, therefore, is incumbent on me to set the facts straight rather than let lie what, to me, is becoming slewed and agenda-driven reporting.

Fact One: During my tenure with the Australian High Commission, I held the position of Public Affairs Officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). That, for those like the article’s author who may not be able to fathom the difference, is quite separate to the position of “Communications Specialist” which was how the author of the article described me.

Fact Two: Ms Merewalesi Nailatikau was not my successor. She was Senior Communications Manager for the then AusAID and continued in that capacity when the two Australian departments merged into a single entity. Let me assure the author concerned that Ms Nailatikau is an intelligent and professionally trained individual with the relevant accompanying tertiary qualifications.

To insinuate that her personal life might influence her professional status is, if I may offer an opinion, both demeaning of a very intelligent young woman and degrading to professional women and women in general.

Fact Three: I did not “retire” as your author suggests. I opted to take a redundancy package for personal reasons one of which was to re-enter mainstream media reporting in an attempt to bring back some respect and credibility to the profession. In that regard that is the only “agenda” some might wish to accuse me of.

Fact Four: Opinions I expressed (and continue to express) on social media have been both “negative’, and where relevant “positive”, of the Bainimarama Government. Those postings, while employed by the High Commission, were duly prefaced with constant reminders that I was commenting in my capacity as a citizen of Fiji and not as an employee of the Australian Government. Might I say that I am grateful to my former employer for being able to distinguish between my job description and duty statement and my right, as a Fiji citizen, to free speech. It is abundantly clear that some media personnel are obsessed with the childish notion that anyone who offers an opinion that may be critical of the Bainimarama Government is “anti-Bainimarama Government” and even “anti-Fiji”. I make no apologies for pointing out government shortcomings and I am of the opinion that professional journalists, by the very “nature” of their work, are expected to do likewise.

By way of further explanation, my postings on social media questioned the implications and functionality of the Media Industry Development Decree and the Television (Cross Carriage of Designated Events) Decree. Should your author be brave enough to distance himself from what I perceive to be an agenda-driven comfort zone he might admit that both Decrees are now being questioned with suggestions they may be amended or “fine-tuned” to better meet the “realities” of the media profession.

And should he have a memory lapse, it’s worth mentioning that the whole of Fiji was, a couple of months back, made painfully aware of the shortcoming in the Media (Cross Carriage) Decree.

Editors note: Dennis Rounds believes he is entitled to a right of reply, although his lengthy and overtly political letter fails to address yesterday’s Fiji Sun report. In the interests of accuracy it should also be pointed out:

– He and Mere Nailatikau have both worked as communications specialists for the Australian High Commission, whatever the actual job title was.

– Ms Nailatikau is now doing work he previously did before taking redundancy.

– Mr Rounds is a regular critic of the Bainimarama Government, on social media, including while working with the Australian High Commission. Ms Nailatikau is the daughter-in-law of the Opposition Leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus