The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia on March 4, 1985 · Page 7
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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia · Page 7

Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia
Issue Date:
Monday, March 4, 1985
Page 7
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-The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, March 4, 1985 UN report attacks Afghan massacres By RICHARD BERNSTEIN of Th Naw York Times GENEVA, Sunday: Gross violations of human rights have occurred in Afghanistan since Soviet troops swept into the country five years ago, according to a new report by the Human Rights Commission. The violations, according to the report, include routine torture, the massacre of civilians, the forced evacuation of rural areas and the detention without trial of tens of thousands of political prisoners. The report was prepared by Mr Felix Ermacora of Austria for the annual meeting of the Human Rights Commission, which is taking place here. The findings were welcomed by Western delegates who said it was the first major instance in which the commission has fully turned its attention to violations by the Soviet Union. The report says: "Many lives have been lost. Many people have been incarcerated in conditions far removed from respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, many have been tortured and have disappeared, humanitarian norms have been flouted in the conflict taking place, and the resulting situation is fraught with danger for the population as a whole." The report lists a host of abuses during the Sov iet occupation, including the maiming of children by booby-trapped toys, the wholesale destruction of agriculture and the intentional bombing of hospitals. Citing Afghan witnesses, it gives four specific examples where massacres of civilians took place between 1982 and 1984. Arafat: we're willing, From Page 1 Senior Jordanian officials and Mr Mubarak have asserted that the PLO accepted resolution 242 by signing the agreement with Jordan. The United States has refused to recognise the PLO until it accepts the resolution and Israel's right to exist. Mr Arafat's anger was mostly directed at the Reagan Administration's "blatant bias toward Israel. He accused the United States and Israel of an "arrogance of power and assailed the State Department's assertion that the Jordanian-PLO accord was a "step in the right direction and "10 per cent of what the organisation needed to do before the Administration would recognise it. "This is not a 'step, Mr Arafat said. "This is a strong platform, but the United States is completely ignoring it. Zia: omnipotent ruler of Pakistan By MUHAMMAD RAFIQUE. Herald correspondent ISLAMABAD, Sunday: President Zia announced amendments to the 1973 Western-style constitution yesterday, giving him almost unlimited power as the "elected President". His five-year term arising out of the controversial referendum on his Islamic policies will be written into the constitution, held in abeyance since he overthrew the government of Mr Bhutto in 1977. President Zia ordered a snap referendum on his policies on December 19, stating its endorsement would be interpreted as a five-year term for himself as President. He claimed a 62 per cent turnout in the poll but an opposition alliance, the 11 -party Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) claimed it was as low as 5 per cent. The amendments come in the wake of elections last week for a national assembly and four provincial assemblies from which political parties were barred. The opposition parties boycotted them. Most of President Zia's civilian ministers and others allied to him lost in the elections and most observers regarded the exercise as a vote against martial law. He said the joint session of the parliament will be on March 23 when the "democratic process" will be finished and after that federal and provincial cabinets put in place. He gave no date for lifting martial law but he has said in recent interviews the "umbrella" will continue for a few months. Similarly, he said, the amendments to the constitution would be made in stages. The amendments will allow the President to choose the prime minister and take up the position of supreme commander of the armed forces. President Zia will also appoint cabinet ministers (with the prime minister's advice), provincial governors and heads of the In Kulchabat Bala Karz'Mushldzi, Kandahar province, 360 people were executed in the village square of whom 20 were young girls and about two dozen were old people. It says, for example, that on October 12, 1983, in Kulchabat Bala Karz-Mushkizi, Kandahar province, "360 people were executed in the village square, of whom 20 were young girls and about two dozen were old people-Mr Ermacora said he wrote a letter to the Afghan Foreign Minister asking for "direct contact with the Kabul Government, but the letter went unanswered. The report is scheduled to be distributed to commission members in coming days and has not been released, but copies were obtained by reporters from sources who wanted it made public immediately. Mr Ermacora based his inquiry largely on evidence collected in December on a nine-day visit to Pakistan, where he . interviewed refugees from 15 Afghan provinces. The report says Mr Ermacora also visited four hospitals for Afghan wounded in Pakistan and four of the several hundred refugee camps in the country. Major violations of human rights in Afghanistan began before the large-scale presence of Soviet troops in the country, according to the report. It says that after the