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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-10-15

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, October 15, 2000


  • [01] Cyprus on full alert after Saudi hijack
  • [02] Two remanded over alleged bank scam
  • [03] ‘Quit the talks? That would be suicide’
  • [04] Man dies after crashing into parked car
  • [05] Marbles author to talk on repatriation to Athens
  • [06] Police find bomb after drugs tip-off
  • [07] Ledra Palace open day to mark UN’s 55th birthday

  • [01] Cyprus on full alert after Saudi hijack

    By Staff Reporter

    CYPRUS authorities were put on full alert yesterday after a hijacked Saudi airliner entered Cyprus airspace and the captain told Larnaca air traffic control a man was threatening the blow the plane up.

    The Boeing 777-200, en route from Jeddah to London with 198 passengers and crew on board, was hijacked in Egyptian airspace just 100 km southeast of Cyprus.

    At 4.50pm the plane entered the Cyprus Flight Information Region (FIR). It flew over Paphos and then on to Larnaca before heading east to Syria.

    The aircraft was then reported as having landed in Damascus, but it was in fact heading for the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

    According to Israel Radio monitor Michael Gurdos, the Saudi Arabian Airlines 777 was ordered to circle over Cyprus while the Syrian authorities decided whether to allow it to land.

    Israel Radio broadcast an appeal from the captain of the plane to Larnaca officials, saying that there were explosives on board.

    “The hijacker is saying that he has TNT (explosives) on board and he might blow the aircraft, and we have passengers from all kinds of nationalities. Do you read? Call the Damascus FIA (Flight Information Area) for authority to overfly,” he said.

    Communications Minister Averof Neophytou said that the Cypriot authorities had been on full alert.

    Chief operations officer of the Civil Aviation department, Kostas Orphanos, told the Sunday Mail: “Everybody was on standby and everyone was informed; the aviation authorities, the police and the minister.”

    A Department of Transport spokesman in London confirmed that there were 198 passengers and crew on board.

    Sunday, October 15, 2000

    [02] Two remanded over alleged bank scam

    By Athena Karsera

    LIMASSOL district court yesterday remanded a Swiss and a German for eight days in connection with an alleged attempt to obtain from an offshore bank under false pretences.

    Police yesterday named the Swiss as Walser Hanspeper and the German as Dieter Detlef Kinder, both 50.

    Police say the two men turned up at the Limassol offices of the Federal Bank of the Middle East on Monday and opened an account in the name of Fintech Food Innovation Technology GMBH, which they said was a German company.

    The following day they deposited two cheques paid by American Express Europe Ltd worth a total of police said. They also asked the offshore bank to provide them with in cash to tide them over until the deposited cheques cleared.

    The bank later discovered that the two cheques deposited by the German and the Swiss were fakes, police told the court, and the two men were arrested late on Friday night.

    Sunday, October 15, 2000

    [03] ‘Quit the talks? That would be suicide’

    By Jennie Matthew

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides gave a powerful speech yesterday to support the proximity talks in finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, adding that abandoning negotiations was tantamount to national suicide, Cyprus News Agency reported.

    Speaking at a ceremony organised by communist Akel to mark 40 years of the country’s independence, Clerides could not have been clearer about the way ahead.

    “I reiterate that I am determined to exploit every real opportunity to find a peaceful solution to our national problem,” he said, adding that now was the time to grab the nettle.

    “Waiting for possible better circumstances that may suit our purposes to solve the political problem is not a way to go about seeking a settlement,” he said.

    Clerides spoke of the urgency in forging ahead, to avoid the “grave dangers” inherent in the current situation.

    “The unproductive passage of time creates and strengthens a suitable foundation to consolidate the fait accompli of the Turkish invasion and the international recognition of the so-called Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, ” he said.

    Such steps are wholly outside the government’s vision of a bi-communal, bi- zonal federation.

    But despite the warnings, his message was also upbeat and hopeful. “I cannot exclude the possibility of having before us, in the future, a draft outline solution, if the talks continue,” he said.

    Clerides confirmed that the Greek Cypriot delegation would have every opportunity to influence the content of a draft solution, which must toe the line with UN Security Council resolutions, the EU acquis communautaire, international law and order, as well as human rights conventions.

    He shot down suggestions that the country’s interests were best served in abandoning the proximity talks process.

    “It would be an act of the utmost irresponsibility and national suicide if we were to decide suddenly to leave the talks because there are concerns about some ideas aired or some that may be presented or their interpretation,” he said.

    The President added that walking out on the talks would brand the Greek Cypriots “the weak side” in the eyes of the rest of the world.

    “We shall not be able to reverse the avalanche of negative repercussions against us,” he added.

    He pointed out that it would ruin the Cyprus EU accession process, loosen ties with Athens, end any chance of influencing Turkey in the negotiations, and isolate the Republic.

