Hard questions for Aung San Suu Kyi

Christine Black writes: Re. “Aung San Suu Kyi on the past, the future, and the need for mercy” (yesterday). It is true, as Margot Saville’s gushing piece on Aung San Suu Kyi says, that her story is “one of enormous personal sacrifice in the service of her country”.

But I would be interested in hearing the answer if one of the journalists covering her visit to Australia asked her if she supported efforts to halt the well-documented, severe and long-standing persecution of the Rohingya people from western Myanmar.

If, as she says that peace and love are the most important things, her answer should be an unequivocal yes. From reports to date, internal ethnic politics in Myanmar seem to make her reluctant to give such an answer.

E-cig myths up in smoke

Greg Dare writes: Re. “Crikey clarifier: are e-cigarettes such a great idea?” (yesterday). Please get your facts right on e-cigs! The article says: “An e-cigarette is not a smoking alternative per se.” It most definitely is an excellent smoking alternative. There is no smoke! Yet it can satisfy the cravings of many smokers more effectively than any other alternative.

“It’s the option of including pre-mixed nicotine, or adding it to the solution yourself, that makes e-cigs potentially dangerous.” Do you have evidence that nicotine, at the level used in e-cigs, is dangerous to the user? I have seen no such evidence, despite extensive reading of the literature.

“No research has yet proven that second-hand nicotine vapour is harmful. Then again, no research has disproved it.” The second assertion is simply untrue. A study by Professor Igor Burstyn, Drexel University School of Public Health, confirms that chemicals in e-cigs pose no health concern for users or bystanders. The study finds that there are no health concerns, based on generally accepted exposure limits.

Bravo, Pope Francis

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Rundle: Pope Francis’ 122-year-old radical Left proposal” (yesterday). All non-Catholics –such as yours truly — should applaud the new Pope’s change of direction. It is high time that somebody as influential as Francis implied, if not expressed, that our current form of out of control consumerism is not only incompatible with current Catholic teaching, but more importantly, incompatible with the very survival of this small planet and its creatures. Technology has reduced the Earth to the size of village and Homo (Non)sapiens to a single tribe. It is high time for the George W. Bushes and the al-Qaedas of this world to stop grandstanding to impress their ignorant followers and instead sit down to talk to each other, so that we all can survive.


Crikey writes: Re. The Ring looked more like cheap bling” (yesterday). Due to an error in the production process the author of this article was listed as Anthony Clarke. The piece was actually written by Ian Britain, and we have corrected this error on the site. Crikey apologises for the error.