The News in Brief
Monday, March 17
Opposition accuse ‘cameraman’ of working for government agency Opposition activists confronted a man suspected of posing as a cameraman to film the hunger strike outside parliament on March 14.
Hunger strikers said they noticed that evening that the man was filming them with a camera without any visible television channel logo.
Opposition activists detained the man, demanding his name and the name of his employer.
The cameraman introduced himself as Giorgi Giorgadze, from Internews. However, Internews administration reportedly said they did not send any cameramen that day.
Rally organizers released him after seizing his videotape, saying that the man was working for a spy agency.
“We address the special services with a request to send more competent employees to cover the hunger strike next time, or not to send anyone at all. Nothing secret is going on here,” a spokesperson for the opposition coalition said. (Black Sea Press)
Subeliani meets 102-year-old refugee
State Minister of Refugees and Resettlement Koba Subeliani met a 102-year-old refugee on March 15.
The minister gave GEL 200 to Ana Vibliani, one of around 20 Georgian refugees aged more than 100.
The charity organization Rejinioli gave the woman a TV set. (Prime News)
One dies as building collapses in Nadzaladevi district
A 60-year-old man died when a building collapsed in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi district. Another person was injured and taken to hospital. Nikoloz Khachirishvili, governor of Nadzaladevi district, and Temur Giorgadze, head of the Municipal Office of the Emergency Situations, visited the site of the incident. (Prime News)
Saakashvili: Georgians soldiers are the best in Iraq
“The best soldiers in Iraq are Georgians,” President Mikheil Saakashvili said when he addressed the Artillery Brigade in Gori at a ceremony marking the Day of the Georgian Artillery on March 15.
“After our peacekeepers successfully carried out their mission in Iraq not long ago, our American colleagues said that the best soldiers in Iraq were Georgian,” Saakashvili stated.
He also said that in Soviet days the Tbilisi Artillery School was considered the best in the Soviet Union.
“Georgia has made a great step forward in the military sphere. Today we have 33 000 well-trained soldiers… The number of airplanes in Georgia has doubled, helicopters have increased threefold, and the number of tanks has increased by ten times,” Saakashvili said.
He also underlined the importance of defense resources. “The armed forces are an indivisible part of a democratic country. All issues are resolved peacefully in a democratic country, but democracy needs defense and support,” he said.
The president also reiterated that the government will not sign a treaty on non-use of force in resolving the country’s secessionist conflicts, despite calls to do so from Russia and the separatist regimes. (Black Sea Press)
Opposition coalition gathers over USD 4000 in donations
The united opposition has taken in over USD 4000 in donations from Georgians supporting the ongoing hunger strike outside parliament, representatives said.
The money will be spent on purchasing tents, blankets and other resources for the hunger strikers.
Around 65 people are on hunger strike in Tbilisi city center, calling for the president’s resignation. (Black Sea Press)
Khaindrava: opposition representatives to visit Moscow
Opposition representatives will visit Moscow in the near future, Goga Khaindrava of the opposition coalition said.
“In the nearest future a delegation from the united opposition, headed by Levan Gachechiladze, will visit Moscow to hold meetings with the Foreign Ministry,” Khaindrava said.
He said the trip would be along the same lines of opposition representatives’ recent trip to the Baltic states, where they discussed the current political situation in Georgia as well as the upcoming parliamentary elections. (Black Sea Press)