College expels Americans and Britons in retaliation for Nato bombing

By Jean Christou

A PRIVATE college in Nicosia announced yesterday that it was throwing out all of its British and American students in retaliation fro the Nato bombing of Yugoslavia.

An announcement by the Palace College said it was suspending the attendance of its British and American students for as long as “their brutal governments” continue the bombing of Yugoslavia and the “massacre” of Serbs.

“Palace College has decided to send to Yugoslavia the double amount of all the fees paid by American and British students to Palace College during the academic year 1998/99,” the statement said.

Like dozens of such establishments in Cyprus, the Palace College offers private lessons to secondary school pupils to prepare for British and other examinations and for entrance to Greek universities. It also offers secretarial and language courses.

College director Michalis Papachrysostomou claimed the number of students affected would be up to 50. “We will separate those who have one Greek parent or those married to a Greek,” he said. “This will not apply to them, only to those who are completely British or American.”

Papachrysostomou agreed that the measures might appear unfair. “But compared to what they are doing, this is nothing,” he said.

Papachrysostomou said the college had begun informing the students of its decision, adding many of those affected realised the decision was the “correct” one.

Asked if fees would be returned to the suspended students, he replied: “Of course not. That’s the whole point.”

He said the fees paid by these students would be sent to Yugoslavia and the amount would be matched by the college itself.

He had no information on whether any other local colleges were following his example.

Meanwhile around 2,000 secondary school pupils skipped classes yesterday to stage a protest outside the US embassy in Nicosia.

The teenagers threw oranges, lemons, tomatoes, eggs, Coca Cola cans and fire crackers at the embassy building, which was protected by riot police. No serious incidents were reported.

“Clinton should just leave Yugoslavia alone… who appointed him the world policeman?” demonstrators shouted.

The students asked if embassy officials would accept a written petition, but they refused.

The students demonstration dispersed at around midday, but they were replaced by a group of around 100 Yugoslav residents who travelled from Limassol to protest.

Anorthosis football club said yesterday it had continued to receive calls from volunteers wishing to go and fight with the Serbs in Yugoslavia.

A spokesman at the Famagusta refugee club said over 100 calls had been received. “They just keep coming in,” he said, adding that they expected things to begin moving as soon as the Yugoslav embassy gave the go-ahead. “They said that when they needed us they would call,” he said.

An official at the embassy said she had “no comment” on the issue.

As fund-raising for Yugoslavia continued on the island yesterday, House President Spyros Kyprianou announced that deputies from the House would all gather at Eleftheria Square on Saturday to show their support for the Serbs. Kyprianou did not rule out a march on the US embassy.