The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, February 27
Caucasus Online fiddles; Messenger burns

Since last Tuesday, The Messenger has not received satisfactory internet service from its provider, Caucasus Online. Despite many efforts made by this paper to rectify the problem, Caucasus Online employees have only been able to offer empty promises.

The Messenger has been without reliable internet for nearly a week, with staff facing serious connectivity problems on a regular basis. Stories are filed by hand, the layout is sent to the publisher by hand, and our communication with sources, readers, and partners has been inadequate.

In protest, we are sharing our experience with our readers. We intend to cancel our service with Caucasus Online and are currently looking for another provider.
The Messenger

President to deliver annual report to Parliament next week

President Mikheil Saakashvili will deliver his annual report to Parliament next week. As per the Georgian constitution, the President will deliver a speech about the most pressing issues facing the country.

A two-hour break will occur following his speech, after which the leaders of the parliamentary factions will be given an opportunity to respond.

The exact date of the President’s speech will be set at the Bureau session tomorrow.

Karl De Gukht to arrive in Georgia Tuesday

Karl De Gukht, the European Commissioner for Trade Issues and former Foreign Minister of Belgium, will arrive in Georgia on February 28.

The Commissioner will officially announce free trade negotiations between Georgia and the EU. During his visit, De Gukht will meet Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri.

The first round of negotiations will be held in late March.

The EU made the decision to launch negotiations with Georgia at the end of last year.

Georgia marks 91st anniversary of Soviet Occupation Day

The 91st anniversary of one of the most tragic events in Georgian history – the day the Soviet army occupied the country – was marked this past weekend. The day is observed in remembrance of the Red Army invasion in 1921.

National flags flew at half-mast outside government buildings throughout the country.

A number of events were also planned to commemorate those Georgian soldiers who died for their country’s freedom in the war against the Red Army.

On the night of February 11-12, 1921, Bolsheviks attacked local Georgian military posts in the district of Lore and the nearby village of Shulaveri, near the Armenian and Azerbaijani borders.

By February 17, Soviet infantry and cavalry divisions supported by aircraft were less than 15 kilometers northeast of Tbilisi. The Georgian army put up a brave fight in defense of the capital, which they held for a week in the face of overwhelming Red Army superiority. But on February 25, the 11th Red Army captured the city.

Thirty soldiers died in the final battle for independence. They were buried near a military church, situated near the original Georgian Parliament. Killed alongside them was Maro Makashvili ( a nurse), the daughter of the head of the writers’ union, Kote Makashvili.

On July 21, 2010, Georgia declared February 25 to be Soviet Occupation Day.
(Rustavi 2)

Opposition movement to aid update of voters’ list

Opposition movement For Fair Georgia will join the process of improving the voters’ list ahead of the parliamentary elections. The party will monitor the actions of the special commission formed to update the list. For Fair Georgia has already informed the Commission, and expects their cooperation.

“Our party has the most human resources in comparison to other parties; our monitors are trained and we are going to offer our professionalism to the Commission to use it for the perfection and accuracy of the voters’ list,” said party chair Sergo Javakhadze.
(Rustavi 2)

Green Party to participate in parliamentary elections

The Green Party of Georgia will participate in the 2012 parliamentary elections, according to party leader Giorgi Gachechiladze. Gachechiladze said the party will soon launch its election campaign, however, its leaders have not decided yet whether they will run independently or join a political coalition.

“The Party of Georgian Greens has made a decision, after consultations with regional leaders, to run in the parliamentary elections and in the elections of the Supreme Council of Adjara Autonomous Republic. The party will publish its election platform and will eventually introduce its team to the public,” he announced.
(Rustavi 2)

Jioeva no longer seeking asylum abroad

South Ossetian opposition leader, Ala Jioeva, who won the disputed presidential elections in December, has changed her mind about seeking political asylum abroad. Jioeva, who has been in hospital since February 9 after suffering injuries in a police raid of her headquarters, told local media that she will fight for the rights of her supporters until the end.

She hopes a political force in Russia will return the situation in the breakaway region to one in keeping with legal frameworks.

Jioeva also said she has been subjected to political pressure and intimidation, and that police are still guarding her while she recovers.
(Rustavi 2)