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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-01-19

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


Sunday, January 19, 2003

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CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus ratifies landmines convention
  • [02] Bi-communal NGO takes a stand
  • [03] 500,000 ballot papers to be printed
  • [04] Man arrested after break-in claim
  • [05] Briton, 46, dies suddenly in Paphos
  • [06] Russian killed while crossing road

  • [01] Cyprus ratifies landmines convention

    By Alex Mita

    CYPRUS has ratified the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction -- also known as the Ottawa Convention.

    The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Ambassador Sotos Zackheos, on Friday presented the Chief of Treaties at the UN's office of Legal Affairs, Palitha Kohona, with the government's Instrument of Ratification, signed by President Clerides.

    Cyprus signed the Ottawa Convention in 1997 and also voted in favour of United Nations General Assembly resolutions its implementation but had yet to ratify it.

    When Cyprus signed the Ottawa Convention on December 4, 1997 in Ottawa, the Cypriot delegate linked this with his government's desire “to reduce tension and promote mutual confidence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots” on the heavily mined island.

    The buffer zone along the ceasefire line extends for approximately 180 kilometres.

    According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot forces mined many parts of the buffer zone, as well as areas outside it on both sides.

    The 2002 Landmine Monitor, published by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, said that UNIFCYP, which is responsible for supervising the buffer zone, reported 47 minefields within the buffer zone, of which 13 were laid by the National Guard and 26 by the Turkish forces. It was not known who laid the remaining eight.

    Last January, the government introduced a bill calling for early approval and ratification of the treaty. Last year the government reported that it had cleared and destroyed more that 11,000 mines between 2001 and 2002.

    Zackheos said ratification of the Ottawa Convention highlights the desire of the Cyprus government for peace and reconciliation on the island and sends a message to the Turkish Cypriot community, which has, during recent demonstrations, clearly expressed its hope for a peaceful settlement and prosperity within a united Europe.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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    [02] Bi-communal NGO takes a stand

    By Sofia Kannas

    GREEK Cypriot members of the bi-communal women's group Hands Across the Divide gathered in Nicosia's Eleftheria Square yesterday to show their solidarity with Turkish Cypriots and promote an end to the island's division.

    The group said activities to promote solidarity will continue until February 28, the deadline for the acceptance of the Annan plan by both sides.

    Greek Cypriot member Anthoulla Papadopoullou said she was encouraged by the success of the initiative so far.

    “The move for solidarity started in Kyrenia in the north in early January, when Turkish Cypriot members of our bi-communal organisation went on hunger strike. And the momentum of the movement is growing,” she said.

    The organisation was set up in London last February and is currently the only bi-communal Non Governmental Organisation in Cyprus.

    “We liaise with fellow Turkish Cypriot members in the north via a mailing list and we meet every now and then at Pyla. But it's not easy,” Papadopoullou said.

    Hands Across the Divide hopes to collect 'sentences for peace' over the next six weeks. This is in support of an initiative started in the north whereby people are asked to write a message for peace which is then put inside a plastic bottle and given to the organisers. The bottles will then be collected and used to form a 'Mountain of Peace' outside the house of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    “We are also collecting signatures from passers-by who support our campaign and we give them a white ribbon to wear as a symbol of peace.”

    Papadopoullou said signatures have been collected “from all sorts of people, Cypriots and foreigners”.

    “We believe that the recent demonstrations in the north will only strengthen our cause,” she added.

    Belgian visitor Roger Simon expressed his support for the solidarity campaign yesterday.

    He said he sees similarities between the situation in Cyprus and Belgium.

    “We have a similar problem on a smaller scale, between the Flemish and French speaking communities,” he said. “The divide keeps growing. I think we should be bilingual and speak both languages in Belgium. Speaking each other's language can help bring people together.

    “Of course, there is a world of difference between what the people want and what the politicians decide,” he added.

    Tina Adamidou of Hands Across the Divide said she was pleased with the public's response to the campaign.

    “We've collected over a hundred messages today, and hundreds of signatures, ” she said. “People are beginning to open up and express their desire for peace. The first batch of messages will be taken over to Pyla tomorrow where our associates in the north will place them in bottles.”

    “As a bi-communal organisation it's important to be positive right now,” Adamidou said when asked about the possibility of a solution by February 28. “We have to do something tangible to show the Turkish Cypriots they are not alone.

    “We will be here in Eleftheria Square every Saturday for the next six weeks to promote our cause, and on February 28 we hope for a spectacular event here in Nicosia involving both communities, with or without a solution.”

    Meanwhile more than a hundred Turkish Cypriots protested in Limassol yesterday against Denktash's opposition to the Annan Plan.

    The demonstrators, from the 'Cyprus Belongs to the Cypriots' organisation, marched through the town centre chanting slogans and holding banners demanding Denktash's resignation.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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    [03] 500,000 ballot papers to be printed

    THE ELECTION office yesterday announced the completion of the design of the ballots that will be used in next month's presidential elections.

    Chief Returning Officer Kyriacos Triantafyllides told journalists that more than 500,000 ballots will be printed on special paper.

    “The paper that will be used for printing will be similar to that used for banknotes, so it cannot be altered and it is not see-through,” Triantafyllides said.

    The new ballots were shown to presidential candidate representatives yesterday morning in case of any technical changes that might have to be made, such as the correction of a spelling mistake.

    According to the Cyprus News Agency, there were objections about the picture that will be used on the ballot paper for presidential candidate Costas Kyriacou, also known as Utopos, a farmer from Paphos. Utopos showed up to submit his candidacy on Friday wearing a black bandana.

    The matter has been referred to the Attorney-general's office. It was planned that the ballot papers would be printed starting tomorrow.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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    [04] Man arrested after break-in claim

    A 26-year-old Larnaca man was arrested yesterday for allegedly causing grievous bodily harm to a 26-year-old man and his 57-year-old mother.

    Police said the alleged victim claimed the Larnaca man and another person broke into his house at 2.30am and assaulted both him and his mother. He told police he fired a warning shot into the air using his dead father's shotgun in an effort to frighten off the intruders.

    He was taken in for questioning by the CID and admitted to possession of an unlicensed firearm. His mother was taken to Limassol Hospital for treatment.

    Police said the suspect was arrested yesterday lunchtime at his parents' house in Larnaca.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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    [05] Briton, 46, dies suddenly in Paphos

    A 46-year-old British man has died after being found unconscious at his Paphos home.

    Neighbours said Ian Stendera had been feeling unwell on Friday evening and later collapsed at home. He was rushed to Paphos hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

    Police investigating the death confirmed that there was no suspicion of foul play. An autopsy will be carried out tomorrow.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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    [06] Russian killed while crossing road

    A 28-year-old Russian man was killed in Paphos on Friday after being hit by a car, police said.

    At 11.50pm Fedor Demirchev stopped his car in a lay-by, possibly due to an engine problem, and tried to cross the Paphos-Coral Bay road.

    As he was crossing the road Demirchev tried to wave down a police car travelling towards Paphos but before the policemen could stop, he was hit by a vehicle coming in the opposite direction.

    The driver of the car is helping police with their inquiries.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003


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