x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Partners in humanitarian efforts

Before criticising the Japanese premier for paying homage to martyrs at the Yasukuni shrine, one must recognise the difference between glorifying wars and nationalism, and respecting those who had to sacrifice their lives for the country. Other topics: Africa, UAE, China, India, women.

From left, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with Bill Gates and Anthony Lake, of Unesco, in Abu Dhabi. Ryan Carter / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi
From left, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with Bill Gates and Anthony Lake, of Unesco, in Abu Dhabi. Ryan Carter / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi

Japan should not forget those who fought for it

I refer to the news report Japan's war shrine homage reflects ruling party nationalism (April 24), which I think lacks a balanced view on the matter.

One must recognise the difference between glorifying wars and nationalism, and respecting those who had to sacrifice their lives for the country.

Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, along with MPs, paid homage at the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo as this is where more than 2.4 million Japanese men and women who died in service during various wars since 1853 are commemorated - the only shrine of its kind in the country.

This act is no different, for example, from that of Commonwealth nations' leaders commemorating Remembrance Day.

Chinese and Korean governments condemned the gesture, citing some 14 war criminals from the Second World War being among those commemorated in the shrine. But there must be a distinction made between ordinary soldiers and generals who might have spearheaded an imperialist campaign.

Reflecting on and reminding the nation of their sacrifice that consequently laid the foundation for today's peace and prosperity takes precedence.

Whether a nation won or lost a war, there were always those men and women who fought with great fortitude. Remembering them and learning from the past, particularly the painful chapters, is the only way forward.

Kimi M Akai, Dubai

Dictators have harmed Africa

It is a shame that the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, tried to buy votes (Ugandan president accused of trying to buy votes with $100,000 gift, April 24) and that he gives sealed envelopes to his supporters.

Uganda's prime minister was implicated in many corruption cases but Mr Museveni failed to fire him. Corruption has left Uganda and most other African countries with nothing.

A majority of African leaders tend to overstay in office because they came to power by force. Therefore, they probably wait to be removed by force. They can't tolerate peaceful transition of powers because that would spoil what they have built.

Like his compatriots and longtime friends such as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Museveni may not leave peacefully.

Name withheld by request

Do not tolerate attacks on women

I am responding to the news article Bus driver charged with trying to rape US sailor (April 25).

Rape seems to have become a common occurrence in some countries. It's disgusting to know that women are not safe in some of those societies.

The situation is worrying. I wonder why some men in some communities behave like animals and lose all their senses when they see women.

I think it is necessary to identify the cause of this problem before we start to address it.

Is it a cultural issue as one of your opinion articles pointed out recently, or extreme frustration and desperation, or something else? In India, rape has become too common these days. The UAE is largely safe, but it is not free from such incidents.

Whatever the reason, these people should not be spared. Crime breeds in places where the fear of punishment is low.

Petrina P, Abu Dhabi

UAE role model for rest of the world

The world should know the great humanitarian work the UAE has been doing (Crown Prince gives Dh121m for vaccines, April 24). Its leaders are role models to the world at large and true public servants.

It's no wonder then that Bill Gates is seeking cooperation from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Muhammad Naeem Ul Fateh, Pakistan

China and India must avoid friction

The report China denies its troops have crossed into India's territory (April 24) is disturbing. Tension has flared up between the two countries because of border incursions.

Chinese troops entered the Indian territory twice recently despite warnings from the Indian authorities. The Chinese government has also refused to acknowledge those incursions.

These activities only embitter relations. It would be better for both countries to stay away from such activities for the sake of peace.

K Ragavan, India