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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-03-21

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, March 21, 2003


  • [01] Students march on US embassy
  • [02] Island's largest shipping magnate dies
  • [03] Ministry orders more police onto the streets
  • [04] Security stepped up around the island
  • [05] Britain says Cyprus still safe destination
  • [06] Akrotiri Salt Lake included in environmental protection treaty
  • [07] AWOL squaddies hauled off Cyprus Airways plance
  • [08] South African remanded after massive drug seizure
  • [09] Anthrax scare in Eroglu's office
  • [10] Parents angry with 'exile' ruling for delinquent pupils
  • [11] Filipino Association head threatens to sue rivals

  • [01] Students march on US embassy

    By Alex Mita

    THREE PEOPLE were arrested and one of them seriously injured last night as more 2,000 demonstrators gathered outside the US Embassy to protest against yesterday morning's bombing blitz against Iraq.

    Members of the Social Forum Against War On Iraq as well as foreign students and Iraqis waved banners against the US-led coalition and chanting anti-war slogans.

    The arrests were made when a group of the demonstrators began hurling abuse at police officers that had formed a tight ring of security around the embassy, calling them pigs and murderers.

    The police attacked when some of the demonstrators threw bottles with red paint on one of the officers. Using brutal force, the police dragged one suspect towards a police car, while his girlfriend screamed that they hit him and that he couldn't breathe. She was also arrested.

    Some of the demonstrators rushed to the aid of those arrested and a series of short incidents broke out, during which one demonstrator, fell to the floor unconscious after being beaten by policemen. Unconfirmed reports said he was suffering from heart problems.

    Earlier in the day around 1,000 students staged a three-hour anti-war protest outside the US embassy under draconian security measures from police.

    A group of pupils who arrived at the embassy before police blocked off access sat outside the entrance shouting slogans against US President George W. Bush. They were soon herded away from the premises by police officers.

    Soon after, scores of students from schools in the capital started pouring from every direction into an empty plot of land opposite the embassy, carrying placards against the US-led coalition.

    Among the slogans were “who let the dogs out? Bush, Bush, Bush!” “50 years of NATO history, Junta and terrorism,” “Bush we know you well, you are the murderer of Iraqi children,” “close the embassy of death,” and “everybody say, f*** the USA.”

    Policemen lined up in front of the demonstrators while riot police kept an eye of the situation in the background.

    There was some pushing and shoving when police attempted to confiscate eggs and firecrackers that were thrown at the embassy.

    “We are here today to protest against Bush and his attack on Iraq, because we know he is only doing it for the oil, he doesn't care about the people and we want this war to end right now. They don't want to liberate Iraq and they don't need to, the Iraqi people are already free,” 16-year-old Christos Patsalides told the Cyprus Mail.

    In Limassol, around 700 students gathered at Limassol port chanting, “no to war, we want peace,” and “how many lives per litre?”

    The students left their schools on their own initiative after they had been forbidden from demonstrating by the school authorities.

    Students at the Lanitio lyceum yesterday attended class wearing black ties in protest against the war.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    [02] Island's largest shipping magnate dies

    By Jean Christou

    KLAUS E. Oldendorff, founder of the island's largest ship management company, died in Switzerland on Monday aged 69 while on holiday with his wife.

    Oldendorff founded the family-owned German company Reederei “Nord” Klaus E Oldendorff, 40 years ago and the company has been operating successfully in Cyprus since 1986.

    The company has 37 ships with an average age of just six years. It has also ordered another eight vessels for delivery in the first half of 2004. Two of them will be the biggest ships on the Cyprus registry.

    Oldendorff not only ran the largest company under the Cyprus flag, he was also head of the Cyprus Shipping Council for many years.

    He is survived by his widow Christiane and their two sons Christian and Nikolaus.

    "During more than 16 years of living in Cyprus, together with his beloved family, Mr Oldendorff had a huge influence on the development of the local shipping industry and promotion of the Cyprus flag," Jonathan Holloway, General Manager of the company said in a statement. "Also on the international stage he played a major role and his wide experience and pragmatic approach will be missed by those organisations which he advised."

