x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Syrians remember the unpunished crime of Hama

An appealing choice for Thailand. A reader congratulates Thai voters for selecting Yingluck Shinawatra to lead the next government. Other letters deal with the "unpunished crime" of Hama, dusty cars, the News of The World, Libya, and the apparent enthusiasm level of midde-aged men

A reader expresses enthusiasm for Yingluck Shinawatra, shown campaigning last month and subsequently Thailand's election winner; she is expected to become the country's prime minister. Pornchai Kittiwongsakul / AFP
A reader expresses enthusiasm for Yingluck Shinawatra, shown campaigning last month and subsequently Thailand's election winner; she is expected to become the country's prime minister. Pornchai Kittiwongsakul / AFP

It is eerie and horrible that there is once again the threat of large-scale government violence in the Syrian city of Hama. (Government and protesters both invoke Hama massacre of 1982, July 4).

A great and unpunished crime was committed there almost 30 years ago, when the late unlamented Hafez Al Assad, then president of Syria, organised the killing of tens of thousands of people - nobody knows exactly how many - after a Sunni revolt centred in the town.

The rest of the world may have forgotten what happened there, but the Syrian people certainly have not forgotten.

Therefore, by massing troops near the town, Bashar Al Assad is sending a message that he is willing to do anything in order to retain power.

And it is absurd to blame the US ambassador's visit to Hama for the latest protests.

Name withheld by request

 

Remark unfair to the middle-aged

 

In your interesting article about the new Al Farooq mosque in Dubai (To the glory of God, July 9), I was astonished to read the following ageist remark about one of the project's executives:

"Like many middle-aged men, Mr Shalabi gives an initial impression of world-weariness ..."

Even if there were any truth in this generalisation, it is gratuitous.

Please do not weary your readers of all ages with such nonsense.

Mark Fisher, Dubai

 

How can you keep your car clean?

I refer to your story Abu Dhabi tows 1,000 filthy or abandoned vehicles (July 8).

Abu Dhabi has a majority population of expatriates who travel abroad at least once a year, for longer than two weeks in many cases. And the majority of the land mass of Abu Dhabi is made up of sand.

So where does the Municipality suggest that people leave their cars to prevent them getting dirty and being towed?

The cleanliness issue, or rather the way it is enforced, can also present problems.

I was pulled over and fined Dh500 on the spot merely because the officer found my car not to be clean enough for his liking.

It was not spotless but it was not in a disgraceful state either. How did he know I was not driving my car to the car wash? He disregarded any arguments I put forward.

Name withheld by request

Bribery problem affects all lands

William Hague's article Bribery a modern day scourge (July 4) was unreasonable to suggest that bribery and corruption are a problem principally in developing countries.

I believe he should have said, instead, that the developing countries are often on the receiving end of bribes paid from established economies.

Hugh Harrop, UK

Nato could do more in Libya

I refer to your correspondent's report Ordinary Libyan men lay down their lives for freedom (July 8).

Nato could help the fighters of Misurata defeat the Qaddafi forces by bombing the Grad missile launchers and tanks that shell their positions and residential areas behind them, killing and injuring many people.

Eyewitnesses from the front lines west of Misurata said they could see the launchers and tanks out in the open and Nato planes flying overhead doing nothing about them.

What, I wonder, is the real goal of Nato's mission? It certainly does not seem to be the protection of the civilian population, although this is what was mandated by UN resolution 1973.

Salem Ali, UK

Thais have elected a beautiful leader

Congratulations to the people of Thailand for electing such a beautiful woman as Yingluck Shinawatra to be their prime minister (Thaksin's sister to lead Thailand, July 4).

Clearly she will be the prettiest prime minister in the world.

I hope she will resolve the acrimonious political situation in Thailand and raise living standards in her exquisite country.

Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai

Paper on wrong side of scandal

I was interesting to read that ex-editor Andrew Coulson has been detained in the UK (News of the World's former editor Coulson arrested, July 9).

Normally print and TV media expose scams and corruption by other elements of society, business or officials. People want to be able to trust the media.

K Ragavan, India