We only have to turn to WikiLeaks to understand what the US and France have been planning in Africa, Ivory Coast's Gbagbo pressured to concede presidency (December 4). They want to boot China out after it has started to have a huge presence in Africa.
We understand why the western powers are supporting Alassane Ouattara. They want him in so they can rob the Ivory Coast of its natural resources and seize the rights to the new oil found in the Ivory Coast that makes this country one of the highest potential actors in Africa with oil reserves that will last for 50 years.
Suggestions to further improve public parks
We visited the Green Mubazzarah Park just two days before the article Rubbish mars oasis parkland (December 5) was published. It was really a surprising experience for us to see the greenery over there in a dry desert area and we loved the place.
We spent the night with our kids and we enjoyed the clean, chilling weather at night. But what the reports says is correct. Unfortunately some people are throwing lots of plastic bags and cups, other plastic waste, including barbeque waste, all over the place.
We need to control these people, and I agree with fines. Please also see my other suggestions that I gleaned from my visit. One, there needs to be more sign boards showing where one can put tents and find rest areas, locations that are suitable to stay the night, barbeque areas, children's play areas, locations that might not be safe for children, etc.
Two, bathroom facilities, drinking water fountains and wash rooms should be improved. Three, parking areas should be marked. Four, surveillance cameras and guards in uniform should be on hand for security and to offer advice. And lastly, waste bins and bags were not present in some areas to encourage people not to litter.
Possibly if the authorities charged a small fee for staying overnight or using the area for entertainment, then visitors would show more responsibility.
Gopl Nath, Dubai
Fines for littering should be introduced for all public spaces. It is a disgrace that every time people visit the desert or the beach, inconsiderate individuals have no problem littering.
Solely relying on cleaners is not what one expects from people with a social conscience. In my observations, it is mainly expatriates from certain countries who show complete disregard for basic common sense rules.
At the same time, almost no dog owners clean up after their dog's mess. If you can't look after your dog, perhaps you are not fit to be a pet owner.
Fines and public reprimands that shame people who litter is what is needed. City officials spends a lot of resources to keep the city clean and perhaps people should show their thanks by not littering.
Burqa experiment fails to impress
The artist Annika Schmeding may feel liberated by wearing a burqa because she can see people's expressions but they can't see her, Beyond the veil: an experiment with the burqa (December 3). This is precisely the trouble with the burqa: it troubles those outside to be surrounded by faceless humans. To many westerners, face veils are perceived as ominous and cause distress.
The flaw with the experiment is that it focuses on a western individual who is wearing the burqa for enjoyment, without any context of the social reasons for using it, which can include subjugation and domestic violence. This is a serious issue in society, not a game. Sadly, the experiment trivialises the issue.
Tigerlily Jones, Dubai
Customers angry over telecoms
In regards to Etisalat seeks higher revenue in saturated mobile market (December 5), Etisalat has called me 10 times about upgrading from my current Dh149 per month Internet package. Even after being told no, they have continued to call me. This is harassment. The point of this is: why should subscribers pay more for Etisalat's expansion? The service never actually gets any better whatever the package.
In my part of the city, Du is not connected, so I don't have a choice of providers, such as they are. The monthly fee is already ridiculously high, for instance combined packages (with calls) are available for as little as £15 (Dh87) per month in the UK and this includes TV subscription (Sky channel, etc).
I have no sympathy for Etisalat - they are a monopoly (Du is the younger brother) and revenues go to the government anyway.
Name withheld by request
Poor customer service, charging by the minute instead of seconds, high rates - why would any person stick with this company. I have a word for you: Du.
Hormaz Dastoor, Abu Dhabi