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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-08-22

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, August 22, 1998


  • [01] Police probe mystery of beaten tourist
  • [02] Political asylum bids `rejected by UNHCR'
  • [03] The sounds of SIM for BFBS listeners
  • [04] Law chief will have report on bishop in a few days
  • [05] 290 HIV cases in Cyprus
  • [06] Russian crash victims named
  • [07] Cocaine, not coal, on Cypriot-flagged ship
  • [08] Cypriots becoming `prisoners to food'
  • [09] Cypriot surfers tangled in international web
  • [10] Cyprus dismisses Turkish reports of US `barter'
  • [11] Higher water bills in Nicosia?

  • [01] Police probe mystery of beaten tourist

    By Charlie Charalambous

    FAMAGUSTA detectives have launched an investigation into how a British tourist ended up badly beaten on the streets of Ayia Napa. He is in a "very serious condition".

    Steven Paul Colquhoun, 26, is in intensive care at Nicosia General hospital after he was found bloody and beaten outside an Ayia Napa hotel on Thursday morning.

    According to state pathologist Panicos Stavrianos, the Briton's injuries are consistent with being kicked and punched. "He has been badly beaten up, " Stavrianos told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    Stavrianos added: "I suspect he was kicked in the head by more than one person."

    Nicosia General hospital said yesterday the tourist was out of danger but still in a "very serious condition", suffering injuries to the arms, legs and head. The most serious injury is a minor brain haemorrhage, said a hospital spokesperson.

    Police said they were called in after reports that a drunk and bleeding tourist was harassing people by a hotel pool.

    Bystanders had called for an ambulance but Colquhoun refused to be taken to hospital for treatment, said police.

    "A police patrol turned up and called another ambulance when the tourist was trying to make his way to his Ayia Napa hotel apartment," said the police press office yesterday.

    Famagusta CID are investigating the circumstances behind the injuries to Colquhoun, but said they had few clues as to what happened.

    Saturday, August 22, 1998

    [02] Political asylum bids `rejected by UNHCR'

    36 boat people being sent home

    By Charlie Charalambous

    SOME thirty-six boat people will be sent home in the coming days after their appeal for political asylum was rejected by the UNHCR, the authorities said yesterday.

    Senior immigration officer Costas Papamichael said the 36 will be repatriated once arrangements are finalised to fly them home. "The UNHCR has rejected 36 appeals for political asylums and these people will now be repatriated," said Papamichael yesterday.

    Among the 36 are Bangladesh and African nationals and the authorities are still trying to unravel to which countries they should be sent.

    "In the case of repatriating the Bangladeshis the issue is clear, but with the Africans, finding their country of origin is proving more difficult because a number have concealed their true identity," said Papamichael.

    Since 113 starving boat people were rescued from the battered Syrian fishing trawler Rida Allah on June 29, twenty were repatriated last month and only three have received political asylum.

    Boat people being held at the Pefkos Hotel in Limassol, and a number at police holding cells in Larnaca, are included in the fresh wave of expulsions.

    The government has been accused of trying to deport through the back door the 30 African boat people transferred to Larnaca police holding cells on Wednesday.

    Thirty nationals from Sudan, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone were escorted from the three-star Pefkos hotel, where they had stayed since being rescued from the death-trap trawler, to be detained in more modest surroundings.

    The Aliens Support Movement (ASM) accused the government of preparing for clandestine deportations to avoid violent clashes which accompanied efforts to do so last week in Limassol.

    A crack squad of police commandos are alleged to have beaten up the remaining males left at the hotel, after the Africans were transferred on Wednesday. "We have eye-witness and video evidence which suggests the police entered the boat people's hotel rooms after the transfer and resorted to violence," said ASM's Doros Polykarpou.

    Polykarpou said the police have denied lawyers access to the alleged victims at the Pefkos.

    Police press spokesman Stelios Neophytou denied the police brutality charges and said: "No official complaint has been made.

