x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Maldives need stability

A messy change of leadership in the Maldives reminds us that the country needs an inclusive coalition to face its challenges, a reader writes. Other letter topics: Syria, Suarez-vs-Evra, scientific thought and building better camels.

The political unrest in the Maldives deposed a president of some accomplishment, a reader says. Ishara Kodikara / AFP
The political unrest in the Maldives deposed a president of some accomplishment, a reader says. Ishara Kodikara / AFP

Forget about the United Nations and forget about Syria (UN General Assembly ready to vote on Syria resolution, February 12).

Without the permission of China and Russia, the rest of us must choose between nuclear Armageddon and learning to live in a less-than-perfect world. If the armistice reached in Europe in 1918 teaches us anything, it should teach us that we no longer have any alternative.

US Gen Douglas MacArthur said the same thing in 1945 as the winds of death were stirring up radioactive dust in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Much as we hate to admit it, without the consent of China and Russia, the price of removing Syria's current dictator from despotic power is just too high to pay - for the time being, at least.

Thomas Bleser, US

Football regulator must be objective

I refer to the sports story Gordon Taylor believes FA need to get involved over Suarez and Evra row (February 12).

The football association has only itself to blame. It should never have taken sides on this issue.

In my opinion, the two players are both to blame but now the FA expects Luis Suarez to take the blame by shaking the hand of Patrice Evra.

The FA should have a very good look at the different cultures from which Evra and Suarez come.

If for instance Suarez were to take this issue to the European Court, I believe he would win. Also if this were to go to court in his own country he would win.

I wonder why the Evra case did not go the same way as the case against John Terry?

John Harrison, Australia

Maldives should focus on stability

I hope that people and politicians in Maldives will build a stable and democratic country soon (New Maldives president inducts Muslim conservatives into cabinet, February 13).

President Mohamed Nasheed stepped down few days ago to prevent any bloodshed in his country.

Religious groups recently demanded more conservative policies in the Sunni Muslim nation and regarded Mr Nasheed's statements being too liberal and too un-Islamic. Whether he was consuming alcohol - as has been alleged - or not, this is a domestic and legal issue and all should respect the courts' decision.

However, some firmly believe that he tried to stop climate change by making the country one of the world's few carbon-neutral states through moves to wind and solar power and he also brought democracy, progress and prosperity to the Maldives.

The new president, Mohammed Waheed Hassan, is hopefully sincere in his statements that "an all-inclusive coalition will be formed to help build a stable and democratic country".

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai

Muslim decline needs exploring

I enjoyed How the decline of Muslim scientific thought still haunts (February 9), the historical account by Hassan Hassan.

Since moving to the UAE, I have wondered what happened to the innovative, creative, forward-thinking cultures of the past.

As I learnt about the civilisations here, it became apparent that scientific and innovative thinking came to a halt, but I had no idea why or what would have precipitated the decline. Thank you for this article - it was exceptionally meaningful to me.

CY, Abu Dhabi

Building a faster camel?

The article DNA key to building a faster camel (February 7) was poorly researched.

Someone outside the industry might think that DNA and advanced breeding technologies were new, and that the camel racing industry was somewhat backwards in its approach to technology and improvement.

In fact, the opposite is true.

There's a number of world-class laboratories and racing teams throughout the UAE competing very strongly to be the best in the Gulf. The statement that only pure-bred local camels are allowed to race is also incorrect. There are even X-bred two-humped and one-humped camels racing at elite level and winning.

The article seems to suggest that the breeding of race horses has been more successful but in fact, in the last 40 years, the horse has not improved in speed much at all.

Most camel track records rarely last more than a season in any age or sex division. The better question: where will the "speed ceiling" for the camel be?

Alex Tinson, Management of Scientific Centres and Presidential Camels, Al Ain