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Voice of America, 97-03-17

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] ITALY/ALBANIANS (L-ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)
  • [02] U-S/ALBANIA RESCUE (S) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)
  • [03] ALBANIA (L) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)
  • [04] ALBANIA DIPLOMACY (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [05] U-S/ALBANIA AIRLIFT (S-UPDATE) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)
  • [06] ALBANIA 2ND UPDATE (S) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)
  • [07] TURKEY / KURDS BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (TEKEVLER VILLAGE, BATMAN)
  • [08] TURKEY/CHRISTIANS BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (MIDYAT)
  • [09] EGYPT/CHRISTIANS (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (CAIRO)
  • [10] BRITAIN / POLITICS (L) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)
  • [11] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [12] U-S-SERBIA (S) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPARTMENT)
  • [13] YUGO WAR CRIMES (L-ONLY) BY GILLIAN SHARPE (THE HAGUE)
  • [14] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] ITALY/ALBANIANS (L-ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211582
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE ITALIAN COAST GUARD HAS RESCUED HUNDREDS OF ALBANIANS FROM AN OVERLOADED GUNBOAT IN DANGER OF SINKING IN THE ADRIATIC SEA ON MONDAY. AS PEGGY POLK REPORTS, THESE LATEST ARRIVALS SWELLED THE NUMBER OF ALBANIANS SEEKING REFUGE IN ITALY TO ALMOST SIX-THOUSAND.

    TEXT: THE ITALIAN COAST GUARD SAID SOME 800 ALBANIANS -- DESPERATE TO FLEE THE ANARCHY GRIPPING THEIR BALKAN COUNTRY -- HAD CRAMMED ONTO THE DECREPIT GUNBOAT. THE OVERLOADED VESSEL RAN OUT OF FUEL OFF THE ITALIAN PORT OF BRINDISI AND BEGAN TAKING ON WATER, SETTING OFF PANIC AMONG THE PASSENGERS.

    ITALIAN OFFICIALS SAID THE RESCUE WENT SMOOTHLY AND -- WITH BRINDISI AND THE NEARBY PORT OF OTRANTO ALREADY BURSTING WITH REFUGEES -- MOST OF THE NEW ARRIVALS WERE TRANSFERRED TO A TUGBOAT TO TAKE THEM TO BARI.

    SCUFFLES BROKE OUT ON THE TUG, AND THE COAST GUARD CALLED FOR ITALIAN MARINES TO BE TRANSFERRED ABOARD TO KEEP ORDER.

    THE REFUGEES ARE BEING HOUSED IN GYMNASIUMS AND OTHER MAKESHIFT LIVING QUARTERS. ITALY HAS MADE CLEAR IT INTENDS TO SEND THEM HOME, ONCE ORDER IS RESTORED IN ALBANIA.

    //OPT//

    ITALY TURNED BACK SOME 40-THOUSAND ALBANIANS WHO ARRIVED ON ITALIAN SHORES DURING THE TUMULT THAT FOLLOWING THE FALL OF STALINIST RULE IN ALBANIA IN 1991. INSTEAD OF GIVING THEM ASYLUM, THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT PROVIDED EUROPE'S POOREST COUNTRY WITH EMERGENCY SUPPLIES OF FOOD AND MEDICINE. //END OPT// ON SUNDAY, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER ROMANO PRODI APPEALED TO ALBANIANS OVER ITALIAN TELEVISION -- WHICH IS RECEIVED IN ALBANIA TO STAY HOME. ITALY'S FOREIGN MINISTER REPORTED THAT LESS THAN 24 HOURS LATER, 36 ALBANIANS WERE FLOWN BACK TO ALBANIA AT THEIR REQUEST ABOARD ITALIAN NAVY HELICOPTERS.

    //REST OPT//

    ITALIAN AUTHORITIES ALSO REPORTED THE FIRST ARRESTS CONNECTED WITH THE INFLUX. THEY SAID THAT FOUR ALBANIAN MILITARY OFFICERS -- WHO HAD COMMANDEERED A FISHING BOAT CARRYING 140 REFUGEES -- WERE FOUND IN POSSESSION OF AN ASSAULT RIFLE AND HANDGUN AND WERE CHARGED WITH IMPORTING ARMS INTO ITALY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PP/PCF
    17-Mar-97 10:07 AM EST (1507 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] U-S/ALBANIA RESCUE (S) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211585
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S NAVY SHIPS IN THE ADRIATIC HAVE RESCUED 85 ALBANIANS FROM OVERLOADED BOATS TRYING TO MAKE THE CROSSING FROM ALBANIA TO ITALY. THE NAVY SHIPS ARE INVOLVED IN THE U-S HELICOPTER AIRLIFT FROM ALBANIA, WHICH IS BEING SCALED-BACK. DAVID GOLLUST HAS DETAILS FROM THE PENTAGON.

    TEXT: THE 85 ALBANIANS ARE NOW ABOARD THE U-S-S NASSAU IN THE ADRIATIC, AFTER BEING PICKED UP BY U-S FORCES IN TWO INCIDENTS LATE SUNDAY. U-S NAVY COMMANDER BRIAN CULLEN TOLD V-O-A BY PHONE FROM THE ADRIATIC AMERICAN DIVERS FIRST RESCUED 55 ALBANIANS, WHOSE OVERLOADED VESSEL CAPSIZED JUST AS A NAVY LAUNCH ARRIVED IN RESPONSE TO A DISTRESS CALL.

    /// CULLIN ACTUALITY ///

    WE SENT OVER A SMALL CRAFT WITH SOME NAVY AND MARINE DIVERS. AS THE VESSEL CAME ALONGSIDE, IT ACTUALLY CAPSIZED FROM THE WATER IT WAS TAKING. AND THE DIVERS WENT IMMEDIATELY INTO THE WATER, RESCUED 55 ALBANIANS, BROUGHT THEM BACK TO THE NASSAU AND THEY ARE ABOARD THE NASSAU TODAY.

    /// END ACT ///

    COMMANDER CULLEN SAYS IN THE SECOND INCIDENT, 30 ALBANIANS FROM ANOTHER OVERLOADED CRAFT WERE TAKEN ABOARD THE NASSAU AFTER THEY RADIOED -- FALSELY AS IT TURNED OUT -- THERE WERE INJURED PASSENGERS ABOARD. THE NAVY IS AWAITING INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT TO DO WITH THE ALBANIANS, WHO WERE AMONG THOUSANDS ATTEMPTING THE RISKY VOYAGE TO ITALY TO ESCAPE THE CHAOS IN THEIR HOMELAND. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAG/RAE
    17-Mar-97 10:31 AM EST (1531 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] ALBANIA (L) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211595
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: LEADERS OF ALBANIA'S RIVAL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE CALLING FOR CALM AS THE COUNTRY SLOWLY EMERGES FROM THE ARMED ANARCHY THAT HAS ENGULFED THE NATION. BUT AS V-O-A'S KYLE KING REPORTS FROM TIRANA, HEALING THE SCARS LEFT BY THE WEEKS OF VIOLENCE AND RAGE WILL TAKE TIME.

    TEXT: // FUNERAL BELL SOUNDS, ESTABLISH AND FADE //

    AT THE FUNERAL FOR 17-YEAR-OLD BLEDOR LAKO, HIS PARENTS CRY, "WHY, WHY DID YOU LEAVE US?"

