Letters, Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

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Anarchy follows Libyan ‘victory,

IN March this year David Cameron and President Sarkozy strutted their stuff at the Elysee Palace, unashamedly congratulating each other on the Libyan triumph.

The fact that in the aftermath of their victory anarchy is now on the streets of Libya never got a mention.

The Gaddafi era is over, but hundreds of similar monsters have taken his place and terror is still on the menu, with groups who loot and murder at will. The National Transition Council (NTC), a Libyan committee funded and recognised by Cameron, is neither trusted nor in control. The country is run by hundreds of military who refuse to give their arms or submit to the NTC.

Mass graves of Gaddafi supporters have been uncovered, torture is rife and human right abuses are carried out with impunity.

A United Nations report tells us armed military are making illegal arrests, and torturing people to death in secret prisons.

Up to 9,000 detainees including women and children remain in private jails run by various “brigades” with very little known about what is going on inside them.

Even the police are intimidated. They took into custody three men who admitted they were part of an armed mob that had desecrated British war graves. The police let them go.

A senior police officer said: “We had no option but to release these men even though they admitted criminal damage. We have no control over them – they are too dangerous.”  

The people of Libya are living in a nightmare, and the promise of democratic elections seems far away.

It’s obvious Cameron jumped into this warmongering without any forward planning on how to keep the peace after the conflict. This makes him at least partly responsible for the tragic circumstances in Libya.

However, his attention span seems limited when it comes to this problem, and his main priority at the moment appears to be playing a game of ping-pong with President Obama.

W. Quinn, Duke Street, Millfield, Sunderland

Council to blame

THIS is to Sunderland Council.

You are killing Sunderland. Shops are closing, going out of business because of you.

There’s Villette Road, Pallion, Grangetown and Sea Road. And there will be more if you don’t put the rates down.

My friend left Sunderland two years ago and he said it’s the best thing he had ever done. He went to Newcastle, where has his own little shop.

He came back last week and stopped two days. He said that Sunderland has nothing. The council is to blame.

Dennis Wheldon, East End

Unfair wage rates

RE no relief for new minimum wage rates story: While the Government is set to announce tax cuts for people earning over £150,000, it has announced it is freezing the minimum wage for under-21-year-olds at £4.98.

What message does this send to our young people when the rates for those under 21 are frozen?

They deserve a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, and should not be left vulnerable to exploitation.

From October 1, 2012, the adult minimum wage rate is to increase from £6.08 to £6.19 – an extra 11p an hour is simply not enough.

Millions of workers need a living wage of £8 an hour to cope with rising prices and keep them out of poverty.

The Youth Development Rate stays the same at £4.98 an hour, as does the rate for 16 to 17-year-olds at £3.68 an hour. The Apprentice Rate increases from £2.60 to £2.65 per hour.

This just amounts to yet another pay cut for those who can least afford it.

Gemma Taylor, Houghton

Get smoke alarms

I WOULD just like to commend the fire brigade in Washington who went around our street on Friday, March 23, offering free smoke alarms.

I assured the officer I had two fitted and he took my details as to surname, house number, post code and number of occupants. Well done them.

My wife and I experienced the death of her father in Leam Lane Estate, Gateshead. He was a smoker and a stroke victim and confined to a chair. His wife popped out to the shops for a few minutes and came back to tragedy.

Maybe in his case a smoke alarm may not have saved him, but I would urge everyone to have smoke alarms fitted, because they would not want to witness what we and his wife did in 1979.

It still haunts us till this day, and we would not wish this on anyone.

Get those smoke alarms fitted now.

Bill Lynch, Burnhope Road, Barmston Village. Washington