x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Many countries rejected traitor Edward Snowden

It's unreasonable to single out India for rejecting an American whistle-blower, says a reader. Other letter subjects today: mylocation.ae, life in Dubai, and Ramadan attire.

Indian protestors show their support for NSA leaker Edward Snowden at India Gate in New Delhi, India, Sunday, July 7, 2013. Snowden has found supporters in Latin America, including three countries who have offered him asylum. But many obstacles stand in the way of the fugitive NSA leaker from leaving a Russian airport - chief among them the power and influence of the United States. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal) *** Local Caption *** India NSA Surveillance.JPEG-03c91.jpg
Indian protestors show their support for NSA leaker Edward Snowden at India Gate in New Delhi, India, Sunday, July 7, 2013. Snowden has found supporters in Latin America, including three countries who have offered him asylum. But many obstacles stand in the way of the fugitive NSA leaker from leaving a Russian airport - chief among them the power and influence of the United States. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal) *** Local Caption *** India NSA Surveillance.JPEG-03c91.jpg

I cannot agree with the characterisation of India as "an opportunist nation" by letter-writer Joe Burns (India too keen to appease America, Letters, July 9).

Mr Burns objects to the Indian government's decision to refuse to consider asylum for Edward Snowden. But why did Mr Burns pick on India? Virtually every country Mr Snowden approached for asylum - save a few remote moribund socialist dictatorships - also refused.

Like the USA, India has been the victim of vicious attacks by both external and internal extremists. If surveillance and good intelligence techniques are a way to curb those ill-conceived schemes, so be it.

Edward Snowden in my opinion is a cowardly traitor, now homeless and unwanted. I don't know whose interests he was serving as he went public, but he now has a long time to brood and reflect over his bravado and rash decisions.

Malcolm Dias, Dubai

Court was right about acid attacks

I refer to the news report Indian court demands action on acid attacks (July 10).

Manmohan Singh's administration has not done enough to combat acid attacks, and I was glad that the Supreme Court said so.

The practice, most commonly used against young women by rejected suitors, must be stopped. It is good that the Supreme Court has ordered the government to curb this menace.

K Ragavan, India

Big Indian parties are all in trouble

The future of India's national political parties - Congress, BJP and CPM - has never been less certain.

Regionalism is a reality of modern India. Polling history shows that Indians' perceptions have changed, while the big parties have not kept up.

Corruption is the key problem for the major parties. Dignity is seriously missing from big-party politics. These parties have no mechanism to correct their mistakes, and so their constant negligence has spoiled their reputation, in cities and rural areas alike.

Young adults feel there is nothing they can learn from today's political leadership.

The Congress is in serious decline but neither the BJP nor the CPM offers a convincing alternative.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Respect norms during Ramadan

As Ramadan begins, I hope The National will highlight the need for everyone to cover up appropriately during the Holy Month.

Also, no loud music please.

Yasmin Ali, Abu Dhabi

You know you are in Dubai when …

On a hot and blustery Dubai day, I offer a few observations about the world's most prominent Arab city.

You know you are in Dubai when many people waiting for a lift are transfixed, staring at their iPhones, Blackberry Q10s or Samsungs, as if their lives depended on it, while owners of Nokia, Sony, HTC and other phones keep them out of sight and have sad expressions.

You know you are in Dubai when people in a meeting establish status or upward mobility by putting their BMW, Lexus or Infiniti car keys on the table.

You know you are in Dubai when someone waits half an hour for his car to be washed, but gets totally exasperated after waiting for five minutes in a food-court line.

You know you are in Dubai when a litre of bottled water costs more than a litre of petrol.

Amitabh Saxena, Dubai

Mortgage rates can surprise you

Cash buyers dominate as UAE market recovers (July 8) comes as no surprise.

Buyers should always be wary about taking out mortgages advertised as "variable finance rates linked into Eibor".

They may find that they have really been charged a fixed rate.

H Winston, Dubai

Location service needs more work

I tried the Dubai government's new service for identifying individual geographical points (Dubai launches address system for every building, July 9).

The site, mylocation.ae, worked beautifully to identify my exact location in Abu Dhabi city. But when I wanted directions to go from here to a work meeting in Dubai, things went wonky.

This is a Dubai project after all, so perhaps it's not going to work as well for Abu Dhabi. But a geo-location system should not give wrong information.

I welcome the effort to simplify addresses and directions, and I don't mean to mock. But there are still a few bugs in the system.

Elisabete Baums, Abu Dhabi