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Sakhdrisi issue still in focus

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, April 18
During the parliamentary session on April 16, a member of the parliament majority, Nukri Kantaria, insisted on the prevention of works at the Sakhdrisi gold mine until the arrival of international experts. According to him, near Sakhdrisi, young people made camps and named themselves as a committee for Sakhdrisi independence.

According to Kantaria, the young people require one thing only – to wait for an international expert opinion over the Sakhdrisi-Karchaghiani site, considered to be one of the most ancient gold mines in the world.

“I asked the company representatives to suspend work until the arrival of specialists in mid-May,” Kantaria said referring to the RMG Gold Group that carries out works at the site.

Kantaria also added that the youth do not want to be considered to be part of any political speculation.

The youth movement Davitiani informed the general population about the peaceful protest via their official Facebook calling everyone to save their cultural heritage.

“We must protect it,” their statement reads.

Public relations manager of RMG Gold Group, Eka Jojua, said the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protectoin gave permission for the company to resume work and the work at this point poses no threat to archaeological sites in the area.

“We are working within the law, which means that we are not giving ourselves the right to do something against the law. We cannot stop just because someone thinks we are doing something wrong,” Jojua said stressing that there is no danger to the ongoing work of existing facilities.

Acting governor of Bolnisi municipality Alexandra Oboladze stated that 80% of the municipality budget depends on RMG company’s facilities. “Besides, over 1,100 people are working in mines and getting a salary. I, from time to time, visit different villages in our region and an absolute majority is for keeping up works. My opinion about the archeological issue is that the only thing they could have been mining here 5000 years ago is copper, not gold,” stressed Oboladze.

Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA) thinks that the decision made by government, on March 13 was appealed through administrative law. “According to the Administrative Code, unless the law or applicable regulation unless otherwise stated, the challenged administrative act shall be suspended from the moment of the registration of the complaint,” the statement reads.

According to GYLA the law also provides that the suspension of the act complained of administrative authority shall issue an administrative legal act. At present, the Ministry’s decision made in March is suspended. “Consequently, work at the Sakhdrisi-Kachagiani archaeological sites is inadmissible,” the GYLA stated.