Journal Gazette from Mattoon, Illinois on February 2, 1990 · Page 15
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Journal Gazette from Mattoon, Illinois · Page 15

Mattoon, Illinois
Issue Date:
Friday, February 2, 1990
Page 15
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FruUy, Ftbruwy 2, 1990-Mid-HlinoU Nwpr-C-J Teen tells of terror, trium JL A Bucharest residents stroll past tanks at Victoria Palace Romania leaders to share power By ABNER KATZMAN Associated Press Writer BUCHAREST, Romania The National Salvation Front that took over when Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown agreed Thursday to share power with the opposition in a "national unity" council. The agreement reached in negotiations between the Front and 29 other political groups met a key demand by the opposition, which also sought the ruling body's resignation. Opposition parties, intellectuals and potential sources of Western aid have demanded more democratic methods from the Front, which has ruled by decree since Ceausescu's ouster and execution in December. The 11-member governing council chosen by the Front will be replaced by a new one embracing parties that "are competitive, without regard for their political color," until free elections scheduled for May 20, said Cazimir Ionescu, vice president ol uieTBurrent council. Opposition leader Radu Cam-peanu said the new council would holcf its first meeting Feb. 9. Campeanu heads the National Liberal Party, one of the three main opposition groups. Also Thursday, a prosecutor asked that the charge against four of Ceausescu's associates be strengthened to "co-authorship of genocide." It was the fourth day of their trial before a military court. Emil Bobu, third in the Ceausescu hierarchy after the dictator and his wife, Elena; former Interior Minister Tudor Postelnicu; and former Politburo members Manea Manesacu and Ion Dinca have pleaded guilty to complicity to commit genocide, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. The charges stem ' from the shooting of demonstrators in Timisoara and other Romanian cities, which inspired the uprising against Ceausescu, who had ruled Romania for 24 years. Campeanu said two forms of government were "suggested at the negotiations Thursday: a political administration run by competitive parties and a government of technocrats. He said the government of technocrats had the strongest support and would be discussed at the first meeting of the new council. Campeanu' said the APLuerPhotos Emil Bobu council would elect a new president. Ionescu said the Front's ruling council would dissolve itself, but he did not give a date. In the new council of national unity, each of the 29 parties and the Front will have three seats, for a total of 90, Campeanu said. He said another 90 seats will be held by non-political members from "all strata of the population from around the country, including people who participated in.the revolution." All who attended Thursday's negotiations signed a statement saying establishment of the new council would involve "restructuring the National SalvaJn Front council to ensure representation by the active participants in the revolution, by prominent scientific and cultural figues, workers, peasants, intellectuals, youth, students and national minorities." 'The representatives of the participating political parties and forces urge (the people) to avoid, in the following period, demonstrations that could lead to tension and violent confronta-. tion," it said. A huge anti-government protest Sunday was matched by one of Front supporters Monday. They were the largest public displays since the uprising, which ended with the executions of Ceausescu and his wife on Christmas Day. Interim President Ion Iliescu told a news conference Thursday the Front is politically independent. Some critics say the Front, which includes former Communists, would set up a new Communist dictatorship if it won the elections. ByDANHAGEN Staff Writer CLUJ, Romania On his way to chemistry class, Sebastian Sasu found himself in the middle of a revolution. In a Jan. 13 letter to his, American friends Walter Lazen-by and Paul Oakley of Charleston, the , 18-year-old Romanian described his perspective on the December revolution which brought the execution of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his hand in it. He'd met English instructors Lazenby and Oakley during their nine-month Fulbright grant stay in Romania during 1988 and 1989. Sasu is preparing'for his university entrance exams at his home in Cluj, a Transylvanian city of about 200,000. He lives with his mother, a professor of French, and his father, a writer. Here, in his own well-chosen English words, is his story: "We are okay, although we were part of the events and bullets have been fired at us, but unfortunately there were thousands not as fortunate as we were," wrote the Romanian teen. "The things that have happened "at a great speed are really fantastic, for the ones who are still alive to enjoy this new freedom. Many have died for this freedom of speech, of opinion, of travel, etc. Numbers are yet unknown but probably around 5,000. Nobody knows how many because the first thousand or so were either buried (together) or cremated, as if this would help keep their death unknown. "The situation was really tragic in Timisoara, Sibiu and of course Bucharest. I returned this morning after a week stay in the capital and it's really frightening. You wouldn't believe unless you see for yourself. Walls, not only of official buildings, but also of homes, "peppered" with bullets. My girlfriend in Sibiu had seven bullets in her apartment. "In Cluj, there have been 32 registered deaths and hundreds of wounded. I don't know if you would've liked to be here, but it would've been a unique experience. I'm sure you're very curious, so I'll relate the events in the best way I can, the way things happened to me: "Everything started Thursday