Should one only save one’s own?

The recent bus tragedy was shared by one and all, here and abroad but in particular, it was a tragedy that was acutely felt by the people of Fiji, transcending the invisible ethnic barriers that went up post-coup 2006.

In the last 21months, Fiji and her people have bravely carried the weight and burden of this tyrannical regime, with all the dignity they could muster, in order to provide their families especially, their children, a semblance of normality.

Though largely unspoken, this tragedy brought home everything that has been so wrong since the coup of Dec06; it is symptomatic of a cancerous nation, of a deteriorating economy, of a dispirited people, held at bay by their own insecurities, the fear of guns, and threats of violence by their own military force.

This article by F/Times Chief of Bureau Western Margaret Wise, of a father losing his young daughter touched us deeply here at SV and served as a reminder that it is really those at the grassroots level, the innocent, the young and helpless, who stand to lose most in this vicious cycle of coups that continuously grips Fiji.

As fellow blogger Katalina said in an earlier thread, it’s time that we, the better equipped, think not of only saving our own but of reaching out and helping others climb up to where we are instead of continuously climbing on their shoulders and heads in our bid to reach the top first.

Dad saved a girl he thought was his own

By MARGARET WISE – Tuesday, September 02, 2008, F/T Online


16 Responses to “Should one only save one’s own?”

  1. agent vinod Says:

    I wonder if the Turaga ni Mataqali or head of the families could open a BANK ACCOUNT account where the members of the public could discreetly deposit whatever they can give to help with funerals and associated costs?

  2. newsfiji Says:

    agent vinod: the latest news is that all this big companies, like Punjas, RB Patel etc are supplying food to the survivors…

    on the article – this tragedy could have been avoided if the economy was in top shape…Raiwaqa buses would not have been so desparate for the cash. Period.

    Thanks to Voreqe, all hell is breaking loose in Fiji.

  3. KaiFiji Says:

    This bulshit Govt should let the Tovuto vessel to carry the bodies back to their villagers coz i suppose they dont have enough to pay for their billetings at Nabua and to transport corpses back to Ovalau. Imagine if they can allow Eveli Ganilau to take the body of his dead sister to Taveuni- family that has a lot of money I suppose, why cant they use the same on this family which has 3 funerals in 2wks. And also the company Yatu Lau should pay for everything including funerals if they are wise enough to assist the families they have torn apart…Otherwise I am very much willing to donate for this worthy cause.

  4. agent vinod Says:

    Thanks Newsfiji and KaiFiji, the latest I read from Fijilive (pasted below) is that the surviving family members are awaiting forensic pathologists to confirm the identities of the deceased (since they’re most probably charred beyond recognition). I agree, the least the military junta could do is to foot their entire bill. I hope that the news report that the Soqosoqo Vakamarama has charged the families $600 a nite is not true, otherwise I am totally disgusted at Adi Finau Tabakaucoro whom I understand is its President and to add salt to injury, she’s one of the military junta gals.


    Funeral delayed, bodies unidentified – 02/09/2008

    A family who lost their mother and sister-in-law in last Thursday’s tragic bus fire say they could wait for another month to bury their loved ones because of the difficulty in identifying the bodies.

    Isei Valemei told Fijilive they could be burying his mother Ilisapeci and his sister-in-law, Bulou Sera Waqanivavalagi Valemei some time next month.

    According to Isei, they had been informed by police and medical authorities that samples of the 10 people that died in the fire could be sent to Canberra, Australia for further analysis.

    “It’s very difficult to identify the bodies because most of them are charred,” he said.

    “So we will just wait and see what they come up with because we have got no choice right now.”

    He said family and friends were starting to pour in to offer their condolences at their Tamavua-i-wai home.

    “It’s a sad moment for the family because we have lost two people at once and we almost lost our sister (Elenoa Kuboutawa) as well but she managed to escape from the burning bus,” Isei said.