    "The Limassol commander categorically denies that police have beaten any of the immigrants," said Neophytou.

    Saturday, August 22, 1998

    [03] The sounds of SIM for BFBS listeners

    By Andrew Adamides

    BFBS listeners in the Dhekelia region who are tuning in to their favourite station have instead been hearing the sounds of SIM FM, the Republican Turkish Party's radio station broadcasting from the occupied areas.

    The Turkish radio station has been broadcasting on the 99.6 MHz frequency which BFBS has been using since it began broadcasts in Cyprus.

    Officials from BFBS and the British High Commission have met several times with representatives of SIM FM to try and resolve the problem. Although a solution has not yet been found, High Commission spokesman Piers Cazalet said yesterday that the matter was well in hand.

    One possible solution is that BFBS and SIM FM will swap frequencies, with the British station switching to one of the frequencies which SIM FM uses to broadcast in the Nicosia district. Another is that BFBS frequencies in the affected region may change, as a result of tests currently being carried out using a 75-watt transmitter at the Ledra Palace, Nicosia. If successful, transmissions could be switched to this transmitter.

    Cazalet also said that reports in the Turkish press claiming that BFBS had threatened to jam SIM FM's broadcasts, and that British High Commissioner David Madden had met the station's owner, Republican Turkish party leader Mehmet Ali Talat to complain about the problem, were completely untrue.

    As well as Dhekelia, BFBS broadcasts to the Ayia Napa and Famagusta regions have also been affected.

    Saturday, August 22, 1998

    [04] Law chief will have report on bishop in a few days

    By Elias Hazou

    THE findings of the report on Limassol Bishop Chrysanthos' financial dealings will be submitted to the Attorney-general's office "most probably" in the next few days, Deputy Attorney-general Loukis Loukaides told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    Meanwhile, the bishop was yesterday questioned by the committee appointed by the Holy Synod, in what was the second such session this week.

    Chrysanthos' alleged involvement in a $3.7 million scam originating in Britain is being investigated by the Cypriot police in co-operation with the two Scotland Yard detectives who arrived on the island last July.

    The bishop has denied using or "having access" to any part of the money, but has not denied knowledge of the business transaction that apparently turned sour.

    Further developments in the investigation are expected next week, when the report will be submitted to Attorney-general Alekos Markides, who is currently away on holiday.

    Police are also investigating the cleric's alleged link in two other cases, one involving a claim by a group of Portuguese businessmen that they were swindled out of $1.5 million, and the other involving the transfer of Iraqi dinars to the Limassol bishopric before the 1991 Gulf War.

    On Wednesday, Chrysanthos was questioned in a four-hour session by the committee appointed by the Holy Synod to investigate his alleged involvement in a number of shady business transactions.

    Following Wednesday's questioning, Chrysanthos conferred with his attorney, Sotiris Karapatakis, who has claimed that the bishop was misled into participating in business deals with the promise that he would be able to use the profits for charity purposes.

    According to Greek language newspaper Phileleftheros, the bishop's approach to the investigation has taken a U-turn. Chrysanthos, who earlier was out of the country when detectives were waiting to interview him, now appears more than willing to provide the Church committee with the information they require.

    The paper reports that he has agreed to sign a warrant which would allow his bank accounts on the island and abroad to be accessed. The bishop had previously appeared unwilling to co-operate on this issue, but police sources last week indicated that bank-client confidentiality would in any case be overridden, as enough evidence had been gathered to justify such action.

    The Church-appointed committee, which carries no legal powers, is preparing a report to be submitted to the Holy Synod.

    Depending on the outcome of their examinations and questioning of Chrysanthos by the Church's governing body, the Holy Synod will then consider possible defrocking or suspension of its controversial member. It is expected to convene in early September.

    Police have been tight-lipped about details of the investigation, with both the public and the Church waiting to see whether the bishop will be charged.

