[LETTERS to the editor]Economic ills breed worse problems
Some predict that another Great Depression will hit the global economy. Citizens everywhere on Earth are having a hard time managing their financial situation. Consequently, food habits, grocery shopping and the way we spend money on a daily basis have changed. Consumers use the Internet to order groceries so they don’t have to buy gasoline to drive to the supermarket because fuel prices have increased so much.
Due to the global economic crisis, serious conflicts between the haves and have-nots are spreading. These lead to bigger problems, such as religious conflict.
In Kandhamal, India, religious conflict occurred recently. Christians in India are only 2.3 percent of the population. Most of them received education from missionaries, thus, were seen to have more opportunities to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty. Details are ambiguous about why the conflict arose; however, economic gaps between the rich and the poor must have triggered off and on violence [noted since 2003].
Those who attacked Christians’ villages blocked roads to prevent intervention by police officers. They burned down shelters, churches, and prayer houses.
They even stole valuables and used violence against residents. Villagers who hid in nearby forests were caught and attackers beat them to death; people who were severely wounded were left for dead. This was the worst violence in decades against Christians in the Hindu-dominated nation.
We now know that an economic crisis brings more than just a financial burden. Finding a solution is the utmost priority. Specialists worldwide must hold a conference to discuss these matters. Moreover, the media must do its job to let the people know about the issues regarding the economic situation.
Ha Joohee, Sookmyung Girls’ High School
“Kinder, gentler buses”: a PR stunt
Regarding the Sept. 18 photo caption “Kinder, gentler riot bus” about the new riot police buses that have shed their trademark chicken coop wire-mesh protection by introducing special “fire- and bulletproof polycarbonate windows”:
I distinctly recall reading an article several years ago, printed in this very paper, also describing how the riot police were removing the chicken wire to achieve a more public-friendly image. I cannot track this article down, but it was there.
I fully expect to find the riot police buses (at least the vast majority of them) to continue to sport their characteristic wire mesh shell for years to come.
I imagine this is, once again, little more than a publicity stunt.
Let’s keep this photo and see the situation one year from now.
Joel Levin, Seoul
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