US Consul General Taylor Belcher reported the heightened tensions involving political leaders on the island:
Times of Cyprus and Ethnos only papers published due island-wide strike called by PEO (communist-dominated old trade union), in protest killings Tuesday night two leaders PEO. Times of Cyprus reported demonstrations all over Cyprus and that 3000 men assembled Nicosia and marched carrying placards reading “down with masked men.” Ziartides, leader PEO and Sec Gen AKEL, told crowds “no true patriot would not condemn shootings as outrages. In past urged you exercise restraint, now advise no direct revenge but cannot object anything you do self-defence.” Time reports Ziartides denied info CBS broadcast 22 January effect he had warned ethnarchy and those under them that they guilty, and would be responsible consequences. However, 23 January CBS broadcast that Ziartides had sent Makarios telegram alleging ethnarchy responsibility and that repetition of shooting might lead outbreak civil war. Ethnos featured report people using loud speakers were stressing no need for strike – would only help Turks and British.