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Voice of America, 00-04-03

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY / KURDS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [02] TURKEY / RIGHTS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [03] BOSNIA / WAR CRIMES (L-O) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)
  • [04] U-S / BOSNIA ARREST (L-ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)
  • [05] AFRICA / EUROPE (L) BY SCOTT BOBB (CAIRO)
  • [06] HUNGARY - ENVIRONMENT (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [07] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [08] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY JON TKACH (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] TURKEY / KURDS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=4/3/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260884
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Turkish troops are pushing ahead with their annual spring offensive against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. Amberin Zaman in Ankara reports the cross-border incursion has prompted sharp protests from Baghdad.

    TEXT: Thousands of Turkish troops, backed by attack helicopters and fighter jets, are continuing search operations for rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or P-K-K, in the rugged mountains of Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. Details of the operation remain vague, but a senior Turkish military commander said (last week) that preparations were under way to in his words to eliminate about three-thousand P-K-K rebels believed to be hiding across the border. Pro-government Iraqi media called for an immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops from the region lashed out against what they term a flagrant violation of Iraq's territorial sovereignty and. The Turkish offensive comes despite the P-K-K's announcement last year that it has ended its 15-year armed campaign for Kurdish independence. The rebels say they will take their fight to the diplomatic arena, and that their goal is no longer independence but securing cultural and language rights for Turkey's estimated 12-million Kurds. It remains unclear just how the P-K-K leadership will respond to what Kurdish activists here describe as the latest sign of Turkish intransigence. Turkish officials insist that the P-K-K's newly-conciliatory stance is aimed at saving their imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan from execution. Military analysts say it also reflects the string of crushing military defeats the rebels have suffered during the past few years. Ocalan was handed the death sentence on treason charges by a Turkish court last June. Turkey's coalition government, led by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, put a stay on Ocalan's execution pending a review of the verdict by the European Court of Human Rights. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/JWH/WTW 03-Apr-2000 10:44 AM EDT (03-Apr-2000 1444 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] TURKEY / RIGHTS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=4/3/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260890
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Turkey's constitutional court is deciding whether to ban the country's largest pro-Kurdish party the People's Democracy Party, known as Hadep. Turkey's chief prosecutor is demanding the ban on charges the party is acting as the political arm of separatist Kurdish rebels. Amberin Zaman spoke to a senior Hadep official about the latest developments concerning the case and filed this report from Ankara.

    TEXT: It is business as usual at the Ankara headquarters of the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party, Hadep. cores of party supporters file in and out of the building to air their grievances and watch banned Kurdish television broadcasts via a satellite dish perched atop the building. But behind closed doors, party officials ponder their future as Turkey's constitutional court weighs its decision on whether or not to ban the political party. The party is charged with acting as the legal arm of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party, the P-K-K. Analysts say the evidence is flimsy. It includes a calendar published by the party, which Turkish authorities say contains maps of an independent Kurdish state. Party officials maintain it is just a green blur. The tearing down of a Turkish flag and the hoisting of a P-K-K banner in its place is also being cited as evidence of the party's alleged separatist agenda. In a separate case, 18 party executives, including Chairman Ahmet Turan Demir, are facing varying jail sentences on charges of promoting Kurdish separatism in speeches they made. P-K-K leader, Abdullah Ocalan, was handed the death sentence on treason charges last year. Among the lawyers defending Ocalan during his courtroom trial on a prison island near Istanbul was Mahmut Sakar. Mr. Sakar is the secretary general of Hadep. He acknowledges that ethnic Kurds who voted 37 Hadep party mayors into office during nationwide elections last year also feel sympathy for the rebels.

    /// SAKAR ACT IN TURKISH, FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Sakar insists, however, that there are no links between Hadep and the P-K-K. Yet he concedes that both his party and the P-K-K have made what he calls - mistakes. Mr. Sakar is especially critical of a now abandoned rebel campaign to murder the families of a Kurdish militia siding with the state. Women and children were not spared, their crops and livestock destroyed. Hadep party officials say they wholeheartedly endorse Ocalan's decision to end his armed fight for Kurdish independence and to pursue a non-violent struggle for greater rights for the Kurdish people within the borders of a unified Turkish state. Mr. Sakar says he believes that Turkey's approval last December as a candidate for full European Union membership means democratic reforms have become inevitable.

