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‘A good news­pa­per is a na­tion talk­ing to it­self’

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Oceania 7s Ron­nie Chang,

Nadi It was re­mark­ably and ev­i­dently clear from the sparsely-filled pav­il­ion and em­bank­ments, the host city Suva was not in a po­si­tion to proudly sup­port this his­tor­i­cal two-day sport­ing ex­trav­a­ganza.

This ex­tremely poor sup­port is indica­tive of many un­ex­plained rea­sons and I must sym­pa­thise with all the hard­work­ing or­gan­is­ers. Al­low me to throw in my two-cents should the Oceania 7s be con­tem­plated in 2017.

Suva-based ter­tiary, sec­ondary and pri­mary stu­dents could be en­ticed to show some valu­able sup­port in terms of eye-feast­ing crowd nu­mer­acy.

First 2000 uni­ver­sity stu­dents, with ID pur­chase dis­counted tick­ets for $3 a day.

First 2000 sec­ondary school stu­dents, in uni­form, pay $2 a day.

First 2000 pri­mary school stu­dents, in uni­form, pay $1 a day. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing par­ents pay $4 each a day. Could this work? Such re­bated tick­ets should be made avail­able only on pre-ar­ranged ba­sis.

Food for thought for pos­si­ble fu­ture ref­er­ence sub­ject to ap­proval by or­gan­is­ers and the Fiji Rugby Union.

Mean­ing­ful cel­e­bra­tions Pro­fes­sor Vi­jay Naidu, Suva

The recog­ni­tion be­ing given to the 100 years since the ar­rival of the last In­den­tured Labour ship, the ‘Sut­lej’ from In­dia by Govern­ment is praise­wor­thy.

The ‘Girmit’ it­self did not end un­til 1920. With pe­nal sanc­tions for labour of­fences, many in­den­ture con­tracts were ex­tended.

In 1916, ac­cord­ing to the Fiji Royal Gazette, 91.95 per cent of those In­dian im­mi­grants pros­e­cuted for labour of­fences were con­victed (see Vi­o­lence of In­den­ture in Fiji by Naidu, 2004, p.57). The in­den­ture labour sys­tem with its com­po­nents of the con­tract or ‘girmit’re­cruit­ment, ship­ment, quar­an­tine, plan­ta­tion labour, liv­ing con­di­tions, earn­ings and con­se­quences both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive are well de­scribed in pub­li­ca­tions by Gil­lion, Lal, Mishra, Nan­dan, Narsey, Prasad, Subra­mani and Tinker among oth­ers.

Pro­fes­sor Brij Lal is the most em­i­nent his­to­rian of Fiji’s In­den­tured Labour, and it is an irony that he and his wife re­main per­sona-non-grata in this coun­try. For me, our Cen­ten­nial Cel­e­bra­tion of the ar­rival of the last In­dian In­den­tured labour sys­tem ship will be more mean­ing­ful if the ban on them is lifted.

Cli­mate change ques­tion Floyd Robin­son, Nas­inu

While in­ter­na­tional and na­tional dis­cus­sions on Cli­mate Change im­pacts con­tinue to at­tract much at­ten­tion, it ap­pears that we may ac­ci­dently for­get one im­por­tant stake­holder who visits around this time of the year. In what way does Cli­mate Change af­fect the fa­mous Fa­ther Christ­mas who of­ten comes from the North Pole with gifts for chil­dren?

If ice is melt­ing in the North Pole, as per sci­en­tific ev­i­dence, is his well-be­ing at risk?

Will he be bring­ing cli­mate re­silient toys and gifts for Christ­mas this year? Well one hopes that he finds a Mother Christ­mas oth­er­wise he must feel quite lonely.

All in all, some­how even in the face of Cli­mate Change, Fa­ther Christ­mas man­ages to ap­pear in time for Christ­mas.

Flood dreams Joji Toroni­bau, Tunuloa

While read­ing many letters about Natadra­dave (Flood Dreams), in Dawasamu and its tremen­dous ‘heal­ing power’, I did sit back and said to my­self: “Isa, had we known it that day, time and the hour, we would have bathed with wis­dom and be­lief to as­sist us es­pe­cially in our ex­ams and be ath­letic and be more en­er­getic for the many rugby sea­sons”. Hik­ing away from school was a norm, es­pe­cially to feel the ter­race of North­land Tarumba and for­age for guava, baked cas­sava, etcetera to com­ple­ment what had to be a mid­night feast for us who are lean, meek, and small in stature com­pared to the gi­ants of the se­nior cit­i­zens of Vulin­itu.

Now, ‘flood dreams’ is mar­ketable to all Fi­jians now. My wife and her other sis­ters have com­pleted the cy­cle of vis­it­ing this mirac­u­lous wa­ter source this week. Thank you flood dreams.

Year of the un­der­dogs Wise Muavono, Lautoka

2016 has been an ‘an­nus mirabilis’ (latin for won­der­ful year) for team sports, and dubbed year of the un­der­dogs. From soccer, rugby league, base­ball and rugby union, ma­jor up­sets have taken place. I hope the trend con­tin­ues with our Voda­fone Fly­ing Fi­jians.

Go Fiji, go!

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