Press Review [Archives:2000/30/Press Review]

July 24 2000

The second most important theme has been the Jeddah Border Treaty and its future impact particularly on internal situation. Most of other themes dealt with in the press are on the armed confrontations in some governorates and matters of domestic reforms in various fields. State-run newspapers have this week mainly highlighted the 22nd anniversary of president Ali Abdullah Saleh assumption of power in Yemen.

Main Headlines:
-Six Police Officers Arrested, Suspected to be Involved in Serial Killer Crimes
-Al-Jifri: Let’s Seize Positive Momentum of Border Treaty for Speeding Up Comprehensive Reform
-Yemeni-Saudi Talks on Finalizing Measures of Treaty Implementation
-Deporting African Horn Refugees, Continues
-The British Youth Family, DeniesHis Being Shot by Brother
-Socialist Party: National Reconciliation, Safe Way to Stop Conflicts & Liquidations
-Yemeni Journalists Syndicate Condemns Attack Attempt on Attorney Al-Mikhlafi
-Physicians Deny Salary Increase, Minister Confirms It
-Information Minister: Looking Forward to Institutional Information
-Primary Survey Electoral Awareness
-Yemen Demand to Join WTO Accepted
-Interior Minister: 18 Female Bodies, Murders Outside the Morgue
-Decayed ”Israeli” Goods in Aden Markets
– Government Waves Closure of Iman University
-Ali Seif Hassan: Treaty Won’t Solve Yemeni Problems, No Pressures on Opposition
– President Saleh Congratulates President Hussein on Iraq’s Revolution Anniversary
– In Response to Protest, Egypt Omits a Film Phrase Offending Yemen
Following are excerpts of some main articles published in some of this week’s Yemeni newspapers:
RAY weekly, mouthpiece of Sons of Yemen League (18 July 2000)has published an editorial by its Editor-in- Chief on the case and controversy currently raging about Al-Thaqafia newspaper. The editorial says we refuse any impingement on the nation’s constants, most of which the Islamic Ideology and denounce any attempt of this kind whatever the justifications were. On the other hand we refuse that everyone allows for himself to be as a guardian and randomly throws his legal opinions in the face of anyone and whenever he wishes. We also refuse to have such legal opinions invested to serve some worldly issues very trivial if compared to the greatness of the subject of deliverance legal opinion.
It is very important that we have a scientific reference shouldering the responsibility of this exalted and serious action, composed of dignified religious leaders. Such a body will act as a balance closing the door before those who try to make giving legal opinion a weapon they draw at the face of adversaries.
If such a reference body of legal opinion had been available, people would not have got divided into supporters and opponents. The ranks would have been very close against anyone trying to even approach from the nation’s constants and sanctities. There would not have been any necessity to use pulpits for terrorizing people, threatening a person like the minister of information or attempting an attack on attorney Al-Mikhlafi.
ATTARIQ Independent weekly on 18 July 2000 tackled in one of its articles the topic of a wide-range authority local government as an urgent popular demand.
It has said that a local government system with wide-range authorities is one of the most important factors of the continuation of unity and strengthening of the central authority. The question of local government in our country is a very complicated issue connected with a host of characteristics. The most significant of these characteristics is the thinking representing a mixture of dream with reality, a precept derived from a philosophy of hereditary rule and those linking everything to the concept of the centre or the central authority.
The governor appointed by the central authority does not care developing his governorate and solving problems of its population and other vital matters. He does not feel that the residents or their elected council are watching him and he is accountable to them. All what concern him is to appease his chief in the first place and to achieve what is needed from him within the frame of the general policy of the central authority.
The law of local government which does not stipulate the election of a governor should be revised. Moreover the local government system with wide-range authorities has become a popular demand that enables finding solutions to the society’s crises.
Al-Wahda weekly issue of 19 July 2000 discussed in one of its articles a question now frequently asked about what else to be done following demarcation of borders with Saudi Arabia.
The article says that president Ali Abdullah Saleh has reiterated his determination to fight all forms of corruption. Despite his incessant calls on the officials to rectify conditions, each within the framework of his jurisdiction, nothing of the sort has been done. Therefore, a surgical operation is inevitable. The surgical operation in quest does not contradict slogans, such as democracy, pluralism and human rights.
Those who consider power as an end, would accomplish nothing. They would only seek how to keep their posts and maintain their power. Our people had experienced such a state of affairs during the rule of Imamate that deprived them of the simplest necessities of life. Now time has come to turn our attention seriously towards the elimination of all forms of financial, administrative and judicial corruption. As an example of social ills is qat. We were of the opinion that the new generations would fight this tree and the habit of chewing qat leaves that its consumption would be confined to few people. What has surprised us is that growing the tree has increased and also its trade. Nowadays this illness is exhausting our wealths and plays a big role in corruption. Taking bribes as an aspect of corruption is committed, among other things, in the name of qat.
