Letters To The Editor 25th October 2016

Steel Factory In Ba Margie Muller, Ba As a citizen of Ba, I congratulate Dayals Group of Companies for venturing into such an ambitious and unprecedented industrial project in our
25 Oct 2016 11:00
Letters To The Editor 25th October 2016

Steel Factory In Ba

Margie Muller, Ba

As a citizen of Ba, I congratulate Dayals Group of Companies for venturing into such an ambitious and unprecedented industrial project in our small laid-back township, as reported in the Fiji Sun, Monday October 24.

My great concern is, how much impact will this project have on our already fragile environment?

I did not read anywhere in the article of any assurance that the environment would not be affected nor was there any mention of a feasibility study carried out to this effect.

The location of this project is within close proximity of residential areas and also about 100 metres from the site of our new hospital.

How will the waste products be disposed of? How many chimneys will the factory have? Are there any measures in place to curb toxic smoke emissions, etc.

For five to six months of the year, during cane harvesting season, we have had to live with the fine black soot that is emitted from our mill in Rarawai, the occassional foul smell in the Ba River, smoke from burning cane and this year, dead fish in the river.

There is also a higher number of people who require the nebuliser at this time because of air pollution.

I would like to be re-assured by the stakeholders of the steel factory and the likes, that my grandchildren’s future in Ba will not be jeopardised by being told by doctors to relocate somewhere where the air is clean.

I believe that as humans occupying the one same Earth and breathing in the free same air, we have a right to fight for our basic rights of clean water, clean air and clean environment when all these God given blessings are threatened.



The Fijian Dollar

Michael Chambers, Lautoka

Devaluing the Fiji dollar would be out of question, but revaluing it would be the best option right now.

At least the ripple effect would favour those earning below the poverty line, won’t it ?



Nation Of Criminals

Dorsami Naidu, Nadi

We seem to have a bottleneck situation within the criminal judicial system with our prisons brimming to the full.

We, in Fiji, seem to have taken to the stick and are dishing out harsh penalties without any attempt to educate and enlighten the population that certain habits and behaviours  cannot be allowed to continue in the name of tradition and culture.

Most of our actions can be looked at as being right or wrong. For example you cannot be violent towards your spouse, children or fellow human beings and not be subject to punishment.

Yet by simply adopting certain laws in the name of human rights or United Nations treaties, we have laid the system open to abuse.

Without first putting in place the infrastructure or support system, we allow persons guilty of domestic violence on the lower end to be locked up.

As we consider domestic violence to be heinous, similarly locking up another human being is inexcusable when we have other options available.

Rehabilitation, counselling, community work, etc, are all found in our statutes, but the infrastructure to implement them are not. Resources in the form of trained manpower or funding is not there.

Minor cases of violence can be dealt with without resort to the justice system in its harshest form.

There must be a better way than teachers  telling children to ring 911, if their parents try to use techniques involving physical means to discipline them.

Even our Police force, which gets six months or less training, are not equipped to handle cases of domestic violence. We have a very poorly trained and equipped Police force that is resource starved.

The manpower needs of the Police is 30 per cent below the required capacity. The present Police Commissioner maybe saying the right things and is very media savvy, but unfortunately that is not solving the law and order situation in the country.

Catching persons who deal/pedal in heavy drugs like cocaine, heroin, amphetamine or ice and other processed and cosmetic drugs is to be commended.

Yet allowing people to sell alcohol and tobacco and giving our citizens total liberty to consume them 24 hours, seven days a week throughout the year, in certain designated areas, without taking account of the social, economic and health problems it causes is a sad state of affairs.

We are told that alcohol and tobacco are the cause of kidney/liver failure, brain damage, loss of sexual drive, effect on the eyes, various forms of cancer and yet we allow it to be used legally. We actually promote and encourage it and all in the name of free enterprise.

Our Police force is presently on a mission to shutdown the marijuana trade and punish all persons who are part of this trade as well as confiscate assets obtained from this trade.

I read in the paper people involved in this trade being sent to jail for long terms though I must commend the Sigatoka magistrate for being a bit liberal recently in his sentence.

How can we allow people who drink and drive and are involved in serious accidents involving death or serious injuries to the innocent get away with short jail terms or fines. People who get involved in fights after drinking getting away with lenient sentences. Then who do we punish if people consume too much wine/ spirits/ beer and suffer kidney/ liver/ heart problems  or acquire various forms of cancer because of smoking.

Do you punish the manufacturer, the wholesaler or retailer or do you just brush it away as a question of choice since these drug or items were legalised in the name of commerce? Who does one punish if families face social and economic problems because of these ills?

Yet we are very fast and hard on people who plant, sell or use marijuana whereas the rest of the so called civilised world is legalising its sale and use.

They have also found it to be helpful in easing pain for a lot of ailments. It has also been determined that this particular illicit drug is no more dangerous than alcohol, tobacco or in some cases certain sugary fizzy drinks and so why send our citizens to lengthy non parole jail terms.

What purpose does it serve? Some argue that marijuana can take the place of sugar cane as a commercial crop and why not.

Drinking kava as a social drink is a great unifier in our communities and has its own cultural and traditional status, but what about when some people drink it all hours of the day and night, and have to use lotion with the persons who over indulge in this past time facing family breakdowns and health problems. Who do we blame – the grower of kava, the marketing man, the seller  or the media which promotes this brown label?

I think it’s about time that we look at ourselves in the mirror and decide where we want our society to go.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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