coup of April, 1978, when the Afghan Communist Party first came to power, at least Rather than encourage the PLO's latest move, he said, the Administration had rebuffed the organisation. The Secretary of State, Mr George Shultz, had refused to permit the PLO's observer at the United Nations, Mr Zehdi Labib Terzi, to travel to Washington to meet a group of Congressmen who had invited him to explain the accord with Jordan. Mr Arafat said it was hypocritical of the United States to refuse to recognise the PLO, since high-level contacts between Administration officials and the group had frequently occurred "when they were in need of us". He cited several occasions: the evacuation of American civilians from Beirut in 1976; "daily contacts over efforts to free Americans held hostage in Iran; and the return from Iran of the bodies of American soldiers killed in the Iranian desert during the failed rescue mission. armed forces all previously appointed by the prime minister. "That was a meaningless and ridiculous division of powers," he said. "The prime minister should be powerful but the president should also not be so powerless as to be ineffective." The President also announced the formation of an II -member National Security Council which will have an advisory role in a national crisis. He said the parliament will be empowered to throw out his amendments but it will have to have a two-third majority and also "support" of the four provincial assemblies. That will be an almost impossible task, according to a Western diplomat here. The acting secretary-general of the MRD, Mr Arshad Chau-dhury, commenting on General Zia's amendments, said they would change the whole complexion of the constitution, turning the parliamentary system into a presidential one. "General Zia has demolished the parliamentary structure and converted himself from a military dictator to a civilian despot," he said. 9,000 people in Kabul disappeared and are assumed to have been executed. This occurred, it said, in the period leading up to December 27, 1979, when Soviet -forces joined the civil conflict. The Soviet move, the report says, "spread the extent of the violence" in the country and "brought about a selective repression" of people who opposed the communists policies. "In the present situation, it is said that the secret police, known as the Khad, organises and is responsible for the systematic arrest and interrogation, including torture, of persons suspected of opposing the regime," it says. "The prisons of Kabul, as well as those of all Khad detention centres, are places where torture is routinely practised." The report says that after Soviet forces joined the combat, hostilities reached "unprecedented proportion", involving systematic bombing of villages supporting the anti-Soviet resistance and a policy of terror directed against civilians. "The state of hostilities in particular has brought a virtual paralysis in the agricultural sector as a result of systematic and continuing bombardment in certain provinces," it says. The report also criticises the Afghan guerillas for their treatment of prisoners, including summary executions, but it noted that the guerillas have, since 1982, promised to turn prisoners over to the Red Cross, something neither the Soviet troops nor the Kabul Government have done. The Afghan Government and the Soviet Union have con demned the commission's inves tigation as an interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. US is not Throughout the interview, Mr Arafat wavered between projecting a confrontational attitude toward the US and one of pleading for American help to avoid further bloodshed. He begged the Administration to "be true to America's own values' by endorsing self-determination for the Palestinians. "Do you know what it is to be a refugee for more than 37 years to not have a home or a passport, or an identity card, or even a place to be buried? he asked. When he spoke of the years of struggle, Mr Arafat appeared genuinely weary. His once salt-and-pepper beard has turned mostly white, and he is now almost bald. Asked if he would go to Egypt this week to join King Hussein, who is scheduled to meet Mr Mubarak in the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, Mr Arafat replied, smiling: "I haven't been invited. Singapore faces big shake-out By FRANCIS DANIEL SINGAPORE, Sunday: Singapore appears to be heading for a major business shake-out as its economy slows down after years of buoyant growth. An increasing number of companies are going broke while several others are laying off workers and pruning operations to keep themselves afloat. Business leaders say almost all industries here expect losses or minimal profits this year and that the trend may well continue in the coming years. The Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, has said a testing time lies ahead, with the economic growth rate slowing down to five to seven per cent this year compared with 8.5 per cent in 1984. The Trade and Industry Minister, Mr Richard Hu, also forecast a business downturn which he described as a cyclical process after a boom period. Government officials blamed the depressed US and European markets. Businessmen said higher wage costs, high taxes, the strength of the Singapore dollar and stiff competition from Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea were also factors. The most alarming development, trade unionists say, is the laying off of hundreds of workers by two big American companies. General Electric and Smith Corona. General Electric is the largest employer in the private sector here, with more than 10,000 