The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 13, 1990 · 3
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The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada · 3

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Issue Date:
Tuesday, March 13, 1990
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mm mm 1 .The Vancouver Sun, Tuesday, March 13, 1990 FRANK RUTTER Foreign affairs GOODBYE Lithuania. The Soviet Union might as well accept the inevitable. The . other two Baltic states, Latvia and Estonia, will surely follow in time. Lithuania was the first because feelings of resentment and repression ran deepest there, and because there is a strong cultural nationalism. History has been unkind to Lithuanians who have been in and out of Poland, Russia and Germany and only briefly savored independence over the past 300 years. But the cultural flame continued to burn, even after Stalin and Hitler made their little deal in 1939 that allowed the Soviet Union to annex the Baltic states. During the Second World War Lithuanians were again caught between the Germans and the Russians, between Nazis and Communists. It's little use arguing today which was the worst system, but if you take the politics out of it, and consider only the ethnic conflict and Lithuanian history, then many of them preferred the Germans. It was Germany, : in 1918, that had sponsored the proclamation of an independent kingdom of Lithuania, which later that year became a republic before the Bolsheviks, then the Poles, and then the . Russians moved in. ITHUANIANS HAVE acted very swiftly in declaring anew their independence because they were afraid that Mikhail Gorbachev is about to be given, and might use, extraordinary presidential powers by the Soviet Congress of Peoples Deputies. These include being able to declare a state of emergency and imposing martial law. He'll get the powers but he may prefer not to use them on Lithuania, i In the first place the declara-f tion of independence flows directly from Gorbachev's own program of domestic reform. Secondly, consider the repercussions of using force to keep Lithuania in the fold. There would be universal condemnation not only from the West, but from Eastern Europe, too. That's what the Eastern European revolution has been all about: use of force in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and East Germany primed the people there for eventual breakaway from the Soviet Communist yoke. Then there would be the effect within the Soviet Union. It is by no means certain that forcing Lithuania to remain would cow other rebellious regions, not only in the Baltic but elsewhere. In fact it might inflame a number of smouldering embers from Ukraine to Azerbaijan. There are positive aspects to Lithuanian independence, however. Letting the Lithuanians go wouldn't be as traumatic for Russians as the separation of other republics, like Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Gorbachev might well get away with using extraordinary powers to keep order in those places, and has already sent troops to quell disorder in Azerbaijan with general approval from the Soviet people. G, ORBACHEV provocat ively taunted the Lithuanians with an enormous economic bill in advance of their threatened separation. The Lithuanians pluckily responded with a bill of their own for contributions made to the Soviet system. There is no reason why an independent Lithuania wouldn't continue to trade with the Russians. But the greater links to the West and access to hard currency that independence can bring would actually help the Soviets, too. All these factors and more are no doubt whirling through Gorbachev's mind as he prepares to assume his new powers. The gamble he has to take and he has already proved himself to be a pretty fair riverboat hustler is that a reasonably amicable negotiated deal with Lithuania, followed by the other Baltic states in time, will have some positive benefits and will not signal the crackup of the whole country. Frank Rutter's column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. E. Germans set for democratic Reuter EAST BERLIN - Spies have been called home, protest banners furled, and socialist ideals put in a time-capsule as East Germany lurches toward its first date with democracy in elections Sunday. Five days remain until 12.2 million citizens cast votes that, for the first time in 40 years, involve a real choice. Clearing the decks for the contest between rightists who want rapid union with West Germany and leftists who urge caution to preserve social rights, the Round Table that has steered the revolution held its final weekly meeting Monday. "The highest priority is to preserve the social stability of East Germany with our own efforts and with the help of West Germany," the all-party government-opposition group said in a final statement calling for guaranteed jobs and homes. But that legacy will be only a foot A JOY The old firm of Mandela, Tambo is back in action By RICHARD DOWDEN Independent News Service STOCKHOLM THEY PARTED 30 years ago in Johannesburg, close friends, business partners and political colleagues. Both committed to the overthrow of apartheid, one stayed inside South Africa and went to prison, the other went into exile. On Monday the two old men were reunited in time to hope that their cause might be vindicated. When Nelson Mandela met Oliver Tambo here in the unlikely setting of an 18th-century lakeside palace in a snow-covered park, the leadership circle of the African National Congress was completed. "They were two very dignified old men trying to restrain their emotions and not really able to do so," said Dennis Goldberg, who was convicted with Mandela and witnessed the reunion. "There was a constant referral between them, a constant laughing. They were at total ease with each other immediately. It was the old firm of Mandela and Tambo back in action." Tambo, once Mandela's partner in a Johannesburg law firm, is now president of the ANC, elected while Mandela was in prison. He left South Africa in 1960 to continue the ANC's work in exile when it seemed likely it