Letters to the Editor | Tuesday, June 6, 2023

FILE PHOTO: A paramedic (R) checks the blood sugar level of a patient at SS Diabetes Care clinic in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Death by sugar

THAT’S what diabetes translates to in iTaukei: “death by sugar”.

On page 42 of The Fiji Times (3/6/23), there was a serious article titled “Are we failing our children”.

On the facing page was a full-page colourful advertisement for a brand of ice-cream on a stick.

This particular ice-cream was covered in biscuit crumbs which was stuck to chocolate coating over ice-cream.

For each of the three levels, they contained sugar.

In each case, sugar was mentioned secondly: water, three types of oil then flour were mentioned firstly, respectively.

The amount of sugar and other ingredients, for that matter, is reflected in the order to which it is referred in the list of ingredients.

This basically and alarmingly is informing us there is a truckload of sugar in each ice-cream.

Next time, as a parent, your child is screaming out for an ice-cream, and you may be also, think about the impact it can have on you and your family.

Diabetes can creep up on you and it cannot be reversed.



AFTER the 2023 National Economic Summit which was conducted with a lot of song and dance and with the participation of more than 500 of the elite of Fiji, the Minister of Finance is still going around the country “consulting” people for his budget.

I believe, just like a lot of “hot air” that was produced at the economic summit with nothing to show for it, a lot of the same is now being produced around the country.

At the end of it all there will be nothing for Fijians (I mean all the peoples of Fiji).

My take is the Government simply does not have any idea what to do.

With the numerous committees and consultations over the past six months, what has changed for the people of Fiji?

The people of Fiji are truly blessed that this Government is so consultative in pulling the wool over their eyes.

JAN NISSAR, Sydney, Australia

PS positions

PERMANENT secretary positions are key leadership positions, responsible for leading and managing their respective ministries, including policy support and advice.

These positions require leadership roles in the Fijian civil service and to execute a performance-driven culture.

Further, permanent secretaries have refined political nous in order to build strong relationships, foster stakeholder engagements and to create new partnerships.

Foremost, relevant academic qualifications are must in the ministry of their appointments.

The recent appointments of 11 permanent secretaries is seen as probably politically motivated.

In Fiji’s population of approximately 837,271, there are about 475,739 i-Taukei, 313,798 Indo-Fijians and 47,734 listed as the others.

If there exists any real reconciliation from the hearts.

According to ratio propionate to Fiji’s population as per ethnicity breakdown, there should be six iTaukei, four Indo-Fijian and one from the others out of 11 permanent secretaries.

This will be very fair and just appointments if we want to maintain the reconciliatory approach.

I believe some permanent secretaries have been displaced by the new appointees.

If they were performing well in their respective ministries, they should have been retained, considering their experience and performances if they had applied for the positions.

We want Fiji to move forward, forgetting about the past events.

We want to build confidence in people as a united Fiji.

Otherwise, there will continue to be brain-drain of qualified and skillful people.

To fill such gaps and to find suitable ones will not be an easy exercise.

INDAR DEO BISUN, Tamavua, Suva

Drua sails through

I’M glad that I was part of the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua’s historic, epic and sensational win against the visiting Queensland Reds side.

Our boys were too good, they almost got everything right as they hammered the Reds and qualified for the quarter-finals in just their second season in the Super Rugby Pacific competition.

The boys played with pride and were great ambassadors.

They gave everything that they had in the tank.

The Reds were taught a rugby lesson.

A big vinaka vakalevu to skipper Ratu Meli Derenalagi and the boys for playing their hearts out and delivering the much-needed win!

The mighty and power-packed Crusaders await us in the quarters.

I say bring it on!


Fijian Drua

SATURDAY, June 3, 2023, historical home turf 41-17 victory by our Super Rugby Pacific gladiators, Fijian Drua, over the Queensland Reds with massive vocal support from our “16th man” was as sweet as a cup final.

Drua’s monumentally gutsy effort over 80 elongated minutes was sublime.

To refresh memories, it must be remembered, Queensland Red is the only team to claim victory over the unbeaten Chiefs — competition leaders.

Drua’s win over the Reds was no mean feat.

It was no fluke. Fijian Drua’s qualification into the quarter-finals is an added bonus.

