NEWS FROM THE U.A.E.
Excerpts from U.A.E. Dailies
Deportation bid sees man die after swallowing acid
Dubai : 27 May:A 28-year-old Indian man’s bid to get himself deported ended in tragedy when he died after deliberately drinking acid. A Dubai Police official said the incident occured at 2.20pm last Friday.
Gatoo Jatasowami drank acid, apparently because he could not afford to buy a ticket for a flight to his home country.
His brother, Naraish, said that Gatoo had hoped police would arrest and deport him.
He said that Gatoo had been staying in Dubai illegally for the past six years.
Naraish, 24, who works as a salesman in a grocery store in Al Nahda, said: “Last Friday, I was with some of my friends in a restaurant. One of my friends came running and told me that my brother Gatoo was lying on the floor. I rushed to him and asked him what happened.
“Gatoo told me that he had swallowed acid as he wanted police to arrest him and deport him to India. My brother died before reaching the hospital.
“He came on a visit visa, and was working as a cleaner on a part- time basis. I don’t know why he did that. He did not want to kill himself. All he wanted to do was to go back to India,” Naraish said.
The brothers hail from a poor family in Hyderabad, India.
“We are two brothers and three sisters. My sisters live with our parents in India,” Naraish said.
The official said that Gatoo’s body is lying at the Dubai Police mortuary and they are working on the final procedures before releasing it to the victim’s brother.
Naraish has appealed for assistance in repatriating his brother’s body to India.
Pupils must not be hit by teachers says ministry
UAE - 27 May: Parents who learn that a teacher has been physically disciplining their child at school should report it immediately, the Ministry of Education has urged.
The ministry says it is concerned that the corporal punishment of primary school students may be going unchecked because parents and teachers do not know that such abuse is illegal in the UAE.
One concerned parent called Emirates Today in anger and confusion after her son was manhandled by a teacher she knew to be a habitual abuser, saying parents, teachers and even the administration of the school did not know how to handle the case.
“I actually saw the teacher put his hands on my child in force, and thought this is enough, I will not stand for this,” said Maria Ball [name changed].
“When I went to complain to the principal, it turns out it was not the first case where this teacher had hurt a child.
“I know other parents have seen the bruises from when he grabs their child’s arm too hard, or even when he slaps them, but they don’t know what to do, and when I spoke to the principal of my son’s school, I got the impression he did not know the right response either,” she said.
Khadija Al Hussaini, the deputy director for private and specific education at the Dubai Education Zone, Ministry of Education, said that hitting, pinching, squeezing, or any other physical force used by a teacher on a student is absolutely forbidden in the UAE.
“Corporal punishment is… illegal and is not tolerated,” Al Hussaini stated.
The official admitted, however, that few cases of corporal punishment made it to her office and said that a lack of awareness regarding the protocol and legality of the issue was probably the reason for the low number of incidents reported.
She added that, under no circumstances, should teachers who allegedly hit their students be allowed to remain in a classroom situation with children.
However, a teacher at the school in question told Emirates Today that the colleague accused of abuse was kept on until the end of the school year.
“The abusing teacher had to stay on, I was told,” said the colleague, who asked not to be named, and added that an appeal had been made to the ministry to have the abusive colleague removed from the job before the year-end.
Al Hussaini confirmed: “The moment there is a complaint of this sort, the school must begin an internal investigation, and when a teacher is under investigation they cannot be allowed to be in charge of their class,” she said.
She added that if a teacher is found guilty of abuse, the school administration is then obliged to forward the case to the Dubai Education Zone, where another investigation would be undertaken. If it too finds the staff member guilty, then their employment will be immediately terminated.
“We can also send our results to the assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, who can review the findings and then decide if the teacher should be blacklisted in the entire country and kept away from schoolchildren forever,” she added.
Many pharmacists play role of doctors
Dubai: 27 May:Some UAE residents have found the solution to rising healthcare costs and long waits at the doctor's office ignore the doctor and go straight to pharmacists who will recommend and sell them the medication.
