Postbag: Rohingya thank Obama
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Postbag: Rohingya thank Obama

On behalf of Rohingya community and Myanmar Muslim community, we would like to convey our gratitude to President Barack Obama for his contribution for national reconciliation in Myanmar. We greatly admire your leadership and your approach to educate Myanmar about religious freedom, civil liberty, free speech and equality among all citizens of Myanmar.

You inspired the 60 million people of Myanmar when you said: ''But there is no excuse for violence against innocent people. And the Rohingya... hold within themselves the same dignity as you do, and I do.''

We also would like to thank and congratulate the 21 congressmen and senators who successfully had the president highlight the plight of Rohingya during his trip to Myanmar. Our sincere thanks also to our volunteers who worked tirelessly before the president's historical trip to inform him about the real situation in Arakan.

Free Rohingya Campaign (FRC)

Policing homes a priority

Re: ''Domestic killings spate concerns CSD'' (BP, Nov 19).

In Australia we have a system where police are bound to attend every complaint of domestic violence as it occurs, no matter how busy or how many other calls they have to attend to on a particular shift. Domestic violence call-outs are given priority in Australia. The previous situation was that police were often loathe to attend such call-outs as they were often messy.

Under the new no ifs-or-buts scheme, when police must attend and ascertain the situation, they can then enable the victim and/or children to be removed to safety, while the perpetrator _ often the male _ is given a civil summons to attend the local magistrates' court within 28 days.

The magistrate will usually decide to hand out a two-year domestic violence order, binding the alleged perpetrator to be of good behaviour and to not approach or threaten the alleged victim. If the alleged perpetrator disobeys these sanctions, he can then face criminal charges.

This solution is of course not perfect and the alleged perpetrator often feels an injustice has been carried out, but there is free or moderately priced expert counselling for those who volunteer to undertake it.

The cynical amongst us have observed that lawyers specialising in Family Law often create an unnecessary dispute between couples and also use the Domestic Violence Order to gain leverage in subsequent custody of children cases in the Australian Family Court.

The Australian Family Court system is fundamentally very expensive and chaotic with interminable delays in resolving disputes between parties, but that is quite another story.


Donating blood 101

Re: ''Old blood is good blood'' (Postbag, Nov 18).

I think it's important to clarify Ken Malcolm's misinformation about blood donations for people over the age of 60.

The Thai Red Cross has specific criteria for those who wish to donate blood between the ages of 60-65 and additional criteria for those who are between the ages of 65-70.

I have contacted the Thai Red Cross regarding this issue, and they have promptly provided information on this matter. For example:

Donors may donate blood no more than three times a year.

Donors must get plenty of sleep the night before donating blood.

Donors may not have diarrhoea or symptoms of a fever seven days before donating.

Donors may not donate if they have experienced a drastic loss of weight, without knowing the cause, within the last three months.

Donors taking aspirin, or other pain medicines must have stopped taking medicine three days prior to donating. Donors taking antibiotics need to have stopped taking antibiotics seven days prior to donating.

Donors may not have asthma, chronic skin conditions, tuberculosis or other allergies, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease.

I hope this information encourages Ken Malcolm and others to attempt donation again. The staff have always been ebullient, helpful, and prompt.

I will be donating on my birthday as a gift for others to share.

I hope others will also fall into the habit of donating regularly to boost the Thai Red Cross's supplies.


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