would be banned. Last year he suffered a stroke and has been recovering in a Stockholm clinic. He has not appeared in public since he arrived and Monday's reunion took place in private. S. Africa Canadian Press JOHANNESBURG Anti-apartheid activists have accused the South African government of reverting to past repressive methods in a police clampdown on the country's worst unrest in four years. South African security sources said a six-week wave of violence, which has cost 200 lives in townships and black tribal territories, had subsided since the weekend, when they arrested about 150 people for criminal activities mainly looting and arson. "Since the arrests of troublemakers started the unrest has taken a tremendous dip," one source said. They said incidents of unrest had been reduced to 20 Sunday from 105 last Fri BRIEFLY Thousands of miners walk off jobs in Peru LIMA Thousands of miners employed by the country's largest copper company walked off the job demanding higher wages and ignoring a no-strike agreement reached in September, company and union officials said. A spokesman for the U.S.-owned Southern Peru Copper Corp. said 3,000 workers at the Cuajone mine in the southern Andes and the Ho refinery on the southern Pacific coast began striking Monday. The 2,500 workers at the company's Toquepala mine's continued to work, said the spokesman, who commented on condition of anomymity. Colombian polls favor anti-drug candidate BOGOTA - Exit polls Monday indicated Colombia's next president will be Cesar Gaviria Trujillo, who said he wants to eliminate drug-trafficking, end government corruption and help the poor. The exit polls were announced the day after a national election in note to history if conservatives win the day and take the country into union under West Germany's free market constitution. Burying another legend, East Germany announced it is closing its vaunted foreign espionage agency and winding up a faceless spy network that won Cold War medals and wrote the book on stealing secrets. By June, only 250 officers in the 4,000-member force will remain to "be responsible for the orderly withdrawal of our agents . . . only a small number of (whom) are East German citizens," commissioner Werner Fischer said. "We have already started with the destruction of electronic computer banks." Fischer heads a team dismantling the state security apparatus to make the country safe for democracy. His announcement is likely to be greeted with relief in western r iy rr'v"-" - -in o j ! rAJ " Hi v f , fig t::-Jj r y? . - of u v i , i , -i r m y- Miimnmirfiwiini mini MANDELA, TAMBO: leadership circle of ANC is complete Later the two men appeared in front of the press and Tambo seemed able to walk and talk without difficulty. Goldberg said 1 he was amazed how well he had recovered: "I am certain he will take his place as active head of the organization once again." 1 Although Mandela is the natural leader of the ANC, he has been made deputy president. According to some ANC sources, he spurned the suggestion that his old friend should step aside and allow him to resume the presidency. His unrealistically junior status certainly does not seem to bother him, After Monday's meeting, Mandela said: "Comrade Oliver Tambo is our national president. For the last three decades he has kept the organization together and put it in an excellent position to win the democratic struggle." accused of reverting to repression day. But anti-apartheid activists said the harsh measures were at odds with the government's reformist goals. "It seems the government is reverting to their old repressive methods," Patrick Lekota, a senior official of the anti-apartheid United Democratic Front, said Monday. Lekota said in a statement that 89 anti-apartheid activists had been arrested during the last week. He said they were being held under emergency regulations first imposed in 1986, which give police wide powers of detention without charge. Lekota, in common with many anti-apartheid which Colombians chose a congress, mayors, city councilmen, state assemblies and one of six candidates to represent the governing Liberal party in the presidential election scheduled for May 26. Rival Christian forces resume Beirut battle BEIRUT Lebanon's rival Christian forces resumed their bitter and bloody war hours after Gen. Michel Aoun said mediators have failed to end his six-week-old struggle against a rival group for control of Christian east Beirut Security sources said Aoun's army troops and Lebanese Forces militiamen pounded each other's positions early today with tank, artillery and rocket fire across the strategic Keserwan Mountain ridge. Lcona Helmsley rushes to be with ailing spouse NEW YORK - Harry Helmsley, whose wife, Leona, is appealing a federal income-tax fraud conviction, was admitted to the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical counter-intelligence headquarters. The East Germans planted agents and seduced secretaries in the highest echelons of the West German government, causing frequent embarrassment. Relief of another kind was promised to East Berlin diners, with the news that 400 city restaurants, notorious for mediocre food and surly service, will be privately owned. And motorists who have spent the last 20 years cramped inside East Germany's low-powered, noisy little cars are heartened by news of a $3-billion investment by Volkswagen to build its Polo models in East Germany. Opinion polls ahead of the final week showed left and right running neck-and-neck, raising the prospect of a non-Communist grand coalition to lead to union with West Germany. But Mandela might also reflect that his friend's stroke was brought on by too much work and travelling. After his release on: Feb. 11, Mandela had two weeks of rallies, meetings, speeches, reunions and a constant stream of 'visitors. He did not have a single, day alone with his family. Since taking off on this trip two weeks ago he has visited Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Ethiopia, giving speeches and attending welcomes and functions and iong discussions with ANC exiles. He tried and failed