Streets wear deserted look

Updated 04 November 2013
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Streets wear deserted look

The amnesty that gave illegal immigrants a grace period to leave or legalize their status ended on Nov. 3. Many streets in Jeddah wore a deserted look and attendance in schools remained thin. I went to a nearby market on Monday morning and was surprised to find that many shops were closed. Many people complained that they could not find cooking gas as the depots have been closed down fearing raids to net illegal expatriates.
Panic has gripped the expatriate communities. Despite repeated government assurances that labor inspectors would not raid homes, people are in a state of confusion and perpetual fear.
Social media networks are also circulating messages warning the public of fake inspectors from labor and passport offices. Many of these fraudsters, they say, have criminal records of burglaries.
This is a very worrisome situation for the expatriates. I request the authorities to make sure that legal expatriates are not disturbed and should take measures to check activities of fraudsters who might try to exploit the situation.
According to reports appearing in a section of press, hundreds of expatriates were unable to get their status corrected due to a deluge of people at the relevant department. I urge the authorities to give all such people a second chance if possible. — Rashid Ahmed, Jeddah


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017
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Cartoon in bad taste

I wish to use my “right of reply” to complain about the unfortunate caricature that appeared on Aug. 5, 2017, in your well-known newspaper. The cartoon represents President Nicolas Maduro sitting on a military tank and a hand coming out of the tank’s cannon writing on a book titled “New Constitution.” Such a caricature is offensive to my country.
What the caricature seems to imply is that President Maduro wants to rewrite a new constitution with the power of arms. This is totally false. It is immoral to give your readers such a forged image of Venezuela and its constitutionally- and democratically-elected government.
The revision of our constitution, which is among the best in the world, is mainly to reinforce it and make it more adaptable to the new times. It is not an imposition of our president; it has been backed by more than 8 million Venezuelans and has the objective of re-establishing the peace process that has been trampled by a violent opposition backed by interested foreign countries that pretend to give orders to our sovereign populace.
I fail to understand why some international media report fake news about my country, with the purpose of undermining our sovereignty, and the people of Venezuela’s absolute right to decide, in a free and independent manner, how it wants to conduct its internal affairs.
I invite your newspaper to inform about our country with the truth and the same respect that we, in Venezuela, treat to our brothers of Saudi Arabia.

Joseba Achutegui
Ambassador of Venezuela
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia