The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Tuesday, November 17
Red Cross give letters from underaged Georgians to their parents

Red Cross staff have delivered letters from the underaged Georgians being detained in Tshinvali to their parents. Interpressnews was told this by Eka Buchukuri, mother of one of the detained, Viktor Buchukuri.

”My son writes that he is well. The children write that they will be home soon. Nothing of much importance is written in the letters, though the letters themselves are a great hope for us of course. They were given to us by personnel of the Red Cross Tskhinvali office by means of the Gori office,” Eka Buchukuri stated.

Director of Tirdznisi School Kakha Kakhiashvili said that each of the abducted children gave letters to the Red Cross personnel. “They brought us the letters at about 15:30. These letters might have been checked by many people before they reached us. The children write that they feel well and miss their parents and village,” Kakha Kakhiashvili stated.

The so called MIA of Tskhinvali detained Tirdznisi pupils Giorgi Romelashvili (born 1995), Aleko Sabadze (born 1995), Viktor Buchukuri (born 1993) and Levan Khmiadashvili (born 1992) on charges of possessing four hand grenades and explosive materials and illegally crossing the so-called state border. Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze stated that the health condition of the underaged Georgians is difficult. She added that the only organisation which has managed to visit the children in these two weeks is the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is now trying to take medicine into the isolator.

Georgia has asked international organisations for help. The Russian-Ossetian side is neglecting appeals by international organisations.

Canada reiterates support for Georgia’s territorial integrity

Mark Bailey, the Ambassador of Canada to Georgia, has reiterated his country’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity.

State Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili hosted the Canadian Ambassador yesterday. Their meeting was closed to the media. The Minister said after the meeting that the Canadian diplomat had reiterated his support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as the partner of the country.

Mark Bailey said that Canada would never recognise the independence of separatist regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
(Rustavi 2)

Heavy snow hinders traffic on Kobi-Gudauri highway

Heavy snow has hindered movement to and from the remote region of Kazbegi. Restrictions on special kinds of vehicles remain in force.

Traffic was completely suspended on Sunday night. Highways Department brigades launched road clearing works yesterday morning.
(Rustavi 2)

Labour Party accuses authorities of lobbying for insurance sector

The Georgian Labour Party has accused the Government of taking serious funds from the insurance sector inappropriately through the Cheap Insurance Programme. Its Political Secretary Giorgi Gugava voiced these allegations at a briefing yesterday.

Gugava said that 150 million GEL out of the 170 million intended for the insurance companies were being “put in the pockets of our authorities.” He said that the authorities ran all the leading insurance companies in Georgia and therefore, by allocating funds to the insurance sector, they were funding their own interests.

“Irao belongs to President Saakashvili, Aldagi BCI to Prime Minister Gilauri and ICI Group to Vladimer Gurgenidze and Kakha Bendukidze; this means that 150 out of the 170 million which will be allocated for the Cheap Insurance Programme in the state budget of 2010 will be appropriated by the owners of these companies. This is a classic example of corruption,” Gugava said, calling upon the Government to spend these funds on sponsoring a free medical service for the vulnerable.
(Rustavi 2)

Russian border guards detain refugees on Enguri Bridge

Russian border guards detained Roman, Miron and Revaz Sekanias, refugees from the Gali region, Interpressnews reports citing the Abkhazian media centre.

The media centre stated that they had been detained for illegally crossing the so-called border. The refugees were detained for 4 hours and physically abused. They were released after paying 1,000 GEL each.