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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-10-09

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, October 9, 2002


  • [01] Confusion over billboard law
  • [02] Tourists hospitalised after whirlwind
  • [03] Who's responsibility are the SBA immigrants?
  • [04] Indian PM's poetic surprise
  • [05] Forensics called in over detainee's gender
  • [06] Car scam arrest
  • [07] Fire in Kalavassos under control
  • [08] Two die in motorway crash
  • [09] New arson attack
  • [10] Denktash surgery 'a success'

  • [01] Confusion over billboard law

    By George Psyllides

    A CONTROVERSIAL bill concerning the advertising billboards that litter the island's roadsides is expected to be discussed at the plenum next Thursday, the House Communications Committee heard yesterday.

    First submitted last November, the bill was discussed before the committee yesterday with deputies disagreeing on various provisions especially the one specifying the distance a billboard should be from a road.

    Even if the bill goes through next Thursday, one of the main problems expected is its immediate effect.

    No transition period has been provided for; a clause expected to wreak havoc since advertisers have already signed contracts and municipalities have issued hundreds of permits.

    Chairman of the committee Nicos Pittokopitis said: "What happens with those who have entered agreements and the municipalities who have issued these permits?"

    Pittokopitis noted that no transitional period has been provided for adding however that should the bill goes through the responsibility for its enforcement would be on the executive.

    The proposed legislation provides that billboards can only be put up at least 100 metres away from road boundaries and bans them from traffic lights, junctions, and pavements.

    Communications Ministry senior inspections officer Alecos Michaelides and senior state attorney Stelios Theodoulou told the committee that billboards located 100 metres away from the road were out of drivers' field of vision and could not distract them resulting in accidents.

    Some deputies disputed that this would be effective while others called for the total ban on billboards that could be visible from the road.

    Pittokopitis said this was an issue to be decided by the plenum if the members of the committee did not agree next Tuesday when parties will table their final positions.

    The issue is also being discussed at the House Internal Affairs Committee, which will meet on Friday.

    The bill was proposed after complaints that the signs are hazardous to drivers

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Tourists hospitalised after whirlwind

    A WHIRLWIND yesterday injured two Britons in the Paphos district, said police.

    According to CyBC reports, the whirlwind started suddenly at around noon in the Kissonerga - Peyia area.

    Police said that when it passed through Kissonerga village, it knocked over the metal base of a tent covering a local restaurant's veranda.

    A British man, who was sitting at the restaurant with his wife, suffered head injuries from the tent's collapse. He and his wife, who suffered shock from the episode, were rushed to hospital for treatment, said police. Paphos doctors said they were both out of danger.

    The restaurant's damage is expected to amount to 1,500, police added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Who's responsibility are the SBA immigrants?

    By Alex Mita

    THE BRITISH and Cyprus governments are at loggerheads over the issue of which authority is responsible for immigrants landing in the Sovereign Base Areas, a source confirmed yesterday.

    The debate revolves around the fate of 95 illegal immigrants who have landed on SBA soil over a four-year period - neither government is willing to accept responsibility for them.

    The British government says though the Sovereign Base Areas are under their control, they are not part of the UK and therefore the responsibility lies with the Cypriot authorities.

    The Cyprus government claims that if the British want complete control over the SBA, they should handle any issues arising within those areas.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail yesterday a reliable government source confirmed that meetings are scheduled to take place in London today between experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their British counterparts in order to reach a solution on the issue.

    "There is a disagreement, because the British are more or less trying to pass the immigrants over to Cypriot authorities," the source said.

    "So far we do not agree, but there is a possibility that we might sign a compromise in which we may accept to handle the cases but on their behalf. However, these are issues that will be negotiated in the next few days," the source said.

    The ongoing debate began with the arrival of 75 immigrants who washed ashore within the SBA at Akrotiri in 1998.

    Attorney General Alecos Markides insisted at the time that responsibility lay strictly with the bases authorities.

    "In accordance with the Treaty of Establishment, the bases are not within the territory of the Republic. Therefore, for the time being, these people are not in the Republic."

    "If they (the British) say that under the Treaty of Establishment we are bound to accept these people, I think that the task of all of us will be facilitated if they point out the relevant article of the Treaty of Establishment," he said.

