"Stop the War Coalition-Cyprus

"The common pain and future unite us"

The dead and missing persons from the clashes and wars in Cyprus represent the worse aspects of the grief and pain for both communities, especially in July days every year.

Apart from the names and religion of those missing persons, the picture in both communities is the same; stories to tell full of tears, pain and despair. Hundreds of women, children and old were murdered only because they were Greek or Turkish. They were killed in order to serve the interests of the leaders of our society who make all decisions and the interest of world powers as part of their games for regional control and domination.

The recent bicommunal excavations of mass graves brought into the headlines a 50 year old story of wars and ethnic cleansing of both sides. This story is only paralleled to the massacres witnessed in former Yugoslavia and Lebanon.

These revelations are but the tip of the iceberg of what truly and tragically happened. However, they are enough to demolish the official propaganda of each side which says that only the 'other side' committed such atrocities while they present themselves as innocent victims. For the first time, many people are beginning to accept that crimes were committed by both sides against innocent victims and neither side can legitimize itself to act as the innocent victim of this tragedy.

These crimes were not "isolated incidents" but the result of the politics of nationalism followed by the political establishments of both sides. It's no coincidence that none of the people who committed those crimes were ever brought to justice. On the contrary they are viewed as heroes and as a result they were rewarded with high positions, becoming officials in their own communities.

We cannot talk about rapprochement, re-unification and peaceful co-existence while those responsible for these crimes walk among us free, honoured as heroes in their respective communities.

We are not asking for the setting up of special courts. We demand however, that those who committed the crimes and the moral perpetrators, be condemned politically, morally and socially. It's necessary to honour the innocent victims of the other side in the same manner we honour the victims of our side. This way, the dead and missing in Cyprus can become the bridge for peace and reconciliation instead of a source of bigotry as the official policies and the nationalists of both sides want.

Stop the War Coalition - Cyprus in co-operation with other organisations and activists, organise for another year, bi-communal, memorial events to honour both Greek and Turkish Cypriot innocent victims of wars. Under the slogan "The common pain and future unite us" we plan to organise two events: a public meeting on Wednesday 25 July and on Saturday 28 July, a visit to two symbolic places: one in the South at Parisinos area (Strovolos) the other in the North at Palekithro (Balikesir) where mass graves were found of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots respectively.

We call all true supporters of rapprochement looking for a peaceful and democratic re-unification of the island to join and support these initiatives. Together let us send a clear message that we are not prepared to allow anyone use the dead, missing and pain caused by crimes and wars in order to perpetrate nationalist and racist policies.

For information please contact: 00905338610908 or / E-mail: .

The organisations supporting this initiative are: New Cyprus Party (YKP), Workers Democracy, BARAKA Cultural Centre, Federation of Ecol. and Envir. Organisations, “Hands Across the Divide”, IKME (Sociopolitical Studies Institute), New Cyprus Association, Cyprus IndyMedia, “Ammochostos Return”, “Cyprus Reunification Movement”, Women's Research Center, Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP), “Bi-communal Initiative of Relatives of Missing Persons, Victims of Massacres and War”, Larnaca Left Initiative and “Dance for Peace” Group.