    // PARENTS CRYING, ESTABLISH AND FADE //

    BELDOR, A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT IN TIRANA, WAS KILLED BY A STRAY BULLET LAST WEEK, AS HE STOOD OUTSIDE HIS HOME WITH FRIENDS.

    // ALBANIAN LANGUAGE ACT, ESTABLISH AND FADE //

    GENT MUSAI, A CLASSMATE OF THE YOUNG VICTIM, SAYS THEY WERE STANDING TOGETHER ON THE SIDEWALK TALKING, WHEN HE HEARD A BULLET RICOCHET OFF A WALL AND HIS FRIEND FELL TO THE GROUND.

    THE SHOOTING, WHICH LEFT THREE PEOPLE DEAD, WAS ONE OF THE MANY TRAGEDIES LEFT IN THE WAKE OF THE VIOLENCE THAT ERUPTED IN ALBANIA FOLLOWING THE COLLAPSE OF UNREGULATED INVESTMENT SCHEMES.

    THOSE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE WHO DIED, MOSTLY BY STRAY BULLETS, WILL PROBABLY NEVER BE KNOWN. ALTHOUGH CALM HAS NOW RETURNED TO THE CAPITAL, MIRANDA GRACI, THE DIRECTOR OF THE "SOCIETY FOR DEMOCRATIC CULTURE," SAYS PEOPLE ARE STILL NERVOUS.

    // FIRST GRACI ACT //

    THE SITUATION IN ALBANIA IS VERY NERVOUS. THE PEOPLE HAVE IN THEIR HANDS GUNS AND THE PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO OR WHAT THEY THINK AND THE CONFUSION IS VERY PRESENT NOW.

    // END ACT //

    MANY ALBANIANS BLAME PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA FOR ALLOWING THE CHAOS. MS. GRACI SAYS MANY PEOPLE ALSO BLAME THE PRESIDENT FOR FAILING TO CONTROL THE INVESTMENT SCHEMES THAT THEY POURED THEIR LIFE SAVINGS INTO.

    // SECOND GRACI ACT //

    I THINK BERISHA MADE A BIG MISTAKE WHEN IN THE TELEVISION OR PRESS CONFERENCES HE SUPPORTED THE PYRAMID SCHEMES. BECAUSE HE PROMISED THE PEOPLE THAT THEIR MONEY WAS SAFE AND HE WAS SURE FOR THE FUTURE. AFTER THAT, ALL THE PYRAMIDS DIED.

    // END ACT //

    //OPT//

    ONE YOUNG MAN AT A SMALL TIRANA COFFEE SHOP SAID HE CAME ALL THE WAY FROM GREECE TO VOTE FOR THE PRESIDENT'S PARTY IN THE LAST ELECTIONS, BUT HE NO LONGER TRUSTS MR. BERISHA.

    // ACT OF YOUNG MAN ON STREET //

    I DON'T LIKE THE GOVERNMENT OF PRESIDENT BERISHA, IT'S BETTER THAT HE GOES AWAY.

    // END ACT // //END OPT//

    ALTHOUGH THE PRESIDENT HAS STEADFASTLY REFUSED DEMANDS HE STEP DOWN, HE NOW SAYS HE WILL RESIGN IF HIS "DEMOCRATIC PARTY" LOSES PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE.

    SOCIALIST PARTY LEADER FATOS NANO, WHO WAS RELEASED FROM JAIL AND PARDONED BY PRESIDENT BERISHA IN A CONCESSION TO THE OPPOSITION LAST WEEK, SAYS MR. BERISHA NEEDS TO STEP ASIDE, NOW THAT CALM IS RETURNING TO THE COUNTRY. MR. NANO, WHO HAS DENIED THE CORRUPTION CHARGES THAT SENT HIM TO JAIL IN 1993, HAS BEEN MENTIONED AS A POSSIBLE SUCCESSOR TO MR. BERISHA, IF THE SOCIALISTS WIN THE NEXT ELECTIONS. MS. GRACI, WHOSE GROUP MONITORED THE LAST ELECTIONS IN ALBANIA, SAYS WHAT THE COUNTRY NEEDS NOW IS POLITICAL DIALOGUE.

    // THIRD GRACI ACT //

    ITS VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE PEOPLE TO SEE TIME AND AGAIN, PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENCE POLITICAL FACTIONS TOGETHER.

    // END ACT //

    SHE SAYS SIMPLY EXCHANGING MR. NANO FOR MR. BERISHA AFTER THE NEXT ELECTION WILL PROBABLY NOT BRING STABILITY TO THE COUNTRY.

    //OPT// // FOURTH GRACI ACT //

    IF WE PUT FATOS NANO IN THE POST OF PRESIDENT, I THINK THE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY (OF MR. BERISHA) WILL BE VERY NERVOUS AND THE SITUATION IN ALBANIA WILL NOT BE QUIET.

    // END ACT //

    WHAT WILL CALM THE SITUATION, ACCORDING TO MS. GRACI, IS DIALOGUE AND A CHANGE IN THE COUNTRY'S ELECTION LAWS, WHICH NOW GIVE THE PARTY THAT WINS A MAJORITY NEARLY ALL THE SEATS IN PARLIAMENT.

    //OPT//

    HER GROUP FAVORS A PROPORTIONAL SYSTEM THAT WILL ALLOW ALL FACTIONS TO TAKE PART IN PARLIAMENT ON THE BASIS HOW MANY VOTES THEY RECEIVE. //END OPT//

    BUT WITH THE COUNTRY STILL IN CHAOS AND SUPPLIES OF BREAD AND OTHER ESSENTIAL ITEMS RUNNING SHORT, IT REMAINS UNCLEAR HOW POLITICAL LEADERS WILL MANAGE TO SIT DOWN TOGETHER TO REWRITE ELECTION LAWS BEFORE THE VOTE SCHEDULED FOR JUNE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/PCF/RRM
    17-Mar-97 12:09 PM EST (1709 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] ALBANIA DIPLOMACY (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211598
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TO HELP RESTORE ORDER IN ALBANIA SHIFTED MONDAY TO THE EUROPEAN UNION, WHOSE 11-MEMBER FACT-FINDING COMMISSION IS ARRIVING TODAY (MONDAY) IN TIRANA. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE E-U SAYS IT IS STRONGLY COMMITTED TO HELPING ALBANIA RESTORE CIVILIAN STRUCTURES AND LAW AND ORDER. THE FACT-FINDING MISSION IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN IN ALBANIA UNTIL WEDNESDAY.

    THE E-U ASSESSMENT TEAM, HEADED BY A DUTCH DIPLOMAT, STOPPED FIRST IN ROME ON ITS WAY TO TIRANA. INCLUDED IN THE DELEGATION ARE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE VIENNA-BASED "ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE," THE O-S-C-E.

