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April 22, 1997 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

i

NATION/WORLD

The Michigan Daily - TuesdayApril22, 1997-13

t _

Floods
threaten
clean,
water
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -
With a record flood filling most of the
city with filthy water, city officials
said yesterday they were considering
stringing a hose up to 22 miles across
the prairie to bring in clean water so
people could at least wash their hands.
"What people take for granted day
to day, like taking a shower and wash-
ing clothes, isn't going to happen for
quite a while," said National Guard
Capt. Greg Bowen. "The sanitary con-
ditions are primitive at best"
The Red River that had flooded 75
percent of the city also shut down the
municipal water treatment plant, and
there was no water service for the esti-
mated 10 percent of the city's 50,000
inhabitants who hadn't left yet.
"The toilet part is the worst," said
Richard George. "We just flush it with
melted snow. We were melting snow
on the barbecue grill."
Portable bathrooms and drinking
water stations were scattered through-

HONG KONG
Continued from Page 1S
diet a smooth transition and a
promising future for Hong Kong.
"I feel that there will be no big
changes," said LSA junior John Kim,
who is originally from Hong Kong.
"China and Hong Kong have already
agreed to follow the Basic Law system
- to follow the 'one country, two sys-
tems' model."
Kim criticized Hong Kong's
Governor Chris Patten, who proposed
new political reforms in 1992 without
consulting the Hong Kong people or
China.
Patten's reforms were implement-
ed in 1995, resulting in Hong
Kong's first ever directly elected
legislature.
University Associate Political
Science Prof. Yasheng Haung, who
teaches a class on China, said although
China intends to scrap major democrat-
ic progress in Hong Kong, leaders in
Bejing would adopt Hong Kong's earli-
er political system.
"It is true that the Chinese govern-
ment plans to roll back civil liberties
but I don't think they want to do
more," Haung said. "They want to
roll back the political system to the
pre-Patten era."
Stephanie Hu, a School of Business
Administration junior who is originally
from Hong Kong, also felt that any
political reform would be limited,
although she noted it's hard to predict
China's actions.

"In the near future, the political sys-
tem should not have a drastic change,
but nobody knows," Hu said.
Hu said although Patten's political
reforms were destined to be
repealed, they were not a waste of
time.
"On the positive side, probably, it
will increase the awareness of human
rights," Hu said. "The downside is hav-
ing to adjust to a Chinese system that is
very different."
Ian Perkin, assistant director of the
Hong Kong General Chamber of
Commerce, said while it was disap-
pointing that China will repeal recent
democratic reforms in Hong Kong,
Britain was not as wiling to nurture
Hong Kong's political development
as the Western press has been report-
ing.
"The problem here is that there
seems to be a view in the United
States, about the political situation
and the human rights situation in the
future Hong Kong," Perkin said.
"We see it from a different perspec-
tive.
"One can't forget Hong Kong is a
colony. Democratic reform in Hong
Kong only extends from 1992 on. Only
five years ago, the Governor of Hong
Kong was all powerful," Perkin said.
Kim and Haung also complained
about the coverage of the Western
media.
"I think the Western media is biased
in a way," Kim said. "They only sensa-
tionalize (the handover) because it's a
communist country taking over a capi-
talist one"

Haung said the press is making a mis-
take by focusing on Hong Kong's politics.
"I think the Western media is
doing a very bad job," Haung said.
"They think China is imposing
China's own political system in
Hong Kong, (but) China is imposing
the (pre.-1992) system.
Haung said the media also is over-
looking the economic consequences of
the reunification.
"The West should be more concerned
about economic aspects of Hong Kong,
m'ore than political aspects, because
there's a clear danger that the laissez-
faire system may be undermined,"
Haung said.
Economic success following the han-
dover is also a concern of Hong Kong
students at the University.
Rita Chan, an LSA first-year student
and social secretary of the Hong Kong
Students Association, said most of the
170 HKSA members are more worried
about employment opportunities than
politics.
"I think a lot of us are probably wor-
rying about jobs when we go buck,"
Chan said.
Perhaps as evidence of their con-
fidence in the future, Kim, Chan
and Hu all intend to return to Hong
Kong.
My family members "have no plans
leave,' Kim said. "I don't think any-
thing will go wrong."
Hu said re-unification with China
will be a historic moment.
The handover "is gaining more expo-
sure," Hu said. "It's in the spotlight. I'll
be there."

