- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 9, 2000

Protestors' concern is agenda, not scouting

As a Cub Scout leader, I see my primary job as demonstrating leadership. I try to set an example for the boys in my charge. To accomplish this, I must sacrifice much time and energy to an organization that successfully has been helping young boys grow into young men for almost 90 years. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) also has helped me to grow, both as a leader and as a parent.

The BSA neither asks nor otherwise seeks to find out what any individual's sexual preference may be. Any Scout or Scout leader who insists on revealing his sexual preference obviously has an agenda other than the well-being of the Scouts. Furthermore, any attempt to force Scout packs and troops to accept such an individual would in many, if not most, cases result in the disintegration of the organization.

The interest in Scouting of a person with such an agenda clearly is not an unselfish interest. The only way he could prove otherwise would be by dropping the agenda.

Almost everyone I have met in the BSA during my four years as a Scout leader has been trustworthy, loyal, courteous, kind, brave, clean and reverent. Now ask yourself honestly: How many of those pushing the homosexual agenda do you believe are trying to live up to that standard?

CLIFF RAYMOND

Sugar Land, Texas

Call for Cyprus unification hasty

Contrary to Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis' Aug. 22 letter ("Artificial political barriers are always a problem"), Cyprus does not raise an issue of partition or false barriers.

After Greek Cypriots destroyed the 1960 Republic of Cyprus' equal partnership constitution in 1963 and illegally evicted Turkish Cypriots from their offices by force, the right of national self-determination reverted to the Turkish Cypriot community. It exercised that right in establishing the democratic Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The Greek Cypriot claim to sovereignty over the entire island thus shipwrecks on constitutional and international law. Even Glafcos Clerides, head of the Greek Cypriot administration, has confessed he exercises no sovereignty over Turkish Cypriots.

The barriers that persist on Cyprus, moreover, are the handiwork of the Greek Cypriots themselves.

According to independent and neutral reporting from the likes of Lyndon Johnson administrationUndersecretary of State George Ball and Western newspapers on the ground in Cyprus, Greeks and Greek Cypriots attempted genocide of Turkish Cypriots both in 1963 and 1974 in hopes of "enosis" union with Greece which is prohibited by the Cyprus constitution and international covenants.

Since then, Greek Cypriots have embraced enosis as official policy, splurged on weapons that have hiked its per capita military budget to the highest in the world, imposed a punishing omnibus embargo on the democratic TRNC, and sought its extension into the sacred halls of academic freedom and educational enrichment.

Ms. Kozakou-Marcoullis, nevertheless, clamors for a hasty marriage between the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot administration and suggests celestial bliss on the island in its wake. But what does she genuinely covet a third genocide in Cyprus reminiscent of the horrors in Rwanda and Burundi, where the Tutsi and Hutus were artificially "unified" by Belgium?

AHMET ERDENGIZ

Washington Representative

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Washington

Indian 'democracy' ignores humans rights

When Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visits the United States next week, the president should press him on human rights violations and self-determination.

The claim by Chidanand Rajghatta ("India's high tech future," Commentary Sept. 5) that India has "a Western system of justice and rule of law that it inherited from the British and has built on during 54 years of unswerving fealty to democracy" is false. The truth, as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, pointed out last year, is that for Sikhs, Kashmiris and other minorities, "India might as well be Nazi Germany."

Late last month, a priest in Gujarat was kidnapped, tortured and paraded naked through town by militant Hindu nationalists. When his fellow priests went to the police, they refused to register a complaint. This attack was part of a wave of terror against Christians that has been going on since Christmas 1998. Priests have been murdered; nuns have been raped; a missionary and his two sons were burned to death in their van by members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is the parent organization of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); schools and prayer halls have been attacked and destroyed. Most of these activities have been carried out by allies of the government or people affiliated with organizations under the umbrella of the RSS, which was founded in support of fascism.

During President Clinton's visit to India in March, 35 Sikhs were murdered in the village of Chithi Singhpora, Kashmir. Two extensive independent investigations, one conducted by the Ludhiana-based International Human Rights Organization and another conducted by the Movement Against State Repression and the Punjab Human Rights Organization, have proved that the Indian government's own forces carried out this massacre.

Since 1984, the Indian government has murdered more than 250,000 Sikhs, according to figures published in "The Politics of Genocide" by Inderjit Singh Jaijee. Mr. Jaijee derived his figures from those of the Punjab State Magistracy. In addition, India has killed more than 200,000 Christians in Nagaland since 1947, more than 70,000 Kashmiri Muslims since 1988 and tens of thousands of Dalits ("black untouchables," the aboriginal people of South Asia), Assamese, Tamils, Manipuris and others. According to Amnesty International, thousands of political prisoners are being held in illegal detention without charge or trial in "the world's largest democracy."

India is a hostile country. It votes against America at the United Nations more often than any country except Cuba. Last year, Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes led a meeting with Cuba, China, Iraq, Serbia, Russia and Libya to construct a security alliance "to stop the U.S," as the Indian Express has reported. India openly supported the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It tested five nuclear warheads, beginning the nuclear arms race in South Asia. It also refuses to allow the Sikhs, Kashmiris, Christians and other minority nations and peoples to decide their own political future in a free and fair vote, as democratic countries do. America repeatedly has granted this opportunity to Puerto Rico, and Canada has permitted Quebec to do so. Why can't the "world's largest democracy" settle these issues the democratic way?

America is the bastion of freedom for the world. We cannot accept this kind of brutality and tyranny from a government that claims to be democratic. Our leaders must press Prime Minister Vajpayee on the issues of human rights and self-determination for Khalistan, Christian Nagalim, Kashmir and all the minority nations and peoples living under Indian rule.

GURMIT SINGH AULAKH

President

Council of Khalistan

Washington

News media goes 'negative'

From every corner of the country, the news media howled last week that Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush was going negative in political ads. Since when is it "negative" to expose your opponent's foibles? Is it "negative" to show your political opponent flip-flopping on every major issue or that he has problems telling the truth?

Where were the howls of protest when the other side deliberately took vice presidential candidate Richard B. Cheney's record out of context? Where were the protests when Republicans were wrongly accused of leaking news on the day of Vice President Al Gore's acceptance speech that a grand jury was hearing evidence that the president perjured himself? Such sounds of righteous indignation were nowhere to be heard from the news media.

MIKE VALAN

Pottsboro, Texas

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