x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Tougher measures needed to curb sexual assault

Letter writers comment on sexual harassment in India, the closure of a school over fee dispute, arms deal with Russia rather than the US, and Syria's crisis.

Time is running out for the Assad regime, one reader argues, as rebels make gains. Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters
Time is running out for the Assad regime, one reader argues, as rebels make gains. Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters

I refer to the article Harassment is part of everyday life in Delhi (December 23). The problems lies with failure of the government to instantly take severe steps against this barbaric act.

You cannot be sympathetic or lenient towards a man or a group of men who have raped a woman for over an hour constantly causing her pain, injury and torturing her psychologically for life.

If one is capable of committing such an act, why would it be difficult for them to stay in prison for 10 or even 20 years?

An act of rape is an act committed with no mercy or guilt or resentment. We feel bad for animals when they are treated badly or roughly; here we are talking about a woman.

The problem in India is that whenever a woman raises an issue, she herself is blamed instead. This is an attitude that must change.

No situation permits a man to rape a woman under any circumstance. Yes, women should be careful and not put themselves in dangerous situations. But nothing gives licence to men to take advantage.

Moiz SA, Sharjah

Not all parents agree to fee hike

We, as parents of students at the Westminster School in Dubai, were greatly disturbed to see the recent articles on how parents have agreed to pay double the fees to keep the Westminster school open (Parents offer to pay double tuition fees to keep Dubai school open, December 24).

There are a considerable number of parents and students trying to find a solution to the current financial problems faced by the school, as a part of which a petition has been circulated.

About 2,000 signatures of parents have been gathered, none of whom were even slightly inclined to agree to a 100 per cent increase in fees, though most parents expressed a willingness to support the school and help it survive. The majority of the families would not be able to afford such an increase and, in the event of that happening, would have to try to find another school for their children.

Many of these parents have more than three or four children studying in the school and a substantial increase would make it very difficult for them to cope. At the same time, it would be difficult to leave the school and find a new place.

Therefore a 100 per cent increase is no solution at all and would put us back at square one, with parents facing the same dilemma they would face should the school close: high cost for good private education. We have been striving to keep the school open to avoid exactly this.

Parents and students have been coordinating this campaign together to arrive at a long-term solution that would allow a school like TWS to continue to sustain itself.

We are currently seeking support from the authorities in this regard. But one thing is clear: a reaction such as this exorbitant fee hike is not the solution to the problem. Long term planning and coordination is needed and the parent community of the school is ready as ever today to cooperate and make it happen.

Agnes Tandler, Anselm Tandler, Nasim Mirzajani, Bushra Ali, Dubai

There are many parents who are working as a team to get the best possible solution to reform the issues that have arisen due to the announcement of the closure of the school.

However, doubling the fee is not at all a solution we have arrived at. Please do not go by the few parents who have said this. Such a fee hike is just similar to closing the school.

This is a highly sentimental issue among many thousands of families.

Please note that the parents and the concerned authorities are still discussing and working out best possible measures to solve this issue on a very professional manner. The decision is yet to be arrived at.

K Priya, Dubai

Other countries gain from US wars

In the article Putin signs $2.9bn arms deal in Delhi (December 25), India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says "India and Russia share the objective of a stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, free from extremism". Really?

Then why are Americans the ones shedding blood and bankrupting their country to save Afghanistan?

Americans have been sending American jobs to India, so that it has the cash to make arm deals with Russia? This is guaranteed to infuriate Pakistan, feed the reckless arm race and further destabilise the region.

George Kafantaris, US

The end of Syria's crisis is coming

The moment of truth is approaching in Syria (Russia: Assad will not quit even if given safe passage, December 23).

Bashar Al Assad's regime is fighting a rearguard battle and has already lost control over large parts of the country. Even Syria's vice president doubts the army could win the present confrontation.

Jeru Cent, Dubai