Letters To The Editor, May 21, 2015

7s rugby not ‘pani’ Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori Some critics are saying that Fiji’s victory in winning the IRB Series is insignificant and we have only won it twice out of
21 May 2015 08:29
Letters To The Editor, May 21, 2015

7s rugby not ‘pani’

Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori

Some critics are saying that Fiji’s victory in winning the IRB Series is insignificant and we have only won it twice out of 16 times.

We have won the Sevens World Cup twice and only New Zealand has equalled our record.

For almost  10 years, some of our top 7s rugby players and even their coach were refused visas to enter New Zealand or Australia on political grounds thus affecting our performance and points on the World Rugby Series tally.

They say that 7s is just a “back yard sport” and is not taken seriously.

How can it be a back yard sport when it is watched by hundreds of millions of viewers around the world, generating billions of dollars in revenue and is now the only rugby version played in the Olympics?

Ben Ryan must have correctly measured the toll it has taken on his players and decided that no more sacrifices are to be made giving the game to Australia in the London semifinals because they have nothing more to prove.

Unless we are illiterate or have forgotten how to count, we all know that the World Rugby Series grand final was in the London quarterfinals when Fiji played South Africa.

Fiji has won four of the nine World Rugby tournaments this season plus the overall Series, while Australia has not won a single one. What is there for Fiji to prove by beating Australia and risk unnecessary injuries?

These players are not objects. They are people who have been throwing their bodies on the line for Fiji since last November while we enjoy and pass judgment from the comfort of our living rooms.

For those smart critics who still think Fiji’s victory is insignificant, how about they try playing real rugby or coaching it to see if they are really as good as they think they are.

I won’t be surprised if these critics have played nothing but ‘pani’ at their own back yards all their life and are now dreaming of comparing it to 7s rugby.

Congratulations to Ben, the whole team and all those hard working and dedicated people behind the scene. From deep in our hearts, we salute you.

Now please give us the bank and account number we can deposit our donations and contributions to assist you on your road to Rio.

Ba province NGO

Epeli Rabua, Suva

The Ba Provincial Council chairman, Ratu Tevita Momoedonu’s, comments in the media; “that the predecessors of the members of this organisation must be turning in their graves for what their successors are trying to do in the province now…”, should be read that those predecessors had been turning in their graves since Fiji’s new Government decided to amend enacted laws in the original Native Lands Trust Board Act, nullifying most, if not all of the powers it had before.

That the majority of the Chiefs in Ba have taken it upon themselves to look after their own people, their lands and their development, is a good example of the ‘can do’ attitude of what the iTaukei people from all the other Provincial Councils can learn from.

Nothing in this world is free. Funds have to be found from somewhere to pay for the freebies. And it creates a lethargic society which depends on the Government for everything.

The initiative taken up by the Ba Province Chiefs, to form such a NGO should be commended for its vision and determination in trying to unite a fragmenting iTaukei society trying to come to grips with governmental equality in a village hierarchical culture.

This Ba Province NGO initiative paves the way for a new independent iTaukei, who is willing to work hard not only for himself, but for his family, his village, his neighbours, his town, his city, his district, his province and work together with all the other races in his community for a bigger, better and successful Fiji.

Smoking enforcement

Wise Muavono, Lautoka

I have been told that a number of people were fined for smoking inside the Lautoka grog market last Tuesday.

Will this be a regular enforcement or just a one-off?

How about the buses with engines that are kept running? The drivers should also be booked? Unless, you want to book the bus as well!


Reverend James Bhagwan, Secretary for Communication and Overseas Mission

Methodist Church in Fiji

I note Mr Bolatiki’s comments in the Coconut Wireless in yesterday’s Fiji Sun (20/5). For his information and that of others, may I clarify that the Methodist Church in Fiji’s “apolitical” stance, as within the context of the statement last week, refers to the definition of “apolitical” as “being not connected to” or “does not identify with any one particular party.”

The church, as a nation-wide faith community, will continue to speak on issues relating to issues of justice, peace and society, which we believe is part of our expression of our Christian faith, as protected by the 2013 Constitution.

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