    /// SAKAR ACT, FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Sakar agrees that change will not come easily. He says there are what he terms - various forces within the ruling establishment who do not want the Kurdish conflict to end, because if there is a peaceful solution they will lose their influence.

    /// SAKAR ACT THREE, FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Sakar says he sees the hand of those forces behind the arrests last month of three Kurdish mayors accused of links with the P-K-K. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/GE/RAE 03-Apr-2000 13:16 PM EDT (03-Apr-2000 1716 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] BOSNIA / WAR CRIMES (L-O) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)

    DATE=4/3/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260878
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO-led peacekeeping troops in Bosnia have handed war crimes prosecutors in The Hague their biggest catch to date. Lauren Comiteau reports Bosnian-Serb political leader Momcilo Krajisnik has been taken to The Hague following his arrest early Monday near the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.

    TEXT: Momcilo Krajisnik is by far the most senior person yet arrested. The former president of the Bosnian-Serb Assembly became the Serb representative of the Bosnian presidency after the war. He was a close ally of Bosnian-Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic. Mr. Krajisnik replaced Mr. Karadzic as the leader of the Bosnian Serbs after Mr. Karadzic was indicted by the War Crimes Tribunal in 1995 and forced to step down. Mr. Krajisnik was secretly indicted two-months ago on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes for his role as a leader in the Bosnian war. Prosecution spokesman, Paul Risley, says Mr. Krajisnik was routinely present at meetings with Mr. Karadzic and his military commander, General Ratko Mladic. Mr. Risley says these were meetings at which decisions were made that led to the death and deportation of thousands of Muslims.

    /// ACT RISLEY ///

    I would say that Momcilo Krajisnik is second only to Radovan Karadzic in terms of the political leadership. There certainly will be other individuals who will come under the scrutiny of the Tribunal and will be brought to justice. But the coming trial of Momcilo Krajisnik will go a long way toward bringing and restoring the rule of law to the Republic of Bosnia.

    /// END ACT ///

    Bosnians will go to the polls later this week to elect local officials. Paul Risley says the arrest is a clear indictment of the policies of nationalism that led to war. He says he hopes it will allow Bosnians to be more careful in selecting future leaders. Prosecutors also called once again for the arrest of Radovan Karadzic, who they want to put on trial with Momcilo Krajisnik. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LC/GE/RAE 03-Apr-2000 09:58 AM EDT (03-Apr-2000 1358 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] U-S / BOSNIA ARREST (L-ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=4/3/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260902
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S officials have welcomed the arrest of a former top Bosnian Serb leader on war crimes charges, saying his apprehension should cause sleepless nights for wartime leader Rodavan Karadzic. From the State Department, V-O-A's Kyle King has this report.

    TEXT: U-S officials describe Monday's arrest of Bosnian Serb leader Momcilo Krajisnik as a positive step toward peace and reconciliation. Hardline Bosnian Serb officials have condemned the arrest. French troops snatched Mr. Krajisnik from his home in the Bosnian Serb town of Pale after setting off a pre- dawn explosion that blew the door off his house. He was quickly transported to the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. He faces charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws and customs of war, including murder and extermination. Mr. Krajisnik served as the speaker of the Bosnian Serb parliament during the three-and-one-half year war in Bosnia. He is also a long time associate of wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, who remains at large despite his public indictment on war crimes charges. State Department Spokesman James Rubin says Secretary of State Albright considers the arrest of Mr. Krajisnik good news for justice for the people of Bosnia. The State Department spokesman refused to say if the arrest might speed the capture of Mr. Karadzic. But he said it would increase pressure on the wartime leader and sends a message that time is against him.

    /// RUBIN ACT ///

    I think the arrest of Mr. Krajisnic should be something that causes Mr. Karadzic to get even less sleep than he has been getting up to now.

