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November 28, 2004

News 11/28/04 - Adams Believes Paisley Will Strike Deal

News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 11/28/04 Adams Believes Paisley Will Strike Deal –V
IO 11/28/04 DUP Could Walk Away, Warns Paisley
BB 11/28/04 Annetta Flanigan Home 'Within Days'
IO 11/28/04 Ní Chonaill To Debate Immigration With SF Councillor
UT 11/28/04 HIV Time Bomb Fear In NI
IA 11/28/04 'Little India' Drives Peace & Economy In N Ireland

BB 11/28/04 Pope Moves To Mend Relations w/ Orthodox Christians -VO

The Pope Has Moved To Mend Relations With Orthodox Christians by
returning the remains of two of their most prominent saints. Pope
John Paul II gave the relics to Orthodox spiritual leader Patriarch
Bartholomew at the Vatican. Stephen Cviic reports.


See Breakfast with Frost latest show with Adams (an 8 minute
segment, 21 minutes into the hour long show) at:

Adams Believes Paisley Will Strike Deal -V
2004-11-28 12:10:02+00

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said today he believed Ian Paisley
would eventually strike a deal with his party despite the
scepticism of nationalists.

But the West Belfast MP insisted any move on weapons was a matter
for the IRA and General John de Chastelain to work out.

"The reality is under the Good Friday Agreement there is a
commission," he told the BBC's Breakfast with Frost programme.

"That commission is responsible for verifying and overseeing the
putting of arms beyond use or the decommissioning of arms.

"The IRA is the only organisation - and this has caused huge
difficulty for many republicans and nationalists - to have actually
engaged with that international, independent decommissioning body.

"Why can't this be held up as the way forward? That is essentially
part of the agreement."

The Sinn Féin president claimed the main sticking point in the
current negotiations was the refusal so far of the DUP and Mr
Paisley to embrace concepts in the Good Friday Agreement.


DUP Could Walk Away, Warns Paisley
2004-11-28 10:20:02+00

The Democratic Unionists will walk away from a deal to revive power
sharing if it falls short of what unionists need, Ian Paisley has
warned his party.

As Northern Ireland's talks to revive power sharing remained
delicately balanced, the DUP leader told colleagues at a dinner
last night in North Antrim if the deal was to work it must include
the transparent destruction of IRA weapons.

The North Antrim MP said: "I will not be bounced into any quick
deal that is wrong. I am willing to consider urgently the right
deal at the right time.

"I would like to be in a position to say yes but if it is not a
fair deal, I will be rejecting it in your name (the DUP) and in the
name of the people of Northern Ireland."

Sinn Féin and the DUP are the only parties to have seen proposals
from the British and Irish Governments for resurrecting the
Assembly and ridding politics in the North of all weapons.

It is believed both parties will have until Tuesday to seal a deal,
with Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern considering publishing their
blueprint in the event of no agreement.

Northern Ireland's Assembly was suspended in October 2002 when
unionists threatened to collapse the power sharing executive over
IRA activity.

Since then, the North has been ruled by ministers from Westminster
and there have been two failed attempts to revive devolution
involving Sinn Féin and David Trimble's Ulster Unionists.

Last year, the DUP overtook the Ulster Unionists as the largest
party in their community and in the Northern Ireland Assembly
during Stormont elections.

The party has insisted it will only share power with Sinn Féin if
it puts all its weapons beyond use and becomes, in Mr Paisley's
words, an old boy's association, ending all paramilitary and
criminal activity.

Talks sources believe the DUP and Sinn Féin are agonisingly close
to a deal.

However the DUP feels an IRA agreement to photographic evidence of
future disarmament is crucial to them signing up to a deal.

Sinn Féin negotiators insist the DUP needs to make it clear to them
that they are willing to share power with republicans and will
operate the political institutions at Stormont in good faith.

