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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-02-10

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, February 10, 2002


  • [01] Denktash refugee comment 'outrageous'
  • [02] Cyprus 'must stay free of GMOs'
  • [03] Refugee hopes to return, a married man
  • [04] Guinness for the little drummer boy?

  • [01] Denktash refugee comment 'outrageous'

    GOVERNMENT spokesman Michalis Papapetrou yesterday described as “outrageous” comments by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that there were no refugees in Cyprus.

    Turkish Cypriot press reports yesterday quoted Denktash as saying that after 28 years it was not right to say that refugees existed. He made the reported comment following his meeting on Friday with President Glafcos Clerides.

    The two leaders began a round of talks on the substance of the Cyprus problem on January 16 and are meeting three times a week under UN auspices. The refugee and territory issues have been on the table in the most recent meetings.

    “After so many years everyone has settled down,” Denktash was quoted as saying, adding that “without disturbing their peace we must defend their rights in property and compensation”.

    The right of refugees to return to their homes is one of the thorny issues of the Cyprus problem, and the Turkish Cypriot's leaders comment has outraged the government.

    “Denktash is well aware of the fact that it is the Turkish army's weapons that prevent the refugees from returning to their homes,” Papapetrou told the Cyprus News Agency yesterday.

    “It is not time that erases displacement and the reasons why for all these years people are being kept away from their homes and property.”

    Some 200,000 Greek Cypriots were made refugees during the Turkish invasion in 1974.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Cyprus 'must stay free of GMOs'

    By Melina Demetriou

    THE GREENS campaigned across the island yesterday to promote the idea of a Cyprus free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

    The Green party wants the country to be declared a GMO-free zone by banning the importation and the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms. It also wants the creation of mechanisms to control and trace GM elements.

    Representatives of the Greens handed out leaflets in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos putting forward their proposal, and gathered the signatures of people backing their campaign.

    “We have a vision of a GMO-free Cyprus, following the example of other countries, until it is established whether there are any risks involved to human health and the environment in the production of those organisms,” party member Roxane Coudounari told the Sunday Mail.

    “It has not been completely proved that the process of GM organisms being released into the environment is not hazardous, so why transform our bodies into guinea pigs?”

    There is currently no law in Cyprus regulating the importation and cultivation of GMOs. The government has submitted a bill to the House to make both practices legal, but leftist and green deputies vehemently oppose it.

    “If we have enough signatures we will submit a resolution to Parliament and maybe to the government asking that the bill in question is withdrawn and push for another one banning GMO production and importation,” Green party deputy George Perdikis told the Mail.

    But either way Cyprus, due to join the EU by 2004, has to draw up legislation on the issue to satisfy EU demands.

    Coudounari said Cuba had gone completely organic, banning GMOs from the island, while that EU member Greece had decided to become GMO-free for the next ten years.

    “ Croatia and Slovenia are also planning to ban GMOs because they don't want to be dependent on the whole chain of chemical farming, and since they are tourist destinations they want to offer quality food to tourists as well as locals,” she said, adding that Cyprus was an ideal place for organic farming and agrotourism.

    “We must therefore push for quality instead of quantity,” she said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Refugee hopes to return, a married man

    FOR THE first time since 1974 a refugee from the north is to marry an enclaved woman - and is seeking permission to live with her in occupied Rizokarpaso.

    Varnavas Varnava, originally from Famagusta and now living in Ormidia in the government-controlled areas, is due to wed Panayiota Achilleos next Saturday. The bride is from the largest Greek Cypriot family in the north, with 12 brothers and sisters.

    The couple plans to live in Rizokarpaso but it is not clear yet whether the Denktash regime will allow Varnava to settle in the north.

    Their wedding on Saturday will be at Ayios Raphael church in Larnaca at 5pm.

    There have been two marriages between refugee women and enclaved men so far, but this is the first time a displaced man living in the south is to marry a woman living in the occupied areas.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Guinness for the little drummer boy?

    CYPRUS is again attempting a Guinness Book of Records entry, this time with a boy thought to be the world's youngest drummer, four-year-old Sotiris Yiatrou.

    Belting out 'Eye of the Tiger', the title track from the Rocky movie and his favourite song, at his home in Yeri yesterday, Sotiris could barely be seen from behind his massive professional drum kit. But the sound he made shook much of village.

    His musician father Giorgios told the Sunday Mail that Sotiris has been playing drums since he was two. He got him a drum kit after he noticed Sotiris used to play along to his music with spoons. “He was doing it right and we got him some small drums and in two or three months he started to play really well,” Giorgios said. Sotiris made his first public appearance at the age of three on a children's television show and has also played to 350 people at the Russian Cultural Centre.

    His bid for Guinness fame will take place at the International Conference Centre in Nicosia on February 24. Giorgios said the Education Ministry and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation had shown little interest in the attempt, but they had received a token of support from Laiki Bank. He and his wife Katerina will bear 70 per cent of the cost of staging the event -- some £1, 600. Admission is free.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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