Letters To The Editor, 20th June, 2018

Responsible budgets Jeremiah Ligairi, Suva We have seen that this Government  has always delivered responsible budgets and not handouts. Some of the decisions they took five years ago, it is
20 Jun 2018 13:53
Letters To The Editor, 20th June, 2018

Responsible budgets

Jeremiah Ligairi, Suva

We have seen that this Government  has always delivered responsible budgets and not handouts.

Some of the decisions they took five years ago, it is bearing fruits now. How can the Opposition predict what is in the budget?

SODELPA is getting their advice on lamb chops and butter and cheaper beer from Biman Prasad as evident from a photo posted by team SODELPA on their various pages, but that does not mean they preempt what will be announced in the budget.

This goes to show how SODELPA and NFP think. If they were in Government which thank God they are not, one can imagine the stunts they would have pulled to appease the masses.

$10m iTaukei grant

Tukai Lagonilakeba, Nadi

In our 2015-2016 National Budget the visionary FijiFirst Government announced a whopping $10 million grant to itaukei Landowners who wish to add value and develop their own tokatoka or mataqali land.

To qualify they had to meet the requirements set out by the Ministry of Economy.

This is not a handout as have been alluded to by the opposition government critics.

It is an opportunity to encourage i-Taukei to develop good business skills through good land utilisation and management of their resources and financial literacy is a must to ensure success.

Many iTaukei landowners have always resorted to leasing out their prime lands to other Fijian businessman and investors for very little money in exchange because of the lack of funding or capital to carry out the necessary developments. Land rich but cash poor.

Our Government has seen it fit to change the mindset of these landowners and is providing a lifeline for them.

This is leading the way and empowerment and liberation to them through our 2013 Constitution. Power to the people.

What a great initiative indeed, since its inception in 2015, five recipients from Vuda, Wairabetia, Yadua, Saweni and Tailevu have been part of this wonderful opportunity.

Last week, Thursday June 14th, the Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, after the endorsement of our PM and Minister for iTaukei Affairs Voreqe Bainimarama announced the next lot of five recipients from Vitogo, Vuda, Tavua, Lautoka and Nadroga.

These landowners must be commended for doing the right thing.

But I do hope that they can all strictly conform to the guidelines, terms and conditions of the grant approvals so they do not spoil the opportunity for future iTaukei grant applicants.

I believe many of these iTaukei recipients can now move forward to materialise their development plans and also assist and guide other landowners who wish to do the same.

Another wonderful initiative by the Government is the regularisation of all squatter settlements on iTaukei land around the country. One classic example is the Ledrusasa informal vakavanua settlement at Votualevu in Nadi.

There are about 80 sitting Fijian families at Ledrusasa, but through TLTB and the Government the Turaga ni Mataqali Yavusasivo Ratu Isaia Saukuru from Saunaka Village almost $2.5million was allocated by our Government to fully develop this land to formalise their subdivision and residential status.

It is now complete and ready, the tenants have all been given their sales and purchase agreements and they will soon happily receive their 99 years Residential Agreement to lease where most have lived for more than 20 years.

The majority of these informal settlers were mostly displaced cane farmers from around the Western Division during the expiry of their ALTA Sugarcane Farm Leases.

Vinaka du riki vakalevu (Thank you) to Ratu Isaia Saukuru for maintaining your civic obligations in accommodating these land less Fijians at a time Sitiveni Rabuka was PM, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Niko Nawaikual, Mahendra Chaudhry, Laisenia Qarase and the then TLTB general manager Marika Qarikau could not do a thing because of their irresponsible faltering and nationalistic non-inclusive discriminating politics.

Again at the Valenimasima Vakavanua Settlement in Votualevu there is another 110 Fijian Families of displaced sugarcane farmers who are living on land that belongs to this same Turaga Ni Mataqali Yavusasivo from Saunaka Village Ratu Isaia Saukuru. Government is currently working on regularising their status with the landowners.

These are their homes and koro, it is their constitutional right to have a land and dwelling, which the Government must facilitate at any cost.

I personally feel these particular iTaukei landowners rightly deserve a medal from the College of Honours through the office of His Excellency the President Gagaj Jioji Konrote.

Vinaka vakalevu (Thank you) to a caring Government that walks its talk. Not just lip service, very commendable indeed, but all aspiring political opposition parties and candidates must learn from this FijiFirst Government, it has the political will to make it right.

Corporal punishment

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

Do-gooders seem to associate corporal punishment, the use of the belt or cane as a form of discipline in schools with torture, to justify their stand on our current law on corporal punishment.

When we old school talk about bringing back the cane or belt, we want this to be used as a last resort when verbal reasoning has no effect and where expulsion could be avoided.

Peter Whyte in his letter in the other daily gives wise counsel.

But, if the home is not allowed to straighten out the child or student with a belt or cane when all the verbal reasoning falls on deaf ears and teachers in schools are also not permitted by law to administer the old school form of discipline, we will reap what we sow!

The July 2016 to June 2017 Data on Sexually Related offences from all schools by district reveals that there were 224 cases of harassment, 19 cases of defilement, 19 cases of rape, 17 cases of attempted rape, eight cases of sexting, 170 cases of poking and 121 cases of teenage pregnancies.

This does not include the unreported cases involving students in schools and indiscipline outside of school.

If the data for July 2017 to June 2018 does not show any improvement or gets worse; this only shows the increase in indiscipline in schools with students having a no fear and arrogant attitude.

The old school discipline using the belt and cane worked on us. So who’s grand idea was it that it will not work for our children?

Out with the old

Amenatave Yaconisau, Delainavesi

What does the military institution have to do in view of the analysis by Nemani Delaibatiki (FS 18) that it faces the danger of being left behind if it doesn’t change. Surely it’s not a liability as we all know it can intervene in the political process any time it wishes. Luckily we have a stable system. If anything, it’s the pattern of recruitment that favours some and the degree of professionalism.

Daylight stealing

Khirti Patel, Lautoka

I am concerned about some broad daylight stealing.

Far too many cases have happened where the women’s jewellery, especially the chains they are wearing are snatched away. There are situations where the stand-by witness runs to the aid of the victim, sometimes to no avail.

Sometimes the Police officers upon receiving reports state that they cannot do much. In some situations it is understood, however, those kinds of feedback do not sound good from our very own law enforcers.

Imagine some jewellery can be so expensive or some have great emotional strings attached specially when they are passed down from the past generations.

I hope something can be done and this kind of thing can be taken into consideration seriously.

The surveillance camera  has to be installed thoroughly because this can be a major help to the general public.

This ongoing trend has to be stopped. Believe me, if the proper installation and use of the surveillance is made, there could be so much truth out in the open air and so many criminals being caught, perhaps some just within minutes.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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