Letters to the Editor | Monday, June 5, 2023

Fijian Drua trainer Nacanieli Cawanibuka. Picture: SUPPLIED

The man behind the scenes

IF a picture could paint a thousands words – amidst the celebration and shouts of joy after the Fijian Drua emphatic win over the Reds – one man sat in the middle of the field and returned the glory to He, the giver of all strength. The man the living legend, the unsung hero. He is the man behind the scene. He works silently, and on most occasions his work goes unnoticed. He is humble, soft spoken, but he holds one of the key ingredients to the success of the team. A former national rep himself, he knows what it takes to don the white jersey. He is Master Nacanieli Cawanibuka. What we see on the rugby paddock are the fruits of his training method coupled with the players determination and sacrifice. He is assigned one of the most important jobs in Fiji Rugby, and that is prepping our boys for the task at hand. He knows; – what training method suits each individual player; – how much carb one must take; – the food type one must consume; – the amount of water one must drink; – how much running is needed; – the weights technique; – when you should sleep and when you should be awake. And he knows very well when you cheated. In fact, his strength and conditioning coaching skills is unrivalled. He was there in Rio 2016, and was there when Fiji won the World Sevens Series. He is the only other person apart from Jerry Tuwai to be part of the first five in a row win in Happy Valley. He helped bring home two Olympic gold, the Melrose Cup, countless world sevens series title and many more. Master Naca was there when Fiji hoisted its first World Sevens Series and was also there when the Flying Fijians made it to its first ever quarter finals in the Rugby 15s World Cup. Lest I forget I thank your family for all their support and sacrifice that allows you to do your job. It is true when they say behind every successful man is a strong woman. To Mrs Cawanibuka, if you ever get to read this thank you most sincerely for standing by Master Naca when Fiji needed him most. Master Naca , he is a living legend, a national icon and one who deserves recognition and the respect he truly deserves. Vinaka saka vakalevu Master. SIKELI QOUNADOVU Australia

Sponsorship opportunity

THE Fijian Drua made us all proud by qualifying for the quarter-finals in Super Rugby. Now sponsorship will not be an issue with the Drua and I’am sure Fiji Rugby Union will use this opportunity to get more sponsors for rugby. NARAYAN REDDY Lautoka

Great performance

CONGRATULATIONS to the Fijian Drua team for winning its last home game against the Reds and jumping from 10th place to 7th on the Super Rugby points table. The great performance and win brought tears of joy to the players and fans as the Fijian Drua heads to the quarter finals in its second year in the Super Rugby competition. The 7th place Drua will play 2nd place Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday at 7.05pm and we all know that New Zealand teams are not easily defeated on their home ground. I am always touched when the Fijian Drua huddle up after the game and thank God in song and prayer and I believe that a miracle can happen, if our boys play their open running rugby minus the silly mistakes. It is a David vs Goliath quarter-final and we read that David ran towards the giant in confidence knowing that God was with him before releasing that sling shot which hit Goliath on the head. Win or lose, the Fijian Drua should be congratulated for its achievement in reaching the quarter finals and we all cheer, Toso Drua toso! SAVENACA VAKALIWALIWA Kattar Singh Rd, Tacirua, Suva

Prayers answered

AFTER the Fijian Drua successfully secured a spot in the top eight, my cousin said “can we have the quarterfinal in Fiji, God only listens to our prayers in Fiji”. My stomach still sore from the laughing. NIGEL FIU Owls Perch, Lautoka

Smoking in movies

I WAS half-watching a Hindi movie on TV last night, muted. You seem to notice more visually without sound. Honestly, I couldn’t believe how many cigarettes were smoked. I was blown away by the fact that the movie was permitted to be aired at all. What is the point of providing visual messages on the dangers of smoking on cigarette packs when we see smoking on TV. There is a lot of talk about addressing the major problem of substance abuse in Fiji when it appears on our TV screens. In this particular movie, those who were smoking were the tough guys; not only the villains. The message portrayed was that it is cool to smoke; a very dangerous and deadly message, indeed to those influenced by such images and their messages. After all, who doesn’t want to be cool? Can the authorities — the Ministry of Health, the Fiji Media Council and the Consumer Council of Fiji – do something to stop such movies being aired because right now, it is not helping any campaign to prevent substance abuse, especially amongst youth. JULIE SUTHERLAND Tamavua