2 I
AP PHOTO
This house flooded up to its second floor yesterday in Grand Folks, N.D. due to
continued flooding of the Red River which is 25 feet over flood level.

out the city's still-dry extreme west
end. In public and motel restrooms,
the stench built up until crews could
periodically come by with flushing
water.
The city also supplied most of the
water for Grand Forks Air Force Base,

where more than 2,000 of the city's
refugees were staying.
The base still had a reserve of clean
water, was pumping some water from
a nearby small town and planned to
bring in 20 large tanker trucks, said a
spokesperson, Capt. Byron Spencer.

Riots block aid, threaten to
disperse starving Rwandans

f _.. .. e. . .... .._. «.

KISANGANI, Zaire (AP) -- Zairian
rebels blocked aid workers from enter-
ing refugee camps yesterday, raising
fears that 100,000 Rwandans, starving
and terrified, might try to flee deeper
into the dense tropical forest.
The rebels said they were closing off
camps south of Kisangani to restore
order after the slaughter of six Zairian
villagers sent local residents on a ram-
page, looting and stoning foreign jour-
nalists and aid workers. It was unclear
who the killers were.
International agencies already had
suspended aid shipments because of
such attacks, but wanted rebel assur-
ances they could safely return and pre-
pare for a planned airlift of the refugees
home to Rwanda.
Instead, the rebels told them yesterday
to stay away. The refugees --- dying at a
rate of 60 per day from malaria, dysen-
tery, pneumonia and cholera - have
enough food to last about two days.
"We're concerned about what's hap..
pening in the camps, because we've got
nobody there," said Paul Stromberg,

spokesperson for the tI.N High
Commissioner for Refugees. "We're
concerned that in present circum-
stances, they may leave."
UNHCR planned to fly over the
camps today to see whether refugees
were fleeing, Stromberg said.
The United Nations condemned
recent attacks by Zairian mobs, includ-
ing yesterday's, and linked them to
rebel stalling of what would be the
biggest refugee airlift in Africa. The
United Nations. wants to fly the
100,000 refugees south of K isangani to
the Rwandan border, then repatriate
them.
U N. Secretary-Gieneral Kofi Annan
and u N High Commissioner for
Refugees Sadako Ogata met yesterday
in Geneva. Ogata said the situation had
worsened since Zairian mobs stoned the
cars of foreign aid workers on Friday
"Today, the military told us that we
would not be allowed in the camps:
Ogata said in a statement. "That is not
good enough. We must have access and
we must begin the airlift.

The airlift originally was to have
begun Friday, but rebels have delayed it.
saying an airlift would spread disease
and clog rebel-held airports.
Instead. the alliance wants trucks to
take the refugees on the 375-mile drive
to the border. Parts of the road are in
such bad shape that extensive repairs
would be needed first.
Already tense relations between
Zairians and Rwandan refugees wors-
ened yesterday, when assailants with
machine guns shot and killed six vil-
lagers in their mud huts in Kasese. 15
miles south of Kisangani.
It was not known who committed the
attack, but villagers claimed to hear the
killers speaking the Rwandan language.
Kinvarwanda, and blamed Rwandan
llutu militiamen from the refugee
camps. Many ethnic-Tutsi rebels also
speak K inyarwanda.
Asida Musalia said the attackers
ordered him to go in his hut "Then. I
heard gunshots around the village, and
when I came out I saw them run into the

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