However, health officials and doctors warn that they may end up paying the price in their quest to save time and a few dirhams.
Healthcare costs in the UAE have increased in the last few years, with consultation fees ranging from Dh100 to Dh400, depending on the level of specialty, in the private sector. The shortage of medical professionals and specialists in the UAE means that patients have to wait up to hours to see a doctor.
Muien E. M., a PR executive from Jordan, said he did not like to see a doctor for common infections, choosing instead to describe his symptoms to the pharmacist who would sell him the medicine.
He said he has been going to the pharmacist directly for eight years, adding that he never encountered a problem with any medicine his pharmacist recommended.
AAnother long-time resident of Dubai, Firas Fattouhi, told Gulf News that he would not go to a doctor for diagnosis and prescription when he has a common ailment either.
AA pharmacist working in Bur Dubai, who spoke to Gulf News on condition of anonymity, confirmed that many customers ask him to recommend medicine to them. "I sell the medicine according to their symptoms and the area affected," he said, admitting that he did not really know what ailed the patient.
HHealth officials and professionals Gulf News talked to are aghast at what some residents and pharmacists are doing, saying that they were endangering people's lives.
Officials at the Health Ministry said selling anti-biotics without a prescription was illegal in the UAE and for good reason.
"Because pharmacists don't know the medical history of the customer. Maybe he is allergic to penicillin and the pharmacist sells him an antibiotic that has penicillin, he could die," an official said.
Violation: Many are ignorant about regulations
Pharmacists flout prescription regulations due to ignorance, competitiveness. Many of the medicines sold in pharmacies as over the counter medications actually require prescriptions, a practice encouraged by lax enforcement and outdated information.
Popular medicines such as Reductil for weight loss, Viagra for impotence and antibiotics for bacterial infections, can only be sold with a valid prescription from a licensed doctor, according to the Health Ministry. Despite this, many pharmacists believe selling these drugs over the counter is allowed under UAE law.
"Selling antibiotics is OK in the UAE. We are not doing anything illegal," said the manager of a pharmacy on Shaikh Zayed Road.
A pharmacist at a store on Shaikh Zayed Road was prepared to sell Viagra and antibiotics when Gulf News requested them. When asked if the medicine required a prescription, he said no.
SSources at the Health Ministry told Gulf News that there was a shortage of inspectors to inspect pharmacies.
Getting rid of old cars will improve country's image
Abu Dhabi: 27 May: Old cars in Dubai may not be allowed to ply the streets anymore, as called by an earlier proposal by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
An environmental study conducted by the Roads and Transport Authority recommended that vehicles older than 15 years should not be registered as they cause environmental pollution.
The study revealed that such vehicles contribute to 80 per cent of environmental pollution in the emirate, followed by factories. In other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, however, factories are known to be the major pollutant. A cross-section of UAE residents welcomed the proposal. They said it will help decrease the pollution level in the country. The proposal should also be implemented across the UAE, they said.
However, some residents said there should be special rules for classic cars. They said such cars should not be removed from the streets because they look nice and it would be a loss to remove them.
Roy Crookendale, a 34-year-old aircraft engineer from Barbados, said: "It is a good idea, but at the same time, I think you have to compensate the owners of these cars if you want to take their cars. The move is good to preserve environment and I hope they implement it in all of the UAE. But I also hope they deal with people who have classic collectors' car and treat them differently."
Reem Hashim, 29, a flight attendant from Syria, said removing vehicles over 15 years old is a great move. "It will help decrease the pollution and will refresh the economy by allowing people to buy new cars," she said.
"If they could apply it in Dubai, then why not apply it in the rest of the emirates? I think it's a good idea but they should try it first," she added.
Christine Perrin, from France, who works as an assistant at the French Embassy, said a lot of countries had done this and she thinks the UAE should do the same. "I think it's a good idea, we did it in France and a lot of countries do this. It will help solving the two major problems in UAE: parking and the traffic jam.