    Piers Cazalet, the erstwhile British High Commission spokesman, said at the time that lawyers for the Republic and for the High Commission were discussing who has jurisdiction over the immigrants, most of them said to be Iraqi.

    "When the lawyers finish their discussions and agree on whatever they're going to agree, well fine, we can comment on it. Until then, it's too early, " Cazalet said.

    Whatever solution emerges, Britain appears to believe that Cyprus has some responsibility for the immigrants' future under the Treaty of Establishment, which ended Cyprus' status as a British colony in 1960 and ceded the Episkopi and Akrotiri bases to Britain, in perpetuity, as sovereign territory.

    "Despite their 'sovereign' designation, the Bases are not quite as much a part of Britain as, for example, Trafalgar Square," Cazalet said. "They're dependent territories. They have a slightly different legal and constitutional status."

    Markides said that if the British High Commissioner would indicate on what particular article of the Treaty of Establishment he was relying on to demand Cyprus accept these people, the island "shall certainly oblige".

    In the meantime the number of immigrants has increased to 95. England will not accept to have them sent to the UK, and therefore they are stuck in limbo with the SBA issuing a small allowance for education and medical care.

    The immigrants' future, for the moment, seems vague. They are forced to work illegally outside the SBA to supplement their living costs, since they are not allowed to work within the bases.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Indian PM's poetic surprise

    By George Psyllides

    CYPRUS AND India yesterday pledged to continue supporting each other on an international level, while the two countries signed agreements furthering their co-operation.

    The agreements were signed before President Glafcos Clerides and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is here on a three-day official visit.

    Speaking after talks he had with President Clerides, Vajpayee wished him to achieve a solution in accordance with the UN resolutions and stressed that India has consistently stood for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Cyprus.

    Vajpayee said India considered Cyprus a "time-tested and valuable ally" and that his country appreciated the island's consistent support on issues of vital concern, including its support of the Asian nation's permanent membership in the UN Security Council.

    The Indian Premier said the two countries "historically enjoyed relations of deep-rooted friendship" and shard "a commitment to democracy and pluralism and a congruence of outlook on major regional and international issues".

    "I hope this visit and its follow up will impart a new momentum to out bilateral relations," Vajpayee said.

    Clerides said the bonds that linked the two countries were described by feelings of friendship, trust, understanding and help in all sectors.

    "As Cyprus, we can state that within the framework of the discussion underway to reform the Security council, we believe that countries such as India are entitled to a position as permanent member of the international organisation's body," Clerides said.

    Clerides said they reviewed international issues of mutual interest, concentrating on current affairs, such as terrorism, the Middle East, the island's EU accession, and the Cyprus problem.

    Clerides surprised Vajpayee by announcing that the Education Ministry had translated the Premier's collection of poems into Greek and handing him the first copy.

    Visibly moved, Vajpayee said he never expected they would have been published, let alone be translated into other languages.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Forensics called in over detainee's gender

    By Alex Mita

    FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST Eleni Antoniou was summoned by police on Monday to verify the sexual identity of an Iraqi, who was kept in the female ward at a Limassol detention centre until his inmates called security.

    The pre-operative transsexual arrived in Cyprus on September 28 demanding political asylum but was detained by the authorities after he failed to produce a valid identification.

    He was taken to the Limassol District Court on October 3 where he was remanded in custody for a further eight days. Due to his female attire, he was placed in a cell along with female inmates.

    When it became apparent that the detainee was not what he presented himself as, officers had no other choice but to call forensics.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail yesterday, Antoniou said the transsexual had male genitals, but had induced the growth of his breasts with special hormones.

    "He is, was, definitely male, and still is in a way," she said.

    "He claims he came to Cyprus to have his penis removed because he couldn't have the operation in Iraq."

    "The law doesn't forbid anyone to dress or present themselves in any form they wish," she said adding that it was not the first time she was summoned to verify someone's sexual identity.

    "There were three more cases," she said, "but they were younger."

    The detainee is now at a male ward in Omorfita in Limassol until police investigations are completed.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Car scam arrest

    A 29-YEAR-OLD car parts salesman from Lakatamia was arrested on suspicion of being involved into a luxury car assembly scam police said on Monday.

