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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Can there be any justification for the bombing of Ghouta?

Readers discuss Yemen, Sri Lanka and Brexit

A Syrian man sits amidst the destruction in the rebel-held town of Hamouria, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus. Abdulmonam Eassa / AFP
A Syrian man sits amidst the destruction in the rebel-held town of Hamouria, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus. Abdulmonam Eassa / AFP

I write in reference to your article Death toll in Syria's Eastern Ghouta crosses 900 (March 8): How can the death of all these civilians possibly be necessary? These people are clearly not fighters, and what benefit to the regime are the streets of Eastern Ghouta, now covered with rubble, bricks and crumbled buildings. I am not from that part of the world, but I do read your paper and I was hoping someone could shine a light on this for me.

Sue Harrop, UK

Diplomacy holds the only answers in Yemen conflict

Please refer to Damien McElroy’s timely article UK offers assistance to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s transformation vision (March 6) and your editorial Yemenis are rebelling against the Houthis (March 6): While the Crown Prince is visiting the UK and the US to strengthen ties, he will also be showered with praise for improving the conditions and status of women in his country. Western leaders should not hesitiate to speak to him about the Yemen crisis.

As you underscored in your thought-provoking editorial, ordinary Yeminis are protesting against the Houthi occupation. However, the Yemen crisis will best be solved through a diplomatic solution. Perhaps the UK or France could take the lead in facilitating the negotiations?

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Prayers for peace and normality in Sri Lanka

In reference to your article Sri Lanka deploys police and military after Buddhist-Muslim clash (March 7): After a year of simmering tensions, the conflict between Buddhist and Muslim groups was aggravated last Monday when a Muslim’s shop was torched.

This is the context for the Sri Lankan government imposing a ten-day curfew and a sad development in Sri Lankan politics. I am sure there will be an impact on the many tourists who are in the country, and indeed on the Indian cricket team who are there also.

Communal tensions have been more visible globally in recent months, marking an unhealthy trend. I am praying for normality and peace in the country during the ten-day curfew.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

EU membership clashed with British sensibilities

I refer to Mary Smith’s letter David Cameron has only himself to blame (March 4): Ms Smith gives us the usual pro-EU line of British voters choosing to leave the EU “because they are afraid of immigrants”. In fact most of us want out because Britain has lost its identity amid persistent attempts for decades by Germany, France, Italy and Spain to “unify” Europe – to walk in and subjugate the most spirited, free-willed and brilliant group of countries in the world.

Go-getting and decisive, the British are found all over the world. The UAE often looks to Britain for engineering, medical and financial staff. After years in Europe we were starting to lose our touch. It’s now time to stand up again.

Dave Heenan, UK