workers. Other multi-nationals which recently laid off staff include Fairchild Electronics, Honeywell Synertek and Bata. Bankers said many corporate failures were due to over-expansion and excessive speculation, banks have been tightening credit limits or withdrawing financial support from shaky firms, making the business scene even more gloomy. fx- I1 ' ' i it Q w i "v 'wfr m A man blinded after the gas leak at the Bhopal Union Carbide factory votes in the State elections. w tax For the price of a phone call you can find out about OcciBonds, one of the best investments you could ever make. OcciBonds, from Occidental life, are insurance bonds and that is very important, because not only are OcciBonds secure with a high growth probability, they are completely tax-free if allowed to mature for ten years. That's right, completely tax-free! Even if you cash in before ten years, although you'll be taxed on your profits at your marginal tax rate, a 30 rebate applies. We will mail you, obligation free, a detailed brochure, which explains everything you'd like to know about OcciBonds. Ifou'll quickly understand why investments in insurance bonds have doubled over the past year; why they are one of the fastest growing managed investment options, and why no other insurance bond has the same investment scope of OcciBonds. ydDun w; TO ire 20 dead, many in Indian poll violence NEW DELHI, Sunday: Twenty people were killed and about 1,000 arrested when violence erupted during the first of two days of local elections in India's eastern state of Bihar, the United News of India reported. The news agency said security forces seized what it called a huge quantity of arms and ammunition and opened fire in at least 10 separate incidents to restore order at Bihar polling booths. All India Radio said last night that voting in three other states went ahead peacefully, but the Press Trust of India said seven people were injured yesterday in clashes in northern Uttar Pradesh state. Polling was subdued on the first day of the state ballot, widely seen as a test of the Prime Minister, Mr Gandhi's popular support following his Congress (I) Party's overwhelming victory in national elections last December. All India Radio said 50 to 55 per cent of those eligible to take part yesterday cast their votes, while PTI said the percentage showed a substantial reduction compared with the parliamentary poll nine weeks ago. Indian newspapers have said 12 election candidates were among those killed and more than 400 people were hurt in political disturbances ahead of the elections. o nnw( caiM m Seven other states go to the polls on Tuesday and results are expected to be announced on March 5 and - 6, according to India's election commission. The eight states controlled by Mr Gandhi's party that are holding elections are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Hima-chal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa. Also voting are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Sikkim and the union territory of Pondicherry. Indian news agency and radio reports did not say why unrest was largely restricted to Bihar, but the state is known as an area where disputes between landlords and tenant farmers, and among members of different castes, often turn violent. Voting was brisk in Bhopal, the central Indian city where, a poison gas leak from a Union Carbide pesticide factory killed 2,500 people in the world's worst industrial accident on December 3, All India Radio said. Tight security has been imposed by thousands of paramilitary troops at polling booths to try to ensure peaceful voting for the next round of state elections. Almost two-thirds of India's 380 million voters have been eligible to vote for 938 State Assembly seats yesterday and a further 1,580 on Tuesday. V n n If you've got $3000 or more to invest, you owe it to yourself to investigate OcciBonds. So phone now on Sydney 908 9088 or STD free 008 221 555 if you five in the country. Or simply fill in and post the coupon. MS MBS I FREE POST To: OCCIBONDS, C- OCCIDENTAL LIFE, I 121 WALKER STREET, NORTH SYDNEY 2060. TELEPHONE: (02 ) 908 9088 I OR TOLL FREE 008 22 1555. YES, please send me more information on the I tax-free benefits of OcciBonds. I understand this places me under no obligation. NAME: : ADDRESS. PHONE (Home). TT OCCIDENTAL LIFE I DANCER FITZGERALD SAMPLE OOC. 01 S SMH 41 arrested Mr Gandhi has been campaigning around the country for most of the last few weeks, repeating the themes that brought him and his party their victory in the elections last December, when they won 80 per cent of the seats in Parliament. t r. At that time, a groundswell of sympathy for the Prime Minister, in the wake of his mother's t.: t, : l V t : Vs death, combined with widespread concern about national unity to produce the landslide for the Congress-I party. Divisions and squabbling among various Opposition candidates also contributed to the Congress-I victory in December. Many political analysts said last week that they doubted Mr Gandhi could repeat his December victory.- They said elections for the assemblies tended to be influenced more by local issues and personalities than are parliamentary elections. Some analysts also said there could be a backlash, with voters supporting opponents of Mr Gandhi to provide some balance to the large margins won in December by the Congress-I party. Some political experts have also detected a measure of complacency in the Prime Minister's camp, although by all accounts Mr Gandhi does not share it. i : n c - i v POSTCODE. (Bus.) r; S f- f V . V

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