Press Review [Archives:2000/31/Press Review]

July 31 2000

Main Headlines:
-Yemen, Saudi Lodge copies of Borders Treaty at the UN
-Technical & Military Committees on Borders, Meet in August
-7 Persons Accused of Kidnapping 4 Belgian Tourists, Stand Trial
-Yemeni Media Men Hold Zindani Responsible for Harm against them Due to Blasphemy Campaign
-”Mauj” Freezes its Media Opposition
– Media Men Litigate Sheikh Zindani
– Government Sends More Forces to End ”Dahm” Mutiny
-Serial Killer Stands Trial August 5, Accomplices under Influential Forces Protection
-Death Sentence to Killer of Dutch Expert
-Zindani Banned from Leaving Abroad
-Information Minister Confirms Support for Journalists
-Foodstuffs Containing Radioactive Materials
– GAAT Accepts Yemen Membership
-President Saleh: Jedda Treaty Opened Spacious Horizons, No Secret Appendices
-Three Big Figures Involved in Morgue Crime
-Security Arrests A Gang of Burglars
Editorials, articles and commentaries of Yemeni press have this week continued their discussion of most important domestic issues. Following are excerpts from some leading article published this week in Yemeni press:
Ath-Thawra daily of July 30, 2000 has said in its editorial that the settlement of borders issue between Yemen and Saudi Arabia has constituted a groundwork for a genuine transfer to be seen in the two countries relations.
It is also apparent that by this historic achievement the political leaderships of the two countries have provided wide-range opportunities for interaction of interests of the two peoples, working for activating economic operations and agreement on them among the two countries financial and business sectors.
Our country has sought to provide adequate and encouraging climates to attract national, Arab and foreign investments after the dynamism and openness that the Jedda treaty has provided.
Al-Wahdawi weekly, organ of People’s Unionist Nasserite Organization of July 25, 2000 tackled in one of its articles the topic of Local Government.
The article says the question of local government in Yemen is not political as much as an objective social necessity. It is dictated by the Yemeni diversified nature. By the nature of its composition, the Yemeni society is characterized by multiple structure, geographically, socially and culturally. The cultural and artist variety of Yemeni society is the product of geographical and climatic variety and big difference of economic and civilization levels.
This variation needs to be dealt with, within the unity frame, through ideas, plans and programs commensurate to each of them.
The article maintains that the full-authority local government system is rather the most convenient form for such variant circumstances. By introducing such version of local government, we can overcome backwardness and periodical conflicts and exchange of groundless accusations.
A successful local government system in our country, with full authorities, would have many positive reflections on the society and the central state in the first place. It will confirm sincerity of the government’s democratic pursuit. Local and countryside areas would witness real development because the sons of these areas will depend on themselves in developing their areas.
The local development would create new job opportunities within each area. Local government with complete authorities would also lead to enhance the national unity. Residents of Yemeni locally governed areas would feel that the national bond within the boundaries of the Republic of Yemen is their unifying factor. The article also sees that such local government system would stop waves of migration from rural areas and districts towards big cities and the capital.
On the phenomenon of people carrying different kinds of weapons, Al- Wahda weekly of July 26 published an article discussing the negative impact of the phenomenon.
The question of carrying weapons particularly inside the cities as a sign of show off and on various occasions has produced an apparent negative impact. Victims of carrying and using weapons in Yemen have actually outnumbered those of fightings and wars.
Some might argue and say that it acts as a complementary to male personality and appearance. That’s absolutely untrue. The real yardstick of man prestige is his degree of knowledge, added to it his good manners and ethics.
The article has further said that carrying weapons is worrying the society and posing a threat to the life of the family and the individual. Still, the government has not yet come with an appropriate solution. One would wonder why the parliament had postponed discussing this problem and the law regulating carrying of weapons had been postponed several times. Is it so complicated a problem that its solution is too difficult to find? Or, one may infer that the people’s representatives do not want that for certain reasons.
RAY weekly, organ of Sons of Yemen League editorial of July 215 issue has discussed another important domestic theme.
Yemen has positively dealt with the modern approach that is based on stability. It has therefore settled its border issues with neighboring countries with a civilized mechanism. This indicates its capability of responding to prevalent and future requirements. Other characteristic data in Yemen are the emerging democratic experiment, many factors of stability, some factors of lasting unity and added to them factors of distinguished geographical and historical characteristics.
Availability of these data and factors at this historical moment confirm that now there is an appropriate opportunity that should not be missed. Nowadays it is a favorable opportunity to take the initiative, without any hesitation, to finalize the internal political dossier. We should embark on a comprehensive political reform embracing the purest forms of national reconciliation. This would be the only procedure to seriously qualify Yemen to deal with the new age. And this would not be achieved without a stable Yemen, lock, stock and barrel.
An article in Al-Nass of July 24, 2000 tackled the subject of human rights protection in Yemen.
At the beginning of the article it has been said that human rights are known throughout all times and everywhere. They need no seminars, organizations and academic studies and researches to make people aware of them. Human rights are connected with his life and freedom, the problem lies in application and practice rather than in knowing about those rights.
The article has further said that human rights and freedom are something sacred, as is his life. Protection and preservation of human property, honor and his materialist and moral entity is the responsibility of the state.
The article assumes that the government in our country might have got addicted to failure in almost all of its acts. Its beginning had coincided with a disaster and it seems it is going to end its term, April this year, in coinciding with a great catastrophe and unsightly crime. A crime that claimed the lives of a number of girls and probably boys. It is the medical faculty morgue crime that has been shocking the entire Yemeni society and whose reverberations have reached both Arab and Islamic society. The article concluded that holding the government responsible for what is happening, does not exempt individuals, groups, authority and opposition from the responsibility. All bear the responsibility, though in various portions.