    /// END ACT ///

    Ms. Albright's spokesman said the Secretary of State was telephoning French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine to congratulate French troops for making the arrest. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook called Mr. Krajisnik a poisonous and destructive influence in Bosnia. His apprehension on a previously secret, sealed indictment by the War Crimes Tribunal, marks the 19th arrest of a Bosnian War Crimes Suspect. A total of 28 other publicly identified suspects, including Mr. Karadzic and his former military chief Ratko Mladic, are still at large. (Signed) NEB/KBK/TVM/gm 03-Apr-2000 16:00 PM EDT (03-Apr-2000 2000 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] AFRICA / EUROPE (L) BY SCOTT BOBB (CAIRO)

    DATE=4/3/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260903
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: More than 50 heads of state and government from Africa and Europe have opened a two-day summit in Egypt. Leaders from both continents Monday called for a new relationship and pledged to work more closely to address problems that are hindering African development. Correspondent Scott Bobb reports from Cairo.

    TEXT: Delegates from 67 nations Monday heard two African presidents underscore efforts made to date by African nations to enact economic and political reforms. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in his opening speech, noted that African nations recently have taken measures to combat terrorism, eliminate nuclear weapons in the region and create an economic union. And he noted that certain African leaders have also made great efforts to mediate the numerous wars on the continent. Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, speaking on behalf of Africa as chairman of the Organization of African Unity, said Africa is fully aware of its shortcomings, but asked that these be considered with the progress made so far in addressing them.

    /// BOUTEFLIKA ACT IN ARABIC-ESTABLISH, FADE UNDER ///

    President Bouteflika says Europe and Africa know each other well, and have a lot to talk about concerning these and other issues. And he concluded it is in the interest of both to have a more balanced world where Africa is present. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Gueterres, speaking for Europe (as head of the rotating presidency of the European Union), noted relations between the two continents are more than 500 years old. But he says they now confront new challenges posed by globalization and the dawn of a new millennium. The Portuguese prime-minister acknowledged globalization has widened the gap between rich and poor, which he called unacceptable and unsustainable.

    /// GUETERRES ACT IN PORTUGUESE-IN AND UNDER ///

    Prime Minister Gueterres says he hopes the two days of discussions here will be open and frank, in order to promote peace and development.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Debt relief continues to be a major source of disagreement at the summit, as delegates work to hammer out a final resolution before it concludes late Tuesday. The Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity, Salim Ahmed Salim, told delegates African nations appreciate the debt relief accorded so far. However, he said wealthy nations should not wait for catastrophe to strike, but rather provide relief now in order to complement domestic efforts for change.

    /// SALIM ACT ///

    The magnitude of the relief should not only be consistent with the ability of any African country to pay, but it should also enable African economies to enhance their dynamism and more particularly to cope with the demands of poverty alleviation.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Salim said Africa is committed to pursuing peace, cooperation and development. And he concluded, that is not merely an inspirational ideal, but in the era of globalization, a practical imperative. (Signed)
    NEB/FSB/WTW 03-Apr-2000 16:15 PM EDT (03-Apr-2000 2015 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] HUNGARY - ENVIRONMENT (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=4/3/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260910
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine will cooperate to prevent a recurrence of environmental disasters like the cyanide spill from a Romanian gold mine that contaminated one of the region's major river systems. Environment ministers of the four nations signed a declaration of intent (Monday) in Budapest. We have details from reporter Stefan Bos.

    TEXT: The former Communist neighbors announced their intention to improve water measurement systems and establish cross-border protected parks and green zones. In addition, the four countries want to identify potential ecological trouble-spots, including mines and other heavy industries. They hope to prevent a recurrence of the January 30th incident, when an estimated 100-thousand cubic meters of cyanide spilled into the river system from a Romanian gold mine. Hungarian officials say the disaster virtually wiped out marine life along an extensive stretch of the Tisza, the country's second largest river. Last month, in the same region, 20- thousand tons of sludge laced with zinc lead and copper from Romania's state run Baia Borsa lead and zinc mine and another, smaller spill, once again polluted rivers in Hungary and other neighboring countries. Hungary's environment Minister, Pal Pepo, told V-O-A he hopes the new cooperation between the neighboring states will speed up their application to join the European Union.

    /// PEPO ACT ///

    I think it is a big step towards achieving our goals regarding the EU accession process.