    Klaus Oldendorff built his company on solid foundations and he would wish that it carried on working in its usual way, the statement said, adding that Oldendorff's wife would be taking the reins.

    Oldendorff started his shipping career in 1951 and at the age of 21 was appointed head of the superintendent department in his father's company. At the age of 31, he set up his own business as a ship owner in Hamburg. He bought his first ships on the second-hand market but embarked on a fleet modernisation programme in 1969.

    Reederei “Nord” Klaus E. Oldendorff is a family-owned company, established in 1964. The company started trading on December 12, 1964. The following day, the company opened its first office in Hamburg, where Oldendorff initially worked as the sole shore-side employee.

    During the 1980s, the conditions for ship owning in Germany became very difficult and it was decided that if the company was to continue trading successfully, it must move to another country. After careful study and preparation, Oldendorff and his family moved to Limassol in January 1987. Technical and personnel management is handled from the Limassol head office, where around 50 people work. Vessel chartering is handled by the Hamburg office, which has a staff of around 22. In recognition of its commitment to its personnel, Reederei "Nord" won the 1999 Lloyd's List Youth and Training award.

    Oldendorff was also active in many other international organisations. He was a past Vice-Chairman and an ongoing member of the Executive Committee of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and a past Vice-President and an ongoing Council Member of the International Shipping Federation (ISF). He was on the Board of Directors of the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and The Swedish Club, a leading P&I Club and H&M insurer. He was also Chairman of the Germanischer Lloyd Cyprus Committee.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    [03] Ministry orders more police onto the streets

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    THE JUSTICE Ministry plans to get police on the streets and in closer co- operation with community leaders under a new initiative called 'Communal Policing'.

    Permanent Secretary Lazaros Savvides told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the objective was to encourage local government, non-governmental organisations and the public to work in closer co-operation with the police.

    “We want to engage the municipalities and communities to co-operate with police and assist them by sharing valuable information which they can use to provide a better front against crime,” said Savvides, adding, “It's also a way for them not to be seen as enemies.”

    The level of co-operation between police and communities will differ according to each community, said Savvides. Community figures and local authorities will be encouraged to communicate with police to exchange information on issues such as crime spots in the region and other matters.

    Part of communal policing includes getting police out of their cars and onto the streets. Police on the beat will become more common, but Savvides explained the main idea was to get rural police officers out of their stations and into the community. “Many communities go for weeks without seeing a police officer, so we are trying to bring them closer together and give the police a greater presence within the community,” said Savvides.

    The Permanent Secretary stressed that this initiative had already been tried in a number of European countries and in many cases proved very successful. “It brings together local government and police, helps to highlight the problems in each area and allows the two authorities to sit down and work out solutions,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry will be inviting tenders next month for a general study to be made on juvenile delinquency as part of their fight against crime.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    [04] Security stepped up around the island

    By George Psyllides

    SECURITY forces across the island were yesterday placed on high alert following the US attack on Iraq.

    Police were already on heightened alert but the dawn strike has sent them scrambling to avert all eventualities.

    All leave for officers serving with the marine police has been cancelled and vessels will be patrolling the coasts round the clock.

    “(Marine police) will be on alert 24 hours a day monitoring Cyprus' coastal areas,” department chief Yiannakis Eliades said yesterday.

    Eliades said the forces' patrol boats were scouring the seas ready to tackle any eventuality.

    Around seven patrol boats and six smaller vessels will be used.

    Limassol police director Theodoros Stylianou said the force had stepped up its alertness to “protect sensitive areas and avert any unpleasant acts”.

    “We have also increased surveillance of the areas neighbouring the (British) bases,” Stylianou added.

    SBA spokesman Rob Need said: “We have implemented a number of enhanced security measures, which are obvious because of the queues building up at the main gates; we search more vehicles, but in terms of raising the alert state the answer is no, but we do review our security measures from time to time and we have implemented some new ones”.

    He reiterated that the British and American aircraft stationed at RAF Akrotiri were not being used in the attacks against Iraq, adding there was no increased traffic relating to aircraft and ships approaching the bases.

