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The News in Brief

Tuesday, March 3
Forget the word “privatization’’ while Putin is in charge – Roman Gotsiridze

“We should forget the actual context of the word privatization in terms of the Georgian Railway while Putin is in charge of the Russian government,”- said former National Bank of Georgia President, Head of Economic Development Center Roman Gotsiridze.

According to him, all kinds of speculations on the subject are either provocations or consequences of ignorance.

“No matter who buys it, this share will inevitably be in Russia’s hands - just as it happened in the case of TELASI. That’s why these unprofessional and ridiculous talks must be put to an end. Forget the word “privatization” while Putin is in charge of the Russian government,”- Gotsiridze said.

Roman Gotsiridze also mentioned the lari devaluation issue, stressing that in general, devaluation is followed by negative results.

Two children who had contact with a satanic sect in Dusheti died in February

Two children who had contact with a satanic sect in Dusheti, died in February, a representative of the Reformers Party Nino Charkviani said on Monday at a press conference at the Kvira press club.

“A 15 year-old girl died in Dusheti two days ago. She drank potassium cyanide, which was sent from Tbilisi. The reason of the above-mentioned was the death of her 18-year-old boyfriend. According to our information, these children had contact with a satanic sect in Dusheti. In general, representatives of this sect visit a cemetery in Dusheti at night to hold rituals,” Nino Charkviani said.

“According to locals, this sect includes up to 60 teenagers,” she added.

“We have already informed the police about this. I would like to ask the Interior Minister to take the investigation of this incident under his personal control,” Nino Charkviani said.

"No May 26 and November 7 are going to take place under our government"

As per the Justice Minister of Georgia, all the citizens of Georgia have the right to freedom of expression, therefore, they can gather with various demands and hold rallies.

"The right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly is guaranteed in our country. Everyone is equal before the law and all the parties are entitled to express an opinion even in the street. No May 26 and November 7 are going to take place under our government, therefore, we all have to respect the freedom of expression. We live in a state which protects human rights, including in the street, and the Interior Ministry will take measures to ensure that the rallies and counteractions are conducted peacefully,” said Tea Tsulukiani. The United National Movement (UNM) will hold a protest rally on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi on March 21. It has been written on Facebook that the citizens will hold a counteraction against the National Movement.

Pankisi Gorge: Youth project to benefit challenging region

Youth living in Pankisi Gorge, a challenging region in Georgia, will be able to develop their photography skills with help from one of the country’s leading photographers.

Under the President Administration’s initiative, a photo studio will soon open its doors at the Duisi School, which is one of the villages in the Gorge. The studio will be led by prize-winning Georgian photographer Natela Grigalashvili and pupils from nearby villages will also be invited to attend her classes.

The Pankisi Gorge is a valley mainly inhabited by the Kist sub-ethnos in northeastern Georgia that borders the Chechnyan republic of the Russian Federation.

High unemployment and a lack of opportunities were believed to be the reasons why many people left the Gorge - the area that once sheltered rebels from the Russians during the Chechen wars.

The Pankisi Gorge remained to be one of the most challenging areas of Georgia. In 2003 it was a place of major military engagement where a special operation involving police and US-trained special forces were required to repress the threats of Al-Qaeda.

The Gorge is also home to Tarkhan Batirashvili - also known as Abu Omar al-Shishani, a military leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

It has been reported that a growing number of young men from the Pankisi Valley have recently left the region to join ISIS.

The Georgian Government pledged to create better living conditions in the Gorge so that locals will not leave the area.

The President adviser in ethnical minority issues Sophio Shamanidi, who earlier visited the Pankisi Gorge with photographer Grigalashvili, said the photography course would last for six months and would then finish with a photo exhibition.

Earlier, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili visited the Gorge. On his visit he told the locals the Government was working on a special program for the Pankisi Gorge residents which aimed to create better living conditions there.