Focus on the positive

The Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan in the UAE has read with concern the article on South Sudan (‘South Sudan censors newspapers, hampers press in civil war’, Gulf News, June 26). This article is simply misleading.

As it was made clear by South Sudan Media Authority in its press statement on June 23, 2017, that 200 foreign journalists have been allowed into the country during the past few months. Only 20 freelance journalists were denied entry on the basis of their frequent negative reports, characterised by hate speech and incitement. Their reports have been evidently unbalanced and highly prejudiced. As a country yearning for peace and stability, the last thing we need is negative reporting that stokes violence. Needless to say, there are laws and regulations in any country that govern media activities and conduct, which should be observed and respected. South Sudan has her own laws and regulations that must be respected by all citizens and foreigners including journalists.

Freedom of expression and the right to information are vales enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. Therefore, the country cannot be against its own constitution.

Instead of embarking in negative reporting the media is encouraged to acknowledge by way of reporting the South Sudan National Dialogue, which is currently underway and aimed at building a national consensus around the issues of peace, good governance, poverty eradication and ushering in a new era of economic stability and prosperity.

From the Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan



So much waste at the breakfast buffet

I was eager to enjoy my breakfast at Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah during my stay on the weekend. I was happy with the toasted bread, sausages, a few slices of cheese and butter I served myself. I did not want to select any salads, but I got some fresh orange juice. I added some fruits to complete my meal.

I noticed so many families having their breakfast in the restaurant and they were all looking happy. They were busy enjoying their meals while talking. Most of the tables were filled with different plates of food. However, some tables had very few people seated to eat. I saw children around my age who were filling their plates with so many croissants and cakes. They ate one or two from them. Most of them kept on going back to fill their plates when there was plenty to eat on the tables.

It was sad to see the way food was getting wasted. I have seen videos of poor families collecting leftover food from garbage bins. It’s so sad to see the way a family survives like that. I wanted to tell them to take only what they can eat, but it was not the right time or place.

From Sanith Santhasa Piyadigamage


Escape into books this summer

The boiling summer heat wrestles me into my flat every year and I am yet again left to be comforted by my bookshelf’s delights. The knowledge that the world’s richest and smartest like Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates have invested tantalising amounts into libraries and the declaration of the Year of Reading last year have been strong motivators to read. However, the sheer cost of books limits my reading.

With the onslaught of technology in life, the need for community libraries is more prominent than ever. Small centralised community libraries in every area within Dubai would surely contribute to the rise of intellectually sound communities and confident youth. With the custom of face-to-face talk nearing extinction among teenagers, libraries would serve as an escape from social media.

Libraries would be great equalisers within the financially diverse community of Dubai. In a country such as the UAE, where education does not come cheap, libraries broaden children’s perspectives without emptying their parents’ bank accounts. They are unparalleled channels through which youth can explore their immediate world as well as the world at large.

Introducing more libraries would make a lasting positive impact on Dubai and encourage many to rediscover the wonders that lie within the pages of a book.

From Mr Abhirami Venugopal


Excellent initiative

It’s just awesome in Dubai that they would hand out sun umbrellas to pedestrians (‘Umbrellas, anyone? DM asks pedestrians in Dubai’, Gulf News, July 17). These are really nice and brave hearted people. I love Dubai, I love the culture and the human beings who live there. Long live Dubai. May God progress you day-by-day, more and more.

From Mr Reza Karim


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Won my heart

The Dubai authorities amaze me every time I open up some news. Every time they impress me with the deeds they do. To all those people who are involved in this, you are real heroes. This small initiative is amazing and yet again they won my heart. I’m sure they must have won the hearts of zillions here and outside! Amazing people!! Amazing governance!

From Mr Amit Jaiswal


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