What has US got to do with UN?
I read a statement made by Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State, that America will study the expansion of the UN Security Council. Can someone explain to me what the United States has got to do with this?

Isn't the United Nations a body represented by many countries working together for the benefit of the respective countries?

Therefore, shouldn't the UN decide the Security Council's expansion on the basis of a majority, giving due credit to those nations which are helping it?
From Mr A.J. Rebello

Diplomatic move
Kuldip Nayar has termed the Indian Government renegade in the eyes of the Nepalese "India is backing the wrong side in Nepal" (Gulf News, April 30).

Diplomacy requires one to look askance in the parlance of politics in the interests of the people. Dr Manmohan Singh did exactly that in making a declaration about military aid.

It was after a meeting between King Gyanendra and Dr Singh in Jakarta that the process of democratisation in Nepal speeded up. This process would have remained dormant but for this meeting. This was recognised by the king.
From Mr S. Kumar
Abu Dhabi

Exert pressure on Israel
Now that Syrian forces have fully evacuated from Lebanon, it would be a pleasant surprise if America exerted pressure on Israel to retreat from Shebaa Farms.

That Israel claims the area is not part of Lebanon, (and therefore is under no obligation to leave) is laughable, not because both Lebanon and Syria agree the Shebaa Farms are Lebanese territory, but because after nearly 30 years and numerous UN resolutions, what makes Israel believe it can occupy any other sovereign country's land?
From Mr P. Sherlock

High costs
The cost of living is so high in Dubai that employees of private companies find it hard to cope with the rising rents, children's education, utilities and other expenditure.

I suggest a government body conduct a study of the salary structure in private companies and the cost of living. They should also build some reasonably-priced housing for middle- and low-income employees in the private sector.
From A Reader
Name withheld by request

Taking advantage
Can landlords keep increasing rents disregarding the authorities? What about those taking advantage of people's needs? While rents are going up, those planning to leave their flats are demanding money from people who want to occupy it (key money).

If they cannot pay, they cannot have the flat. Is this legal? If not, shouldn't the owners or authorities be doing something about it?
From A Reader
Abu Dhabi
Name withheld by request

Make some room!
I draw the government's attention towards the plight of bachelors wanting accommodation. No one is willing to give them even a single room.

How will they survive here? Bachelors account for a majority of the population in the UAE. Will the government do something for them?
From Mr A. Ul Haq
Abu Dhabi

Tariffs a rip-off
Etisalat's broadband charges are a rip-off. It charges Dh1,995 per month for 2 megabytes and for a single user, while, for instance, the UK's British Telecom charges Dh175 for two users.

I can understand if the charges were twice this amount, but it is more than 10 times the BT's rates. Besides, this service should be available to all and without any distinction between office and home.
From Mr M. Obayda
Abu Dhabi

Mr Abdulla Hashim, Senior Manager, eCompany/Etisalat, replies:
The eCompany/Etisalat has differentiated its broadband packages into broadband for homes and broadband for businesses.

Both these segments have distinct needs based on differences in traffic pattern and user profile, necessitating separate packages for each segment.

The cost advantages due to economies of scale are minimal in the UAE compared to countries like the UK, where subscriber levels are significant.

The pricing is competitive and comparable even to the region and GCC if one considers the overall value proposition and what we offer with each package. eCompany/Etisalat also strongly believes in passing on any cost advantages to the user.

Quality priority
I refer to Mrs Magol's letter "Salary inequality" (Gulf News, May 1). It is true some schools pay paltry salaries to teachers and it is difficult for pupils to get quality education.

I gave tuition to some pupils and found I often had to correct mistakes in their notebooks that teachers had not noticed. Education is an important part of society and I hope the authorities ensure quality of teaching is achieved.
From Mr A.S. Hassan

Haphazard work
I read the report "Construction work a hazard to public safety, say residents" (Gulf News, April 25). As a resident of the area I am fed up with the haphazard manner of work outside my villa on 23rd Street in Jumeirah 3.

They started the work without any notification, removed the front garden without permission, flattened the area and then left it for the better part of two months.

As a result, I am not able to use my front door. The company in question paved the opposite side of the road weeks ago but left our side until who knows when to complete.
From A Reader
Name withheld by request

Laudable gesture
I congratulate Shahidul Islam Khan, secretary-general, Pakistan Association, Dubai, for his remarks "Association tries to attract more Pakistanis" (Gulf News, April 29).

He said the association would "do away with the VIP culture by ensuring the maximum participation of the general public" in all its programmes. This is an indication of progressive and democratic thinking.

The common practice of Pakistanis to seek official patronage is outdated; government employees are public servants they should serve, not rule.
From Mr H. Mehdi