IoS letters, emails & online postings (21 November 2010)

Share
Related Topics

The cholera epidemic overwhelming aid agencies in Haiti highlights a historical and ongoing failure ("Where is the UN? Where is the help?", 14 November). The response of the media and the international community to the earthquake has followed a tragically familiar pattern: shock, an outpouring of compassion, promises by governments and then forgetfulness.

In March, $5.3bn (£3.3bn) for reconstruction was pledged by donor governments. Eight months later, there are still more than a million people pressed into hundreds of precarious camps around Port-au-Prince. Only a few thousand transitional homes have been built, and no significant reconstruction programme is under way.

When these pledged funds are finally released, they need to be invested in a long-term strategy for reconstruction and economic recovery led by the Haitian government. Above all, the participation of Haitian civil society is needed to prevent a return to the violence and political chaos that have characterised this traumatised nation for so long.

Dr Chris MacLullich

Edinburgh

Few diseases magnify poverty as cholera does. It is a horrific disease that robs the body of fluid and quickly kills. But as your article indicates, prevention should be simple, with clean water, hand-washing and adequate sanitation. We have known this for more than 150 years, ever since John Snow disabled the Broad Street pump in London, cutting off a contaminated water supply. Cholera infects up to five million people each year, killing around 120,000. Lack of safe water and sanitation means more children in Africa die from diarrhoeal diseases than anything else. This alone should justify the Government's commitment to allocating 0.7 per cent gross national income to international aid by 2013. To make this aid more effective, water and sanitation need to be a higher priority if we are to confine diseases like cholera to history.

Henry Northover

Head of Policy, WaterAid

London SE11

It was a pleasure to read Peter Popham's special report ("The return of Burma's accidental heroine", 14 November), but I question his characterisation of Aung San Suu Kyi's father, Major-General Aung San, as having "wrestled his country from the hands of both the Japanese and the British". The good general was undoubtedly a man of principle and courage, but throwing in his lot with the Japanese in 1940 was not the wisest of choices.

After returning to Burma as a colonel at the head of the Japanese-stooge Burma National Army he realised his error and took his life in his hands by contacting the British. However, it was the British 14th Army and its American and Chinese allies who actually "wrestled" Burma from the Japanese.

Aung San Suu Kyi has other, tremendous challenges today, but she would not have them if it were not for 14th Army. I wish her, and the people she so clearly loves, luck in their tomorrow.

Rohan Maxwell

Sarajevo

I have played every Call of Duty since the beginning, and each game has its merits ("Play is about life. Video games prefer death", 14 November). But it has shifted from a sombre series portraying the sacrifice of the Second World War in a semi-reverent fashion to a series that seems to have little purpose but the glorification of blood, brutality, over-the-top explosions and "killstreaks". It's past time for the themes, stories and morality which underlie games to grow up the same way the average gamer has. Games have so much potential to make the world a better, more creative and even a more humane place.

Joseph 2000

posted online

The new rules on restraint are needed ("Teachers fear restraint power will bring chaos", 14 November). There is no national registry on injuries to staff and students in this country, and few reporting requirements. I was partially blinded by a student throwing an iceball, yet the school continued to allow this activity and I saw many eye injuries to students, all unreported. Bullying in Portugal now brings a custodial sentence for young offenders, and the problem in Portugal is light compared with here. If we want a civilised society we must start by imposing strict school discipline. High-quality education also requires a calm learning environment. More intense home discipline will facilitate this process much more rapidly than 30-minute detentions.

Clive Beere

Manchester

Sara Maitland considers our noisy society and asks what musicians think ("Silence", 14 November). As someone who composes music, I assure you that I hate the ubiquity of music, although I love music with a great passion. I also like chocolate, but there are moments in my life when I don't want to be eating it.

dogsolitude_v2

posted online

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk (with address; no attachments, please); fax: 020 7005 2627; online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2010/November/21

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer - web services, XML and API

£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...

Trainee Helpdesk Analyst / 1st Line Application Support Analyst

£18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs  

When most porn is packaged for men, is it any wonder women get their sexual kicks from erotica?

Justine Elyot
 

Daily catch-up: low pay, E and non-E online, and the pointlessness of chess

John Rentoul
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style