    The horrific bus accident which occurred in Sigatoka last Thursday, claimed the lives of ten people and injured 30 others.


  5. Mark Manning Says:

    My sister had down’s syndrome and was our little angel . She would come to school with us , but not understand the work . At the age of 10 , she was diagnosed with leukaemia . Cancer of the blood , too many white blood cells . It took her 2 years to die this insidious horrible death . Ant then our angel was gone . In those days , Chemotherapy had just started and was experimental , so there was no chance of saving her .
    I know , that she , Elizabeth and Joana , are in God’s care now and are probably playing together as we speak of them .
    I pray for the Father who was lucky enough to be able to save someone elses child and that he and the others , eventually find peace at their losses . As I said the other day , the Lord acts in mysterious ways and perhaps this tragedy will be the straw that breaks the back of the regime . Let’s hope so .

  6. parentcare Says:

    It is time we began jailing the bus company owners – full stop – even before the coups of 1987, 2000 and 2006 they had been using buses which were not fit for travelling

  7. newsfiji Says:

    Kaifiji: So true, if the tax payers can fund (ofcourse without our consent) Epeli Ganilau’s sisters body being taken to Taveuni, i’m sure Voreqe can allow for the trip to Ovalau. It’s a much shorter trip anyway as should be cheaper.

    Oh and Kaifiji, on your comment “…family has a lot of money i suppose”…sorry this family has no more money. Period. I could elaborate on their state of finances but would rather not as it would be an embarrasment to the Ganilau family.

  8. Wailei Says:

    The SV Marama’s premises in Nabua is even charging the survivors $600 a nite as reported earlier by the FT! Kemudou.. I wonder what Finau Tabakaucoro was thinking off when she was charging such a higher amount for a nite! Why couldnt they supply the Tovuto or whatever that govy ship is called to the families and their deceased?

    I heard from a cousin that his cousin (from the same village) who perished had thrown her kids outside of the bus and she was waving to her children saying goodbye while she was burning… ISA sa vaka loloma saraga!

    What the hell was wrong the the baku driver.. Why did he cowardly took off when the bus started to burn! Plus why were cars just passing the burning bus why didn’t they stop to offer assistance (only two stopped)? What the hell happened to HUMANITY!!

    Oilei, Someone should definitely pay for the sorrows caused to these families. As for the Raiwaqa bus company…. Too much cutting corners! As for the IG Government you bunch of imbeciles. Are you bloody happy now?????

  9. Say True! Says:

    @ Wailei – Very sad indeed. We are losing everything we once were.

  10. qitawa Says:

    Its all the iterim governments fault. Bloody idiots why did they overthrow an elected government. This would never had happened. If Qarase was in power the bus would never burn.

  11. Dra Ni kai viti Says:

    Ni kalougata tiko na wekaqu mai Natokalau. keimami sa masulaki kemuni saka tu yani vakabibi.Me nomuni na vakacegu mai noda.

  12. Mark Manning Says:

    Say true
    they can’t take what you haven’t given them !

  13. iceman Says:

    Finau Tabakau coro needs a big KAU in her rear

  14. Billy Says:

    My question is, who in LTA gave the certificate of fitness for the bus to run? If this is another case of corruption then someone at LTA and Raiwaqa bus co MUST PAY!

  15. young generation Says:

    …………..RIP JOANA………..
    may god be with you.

  16. LUVfiji Says:

    Another life quietly passes while most of us are still trying to come to terms with the tragedy of last Thursday’s bus trip. That brings to eleven the number of loved ones that have perished. Oh boy! some one, somewhere has got to pay for this.

    As contributions are received from business houses and caring individuals, one that is worth noting is the offer from Colonial National Bank. Vinaka vakalevu CNB for yr compassion and strength. Be Blessed! And how proud I am to be associated with yr bank. No doubt this offer would be of immense comfort and relief to the grieving families and their relatives.

    God be Praised!

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