afternoon, the 21st of December, exactly a -week after things started happening in Timisoara. Cluj was the third city to revolt, after Timisoara and Arad. I was on my way to a private lesson of chemistry. Coming through the V Romanian student Sebastian Sasu I could see the dead lying In front of the Hotel Continental, and I was forced back by an army officer who told me to run If I wanted to live. Sebastian Sasu 99 'centra' (center,) I saw that everything was Very agitated, something was wrong but then I didn't give it any thought. Waiting in the trolley station for 3 to go to Gheorgheni (a district of Cluj), I ask awoman what time it is. Her answer: 'It's 15:50.' Suddenly I hear a couple of 'popping sounds (just like a cork) and it takes me a couple of seconds to realize that what I have heard are gunshots. At the time I didn't pay any attention to them (I know it sounds absurd) and a few minutes later I see everybody looking down the street which connects the square in which 'I was with Libertatii Square, the one with the Gothic cathedral. "I follow their looks, and I see hundreds of people coming, running towards me, and I hear more shots. It's only then that I started realizing that everything we had been hearing on 'Radio Europe Libera' (Radio Free Europe) about Timisoara was turning to reality, here in Cluj. "A guy is limping toward me, sustained by his girlfriend who is trying to get him home. I look down at his legs and on his pants I see a red stain and a hole. My God, I ask him, what the hell happened? His voice is nearly hysterical, he's not sure that everything isn't just a bad dream. He shouts at me, 'They've fired on us!' "Around me, everybody has panicked. They are trying to get on the buses to go home and lock themselves in, where it's safe!? I resolve to go on with my chemistry. I finally catch a bus and arrive at my teacher's. Calmly I ask her, 'Can I make a phone call? I'd like to talk to my mother.' She asks, Why? You just got here!' Then I tell her. She panics and wants to send me quickly home, because outside at 5 o'clock it's already dark. "In the meantime, her brother arrives, and I learn how things started. At noon, not far from the big factory CVG, a group of five men stopped a streetcar, made everybody get down and told them things couldn't go oil: the way they were and that Timisoara has already asked the question and is now waiting' for the rest of the country to answer "So they started marching on Horea Street toward the center; but they hadn't reckoned with what was awaiting them on lhe bridge that crosses the Somesh: tanks. "After learning of these events, I started the hike back home.. I got to the center of the town, keeping to the dark back alleys, because I was afraid of . the patrols that were "combing" the town. Through a barrage of armored vehicles and military trucks I got to the Universitatii bookshop, but that's as far as I could get. "I could see the dead lying in front of the Hotel Continental, and I was forced back by an army officer who told me to run if I wanted to live. In that moment, I was glad that I'm on a basketball team. "I found my way through the crowd, meeting a lot of wounded people on the way, and I finally got home, dust in time, because my motherwas nearly hysterical, not knowing what had happened to me (I couldn't find a phone to call her). "That night I didn't sleep almost at all .and the next morning, together with a neighbor, we were back in the streets, striving to get into the front line. I am very proud that that I was one of the many who forced their way ' into the building of the 'State Security Department.' "On the 22nd, everyone was the other's brother, everyone was in a state of general happiness because the army switched sides even before , we found out that Ceausescu (the tyrant, the vampire as the others call him I don't call him at all, for me he no longer exists, not even in my memory) had run away." Sasu added that his father will be at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on a Fulbright Scholarship this month, and that he hopes to join him there. : . : Sasu also added, in a postscript, "Things have started happening in the last days which show that our people are politic cally immature, and I pray to God that they possess the necessary intelligence to face this situation, and really enjoy this freedom they're not used to." And in a final postscript,, the. Romanian teen said, "The terrorists fired with dum-dums. If you know what that is, you can figure out for yourselves how the wounded looked." Teens want last word on abortion NEW YORK (AP) An overwhelming majority of high school students believe a preg- nant teen-ager who wants an abortion should have the final say rather than the girl's parents, according to a survey by the Girl Scouts. The survey released Wednesday also found that 65 percent of high school students would cheat on an important exam, and 37 percent of junior and senior high school students said they would have sex with someone they lov- 'ed. Seventy percent of the students interviewed thought the decision about whether to have an abortion was the girl's to make, while 13 percent said her parents should decide. . Only 12 percent said they would advise an abortion, and 57 percent said the girl should have the baby. Black and Hispanic children were significantly more likely to recommend keeping the baby, over abortion or adoption. The survey of 5,012 students questioned students from 233 public, private and parochial schools from Sept. 14 to Oct. 30. on their beliefs and moral values. Questionnaires were different for students in grades 4-6, and for junior and high school students. Among other findings . Nearly half of those surveyed (45 percent) said they rely on their own experience when deciding what is true, compared to just 3 percent who believe science is the most believable authority. , Among their major concerns, respondents most often (24 