Naval base explosion raises questions in Cyprus

Maria Kapardis from Transparency Cyprus, which joined the Transparency International movement this year, calls for series of measures to be taken by the Cypriot Government following an explosion on naval base.

Earlier this month an enormous explosion at the Mari Naval Bases killed 13 people, destroying the base, hundreds of homes and a nearby power plant. The story behind the explosion is a sad tale of bureaucratic incompetence and opacity. News reports say explosive material was being kept at the base, and nobody acted on warnings that they needed to be moved.

Transparency in Cyprus (TC), a politically independent, non-profit and non-governmental organisation, with a view to contributing to the strengthening of civil society and the improvement of the quality of public and private governance in Cyprus . TC promotes transparency, integrity and accountability. In response to the broader effort of the society for effective solutions to the problems of corruption, unethical behaviour TC reemphasises two suggestions following the explosion:

We suggest that an Independent Commission Against Corruption similar to the ones in Australia and Hong Kong be set up and that legislation similar to the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1989 (USA) or the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (UK) be enacted.

TC is not asking for a one off enquiry: we are asking for a permanent body called Independent Commission Against Corruption be set up, that would be available to investigate all corruption issues that arise in our country.

Due to the major economic crisis Cyprus is facing at the moment, it will need to prove to the outside world, including the European Union that it is doing all possible to combat corruption and to encourage whistle-blowers to come forward. Perhaps if such a legislation was in force the Helios Plane Crash in 2005 and the explosion of 11 July 2011 would have been prevented.

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2 Responses to Naval base explosion raises questions in Cyprus

  1. E. Nondas 25 July 2011 at 2:45 am #

    We agree that an independent body must be established in Cyprus to keep an eye on those agencies corporations or government bodies or people who abuse the system and violate the law ,and threaten the safety and security of Cypriots. However if the legitimate Cyprus government establishes such an agency as a watch dog let it not fall into a spy agency for foreign interests but to act for the safety and security of Cypriot people and Cyprus’s interests. On the other hand what happens in the occupied Cyprus territory must also be monitored and controlled by an independent agency. How do we know how much ammunition Military equipment and various other dangerous supplies does Turkey hide in the occupied 37% of EU Cyprus soil ? Who controls the illegal pseudo Turkey’s state and under what circumstances and what conditions are they keeping their five hundred Tanks, dangerous Batteries for their military trucks and other equipment missiles ,and explosives how do they dispose them in the pseudo state?

    Sincerely E. Nondas

  2. Transparency Cyprus 3 August 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Dear Mr Nondas,
    Thank you for your very constructive comments. Your views for the set up of an independent body to act as a watch dog on corporations and government bodies, are fully aligned with the scope and objectives of Transparency International. Transparency Cyprus has only recently been set up and we hope soon to complete all the relevant set up procedures and attract enough members in order to be able to effectively pursue our goals.

    The anomaly that exists in the occupied areas of Cyprus is something that concerns not only our Body but every single sector and individual of our country. It is our responsibility (as it should be everyone’s) to inform all European and International authorities about the risks that are involved with the continuous existence of this anomaly and call everyone to undertake their responsibilities. At the end of the day any adverse impact that the corruption existing in the occupied areas brings and which is gradually transferred in the European Union zone, is the responsibility of all states who accept, and some actually support, the illegal occupation of a European member state.