    Saturday, August 22, 1998

    [05] 290 HIV cases in Cyprus

    TWO more people in Cyprus were diagnosed as being HIV positive in July.

    Figures for the end of July this year show 290 cases of the HIV positive virus in Cyprus, 172 of which involve Cypriots.

    The report issued yesterday, also reported that four-fifths of the Cypriots affected are between 20 and 40 years old.

    Of the Cypriots, 147 are male. Almost all the Cypriots diagnosed in the last four years contracted the disease in Cyprus.

    Saturday, August 22, 1998

    [06] Russian crash victims named

    By Charlie Charalambous

    A RUSSIAN couple who died in a horrific road accident on Thursday night were yesterday named by police as Andrei Sinkarenko and Eva Andrianova.

    Sinkarenko, 33, and Andrianova, 29, died instantly when their motorbike crashed head-on into a pick-up truck on the Ormidhia-Dhekelia road, inside the British bases.

    The holiday couple were returning from Ayia Napa to their hotel on Dhekelia road when the accident happened at 8.30pm.

    According to preliminary police investigations, the driver lost control on a sharp bend and the motorcycle veered into the opposite lane, colliding with the vehicle driven by 49-year-old Andreas Lantos.

    Lantos and his wife and children escaped with light injuries and were treated at Larnaca hospital.

    Dhekelia base police are investigating the cause of the accident.

    Saturday, August 22, 1998

    [07] Cocaine, not coal, on Cypriot-flagged ship

    GREEK police yesterday launched an investigation into the discovery of 248 kilograms of cocaine on board a Cypriot-flagged ship on Thursday.

    The discovery was made when the bulk carrier Cleovoulos of Rhodes stopped at the port of Aliveirou to deliver coal. While she ship was in port, drug squad officials surrounded and searched it, discovering that five sacks, supposedly full of coal, actually contained cocaine.

    The crew, eight Greeks and 33 foreign sailors, were arrested. The ship, which is registered to the Celestial Maritime Corporation in Colombia, was impounded.

    The cocaine has a street value of two billion drachma.

    Saturday, August 22, 1998

    [08] Cypriots becoming `prisoners to food'

    By Athena Karseras

    STRESS and the rat-race are hitting Cypriots in the stomach - sufferers are becoming prisoners to food.

    According to a local newspaper, stress is having a serious effect on the health and mental state of Cypriots, causing some to become psychologically dependent on food.

    The Open Therapeutic Community for Addicted Persons, TOLMI, has expressed concern and is starting a self-help support group for people wanting to overcome the eating disorder.

    According to psychiatrist-neurologist Dr Kyriakos Veresies, Scientific Director of TOLMI, the problem begins when people start using food to satisfy psychological and not physiological needs. "These people become prisoners to food, like others become prisoners to alcohol and cigarettes," he said.

    To overcome the problem, says Veresies, one would first have to admit having an addiction. The next step would be to join a self-help or support group, enabling people to use the group's support as opposed to finding comfort in food.

    TOLMI says that joining the group would also help people develop the will power to keep away from food they don't really need.

    A group will meet at Larnaca's Centre for Education about Drugs and Treatment of Drug Addicted Persons (KERSAIA) at six this afternoon to fix a regular meeting time for the support group. Kersaia House is situated between the two roundabouts on the Aradippou road.

    TOLMI is a volunteer organisation offering free services. It was created in 1992 and currently only has a branch in Larnaca.

    The organisation's motto is "Just for today", with the aim of helping people to take daily steps toward giving up an addictive substance.

    TOLMI members have been visiting the Central Prison, Nicosia, since July to help inmates who have a substance dependence problem.

    Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are also held at Kersaia House every Wednesday and Saturday from 5pm, for English speakers, and Tuesdays and Fridays at 4pm for Greek speakers. The meetings for Greek speakers also offer support for narcotic abusers.