    /// END ACT ///

    But Romania refused to sign an agreement on cross border environmental management---and international environmentalists, who also gathered in Budapest Monday, remained skeptical. At a news conference they said at least 114 sites are potentially as dangerous as the Romanian mines that caused the recent spills. Environmental experts reported another spill Monday morning, but Romanian Environment Minister Romica Tomescu said he had no knowledge of it.

    /// REST OPTIONAL ///

    United Nations and European Union experts have begun to examine potential ecological trouble spots and the effects of the recent spills. Philip Weller, a member of the European Task force set up following the cyanide disaster, told V-O-A that Hungary, with its high cancer rate, may have to be prepared for even more health and environmental troubles in the future.

    /// WELLER ACT ///

    There is ongoing daily pollution of these materials. In fact the Baia Mare area was a source of contaminants, lead, and copper for the Tisza system. This particular (cyanide) incident highlighted the concerns that do exist and made very dramatic the implications of the mining operations there and particularly because of the cyanide causing significant damage. Any additional pollution of this nature is detrimental for both the environment and human health.

    /// END ACT ///

    Although Romania along with Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine also signed the "polluters-should- pay principle" on Monday, there was little to suggest how this would work in practice. Zoltan Illes, the head of Hungary's Parliamentary Environmental Committee, told V-O-A that his country will sue Romanian mines, and indirectly the government, for multi-million dollar compensation claims.

    /// ILLES ACT ///

    According to Hungarian regulations if such damage could have happened here in Hungary, only the fine could have been up to 10-million dollars, so I believe this is now several tens of millions of dollars, the compensation.

    /// END ACT ///

    But environmental groups say the legal remedies may come too late to save wildlife in the region. Greenpeace and other organizations say Australian, Canadian, and British companies have been snapping up relatively inexpensive but outdated mining holdings in former Communist countries such as Romania, which are strapped for cash and eager for investments. (Signed) NEB/SB/TVM/gm 03-Apr-2000 19:53 PM EDT (03-Apr-2000 2353 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=4/3/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260906
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S stock prices were mixed today (Monday), with a huge slide in the technology sector. Nervous investors took money out of software and semi- conductors, anticipating a U-S court's ruling that the Microsoft Corporation violated antitrust laws. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: Microsoft's market value dropped by nearly 80- billion dollars. That dragged the NASDAQ composite stock index, a key measure of high-technology shares, down more than seven percent -- (a decline of) about 350 points, its biggest one-day point loss ever. "Blue-chips" were the main beneficiaries of the flight from technology, especially financial stocks, including American Express, Citigroup and J-P Morgan. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 300 points, two and three-quarters percent, to 11-thousand-221. The Standard and Poor's 500 index gained seven points. Both the NASDAQ composite and the Dow industrials include Microsoft shares, but the company's price tumble was offset in the Dow Jones average by gains for I-B-M, which reported it can now make chips 30 percent faster than current models. Also trading higher were shares of software company Linux, one of Microsoft's rivals.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Richard Sherlund, an influential software analyst with the Goldman Sachs investment firm, says it could be a tough few weeks for Microsoft. But he believes the stock will start climbing back because the software company has a very good product line for the rest of the year:

    /// SHERLUND ACT ///

    Microsoft does have an analyst meeting coming up in May to talk about the next generation "Windows" services -- kind of where Bill Gates intends to take the company. And I think you have a pretty good product cycle on the second half of the year. So I think the stock will be able to climb out of this hole, but we probably haven't seen the worst yet.

    /// END ACT ///

    Microsoft shares are down 21 percent for the year. In other news, General Motors, the world's largest automaker, reports March sales were up one-point-four percent. Car sales were down, but that was offset by higher truck sales. Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company says March was its best month ever. Sales were up seven-point-three percent. (Signed) NEB/EJ/LSF/TVM/WTW 03-Apr-2000 17:55 PM EDT (03-Apr-2000 2155 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY JON TKACH (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=4/3/2000
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=6-11757
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: What to expect from Russia's newly-elected president, Vladimir Putin, is the focus of a number of editorials in the U-S press. Another topic being considered in Monday's editorials is new reports on the perpetuation of slavery in the United States. And here in the nation's capital, the two major dailies renew a sparring match as a new court ruling opens up old wounds for President Clinton. Now, here is _____________ with a closer look in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: The New York Times is optimistic in the early days of President Putin's tenure, seeing a good chance for the United States and Russia to hammer out a new arms-control agreement. Though Mr. Putin has made clear that he intends to maintain Russia's nuclear defenses, the paper writes, the waning days of an American president's term can be just the right time to negotiate a new treaty. But any new-arms control agreement between Washington and Moscow, The Times says, will need to deal with the issue of missile defense.