    THE O-S-C-E SAYS THE WORK OF ITS SPECIAL ENVOY TO ALBANIA, FRANS VRANITZKY, IS COMPLETED. THE FORMER AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR MADE TWO VISITS TO ALBANIA, INCLUDING A MEETING FRIDAY WITH THE NEW NATIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT AND INSURGENTS FROM THE SOUTH. //OPT// MR. VRANITZKY APPEALED TO THE EUROPEAN UNION MEETING OF FOREIGN MINISTERS DURING THE WEEKEND TO SEND A PEACEKEEPING CONTINGENT TO HELP RESTORE ORDER. THAT APPEAL WAS REJECTED BY A DEEPLY DIVIDED E-U, WHICH INSTEAD PIECED TOGETHER THE COMPROMISE THAT LED TO THE DISPATCH OF THE DUTCH-LED ASSESSMENT TEAM. GREECE, ITALY, FRANCE, DENMARK AND AUSTRIA FAVORED STRONGER ACTION. BUT BRITAIN, GERMANY AND SWEDEN REJECTED MILITARY INVOLVEMENT. //END OPT//

    AN O-S-C-E OFFICIAL SAYS THAT ORGANIZATION WILL REMAIN INVOLVED IN THE ALBANIAN SITUATION, HELPING TO ORGANIZE AND MONITOR THE ELECTIONS DUE TO TAKE PLACE BEFORE THE END OF JUNE. DIPLOMATIC SOURCES SAY THE E-U IS LOOKING TO THE NEW ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT TO MAKE FURTHER PROGRESS IN ASSERTING ITS AUTHORITY. INSTEAD OF EMBATTLED PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA, PRIME MINISTER BASHKIM FINO IS VIEWED BY BOTH THE E-U AND O-S-C-E AS THEIR PRINCIPAL NEGOTIATING PARTNER IN ALBANIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/PCF
    17-Mar-97 1:17 PM EST (1817 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] U-S/ALBANIA AIRLIFT (S-UPDATE) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211602
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED STATES IS SCALING BACK ITS EVACUATION OPERATION IN THE ADRIATIC, AFTER FLYING MORE THAN 800 U-S CITIZENS AND OTHERS OUT OF ALBANIA SINCE FRIDAY. MEANWHILE, U-S NAVY SHIPS IN THE ADRIATIC HAVE RESCUED 85 ALBANIAN REFUGEES. DAVID GOLLUST HAS DETAILS FROM THE PENTAGON.

    TEXT: PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THE HELICOPTER AIRLIFT FROM TIRANA TO NAVY SHIPS OFFSHORE IS WINDING DOWN, AMID IMPROVING SECURITY CONDITIONS IN THE ALBANIAN CAPITAL. ONLY 20 PEOPLE WERE FLOWN OUT MONDAY, INCLUDING JUST TWO U-S CITIZENS. SINCE THE OPERATION BEGAN FRIDAY, MORE THAN 800-PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TAKEN OUT BY U-S FORCES, LESS THAN HALF OF THEM AMERICANS.

    NAVY OFFICIALS IN THE ADRIATIC SAY GUNFIRE HAS SUBSIDED IN TIRANA AFTER WILD OUTBURSTS FRIDAY INCLUDING TWO INCIDENTS IN WHICH U-S HELICOPTER GUNSHIPS WERE SHOT AT FROM THE GROUND, AND RETURNED FIRE. BUT THEY SAY THE SITUATION IS STILL UNSETTLED IN THE PORT OF DURRES, WHERE CROWDS OF ALBANIANS HAVE TRIED TO STORM ABOARD SHIPS TO ESCAPE THE VIOLENCE.

    U-S NAVY PERSONNEL HAVE RESCUED 85 ALBANIAN REFUGEES FROM TWO OVERLOADED BOATS IN THE ADRIATIC, ONE OF WHICH SANK JUST AS A NAVY LAUNCH PULLED ALONGSIDE TO OFFER HELP. THE ALBANIANS ARE ABOARD THE U-S HELICOPTER CARRIER NASSAU PENDING A DECISION ON THEIR STATUS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAG/RAE
    17-Mar-97 1:56 PM EST (1856 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] ALBANIA 2ND UPDATE (S) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211608
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    // EDITORS: THIS COULD BE USED AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO "ALBANIA DIPLOMACY," NUMBER 2-211598, BY BARRY WOOD IN PRAGUE. //

    INTRO: AN 11-MEMBER EUROPEAN UNION ASSESSMENT TEAM HAS ARRIVED IN ALBANIA TO EXAMINE WAYS OF HELPING THE COUNTRY'S NEW GOVERNMENT END THE ANARCHY THAT HAS SWEPT ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN RECENT WEEKS. FROM TIRANA, V-O-A'S KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE 11 EUROPEAN DIPLOMATS AND MILITARY OFFICERS ARE EXPECTED TO SPEND TWO DAYS IN ALBANIA, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP THE NEW, BROAD-BASED GOVERNMENT.

    WESTERN DIPLOMATS SAY THE MISSION COULD LEAD THE WAY TO ASSISTANCE IN RESTORING BASIC SERVICES AND SECURITY.

    EMBATTLED ALBANIAN PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA, WHO MANY PEOPLE BLAME FOR CREATING THE CRISIS, HAS SAID HE WILL ASK THE DELEGATION FOR SECURITY AND ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE.

    WESTERN NEWS AGENCIES QUOTE SOURCES CLOSE TO THE E-U DELEGATION AS SAYING NO MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT IS PLANNED.

    MOST PARTS OF COUNTRY ARE NOW STRUGGLING TO RETURN TO NORMAL AFTER AN EXPLOSION OF UNREST THAT LEFT MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE DEAD. THE VIOLENCE WAS TRIGGERED BY THE COLLAPSE OF HIGH RISK INVESTMENT SCHEMES THAT WIPED OUT THE SAVINGS OF MANY PEOPLE.

    IN THE CAPITAL, WHERE MOST OF THE RANDOM GUNFIRE HAS NOW ENDED, OFFICIALS HAVE ORDERED GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES BACK TO WORK AND MANY SMALL SHOPS HAVE REOPENED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/PCF/RRM
    17-Mar-97 2:54 PM EST (1954 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] TURKEY / KURDS BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (TEKEVLER VILLAGE, BATMAN)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35956
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKEY'S PARLIAMENT IS INVESTIGATING CHARGES THAT SOME MEMBERS OF THE SECURITY FORCES RISKED THE LIVES OF KURDISH VILLAGERS BY FORCING THEM TO SEARCH FOR MINES IN THE SOUTHEASTERN PROVINCE OF BATMAN. THE PARLIAMENT'S HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION IS EXPECTED TO PUBLISH ITS FINDINGS SOON. BUT, THE TURKISH GENERAL STAFF HAS DENIED THE VILLAGERS' CHARGES THAT THEY WERE, IN THEIR WORDS, USED AS HUMAN MINE DETECTORS. AMBERIN ZAMAN TRAVELLED TO TEKEVLER VILLAGE IN BATMAN AND FILED THIS REPORT.

    TEXT: SITTING AROUND A WOOD BURNING STOVE IN A SMALL STONE HOUSE IN TEKEVLER VILLAGE, A GROUP OF TENSE LOOKING MEN DRAW DEEPLY ON THEIR CIGARETTES AS THEY TELL THEIR STORY.

    HADJI MOHAMMED IS A FARMER IN HIS LATE 70'S WHO SAYS HE WAS ONE OF 30 MEN FROM THIS TINY MOUNTAIN VILLAGE WHO WERE ROUNDED UP ONE WINTER MORNING BY MEMBERS OF THE TURKISH SECURITY FORCES AND TAKEN TO A NEARBY FIELD BELIEVED TO BE HEAVILY MINED BY REBELS OF THE SEPARATIST KURDISTAN WORKERS' PARTY, P-K-K.

    /// HADJI ACT - FADE UNDER ///

    MR .MOHAMMED SAYS THE LIEUTENANT WHO WAS DIRECTING THE OPERATION FORCED THE VILLAGERS -- ALL WERE MEN WHOSE AGES RANGED FROM 80 TO 15 -- TO LINE UP AND HAND OVER THEIR IDENTITY CARDS.

