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Compiled by Keti Baramidze
Wednesday, March 31
Why has Maestro taken some programmes off air? Akhali Taoba writes that Maestro has been making great changes lately and one of its most popular programmes, Utsnobi Kavkasia, has been suspended. Analyst Zviad Koridze doesnít rule out that these changes may be being made to suit the Government, as closing this programme means removing a forum for political debate just before the elections. Professional Journalist show is also likely to be suspended.

ďBack in 2003 Kitsmarishvili and Bekauri tried to create a new station called Other Channel which would have been a pure entertainment station. I have no idea whether they are going to do the same with Maestro or not. Kitsmarishvili has said that from April Maestro will be transmitted via satellite and the public should know how this will be funded. He added that Maestroís new schedule will contain many different programmes but from autumn onwards. It seems that during the election period Maestro is intending to broadcast only on satellite," Koridze says.

Journalist Ia Antadze also comments on the situation. She says: "Professional Journalist is financed by Open Foundation Georgia. But at the end of April this funding will cease and the programme will presumably close unless further funding is found. Utsnobi Kavkasia might have been due for a longer run but for unknown reasons has been unexpectedly closed.

"The decision to close Utsnobi Kavkasia was made by the new management and by Bekauri personally. When the TV schedule is being revamped itís inadmissible to close a programme one day and then put on another programme featuring the same broadcaster the next day.

"I had personal reasons for refusing to cooperate with Maestro. I have my own NGO to look after, which Iíve been leading for 4 years with my closest friends. Itís also hard for me to anticipate whether Maestro will come through its present crisis or not," says Ia Antadze.



Mamuka Areshidze: soon they will say the terrorists were trained in Georgia

Rezonansi reports that the terrorist outrage on the Moscow underground is being investigated but Russiaís Security Office hasnít released any information about this investigation. The most popular rumour at present is that these explosions were connected with Chechnya. The BBC and CNN have said that terrorists from Chechnya have admitted organising these explosions but the Western media outlets still won't say where they got this information from.

"The Russian security forces have been pressurising members of Islamic groups and recently murdered Shariat judges Anzor Asteramov and Salambek Ahmadov. It appears these terrorist acts are a means of retaliating for their countrymensí death. Putinís unreasonable politics has created all these disasters and the changes currently being made by him and the newly-appointed Governor cannot improve the situation now," analyst Mamuka Areshidze says in the interview with the paper.

"I donít believe these terrorist acts were organised by the Russians as they would have been far larger-scale if they had been. The Russians also blow up houses as a rule. Though the number of victims is big this doesnít resemble a Russian operation. Iím sure however that the explosions will be followed by oppressing the people of the Caucasus and taking other punitive measures. Itís also possible the Russians will say that the terrorists were trained in Georgia," says Areshidze.

Asked whether such an accusation will affect the arrival of the Guantanamo prisoners in Georgia, Areshidze says: ďIt wonít make any difference, though as the public hasn't been given full information about these doubts may still be raised. But we have received only 3 prisoners, Russia three times more. In addition to this, the prisoners we have taken arenít citizens of Russia. So itís not wise to search for connections between these two eventsĒ.