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'There Is no Way to Peace; Peace Is the Way' - An Appeal to the Georgian Nation

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7 Aug. '08

Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori
Mamuka Kurashvili, commander of Georgian peace forces, is ready to die in the battle with separatists. Georgian general confirms his words with action because he responded with 100 mm. grenades to Ossetian side, which had fired 82 mm. grenades. Anyway, in general the problem is not resolved. Finally, the sides agreed that they need two-party negotiation. Georgian and Russian sides confirm that the opposing parties will negotiate at the round table on August 7.

18 Jun. '08

Part II
Jeffrey K. Silverman
Why is it that the Georgian media seem never to fact-check their stories, and one TV station outlet quotes the other – and such outlets like Georgian Public TV and Rustavi2. They are broadcasting basically the same mistruths; it is if they have access to “breaking news” as if they are traveling together in the same news vehicle. It also appears that when the original clips are requested, at least in the case of Rustavi2, the claim is made that they don’t have this – or perhaps they are not willing to put the material to closer scrutiny. 


18 Jun. '08


 Part I

Jeffrey K. Silverman

  Nothing is ever boring in the election period in Georgia, and the most recent snap-parliamentary election held on May 21, 2008 was no exception. It was highlighted with explosions and burning buses (aside from the usual heaping measure of vote rigging and political violence directed toward voters, campaign workers and even election monitors).

10 Jun. '08

Nana Pazhava, Zugdidi

Georgian law enforcers have not published any investigation materials on Khurcha incident up to present time. The incident in Khurcha occurred on May 21, 2008, on the parliamentary Election Day in Georgia. The investigation results have not been evaluated by the representatives of the peacekeeping forces operating in Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone as well. The UN mission to the conflict zone is still reluctant to make any concrete conclusions. Representatives of Commonwealth of Independent States’ (CIS) peacekeeping forces have been the only ones to provide statements.
State Security Department of de facto government of Abkhazia has already presented the investigation materials and denied the possibility of Abkhazian law enforcers’ participation in the incident.  However, the society has still many hard questions to ask.

4 Jun. '08

Observers: Ivar Dale, Aage Borchgrevink, Norwegian Helsinki Committee/Human Rights Centre of Georgia
On election day, 21st May 2008, Russian peacekeepers in the village of Khurcha, inside the de-militarized zone on the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict line, reported of shootings at around 14:00. Georgian TV reported that buses carrying voters travelling from the Abkhaz side of the Inguri river to Khurcha had been hit by grenades and gunfire, and Georgian television showed dramatic images of exchange of fire, burning buses and people running in panic. Later the same day, President Mikheil Saakashvili traveled to Zugdidi and met with one of the wounded at the local hospital. 

3 Jun. '08

“The cool guys must be in Russia, not in Washington”
Tea Topuria, Tbilisi
A round table, initiated by journal “Sitkva” (meaning word in Georgian) was held in Tbilisi. Representatives of the Georgian government and oppositional parties were invited to the forum meeting to discuss the pressing issue of Abkhazia. The Human Rights Center (HRIDC), First Radio and Radio Mtsvane Talga also participated in the discussion. 

28 May. '08

Ian Carver, Joni Simonishvili

“Tank Station” is what locals are calling a large concrete platform that has recently been constructed along a line of freshly laid railroad tracks near the Georgian conflict zone of Abkhazia. It has certainly been a “War of Words” in the run-up to contested parliamentary elections scheduled for May 21, 2008.

28 May. '08

Why blow up peaceful voters?
 Nona Suvariani, Zugdidi
May 21 – Election Day, at about 2:00 MP when observers from the Human Rights Center were distributed to various polling stations in Zugdidi District to perform their election monitoring responsibilities, two buses traveling from the village of Nabakevi to Zugdidi were allegedly ambushed by Russian backed Abkhaz separatist and the bus blowup with shooting and human casualties in the village of Khurch.

8 May. '08

Eka Mchedlidze, Tbilisi

Links are not always destroyed because of political problems and armed conflicts. There are still many kinks working Georgians and Abkhazians. There are many mixed families who were caught up in events that were out of their control in the early 90s. Such human resources are very important in restoring trust between parties to ethnic and political conflict. Rezo Bendeliani has been leading the Association of Georgian-Abkhazian Mixed Families for many years. The aim of the organization is to reunite families that have been torn apart because of the Abkhaz-Georgian war. The track record is impressive with 3,500 families being rejoined since 2003.

30 Apr. '08

“Georgia, We Love You,” write Abkhazian Children (in Russian).

Marika Shonia, Tbilisi

“Abkhazia is our land and we must return it - these words are often heard in Georgia. Unfortunately, we speak less about the people than about the larger events that control their lives.  When I arrive in Sokhumi I am often asked whether we want Abkhazia if it is empty of the Abkhaz people. And I do not know what to answer because I feel we have not settled ourselves what we in fact want-to get the land back or reconcile with the people,” said Mrs. Esma who was born in Abkhazian family and now she is a mother of Georgian children and lives in Tbilisi.

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