    A YOUNG MAN WHO WOULD IDENTIFY HIMSELF ONLY AS YUSUF WAS ALSO THERE. HE SAYS AT LEAST 20 OTHER MEN FROM A NEIGHBORING HAMLET CALLED KELHASAN WERE BROUGHT TO THE FIELD AS WELL.

    /// YUSUF ACT - FADE UNDER ///

    ACCORDING TO YUSUF, WHEN THE VILLAGERS REFUSED TO OBEY THE LIEUTENANT'S ORDERS TO WALK THROUGH THE FIELD BECAUSE THEY SAID THEY FEARED FOR THEIR LIVES, HE BEGAN TO HIT THEM WITH HIS RIFLE BUTT AND TO CURSE THEM UNTIL THEY FINALLY GAVE IN.

    MUSA OKCU IS A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FROM BATMAN PROVINCE FOR THE RULING ISLAMIST WELFARE PARTY, OR REFAH. HE WAS ONE OF THREE DEPUTIES WHO TRAVELLED TO THE AREA TO PREPARE THE PARLIAMENTARY REPORT.

    /// OKCU ACT - FADE UNDER ///

    MR .OKCU SAYS HIS PERSONAL BELIEF IS THAT THE VILLAGERS' STORY IS TRUE AND THAT IT IS, IN HIS WORDS, MIRACULOUS THAT NOBODY GOT HURT. BUT HE ALSO INSISTS THAT SUCH ABUSES ARE EXCEPTIONAL AND IN NO WAY REFLECT GOVERNMENT POLICY IN THE MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEAST, WHERE P-K-K REBELS HAVE BEEN FIGHTING TO SET UP AN INDEPENDENT KURDISH STATE FOR THE PAST 13 YEARS.

    MILITARY OFFICIALS SAY AN AGRESSIVE YEAR ROUND CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE REBELS HAS PUT THE SEPARATISTS FIRMLY ON THE DEFENSIVE.

    IN RECENT WEEKS, SENIOR TURKISH GENERALS HAVE FOR THE FIRST TIME PUBLICLLY CALLED FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL MEASURES TO SOLVE THE REGION'S PROBLEMS. ANALYSTS SAY THIS REPRESENTS A DRAMATIC SHIFT FROM THE PURELY MILITARY APPROACH TO THE KURDISH ISSUE EMBRACED UNTIL NOW

    AHMET ERTURK IS THE DEPUTY REGIONAL GOVERNOR FOR THE NINE MAINLY KURDISH PROVINCES CURRENTLY UNDER EMERGENCY RULE.

    /// ERTURK ACT - FADE UNDER ///

    HE SAYS THE NEW HEARTS AND MINDS CAMPAIGN INCLUDES CREATING JOBS FOR MILLIONS OF UNEMPLOYED KURDS AS WELL AS BUILDING NEW HOMES FOR MILLIONS OF OTHERS DISPLACED BY THE 13 YEAR-LONG CONFLICT.

    ACCORDING TO HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS, WELL OVER TWO-MILLION KURDS HAVE BEEN FORCIBLY EVICTED FROM THEIR VILLAGES, EITHER BY THE SECURITY FORCES OR THE P-K-K REBELS FOR REFUSING TO TAKE SIDES IN THE CONFLICT.

    THE MEN IN TEKEVLER VILLAGE BELIEVE THEY WERE SINGLED OUT BY THE SECURITY FORCES BECAUSE THEY CONTINUE TO REFUSE TO JOIN THE VILLAGE GUARDS -- A STATE PAID KURDISH MILITIA SET UP TO COMBAT THE P-K-K. THE VILLAGE GUARDS ARE PRIME TARGETS FOR THE REBELS, WHO IN FREQUENT RAIDS AGAINST THEIR VILLAGES, MURDER THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN AS WELL.

    DESPITE THE OBVIOUS DANGERS, VILLAGERS WHO DO NOT JOIN THE GUARDS ARE OFTEN VIEWED AS BEING SYMPATHETIC TO THE P-K-K -- A CHARGE THE PEOPLE HERE IN TEKEVLER VIGOROUSLY DENY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/JWH
    17-Mar-97 9:18 AM EST (1418 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] TURKEY/CHRISTIANS BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (MIDYAT)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35955
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A 13-YEAR-LONG CONFLICT BETWEEN TURKISH SECURITY FORCES AND SEPARATIST REBELS OF THE "KURDISTAN WORKERS' PARTY", MEMBERS OF TURKEY'S SYRIAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY ARE CONTINUING TO LEAVE THE MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEAST REGION OF THE COUNTRY WHERE THEY HAVE LIVED FOR NEARLY TWO-THOUSAND YEARS. AMBERIN ZAMAN VISITED THE REGION AND REPORTS FROM THE TOWN OF MIDYAT ON THE THREATS AFFECTING THIS RELIGIOUS GROUP.

    TEXT:

    /// SOUND OF CHANTING PRAYERS -- ESTABLISH AND FADE ///

    THE SOUND OF PRAYERS IN THIS ANCIENT MONASTERY PERCHED ON A REMOTE HILL IN SOUTHEAST TURKEY COULD SOON DISAPPEAR.

    THIS IS THE "MOR GABRIEL" MONASTERY, BUILT NEARLY 16-HUNDRED YEARS AGO IN THE TOWN OF MIDYAT TO SERVE WHAT WAS THEN A HUGE AND THRIVING SYRIAN ORTHODOX COMMUNITY. TODAY, ONLY 30 CHRISTIAN FAMILIES REMAIN HERE -- DOWN FROM TWO-THOUSAND FAMILIES IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURY. GIVEN A CHANCE, MANY SYRIAN ORTHODOX HERE SAY THEY TOO WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE.

    WIDESPREAD UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE ECONOMICALLY-UNDERDEVELOPED SOUTHEAST REGION OF TURKEY, COUPLED WITH 13-YEARS OF CONFLICT BETWEEN THE SECURITY FORCES AND THE P-K-K HAS PROVOKED THE LARGEST WAVE OF SYRIAN ORTHODOX MIGRATION IN THE PAST CENTURY.

    MANY OF THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX FAMILIES HAVE GONE TO ISTANBUL AND TO WESTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES SUCH AS SWEDEN, GERMANY AND THE NETHERLANDS IN THE HOPE OF A MORE SECURE AND PROSPEROUS LIFE.

    THE CHIEF PRIEST, IBRAHIM TURKER IS ONE OF THE FEW ABBOTS SERVING THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX COMMUNITY HERE.

    ///TURKER ACT -- IN TURKISH FADE UNDER///

    FATHER TURKER CONFIRMS THE MAIN REASON HIS CONGREGATION IS LEAVING IS ECONOMIC AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT OR ITS POLICIES. THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX COMMUNITY, HE SAYS, IS PROUD TO BE TURKISH AND IS LOYAL TO THE TURKISH STATE.

    BUT PRIVATELY, MANY SYRIAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS SAY THEY ARE LEAVING NOT ONLY FOR ECONOMIC REASONS, BUT BECAUSE OF THE CONTINUED SUPPRESSION OF THEIR CULTURAL IDENTITY -- A VIEW NONE OF THOSE INTERVIEWED BY V-O-A WAS WILLING TO EXPRESS ON TAPE BECAUSE ALL SAID THEY WERE, IN THEIR WORDS, "TOO SCARED."

    THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX ARE NOT PERMITTED TO EITHER TEACH, PUBLISH OR BROADCAST IN THEIR ANCIENT LANGUAGE KNOWN AS ARAMAIC, WHICH THEY AND MANY SCHOLARS SAY WAS THE LANGUAGE SPOKEN BY JESUS CHRIST.

    TRAINING OF NEW PRIESTS IN TURKEY IS ALSO FORBIDDEN SO THAT THERE ARE FEWER AND FEWER CLERGY TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY.

    UNLIKE THE ARMENIANS AND THE GREEKS, THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX ARE NOT FORMALLY RECOGNIZED AS A MINORITY IN TURKEY. THEREFORE THEY DO NOT RECEIVE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM THE TURKISH STATE.

    MANY SYRIAN ORTHODOX SAY THEY FEEL EVEN MORE INSECURE ABOUT THEIR FUTURE AFTER TURKEY'S FIRST ISLAMIST-LED GOVERNMENT CAME TO POWER LAST YEAR. TENSIONS BETWEEN THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY AND THE ISLAMISTS CAME TO A HEAD EARLIER THIS MONTH AFTER THE ISLAMIST-RUN MUNICIPALITY IN THE SOUTHEASTERN PROVINCE OF DIYARBAKIR DUG UP PARTS OF A SYRIAN ORTHODOX GRAVE AS PART OF A ROAD-WIDENING PROJECT.

    THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX COMMUNITY SAYS THE MUNICIPALITY DUG UP THE CEMETERY WITHOUT ITS AUTHORIZATION AND THAT SOME GRAVES WERE DESECRATED IN THE PROCESS.

    ZUBEYIR KASNAR IS A SYRIAN ORTHODOX JEWELER IN DIYARBAKIR.

    ///KASNAR ACT IN TURKISH -- FADE UNDER///

    HE SAYS HE SAW HUMAN BONES IN THE AREA WHERE THE MUNICIPALITY WORKERS HAD BEEN DIGGING.

    BUT MEHMET ALKIS, A SENIOR OFFICIAL AT THE ISLAMIST-RUN MUNICIPALITY IN DIYARBAKIR, DISPUTES THE CHARGE.

    ///ALKIS ACT IN TURKISH -- FADE UNDE R///

    MR ALKIS DENIES ANY CHRISTIAN GRAVES WERE DUG UP AND INSISTS THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH WAS INFORMED ABOUT THE WORK BEING CARRIED OUT IN AND AROUND THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX CEMETERY.

    LOCAL RESIDENTS IN DIYARBAKIR SAY THERE IS NO WAY OF ESTABLISHING WHICH SIDE IS TELLING THE WHOLE STORY. WHAT IS CERTAIN, THEY SAY, IS THAT THE DISPUTE IS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE TENSIONS BETWEEN THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX MINORITY AND THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES IN THE MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEAST. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/PCF
    17-Mar-97 9:10 AM EST (1410 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] EGYPT/CHRISTIANS (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (CAIRO)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211577
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: EGYPTIAN SECURITY FORCES ARE QUESTIONING MORE THAN 15-HUNDRED PEOPLE IN THE SOUTHERN PROVINCE OF QENA (EDS: "KEN-NA") IN THEIR SEARCH FOR GUNMEN WHO SHOT DEAD 14 PEOPLE IN A VILLAGE NEAR NAG HAMADI (EDS: "NAG HA MA DI"). MORE THAN HALF THE VICTIMS WERE COPTIC CHRISTIANS. V-O-A CAIRO CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS THE COPTIC "POPE SHENOUDA" IS CALLING ON THE GOVERNMENT TO PUNISH THE GUILTY.

    TEXT: POPE SHENOUDA'S PLEA FOR JUSTICE COMES AFTER THE THIRD ATTACK ON CHRISTIANS IN SOUTHERN EGYPT IN LESS THAN A MONTH. MORE THAN 20 CHRISTIANS HAVE BEEN SHOT TO DEATH IN THREE SEPARATE ATTACKS IN MOSTLY CHRISTIAN VILLAGES IN QENA AND MINYA (EDS: "MIH NEE AH") PROVINCES -- CONSIDERED A STRONGHOLD OF MUSLIM MILITANTS.

    THESE WERE THE FIRST MAJOR ATTACKS AGAINST CHRISTIANS SINCE 1992 AND SOME OBSERVERS ARE EXPRESSING CONCERN OVER A POSSIBLE RESURGENCE IN ANTI-CHRISTIAN ACTIONS BY MUSLIM RADICALS.

    THE MAIN RADICAL GROUP, KNOWN AS GAMA-A ISLAMIYA (GA MA AH IS LA MEE AH), DENIES ANY LINKS TO THE LATEST KILLINGS. BUT MUSLIM EXTREMISTS HAVE BURNED CHURCHES AND TARGETED CHRISTIANS IN THEIR FIVE-YEAR CAMPAIGN TO TOPPLE THE GOVERNMENT AND REPLACE IT WITH A PURE ISLAMIC STATE. //OPT// MILITANTS HAVE ALSO ROBBED CHRISTIAN-RUN JEWELRY STORES AND PHARMACIES TO FUND THEIR STRUGGLE. //END OPT//

    IN AN INTERVIEW PUBLISHED MONDAY IN AN EGYPTIAN NEWSPAPER, POPE SHENOUDA SAYS THE MILITANTS ARE TRYING TO UNDERMINE THE COUNTRY'S SECURITY AND THE GOVERNMENT MUST DO MORE TO STOP THE ATTACKS. HE HAS ARGUED IN THE PAST THAT ISLAMIC MILITANTS ARE NOT ONLY SINGLING OUT CHRISTIANS, BUT ALSO ARE TARGETING GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, SECURITY FORCES, POLICE AND TOURISTS IN THEIR FIVE-YEAR FIGHT. POPE SHENOUDA SAYS HE RELIES ON GOOD RELATIONS WITH THE GOVERNMENT AND A LOW PROFILE TO PROTECT THE MINORITY COMMUNITY FROM HARASSMENT AND ATTACK.

    //REST OPT//

    LIFE FOR COPTS IN MUSLIM EGYPT HAS NOT BEEN EASY. COPTIC CHRISTIANS HOLD VERY FEW TOP POSITIONS IN THE GOVERNMENT. THE CHRISTIAN ERA OF EGYPTIAN HISTORY, WHICH SPANNED SEVEN CENTURIES, IS GLOSSED OVER IN PUBLIC SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS. LAWS DATING FROM THE 19TH CENTURY OTTOMAN RULE STILL REQUIRE PRESIDENTIAL APPROVAL FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OR REPAIR OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES.

    EGYPT'S COPTIC COMMUNITY NUMBERS ABOUT EIGHT MILLION, OR A BIT MORE THAN TEN PERCENT OF THE POPULATION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LK/PCF
    17-Mar-97 8:19 AM EST (1319 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] BRITAIN / POLITICS (L) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211594
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITISH PRIME MINISTER JOHN MAJOR (MONDAY) HAS ANNOUNCED MAY FIRST AS THE DATE FOR THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA IN LONDON REPORTS THIS MAKES IT ONE OF THE LONGEST BRITISH ELECTION CAMPAIGNS THIS CENTURY.

    TEXT: BRITISH PRIME MINISTER JOHN MAJOR ENDED MONTHS OF SPECULATION WHEN HE TOLD REPORTERS HE INFORMED QUEEN ELIZABETH OF AN IMPENDING GENERAL ELECTION.