"However, I don't see a need in implementing it in all of the UAE; I believe they should only implement it in the big cities: Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah," she added.
Ayir N., 36, a manager from India, said preventing very old cars from plying the roads "is an excellent idea that will push up the economy by allowing more sales of new cars.
"It will also help with the pollution problems, since old engines that are not functioning well will release more carbon monoxide in the air, they should prevent them. I hope they apply it to the entire emirates," he added.
UAE businessman Fahem Al Tamimi, 35, said: "It's a wise proposal; I hope they will take it into consideration. Some of these cars look very bad and bring a bad image to the UAE.
"Nevertheless, there are a lot of classic cars here that are more than 50 years old and it would be very bad to remove them. I suggest that such cars be run on natural gas because it's a waste not to see such old cars around," he said. "On the other hand, some new vans that are 2006 models and run on diesel will cause much more pollution than the old cars, I think those should be monitored too," he added.
Irene Del Rosario, a physiotherapist from the Philippines, said: "I am positive this proposal if implemented, will help with the pollution problem especially in Dubai.
"I think they should implement it in all the emirates," she added.
Robert Bulow, 41, a consultant from Germany, said: "I see this proposal in two ways: first, it would curb a little bit the pollution because I don't think such old cars exist in the UAE.
"Second, it would be good for the car industry by increasing the sales, but I don't see a need to implement it in all of the emirates," he added.
Hussain Karaki, a manager from Lebanon, said: "There are a lot of old cars in the UAE and they give the country an image that is quite the opposite of a vibrant, developing country.
Red Arrows roar over Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi: 27 May: Flying at speeds of up to 800mph, with wingtips only six feet apart, the world famous Red Arrows aerobatic team roared low over Abu Dhabi yesterday.
In the UAE as part of a three-week tour of India, the Middle East and Europe, the nine Royal Airforce pilots put on a spectacular display above the Emirates Palace Hotel.
Flight Lieutenant Greg Perilleux, 36, who is in his first year with the team after completing the required 15,000 flight hours, including a recent tour in Iraq, told Gulf News, "It is every jet pilot's dream to fly with the Red Arrows and a great honour. I have dreamed about this since I was a boy. It still doesn't feel real."
25 truckers lose licences for red signal violations
Dubai: 27 May: Dubai Police have cancelled the driving licences of 25 heavy vehicle drivers who jumped red signals. The Traffic Department cancelled the licences during a campaign from December 21 last year to May 20. Brigadier Eisa Aman, Acting Director of Traffic Department, said all traffic control sections and patrols were ordered to carry out the order whenever they came across an erring trucker.
Royal College: Honorary fellowship given
Dubai: A molecular biologist has become the second person in the UAE to receive an honorary fellowship at the Royal College of Physicians after Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and Minister of Finance and Industry. Dr Erol Baysal, a consultant molecular biologist at the Thalassaemia Centre at Al Wasl Hospital, was elected to the college for his contributions to the field of genetic blood disorders.
Rashidiya: Lane violations top traffic offences
Dubai: Lane violations top the list of offences in Al Rashidiya Police Station area in the first quarter of this year. As many as 889 lane violations were reported which made up 30 per cent of the 2,958 violations during the period. Captain Hamood Al Ameri, head of the Traffic Patrol Section, said blocking traffic came second after lane violations with 296 cases, followed by not leaving enough space, 277 cases.
Jewellery thieves jailed
Dubai: 27 May: Two drunken visitors from Georgia have been jailed for stealing 109 gold chains worth more than Dh70,000.
The Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced the thieves, identified as 58-year-old B.L. and 43-year-old M.A., to six months each and fined them Dh1,000 for drinking. They will be deported after serving their terms.
The Dubai Public Prosecution charged the Georgians with stealing 1.1 kg of gold chains and drinking.
A jewellery shop attendant informed the police about the burglary in the Gold Souq in Dubai.
Police identified the thieves from the surveillance camera. The duo came to the shop posing as customers but made a quick getaway with the jewellery when the shop attendant was busy serving another customer.