percent) listed pressure to do well in school or sports, followed by what to do with their lives (17 percent), drug use (13 percent) v lack of close friends (8 percent) and teen-age pregnancy (6 percent). The greatest pressures they feel were obeying parents and teachers (80 percent), to get good grades (78 percent), not to take drugs (77 percent), to prepare for the futur (69 percent) and to earn money (62 percent). Just 6 percent named the pressure to take drugs. The survey for the Girl Scouts of the United States of America was made in partnership with the Lilly Endowment and the C.S Mott Foundation. It was conducted by Harris-Scholastic Research, a division of the Louis Harris and Associates Inc. polling firm, in collaboration with Harvard child psychiatrist Robert Coles, sociologist James Davison Hunter of the University of Virginia and John Seel of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation. A companion study is to be published next year. . ; She learns her husband is gay and he has AIDS Percy lUis Minneapolis millionaire Percy Ross is internationally known for his philanthropic works and likes to encourage others to help solve problems for those in need. He has earned a fortune and a wealth of knowledge during his lifetime and wants to share both before his death. His motto is: "He who gives while he lives. ..also knows where it goes." Dear Mr. Ross: My God what am I going to do? I've been married for 12 years and have two children. The man I'm married to is not the man I thought I married. Imagine my horror waking up one morning to learn my spouse is a closet homosexual. That was three days ago. I didn't have a clue in the world that my husband was gay. But he's not only gay, he's also got AIDS! What if 1 have the disease too? My God, my God what am I go-ingtodo? I'm confused and shocked and have never been so disillusioned with life. I kicked him out of the house and told him to seek sympathy with the man or men who gave him this decadent disease. I have no skills, as I've been a homemaker my entire adult life. At 33, I'm faced with no hope or future for my children and myself, except the dreaded life of welfare. You've just got to help me, Mr. Ross. We were living paycheck to paycheck when my husband was here and have no savings. My household expenses are $735 a month. " j I haven't, been able to tell anyone about this nightmare I've been living with I'm too ashamed. I feel like committing suicide, but my children need me. Help me. What am I going to do? Mrs. S.M., Jacksonville, Fla. , Dear Mrs. M.: I suggest you begin by stabilizing your household. I can help with the financial aspect and am sending the funds to cover your expenses for two months. Part of that should pay for the costs of your AIDS testing. Now for the hard part the emotional side and your future. I don't have the resources to counsel you. But I do know that when the "horror of the moment" is talked about with other people, it begins to subside and your nightmare becomes a "problem." You can at least look at a problem and start to make some rational choices. From there, you can begin to restructure your life. I know it's not easy, but that's how you deal with a crisis, which is the best term I have for your situation. My heart is heavy for your burden, but my head tells me youll get through it. My very best wishes. Dear Mr. Ross: I caught your TV segment on "2020." Bravo! I noticed, though, that your critics are still squawking about the fact that you publicly display your generosity. All I can say is, if you didn't advertise the fact that you were giving money away, I never would have known I got help from Percy Ross. Your check not only got my car running, but it saved my job, which supports my small family of three. I never saw my letter of request in your column, so I'm sure you do a lot without any fanfare from the public. However, I want to step forward and request that this letter gets printed. As I said before, I'm proud to have receiyed your financial support. Mr. M.M., Bismarck, N.D. . Dear Mr. M.: This column is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of those I help. But even if it were all I did even if I only gave away $1 a day I would still tell people about it. It is from example that people learn. The countless complimentary letters I receive, in which letter writers, claim they are inspired to share their resources because of this column, will keep me shouting my message: Thanks a million for sharing yours. Dear Mr. Ross: This is no sob story, but I would like to get your assistance. I'm.33 and single, and I work a full-time and part-time job. For the last three. years, I've been helping support my grandmother. She is 89 and has been in poor health for the past few years (cancer); Recently, she has shown signs of improvement, and her doctor says there are some things she can, now do on her own without my help. Finally, after three years, I would like to take a vacation for a few days and enjoy myself. . , ' 1 I think with air fare, hotel and food, $500 would be sufficient to cover my expenses to Las Vegas. I could lie and say I need the money for my grandmother, but Ij have already taken care of her needs. So, I'm asking for; $500 to take a vacation. Can you help a hardworking" guy take a trip to Vegas? - Mr. T.G.k Dallas, Texas. Dear Mr. G.: Your honesty and good deeds make it hard to .turn your request down cold. If you can scrape together $250, 111 kick in for the other half. In fact, I'm so sure youll get your $250 together, I'm sending-my $250 up-front. Have a safe and enjoyable tripl . V You may write to Percy Ross do (name of this newspaper), P.O. Box 35060, Minneapolis, Minn. 55435. Include a telephone number if you wish.,All leU ters sent to Mr. Ross are read. Only few are answered in this column,, although othersmaybe acknowledged privately. Copyright 1989 Percy Rosi' ' . 0 -- . ' . . - J

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