ATTARIQ, Independent political weekly, July 25, 2000.
An article on present tasks in Yemen says they should be focused on the re-arrangement of the country’s domestic affairs and conditions, especially after the success in settling issues of borders. 
The article affirms that the present pressing task is much more difficult and tiresome than the tasks our people have undertaken since achieving the unity on May 22, 1990. It is the task characterized by a real great strife. The enemy we have to encounter is dwelling and hiding among ourselves, practicing all sorts of corruption. All of us should join efforts and unite our ranks against corruption and the corrupt.
On fighting corruption, an article has been published in 26 September political weekly, organ of Yemen armed forces, July 27, 2000.
The article says that every now and then we hear a call for fighting corruption, especially after it has become an aggravated phenomenon prevalent in government institutions. Nobody could deny that the more poverty among people, the larger the image of corruption appears before them. Nevertheless, the issue of corruption sometimes published publicly, do not represent the actual size of the problem. Only small-sized practices of bribe and embezzlement are pursued by the authorities concerned. They are the practices committed by junior employees, while attention is turned away from corruption tycoons. It is regrettable t say that all sorts of corruption have intensified in a horrible way inside government machinery. Therefore disclosing and fighting it has become an imperative action. Without combating corruption resolutely, here would be no use of any measures or attempts to introduce administrative, financial, economic and judicial reforms. What we need is a courageous confrontation with the situation.
In one of its articles Al-Shumoa political independent weekly of July 29, 2000, has lashed out at the government of Yemen. It has said that Yemen’s government has won the highest position in the way of simplifying the negative conditions in the country. When corruption is tackled the government would reply by saying it is an ordinary question and corruption is there in many countries of the world, and ” we are part of this world.” When dangerous security disturbances in the country and crimes happen, such as that of the medical college, the government would say that they were not of that magnitude or danger. About the aggravating state of poverty , the government would respond that the problem of poverty is not only a Yemeni one, it is global.
The article maintains that all facts and indications say that the current situation under the present government and its reform program, led the country to the verge of collective poverty. The middle class does no longer exist in the society. The Yemeni society has almost changed into two classes: a majority class suffering from poverty and a minority class entertaining extraordinary wealth. Most members of the latter class are from senior officials who have exceeded in their richness many of well-known businessmen.
Al-Isbou political independent weekly, July 27, 2000.
An article on the freedom of expression and the freedom of preaching has said that amidst the controversy over the Thaqafia newspaper and its developments, there appeared some calls for restricting the freedom of Friday prayers preaches. The pretext is that there is some exploitation of Friday platform for serving political and party purposes. And amidst emotions, many journalists and writers and advocated of freedom fomented for suppressing the preachers.
As a matter of fact the question has entered political mazes and partisan tunnels. Each party was keen to invest and exploit the battle for its interests even though at the expense of principles and constants. The call for restricting the freedom of all the preachers is a confiscation of the freedom of expression and opinion and marginalization of democracy. The freedom of opinion and expression is an indivisible whole, inside the mosque and outside it. Suppression of freedoms and opinions does not differentiate between the pen and the tongue. It does not also distinguish between the pulpit and the newspaper. All will be harmed and the duty should be cooperation for widening the circle of freedoms and not to narrow it.
The recklessness of preachers and frivolity of some journalists would give the authority a weapon and justification to narrow freedom. Therefore, both religious and worldly extremism must be discarded.