    /// MAJOR ACT ///

    I WOULD LIKE TO FORMALLY CONFIRM THAT I HAVE SEEN HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN THIS MORNING AND SOUGHT HER PERMISSION FOR A DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT AND A GENERAL ELECTION ON THE FIRST OF MAY. I AM DELIGHTED TO TELL YOU THAT HER MAJESTY HAS CONSENTED TO THAT.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. MAJOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT FORMALLY LAUNCHES THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN, AS THE RULING CONSERVATIVE PARTY TRIES TO WHITTLE AWAY AT THE MAIN OPPOSITION LABOUR PARTY'S HUGE LEAD IN PUBLIC OPINION SURVEYS -- AS MUCH AS 25 PERCENTAGE POINTS IN SOME POLLS.

    THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER HAS ALWAYS FAVORED AN EARLY MAY ELECTION DATE. CONSERVATIVE PARTY OFFICIALS HAVE SAID THIS WILL GIVE THEM MORE TIME TO GET THEIR MESSAGE ACROSS TO THE BRITISH PUBLIC -- THAT THEY ARE BETTER OFF UNDER A CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT. MR. MAJOR STRESSED THAT POINT DURING HIS NEWS CONFERENCE IN FRONT OF HIS "TEN DOWNING STREET" OFFICES.

    /// 2ND MAJOR ACT ///

    OVER THE LAST 18 YEARS, WE HAVE SEEN A VERY DRAMATIC CHANGE IN THE LIFESTYLE OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY. THERE HAS BEEN A REVOLUTION IN CHOICE, IN OPPORTUNITY AND IN LIVING STANDARDS. AT A GENERAL ELECTION, THERE IS A CHOICE BETWEEN THE PARTY THAT HAS BROUGHT THAT REVOLUTION ABOUT AND THE TWO PARTIES THAT HAVE OPPOSED ALMSOT EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF THOSE CHANGES.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE TWO MAIN OPPOSITION PARTIES -- LABOUR AND THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS -- WELCOMED MR. MAJOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT OF A MAY FIRST ELECTION DATE. LABOUR PARTY LEADER TONY BLAIR TOLD REPORTERS IT WAS A LONG TIME COMING.

    /// BLAIR ACT ///

    AT LONG LAST. WE ARE DELIGHTED THE CAMPAIGN IS UNDERWAY. AN INFORMAL CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN GOING ON - FRANKLY -- FOR THE LAST YEAR, MORE OR LESS -- AND THERE HAS BEEN VERY LITTLE GOVERNING OF THE COUNTRY. I THINK THE CHOICE WILL BE BETWEEN A CONSERVATIVE PARTY THAT MOST PEOPLE FEEL HAS RUN OUT OF IDEAS AND IS OUT OF DATE AND A NEW AND REVITALIZED LABOUR PARTY.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE BRITISH PUBLIC IS NOW FACING ITS LONGEST ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN 70 YEARS -- A 45-DAY MARATHON LEADING UP TO POLLING DAY, MAY FIRST.

    /// REST OPT ///

    IN ADDITION, THE BRITISH ELECTORATE MAY BE WITNESSING A HISTORIC EVENT. PLANS ARE UNDER WAY TO HAVE THE FIRST DEBATE BETWEEN THE TWO TOP CONTENDERS FOR THE PREMIERSHIP -- MR. BLAIR AND MR. MAJOR. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/JWH
    17-Mar-97 11:50 AM EST (1650 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211599
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TAKING A CUE FROM LOWER PRICES ON WALL STREET LAST FRIDAY, MAJOR STOCK MARKETS IN WESTERN EUROPE MONDAY CAME UNDER HEAVY SELLING PRESSURE. FOR THE CLOSING FIGURES, HERE'S PAUL FRANCUCH FROM OUR LONDON OFFICE.

    TEXT: WORRIES ABOUT HIGHER INTEREST RATES IN THE UNITED STATES A FACTOR CITED FOR LAST WEEK'S SELL-OFF ON WALL STREET -- SEEMED TO WORRY MANY INVESTORS IN EUROPE MONDAY. CONSEQUENTLY, CLOSING PRICES ON STOCK MARKETS IN FRANKFURT, LONDON, AND PARIS WERE ALL LOWER.

    THE SHARPEST DECLINES CAME IN LONDON AND IN PARIS, WHERE THE KEY "CAC 40" INDEX SHED MORE THAN 57-POINTS AT THE CLOSE. LONDON'S "FINANCIAL TIMES" 100 INDEX OF STOCKS FELL 51-POINTS. DECLINES IN FRANKFURT WERE MORE MODEST, WITH THE "DAX 30" INDEX LOSING JUST MORE THAN EIGHT-POINTS FOR THE DAY.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY MARKET, THE U-S DOLLAR LOST A FRACTION OF A CENT AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK, BUT GAINED MORE THAN A CENT AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND. THE CLOSING PRICE FIX FOR AN OUNCE OF GOLD IN LONDON WAS 350-DOLLARS-25 CENTS -- A DECLINE OF TWO-AND-ONE-HALF DOLLARS FROM THE PREVIOUS FIX. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/RAE
    17-Mar-97 1:40 PM EST (1840 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [12] U-S-SERBIA (S) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211613
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED STATES SAYS SERBIA'S SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BOSNIAN SERBS IS PREMATURE BEFORE SERBIA ESTABLISHES FULL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH BOSNIA. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT.

    TEXT: SERBIA SIGNED AN AGREEMENT LAST MONTH TO PLAN COOPERATION WITH THE BOSNIAN SERB REPUBLIC IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND REGIONAL SECURITY. THE TREATY FALLS WITHIN THE BOSNIA PEACE AGREEMENT THAT PROVIDES FOR SPECIAL RELATIONS WITH NEIGHBORING STATES CONSISTENT WITH THE SOVEREIGNTY OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA.

    THE STATE DEPARTMENT DID NOT ACCUSE SERBIA OF ENCOURAGING SEPARATISM FOR THE BOSNIAN SERBS. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN NICHOLAS BURNS DOES CRITICIZE THE AGREEMENT AS PREMATURE,

    ///BURNS ACT///

    IT IS PREMATURE FOR THE GOVERNMENT IN BELGRADE IN SERBIA TO ENTER INTO A FORMAL AGREEMENT WITH ONE OF THE ENTITIES IN BOSNIA HERCEGOVINA BEFORE FULL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS HAVE BEEN OPENED BETWEEN BELGRADE AND SARAJEVO.

    ///END ACT///

    SERBIA HAS AGREED TO EXCHANGE AMBASSADORS WITH BOSNIA LAST YEAR BUT THAT AGREEMENT HAS NOT BEEN CARRIED OUT. THE UNITED STATES AGREES WITH BOSNIAN PRESIDENT ALIJA IZETBEGOVIC THAT NO AGREEMENT BETWEEN BELGRADE AND PALE CAN TAKE EFFECT UNTIL IT IS RATIFIED BY BOSNIA'S NATIONAL PARLIAMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PM/ENE/PT
    17-Mar-97 4:53 PM EST (2153 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [13] YUGO WAR CRIMES (L-ONLY) BY GILLIAN SHARPE (THE HAGUE)

    DATE=3/17/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211606
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HALF A CENTURY, PROSECUTORS IN AN INTERNATIONAL COURT HAVE BROUGHT EVIDENCE OF RAPE. A BOSNIAN SERB WOMAN HAS TOLD THE U-N YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL THAT SHE WAS REPEATEDLY RAPED IN A MUSLIM-CROAT-RUN PRISON CAMP IN CENTRAL BOSNIA. ONE OF THOSE SHE ACCUSES OF ASSAULTING HER IS AMONG FOUR MEN -- THREE MUSLIMS AND A CROAT -- WHO ARE CHARGED WITH COMMITTING WAR CRIMES AT THE "CELEBICI" PRISON CAMP. GILLIAN SHARPE REPORTS FROM THE COURT AT THE HAGUE.