Justice for children

WITH grave concern regarding the recent comments made by Supreme Court judge Justice Madan Lokur in relation to the rape of children by close relatives in Fiji. Justice Lokur has stated that this issue is reaching epidemic proportions, which is a harrowing and disturbing thought. As a society, we must do more to protect our children from harm. It is vital that we create an environment where children feel safe and protected. We must also ensure that those who harm children are brought to justice and receive appropriate punishment for their heinous crimes. I applaud the decision made by Justice Lokur to uphold a 13-year jail term with a non-parole period of 11 years for the perpetrator who raped a child. It is important that society sends a clear message that crimes against children will not be tolerated and that justice will be served. However, we cannot rely solely on our legal system to protect our children. There must be a collective effort from all members of the community, including families, educators, and health care professionals, to create safe and supportive environments for children. It is time for Fiji to take a stand and do better to protect our children from harm. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that children are safe and protected, and that those who harm them are held accountable for their actions. AVENAI SERUTABUA Nabukelevu Village, Serua

Pardon, budget and reality

LIFE in Fiji is a struggle for Fijians living below the poverty line. School leavers without further education or employment are a yearly addition to the unemployment statistics and there are not enough jobs to cater for them. The cost of living is high and even though the minimum wage is now $4 an hour, a $150 wages per week is a struggle for a small family with only one breadwinner. It has been jokingly said that life in prison is better than living free in poverty. Speaking of prisons, what is the yearly prison budget in Fiji? It must be increasing every year! With the current opinions on the presidential pardon and Yellow Ribbon, how long should a person be a prisoner before he or she can apply for pardon. If Fijians are all on a level playing field then if one is pardoned, all should be pardoned. If Speight is pardoned or released after 20 years behind bars then the law should be amended, making 20 years or even 10 years in prison as the maximum sentence in Fiji. Fijians helping Fijians should be our mindset and by releasing prisoners and reducing the prison population, the prison budget is reduced which means more funds to help the struggling Fijian families. Government and NGOs should set up programs to ensure all former prisoners and unemployed Fijians are given training and financial help to pursue whatever career paths they choose to keep their dreams alive. God is helping our Coalition Government to move Fiji forward and He will bless our nation if we take care of the poor and those in prison, making Fiji the way the world should be. SAVENACA VAKALIWALIWA

Tacirua Plastic

treaty WE read in the article “UN plastic treaty” (Reuters ST 4/6 ) that “after a rocky start to a week of negotiations around 170 countries agreed to develop a first draft by November of what could become the first global treaty to curb plastic pollution by the end of next year”. That’s fine. But why “a rocky start “? Isn’t the seriousness of the plastic problem and the urgency to address it apparent? According to a 2022 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report “the explosion of plastic waste is projected to almost triple by 2060”. Imagine the environmental catastrophe then given the situation we already confront now! Let’s hope we don’t continue to have too much talk and not enough concrete action on this existential threat. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, NSW, Australia

Cane problem

I STOPPED writing for a very longtime, then things changed after Fiji Sugar Corporation started crushing and our roads were littered with cane which fell from cane trucks and the traffic jam which will be a big problem for motorist soon. Hope this year something can be done so the cane laden trucks can be booked not only for overloading, but for littering the environment. NARAYAN REDDY Lautoka

Clean fish

AT a usual family gathering over the weekend, the debate started on who would clean the fish. The buck was passed around with unbelievable excuses. The laziest family member solved the problem by coming up with the ultimate reason. Fish don’t need cleaning because they live in water. They bath 24/7! MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Road repair

SOME contractors of Fiji Roads Authority are patching some potholes and right beside the ones they patched are more potholes. I wonder why can’t they patch all the potholes at once. NARAYAN REDDY Lautoka

Pool rent

FOR years I have been asking government to investigate the renting of the Labasa Town Council swimming pool built for $500,000 and rented out for a mere $1000 per annum . Please note because of this deal Labasa Town rates were increased by 37 per cent in 2017. If any minister wants more information just call 8366731. SUKHA SINGH Labasa

TELS loan

WITH reports of TELS loans now seemingly been forgiven, does that mean that all future tertiary education is now going to be for free? If that is the case then the people of Fiji are truly blessed. I hope it is not a case that the government was too busy looking at forgiving past loans in all its exuberance and forgetting what is going to happen for future tertiary education. JAN NISSAR Sydney NSW, Australia

Domestic violence

IN The Fiji Times (26/11/22)_ (Pg. 58) Fiji Labour Party said they would set up a Domestic Violence and Child Exploitation Taskforce, once they come into power. While the idea is noble. I suggest the Coalition Government work hand in hand with relevant stakeholders that specialise in these thematic areas such as Save the Children Fiji, FWCC, Medical Pacific, Unicef which the previous government failed to do for the past 16 years? Aren’t you tired of reading the topic “Child Rape Crisis” (FT 03/06/23 – P7)? JIOJI MASIVESI CAKACAKA Carerras, Votualevu, Nadi

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