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  • Apr 16, 2014
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Letters

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 April, 2007, 12:00am

Argentina tirade is both false and misleading


While no one is disputing the futility of Argentine aggression during the 1982 Falklands war, Maurice Tracy's raging letter entitled 'Argentina should put up or shut up over its claim to the Falklands' (April 4) is as historically inaccurate as it is one-sided. In his tirade against Argentina, Mr Tracy makes a number of false and misleading claims.


For example, he claims - incorrectly - that no Argentine has ever lived on the Falklands.


This is nonsense; by the time of the British occupation in 1833 the islands included an Argentine town, Puerto Soledad, and a penal colony. These settlements are documented and are historically verifiable.


Upon occupation, the British proceeded to evict all Argentines living on the islands and replace them with British citizens. Mr Tracy's argument that the current inhabitants of the Falkland Islands have 'no wish to be incorporated into a Spanish-speaking state ...' is all too easy. If you empty out a local population and replace them with your own, you are bound to get a loyal crowd.


It is not a question of self-determination; it is a question of territorial integrity.


Argentina has subjected itself to international scrutiny. A 1965 UN Resolution dealt with the claims and concluded that Argentina and Britain should start negotiations. It is Britain that has so far been unwilling to enter these UN-sanctioned talks.


Mr Tracy's further assertion that Argentina is a country torn between 'fascism and chaos' seals his objectivity. While Argentina is not a beacon of stability, it continues to be one of the western hemisphere's most prosperous countries - with developed-world levels of literacy, an economy that has grown by 45 per cent since 2002 and low unemployment.


Although the war was wrong (and clearly Argentina's fault), Argentina has a legitimate claim to the islands.


Bas Kniphorst, Mid-Levels


Adapt to new airport rules


Unless Roche Bentley, 'Rules are rules, but can't airport staff use a little common sense?' (April 3), took the slow boat to China, I assume he must have travelled from a UK airport where rules identical to those recently imposed at Chek Lap Kok have been in force since last summer. Or perhaps as a foreigner he believes that he is entitled to special treatment?


As a visitor to Hong Kong, but a frequent traveller, I have had to adapt to the security conditions in force and regularly watch with amusement as fellow passengers plead for an exception for their precious lotions and liquids. I have also witnessed the abuse of airport employees by others demanding exemptions.


Perhaps Mr Bentley prefers the level of security I encountered on a domestic flight last week in the Philippines where my hand luggage went completely unchecked, leaving me free to carry on board perfume, brandy and God knows what else with impunity.


If he does decide not to return to Hong Kong, I'm sure that he will not be missed.


Stephen Pratt, London


Security in line with guidelines


I am writing in reply to Roche Bentley's complaint about security screening at Hong Kong's airport ('Rules are rules, but can't airport staff use a little common sense?' April 3).


On March 21, the airport implemented security controls on the carriage of liquids, aerosols and gels by passengers in their hand baggage, in line with the security guidelines developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The Aviation Security Company Limited, as the security contractor at the airport, is required to implement these measures.


Under these controls, the carriage of liquids, aerosols and gels in passenger hand baggage is restricted to containers with a capacity not greater than 100ml. The total number of containers must fit within a re-sealable plastic bag whose maximum capacity does not exceed one litre. A specific exception applies in respect of liquids, aerosols and gels purchased by passengers at airports where similar controls have been implemented or on board aircraft in-flight. Additionally, such liquids, aerosols or gels must be packed in a tamper-evident, sealed plastic bag with proof of purchase to indicate that the item was bought on the day of the journey.


In Mr Bentley's case, it would appear that the item did not meet the security packaging requirement and security staff had no option other than to request that he dispose of it. Airlines operating flights to Hong Kong have been notified of the new security measures and requested to inform their incoming passengers of them.


Alex Duthie, senior manager operations support, Aviation Security Company Limited


Vengeance is worth the wait


I refer to your report 'About time Europeans took notice of Asia: EB' (April 2). When the then Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club invited horses from overseas to compete with local horses in the 1980s, the overseas horses had to give away 5lbs to local horses in Hong Kong because those from overseas were of a much higher standard.


Overseas horses' weight was set at 126lbs; Hong Kong horses carried 121lbs.


Overseas horses always won at the Hong Kong international races in Sha Tin.


In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the standard of local horses improved tremendously. As a result, all horses have been competing in Hong Kong's international races with a set weight of 126lbs, except for mares which are given several pounds allowance.


For the past several years, our local horses have managed to win at least one race during the international events and thus kept one trophy at home in Hong Kong. As a result of the effortless win in Dubai by Vengeance Of Rain, I am sure overseas owners will think twice before bringing their horses to Hong Kong to compete.


May I congratulate the owners, the trainer, and the jockey who have worked so hard and made Vengeance Of Rain a winner.


Eugene Li, Deep Water Bay


Losing sight of spiritual reality


It is simply not true that most people, as Mohan Mirpuri claims in ''We are born, we live, we die ...'' (April 3), ''are simply too scared to even begin to question the existence of God''.


A vast majority of those living in most western societies are already in the position of having discarded a belief in the God of the Bible, upon which their civilisation was founded and sustained.


An irrational faith in science alone has given birth to the lie that what you can measure is the sum of all there is, and people are losing sight of the spiritual realities that underpin our physical existence.


This is sheer folly, just as the simplistic and predictable mantra of atheism that religion is responsible for most wars is an inadequate assessment of history.


In some sense this view is beguiling and can appear correct. A study of the two most destructive wars of history, for example, reveals that it was pagan religious beliefs as well as atheism that lay behind the militarism of Germany that caused the first world war, and Nazism and Japanese expansionism that were responsible for the second world war.


The fate of Japan and Germany, however, should give us dire warning of the divine justice with which such hubris inevitably meets its end.


David John Eason, Tai Po


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