    VOICE: The likely emergence of smaller, less predictable nuclear-armed nations over the next few years creates a different equation. Neither America nor Russia wants to be blackmailed by countries like North Korea, threatening to unleash a handful of poorly-aimed but highly- destructive nuclear missiles. The technology of limited defensive missile shields has not yet been reliably perfected. But when it is, both countries should be free, within carefully- negotiated limits, to protect their people from this kind of threat.

    TEXT: The Los Angeles Times focuses on Mr. Putin's dealings with the long-running conflict in Chechnya. The paper says Mr. Putin must heal the wounds caused by charges of human-rights abuses in Chechnya.

    VOICE: The Chechen conflict can not be solved by force. ... [It] has helped enhance [Mr.] Putin's image as a tough leader, but it will soon become an albatross around his neck as he embarks on his program to lift Russia's economy from its doldrums. ... Russian generals, scanning the ruins of Chechen towns, claim they have all but won the war, but they haven't. They have merely changed its character into guerrilla warfare. The problems of chaotic Chechnya will not be solved easily or soon. But they will not be solved at all unless the new Russian leader seeks a peaceful solution and holds the military accountable for human-rights abuses.

    TEXT: Turning to the domestic issues, the daily U-S-A Today focuses on reports that slavery is not only present in the United States, but widespread. It cites a C-I-A report that up to 100-thousand women and children have been sold into bondage here during the past two years.

    VOICE: The victims, from Thailand, Mexico, Poland and other countries, are lured by traffickers who promise them legitimate jobs. Whisked underground and made to deportation, they're instead forced to work in the sex trade or as servants. Then these women and children are victimized a second time by the government's neglect ... The enslaved fall through the cracks of U-S government agencies -- with neither the Department of Justice nor the State Department being principally accountable for them -- through the cracks of the legal system, which doesn't target the crime enough.

    TEXT: U-S-A Today says that some small steps have been taken in addressing the problem, but there have not yet been any concrete changes in how federal agencies agencies deal with these people:

    VOICE: No effort should be spared to ensure that this nation, site of the world's mightiest, bloodiest struggle against slavery, eradicates human bondage from its soil once again.

    TEXT: Turning to the nation's capital, The Washington Post and the Washington Times fall on completely opposite sides when it comes to the latest ruling in President Clinton's legal troubles. A federal judge ruled that the president violated privacy rules by releasing letters written by a woman who had accused him of sexual misconduct. First here is the word from the Times, which says it highlights the latest in a long line of Clinton abuses:

    VOICE: In 1998, William Jefferson Clinton became the only elected president ever to be impeached. Then, he became the first president ever cited for contempt of court -- and fined $90,000 -- for lying under oath. As a result, the incumbent president faces disbarment by the Arkansas Supreme Court, another first ... Mr. Clinton, it seems, gives all the appearances of being a one-man crime wave. ... The judge surely must know by now, the president operates according to "Clinton rules," which have nothing to do with the rule of law or judicial precedents.

    TEXT: The Washington Post, on the other hand, sees the ruling in a completely different light.

    VOICE: The opinion by U-S District Judge Royce Lamberth last week accusing President Clinton of a crime for releasing letters from Kathleen Willey seems both wrong and gratuitous. The White House released letters from Mrs. Willey because she publicly accused Mr. Clinton of groping her yet had written him numerous friendly missives in the aftermath of the alleged incident. It seems implausible that such personal letters to the president would be protected by a law intended to prevent the unwarranted leaking of information maintained in government files on individuals. ... In this order, Judge Lamberth has made the case more contentious than it needed to be.

    TEXT: On that note, we end today's sampling of comments from the editorial pages of the U-S Press.
    NEB/JON/WTW 03-Apr-2000 13:16 PM EDT (03-Apr-2000 1716 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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