x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Obama must not forget Rohingya

A reader says the US president has said all the right things in Myanmar, but he must now follow words with deeds. Other topics: schools, motherhood and bad books.

A reader says Barack Obama must follow through on his words in Myanmar about the Rohingya. Jewel Samad / AFP
A reader says Barack Obama must follow through on his words in Myanmar about the Rohingya. Jewel Samad / AFP

Congratulations to President Barack Obama for mentioning the plight of the Rohingya (Obama presses Myanmar for more reform, November 20).

Along with many others, I agree with him that "there's no excuse for violence against innocent people" and that the Rohingya "hold within themselves the same dignity as you do, and I do".

These are very fine words indeed, but to mean anything they must be followed up with action.

At least 167 people have died in recent months in the state of Rakhine due to sectarian violence between the majority Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya.

Mr Obama must ensure that this violence ends, and that the Rohingya are given the same rights as other citizens.

He must make it clear to Myanmar that it cannot take its proper place alongside other nations until this occurs.

J Ryan, Dubai

Medical supplies must go through

I was extremely disturbed to read Israel holds medical supplies (November 20).

There can be no excuse for Israeli Customs officers holding up the delivery of the 400 kilograms of medical supplies sent to Gaza by a team from the Children's Medical Centre in Dubai.

It doesn't matter whether "proper documentation" was provided, because it should not be difficult or time-consuming for the officials to determine the exact nature of the consignment and the bona fides of those delivering it.

War does not run to a bureaucratic timetable, and humanitarian aid - especially when it is intended for children - should always be given priority.

Mary Morris, Dubai

Schools decide fate of families

Regarding Expatriates fear compulsory schooling bill (November 18), I think it's ridiculous that children and parents have to suffer when the responsibility should clearly be on the schools.

The schools are refusing admission to certain students, and yet it's the parents who may face having their residency visas revoked.

How does that make sense?

If three schools agreed to let the child in question attend with a shadow teacher, why was he refused entry?

S Abdelrazak, Abu Dhabi

Embassies should track their citizens

In reference to 25,000 Abu Dhabi expats are jobless (November 19), how many embassies have even the slightest idea where all their nationals are?

Nothing is actively done to keep track of them, whether they are here legally here or otherwise.

K Aust, Abu Dhabi

Faulty books an embarrassment

'Full of flaws' school books given F grade (November 20) would be funny if education were not such a serious matter.

A good school system is essential for any nation, and especially so for a poor country like India.

To allow books containing misleading and offensive information into classrooms, simply because publishers rush them out to make a quick profit, is a national embarrassment for India.

RN Major, Abu Dhabi

Fine relief won't improve safety

I just read Fined now? Pay later in Abu Dhabi (November 18), about the plan to allow traffic offenders to pay their fines in instalments.

Am I the only one who thinks this won't do anything to improve safety on the roads?

We are counting on the good nature and quality decision-making skills of these people, who each accrued more than Dh2,000 in traffic mistakes, to change their habits simply because they can now pay in instalments.

Will it make us all safer because they can now register their cars?

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Mother's job is most important

I am writing in reference to Law aims to drive home 'breast is best' message (November 20).

Breastfeeding helps establish and secure the "attachment" between the mother and baby.

Unfortunately, independence is forced upon a human from the moment he or she is born.

Attachment to the mother - through breastfeeding, and through time spent in her arms with love and care - is replaced with attachment to the material world, through pacifiers, stuffed animals, baby formula and so on.

There is no job more important than raising the next generation, so mothers should be proud to do it, and the rest of society should work harder to support mothers.

S Artug, Sharjah