    Clerides ended with an appeal to unity across the political spectrum. “United we have to try and achieve our goals,” he said, acknowledging that the troubles were worsened by mistakes and omissions of both communities.

    Sunday, October 15, 2000

    [04] Man dies after crashing into parked car

    By Staff Reporter

    LIMASSOL police believe a 51-year-old man killed when he crashed into a parked car in the town may have lost consciousness at the wheel.

    Andreas Michaelides drove into the empty vehicle on Pallados Street at 8.40am yesterday and was rushed unconscious to the general hospital where he died soon afterwards.

    State coroner Eleni Antoniou will carry out an autopsy on Michaelides today.

    A Limassol police spokesman told the Sunday Mail that it was still unclear whether Michaelides fell unconscious before the accident or because of it.

    Sunday, October 15, 2000

    [05] Marbles author to talk on repatriation to Athens

    By Jenny Curtis

    A FAMOUS British author, who has written extensively about the Parthenon marbles, will visit Cyprus later this year to give a talk about the sculptures, focusing on their authenticity and stewardship.

    William St.Clair has been invited by the Apocalypse Historical Research Society, which was established two years ago to support existing efforts to repatriate Greek antiquities.

    St.Clair, who studied ancient Greek and Latin classics at Oxford, is the author of a number of acclaimed historical and biographical books, but is probably best known for writing Lord Elgin and the Marbles.

    His book claimed the sculptures in London were scraped with metal tools and harsh abrasives in 1937 and 1938 to make them look whiter, and that the British Museum authorities have since attempted to cover up their actions.

    It has been argued the book has changed the nature of the debate about the return of the Marbles to Greece.

    Zenon Katsourides, president of the Nicosia-based Apocalypse Society, told the Sunday Mail: “We want to keep people updated on developments both in Cyprus and internationally – we hope this event will help members achieve that aim.

    “It is important these ancient treasures – which are an integral part of the building -- are returned, because without them we are left with simply a bunch of ruins. It is not a question of us having them just because they belong to Greece, but rather one of restoration.”

    The Parthenon is important to people everywhere, Katsourides said, and what was taken can only be replaced by the original artefacts. He pointed out that pollution in Athens is now less of a threat to the sculptures because the amount of traffic has been reduced by the new underground train system.

    “The marbles should not be kept in a museum thousands of miles away from where they were taken – the Parthenon is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and it is a great shame we are having to fight to get them back,” he said.

    December’s lecture will follow a high profile international conference on ‘The Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles and the European Union’, held recently in Athens. Forty-six people representing 17 countries, including US First Lady Hilary Clinton and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, attended the event.

    The Apocalypse Historical Research Society hopes William St.Clair’s lecture will raise public awareness about the latest debates surrounding the sculptures. The event will be at the Forum Intercontinental on December 5 at 7.30pm, and there will also be simultaneous translation into Greek.

    Sunday, October 15, 2000

    [06] Police find bomb after drugs tip-off

    By Staff Reporter

    POLICE found an unexploded home-made bomb while following up a drug tip-off yesterday.

    The pipe bomb was found by drug squad officers along the Latsia to Nissou road near Nicosia shortly after midnight on Friday.

    An anonymous informant had told them a large stash of drugs had been hidden there.

    The bomb squad was called in and found that the explosive was a gunpowder- filled water pipe. It was taken to a police laboratory for further tests.

    Sunday, October 15, 2000

    [07] Ledra Palace open day to mark UN’s 55th birthday

    STUNTS, music, martial arts and go-karting are just some of the attractions on offer at the Ledra Palace in Nicosia today to mark this year’s UN Day -- the 55th birthday of the United Nations.

    Four months of planning and preparation has gone into the event, organised by some 300 military, police and civilian personnel.

    Among the non-stop music line-up are an Argentinian military band, a British marching band, Irish folk music and RAF Akrotiri’s ‘Short Straw’ group belting out their rock hits.

    As UNFICYP personnel pit their strength in a grand tug-of-war contest, Hungarian soldiers will thrill the crowds with their martial arts expertise. Also keep an eye out for stunt man Andy Stewart, dubbed the ‘professional show-off’.

    Sideshows for children and the young at heart include a bouncy castle, sponge throwing, face painting, the go-kart track and cartoons.

    A UN Day raffle with a host of prizes will be held in aid of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot charities.

    The afternoon begins at 12pm with a welcome from Chief of Mission Zbigniew Wlosowicz. The event will wind up at around 6pm with the announcement of the raffle winners.

    Information about the UN, with a range of publications in Greek, Turkish and English, will be on offer, alongside exhibitions about other UN organisations active in Cyprus.

    Cypriots from both sides of the Green Line will attend.

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