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The News in Brief

Wednesday, April 15
US to allot USD 242 million to Georgia

The USA will allot USD 242 million to Georgia. As Finance Minister of Georgia Kakha Baindurashvili stated before the recent Government session the US Congress will soon confirm this.

The Minister says that the money will be used for the development of municipal government, agriculture and the energy infrastructure. Part of the aid will be used to improve the living conditions of refugees, though about USD 200 million is being set aside for infrastructure projects.

Kakha Baindurashvili states that the last round of negotiations between Georgian and American specialists will be held on 16 April and concrete projects will be agreed. (Interpressnews)

14 April - the Day of the Mother Language

On 14 April Georgia celebrated the Day of the Mother Language, which commemorates the events of 31 years ago, when demonstrations took place in response to an attempt by Communist Party officials to change the constitutional status of the indigenous Georgian language.

After a new Soviet Constitution was adopted in October 1977, the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR considered a draft constitution in which, in contrast to the Constitution of 1936, Georgian was no longer declared the State language. A series of indoor and outdoor protests followed and created the near certainty of a clash between several thousand demonstrators and the Soviet Government, but Georgian Communist Party chief Eduard Shevardnadze negotiated with the central authorities in Moscow and managed to obtain permission to retain the previous status of the Georgian language.

Since 1990, April 14 has been celebrated in Georgia as the Day of the Georgian Language.

Several events were held. The Institute of Manuscripts exhibited the first impression of the Deda Ena [mother tongue] textbook and manuscripts of Iakob Gogebashvili, the author of the first Deda Ena. Sokhumi University(in exile) also organized an event. (Rustavi 2)

New officers training programme will begin

The Press Centre of the Ministry of Defence reports that a new training programme for highly-qualified officers of the Georgian Armed Forces is being implemented. The programme aims to increase the number of highly-qualified officers serving in the Georgian Armed Forces and is intended to attract students at the accredited state educational institutions who intend to serve in the Georgian Armed Forces after being granted a Bachelors degree in their respective specializations.

The program is open to students involved in any Bachelors programme. Students who plan to enter an accredited university in 2009 will be granted 70-100 % state financing following national examinations. After the Bachelors degree is granted the programme participants will be enrolled at the National Defence Academy to pass initial specialization courses for Junior Officers. Following the Academy courses, the participants will be duly granted the rank of Military Officer.

Once acquiring Military Officer rank, the programme participants will serve in the Georgian Armed Forces for a minimum of 5 years under the Contract terms. (Interpressnews)

GYLA accuses patrol police of negligence

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association has accused the patrol police of negligence, saying that the police have not responded to violations reported during the demonstrations adequately.

Members of the NGO presented evidence of police negligence at a press conference yesterday. They called upon the police to ensure the safety of protestors.

“One of the injured protestors complains that police officers casually watched him being beaten up at the demonstration. This is negligence, and should be investigated by the Ministry of the Interior,” Tamar Khidasheli, the Chair of the GYLA, told reporters today. (Rustavi2)

Bakhvi-III hydropower station construction discussed

The construction of the Bakhvi-III hydropower station construction has been discussed at a Government session. Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri said that the small 6 megawatt hydro power station will be constructed on the Bakhvitskhali River. He said this is an important project as Georgia has the potential to build many small and medium-sized hydropower stations, and if this one is successful it will attract more investment into the energy sector.

Nika Gilauri states that construction by an Estonian-Georgian consortium will begin this summer and last two years. USD 10 million will be invested in the project. (Interpressnews)

Tsagareishvili plans to leave Parliament

Independent MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili plans to leave Parliament. He says he is doing this in protest against the passivity of Parliament at a time when large-scale protests are being held in the capital. He complains that Parliament is holding no real discussions about the problems of the country.

Tsagareishvili is well-known for his frequent defections from one party to another. On March 30 he defected from the Democratic Party of Georgia led by Gia Tortladze. (Rustavi 2)