| POLITICS |
USA Remind UN of Human Rights Violations Worldwide, Belarus Included
EU Capital to Host Protest Against Russia-Belarus Merger
Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Head of U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights presented March 30, 2001 his report on human rights situations around the globe. Following is the excerpt from the report dealing with Belarus country situation:
ZUBR Protects Tax-Payers` Rights
Picket against the Belarus-Russia integration will be held today in Brussels right opposite the Russian diplomatic compound. The action will attract numerous Belarusian fugitives, who fled their homes to apply for political asylum in Belgium. The rally is dedicated to the "unification date" of Russia and Belarus and will be carried out under the slogans of protest against the absorption of Belarus by Russians.
Escalating Unemployment in Belarus
Borisov branch of ZUBR started dealing with social phenomena. For the third day in a row the movement activists have been collecting town residents` signatures under the plea to the local administration to regulate the functioning of local public transportation network.
Belarus Companies Owe Over 1 Trillion Rubles
Level of the domestic joblessness reached 2,3%. According to the Ministry of statistics and analysis, in February there were registered 103,8 thousand unemployed people countrywide, which is 3% over the January figure and 5,8% above the last year`s February statistics. The size of the average dole in February constituted 4,295 ($3,5). Over 26 thousand individuals or 30,2% of workers, who were on forced leave in January were underpaid monetary compensation.
Harassment of Peaceful Dissent Underway in Belarus Says US State Dept
Exterior creditor`s indebtedness of the Belarusian enterprises for goods and services exceeded 1 trillion rubles. The Ministry of statistics and analysis reports that by January 1, 2001 the indebtedness reached 959bln.989mln. rubles and by February 1 - 1trln.23 bln.175mln. rubles ($846bln.).
MPs Headed for Havana Forum
US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher released March 30, 2001 another statement, condemning mass harassment of the Freedom Day dissenters in Belarus. Following goes its full text: The United States is deeply concerned by the Belarusian authorities` treatment of Belarusian citizens who publicly marked Belarusian Freedom Day on March 25. The Belarusian authorities refused a permit for a march in Minsk and used force to disperse Belarusian citizens who peacefully gathered to mark this date. About 20 people were arrested nation-wide.
Who`ll Be Held Responsible for Disappearances?
Delegation of the "national assembly" of Belarus set off for Cuba to participate in the 105th conference of the Interparliamentary Union. The Forum will be held April 1-7 in Havana. The Parliament`s leadership, fearing to waste a rare opportunity of traveling abroad, headed there with its full complement: Anatoly Malofeev, Leonid Glukhovsky, Nikolai Cherginets, Yadviga Grigorovich and Tatyana Avdeeva. Despite the tropical climate and descent per diems, the MPs are likely to be given hard time there. "For the last 2,5 years they are very seriously considering there the issue of deputies` rights violations. IPU only hears lies from the mouth of the official delegation. Our parliamentarians aren`t trusted there at all. They oftentimes get in touch with those, whose rights had been violated. At the moment the IPU Committee for human rights will consider a few dozen cases of the Belarusian parliamentarians,"
- says Charter`97 international coordinator Andrei Sannikov.
11:11, 02/04/2001, ZUBR
Brest Authorities Ban Distribution of Flyers
Saturday March 31 at 11-12 o`clock Slonim youth members of the ZUBR movement staged their action, dedicated to the missing people, right on the town`s central marketplace. The picketers raised portraits of the famous oppositionists, presently held incommunicado: Yuri Zakharenko, Viktor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky, Dmitry Zavadsky. They disseminated flyers "WHO`LL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DISAPPEARANCES?", containing calls on the opposite side of the sheet: "Think! Determine! Act! Be a ZUBR!".
Czech Senate Protests Vyachorka`s Arbitrary Arrest
Three Brest natives, handing out special issues of "Nasha Svaboda" newspaper, were detained March 30 by the officers of the Leninsky district police department.
Protest Against Russia-Belarus Merger in Warsaw
March 29 the Belarusian judiciary sentenced BPF leader Vintsuk Vyachorka to 15 days of administrative arrest for organizing the Freedom Day rally in Minsk. We, the signatories of this statement, claim that the court issued a politically motivated verdict, contradicting the basic human right of an individual - right for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, which testifies to the antidemocratic nature of the ruling Belarusian regime.
Lukashenko Marks 5th Anniversary of the "Union State" in Moscow
Picket "NO to Merger of Russia and Belarus!" took place April 2 in front of the Russian embassy in Warsaw. The picketers protested against the so-called "union of Russia and Belarus", set up under the "Treaty on the union state formation" of April 2, 1997. The existing union is nothing but Russian annexation of Belarus, making the latter one of Russia`s countless provinces, believe the action initiators - Belarusian community in Warsaw "Razam!" (Together!).
Milosevic to Remain in Custody for 30 Days, Awaiting Trial… in Hague?
Just to be on the safe side Lukashenko determined to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the "Russia-Belarus union" in Moscow. The major part of his Moscow visit`s schedule will open today with a meeting with Vladimir Putin. However, the two heads do not intend to discuss the arrest of the "union`s" state secretary Pavel Borodin. One could get an impression that they avoid doing this purposefully. The issue hadn`t been dealt with during the recent Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov`s visit to Belarus.
Alcohol Production in Decline in Belarus
Ex-dictator of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic has been placed under arrest for 30 days, reports Reuters. This decision was passed on Sunday following the meeting between the chief Belgrade district investigator and the notorious defendant. Milosevic is charged with corruption and power abuse. If proven guilty, Milosevic may face 5-15 years of jail.
115 Business Facilities Privatized in 2000 in Belarus
Belarus suffers from decreasingly low rates of vodka, beer and liquors production. As reported by the Ministry of statistics and analysis, in January-February the production of alcohol beverages reduced by 14,3% as compared to the analogous period last year, whereas the production of breweries contracted by 21,7%.
Production Growth Rate Remains Unsatisfactory
The approved Concept of the state property management for years 2001-2005, won`t be realized neither this year nor in the year to come, considers chair of the commission for lodging policy, construction, trade and privatization of the "house of representatives" Vassily Khrol. The man shared this his vision during the March 29 meeting with the IMF leader in Lithuania and Belarus Mark Horton.
Mogilev Factories Losing Profitability
Belarus still enjoys the bottom spot among all CIS member-states, as far as the production rate. According to the International CIS Committee for Statistics, in January-February 2001, this index, as compared to the analogous last year`s period constituted only 1,8%. Taking into account the absence of data on Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, Belarus is only followed by another economic laggard Georgia, which had witnessed the 13,5% reduction of industry production.
Bank License System Overhauled
According to the data of the district department of statistics, in February 2001 53% of all industrial enterprises of the Mogilev region were operating at a loss (in February 2000 - 50,7%). Production`s profitability descended all the way from 2,3% in Jan.2000 to 0,7% January 2001. Fall in the degree of profitability is accompanied by the reduction in the industrial turnover. Over the first two months of this year the region`s plants produced 6,1% less goods than during the analogous period last year. In course of this time the profitability of the industrial commodity lessened by over two times, whereas the amount of its stock at the store-houses went 6,5% uphill.
New amendments envisage the change of conditions and order of granting state licenses to banks, thus enabling them to draw population`s deposits. There`ll take place the revision of all banks` operations, included into the interior and general agendas under the existing Banks` code.