Greece is part of the solution in the BalkansThe various...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 11, 1999

Greece is part of the solution in the Balkans

The various scenarios mentioned in Sun articles that suggest the possibility of Greece's military involvement in the Balkan conflict ("Clinton suggests U.S. goal is elusive," April 3) are for several reasons overcooked.

Greece has no territorial claims against Macedonia and opposes any change of borders in the Balkans, which would have catastrophic consequences for stability in the area. Greece supports the existence, territorial integrity, security and welfare of Macedonia and contributes substantially to its economic viability through trade and investments.

This also holds true for Albania, where Greece makes substantial contributions through investments and generous economic assistance. Over the past decade, Greece has been host to more than 500,000 Albanians, who fled turmoil at home in search of a new life, and found employment in Greece. This has enabled them to send home valuable foreign exchange, estimated at more than $500 million last year.

Greece is providing economic and humanitarian assistance to Macedonia and Albania to help them cope with the influx of refugees from Kosovo. As part of the coordinated international effort, Greece is also preparing special centers to receive several thousand refugees. Our hope is, however, that the refugees will return to their homes as soon as possible.

The scenario, which foresees Greece and Turkey attacking each other over Kosovo, is baseless. Both the Greek and Turkish governments have rejected it. Greece has no intention of becoming militarily involved in this dispute.

Greece is not part of the problem in the Balkans, but part of its solution. As the only member of NATO and the European Union in Southeastern Europe, it plays a stabilizing role through initiatives within these organizations and in cooperation with all the countries in the region.

Achitles Paparsenos

Washington

The writer is press counselor for the Embassy of Greece in Washington.

More police search power threatens more abuse

The Supreme Court has decided to permit police to search the belongings of a car's passengers, even if the passengers are not suspected of wrongdoing. At a time when the public is expressing grave concern over police conduct and respect for individual rights, is it appropriate for the Supreme Court to so broaden police powers?

It has been well established, both statistically and anecdotally, that there is a gap between the caliber of individual in law enforcement and the demands of the job. Whether that gap is a matter of training or the type of person that this line of work attracts makes no difference. But, at least until the current rash of violent, aggressive police behavior is curbed, the last thing we need is to expand police powers.

It's hard to take our rights back once we've given them away. It's not unlikely that the police will soon be searching each passenger as well as his or her possessions or emptying buses to search each rider. There was, after all, a time when the police couldn't conduct a search without a warrant. Now, all they need is probable cause.

According to Justice Antonin Scalia, passengers have "a reduced expectation of privacy with regard to property" when traveling by car on public roads. In reality, probable cause means probable search and a "reduced expectation of privacy" means that we are forfeiting our rights.

Our right to privacy is one of our most fundamental rights. To casually turn it over to agencies manned largely by out-of-control cowboys amounts to casting pearls before swine.

Frank W. Soltis

Fallston

The Supreme Court has now authorized police to search the property of passengers if they believe the driver may have drugs or committed some infraction or have illegal items. Where does this added police power stop?

Who will govern these police searches? Aren't there already enough complaints and lawsuits concerning police harassment, brutality, and other abuses? What about basic human rights?

Next, I imagine the police will be authorized to search people's homes without warrants. This may seem to be a bit of an exaggeration, but it certainly appears that we are moving in that direction -- and quite rapidly.

Don L. Still

Baltimore

More respect is due remains from other cultures

I was appalled by the photograph of the exhumed body of an Incan child that accompanied the article "Frozen Incan Mummies Discovered on Volcano" (April 7).

The expression on the face of this child buried alive as a sacrifice is horrifying. It never ceases to disgust me how ready we Westerners are to exhume and place on display the buried remains of persons of other cultures, although we wouldn't dream of doing the same to the remains of our own loved ones.

What was to be discovered by exhuming these childrens remains? Information on diet, disease and conditions during the time of the Incas, the article suggests. But are these burning questions, or just issues that interest some archaeologist somewhere?

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.