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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-08-23

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, August 23, 2002


  • [01] EU team arrives to monitor measures against bird-trapping
  • [02] Trying out sex education
  • [03] Zampelas to take on duties of suspended sewage chief
  • [04] Clerides: I evacuated Denktash's family n 1963
  • [05] American found bound in hotel room
  • [06] First success in chromosome screening pregnancy
  • [07] Minister presses on with efforts to solve bank dispute
  • [08] Paphos man held over parking spot shooting
  • [09] Nigerian woman seeking asylum after escaping deportation
  • [10] Officers charged with beating suspect still in service
  • [11] EU funding new emissions research

  • [01] EU team arrives to monitor measures against bird-trapping

    By George Psyllides

    A EUROPEAN Union delegation has arrived on the island to examine the problem of bird trapping using mist nets and lime-sticks, and file a report to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.

    The five-member delegation from the Birdlife International organisation will be staying on the island for 10 days to look into the extent of the problem, which has become a huge industry.

    Despite being illegal since 1974, mist nets and lime-sticks have been used widely and it is only recently that authorities, bowing to EU pressure, have attempted to stem the 'tradition' in earnest.

    The head of the delegation, Graham Eliot, said bird trapping was an issue of concern for Birdlife as well as the EU.

    Speaking after a meeting with the head of the Game Department, Pantelis Hadjigerou, Eliot said the delegation would be reporting its findings to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.

    Eliot said he realised bird trapping was a popular 'sport' on the island and that was where the problem lay.

    He said Europe was worried that bird trapping in Cyprus was illegal and was not kept in check.

    "We have heard that trapping decreased in the spring, which is good news," Eliot said.

    He added that he hoped the same would happen in the autumn and in the future.

    Eliot pointed out that the problem with Cyprus was that there were no checks on this kind of hunting and very rare and important bird species were being killed using trapping equipment.

    Hadjigerou said the government was determined to stamp out bird trapping and would not allow the use of mist nets and lime-sticks or any other illegal method of bird trapping.

    "Anything prohibited according to the conventions signed by the Republic, the obligations we have as a state, we will keep," Hadjigerou said.

    He added: "I am stressing that especially this year, the law will be strictly enforced and we will be merciless."

    Hadjigerou said authorities would carry out checks at restaurants and places which sell the birds.

    "We will protect legal hunting and game, and hunters should not be afraid because the European visit has nothing to do with legal hunting," he said.

    He said bird trapping had to be rooted out in order to prevent Cyprus from being humiliated in Europe, as well as offset calls by pressure groups for tourists to boycott the island.

    Hadjigerou said the issue had taken on huge dimensions and people had to understand there was no way these activities should continue.

    "Last year, we received a warning from the Council of Europe that they would give us one year; they told us they would discuss the matter again in December and if the Republic did not show the necessary will to stamp out the phenomenon or limit it to a great extent, then there would be repercussions on our accession course, tourism and other areas," he said.

    Birdlife said it would also protest against the erection of the British aerial in the Akrotiri Salt Lake.

    Elliot said the organisation was concerned about British intentions, and a "huge problem was created because the aerial was too close to the salt lake, which is an important area for Flamingos and other larger birds.

    "We are worried it will destroy the ecosystem and that birds will be crashing into the aerial," Elliot said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Trying out sex education

    By Sofia Kannas

    FULL sex education will be introduced to Cypriot schools this year in a pilot scheme prepared by the Education Ministry. Three secondary schools on the island will take part in the scheme, which aims to build on the minimal sex education provided presently.

    However, instead of introducing separate classes for sex education, teachers at the schools are expected to incorporate the programme into existing lessons.

    "There will be an inter-disciplinary approach to the subject," a Ministry source said yesterday. " The programme will not just include sex education, but related issues such as communication, inter-gender relationships, and decision-making. Teaching will take the form of in-class workshops and discussions. We have already prepared leaflets for the children, and teachers will be given special training."

    Sotiris Charalambous, President of the Cyprus Teachers' Association (OELMEK), believes the Education Ministry has been too hasty in drawing up the pilot scheme.

    "We feel that a more comprehensive plan should have been prepared by the Ministry so that sex education can be introduced in all schools as soon as possible, and not just on a temporary, experimental basis."

    Charalambous expressed his regret that the Teachers' Association had not been properly consulted by the government when considering the scheme. He also voiced his concern that specialists such as sexologists, psychologists and sociologists would not form part of the team in charge of the programme.

    "Without thorough organisation, there is the potential for the scheme to adversely affect the children we are trying to educate," he added.

