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The News in Brief

Friday, March 27
Tskhinvali puppet regime accuses Georgian side of opening fire

The puppet regime of Tskhinvali is accusing the Georgian side of opening fire in direction of the village of Meguti, the Res news agency reports.

According to the statement of the so-called Ministry of Interior Affairs of the puppet regime of Tskhinvali, yesterday at approximately at 22:20pm fire was opened from the Georgian village of Dvani towards Meguti. “Fire was opened in the direction of Russian posts located in the village as well. There are no injured or casualties,” the so-called Ministry of Interior Affairs of Tskhinvali reports.

Vladimir Jugheli, the head of the Shida Kartli Police, categorically denies the accusation. “No bullets were shot from our side. Over the last two nights explosions took place in Meguti. We heard the blasts, but it is unknown to us what the Ossetians blew up there,” Vladimir Jugheli stated.

The Ossetian side brought a similar accusation against the Georgian side on March 25, which Vladimir Jugheli also categorically denied. (Interpressnews)

Intelligentsia condemns violence

“No to Violence” - under this slogan the professors and teachers of local universities assembled at Gori University yesterday and protested against the attempts of some opposition parties to use violent methods of protest on April 9. The protestors called upon the opposition parties to be peaceful.

The local intelligentsia assembled outside Gori Theatre today too. They asked society to avoid civil confrontation.

Similar rallies were held in various cities of the Samegrelo Region. Pedagogues and teachers in Zugdidi and Poti expressed their opposition to any violent act and civil confrontation, as they did at the Akaki Tsereteli University. (Rustavi 2)

Levan Kubaneishvili makes statement concerning Giga Makarashvili

Levan Kubaneishvili, the Director General of GPB (Georgian Public Broadcaster), has made a special statement about pressure being applied to journalist Giga Makarashvili.

Kubaneishvili said at a press conference yesterday that it is perturbing that some groups are embarking on amoral methods of intimating journalists. He said that until now attacks on journalists had been in the form of physical and verbal insult, but now new methods are being used.

Giga Makarashvili declared at the press conference that on March 15 an unknown person stopped him near his house and introduced himself as “Tengo,” one of the organizers of the 9 April 9 opposition rally. The unknown person called him to move from GPB to Maestro and participate in the Utsnobi programme. In return the unknown person promised to cover all the journalist’s bank debts and make him a Deputy Minister within the next two years. If he refused to cooperate the unknown person threatened to “roll his pregnant wife down the steps.”

Levan Kubaneishvili protested against this incident and addressed international organizations and the diplomatic corps about this. He underlined that GPB will never become a propaganda weapon of any political party. He added that if anything like this happens again he will hold a press conference and announce it.

Bodyguards appointed by the leadership of GPB are currently protecting Giga Malkarashvili. (Interpressnews)

Conservative Party and Movement for United Georgia make special statement

The Conservative Party and Movement for United Georgia have released a special joint statement. The 5-point document declares that the person who appears in the video footage promulgated by the MIA which purports to demonstrate illegal activity has no connection with any opposition parties that are organizing the rally on April 9.

“The aforementioned video release represents a provocation by the Georgian Government. Similar action was taken before the Presidential elections as well,” the statement reads. The parties call on opposition supporters to be careful and not become victims of provocations.

It is said in the statement that the April rally is a prolongation of the peaceful protest rallies of November 2007 and January 2008. The document notes that as in the past the weapon of the rally of April of 2009 will be exclusively peaceful protest.

The Conservative Party and Movement for United Georgia declare that despite the Government’s attempts they will not change their position and will continue peaceful opposition until its logical end - the resignation of Mikheil Saakashvili and the holding of free and fair elections. The parties call on the Georgian Government to stop stoking the hysteria of “spymania,” a prolongation of the traditions of the KGB of Soviet times.

“Any kind of violence or provocation of violence or a repeat of the tragic developments and mistakes of 2007 will be an act against Georgia. We appeal to the Georgian Government to make an open statement about the non-use of force,” the statement reads.

The aforementioned parties call on the Georgian Police to obey the law and not follow illegal orders. (Interpressnews)

Czech Republic to allocate funds to Georgia

Georgian Healthcare Minister Sandro Kvitaishvili summed up the results of his visit to the Czech Republic at a special press conference yesterday and stated that the Czech Republic continues to assist Georgia.

The Minister said the Czech Republic will allocate EUR 125 million to Georgia in three stages. These funds will be used for constructing hospitals in Tbilisi and the regions. (Rustavi 2)