    TEXT: THE WOMAN -- 47-YEAR-OLD GROZDANA CECEZ -- KEPT HER HEAD BOWED THROUGHOUT HER TESTIMONY. HER CASE IS THE FIRST OF RAPE BEING PROSECUTED BY AN INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL SINCE JAPANESE OFFICERS WERE TRIED AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

    FOR MRS. CECEZ, THIS WAS A VERY PERSONAL STORY. SHE SAYS AMONG THOSE WHO RAPED HER WAS DEPUTY CAMP COMMANDER HAZIM DELIC. HE WAS SITTING JUST A FEW METERS AWAY FROM HER, NERVOUSLY CHEWING GUM. MRS. CECEZ TOLD THE COURT THAT THE RAPES BEGAN ON HER VERY FIRST NIGHT IN CELEBICI. SHE SAYS SHE WAS TAKEN TO A ROOM BY MR. DELIC AND TWO OTHERS, AND THAT MR. DELIC THEN RAPED HER. HER WORDS ARE SPOKEN BY THE COURTROOM TRANSLATOR.

    ///CECEZ ACT -- THROUGH TRANSLATOR ///

    I COULDN'T DO ANYTHING. I WAS LYING THERE AND HE WAS RAPING ME. I HAD NO WAY OF DEFENDING MYSELF. I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS GOING ON OR WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME. I WAS CRYING. I SAID "MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I COME TO LIVE THROUGH?" I WAS COMPLETELY BESIDE MYSELF -- TO TRAMPLE A WOMAN'S PRIDE LIKE THAT.

    ///END ACT///

    MRS. CECEZ TOLD JUDGES SHE HAS NEVER BEEN THE SAME AGAIN. LATER THAT NIGHT, SHE SAID ANOTHER OF THE ACCUSED -- CAMP COMMANDER ZDRAVKO MUCIC -- CAME INTO THE ROOM. HE ASKED HER HAD ANYTHING HAPPENED? SHE WAS TOO SCARED TO SPEAK, BUT SAID IT MUST HAVE BEEN OBVIOUS SHE HAD BEEN RAPED. MR. MUCIC IS ACCUSED OF FAILING TO STOP SUCH ATROCITIES FROM HAPPENING.

    // OPT //

    MRS. CECEZ TOLD THE COURT SHE HAD LATER BEEN RAPED BY FOUR MEN, WHOM SHE COULD NOT NAME. "THEY WERE YOUNG," SHE SAID. "I COULD HAVE BEEN THEIR MOTHER."

    ///OPT /// SECOND CECEZ ACT -- THRU TRANSLATOR///

    IT WAS DIFFICULT FOR ME. I WAS A WOMAN WHO ONLY LIVED FOR ONE MAN AND I WAS HIS ALL MY LIFE. I THINK THAT I WAS JUST GETTING SEPARATED FROM MY BODY AT THIS TIME. HE TOLD ME NOT TO SAY THIS TO ANYONE, AND SOON THE CANDLE WENT OUT AND I GOT UP, AND THEN ANOTHER MAN CAME AFTER THAT -- I DID NOT SEE THAT ONE, AND HE RAPED ME, TOO.

    /// END ACT ///

    // OPT //

    SHE RECOGNIZED ONE OF HER ATTACKERS AS AN ACQUAINTANCE OF HER SON'S FROM BEFORE THE WAR. // END OPT //

    MRS. CECEZ IS THE FIRST WOMAN TO TESTIFY TO THE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL ABOUT BEING RAPED. ANOTHER WOMAN IS ALSO DUE TO GIVE EVIDENCE. SHE, TOO, SAYS MR. DELIC RAPED HER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/GS/PCF/MMK
    17-Mar-97 2:57 PM EST (1957 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [14] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/17/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10070
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NEAL LAVON
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON MONDAY MARCH 17TH //

    INTRO: THIS IS SAINT PATRICK'S DAY, THE HOLIDAY HONORING THE ANCIENT IRISH CATHOLIC PRIEST WHO CONVERTED THE CELTIC IRISH FROM DRUIDS TO CHRISTIANS. IN HIS HONOR, THE CHICAGO RIVER IS DYED GREEN FOR THE DAY AND IN WASHINGTON, THE WASHINGTON TIMES PRINTS PART OF ITS FRONT PAGE IN GREEN INK.

    IN MONDAY'S EDITORIALS, WHILE ST. PATRICK IS NOT MENTIONED, THERE IS PLENTY OF COMMENT ON ALBANIA; THE UPCOMING HELSINKI SUMMIT MEETING; THE QUALIFICATIONS OF ANTHONY LAKE TO HEAD THE C-I-A; THE REEMERGENCE OF CHAIN GANGS IN SOME U-S PRISONS AND AN IMPORTANT SUPREME COURT CASE ON SIN IN CYBERSPACE.

    NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK IS _______________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: SEVERAL PAPERS ARE LAMENTING THE APPARENT COLLAPSE OF AUTHORITY IN ALBANIA AND THE WORLD'S RESPONSE TO IT. IN NEW ENGLAND, THE BOSTON GLOBE SAYS:

    VOICE: "THUS FAR THE UPRISING HAS TAKEN THE FORM NOT OF A CIVIL WAR BUT OF AN ANARCHY UNPARALLELED ON THE CONTINENT. .....THE OPPOSITION POLITICIANS IN TIRANA HAVE NO AUTHORITY OVER THE MOBS. THE REALITY IS THAT ONCE THE ARMY AND THE SECRET POLICE REFUSED TO DEFEND THE GOVERNMENT, POWER LEFT [MR.] BERISHA AND FLOWED INTO THE STREET. HE WILL PAY FOR RUNNING A STATE THAT HAS THE FORM BUT NOT THE CONTENT OF A DEMOCRACY."

    TEXT: THE WASHINGTON TIMES SUMS UP ITS VIEW THIS WAY:

    VOICE: "[OPT] IT IS NOT TOO MUCH TO SAY THAT ALBANIA TODAY IS .... THE LATEST CHALLENGE TO THE EUROPEAN NATIONS, WHO NOT ONLY ARE FACING FESTERING VIOLENCE ON THEIR SOUTHERN FLANK AGAIN, BUT MASSIVE NUMBERS OF REFUGEES AS WELL. BY SOME ESTIMATES, AS MANY AS ONE THIRD OF ALBANIA'S POPULATION OF 3-POINT-5 MILLION MAY FLEE [END OPT] ..... UNDERSTANDABLY, THIS IS A CRISIS NO ONE WOULD BE EAGER TO TACKLE, [DEAL WITH] BUT WITH LARGE POPULATIONS OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE BALKANS, THERE IS THE VERY REAL POSSIBILITY FOR FURTHER DESTABILIZATION OF THE REGION. LIKE IT OR NOT, IT HAS TO BE DEALT WITH."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: U-S-A TODAY NOTES THAT THE HARD AND BLOODY LESSONS LEARNED IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA HAVE APPARENTLY BEEN FORGOTTEN IN ALBANIA.

