In reference to the article Skype opens channels to the region's regulators (March 12), it is ironic that in a country which is largely made up of expatriates that VoIP services which are part and parcel of one's everyday life in many parts of the world have to be considered, regulated, subjected to so many legalities and be offered by "licensed holders" only. Is there any surprise that people resort to illegal popular sites to communicate?
There seems to be a lot of discussion and cautious anticipation of what the charges are going to be. Everyone understands that the business aspect of generating revenue would be topmost in the minds of these licensed holder giants and customer satisfaction, ease and availability of usage would be secondary. Yes, there have to be controls on anything that is available to the general public to prevent abuse, but to vilify service providers who offer their services just because they are not under the giant regulatory bodies' umbrellas is immature. I can only hope that when the charges are announced, the service providers transparently inform the general public on the reasons behind them. SS Uma, Abu Dhabi
The editorial The model for a lasting solution to insurgency (March 15) chronicles regional insurgencies and cites the winning of hearts and minds as a workable model. Successful hearts and minds stories retain certain home truths about being won within the boundaries of a nation. But an American or an erstwhile Soviet playing upon the hearts and minds of a faraway population is high octane fuel to drive the insurgency. Iraq and Afghanistan are shining examples.
Indigenous insurgencies like the one just concluded in Sri Lanka and the ongoing one in India are sowed by the seeds of an inherited colonial arrogance. The consequent manifestations are violent insurgencies terrorising the hapless population. It has amply been demonstrated that economic prosperity guarantees the eradication of an insurgency and is the biggest and most sustainable form of winning minds and hearts. Has anyone heard of an insurgency between the citizens of California and Oregon? Or the Finns and Laplanders? Let this model prevail and flourish globally. Ravi Sishta, Abu Dhabi
I refer to Peter Singer's opinion column Animals deserve to run wild, not to be cooped up in cages (March 17). Well said, indeed. Unfortunately as many western countries become more and more aware of these issues, circuses and other commercial operations that exploit animals are finding a new market in the developing world. While travelling in the region I find commercials and posters for travelling circuses that use animals, and this includes Dubai's swim-with-dolphins scheme. I hope the animal entertainment industry does not follow in the footsteps of the highly exploitative and unethical tobacco industry, which also targets developing countries as anti-smoking sentiments keep growing in the West. Maggie O'Neele, Abu Dhabi
In reference to the article Traffic 'Disneyland' to teach children (March 15), the parents need to learn to drive properly long before their kids should get to drive through play. Underage driving itself is an issue which would be worse if this scheme is allowed to progress. AC, Abu Dhabi
All of the comments in the letters section on the Traffic City project have been negative. I know this project from A to Z and it will affect the driving of the younger generation. This project was under research for a long time and it has shown that it will make changes. How many people have taught their children the rules of the road? The project is something that children will enjoy. They learn a lesson for the rest of their lives by having fun. David TA, Dubai
The business article Overseas office talk not cheap (March 17) described how an overseas internet-based virtual private network line in the UAE costs 38 times more than one from New York. Technology cannot be stopped. The best solution would be for Etisalat and du to be much more competitive and give real service by reducing the rates on a par with global rates.Change or perish is the commercial idiom. Understanding that sooner rather than later would benefit all, especially the companies concerned. KB Vijayakumar, PhD, Dubai