US President George W Bush telephoned the DUP on Friday and is
expected to contact Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

Mr Paisley and his negotiating team have also lined up a meeting
with the head of the Independent International Commission on
Decommissioning, General John de Chastelain who has witnessed three
acts of IRA disarmament so far.


Hostage Home 'Within Days'

Annetta Flanigan is on her way home to County Armagh

County Armagh woman Annetta Flanigan, who was held hostage in
Afghanistan, is on the first stage of a journey to be reunited with
her family.

Ms Flanigan and her two United Nations colleagues were released
last Tuesday after 27 days in captivity.

It is understood she left the Afghan capital on Sunday and will be
taking a few days holiday before rejoining her family in Richhill.

The solicitor and two others were abducted at gunpoint in Kabul on
28 October.

Ms Flanigan, Shqipe Habibi from Kosovo and Filipino diplomat
Angelito Nayan were taken hostage after helping run the recent
presidential election.

After her release, her family spoke of their relief after the
"terrible anxiety" of her captivity.

They said they had been sustained by the messages of support from
around the world.

The family said they looked forward to seeing Annetta with her
husband Jose when they came home to Northern Ireland.

NATO said the three hostages were not rescued but were left by
their abductors in a park.

A spokesman said there had been a number of military operations
aimed at releasing the hostages but these had not directly led to
the release.

He said no money was handed over and no prisoners were freed to
facilitate the release.


Ní Chonaill To Debate Immigration With SF Councillor
2004-11-28 12:00:02+00

Outspoken anti-immigration leader Áine Ní Chonaill will debate
immigration controls with Councillor Toireasa Ferris of Sinn Féin,
the daughter of TD Martin Ferris at University College Cork.

The debate will be through the Irish language and a professional
interpreter will be present on the night to provide Gaeilge/Béarla
translations, which will be available to members of the audience
through headphones.

Ms Ní Chonaill is the leader of the far-right Immigration Control

The event takes place on Wednesday at 7.30pm.


HIV Time Bomb Fear In NI

Referrals to Northern Ireland's only HIV support centre have surged
to one a week, it was revealed today.

By:Press Association

With new diagnosis increasing by more than 40% in the last year,
staff fear a boom in global travel could leave young people
especially exposed to infection.

Misconceptions that only gay men and drug users are at risk of
contracting the disease have heightened the danger, they warned.

As she prepared for World AIDS Day on Wednesday, Centre Director
Geraldine Campbell expressed shock at the rise in HIV positive
cases coming through her doors.

Urging teenagers to learn the facts before it`s too late, she said:
"If this pattern continues we will have a time bomb on our hands.

"Three years ago we were getting 12 new people a year. But at this
rate it will be more than 50."

According to the latest figures there are 434 confirmed HIV cases
in Northern Ireland.

The charity, which operates out of a discreetly located office
block in Belfast city centre, has 165 people registered.

Out of those 120 have HIV, with the partners and children of those
infected also offered support from the six staff members.

Neil Symington, a qualified youth worker who has spent the last two
years educating young people with the Centre`s safer sex message,
told of alarming levels of ignorance.

One group of girls aged 14-16 in Omagh, Co Tyrone, he spoke to
earlier this month had never heard of HIV, the sexual health co-
ordinator said.

"I showed them my red ribbon symbol and it meant nothing to them.
It was only when I mentioned AIDS that one or two of them twigged.

"It`s been the same right across the country."

The centre is financed by a £300,000 package from a number of
funders, including Government support and Lottery cash.

Staff offer support for anyone tested HIV positive, and operate a
special helpline and offering guidance aimed at preventing any
sexually transmitted infections.

Several reasons lie behind the explosion in HIV cases, they

More people are coming forward to be tested because of greater
levels of unprotected sex.

Waiting times for appointments at Genito-Urinary Medicine Clinics
have now reached up to four weeks as well.

"People in Northern Ireland are being infected by people from
Northern Ireland," she insisted.

"This is a problem irrespective of your race, gender and sexual

"In Dublin the majority of HIV positive people are drug users, but
that`s not the case in the north.

