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Around Slovakia

Teacher-killer given six years
BBC celebrates sixty years in Slovakia
Bridge repairs snarl traffic
Tiso's death anniversary celebrated
Sri Lankan immigrants carry dead across border

Bratislava
Teacher-killer given six years

A former student of the Industrial Chemistry Secondary School in Bratislava, Peter K., was found guilty April 20 of murdering his German teacher , Tatiana K., then stealing money and jewellery from the corpse. The eighteen-year-old was sentenced to six years in a medium-security prison for the December, 1997 crime.


Bratislava
BBC celebrates sixty years in Slovakia

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) celebrated its 60th year of radio broadcasting in Slovakia on April 16. According to the BBC's Slovak foreign broadcast editorial office director Terézia Javorská, 11% of all Slovaks over the age of 18 regularly listen to the English-language BBC, a relatively large proportion, she added.
The BBC currently airs 115 minutes per day, up from 100 daily minutes before April 1. 70% of Slovak BBC broadcasts are news-related, however Javorská noted that segments about "British life" and English language courses also draw considerable attention.


Bratislava
Bridge repairs snarl traffic

The Slovak Road Administration (SSC) shut down Prístavný bridge on April 19 in order to begin a 19 million Sk repair project, due to be completed on May 30. The bridge connects Bajkalská and Slovnaftská streets to Petražalka, Bratislava's largest district. The SSC said that the repairs were necessary as a result of "damage caused [to the bridge] from heavy useage."
According to Viliam Vajda, Bratislava Transport Compnay (DPB) director, the bridge closure has resulted in heavy traffic in Bratislava as many commuters find themselves forced to use alternate routes through city streets. To help ease the problem, a detour over motorway D61 in Prievoz has been opened.


Bytča
Tiso's death anniversary celebrated

Representatives of the Slovak National Party (SNS), Matica Slovenská and the town of Bytča gathered on April 17 to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the death of Josef Tiso (1887 - 1947), one of the most controversial individuals in Slovak History.
Religious services and a commemoratory address were attended by SNS Chairman and presidential candidate Ján Slota and others. Speaking at the gathering, Slota told the crowd that if he were elected president he would consider the purification of Tiso's name his "moral obligation".
Tiso, born in Bytča, was a priest, politician and the president of the wartime Slovak Republic. His political activities linked him to Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime, and after the war he was found guilty of war crimes in Slovakia, including responsibility for the deportation of 70,000 Jewish inhabitants and cooperation with the Nazis in squelching the Slovak National Uprising. In 1947, Tiso was executed.
Tiso's supporters consider him to be a "father of Slovakia" and the SNS wants to cleanse his name so history could record him as "a real hero of the independent Slovak nation."


Košice
Sri Lankan immigrants carry dead across border

Nine Sri Lankans and five Iraqis were apprehended at the Slovak-Ukranian border crossing at Benatina on April 21 for an "illegal border crossing," said Košice police representatives. Among the "illegal migrants", the Sri Lankans carried a dead man they identified as their compatriot. Doctors examining the body found no signs of violence and concluded that hypothermia and exhaustion had been the probable cause of death.
The fourteen migrants, who had no legal documents and were suffering from "extreme cold", wanted to use Slovakia as a "transit country" as they made their way to western Europe. However, the Košice police force deported them, sending them back to Ukrainian authorities.


Compiled by Chris Togneri

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