Letters To The Editor 11th October 2016

Independence memories Sukha Singh, Labasa Every Independence Day makes me think of 1970. You could buy a dozen buns for 10 cents. I was still at secondary school and almost
11 Oct 2016 11:00
Letters To The Editor 11th October 2016

Independence memories

Sukha Singh, Labasa

Every Independence Day makes me think of 1970.

You could buy a dozen buns for 10 cents.

I was still at secondary school and almost every week I was used to drink Gordon’s London Dry Gin.

Today, I just can’t buy my favourite drink unless I go to America.

Even flour from overseas was so cheap and when we started milling our own, prices just went up.

Thank you A D Patel, S M Koya, K C Ramrakha and Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara for independence!


I remember the days

Ashneel J Prasad, New Zealand

It’s been almost 46 years now but I remember it like it was yesterday.

Standing in the big Tilak Hall, when the Master of Ceremony spoke (or rather yelled) into the microphone saying: “All rise! Put your right hand on top of your heart and all together sing the National Anthem in 3, 2 , 1!”

Some yawned, some grumbled for being hungry, and after a full three minutes later, we would start singing out of sync.

And then suddenly, the battle erupts – whose side can sing the loudest.

The voice rises, taking a peak – “The land of freedom, hope and glory…” and finally ending together in sync and in emotion – “God bless Fiji!” That’s the power of one’s own country’s National Anthem.

Don’t lie, while you were reading that, you too must have sung along the tune of our anthem.

It’s been almost 46 years. The national anthem has being recited repeatedly to perfection before the flag raising ceremony. The masi (printed tapa) all-ready to gift had never been used, the smell of “lovo” coming from all over the country (Those who had picked it up, yes I was using the Titanic reference).

And then the clock chimed 10am. And from that moment onwards – 10am, Octobe 10, 1970 – Fiji changed forever. It became an Independent country.

Independent. It feels even weird writing that word. Independent of what?

Fiji’s national language is still English. Fiji’s judiciary and parliamentary system is still British, Fiji’s money currency system is still American. The Union Jack is still on our flag. Independent of what?

Ahhh, maybe independent to do four coups in 46 years? Maybe that they couldn’t do in the colonial days. Not that I’m blaming, but it wasn’t until almost 43 years after the Independence, Fijian’s of Indian descent were properly given the national title of ‘Fijian’. Oh wait a minute, that means I wasn’t a Fijian all throughout my primary and secondary schooling days? Well, then today I can say, I’m a Fijian. I’m a Fijian. And I’m a Fijian.

Forty six years this year, then in four years, we’ll hit the golden century. Amidst all this, today, I must again put my heart’s pain in words.

All throughout my life I lead my life with a stigma and dilemma of what if. What if my forefather’s hadn’t come to Fiji? How different would my life be? Maybe I shouldn’t say this but I will.

I hope the Fijian Government do demand Britain’s government in making a formal apology to Fijians of Indian descent.

More than 140 years has passed now before they brought our forefathers to Fiji cunningly, lying to them and then forgot all about them.

That I can forgive, but I can’t forgive that hundreds also died on the journey given that they didn’t have enough food, medicine or water on board to sustain everyone’s living.

Leonidas arrived in Fiji on May 14, 1879 and only after 134 years later, we could be classified as Fijians today? An apology is long overdue.

Nevertheless, good or bad, Fiji is my home. I’m happy with those potholes, those chokichoki’s, those fun-flavers, those bongo’s, those kerekere’s, those bhuja’s, those beaches, those riff-raff’s with taxi drivers, those walk homes from school.

I wish everyone in this world one day truly experience the Fiji way. We may look different from the outside, but our heart is in the right place. We might not have enough money to see a movie at the theaters, but we do make sure that our neighbours house does have food.

We might have all the worries in the world, but there will always be a smile on our face while giving direction to a stranger. We might have sleepless nights worrying about our finances, but we will happy wide awake at 4am in the morning to see Fiji’s rugby game on television, and we might not have the world’s luxurious malls or gaming centres but we’re happy with our tyres and billibillis’.

When I was in school, I used to tell everyone that one day I will become Fiji’s Prime Minister. Maybe one day I will. Till then I love my Fiji and I’m proud of my Fiji.


Absurd car sticker

Wise Muavono, Lautoka

A sticker on a car bumper: “Drive on the footpath – there are too many idiots on the road.” hahaha…


Drinking and driving penalties

Ram Goundar, Suva

I refer to the letter by Roneel Chang of Nadi in the Fiji Sun dated 10/10/16 on the above subject matter (Drunk and Drive) and I quite agree with his comments and concerns.

He has rightly pointed out that the authorities should hit them hard in the pocket, because no amount of awareness, education and road patrols will educate these drivers’ attitudes in the name of road safety.

Another option would be to do some amendments in the traffic laws in the name of reducing road carnage through an act of the Parliament and implementing of “mandatory 14 days remand period on the first instance upon arrest for drunk and drive cases”.

This will at least give the so called Smart Drivers who are in the habit of trying to beat the system to think twice before they sit behind the wheels under the influence of drinks as to what they would they prefer, that is, continue their day to day work and daily earnings and a secured job or a 14 days remand at the remand centre and court process to follow.

I think no employer will reengage an employee after 14 days of absenteeism especially return from a remand centre for drunk and drive.

It is high time these messages go into their top cells now or never.


Actions speak louder

Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

We generally know what people are thinking by simply looking at what they do. Their actions and attitudes reflect the way they think.

So in essence, it is pretty easy to know what a person is like, and by that I mean who they really are!

In our daily lives each and every one of us are influenced by people of all walks of life. From family members, friends, neighbors, work colleagues, leaders of societies, religious leaders and parliamentarians. One needs to continuously observe and stay focused.

You will find that as much as we would like to believe that all is good, reality says otherwise. It’s a gruesome Fiji we live in as its every man for himself. More people have become irresponsible, disrespectful, greedy, troublesome, inconsiderate, egotistical, and most of can’t mind their own business.

We have far too many wolves hidden beneath sheep’s clothing!

Beware, for the majorities don’t care!


Road contractors

Damodaran Nadan, Lautoka

This week the Attorney-General said that the Government would  look at the road works done by a company because maybe it is not up to standard.

I would urge authorities concerned to please also have a look at other companies working in Fiji.

For example, the resealing of roads at Link Road, Sugar Ave and Kashmir to name a few, needs to be looked into. When these foreign companies came in, we expected the roads to be of their country’s standard.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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