    Another member of the Association, Christophoros Christodoulou, was critical of the Education Ministry's decision not to introduce sex education to primary schools.

    "Sex education must be extended to include primary school students," he stated. "The fifth and sixth forms should be included in the sex education programme if we are to ensure future generations are better informed with regard to this issue."

    The pilot scheme will be introduced from this October, by which time the Education Ministry is confident teachers involved will have received sufficient training.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Zampelas to take on duties of suspended sewage chief

    By a Staff Reporter

    NICOSIA Mayor Michalakis Zampelas yesterday announced he would temporarily undertake the duties of the suspended director of the Sewage Board, Christodoulos Yiallouros.

    Yiallouros was suspended after allegations he had falsely presented himself as a member of the UK-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The ACCA says Yiallouros was never on their books. Police and disciplinary investigations have been launched against him.

    The Mayor told the Cyprus Mail yesterday the Board would not appoint a new director until the investigation against Yiallouros had been completed.

    "I had a two-hour meeting with CID officers, with whom I discussed the case so far and presented them with all the facts, from the day I received the call from the president of the Cyprus Certified Public accountants until yesterday's meeting when we chose not to appoint a new director of the Sewage Board," Zampelas said.

    "I also informed them that I would be undertaking the duties of the director of the Sewage Board until the investigation is completed."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Clerides: I evacuated Denktash's family n 1963

    By George Psyllides

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides said yesterday he had personally evacuated Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's family from the Turkish Cypriot quarter of Nicosia during the intercommunal clashes of December 1963, confirming a report which has landed two Turkish Cypriot journalists in jail for libel.

    Denktash had claimed it was the UN and not Clerides who evacuated his family. But in a written statement yesterday, which effectively left Denktash exposed, Clerides said he had picked up Denktash's wife and two children and driven them to Nicosia airport from where they flew to Ankara.

    Clerides' statement came in the wake of the jailing of two Turkish Cypriot journalists who had been sued by Denktash for libel.

    Sener Levent, editor of Afrika (former Avrupa) and his reporter Memhud Ener were each jailed for six months over an article criticising Denktash and the breakaway regime.

    Afrika were accused of libelling Denktash, the occupation army and Turkey, in a July 29, 1999 article headlined "who is the number one traitor?"

    The article reported that Clerides had responded to Denktash's request to evacuate his family during December 1963.

    Afrika said the incident had been recorded by Clerides in his memoirs, extracts of which were reproduced by the newspaper.

    Levent later interviewed Clerides, who confirmed the incident, but the contents of the interview were not admitted as evidence during the libel 'trial'.

    In a written statement yesterday, Clerides said: "I wish to repeat once more what is included in my book My Deposition, and which I confirmed to the Avrupa reporters when they visited me at my office some time ago.

    "During the intercommunal clashes of December 1963 I responded to a request by Mr. Denktash and helped in the departure of his wife and children from Cyprus to Ankara by picking them up with my car from the Turkish quarter of Nicosia and carrying them to the Nicosia International Airport."

    Earlier this week, Afrika urged Clerides to break his silence concerning the matter.

    On Wednesday Afrika published articles by Levent and Ener, which were written behind bars.

    "I am a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus," Levent said.

    "Like many practices applied since 1974 in northern Cyprus, all the actions against our newspaper and the fact that we are in prison at the moment have no legitimacy.

    "The voice of our people has been oppressed in northern Cyprus.

    "Let no one doubt about this; Cyprus will definitely belong only to the Cypriots."

    In his article, Ener openly accused Turkey of occupying the north and violating the human rights of Cypriots.

    "Despite your reaction, you cannot find justification and support for your occupation game from the world's public opinion.

    "Do you have the right to scatter the population you have brought by hiding behind the shield of your rights of guarantee and by hiding the fact that you violate the rights of Cypriots?

    "Would you like it if the same things were done to you?

    "You do not give rights to 25 million Kurds and you want a separate state for a handful of Cypriots?

    "Give back the rights of the Cypriots, which you have stolen; it is our most natural right to accede to the EU together with the Republic of Cyprus and be respected as human beings," Ener said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] American found bound in hotel room

    By a Staff Reporter

    A 57-YEAR-old American was yesterday found tied up in his Larnaca hotel room and claimed he had been beaten and robbed by two men who invaded his room on Wednesday night.

    Robert Donald Boyde told police that the two men knocked on the door and when he opened it he was punched in the face and held at knifepoint.

    Police said Boyde was taken to Larnaca hospital where he was treated for a fractured left arm and other minor wounds.

    He was kept in for observation.

