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The News in Brief

Monday, September 24
Ilia the Second: preserve spiritual and human Peace

Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia Ilia the Second delivered a service at St. Trinity temple yesterday. The Patriarch declared that Georgia needs spiritual and physical power, as well as peace. “Georgia needs power, spiritual and physical peace. All these will come if the nation is merciful. We ask God to open our hearts to Him," the Patriarch said.

Ilia II declared Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the coming week as strict fasting days. The patriarch gave permission to fast without fish for three days and those who can have food without oil to meet the holiday of Exaltation of the Holy Cross spiritually free. On 27 September, praying will be delivered on 27 September at St. Trinity temple.

Vano Merabishvili – You’ll know in coming days who is going to be back to Georgia

Prime Minister Vano Merabishili said at the meeting with the Isani population that in the coming days, society will know who is going to return to Georgia and how to make order in Georgia.

“The main thing is that there were people next to us, next to me, my friends, these police buildings which are transparent who allowed such an abomination to happen,” Merabishvili said, noting that this is a very big lesson. “But I’m glad about one thing: we achieved an adequate reaction from society after the incidents were revealed and I think there was an adequate response from the government as well,” Merabishvili said. The Prime Minister said that there is a high probability that if the reforms are not continued, everything may be back in one day. “The people who tortured the inmates in prison may come out, be on various positions, and people who finance them may sit next to them, who directly preach about being back to the old time”, Merabishvili declared.

Young People Continue Hunger Strike Outside Justice House

5 young people continue their hunger strike outside the newly-opened Justice House. InterPressNews was told by one of the striking individuals–Vazha Koridze, the other night was peaceful. “We will continue the hunger strike as long as we can. Saturday was the first day of the hunger strike and we feel all right so far. As far as the situation throughout the night, patrol and dubious people were noticed in the vicinity, though they didn’t approach us”, Vazha Koridze said. He said they will continue the protest until the 4 detained young people– Lasha Meskhia, Dato Patsatsia, Dachi Tsaguria and Beka Aladoshvili are released. The students went on hunger strike yesterday. They protested the detention of the youth. Lasha Meskhia and Dato Patsatsia were sentenced to 40 days of administrative imprisonment, Tsaguria and Aladoshvili - 10 days in prison.

Occupied South Ossetia celebrates Republic Day

The occupied Georgian region of South Ossetia celebrated Republic Day on Thursday (September 20) marking the 22nd anniversary of its declaration of independence with a military parade, concerts, dancing in the streets and fireworks.

The tiny region, which has run its own affairs with Russian backing since the early 1990s, is recognized as independent by only a handful of nations, including Russia.

Moscow recognized it as an independent nation after a brief war with Georgia in 2008. Internationally it is only recognized by Venezuela, Nicaragua and the Pacific nation of Nauru.

The region of about 63,000 remains heavily dependent on Moscow`s financial help and military protection amid growing dissatisfaction over how funds are spent.

Four years after the Russian-Georgian war, South Ossetia continues to receive aid from Russia, with its president Leonid Tibilov saying the rebel region should become a part of the Russian Federation.

Tibilov, a pro-Russia former KGB officer, said during the celebrations on Thursday, that it had taken much time and effort to gain South Ossetia`s independence.

"Our way to freedom was long and complex. But during these years and though difficult conditions, we have managed to significantly strengthen our sovereignty and we have done it at the cost of unbelievable moral and physical strains," Tibilov told the audience.

Russia fought a brief war with Georgia in 2008 after Tbilisi tried to regain control of breakaway South Ossetia with a military assault.

Moscow has spent about one billion USD supporting the impoverished region since the five-day 2008 war, which took place mostly on South Ossetia`s territory.
(Rustavi 2)

Prime Minister gives instructions to interim minister of interior

"Our key goal is to conduct parliamentary elections in a peaceful environment," Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili announced at a meeting with the interim minister of internal affairs, Eka Zghuladze yesterday.

"The elections cannot be conducted amid violence. Elections without violence must be ensured by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which has the sufficient resources of imposing order without violence and the police have proved this many times," the Prime Minister said.

Vano Merabishvili also spoke about the reorganization of the penitentiary system. He says that soon the system will have new staff. The training courses are underway and eventually, the patrol police officers, who are at present controlling the situation in prisons, will return to fulfilling their primary duties.

Interim minister Eka Zghuladze said the Interior Ministry has sufficient resources and reserve of staff to provide control of the situation in the penitentiary system.
(Rustavi 2)

“National Movement” returned the money Davit Chakua and Gaga Mkurnaladze donated to the Party

Untied National Movement returned money to the two donators– former head of the corrections department Davit Chakua and Gaga Mkurnaladze, who has been detained in the prison torture case, spokesperson of the ruling party Chiora Taktakishvili told journalists.

“As soon as we heard of the issue of Davit Chakua and Gaga Mkurnaladze, political or criminal responsibility was raised. The United National Movement returned the funds donated by the individuals right away”, Taktakishvili said, adding that GEL 15 600 was donated.

Davit Chakua was the former head of the department of corrections, Gaga Mkurnaladze was his assistant.

Georgian-American University of Technology opens in Batumi

Georgian-American University of Technology opened in Georgia`s Black Sea town of Batumi yesterday. President Saakashvili viewed the new university on Sunday. Representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers also attended the opening ceremony. Students of all universities of Batumi were invited to the presentation.

The new university has been created on the basis of Tbilisi State University. Students will be able to study foreign languages, as well as technical and engineering specialties.

All technological achievements throughout the world will be accessible for the students of the university.
(Rustavi 2)