|Sunday, September 3, 2000,
Li Peng served summons at UN
Hostage hopes for early release
Aung San Suu Kyi
S. Korea returns 63 N. Korean
Castro applies for US
for hitting maid
dentist to stand trial
Nuclear scientist dies at 83
Li Peng served summons at
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 2 Bilateral issues are taboo for the Inter-Parliamentary Union (TPU) meetings and conferences, but the rule is more honoured in breach than in observance.
The forum of Speakers of presiding officers of national parliaments holdings its session at the UN on the eve of the Millennium Assembly Summit, witnessed a few instances of such breach.
The Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, Mr Jasem Mahamad Al Khurafi, talked about the crime of the century perpetrated by Iraq over a decade ago and expressed gratefulness for the support of the United Nations to Kuwait.
The president of the Iraqi National Assembly, Dr Sadoon Hammadi, spoke of increased attempts of encroachment upon the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, and cited as examples the occupation of Palestine and attempts of annexation of Jerusalem. He accused the USA, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait of engaging in acts of aggression against Iraq. Dr Hammadi also attacked US despotism through its embargo on Iraq.
The president of the House of Representative of Cyprus, Mr Spyros Kyprianou, regretted the failure of the international community to uphold international law, referring to the continuing occupation for more than half a century of a substantial part of the territory of his country.
At the end of the three-day conference, its president, Mrs Najma Heptulla, expressed gratification at the outcome, the highlight of which was a call for international cooperation with the UN at its core.
Similar sentiments were expressed by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Mr G.M.C. Balayogi, who led a strong parliamentary delegation from India.
Mrs Heptulla said the IPU council which would meet in Jakarta in October would study the conclusions of the conference for followup action.
The US senate president and the House Speaker ignored the conference, while their counterparts from other countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa participated.
The speakers of Cuban and Yugoslav parliaments could not attend because of the refusal of the host country, the USA to grant them visas.
The conference steering committee issued a statement deeply regretting the decision of the USA to deny visas to the presiding officers of national parliaments of these two countries.
The Speaker of the Chinese Parliament got into unexpected trouble. Mr Li Peng, chairman of the Chinese National Peoples Congress, was served court summons yesterday at his Waldorf Astoria Hotel to answer charges that he was responsible for the massacre of students during the pro-democracy demonstration at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.
He is being sued by five veterans of the pro-democracy movement. Mr Peng was the Prime Minister during the military crackdown. He is to reply to the charges within twenty days, but is bound for home on Friday.
The declaration also
called for completion of the reform of the UN so that it
could become a stronger organisation. It said parliaments
should give priority to UN matters in their respective
forums, keep informed of negotiations of international
treaties signed by their governments and contribute
actively to implement those treaties.
Hostage hopes for early release
JOLO (Philippines), Sept 2 (DPA) A 47-year-old Finnish engineer held captive with five other European hostages by Islamic extremists on a southern Philippine island yesterday expressed hope their ordeal would soon be history.
What we have seen and experienced shouldnt be from this world or time, Risto Vahanen said in a letter to Sulu provincial Governor Abdusakur Tan. Lets hope it will soon be history.
Mr Vahanen wrote the letter as a receipt for two boxes of foodstuffs and other supplies that Mr Tan asked his emissaries to deliver to the European hostages on Jolo island, Sulu province, 1,000 km south of Manila.
Mr Vahanen thanked Mr Tan for his efforts and help in keeping us supplied during these difficult months and for his role in delivering their mail.
We hope that the future for you and the island of Jolo will look more humane, law-obeying, prosperous and equal, he said.
Mr Vahanen is being held captive with his compatriot Seppo Fraenti, Frenchman Stephane Loisy and German Marc Wallert. They were among a group of 21 tourists and workers abducted by Abu Sayyaf rebels from Malaysias Sipadan diving resort on April 23.
While the rebels have since freed some of the hostages, they took additional captives and continue to hold two France television journalists Jean Le Garrec and Roland Madura.
Chief government negotiator Roberto Aventajado said all six European hostages would be freed by the Abu Sayyaf next week under a Libyan-backed deal that secured the release of six Western hostages last week.
Mr Vahanen, who has in the past told reporters that their long captivity was driving some of the hostages to thoughts of suicide, said they did not have any special vegetable needs at the moment amid promises that they would be freed soon.
Aung San Suu Kyi escorted home
YANGON, Sept 2 (AFP) Myanmars military authorities today raided the headquarters of Aung San Suu Kyis political party while simultaneously announcing that the opposition leader had been escorted home following a lengthy roadside stand-off with the junta.
In an apparent crackdown on opposition forces, a large number of riot police and military intelligence officers occupied the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD), an official source said. A huge amount of incriminatory materials and documents have been seized during the raid, a security officials said.
An unknown number of NLD members who had been in the building overnight were still inside, another source said, although it was not clear if they were being detained.
The early morning raid came just before an announcement that the showdown between the Nobel Laureate and the junta, which began on August 24, was over.
A government statement said she and her supporters had arrived home safe and sound this morning after their stay in Dallah town.
It said the group was escorted to the Myanmar capital at 1.30 a.m. (0100 IST).
The government statement said that given adverse weather and complaints by the NLD about conditions in Dallah, a motorcade had been facilitated by the government for their safe and convenient return.
