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The News in Brief

Tuesday, April 10
Saakashvili congratulates Catholics, Armenians on Easter

President Mikheil Saakashvili congratulated Georgia's Catholic parish on their Easter holiday this weekend.

"On behalf of the government, I would like to congratulate the Catholic parish of Georgia on this great holiday. I will not start naming all of the great Georgian and not only Georgian Catholics, who have contributed to the development of culture, science, and art in our country as there are too many. The Catholic parish of Georgia was historically, as well as in present day, a devoted foundation of the European choice of our country, as well as an advocate of European knowledge and experience in Georgia," a statement posted on the President's official website read.

Saakashvili also released a statement congratulated the holy Apostolic Orthodox Church of Armenians.

"The friendship of Georgian and Armenian people has survived centuries and our churches have contributed greatly to the Christian civilization of the world. The ongoing efforts of ethnic Armenian citizens of Georgia, in terms of strengthening our statehood and democratic development, are invaluable. I congratulate you on this greatest holiday; I wish you peace, health, and prosperity for your families".
(Rustavi 2)

Stalinís Museum to be renamed Stalinism Museum

Stalinís Museum in Gori will be renamed the Stalinism Museum, the Ministry of Culture has informed InterPressNews.

The Stalinism Museum will contain detailed information about the Stalin era of the Soviet Union. The project's supporters are the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection, descendents of Stalinís repression victims, and researchers of Soviet totalitarianism. An International Advisory board will supervise the implementation of the project.

Museum employees were told about the new initiative by Minister of Culture Nika Rurua at a meeting also attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps and Members of Parliament.

Stalinís museum in Gori was opened in 1937.

President visits new clinic in Stepantsminda

President Mikheil Saakashvili visited Stepantsminda to view a new hospital this weekend. It opened last December and was designed to met international standards.

The President also toured the construction of a new hotel, called Rooms Kazbegi, part of the Georgian Rooms Hotel brand. The hotel will host its first visitors in June.

Saakashvili also met with local residents and spoke about the importance of the region's development.

Afterwards, the President went to the Larsi customs check point and welcomed individuals crossing the Georgia-Russia border.
(Rustavi 2)

Ombudsperson presents Human Rights Report 2011

Georgia's Ombudsperson presented his 2011 Human Rights Report to lawmakers and citizens in Parliament Saturday.

The meeting with Giorgi Tugushi was held at a joint sitting of representatives of the human rights, healthcare, and legal parliamentary committees.

His 650-page report emphasizes significant issues such as law-enforcement structures, and the civil rights of both regular citizens and political figures.

The ombudsperson also shared his views on the achievements of the past year.
(Rustavi 2)

Tractor motorcade sets off for regions of Georgia

Approximately 130 new tractors have been distributed across the rural regions of Georgia.

President Mikheil Saakashvili held a press conference on the Agriculture Support Program Saturday. He spoke to media about the significance of providing villages with contemporary agricultural equipment.

"Our task is to cultivate more soil than we have in past years. This means that more families are going to find sources of income and means that we will have Georgian and not foreign products sold in stores. In the wake of exempting agricultural products from taxes, we will be able to have our demands satisfied even against the background of a rising number of tourists coming to our country. Therefore, we will be able to increase exports," he said.

The tractor motorcade set off in different directions from Tbilisi this weekend. Beforehand, the President met 300 technicians who have been re-trained on modern equipment, in a special three-month program.

Later, Saakashvili inspected the new agricultural machinery and examined one tractor himself.
(Rustavi 2)

Top Russian film award goes to Georgian film

Nana Janelidze's I Wonder If There Is a Theatre has been awarded a Nika, the highest prize of the Russian Film Academy. The film, starring Kakhi Kavsadze, won Best Picture from the Baltic or CIS states.

The Nika Awards began 25 years ago. The first winner was also a Georgian film, Repentance, which won prizes in six different categories.

In 2007, Aleko Tsabadze's Russian Triangle won the same prize.
(Rustavi 2)