x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Many culprits, including junk food

Don't blame the school calendar for education's problems, a reader says. junk food, late bedtimes, and other factors also hurt. Other letters cover sailing, Turkey, long-distance phone costs, and more.

A reader objects to the junk food that is standard fare in many young pupils' diets. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
A reader objects to the junk food that is standard fare in many young pupils' diets. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

The opinion article 'A magnificent century' made less so by its dark corners (November 10) raises some important questions about Turkey's past.

Judging from the history of the Turkish nation, concealing historical truths and failing to recognise its own past actions is a means to preserve national identity.

For instance, the Turkish penal code makes it illegal to insult Turkey or Turkish identity, and this discourages and even makes it illegal for local grass-roots organisations to examine and scrutinise their country's past actions, from a sultan's treatment of women all the way to the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian, Greek, Assyrian and Kurdish populations.

These issues will not just die out and fade away. On the contrary. People always work diligently in search of truth, and a significant portion of truth comes from the past. It can be contained, suppressed and delayed, but never destroyed.

Anto Narguizian, Lebanon

Protect kids from flavoured tobacco

I write in reference to the article Tobacco sold 'like sweets' to children (November 8). If school kids are getting addicted to the tobacco product known as Chaini Khaini, why can't the product be banned from coming to the UAE?

Or, if it is prepared here, producers should be help responsible when it is consumed by children. Perhaps Dubai health officials could also inspect shops and remove the product when it's found.

Farida Siddiqui, Abu Dhabi

Mobile options are far too limited

The UAE has one of the highest mobile phone penetration rates in the world. And yet, the country has only two mobile phone companies that are allowed to operate.

Paradoxically, this lack of competition hurts Etisalat and du, which see no need to innovate to keep customers. In fact, both choose to price themselves out of   that most basic function of a telephone provider: long distance.

A call to India during normal hours is charged at Dh3 per minute, or around 40 Indian rupees, while Vodafone Mumbai charges 9 rupees a minute to call the UAE.

Much more needs to be done before the users in the UAE free themselves from the clutches of "missed call syndrome", when a mobile phone user here simply rings someone oversees, and waits for a call back.

Amitabh Saxena, Dubai

Nothing alarming about poor profits

Why the Alarm raised over fourth straight quarterly loss for GGICO (November 10)? This "alarm" is applicable to more than 80 per cent of the listed companies in UAE.

Abdulla Al Binali, Abu Dhabi


Ocean race report short on details

We are readers of your Volvo Ocean Race reports, but after reading the most recent instalment (Azzam sails with new mast, November 10) we know little more about the race than before.

We have learnt that it is less windy and that one boat has chosen a different course and another is damaged. But what are the sailing conditions, apart from wind speed? What are the crews doing? Who is leading and why?

There are other boats than Azzam in this race. Please report on them all in detail instead of concentrating on the mast replacement, which is something we already have enough knowledge of.

We need information not sensationalism.

Caelan and Alan Smith, Australia


More diet and rest for our students

The Ministry of Education should be advised to think again about requiring parents to send their children to school during the week of Eid (Empty desks as parents extend Eid for children, November 10). But in truth, the length of holidays is not all that needs to change with the country's education system.

The amount of junk food that children eat, late bedtimes - these and many other factors are all reasons for poor performance in schools.

Attending school is important, but first, a healthy diet and plenty of sleep will work wonders for all children.

Nargis Walker, Abu Dhabi

Justice in Gujarat was long overdue

This is in reference to your news story, Indian court convicts 31 over religious riots (November 10).

After nine years this verdict was good news for the victims' families. Despite criticism from various parties I am happy that the Indian judiciary exists to bring justice to the guilty, and apply punishment when it is justly deserved.

K Ragavan, India