    Kyriacos Kyriacou denies being involved in the scam but reports said he was linked with one of the five Mercedes cars that were seized after it was discovered that they were registered illegally, and he is thought to have been working closely with former Chief Inspector Ioannis Panayiotou. Panayiotou was arrested after police found he had a used car sales company registered to his daughter.

    Meanwhile, CID and Customs officers said there had been reports that in some cases, used cars had been registered as new but stressed that nothing was certain until further investigations were carried out.

    Attorney General Alecos Markides said yesterday that the first cases would be brought before the court within the next few days.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Fire in Kalavassos under control

    A LARGE ground fire broke out yesterday lunchtime in the Larnaca district.

    This was the second outbreak in four days covering the Kalavassos- Choirokoitia area.

    Police said the blaze started at around 1.30pm in Tochni and quickly spread to Kalavassos and Vavla, covering a square kilometre of wild shrubbery bushes, pine trees, carob trees and olive trees.

    The fire was brought under control about four hours later. It took massive effort, with fire fighters, police officers, British Bases personnel, forestry department personnel and members of the civil defence all working together to curb the flames. A number of residents from nearby villages also took part in the struggle, said police.

    Five helicopters were also used to battle the flames, three hired from the Russians and two belonging to the British Bases.

    Police said this particular blaze was very difficult to put out because of the strong winds, the difficult topography and the dense wild shrubbery.

    Fire department officials and other services yesterday planned to stay in the area to avoid another major outbreak, said police.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] Two die in motorway crash

    A BRITISH couple was killed in a car accident early yesterday afternoon on the Limassol-Paphos motorway, police said.

    The accident took place at around 3.15pm when the rental car the man was driving to Paphos swerved off course, under circumstances that are still being investigated, and crashed into the road's protective metal barrier. It then collided with a water truck that was parked on the hard shoulder.

    The two were taken to Paphos hospital where the duty doctor pronounced them dead on arrival. Police said preliminary investigations suggest that neither had been wearing a seatbelt.

    The water truck was registered to a man living in the Paphos district and police say they are trying to determine why his vehicle was parked on the side of the motorway.

    The names of the victims have not yet been released.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] New arson attack

    ANOTHER FARMER was the victim of arsonists in Limassol, reports said yesterday.

    Just after midnight on Monday, Charalmbos Christofi and his son Nicholas were at home when they heard an explosion outside. When they investigated the sound, they found their cars, as well as a neighbour's, ablaze, said reports.

    According to fire department reports, the arsonists had doused Christofi's vehicle, which was parked in his yard on Evryklias Street in Ayios Ioannis, with a flammable substance. The car was totally destroyed in the fire, which proceeded to spread to his 23-year-old son's car as well as a neighbour's car. Both were extensively damaged.

    The farmer and his son expressed surprised at the attack and claimed they did not have differences with anyone.

    But Christofi owns a large animal farm in Kato Poleimidia and police could not rule out the possibility that the fire was part of a recent string of arson attacks hitting farms in the area.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] Denktash surgery 'a success'

    By George Psyllides

    THE DOCTOR who performed open-heart surgery on Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said he looked forward to his full recovery after the "very successful" operation on Wednesday, it was reported yesterday.

    Denktash's doctor, Mehmet Oz, told a news conference at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Centre in New York that the operation had lasted for two and a half hours and there were no complications.

    "We are looking forward to a full recovery," Oz said.

    He added that the first results were very encouraging and that Denktash would be leaving the intensive care unit on Friday or Saturday.

    Late on Monday, immediately after surgery Denktash was reported to be awake and recovering.

    Dr. Allan Swarch, who performed an angiogram on Denktash, said that he would be able to return to Turkey in two weeks.

    "We usually advise patients not to return their duties for at least four weeks," Swarch said.

    Oz said he would advise the Turkish Cypriot leader to rest and devote time to his family and return to his duties gradually.

    Denktash had three aorta valves replaced.

    "It will allow him to live a normal life," Oz said.

    He stressed that the new valves, made from animal tissue, underwent a special treatment that eliminated the possibility of the body rejecting them.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader will remain in the hospital for another four to five days and will spend another week recuperating in New York before returning home.

    Denktash, 78, had been suffering from a common condition known as "aortic stenosis", in which the heart is unable to pump blood easily through a valve into the aortic tube, thickening the heart muscle, Oz said.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader suffered a heart attack in 1996 and had surgery a year later.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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