Tuesday, July 27, 1999

NATO must protect
Kosovo Serb minority

Bullet The issue: Fourteen Serb farmers have been killed in Kosovo.

Bullet Our view: The NATO peace-keeping force has its work cut out for it.

WHEN NATO forced Yugoslav forces to withdraw from Kosovo, the alliance ended the so-called ethnic cleansing -- murder, rape and expulsion -- of the Albanian population. Now the returning Albanians are taking their revenge on the Serb population. You could call it reverse ethnic cleansing.

The killing of 14 Serb farmers has underlined in blood the fact that the NATO victory has not brought true peace to Kosovo. It would be dreadfully naive to believe this conflict ended with the Yugoslav military pullout.

As the tables have turned, Kosovo's Serbs are now the victims of killings, arson and other violence.

More than 700,000 ethnic Albanians have returned to Kosovo on the heels of the advancing NATO forces, some of them bent on vengeance. About 100,000 Serbs are believed to have fled Kosovo, leaving their homes in fear of their lives as the ethnic Albanians did previously.

NATO commanders have beefed up security around the village where the farmers were killed, but the massacre can only make it more difficult to persuade the remaining Serbs not to flee the province and leave it to the ethnic Albanians.

The killing was followed by an attack by Albanians on Kosovo Serb leader Momcilo Trajkovic as he tried to prevent them from expelling Serbs from their apartments in Pristina, the provincial capital. In that case, however, international peacekeepers intervened.

The U.N. administrator in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, pledged not to let the killings wreck efforts to create peace and security for all of the province's ethnic groups. But a meeting of a transitional government committee of ethnic Albanians and Serbs scheduled for yesterday was postponed in response to a Serb request.

In an ironic twist, Yugoslavia demanded an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council on ways to stop ethnic violence in Kosovo -- as if the Yugoslav forces under President Slobodan Milosevic had not been guilty of the same crimes, only worse.

By routing the Yugoslavs, NATO has assumed responsibility to maintain order in Kosovo. Its commanders are beginning to learn how tough a job that will be.

Animal solicitation

Bullet The issue: The Honolulu City Council has passed a bill that would help prevent animal solicitors in Waikiki from taking advantage of tourists and property owners.

Bullet Our view: The mayor should approve these changes immediately.

THEY are a common sight along the main thoroughfares and side streets of Waikiki: Outgoing folks with brightly colored birds, especially parrots, perched atop their shoulders. As tourists stroll past them, some of these enthusiastic hawkers are offering to take photos of the travelers with the winged creatures -- for a fee paid on the spot -- while promising to deliver the pictures later.

They don't always keep their word. In fact, some of these solicitors have resorted to heavy-handed tactics, like snapping the photos first and then demanding payment. Moreover, some of these people and pets are blocking the entryways to private property.

To smooth over such ruffled feathers, the City Council has made major amendments to Bill 53, which is now winging its way to the mayor for signing. The measures, introduced by Councilman Duke Bainum, would require solicitors to wear chest signs explaining -- in English and Japanese -- that the photos are taken for donations only. Furthermore, business may not be conducted on private property without the written permission of the owner.

Because of blatant abuses by a few unscrupulous souls, these rules are necessary to protect the lifeblood of Waikiki: tourists and the enterprises that cater to them. Visitors need to know they are not required to hand over money when they are accosted by overly aggressive solicitors. Mayor Harris should parrot the Council's intent and approve the changes.

Raul Manglapus

RAUL Manglapus, who died Sunday at 80, was one of the Philippines' foremost fighters for democracy. A guerrilla fighter during the World War II Japanese occupation, he led a group in the United States from 1972-86 opposing the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.

Returning from exile after Marcos' overthrow, he served as secretary of foreign affairs in the government of President Corazon Aquino.

Manglapus gained recognition in the 1950s as an aide to President Ramon Magsaysay, briefly serving as foreign secretary in the Magsaysay administration. He later served in the Senate, promoting land reform and battling corruption.

In 1972 he fled to the United States to avoid arrest when Marcos declared martial law. In the U.S. he organized a group called the Movement for a Free Philippines, lobbying in Washington against aid to the Marcos dictatorship.

Raul Manglapus was one of the leading Filipino intellectuals of his generation and a politician with wide appeal. It was the Philippines' misfortune that Ferdinand Marcos, equally able but lacking principles, won the presidency rather than someone like Manglapus.

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