Letter comments on detention of spiritual leader by Indian authorities

Readers also write in about other issues, including once again cruelty to animals and also the pyramids, columnist James Zogby, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The spiritual leader Baba Ramdev was detained by Indian authorities yesterday after fasting against corruption for less than 24 hours. A reader defends hunger strikes as a political strategy that should be emulated. Raveendran / AFP
The spiritual leader Baba Ramdev was detained by Indian authorities yesterday after fasting against corruption for less than 24 hours. A reader defends hunger strikes as a political strategy that should be emulated. Raveendran / AFP

Julian Assange says nobody has come to harm since he started publishing purloined diplomatic cables. (WikiLeaks chief says no harm done by documents, June 5).

First, he can't know that. Second, it may be that serious harm has been done to the whole fabric of diplomacy. If leaders cannot communicate with each other privately, they may communicate much less, and that can't be good.

Mr Assange acted irresponsibly. Stephen Vincent, Dubai


Hunger strikes are a political legacy

In reference to Not even the PM can stop guru's 'fast against graft' (June 3), India has rediscovered fasting as a technique of protest or as a means to arouse public opinion. The technique was effectively deployed by Mahatma Gandhi, as part of his non-violence strategy.

Now Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev have undertaken fasts to underscore the cancer of corruption in India.

I urge that the entire country, all 1.1 billion people, go on a hunger strike on an appointed day to protest to the government about corruption and the funds stashed abroad by rich politicians.

Rajendra K. Aneja, Dubai

Standards for humane slaughter

The news article Cruelty in abattoirs outrages Australians (June 5) reported on the horrible slaughter practices of cattle shipped to Indonesia, but quoted the mayor of a Queensland town, Ben Callcott, as saying that Australia was not responsible for policing slaughter practices overseas. He feels that the Australian government should butt out of the Indonesian cattle cruelty issue.

He is one in a million in his opinion that the government should butt out. We the majority think otherwise.

Please think about the animals, not the fact that farmers will be financially harmed by this situation. The animals, however, will hopefully not have their tendons slashed, eyes gouged, tails broken and faces punched.

Australia has a moral obligation when selling animals to anywhere that these animals are dealt with humanely.

Adam Orriss, Australia

Rejecting criticism of bin Laden raid

In reference to the news article Musharraf criticises US raid, the ex-president of Pakistan should be ashamed of his stance regarding the demise of Osama bin Laden. Pakistan seems to pretend it is a political ally of the US. However the latest evidence regarding bin Laden's whereabouts proves otherwise. No one believes the Pakistani secret service and the military did not know he was in that compound.

All of the denials and indignation and rants from government officials can't justify the incompetence and subversive nature of this latest debacle.

Gary Gerke, Abu Dhabi

A single-issue columnist

James Zogby's opinion column The US talks, but the Arab world has heard it all before (June 5) makes me embarrassed for my country.

We never seem to get it right, do we? We consistently fail to meet your expectations, don't we? Always mismanaging your problems, aren't we?

I can only hope one day we have a president who makes a speech that you and your "Arab world" can finally applaud and feel good about.

Ted Baxter, Dubai

Two issues that merit despair

I despair of a world where the head of one of the world's greatest sport organisations can influence the withdrawal and subsequent ban of his only electoral rival.

He denies that corruption exists within his organisation and yet invites a senior world statesman to advise on how to combat institutional corruption.

I also despair of a world where a so-called conservation expert can decry the illegal import and smuggling of endangered wildlife species to this CITES-supporting country (since 1990) in which we live and yet advocate a "club" of exotic animal owners to discuss and provide a database of their "acquisitions". This sends a message that such "ownership" and behaviour is acceptable.

Name and Address Withheld

Pyramids are under threat

I refer to Are 17 pyramids buried in the sand? (May 29) which reported the findings of infra-red satellite technology in the Nile Valley.

Now Egypt's got a headache. How are they going to secure those 17 pyramids from thieves? Tomb robbers must be digging now.

This discovery should not have been publicised so much.

Bea Guasch, Abu Dhabi

Published: June 6, 2011 04:00 AM


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