UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: January 9, 301 AP.

Stanton request for medical aid lambasted in papers, Parliament

Phillip Stanton, Health Minister in the Okarvits presidency, has been assailed by the nation's press for an official request for medical aid from the international community.

It appeared such a simple request: "please sirs, can we have some doctors and some medicines?" It has turned into a divisive issue with half the country angrily saying he hasn't done enough, and the other half saying the country should rely on its own resources.

The Luka Herald newspaper in Lasanne state accused the Minister of making Utania "appear to be a third world nation of no self-reliance, a perception that can only damage the Utanian nation in the future". The conservative Waitaki Times newspaper described the action as "a sad indictment on the state of health services in Utani B'yan state turned into an international event", while the Vela Luka Nationalist paper called it "a foolish declaration to the world that Utania is incapable of self-sufficiency".

Others, similarly critical of the plea for help, had a different perspective. "We are in crisis here!" Otoje Cjarun'ka, Secretary of the Chiquiti Saedaj League, a Chiquiti semi-separatist group, was quoted in the Shecker-based leftist newspaper "The Workers' Daily" (circ. 85,000). "Meanwhile, the Minister is sending nice, pleasant requests that if maybe someone would like to help us, well, gosh-darnit, that would be swell" said Cjarun'ka in a clearly sarchastic tone.

Furthermore, Parliament opened this morning not with the divisive debate over the death penalty, but with Chiquiti Government MP Horon Tumakti "firing shots over the bow of the Presidential cruiser" as described by one commentator.

The Peoples Party MP for Bathenne indirectly accused the President of doing nothing for the rural people without adequate water and wastewater facilities, and instead relying on foreign aid to "cure the symptoms not the cause". The so-called "Firebrand politician" said that while medicines may be required, he saw no reason why "wealthy fat-cat doctors in Lasanne" couldn't be directed to Chiquiti and other crisis regions, a notion flatly rejected by opposition MPs.

Three nations, Ordland, Bowdani and Feniz have responded instantly to calls for aid, and medical teams are already en route.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)