x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Differing opinions on Xinjiang unrest

I write in response to a recent letter to the editor under the title Uighur issue should concern Muslim world (July 19).

Members of the Uighur ethnic minority in Urumqi, China, rally earlier this month. The Chinese embassy in Abu Dhabi says that minority and religious rights are well protected inside China.
Members of the Uighur ethnic minority in Urumqi, China, rally earlier this month. The Chinese embassy in Abu Dhabi says that minority and religious rights are well protected inside China.

I write in response to a recent letter to the editor under the title Uighur issue should concern Muslim world (July 19). At a time when families in China suffer from the losses of brothers and sisters in Xinjiang, I feel obliged to provide some facts which will help readers know the truth. The July 5 incident in Xinjiang has claimed 184 lives, including 137 Han, 46 Uighurs and one Hui. Fifty-six people were killed on the spot by rioters, 1,680 people were wounded, 300 houses and 627 busses burnt. Framing the incident as "ethnic conflict" or "religious conflict" is a wrong way of looking at the issue. Since the founding of China, people in Xinjiang have exercised the right of ethnic autonomy. The government respects the customs and ways of living of Uighurs and supports the use of the Uighur language. There are 23,000 mosques in Xinjiang. The freedom of religious belief and commonplace religious activities are protected by the constitution of China. Days before July 5, Rebiya Kadeer, the ringleader of World Uighur Congress, an organisation which aims to separate Xinjiang from the rest of China, made an issue of a criminal case in Guangdong province earlier, which was largely fanned by a rumour. She instigated through the internet the people in Xinjiang to protest and demonstrate, which led to massive casualties on July 5. Now calm is being restored. People in Xinjiang long to resume normal life. Li Lingbing, Embassy of the People's Republic of China, Abu Dhabi

The main message I received from your report Breast cancer in the UAE strikes girls as young as 17 (July 9) is that breast cancer is detected at the later stage in this country. And while much of this is due to the limited availability of good screening programmes and lack of awareness among women about the need to screen, I feel it is simplistic and unfair to put all the blame on the women in the UAE.

Research has indicated that breast cancer in this entire region is found in younger women relative to other countries and that it tends to be a more aggressive disease. Interestingly, most breast cancer screening programmes consist of mammograms, which have not been found to be helpful for people under the age of 40 as their breast tissue is very dense. So how exactly are we to screen these young women at risk?

A reader wrote that breast cancer tends to run in families. Actually, less than 10 per cent of all breast cancer is familial. Most breast cancers "just happen". In my practice, one of the reasons women tell me that they don't come for screening is that "it's not in their family". Do not hesitate to approach the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, which works in conjunction with the Komen Foundation in the US, Tawam Hospital in Al Ain and has links with John Hopkins Medical Centre, for more information. Dr Houriya Kazim, Specialist Breast Surgeon, Well Woman Clinic, Abu Dhabi

Your article GCC losing appetite for US dollar assets (July 19) by Wayne Arnold highlights a good point. Currency and financial instruments should never be based in foreign currency as it is susceptible to market manipulation as well as economic downturn. The recent symptoms of the credit crunch could have been minimised if Gulf states' finance was autonomous and based on a tangible commodity like gold. Kuwait should be commended for breaking the status quo. There is a dire need to break with the dollar. China has already hinted at this move. JB, London

Outstanding piece written by Wayne Arnold. Imagine that, the thrifty Chinese are doing what Keynes told everyone to do: governments should save in an upturn and spend in a downturn. Illustrating this to a broad audience is the stuff great geopolitical change is made from. Bill Sellers, Abu Dhabi

A reader comments on Nour Samaha's article Flydubai cancels flight to Beirut (July 18): Flydubai cancelled our flight on 18 July at 10.30am due to technical problems and again they cancelled and re-booked us for the next 12.30am flight. Effectively, two flights were cancelled on the same day. Furthermore, we fell victims to the aggressive, impolite and unhelpful attitude from the ground handling personnel. Not only were we sleep-deprived, but we were not even offered a glass of water. RG, Abu Dhabi

In reference to Residents glad to see labourers move (July 19), I understand the shop owners' concern. In most places, rights of admission are generally reserved depending upon attire, hygiene, etc. Mohammad M, Abu Dhabi