    Boyde was found in his room at the Palm Beach hotel at around 10am after he failed to show up at a convention he was taking part in.

    Police said the 57-year-old was found tied up with plastic cord and had marks on various parts of his body indicating he had been beaten.

    He told police two individuals attacked him at around 11pm on Wednesday and after beating and tying him up they stole a laptop, a wristwatch, a mobile phone, and 100 euros and 30 in cash.

    In a strange twist however, police found the missing items under a hotel balcony later on in the day.

    Police are concentrating their Investigations within the hotel.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] First success in chromosome screening pregnancy

    By a Staff Reporter

    A HEALTHY 3.61kg baby girl was born at the Makarois Hospital in Nicosia on Wednesday, the first in Cyprus where the embryo had been externally screened for defective chromosomes.

    According to the Head of the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Ward, the 34-year old mother had been unsuccessful in five previous attempts to become pregnant using IVF treatment. In his announcement, the doctor explained that chromosome disorders were often the cause for miscarriages and failure of the IVF treatment, especially in women over 36.

    "The problem is solved, to a greater extent, with a simple examination of the embryo's genetic profile before it is placed in the womb," he said, "Eggs are checked on the third day after fertilisation for possible chromosome disorders, with only the healthy ones replaced in the womb. This method reduces the risk of subsequent miscarriage or failure of the IVF treatment."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Minister presses on with efforts to solve bank dispute

    By George Psyllides

    LABOUR Minister Andreas Moushiouttas said yesterday he would continue his efforts to resolve the dispute between the banks and their employees, even though the situation was still serious.

    Speaking after a meeting with the bank employers' association (BEA), Moushiouttas said the climate of the meeting "gave him the right to continue his efforts to find, if possible, a peaceful solution in the dispute".

    BEA Chairman Michalis Tagaroulias urged reporters not to ask for details on the course of the negotiations, because it was a sensitive period.

    Moushiouttas avoided commenting on whether the BEA had moved from its positions, repeating that the climate in the meeting would help him to continue his efforts to resolve the issue.

    "I'm not saying the situation has changed, but the climate gives the ministry the right to believe that it can continue with its efforts," Moushiouttas said.

    The minister ruled out the possibility of submitting a proposal for resolving the dispute today.

    After meeting with the employees' union (ETYK) later on in the day, Moushiouttas repeated that the conditions were there for his ministry to continue its efforts.

    ETYK Secretary-general Loizos Hadjicostis said his union had not changed its positions, which he said were very flexible and always in good faith.

    "We believe that they give the mediation service the chance to do its job," Hadjicostis said.

    He said he was sure the dispute would be resolved, adding, however, that he did not know how the two sides were going to reach an agreement.

    Central Bank Governor Christodoulos Christodoulou warned yesterday that if the dispute developed into a full frontal confrontation, the banking sector would be hurt so badly that the "country's economy would remain without lungs".

    Speaking after Moushiouttas, Christodoulou said it was not the time to settle scores considering the serious problems faced by the country's economy.

    Asked whether the Central Bank could apply pressure on the two sides, Christodoulou said that it would be wrong to talk about pressure.

    The two sides have been at loggerheads for the past month over the renewal of collective agreements.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] Paphos man held over parking spot shooting

    By Soteris Charalambous

    A 30-YEAR-old Paphos man appeared in court yesterday, accused of a shooting incident sparked by a dispute over a parking spot.

    According to police, Charalambos Antoniou Palazis fired two shots from a shotgun into the air before firing into the apartment opposite his own. The incident took place at around 8.30pm at an apartment block in Yeroskipou near Paphos.

    The apartment that was fired at is occupied by Simella Kyrikithou from Greece. According to reports, a couple, two minors and a relative were in the flat at the time of the incident. Pellets penetrated the door although nobody was injured.

    According to witnesses, Palazis was "incensed" and abandoned the scene soon after the shooting. There was a general panic among residents in the area until police arrived at the scene, they added. Palazis was later found and arrested, the shotgun was also found and taken as evidence. Police said the dispute had broken out over a parking spot.

    The shooting follows a similar incident in mid-July, where a father and son were shot dead during an argument over a parking space. Andreas Charalambous Skyllouriotis, 60, and his 38-year old son Charalambos were shot at point blank range. A neighbour is on trial for murder.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] Nigerian woman seeking asylum after escaping deportation

    By Soteris Charalambous

    AN UNMARRIED pregnant Nigerian woman who could face death by stoning if she returned to her home is seeking political asylum in Cyprus, according to Doros Polycarou, head of the Immigrant Support Action Group

    Polycarpou said the fate of Atanda Fatimo, 21, appeared secure in Cyprus, despite the expiry of her residence permit in June.

