x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

When dictators won't go

In both Syria and Yemen, frustration with stubborn and discredited leaders has opened the door to violence, a reader says. Other letter topics today: fake brands, Indian retailing, embassy security and speeding tickets.

Protests in Syria, such as this one last Friday, are still being met with government-sponsored violence, despite the regime's fine promises, readers note. Reuters
Protests in Syria, such as this one last Friday, are still being met with government-sponsored violence, despite the regime's fine promises, readers note. Reuters

Every week seems to bring a new report of the discovery of fake branded consumer products (Huge cargo of counterfeit good seized, December 5).

The money in aping brand-name products must be enormous. Funny how people think a brand name, real or fake, can give them prestige or stature. What's that expression? "There's a fool born every minute", isn't it?

Gary Keller, Abu Dhabi

Uranium sale to India is a problem

I refer to Australia lifts uranium sales ban to India (December 5).

The move by Australia to remove its long-standing ban on uranium exports to India will definitely boost trade and enhance the bilateral relationship. But the commitment to nuclear disarmament of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Labor Party may be negatively affected with this move.

The export of uranium is obviously important to Australia's economy, but the sales should be based on strict safeguards. In this context it is noteworthy that the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty, opened to signature in 1968, has been signed by nearly 200 parties but not, India, Pakistan, North Korea or Israel.

Profits should not be put before the peace and security of any region.

Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi

India wrong to delay reforms

India is losing its nerve about reform of the retail sector because of complaints from small shopkeepers (India forced to backtrack on retail plan, December 5).

This is remarkably backward thinking. If horse-drawn buggy drivers had protested hard enough, India would have no private cars today.

Retailers, and everyone in private business, makes a living by serving society, providing goods and services efficiently.

Now we are seeing inefficiency protected by political decision-making.

And people wonder why India isn't getting rich faster.

VJ Mehta, Dubai

Not a legitimate justification

The justification given by a letter-writer for the storming of the British Embassy in Tehran (Britain provoked Iranian retaliation, December 4) is worrying.

According to the writer, who withheld his or her name, David Cameron, the British prime minister, provoked the embassy attack with his comments.

It's a good thing that other countries don't follow this reasoning, that if you don't like what a politician says, you attack his embassy. What a mess that would be.

Faris, Dubai

Dictators refuse to go peacefully

So the Syrian regime keeps right on killing (Nine more die as Syria stalls on Arab plan, December 5) and meanwhile, as your headline says, Saleh still giving orders in Yemen (also December 5).

Nobody favours violence but how else can a country get rid of an unwanted dictator? Every other avenue has been exhausted, it seems to be, in both of these countries.

Name withheld by request

Is anyone surprised to learn that Bashar Al Assad is making a mockery of the Arab League's efforts to bring peace and stability to Syria?

As with everything he has done since the crisis began, the dictator continues to care about himself at the expense of his people.

David Daoud, Abu Dhabi

Control number of vehicles per home

I refer to the letter to the editor Parking system aimed to bring more spaces (December 5).

What we need is fewer cars and fewer 4x4s. There ought to be a limit on how many cars each household can own for residences in or near an urban centre.

Perhaps a toll system based on engine size is needed. We also need more buses, and tougher penalty for violating road rules.

Joe Burns, Abu Dhabi

Ticket discount raises questions

I refer to the story National Day gift to speeding drivers (December 5).

I understand and welcome the generous impulse behind this gesture. Or perhaps it is not so generous after all; maybe the discount will increase total revenue actually collected from speeding fines.

But I wonder if the authorities have considered the signal this policy sends to speeders.

Isn't this affirmation that speeding is not so bad? And won't this encourage those who get tickets from now on to just throw them in a drawer and forget them until the next discount?

This policy would make more sense if it came with a sharp increase in all speeding fines.

Robert Swatsky, Dubai