Recently British PR man Timothy Bell who had concluded a contract with Belarusian government on improving image of Belarusian dictatorship in the international arena stated the following: “Most of Belarusians are satisfied and happy”. “Narodnaya Volya” asked citizens of the country what would they like to tell Lord Bell about the life of Belarusians?
Henadz Buraukin, poet:
- How can I be satisfied and happy when every day I feel that the most precious thing to me is trampled under foot: Belarusian history, language, culture. Those who think that sacred things could be substituted by “a glass of vodka and pork rinds”, are maybe happy. And me not. And the meaning of my life is in belief. It’s a belief that a day will come when Belarus would become a really Belarusian, with all its signs: language, culture and its own history. I believe that I will see that and then I will be happy.
And I would advise Bell to visit Belarus not as a lord, but as a common man, and to try to live here, as long as he would be able to. Maybe he would feel the completeness of “happiness and satisfaction” of our people then…
Zmitser Bartosik, bard:
- Happiness and satisfaction are different things. A man cannot feel happy all the time… Happiness is primarily connected with family and children. As I have no problems here, I feel happy sometimes. But a thinking person can be by no means satisfied in this country… No use explaining that, as it is as clear as day. That’s why I do not want to talk to the lord at all after his statement…
Andrei Bastunets, lawyer:
- I would like to attract attention of Lord Bell to the standards of living of concrete people, and that interference of the state into lives of people prevents them from being happy, and hinders them in doing the things they can do with talent.
And certainly I would turn his attention to the situation of mass media. I would tell him that “Narodnaya Volya” for instance, is forced to be “happily” printed in Smolensk because of somebody’s evil will…
Dziana Paulavets, pensioner:
- Maybe I feel happy in my personal life: I has survived in the hard war years, I have raised two children, grandchildren, and even have great-grandchildren now… But in today’s Belarus I primarily lack full happiness to believe the things that are shown on Belarusian TV. I really want to live in the Belarus they are portraying there.
Besides, to be fully happy I need a feeling of real care of the state about pensioners…
As for Lord Bell, I would like to ask him, what information he had been basing upon when saying that the majority is “happy and satisfied”. The nation is incomplete without me, as they say. Lord hasn’t asked me personally. That’s why I would like to invite him to my place. Let him see how pensioners live.
Zinaida Hanchar, wife of the abducted politician Viktar Hanchar:
- After the tragedy with my husband, I will never be happy and satisfied, as I want to know the truth. Lord Bell may say anything he wish, and I believe he had met happy and satisfied people in Belarus. That’s because he met with specific people, all of them are from Lukashenka’s entourage. I do not think that Lord bell is unaware about the disappeared politicians, he simply hushes this problem artificially, representing Belarus as a paradise on earth. If I would meet Lord bell, I would say him to look at Belarus not from a car window, but through the eyes of common people. Besides, I would like to ask him, whether he would be satisfied to live under a daily threat of arrest or even abduction?..