    "She is applying for refugee status, and I'm confident she will get it," said Polycarpou. He described the situation in Nigeria as "unlikely to change much", which increases her prospects of a successful application.

    Polycarpou said Attorney-general Alecos Markides has agreed she would be granted a temporary residence visa while her application was processed, although he warned "the Refugee Department is already facing a large number of pending applications for refugee status, and it may take years before a decision is reached."

    At present, Fatimo - who is seven months pregnant - is staying with friends, although she may soon find a place of her own. "We are helping her to apply for welfare benefits," said Polycarpou. "She is entitled to financial support for housing and basic needs."

    The question of a work permit for the mother-to-be remains unresolved. "We will support her application (for a work permit) but it depends on if one of the colleges will offer her employment," said Polycarpou.

    Fatimo was released from police custody on Wednesday. She had been held for two days after being sent back from Ireland for trying to enter with a forged passport and had faced deportation back to Nigeria if convicted. Fatimo comes from northern Nigeria, where Sharia law prescribes that sex outside marriage is punishable by death by stoning.

    Asked on Fatimo's condition after the ordeal of the last few days, Polycarpou said: "She's fine, in fact she is very well." And pointing to the publicity surrounding the case of Amina Lawal Kurami - condemned to death by stoning in Nigeria for having a child out of wedlock - he added, "Fatimo is fortunate that the plight of women in her condition is currently in the public eye".

    "Fatimo's case has attracted a lot of sympathy," said Polycarpou, "We have had many calls from Cypriots offering support, some have even offered to adopt her baby."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] Officers charged with beating suspect still in service

    By a Staff Reporter

    POLICE said yesterday they would await the outcome of a trial of two officers charged in connection with the beating of a civilian before deciding whether to suspend them.

    On Wednesday, the attorney-general's office filed charges against two drugs squad officers in connection with the alleged beating of a civilian at a Nicosia petrol station they had been staking in anticipation of a drugs sale.

    The incident took place in July, at a petrol station in Nisou.

    Sergeant Kypros Mouzouros and Officer George Christofides were charged with causing grievous bodily harm and assault with real bodily harm after independent investigator Costas Nicolaides named them in his report.

    The two allegedly beat up Lefteris Georgiou, 29, on the night of July 22 after he tried to flee the scene of a police ongoing operation.

    Georgiou drove into the petrol station to fill his car when, according to reports, he was grabbed and beaten by officers after he ignored their calls to stop.

    Police said Georgiou drove into the station but when he saw the officers, he reversed in a bid to abandon the area.

    The officers thought Georgiou was a suspect and tried to stop him.

    In the ensuing scuffle, the 29-year-old was allegedly beaten by officers, who then drove him to the police station with a gun to his head.

    Deputy Chief of Police Tasos Panayiotou said yesterday that the force would wait for the outcome of the trial and then decide on whether to suspend the officers.

    Panayiotou explained that the force's command saw no reason to suspend the officers since they could not in any way influence the outcome of the investigation, which has already been completed.

    Panayiotou revealed that the force has not yet received any official briefing on the matter but he did expect deputy attorney-general Petros Clerides to inform them in writing.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [11] EU funding new emissions research

    By Sofia Kannas

    THE EUROPEAN Union is funding new research into electromagnetic fields across Cyprus, Communications Minister Averoff Neophytou confirmed yesterday.

    The EU helped with purchasing new equipment for the study, which is being carried out by teams from The University of Cyprus and the Metsovio Polytechnic in Greece, in partnership with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).

    Asked what the main purpose of the study was, Neophytou stated, "the research teams are measuring electromagnetic fields on the island to ensure that levels comply with EU standards."

    " It is all part of the process for EU harmonisation," he added.

    The news comes amid the controversy which erupted earlier this month over Nicosia radio stations transmitting over legal emission levels.

    Another source at the Communications Ministry stated, "The Ministry is currently investigating transmission levels, and checks to stem illegal transmissions are regularly performed."

    "If we find a station is transmitting over legal levels, the Broadcasting Authority informs that station, and closes it down," he added.

    He also emphasised that the Ministry was continuing its recommendations for antennas and transmitters to be moved outside urban areas, away from densely populated areas.

    Meanwhile, Neophytou denied claims that provisions for a new law on radio emissions were being formulated by the government.

    "We do not need any changes to the existing law," he said. "The law itself is sound, and we are cracking down on stations which violate it," he added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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