    Need said Akrotiri was “an aero med centre and the hospital's capacity has been doubled”.

    “We have a specialist medical unit who are responsible for the movement of any casualties,” he added.

    Need said the SBA had no obligation to brief the government on its operations in connection with Iraq.

    “We are not required to, but because we are good neighbours we keep the Republic informed in general terms, but we are not required to,” Need said.

    Measures at Larnaca airport were obvious with armed officers guarding all entrances and exits.

    Deputy operations chief at police HQ, Soteris Charalambous, said the measures were strict but were clearly pre-emptive due to the war.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    [05] Britain says Cyprus still safe destination

    By Jean Christou

    BRITAIN yesterday updated its global travel advisories in the wake of the US attack on Iraq, but insisted Cyprus remained a safe destination.

    According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website, “the vast majority of visits to Cyprus are trouble-free. The terrorist threat is low. Cyprus is not directly affected by the situation in Iraq.”

    A statement issued by the British High Commission in Nicosia said: ''The FCO has considered its travel advice for Cyprus following the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq. The UK continues to take the view that the vast majority of visits to Cyprus are trouble-free.''

    Despite the reassurance from Britain that Cyprus is still a safe destination, tourism and air travel is still likely to be affected by the government's decision to allow the US-led coalition aircraft to use Cyprus' national airspace on condition commercial operations are not jeopardised.

    Airlines around the world responded yesterday to the outbreak of hostilities by cancelling and cutting back to certain destinations in the Middle East.

    Cyprus Airways, which announced on Wednesday that it was cancelling flights to Bahrain, Dubai, Jeddah and Riyadh, yesterday said it was changing flight times for Tel Aviv and Damascus. The position will be reviewed on Sunday, said CY spokesman Tassos Angelis, in case the conflict spreads to other countries the national carrier was still covering.

    Greece's ailing carrier Olympic Airways yesterday announced that it would reduce the frequency of flights to Cairo and Larnaca. Flights to the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and Saudi Arabia's Jeddah will be put under special status in line with conditions, it said.

    "(The aim is)... to ensure safety of flights and passengers as well as to safeguard in the best possible way the operation of Olympic in the difficult economic and operational period which begins today," it said in a statement.

    Meanwhile, passengers who continue to travel are facing the possibility of a three per cent increase in airfares due to the jump in fuel prices and insurance costs caused by the conflict in Iraq.

    According to reports from Geneva yesterday more than 100 airlines have agreed to boost top-class, flexible business fares by two to three per cent to meet rising insurance premiums and fuel costs linked to the Iraqi crisis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said. The hike is set to take effect from April 15.

    The increase, the first in two years, was agreed at a meeting of airline officials held at IATA headquarters in Geneva on Monday, according to a spokesman, who was confirming a Reuters report quoting industry sources in Tokyo.

    "The airlines have met in the past few days under IATA auspices... The interlinable fares, which are the most expensive, flexible fares, will go up by two to three per cent, except in Europe," the spokesman said. "Increased insurance premiums, security costs, and fuel made it imperative to adjust fares," he added.

    CY's spokesman said the airline had no plans to increase fares at the moment but would likely follow international trends on the issue.

    IATA has forecast that passenger levels could drop by 15 to 20 percent, depending on the region, during an Iraqi war. It has also activated a 24- hour task force to help its 270-member airlines plan and operate their routes during war, according. Some 150 flights a day to and from Europe to Southeast Asia cross Middle East air space.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    [06] Akrotiri Salt Lake included in environmental protection treaty

    By Tania Khadder

    THE AKROTIRI Salt Lake and Fasouri Marsh have been formally designated as a Ramsar Site, marking the beginning of a long-term plan to protect the areas from environmental hazards.

    The designation of the SBA sites was established by the British government and is the culmination of work between the UK and Cyprus beginning in August 2001.

    An SBA statement said that after careful consultation with local communities, land owners, the government's Environmental Services and other interested parties, the site boundaries were finalised and the SBA entered the jurisdiction of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.

    Work is under way to create an environmental management plan for the area, which already includes regular monitoring of migratory birds in the Salt Lake area and plans to create a Visitors' Centre and to employ wardens.