Al-Wahdawi weekly, organ of People’s Unionist Nasserite Organization, 18 July 2000, has dealt with another local question. An article titled ” Human Rights in Al-Misrakh” says since the forties up to date the major topic on agenda of the national movement, has been the attainment of reconciliation between the military and the citizen. The military are looked at as defenders of the people and element for security.
Since the 7th of July this year the military have been attacking the citizens, killing five and wounding seven other. They have attacked people’s houses, demolishing six houses, a mosque and a school building in Matali villages in Misrakh district. The said attack was carried out by more than one thousand army troops and 50 military groups from various military units. it targeted the Matali villages in Sabr mountain. Military attacks on citizens have been repeatedly waged in Dhalie and Sabr areas of Al- Misrakh for trivial reasons and simple, attributed to the state of behavior in dealing with problems by taking measures that aggravate those problems.
The state is requested to hasten solving the dispute between the citizens and the military camps of air defense. It is requested to speedily compensate the citizens attacked by the military. military camps should be removed from cities because they are a cause of continuous friction with citizens in more than one governorate.
The article maintains that the normal positions of military camps are on borders to defend national sovereignty and territories of Yemen. Cities must be under the rule of elected authorities. There is no any justification whatever for the use of tanks and artillery in settling a dispute as that which took place between a camp for an air defense and citizens of Mattali villages in Misrakh.
An article published in An-Nass weekly, 17 July 2000 has discussed the problem of brain drain suffered by developing countries.
Undoubtedly, there is scarcity in number of personnel holding higher education degrees in many developing countries. The scarcity is mainly apparent in migration of scientists, doctors and professionals to work in Canada, the US and Europe. The brain drain phenomenon has been a subject of large-scale discussion in the dialogue between the north and the south.
There would be no quick economic development in the developing countries at a time many of high degree holders leave their countries to Europe and America. In an attempt to diagnose causes of the phenomenon, the article offers certain explanations. It says probably the difference in wages is one of the important reasons of such migrations. Other reasons may be the various mode of life and education and employment security.
Whatever the causes may be, this phenomenon will continue to exist as long as developing countries have not adopted policies base on progress and development criteria and due respect towards science and scientists.
Al-Ihya’ Al-Arabi weekly, organ of the Arab Baath Socialist Party, 17 JULY 2000. The newspaper’s editorial has put all the blame for the problems in Yemen on the backwardness of the judiciary system. It says that when we have become convinced and acknowledged his fact and that the reform of judiciary is essential for any progress, there are certain proposals to observe.
-The government should devote itself for one year to deal with conditions of the judiciary.
– Sign contracts with Arab judges to administer most important courts in Yemen . Along with this we must choose the best of our youth working in this field to receive training at the hands of those judges.
-We have to achieve independence of judiciary via benefiting from both the Egyptian and the Lebanese experiments in Yemen with effecting modifications according to requirements of Yemen reality.
Ath-Thawri weekly, organ of Yemeni Socialist Party, 20 July 2000.
An article published in the newspaper discussed the concept of democracy, saying democracy is a historical fact that could not be separated from the people and their daily activities.
As much as it is a people’s demand, democracy is also an important and basic demand in contemporary international relations. At present time democracy has become connected with activity of world capitalist monopolies and influenced by their pressure and those of International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Thus, democracy could no longer be measured by large number of political parties or much talk about it in media.
Al-Umma weekly, organ of Al-Haq party, 20 July 2000.
An article on current priorities stated by certain officials says that talking about such priorities pops up every now and then. Many times such statements are characterised by enthusiasm, but very soon it disappears behind new political developments. Previous and present priorities seem now as marking time side by side at the same point. Issues related to security, fighting corruption and other priorities have not been treated radically but rather remained as they are.
It is necessary to seriously identify the priorities in an immediate programme for treatment. This would give proof on the government’s seriousness to fulfill its promises and show its competence, and thus to win popular and social credibility. There are reasons to work more seriously in this respect:
– signing the border treaty with Saudi Arabia that removed the external concerns,
– the need of attracting Arab and foreign investments,
– approachment of parliamentary and local elections,
-indications of economic reform and political and social stability,
-the need of effecting economic and social development to coincide with social and political variables.