During consultations between representatives of Foreign Ministries of Poland and Belarus, Poland FM representatives expressed their concern about the attitude of Belarusian authorities towards the Polish minority, and in particular, by recent attempts to charge taxes on humanitarian aid from Poland, and to distrain the property of the Union of Poles in Hrodna. “The attitude of the state to the national minorities is, among other things, an indicator of the level of democracy in the country”, -- said Marec Endris, director of the European department of the Polish FM.
Professor of Medicine Yuri Bandazheusky was visited in Minsk colony of hard labour by his attorney Syarhey Tsurko on January 31. In his interview to BelaPAN the lawyer said that while serving his sentence Bandazheusky had prepared two scientific books that are to be published abroad soon. According to Tsurko, Professor has an opportunity to work in the library, use scientific periodicals. Professor receives hundreds of letters every day from abroad, from politicians, scientists, and common people. “He feels support of different international organizations, but not Belarusian ones”, -- the lawyer said.
Administration of the Belarusian state Railway is considerably reduced. The Council of Ministers considers that the number of the deputy directors of the Belarusian Railway should be reduced. As BelaPAN was infored by the press-center of the Belarusian Railway, under reorganization of the Railway administration many departments and services will be combined, that it why the number of employees and persons in charge is reduced. You must remember that at the present a criminal action instituted against several top heads of the Belarusian Railway is investigated. They are charged with abuse of office. On November 22 Lukashenka discharged Viktar Rakhmanko, former head of the BR, from his position.
Poland is to introduce visas for Belarusians no earlier than in 2003. This information was revealed during the consultations of the Foreign Ministers of Belarus and Poland at the level of political departments on January 30. As the press secretary of the Belarusian FM Pavel Latushka said, the question of visa regime with Belarus would be put forward by the Polish side at the final stage of negotiations with the European Union by Poland’s joining the EU.
Zinaida Hanchar, a wife of the prominent Belarusian politician Viktar Hanchar, abducted on September 16, 1999, addressed Russian president Vladimir Putin with another open letter. She observes with disappointment that she received no reply for the previous appeal to the Russian leader, from November 26, 2001. