Readers Write

By , Mohan Krishnan, Suzanne P. Connolly

Appreciation for US - N. Ireland Connection

The British government has been struck by the warmth of the welcome in the United States - and particularly in New England - for the agreement on Northern Ireland reached on April 10.

It would not have been possible without President Clinton's close involvement and, of course, former Sen. George Mitchell's unique contribution. But I should also like, if I may, to take the opportunity to thank the very many other people of New England who have over the years contributed so much and so generously toward a peaceful solution in Northern Ireland.

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By promoting dialogue on both sides of the Atlantic between the parties, by encouraging economic growth and investment, and by staying focused on the long-term prize, people too numerous to name made a most important contribution to the process. And without your coverage they could not have followed developments as they did.

The decision now rests with the people of Ireland, North and South. There still have to be referenda in both the Republic and in Northern Ireland. If they accept the agreement, the elections to the new Assembly must be held - and the many details of the agreement have to be implemented. But for the people of Northern Ireland the knowledge that they can continue to count on the continuing interest, deep commitment, and support of people in New England while they work out their future will continue to be a source of great encouragement.

Boston

British Consul-General

Television and violence

In response to the article "What Children See and Do: Studies of Violence on TV" (April 17), I must say that I am shocked.

I am shocked at the level of surprise at the results and the degree of conclusion that is drawn from the studies. Show children Barney and they sing and march. Show them the Power Rangers and they karate chop. Show them Daffy Duck and they quack. Everyone has known this truth for years, but it is not necessarily important when addressing the issue of violence. Children who watch nature programs on the hunting habits of lions do not run off and become predatory carnivores. And it is not at all clear that children who watch the Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry become violent in a significant fashion.

When I was young, we saw "The Empire Strikes Back," went into the back yard, and fought with wiffle-ball bats, pretending to be Jedi knights. I even got a black eye once. But the friend who inflicted it on me was not a violent child, and I am sure he did not grow up to rob stores or mug people.

I find references to NBC's reluctance to adopt content-based warnings interesting. It seems silly to arbitrarily assign age groups to TV programs. Saying "people speak profanely in this program," or "no one is ever nude in this program," is much less subjective than "This program is suitable for 12-year-olds." The industry should be pushed to adopt content guidelines; I would not miss the age guidelines if they disappeared.

Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Monitor outlook

Had to take a quick e-mail minute and express a lot of pent-up gratitude for the excellence of the Monitor. The consistent, positive side of the news, so ably presented by Monitor writers, does much to relieve the bleakness of so much other news we get. I particularly want to thank you for Lionel Vasey's wake-up opinion "US Soul-Check: Moral Rot Is a Security Risk" (April 8), and for the constructive articles on juvenile crime (particularly Jeremy Estrada's experience in "East L.A. Gang Member Relates His Tale of a Life Redeemed," April 9) and the informative articles on Indonesia also in the April 9 issue.

Lake Mary, Fla.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Mail letters to "Readers Write," and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

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