x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Strikes a menace in India

A reader says strikes in India prove to be counterproductive. Other topics: Middle East peace, Al Muneera, John McCain, smoking.

A reader says frequent strikes in India, such as this one, cause inconvenience for the public. Sanjay Kanojia / AFP
A reader says frequent strikes in India, such as this one, cause inconvenience for the public. Sanjay Kanojia / AFP

Prosperity and peace achievable in the Middle East

I refer to the opinion article Kerry's new peace plan sets the Palestinians up to fail (June 4).

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict does fuel extremism and terrorism across the world. This is why the sorting out of the Middle East issues must start with Palestine. John Kerry is right.

That is why all countries - friends and foes - should find some way to help see the peace process through, for the good of their citizens and for the good of the world.

From utter chaos comes rebirth, as Nietzsche said. Thus, we can still have a lasting peace in the Middle East no matter how bad things might seem.

Ultimately, all people want peace and prosperity. The Middle East has the resources to make this happen. But we all have to work at it.

Fortunately today's technology and communications make the job faster, if not easier.

Let's roll up our sleeves.

George Kafantaris, Dubai

Restore quiet in Al Muneera

I am responding to the letter Somewhere for the sober crowd (June 6).

It is a shame that what until a few weeks ago was a safe and clean beach has transformed into a big mess.

People who do not live in this area in Abu Dhabi come every day and disturb the peace of the residents. They sometimes "borrow" their property without permission.

The Al Muneera area has become particularly popular with a group of people who make noise and risk the lives of the swimmers. This happens every single day in what used to be a nice place to live. We hope somebody will take action to restore order in this area.

David James Lee, Abu Dhabi

* This letter has been corrected since its original publication.

McCain's views on Syria realistic

In the US, Senator John McCain is the only apparently informed and realistic person of any rank to try, say or do anything intelligent and constructive about this situation (Syrian National Coalition on brink of collapse, May 28).

Much as we may disapprove of Bashar Al Assad's ham-handedness, he was right about the dangers of escalation. Paul Collier's book The Bottom Two Billion has a lot to say about the futility of civil war in vulnerable countries.

Thomas Bleser, US

Strikes create big problems in India

I refer to the news article Strike in India closes shops and snarls traffic (June 1).

Strikes, which are often called over small issues, cause major inconveniences for the public.

Common people are often forced to participate in strikes called by political parties to settle scores with their rivals.

The irony is that many people are not aware of the reasons for the strikes in which they participate.

Protests also mean vandalism. Protesters vandalise public property often for no specific reason. Even small shops and private vehicles are not spared. The most affected in such activities are daily-wage earners and those below the poverty line.

People in India should find other means to solve their problems. Strikes do not solve problems. They only create bigger problems for the public.

Sneha Shruti, Abu Dhabi

Clearly demarcate smoking zones

I am commenting on the news article 600,000 people die each year from passive smoking (May 31). This figure is scary but not surprising. The numbers only keep increasing.

Governments and social workers across the world have been trying hard to bring down the number of fatalities through various measures to discourage people from smoking.

Many governments have banned smoking in public places, which has helped to reduce this menace to some extent. In the UAE, however, neighbourhood shisha cafes still remain a problem.

Children playing nearby and people passing those cafes are forced to inhale the smoke. I understand that smoking shisha is a form of relaxation for many people, but businesses catering to those people should not be allowed to operate everywhere, especially in residential areas. I also see people smoking while driving with windows rolled up. That does not help. They are oblivious to the passengers in the car, who may be their own family members. Most people are aware of the effects of passive smoking, but I think they are just careless.

Reminding these people about the effect of passive smoking is futile. I am sceptical about campaigns aimed at discouraging such irresponsible behaviours.

Abas Naqvi, Ras Al Khaimah