to find some time to rest in Tanzania. Next week he will attempt to attend the Nami-bian independence celebrations, which will mean even more meetings and rallies. Mandela is 71 and has suffered from tuberculosis and had a prostate operation in the past five years. He also suffers from high Centre Monday after falling down a flight of stairs in his apartment at the Park Lane, said Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for the real-estate and hotel executive. He said Mrs. Helmsley was not on hand when Helmsley fell, but that she rushed home from her office and went with him to the hospital. Helmsley, 81, was listed in good condition and did not apparently suffer any injury. Snowed-in beach party a hit at Alaska carnival VALDEZ, Alaska As a record snowfall continued to mount, residents watched Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon cavort in bathing suits at the beach during a drive-in movie projected on a sculpted snowbank. "It was great," said Pam Lunt, an operations assistant at the Val-dez Civic Centre who arranged the Sunday night showing of Back to the Beach as part of the Valdez Winter Carnival. "We ran it through a little projector out of the front seat of my car," she said. "We hooked up the audio to the radio station here, KVAK, and we had 102 cars . elections if V' KJH. . ...z O kvp RIGHT-WING East German burns leftist campaign literature in Leipzig. ASSOCIATED PRESS blood pressure. He looks exhausted and his colleagues are becoming concerned about his health. The rest of. the world has ,: cause for concern, too, since so much rests on expectations that , he alone can forge the unity. needed to negotiate the end of apartheid peacefully. Although the meeting with Tambo was the main reason for Mandela's visit to Stockholm, Sweden is the ANC's most militant supporter outside Africa, giving the movement about $40 million US per year in aid. To make the point, several solemn-looking Swedes waiting to greet Mandela at Arlanda airport Monday morning performed the toyi toyi, that jogging, chanting dance of the townships. At least they were keeping warm in the blanket of snow that greeted Mandela's flight from Africa. leaders, has called for an end to the violence. In an interview with state television he condemned the looting which has accompanied demonstrations, notably in the black homelands of Ciskei, where president Lennox Sebe was toppled in a coup just over a week ago, and Bophuthatswana, scene of widespread protests against the rule of Lucas Mangope. Looters "are enemies of the people and have to be identified," he said. Several of the 10 homelands have come under immense strain in recent weeks as residents staged mass demonstrations demanding an end to the corrupt rule of leaders imposed on them under Pretoria's apartheid policies. fTs (Mr ,m-. .im it- ff 1 1 't I i Mil i - '- - REUTER MARCHING MEMBERS of the Argentine League of .. Educational Workers rally in Buenos Aires Monday on the first day of the 1990 school year to protest against their low $42 US monthly salary. Mitterrand proteges preoccupy Socialists Agence France-Presse PARIS French Socialists open a congress Thursday amidst fierce squabbling over which of President Francois Mitterrand's proteges is to lead the party. Mitterrand, intervening publicj for the first time in the war of sue.1 cession that appears to be his party's leading preoccupation, said Friday the decision would be strictly up U party members to take. ; The strongest rivalry is between former prime minister Laurent Fabius, once deemed Mitterrand's favorite, and current Education Minister Lionel Jospin. ; Mitterrand is believed to favor Jospin. ', A gauge of their respective strength came in weekend voting conducted by the party's local federations, which showed Fabius and Jospin level each with about 29 per cent support. 5 Called "motions" the competing platforms are in essence popularity polls to determine who will inherit the mantle of the 73-year-old Mitteri rand, now into his second seven-yea? term as head of state. . Prime Minister Michel Rocard who also has his eye on the presi- dency, won 24 per cent of the vote in the federation poll. The congress, which is to be held in the western city of Rennes, will elect a first secretary, the post held by Mitterrand before he became president nine years ago. The current first secretary ii Pierre Mauroy, a party stalwart and; the man Mitterrand selected as his first prime minister in 1981. He wilt be seeking re-election to the post. With their chances about even, thd leading candidates are frantically seeking support from the party's other minor factions. Power to be handed over in Haiti Canadian Press . PORT-AU-PRINCE Pressured 'by opposition leaders, protests and ' strikes, the Haitian military agreed to hand over the presidency to the : only woman on the Supreme Court after lieutenant-general Prosper Avril resigned and left the country. Ertha Pascal-Trouillot, a distin- ' guished lawyer, was to be inaugurated today as the first woman president of Haiti in the 186-year history of the Caribbean country ; with a legacy of military rule. She is to serve as interim presi- dent with a 19-member advisory ' council until after the country's S first free elections, which are sche- J duled to take place later this year. I "She has the capacity to lead the country to the democracy we have ' all been waiting for," said Chantal Hudicourt Ewald, a lawyer who helped write the 1987 constitution. ; "It is a great victory for women." Meanwhile, an exiled opposition ' leader made an emotional return to :' take part in the new civilian gover- : ment. Dr. Louis Roy was greeted at the international airport on Monday by the entire opposition leadership. .' Roy, 73, was arrested and beaten J by troops loyal to Avril in a crack- down on opposition leaders in Jan- uary. He was sent into exile in ! Miami. "I have returned to help my peo- pie in their struggle," said Roy, who; has been named one of the mem- 1 bers of the provisional Council of j State that is to take control of the : government. ;

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