Rumours were running through Cyprus yesterday (Tuesday) that General George Grivas, legendary leader of Greek resistance during the last years of British occupation, had defied a Greek-government ban and secretly returned to the island.
Rumours were running through Cyprus yesterday (Tuesday) that General George Grivas, legendary leader of Greek resistance during the last years of British occupation, had defied a Greek-government ban and secretly returned to the island. The reports came as President Makarios returned to Cyprus from two days of talks with Greek leaders in Athens, centred on the deadlock in Greek-Turkish intercommunal discussions in Cyprus.
Yesterday, the United Nations policed "Green Line" separating Greek and Turkish communities in Nicosia, was generally quiet. Apart from a few slogans welcoming the return of the General, there was no sign of anything unusual at Trikomo, Griva's birthplace. The General last left Cyprus in 1967 as part of the withdrawal of Greek forces. On Monday, he alluded surveillance in Athens -- and the rumours started.
SYNOPSIS: Trikomo village in Cyprus prides itself on being the birthplace of General George Grivas, legendary leader of Greek resistance to former British rule. This week, Trikomo -- and the rest of the island -- has been alive with rumours that General Grivas had defied a Greek government ban and secretly returned to Cyprus. The rumours started after he eluded surveillance in Athens on Monday.
The rumours can only add to Greek-Turkish tension in the island at a time when President Makarios had himself returned from Athens, where he discussed the intercommunal deadlock with Greek leaders. But United Nations patrols policing the so-called "Green-Line", which separates the Greek and Turkish communities in Nicosia, fund the situation generally quiet. But the peacekeeping forces may have to prepare for an emergency if the presence of General Grivas is confirmed.
One newspaper reported that General Grivas had secretly returned to Cyprus accompanied by two other Greek Generals and a Colonel. Asked about reports of the General returning disguised as a priest, Archbishop Makarios told newsmen with a smile that the General would therefore be under his jurisdiction. This apart, there's been an official silence on the Grivas question.