x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Tourism must not ruin Sri Lanka

Letters also discuss China's leadership, irresponsible spending, gluten-free products and Dubai street artist.

Tourists find shade under grass umbrellas on a beach in Colombo March 18, 2010. Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals jumped by nearly 70 percent in February compared to a year earlier to its highest level in over two years, boosted by the end of a 25-year war, according to the tourism board. REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (SRI LANKA - Tags: TRAVEL SOCIETY) *** Local Caption *** COL01_SRI-LANKA-_0318_11.JPG
Tourists find shade under grass umbrellas on a beach in Colombo March 18, 2010. Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals jumped by nearly 70 percent in February compared to a year earlier to its highest level in over two years, boosted by the end of a 25-year war, according to the tourism board. REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (SRI LANKA - Tags: TRAVEL SOCIETY) *** Local Caption *** COL01_SRI-LANKA-_0318_11.JPG

This is in regards to the article 'War tourism' attracts millions of visitors to Sri Lanka (January 6).

Even though the words "war tourism" evoke images of misguided people wandering around Iraq or Afghanistan, I agree with Ambassador Sarath Wijesinghe's perception that "people are curious and inquisitive about the history of our country". In other words: any tourism is good for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was shunned by tourists for almost 26 years due to the war against the Tamil Tigers.

I was born in Sri Lanka and can say (perhaps with some bias) that without a doubt Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful countries I've ever been to. I don't want to call it a blessing in disguise, but the end of the war has now revealed a country so diverse in every aspect that all tourists will find something to enjoy.

For 26 years Sri Lanka has remained mostly unspoilt, and I sincerely hope that it remains so. The end of war means more people will visit, but I hope the country's leaders can encourage sustainable tourism in the process.

Andre D Sterchi, Dubai

China's leaders will remain focused

I refer to the article by Alan Philps In a year of looming change, it is China's turn to adjust (January 6).

I do agree with the commentator that 2011 witnessed pretty much political ups and downs all around the world but I think that the retirement of Hu Jintao (current president) will not have the greatest affect on the world and the Communist Party.

When he steps down as the Communist Party's General Secretary due to term restrictions, other candidates will be elected into power on their current status of seniority in the Chinese political hierarchy. These old figures will not totally say goodbye to the status quo.

I believe that Mr Hu was trying in the past to correctly handle contradictions among the people, which is somehow a key Maoist concept. The current generation will follow this motto in order to boost society's fundamental interests to the maximum degree and to bring back prosperity and stability to the country.

Ms Dilara Akay, Turkey

Reckless spending hurts the rest of us

This is an example of what gives our great country a bad name (Dh387,988 receipt from Dubai's Cavalli Club creates Twitter sensation, January 4).

There are many hard working Emiratis and expatriates seeking a peaceful life in an increasingly unstable world.

But I am ashamed to hear that there are individuals who can spend so much money on a single evening out, when they have family members and people in their home countries barely making ends meet. Showing off their wealth might make them feel important, but they should keep this kind of display to themselves.

Bassem Kudsi, Dubai

Hard to avoid gluten-free items

As a busy professional who has coeliac disease, I face daily challenges, from the unavailability of gluten-free products to restaurant staff who are not trained about food allergies and serve me contaminated food (Gap in market for specialised diets, January 7).

Sometimes, it's dusting a salmon fillet with flour before grilling it or tossing a crouton-free Caesar salad in a bowl with residual crumbs. But often it's the "hidden glutens" in products like prepared salad dressings, sauces - including soy - and additives like food starch and maltodextrin.

I can often find gluten-free flours in markets but do not have time to bake. And some American pizza chains that are known for gluten-free offerings in the US have been unable to source facilities and or suppliers for gluten-free crusts in the GCC.

As I have repeatedly told shopkeepers and restaurateurs, if they offer these products they would find a robust and loyal customer base willing to pay a bit more for the safety of a decent meal.

Elan Fabbri, Abu Dhabi

Dubai street artist deserves acclaim

Splendid article (One artist is altering the Dubai street scene, December 11). Unfortunately I do not agree with Mr Hardy's comments regarding Arcadia Blanks work.

I believe Arcadia Blanks's work has been receiving the attention it has lately in Dubai not because of the fact that it is out of context at all, but rather because there simply is no street art in the city to compare it to. The artist's writings are as engrossing to the general public as they are daring.

Furthermore, Dubai is not New York, Berlin or London and putting the work in the context of those cities is completely superfluous to the purpose of the article.

Regardless, bravo to Christopher Lord and The National for featuring some local artwork that certainly is deserving of the coverage.

J Roden, Dubai