Neither Aung San Suu Kyi nor any NLD officials could be contacted to confirm the circumstances under which the return took place, but the police raid heightened speculation that the 55-year-old had moved only under duress.
Aung San Suu Kyi and several NLD activists had been camped out in their cars on the outskirts of Yangon, for nine days after they were prevented from going to a party meeting in the defiance of a ban on travel outside the capital.
LONDON (Reuters): Britain on Saturday expressed concern over the Myanmar military governments use of force to end a roadside stand off between the authorities and pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook called on the military authorities in Myanmar to grant immediate access to Suu Kyi and other members of her national league for democracy (NLD).
S. Korea returns 63 N. Korean spies
SEOUL, Sept 2 (Reuters) South Korea today repatriated 63 North Koreans after holding them for years as spies in another symbolic step towards rapprochement with its cold war foe.
Most of them in their late 60s and 70s, some in wheelchairs, crossed the border at 10 a.m. passing through Panmunjom village at the demilitarised zone.
One night here cost me 36 years, said 73-year-old former North Korean spy Choi Ha-Jong freed in 1998 after serving 36 years behind bars.
The long-term prisoners had refused to renounce Communism, Seouls unification Ministry has said.
I will send an invitation and a letter of security guarantee to my mother as soon as possible, said another former spy Shin in-Young, 71, who leaves his elderly mother in the South.
They were given a heros welcome by hundreds of clapping North Koreans as they crossed into the northern side.
The repatriation is part of a deal signed in late June by Red Cross officials from the two Koreas which are still technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce.
Since the end of the war only one North Korean prisoner had been sent back to the North in 1993.
The repatriation came as the government here was criticised by civic groups and the opposition for failing to deal with the return of South Korean prisoners of war and civilian abductees held in the North.
Dozens of opposition
lawmakers and families of prisoners and abductees held a
rally near Panmunjom, demanding that both Seoul and
Pyongyang make efforts for the early return of those
detained in the North.
Castro applies for US visa
HAVANA, Sept 2 (DPA) Cuban President Fidel Castro has applied for a US visa so that he could attend the Millennium Summit at the United Nations next week, a Cuban Foreign Ministry communique said.
The US State Department would neither confirm nor deny that Mr Castro had submitted an application yesterday, but an official there said, If Mr Castro applies, we will abide by our responsibilities under the UN HQ agreement and permit his entry into the USA.
In that agreement, the USA promised the United Nations that it would grant visas to international leaders travelling on the UN business.
Yesterdays communique out of Cuba said Mr Castro would accompany Mr Felipe Perez Roque, Cubas Foreign Minister, and Mr Ricardo Alarcon, the Head of its National Assembly, to New York.
Only last week, the USA refused to grant Mr Alarcon a visa to attend a summit of international parliamentary leaders in New York, which was held at the United Nations but was not a UN-sponsored event.
The USA decided to exclude Mr Alarcon on the basis of a 1985 presidential directive that allows the State Department to deny visas to top Cuban officials if their travel to the USA would be contrary to US interests.
Yesterday was the last chance for Mr Castro to file the visa application before the start of a long holiday weekend in the USA because of Mondays Labour Day celebrations, a UN official said in New York, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Jailed for hitting maid
SINGAPORE, Sept 2 (DPA) A housewife here was sentenced to jail for the second time for abusing her maid after she attacked her Indonesian employee with frying pans, a report said today.
District Judge See Kee Onn said Mhalaxmi Pechamoto Anthiraya, 31, had shown an alarming propensity to violence. He jailed her for 12 months for abusing her maid Elmiyati, 20, The Straits Times said.
Mhalaxmi was convicted last December for abusing another domestic worker in 1997.
Mhalaxmi had hit Elmiyati repeatedly on the face and back with two frying pans last month.
She had subsequently slapped and kicked the maid, yanked her hair and had hit her on the head with an air conditioners remote control.
Elmiyati who had worked for Mhalaxmi for seven months, said she was beaten earlier because she had mixed her employers stockings with her sons clothing.
Indian dentist to stand trial
WASHINGTON, Sept 2 (PTI) Indian Canadian dentist Alpna Patel who has been charged with manslaughter for stabbing her husband to death, will stand trial in a Baltimore court on Tuesday.
A jury of 10 women and two men has been selected to hear the case in the Baltimore Circuit Court.
Judge John Prevas on Thursday granted bail to Alpna, saying her failure to return to Baltimore from her home in Canada for a manslaughter trial was influenced by her father.
The judge had originally ordered her arrest until the case was decided. But before her arrival from Canada to Baltimore airport he reversed the order provided she appeared in court on Thursday, which she did.
Nuclear scientist dies at 83
CHICAGO, Sept 2 (AP) John Simpson, a physicist and leader in the development of the atomic bomb who later promoted the peaceful use of nuclear power, died after complications from heart surgery. He was 83.
Simpson, a pioneer in cosmic-ray experimentation, died on Thursday of pneumonia and respiratory failure at the university of Chicagos Bernard Mitchell Hospital.
kissing causes AIDS
Posh Spice down
gets a facelift
Ambassador dies of wounds
on hunger strike
Man held for 19
Maria author held
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