Letters

Letters To The Editor, 2nd, November, 2016

Middle East pictures Tukai Lagonilakeba, Nadi Thank you Fiji Sun for your daily coverage highlighting the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote with his delegation while visiting our peacekeeping troops in
02 Nov 2016 12:08
Letters To The Editor, 2nd, November, 2016

Middle East pictures

Tukai Lagonilakeba,

Nadi

Thank you Fiji Sun for your daily coverage highlighting the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote with his delegation while visiting our peacekeeping troops in the Golan Heights, Lebanon, Iraq and Sinai.

The daily reports are informative, encouraging and educational to Fijians. It helps us understand that be it any of our loved ones serving, they are contributing in terms of their peacekeeping duties.

They are fulfilling their duties and exercising their oath to serve.

Many of our past family members have died in their line of duty. These great sacrifices should make all Fijians proud in seeing our men and women in green stand proud amongst the rest of the world in war-torn areas.

Lest we forget, these Fijians also contribute greatly to foreign currency remittances to our economy similar to those sports like our rugby players overseas and our seasonal workers picking fruits in the orchards. They are contributing in one way or another.

It is good that these pictures of our Republic of Fiji Military Forces personnel are being highlighted. It may also dispel any misconstrued or ill-conceived critics of the green uniform.

Mr Konrote is no stranger to these Middle East countries. He is a veteran of peacekeeping and a very highly decorated one too.

He is the former United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Commander overseeing the many thousands of the peacekeeping observers during his younger days.

We pray that God will protect our fellow countrymen and women during this festive season and the New Year celebrations.

Baber – 100 per cent support

Samuela Rareba,

Suva

I know many people are asking why and who is Gareth Baber. Honestly speaking, I feel the same way and I know for a fact that this is the same feeling when Fiji Rugby Union chose Ben Ryan to coach our 7s team four years ago.

Let’s stop asking how and why but rather why not? We all know we have the right ingredients and the right mix for a champion team. So it’s just the toppings that is a little different.

Let’s give our 100 per cent support to our new Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber.

Mr Ryan instilled something of value to our players and that is discipline, character and the importance of diet.

I know Mr Baber has something up his sleeve and wants to further enhance this. So Mr Baber, I wish you all the best. I’m with you all the way.

 

 

Draft village bylaws

Alisi Daurewa,

Suva

The iTaukei Affairs Board must be commended for this culmination of a series of workshops which I understand has begun in two of the 14 provinces.  At a quick glance though, the draft bylaw reminds me of Fiji’s 19th Century indirect colonial rule.

And when the iTaukei were finally freed from bondage, in 1967 and urbanisation boomed.

I wonder, given the reduction at 49 per cent occupation in our rural areas, and if what appears to be a draconian draft village bylaw was to be formalised without a thorough consultation with those who will be affected by it whether directly or indirectly. Our villages might suddenly become empty.

Furthermore, what of the social and economic implications?

The following are some loud thoughts:

  1. Aside from ensuring children to go to school, the draft is silent on children’s protection against any form of abuse including child labour.

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation’s recent announcement that 683 cases of child abuse have been recorded thus far in 2016 is a stark reminder that the welfare of the child should be paramount in village governance;

  1. There is no protection against dominant voices of certain Christian denomination which burden the people (including recipients of Social Welfare protection), with obligations that are not Christ-like;
  2. There is no protection for the voiceless against decisions made by villages, districts and provincial councils which threaten family well-being
  3. While keeping the village wealth is listed as a role of the turaga ni koro (village head), the draft is silent on the responsibility of the customary owners of the land and the sea including the iqoliqoli;
  4. While I am not saying that witchcraft is only prevalent in rural areas, where it is containable however, witchcraft, a push factor for rural to urban drift, and a root cause for family and village conflict, should be addressed. And where are the mainstream churches?

Having said the above, my overall question is, what is so wrong with the villages developing their own bylaws in consultation with Police, other relevant government agencies and civil society organisations, should they wish to?  It is already happening in some villages and working quite well.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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