    The Akrotiri Salt Lake has been the source of much controversy recently because of a massive antenna facility that critics see as an environmental and health hazard. Plans to build a new Pluto II antenna have come under fire from environmental campaigners in Cyprus and the UK, as well as from neighbouring communities, who see it as potentially detrimental to the area's wildlife and human population.

    Although the Greens tried to halt plans to build the antenna, its construction will resume this summer. SBA officials said yesterday the project would be supervised by a panel of independent, international experts from the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, who will monitor the impact of the project and advise on mitigation measures. They added several measures had already been implemented, such as the installation of markers and low-energy lighting on the existing antennas to reduce the risk of bird strikes.

    But Green Party deputy George Perdikis told the Cyprus Mail yesterday such measures were not enough to make Pluto a safe project.

    “You cannot combine a protected wetland with the construction of the antenna,” he said. “The experts they are using will only work to minimise the damage done to the environment, but they cannot eliminate it altogether. We still don't want this.”

    The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international co-operation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    [07] AWOL squaddies hauled off Cyprus Airways plance

    By a Staff Reporter

    TWO BRITISH squaddies were in military custody at the bases yesterday after being hauled off a Cyprus Airways plane at Laranca airport as they were trying to leave the island.

    The two soldiers, believed to be in their twenties, were caught after boarding the 5.45pm flight to London Heathrow. They had managed to pass through immigration and boarded the plane ready for takeoff, when bases military police caught up with them.

    The incident had nothing to do with the conflict in Iraq, the bases said.

    “It's a simple case of AWOL,” said bases spokesman Tony Brumwell. “They were supposed to be serving at Episkopi and were not warned off about going to the Gulf or anything like that. They were simply part of a regiment based here and they went AWOL for their own reasons.”

    Brumwell said that bases soldiers “have been going AWOL for years” for reasons ranging from boredom to homesickness to objecting to the restrictive army lifestyle on the island, Brumwell said.

    He said the two runaways would now be questioned by their commanding officer and an investigation launched into the reasons for their absence.

    “They will be read their rights and depending on what they plead and the outcome of the investigation they will be punished accordingly,” Brumwell said.

    “Assuming there are no external circumstances and its just a simple case of going absent they will probably get a punishment from their commanding officer,” he said. “If there are aggravating circumstances, such as if they were involved in a crime, it could go to court martial.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    [08] South African remanded after massive drug seizure

    By a Staff Reporter

    A 38-YEAR-old South African man was yesterday remanded in custody for eight days on suspicion of smuggling around 16 kilograms of cannabis into the island through Larnaca airport.

    The drugs, considered to be one of the biggest quantities seized by the authorities, were found in Mark Larkin's luggage on Wednesday morning.

    The suspect arrived on a flight from Dubai, but police at passport control were not convinced by the reasons he gave for his visit.

    The court heard that Larkin had little money on him and did not have a place to stay.

    After several hours, during which police carried out checks and after he produced a return ticket, he was allowed to stay until Sunday.

    Larking picked up his luggage, but was stopped by customs officers, who allegedly found 16 neatly packaged parcels of cannabis weighing 15.5 kilograms.

    The suspect had packed the drugs along with mothballs and pepper to throw off police sniffer dogs, the court heard.

    He was immediately arrested and questioned by drug squad officers.

    The suspect alleged that he was given a ticket, money for accommodation and 12,000 Rand to carry the drugs and deliver them to someone in Cyprus.

    He named the supplier of the drugs and police have already contacted Interpol to track him down.

    Larkin was remanded in custody. Police have said they are looking for the person for whom the drugs were destined.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    [09] Anthrax scare in Eroglu's office

    By a Staff Reporter

    FIVE people, including the 'prime-minister' of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state, Dervis Eroglu, were quarantined yesterday after a letter containing white powder was opened in his office.

    One of them was later hospitalised complaining of nausea.

    According to the French News Agency (AFP), the letter was opened by his secretary and all necessary measures were taken even though Eroglu said he did not think the substance was anthrax.

