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Compiled by Etuna Tsotniashvili
Thursday, May 21
Will the military parade be held in Vaziani?

Rezonansi reports that as 26 May Georgia’s Independence Day, approaches the authorities are discussing where the traditional military parade might be held, although a final decision has not been made yet. As a result of the opposition blocking off Rustaveli Avenue the authorities have stated that the military parade will not take place on Rustaveli. The opposition plan a large scale public parade on that day, and have appealed on people to join them.

According to one source President Saakashvili was going to hold the military parade in Kutaisi but now prefers the Vaziani military base. It is reported that the parade will not be on so large a scale as it has been in previous years, but no one in the Government has either confirmed or denied this.

Tamriko Chkheidze: inadequate opposition steps strengthen Saakashvili’s power

In an interview with Akhali Taoba Tamriko Chkheidze, a prominent member of the Georgian national liberation movement and a dissident during Soviet times, says that it does not matter to her whether the authorities recognize that there is a political crisis in the country.

“At first European states were ready to support the Georgian people and opposition if they had presented present concrete democratic demands, but when they saw that the opposition does not have concrete plans, they lost interest, so Saakashvili does not plan to resign. The situation will end either in bloodshed or the rallies dissolving by themselves. The Government is the winner here. If the rallies stop on their own certainly this is very good for the authorities,” says Chkheidze.

Chkheidze says that some opposition demands are not designed to achieve real democratic change. The opposition strengthen Saakashvili’s power themselves by such pointless rallies, she says.

Retired Generals, officers and veterans establish the Georgian Army Dignity Protection Committee

A group of retired Generals, officers and veterans have created the Georgian Army Dignity Protection Committee, former Defense Minister Gia Karkarashvili has stated at a press conference, as Akhali Taoba reports.

“When somebody doesn’t want to see the difference between a soldier and a prisoner, when a highly trained army is demoralized, when a tendency has begun to accuse military men trained abroad of espionage, when the Ministers of Justice and Interior Affairs instead of the Defence Minister meet the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Georgian Army, it is impossible to sit back and watch the desiccation and moral abasement of the most important institution of the State,” Gia Karkarashvili stated.

The former Minister said that the new organisation will be funded by NGOs and public figures who support the Georgian Army. Its main goal will be to preserve the professional and civil dignity of the Georgian Army. “If society doesn’t protect its Army, the Army cannot protect society,” Gia Karkarashvili stated.