    VOICE: "U-S OFFICIALS EMPHASIZE THAT ALBANIA IS NO BOSNIA BECAUSE VIOLENCE THERE FLOWS FROM 'SIMPLE DISORDER' RATHER THAN CIVIL WAR. THAT'S TRUE. ALBANIA WILL NOT TURN INTO A GENOCIDAL BLOOD BATH. BUT THE FACT THAT THE SITUATION IS MORE MANAGEABLE IS HARDLY AN EXCUSE FOR DOING LESS. ..... THE U-S HAS THE POWER AND OBLIGATION TO PROD THE EUROPEANS INTO QUICKLY CONTROLLING THE VIOLENCE IN THEIR MIDST."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: AN AILING PRESIDENT CLINTON, WEARING A KNEE BRACE BECAUSE OF A WEEKEND STUMBLE THAT FORCED HIM TO UNDERGO ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY, LEAVES SOON FOR A SUMMIT IN HELSINKI WITH PRESIDENT YELTSIN OF RUSSIA. AND TODAY'S WASHINGTON POST SAYS:

    VOICE: "PRESIDENT CLINTON TRAVELS TO FINLAND ON WEDNESDAY IN THE MIDDLE OF A HIGH-WIRE [DIFFICULT BALANCING] EFFORT TO ACCOMPLISH TWO APPARENTLY CONTRADICTORY THINGS AT ONCE. HE IS DETERMINED THAT N-A-T-O, THE MILITARY ALLIANCE OF NORTH AMERICAN AND WEST EUROPEAN DEMOCRACIES, WILL COMMIT ITSELF BY JULY TO ACCEPT A FIRST WAVE OF NEW MEMBERS FROM AMONG FORMER WARSAW PACT NATIONS. BUT HE ALSO WANTS N-A-T-O AND RUSSIA TO FORM A NEW, COOPERATIVE RELATIONSHIP. ..... BOTH GOALS ARE WORTHY AND - - AS MR. CLINTON HAS STATED - - NOT CONTRADICTORY."

    TEXT: SEVERAL PAPERS ARE COMMENTING ON THE QUALIFICATIONS OF FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR ANTHONY LAKE TO HEAD THE C-I-A, AND AT LEAST ONE, THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, FINDS THEM INADEQUATE.

    VOICE: "THE NATION'S 30-BILLION-DOLLARS-A-YEAR INTELLIGENCE EMPIRE, EMPLOYING TENS OF THOUSANDS, IS DEEPLY TROUBLED. WHOEVER BECOMES THE NATION'S NEW TOP SPY WILL HAVE TO RESTRUCTURE THE INTELLIGENCE APPARATUS, NOT TO MENTION CONVINCE AMERICANS THE NATION STILL NEEDS ONE. SADLY, THE PRESIDENT'S CHOICE ..... ANTHONY LAKE, JUST ISN'T THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB. ..... HE DOESN'T HAVE THE INTIMATE FEEL FOR THE C-I-A NEEDED TO MOLD IT TO THE NEEDS OF A NEW ERA. NOR DOES HE HAVE THE MANAGEMENT TRACK RECORD TO SUGGEST HE CAN RUN A HUGE INTELLIGENCE EMPIRE."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: NEWSDAY, ON LONG ISLAND (NEW YORK) AGREES. IT CITES LAST WEEK'S SENATE CONFIRMATION TESTIMONY BY MR. LAKE ABOUT HIS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE ATTEMPT BY CHINESE OPERATIVES TO CHANNEL MONEY INTO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN.

    VOICE: "[MR.] LAKE INSISTED ... HE KNEW NOTHING .... ABOUT A MEETING LAST JUNE BETWEEN THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION AND TWO OF HIS OWN STAFFERS AT THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL, IN WHICH THE AGENTS PASSED ALONG INTELLIGENCE ABOUT CHINESE ATTEMPTS TO INFLUENCE U-S POLICY WITH ILLEGAL POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS. ..... DID [MR.] LAKE SO MISMANAGE THE N-S-C THAT VITAL INFORMATION NEVER TRICKLED UPWARD? OR ..... DID HE WANT TO AVOID HEARING BAD NEWS? ABOUT THE BEST THAT ANYONE CAN SAY OF THAT SORRY PERFORMANCE IS THAT [MR.] LAKE IS NOT ALONE."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: CHAIN GANGS ARE MAKING A COMEBACK IN SOME SOUTHERN PRISON SYSTEMS. PRISONERS ARE SHACKLED TOGETHER AND, UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF ARMED GUARDS, SENT OUT TO WORK ON ROADS AND OTHER PUBLIC PROJECTS. MONDAY'S PORTLAND [MAINE] PRESS HERALD SAYS OF THE PRACTICE:

    VOICE: "CHAIN GANGS ARE A SIGN OF DESPAIR IN THE FEW STATES AND COUNTIES THAT HAVE REINSTITUTED THEM - - A SIGN THAT THE AUTHORITIES HAVE GIVEN UP, THAT THEY NO LONGER CAN MAKE PROFESSIONAL PENOLOGICAL METHODS WORK, THAT BRUTE FORCE AND PUBLIC HUMILIATION ARE THE ONLY METHODS LEFT TO THEM. . ... NOW QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY AUTHORITIES IN ... MARYLAND, MAY TAKE THE DEHUMANIZATION ONE STEP FURTHER, AND OUTFIT CHAIN GANG PRISONERS WITH 'STUN BELTS.' .... WITH THE BELTS ... GUARDS CAN .... ACTIVATE A 50-THOUSAND-VOLT, EIGHT-SECOND BURST OF ELECTRICITY THAT WILL INCAPACITATE A PRISONER FOR AS LONG AS TEN MINUTES [LEAVING HIM] WRITHING ON THE GROUND. ..... CHAIN GANGS AND STUN BELTS DEGRADE THOSE WHO USE THEM AS MUCH AS THEY DEGRADE THE CONVICTS."

    TEXT: DEALING WITH ANOTHER ASPECT OF POSSIBLE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, THE SUPREME COURT THIS WEEK TAKES ON A CASE OF BANNING PORNOGRAPHY FROM THE INTERNET (THE WORLDWIDE COMPUTER NETWORK), ELICITING THIS COMMENT FROM TODAY'S LOS ANGELES TIMES.

    VOICE: "OPPONENTS OF THE [COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT] RIGHTLY ARGUE THAT THE ACT STRAYS FAR AFIELD OF REASONABLE INTENT. IT ASSAULTS FREE SPEECH, AMOUNTS TO BROAD CENSORSHIP AND HAS ALREADY BEEN VIEWED BY LOWER COURTS AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. WHAT'S SO WRONG? FIRST, IT WOULD HAVE NO EFFECT AT ALL ON THE MANY FOREIGN SOURCES FOUND ON THE NET. ALSO, LOWER COURTS HAVE SAID ... THE LAW IS UNCONSTITUTIONALLY VAGUE IN ITS USE OF THE TERM 'INDECENT.' ..... IT'S ALSO EASIER NOW FOR PARENTS TO BLOCK OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL SO THAT IT CANNOT BE VIEWED ON A HOME COMPUTER. ..... THE SUPREME COURT SHOULD REJECT THE DECENCY ACT ON THESE GROUNDS."

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS FROM TODAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/NL
    17-Mar-97 10:18 AM EST (1518 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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