    Despite this, apart from the secretary, three other people working in his office touched and smelled the substance, AFP said.

    According to the report, the substance was sent to the government- controlled areas for examination through the United Nations.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    [10] Parents angry with 'exile' ruling for delinquent pupils

    By Sofia Kannas

    THE Cyprus Parents' Association yesterday slammed a decision by the Education Ministry to expel four pupils from their Limassol Lyceum and send them instead to Lyceums in Nicosia, Paphos and Larnaca.

    The decision came after the four students from Limassol's Lanitio Lyceum recently set fire to a school warehouse containing computer equipment. The students, aged between 16 and 18, are reported to have been reprimanded for anti-social behaviour on numerous occasions before the attempted arson.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail yesterday, Parents' Association President Elias Demetriou said the Ministry's proposals would not solve the problem of anti-social behaviour.

    “We agree that the students should be punished in some way, but this sort of punishment will not help. What we need are new measures to update guidelines and modernise procedures for dealing with problematic students,” he said, adding that the procedures currently in existence were anachronistic.

    Demetriou said the solution proposed by the Ministry would in fact make things worse.

    “These type of punishments will only cause further social problems.

    “Who will take these students from Limassol to the schools in Paphos, Nicosia and Larnaca? How will the family afford the travel expenses? I fail to see how these measures will teach these four students the errors of their ways?

    He added that the Association had taken up the issue with the new Education Minister Pefkios Georgiades.

    “We met with the Minister on Monday and raised the subject of the punishments with him.

    “We are now awaiting his response,” he added.

    Psychologist and lecturer Dr Stavros Stavrou said yesterday that relocating the students to a new environment could be beneficial only if teachers and students at the new schools treated the expelled pupils without prejudice.

    “In some cases this method may work because in a new school, with understanding students and teachers they may escape being stigmatised and rejected. Perhaps if they remained in their old school the stigma would remain with them.

    But Stavrou also stressed that whether relocation worked or not, this sort of measure did little to tackle the root of the problem.

    “Moving the students to a different school is still a type of punishment, rather than an attempt to prevent such incidents from happening. I don't believe in these types of measures personally. Ideally, the students should be able to stay at their schools and be given good support and proper supervision from their teachers, while their fellow pupils should also treat them equally.”

    He added that there was little chance of this happening with the current state of the education system.

    “What we really need is a change to the whole school system. There is a lot of competition in schools today, whereas what we need is to foster a spirit of co-operation in the classroom.

    “But competition permeates our society and we actually prepare our children to become future competitors.”

    Stavrou believes the rise in juvenile criminal activity on the island in recent times is a phenomenon which exists in large American and European cities.

    “We have imported their economic systems and our society is paying the price for this, breeding criminal behaviour and antagonism.

    He insists that the four juvenile delinquents, like the 17-year-old boy from Paphos arrested earlier this week for knifing a fellow pupil, are victims of society.

    “They were not born evil - it is their environment that predisposes them to such behaviour.”

    The Education Ministry was not available for comment on the issue.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    [11] Filipino Association head threatens to sue rivals

    By Tania Khadder

    THE PRESIDENT of the Filipino Community Association (FCA) Ester Beatty is to take legal action against the EU Filipino National Workers Association, accusing them of slander.

    The Workers Association is a splinter group that has made a list of allegations against Beatty and the FCA, including personal attacks on her character.

    “They are attacking me personally,” Beatty told the Cyprus Mail yesterday. “In the beginning they were against the FCA and its core members, but now it's all against me.

    “I am taking them to court, now that they have come forward with their names. I don't care how long it takes,” she added.

    In a statement released on Wednesday calling for Beatty's resignation, a member of the Workers Association said, “there are a lot of things we don't like about the Filipino Community Association. They are not doing enough to help Filipinos in Cyprus”.

    The group is planning a demonstration for this Sunday to voice their dissatisfaction with Beatty and the FCA.

    “If they want to form their own group, fine, nobody's stopping them,” Beatty said in response. “But they don't have to defame honest people so that Filipinos will go to their association.

    “Instead of uniting us, they are really trying to divide the Filipino community here,” she added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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