May I, on behalf of thousands of Fijian fans, wherever you are, humbly and sincerely thank both, the Fijiana Drua and Fijian Drua achievements to date.

Simply awesome.

RONNIE CHANG, Martintar, Nadi

Fashion show

I’LL be honest, I’m not a fashion show fan (just as I’m not a Bollywood masala movie wallah), but the photos of the Fiji fashion show were simply smashing.

The talent of the designers with an indigenous bent is so incredibly brilliant.

Well done.

RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

Letter writer

AFTER reading Narayan Reddy’s letter about cane problem and littering, I am wondering if this is the same well-known person from Lautoka, who used to be a regular writer.

I missed his and the late Allen Lockington’s letters.

Welcome back Mr Reddy, please don’t stop writing because you were one of those who used to fight for ordinary people.


Marital status

NEXT time I’m asked about my marital status, I will say that I am in an abusive relationship with the high cost of living.

WISE MUAVONO, Balawa, Lautoka

Old friends

SO heartening to see Narayan Reddy back in print. (LTE FT 5/06)

As in the movie, The Blues Brothers, we are getting the band back together, Narayan, Nigel, TD, Suka and Wise, Ronnie and Norman from Martintar.

Just one giant void though that can’t be filled, the voice of care and sanity, The Scribe of Kava Place.


Earn the keep

HEY proffesori; you have to name and shame those municipalities.

Best way to make sure they earn their own keep.

Better yet, perhaps our Coalition Government should fire the previous lot’s administrative appointments and make new ones.

With one message to the new lot, dispensable.

That should roll up sleeves.


LANA exam

BEST wishes to all the Year 5 and Year 7 students of Fiji and Rotuma who are sitting for the Literacy And Numeracy Assessments (LANA) today.

These two days of exams are important in primary education.

Trust in your capabilities and give your best effort.

All the best.


Kind reminder

MAY I please remind Fiji Football Association and Ba Town Council that they have a task to complete at the old Govind Park.

We’ve been without a stadium since 2016.


The D-Day

IT was June 6, 1944,

during the Second World War.

From England they invaded,

by air and by sea.

In the early morning they landed,

on the beach at Normandy.

T’was the turning point in the conflict.

The beginning of the end,

for the Nazi German forces,

in their Western Europe and North African campaigns.

It is known as D-Day,

in the annals of military history.

Many lives were lost that day,

in the air, land and sea.

They fought for freedom.

They fought for peace.

They made the ultimate sacrifice,

by dying for us.

Both sides paid the final price,

on that day,

June the 6th.

Lest we forget!


Gender violence

THE cost of violence against women further generates substantive economic costs, which includes reduced productivity and profits to government coffers and our economy in general.

This was shared by the Minister of Finance in your The Fiji Times (03/06 page 3) at the launch of the Fiji National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women & Girls 2023-2028 at the GPH.

Violence against women has direct and indirect impacts on the economy.

On a personal or individual level, women survivors of violence are forced off work because of emotional and physical injuries and stigma.

This results in high level of absenteeism and lost earning, which can account for 21 per cent of a woman’s monthly income.

One can add to these the medical bills of the victim, transportation costs and communication costs.

Statistics from the Reserve Bank of Fiji in 2010 show that the direct and indirect cost of violence against women is approximately $210.69 million per year.

This accounts to roughly 7 per cent of GDP.

To all men and boys out there, stop gender violence because it cost our Government $300 million a year, which is paid by us, the taxpayers.

Hope these figures get into the brains of men and boys out there who intend to harm their wife or partner.

Just imagine that these monies could have been used to do something useful in upgrading our ailing infrastructure and create ripple effects via our small medium business enterprises operators out there.

JIOJI M CAKACAKA, Votualevu, Nadi

Pool issues

IT seems that the previous government was doing pool project which later became controversial.

My friend Suka Singh is complaining about the Labasa pool for many years and many of us from Lautoka are still waiting for the completion of Lautoka swimming pool project.

With some three and half years or so to go until the next election, can these issues be looked at seriously?

I know of my good friend who went to be with the Lord had a desire to swim in the Lautoka swimming pool but his dream only remained a dream.

Please Minister for Local Government, look at these pool project and I am sure the Government can do what the previous government could not do in eight years.


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