The Tylliria residents will not accept lessons in patriotism from anyone, the Kato Pyrgos community leader said on Thursday as he lashed out at the Elam MP who criticised residents for crossing through the north to travel to and from Nicosia.
Community leader Nicos Cleanthous said the main focus should have been on the survival of the residents and providing them with incentives to stay in the isolated area.
“Mr Themistocleous has managed to divert the discussion elsewhere,” he said.
He told Elam MP Andreas Themistocleous and “those with the same mindset as him” that passing through the occupied areas is for the Tylliria residents part of their everyday lives.
“We do not have the luxury of travelling from Limassol to Nicosia within 20 minutes,” he said, referring to the MP’s run-ins with the law in the past for speeding. Between 2001 and 2016, when Themistocleous was MP with ruling Disy, the Supreme Court had lifted his parliamentary immunity to face trial over repeated traffic violations involving speeding.
It takes around an hour-and-a-half to travel from Kato Pyrgos to Nicosia through the north, which is half the time needed to travel to the capital through the mountain route. People from the area travel through the north daily to get to work, schools, to attend medical appointments and bring their produce to sell in the market.
Referring to “the innuendos and hints” by Themistocleous at the House education committee on Wednesday when the problems the area faces were discussed, Cleanthous said “Tillyria and its residents have been writing history with blood since 1964, and have been teaching patriotism since, so they do not accept lessons and suggestions from anyone.”
Themistocleous was accused of disrupting the committee meeting and insulting his colleagues and residents from Kato Pyrgos who were there to discuss matters affecting them. The committee had been discussing both school issues in general and the specific problems faced by residents of Kato Pyrgos who travel to Nicosia through the north to bring their children to afternoon lessons.
The Elam MP also offended the Kato Pyrgos residents because they used the north.
Committee chairman, Diko MP, Pavlos Mylonas, censured Themistocleous saying he planned to report him to the parliamentary committee on standards.