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Riyadh, 14th Apr 2001

   THE SAUDI ENGLISH NEWSPAPERS COMMENTED EDITORIALLY ON SATURDAY ON VARIOUS TOPICS NOTABLY THE CRISIS BETWEEN U.S.A AND CHINA OVER THE SPY AMERICAN PLANE , THE DEVELOPMENTS OF THE SITUATION IN SRI LANKA AND THE TRAGIC INCIDENTS IN FOOTBALL STADIUMS.

JEDDAH-BASED 'SAUDI GAZETTE' COMMENTING ON THE U.S. SPY PLANE SAID IN FACT MOST WESTERN COMMENTATORS REGARDED PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH'S FIRST MAJOR FOREIGN POLICY TEST AS A QUALIFIED SUCCESS IN A POTENTIAL CRISIS WHICH HE HANDLED WITH A GOOD DEAL MORE SOPHISTICATION THAN HIS CRITICS EVER GAVE HIM CREDIT FOR.

'' YET , WHAT HAS CAUSED ALARM IN WASHINGTON IS THE CHINESE REACTION TO THE INCIDENT . THIS IS SEEN AS FURTHER EVIDENCE OF BEIJING'S BID TO ESTABLISH ITSELF AS A SUPERPOWER, '' IT ADDED

IT SAID,'' IN REALITY THERE IS MUCH MORE AT STAKE THAN THE PLANE'S FATE . BUSH MUST DECIDE WHETHER TO SELL SOPHISTICATED WEAPONRY TO TAIWAN . ONE THING FOR SURE WHETHER BUSH LIKES IT OR NOT , THAT BEIJING HAS GAINED AN INTELLIGENCE BONANZA. ON TRAGIC INCIDENTS IN FOOTBALL STADIUMS WORLDWIDE, 'RIYADH DAILY' SAID '' WHETHER IT IS PLAIN HOOLIGANISM OR FAN RIVALRY , SOCCER HAS OFTEN BEEN THE CAUSE OF TRAGEDIES WORLDWIDE''.

IT EXPLAINED THAT THE WEDNESDAY NIGHT STAMPEDE AT A SOCCER STADIUM IN SOUTH AFRICA HAS ADDED YET ANOTHER TRAGIC MILESTONE IN THE SERIES OF SUCH SORRY INCIDENTS RESULTING FROM MOB MANIA.

THE PAPER NOTED THAT FORMER PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA SENSIBLY SAID THAT THE INQUIRY SHOULD EVOLVE WAYS TO ENSURE THAT SUCH A TRAGEDY IS NEVER REPEATED AND IT ADDED THAT SUCH AN ENGAGING GAME AS SOCCER SHOULD NOT BE MADE TO LOSE ITS LUSTER FOR WANT OF ADEQUATE SAFETY MEASURES AT STADIUMS WORLDWIDE. ON THE DEVELOPMENTS OF THE SITUATION IN SRI LANKA , 'ARAB NEWS', WHICH IS ALSO PUBLISHED IN JEDDAH, SAID IN AN EDITORIAL TITLED 'UNWINNABLE WAR' THAT THE BIG QUESTION ABOUT THE TRUCE DECLARED BY SRI LANKA GOVERNMENT IN ITS WAR AGAINST THE TAMIL TIGERS IS WHETHER IT WILL SIMPLY BE YET ANOTHER TEMPORARY CEASE-FIRE IN A CONFLICT THAT HAS GONE ON FOR TOO LONG OR IT CAN LEAD TO PEACE.

IT CONCLUDED THAT IT WOULD BE A TRAGEDY IF THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED BY PARALLEL CEASE-FIRES WERE LOST.

Source: SPA

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