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The News in Brief

Friday, April 10
Visiting April 9 memorial

In the morning of April 9 Catholicos Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia ii visited the memorial of April 9 victims in front of the parliament accompanied by Mikheil Saakashvili. some representatives of the opposition parties were also among the people who light the candles and pried on commemoration of those who fallen 20 years ago in the fight of independence of Georgia.

“No matter how our positions and views may differ we have one motherland, we need unity for the sake of this motherland,” Saakashvili told journalists in brief comments made after the ceremony outside the Parliament. “We need to accomplish our struggle for eventual liberation of Georgia and for eventual establishment of a democratic, free, European state – something for which people have sacrificed themselves here under the Russian tanks [referring to events of April 9, 1989] and for which our soldiers sacrificed themselves in August [war with Russia].” (The Messenger)

Georgian Diaspora in Ukraine releases address

The question of which civilization to choose is being resolved today in Georgia - either Western civilization or tyranny, representatives of the Georgian Diaspora in Ukraine said in an address released yesterday.

“We are standing at the crossroads today and choosing the way of civilization and democracy,” the address says, referring to the April 9 rallies. The Georgian Diaspora in Ukraine considers April 9 as a day of both mourning and glory. They also say that the war with Russia has not ended and each unreasonable step may cause danger to the Georgian state.

The address compares recent developments in Georgia and Ukraine, assessing Western support and Russian policy. Representatives of the Ukraine-Georgia Friendship Society call upon Georgians and Ukrainians not to assist in the implementation of Putin’s plan and oppose their homelands. (Rustavi 2)

Ex-PM leads rallies in Batumi, Adjara

While the leaders of the radical opposition parties addressed supporters outside the Georgian Parliament, a demonstration demanding the President’s resignation was held in Batumi. The leader of the opposition Movement for Fair Georgia, ex-Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli, led the protest in the Adjarian capital.

The protestors came from Adjara’s mountain regions and other coastal districts and headed for the Batumi Academic Theatre. They demanded the resignation of both President Mikheil Saakashvili and head of the Adjara Government Levan Varshalomidze.

Zurab Noghaideli said they will hold similar rallies on May 6 if the President refuses to resign.

The demonstration lasted an hour and a half. (Rustavi 2)

Separatists reinforce security measures

The Abkhazian and South Ossetian puppet regimes are reinforcing security along the administrative borders of Georgia`s two breakaway regions, occupied by the Russian Army since the August war. The occupiers and separatists have mobilized additional forces along the boundary lines and will jointly guard them.

The number of tanks and armoured vehicles on the Akhalgori-Perevi sector of the road has been doubled. Russian helicopters have also been seen above the occupied area. Abkhaz separatists maintain that they are reinforcing security to prevent provocations from the Georgian side. (Rustavi 2)

Azeri Ambassador and Patriarch Ilia II deny insult

The Azeri Ambassador to Georgia has denied that the Georgian Patriarch insulted the Azeri people. Natik Aliyev said this information had been put about by people who do not like to see friendly relations between the two countries and want to damage them. He added that no confrontation between Georgia and Azerbaijan will take place.

“People who are enemies of Georgia and Azerbaijan have released this information. I am sorry that those who are discontented by the fraternity of our nations have made up this lie. I would like those people to become our friends as well. Georgia and Azerbaijan were, are and will be fraternal nations,” Ilia II said. (Rustavi 2)

Airliner unexpectedly lands at military aerodrome

A Turkish Airlines plane flying from Istanbul to Tbilisi unexpectedly landed at the Vaziani military airport instead of the Tbilisi International Airport yesterday. Passengers remained at the aerodrome and patrol and military police were called.

Georgian representatives at Turkish National Airlines made no official comment. Giorgi Karbelashvili, the head of Georgian Air Navigation, said however that representatives of Turkish Airlines confessed that pilot error caused the sudden landing at the military airport. The pilot was presumed to have confused the landing paths.

An investigation has been launched which will show whether the sudden landing was indeed caused by pilot error or a technical problem. The passengers were evacuated by means of a special ladder. (Rustavi 2)