"It`s a misconception that gay men are in a higher risk category."

Increased travel had intensified the threat, according to Mr

"Globally it`s rising, and more of our young people are
travelling," he added.


NRI ; 'Little India' Drives Peace And Economy In Northern Ireland

5 Hour,41 minutes Ago

NRI News, Belfast, Two leading businessmen of Indian origin are
leading the way in keeping the flag of Indian culture flying in
Northern Ireland.

Unlike British towns such as Leicester, Birmingham, London and
Bradford - which have a large Asian population - Belfast and
Northern Ireland have a small but influential Indian community.

Estimates vary between 200 and 250 families of Indian origin in
Northern Ireland, but the community is said to be influential in
trade and business. It is being increasingly incorporated in
official efforts to change perceptions about Northern Ireland and
sell it as an ideal destination to do business.

Two of the best known figures from the community are Lord Diljit
Rana, who is a successful businessman and India's honorary consul
general in Northern Ireland, and Raj Puri, another successful
businessman and chairperson of the Indian Community Centre here.

Rana, 65, is the elected president of the Northern Ireland Chamber
of Commerce and Industry. He retains strong links with India,
funding a school and university in Punjab. He is keen to strengthen
the region's business links with India, and was a key member of the
18-member Northern Ireland trade delegation that recently visited

Rana's has been one of the few success stories. He came to Britain
from Punjab in 1963, moving to Belfast three years later to open a
restaurant. He faced bankruptcy in the early 1970s when IRA bombs
destroyed the two restaurants he owned.

But with a young family, heavy debts and no job he had little
option but to try again. He borrowed money to refurbish five
houses, reasoning that they would not be bombed.

When he moved into commercial property the bombers returned. His
first hotel, the Plaza, was bombed three times in its first two
years. A further 21 bomb attacks on his businesses failed to deter
him from building up a portfolio of offices, hotels and

Today, he owns a string of businesses in the region, including
Hotel Ramada, which offers Indian-style hospitality and Kerala-
style Ayurveda facilities.

Raj Puri, a close associate of Lord Rana, is active in keeping
alive Indian cultural traditions as chairperson of the Indian
Community Centre in central Belfast.

The centre is located on the busy Carlisle Circus on Clifton Road,
next to the Orange Hall. It is based in a part of what used to be a
church. The two spacious floors occupied by the centre were bought
for 35,000 pounds with the help of donations from people of Indian

It was later refurbished with grants from the Lottery Fund. Today,
the centre is a beehive of Indian cultural activities, including
instruction in Hindi, Indian dances, and festivals.

"The centre is located in a neutral area, but we often become
victims during troubles between the Protestants and the Catholics -
our cars and centre windows are targeted. We often hire our own
security," he said.

In 2001, the centre received the prestigious Diversity 21 award for
its 'Gateway to India' exhibition.

Raj Puri told IANS that the Indian Community Centre often invites
tutors from London for lectures on Indian culture, and artistes
from India who come to London or other places in Britain. He said
such visits here are arranged with the help of individuals in the
London offices of Sunrise Radio (a leading Asian radio station) and

The centre includes a temple with idols brought from India.
Religious functions are conducted by an in-house priest, Acharya
Gopi Krishna (originally from Vrindavan, India, but who moved to
Belfast from Nairobi).

The centre organises community programmes during Independence Day,
Diwali and other Indian celebrations. It also organises lectures
and workshops to acquaint the Irish community about Indian culture.
This includes advising the local police on how to interact with the
Indian community.

Among the centre's staff is Pritam Sridhar, originally from Delhi,
who is the centre's culture and diversity officer.

Puri said all Indian families in Northern Ireland were members of
the centre. Indian students studying in the University of Ulster
and the Queen's University of Belfast often visit the centre, he

Indian high commissioners based in London often visit the centre
during tours of Northern Ireland.

Indo-Asian News Service

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