June 21, 1976, Forty Years Ago: Beirut Evacuationhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/june-21-1976-forty-years-ago-beirut-evacuation-2865358/

June 21, 1976, Forty Years Ago: Beirut Evacuation

A look at the front page of Indian Express on June 21, forty years ago.

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A look at the front page of Indian Express on June 21, forty years ago.

Beirut Evacuation

Almost 300 foreigners were evacuated from the embattled Lebanese capital, as heavy artillery fire resumed to the south and around Beirut’s international airport. Syrian troops kept pressure on the leftist-controlled port of Sidon, where food supplies were short and both electricity and telephone services were cut off. Near Byblos, about 12 km north of Beirut, Christian conservative militia attacked the Communist-controlled Christian village of Jage to avenge the death there of a militia member. The evacuation of US citizens was incident-free. Palestinian soldiers and troops of the breakaway Army of Arab Lebanon policed the US-organised evacuation from Beirut.

South Africa Debate

After a highly emotional debate on the reign of terror let loose by the minority racist government of South Africa on its black population, the UN Security Council adopted, by consensus, a resolution that “strongly condemned” the regime’s repressive actions in the South African towns. The device of consensus was adopted to avert a veto by the US and serious reservations by other western nations. The US representative in the council said in joining the consensus, his government was not prepared to support any move to impose fresh sanctions against the South African government as was implied by the resolution. India was among a number of countries that spoke in the council to express its sense of shock and condemnation at the mass killings in and around Johannesburg.

Sanjay’s Advice

Sanjay Gandhi called upon scavengers to give up the work of cleaning private houses and take up other jobs if they wanted to improve their lot. “If we start with the presumption that a scavenger will remain a scavenger, then no one can help them, not even God,” Gandhi said, while inaugurating a two-day all-India safai mazdoor convention at Ramlila Grounds in Delhi.