Just calm down

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 December, 2008, 12:00am

I think we can solve any problem if we just calm down. Recently, taxi drivers blocked the taxi stands at Hong Kong International Airport and the North Lantau Highway because they were angry about the new fare system.

Meanwhile, anti-government protesters forced the closure of both Bangkok's airports, stranding hundreds of thousands of tourists.

In my opinion, people should calm down. Incidents like the above not only inconvenience ordinary citizens, but can cause injuries and even deaths.

What was needed both in Hong Kong and in Bangkok was not protests but negotiations. I believe any problem can be solved with negotiation. It just takes time.

I think the above examples show if we don't calm down and set about negotiating a solution, the result will be not good. My advice is calm down, negotiate and solve the problem.

Tim Lai Chun-yuen, the Chinese Foundation Secondary School

From the Editor

Thanks for the letter, Tim. While it is always a good idea to solve problems through negotiations, reality sometimes makes this impossible. When one side has an advantage over another, they have no reason to surrender that advantage. It's kind of like a wolf and a lamb debating what to have for dinner. Negotiations don't always work.

It is not easy to take a stand, and the risks of doing so are big. Sometimes people just have to take action to prevent further suffering. The conditions in Zimbabwe are a good example. People have been negotiating for a long time, and in the meantime many people have died, gone without food or education, and life has become worse. If no action is taken, things will continue to get worse and people will continue to suffer. People who could have been saved will die.

When the disadvantaged are in a stronger position, then it is time for negotiation again - so you are right to say negotiating wins the day.

Susan, Editor