    The 24-hour TOLMI hot-line can be reached at 09-659659.

    Saturday, August 22, 1998

    [09] Cypriot surfers tangled in international web

    By Elias Hazou

    SURFING the World Wide Web may fill your nights... but it could also empty your wallet.

    Some Cypriot surfers realised that a little too late, after running up excessively high phone bills while using software that was supposed to provide free access to the Web.

    According to the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA), the surfers bought magazines containing a bonus, CD-Roms that provided free access to the Web. The software was an offer from network providers abroad.

    Thinking that the free gift would automatically apply to them, the Cypriot surfers logged into the Internet for lengthy periods, not realising that for the whole time they were being charged international rates for connecting.

    Explained Rita Karadjia, spokeswoman for CyTA: "These offers apply to residents abroad who gain connect to the Web via servers in their own country, whereas Cypriots are connected to the Web via local servers."

    So while surfers in, say, the US could log on for free Internet connection - for a limited time - with the bonus software, Cypriots using the CD-Roms would get access to these providers but only after being charged international rates for dialling into the Internet.

    To work out how much the mistake might cost, consider that the regular rate for calls to the US is 97.5 cents a minute, while connection to the Web via local servers costs a mere 1.3 cents every four minutes (local telephone rate).

    It proves yet again that what works abroad does not necessarily work at home...

    Saturday, August 22, 1998

    [10] Cyprus dismisses Turkish reports of US `barter'

    By Athena Karseras

    THE Cyprus government has dismissed Turkish press reports that the US has proposed the withdrawal of a Turkish demand for recognition of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in northern Cyprus in return for a halt in accession negotiations between Cyprus and the European Union.

    Government spokesman Christos Stylianides said yesterday: "The said articles seem to be untrue and this is also reflected in statements by the US envoy for Cyprus".

    He said the government assessment is based on contacts with the US embassy in Nicosia, articles in prestigious US newspapers and the views of the US envoy for Cyprus, Thomas Miller.

    Miller was in Ankara earlier this week for talks with the Turkish government on the US proposal for a no-fly zone over Cyprus in exchange for cancelling deployment of the S-300 missiles. But he got nowhere, declaring after the meeting that he was "empty handed".

    Talks on the Cyprus problem reached deadlock in January when Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash announced that he would no longer participate in talks until the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' is recognised and unless Cyprus withdraws from accession talks with the EU.

    Stylianides underlined that "according to EU decisions, Cyprus' accession course is a completely separate issue to the resumption of peace negotiations". Added Stylianides: "We are not prepared to give Denktash anything in exchange to see him return to the negotiation table".

    Stylianides said that Denktash has to comply with UN Security Council resolutions and the appeals of the international community to return to the negotiating table without preconditions or terms.

    Saturday, August 22, 1998

    [11] Higher water bills in Nicosia?

    By Andrew Adamides

    PEOPLE in Nicosia may face higher water bills if the Price Commission decides to increase the charge paid by Nicosia Water Board for its supplies.

    On September 4, the Water Development Department will present proposals for an increase in the price the board pays for the water it then supplies to the public. The current figure is 33 cents a ton and the last increase was in 1992.

    However, the water board has said that if there is an increase it may not be passed on to the public - the board will use any surplus money to offset price increases.

    Meanwhile, there is intense competition between Cypriot and foreign suppliers of bottled water. Carlsberg's Panicos Alkiviades said yesterday that its new Agros mineral water is "selling pretty well" and is helping the company hold its share of the local market, 90 per cent of which is held by Cyprus-produced water.

    Cypriot water still dominates the market because of the relatively high price of imported water, although local producers are facing stiffer challenges from imported water from Greece. The price of a bottle of Greek mineral water is roughly the same as that of a bottle of Cypriot.

    Alkiviades said that summer is, obviously, peak sales time for mineral water. The amount sold during the summer months is almost double that sold at other times of the year.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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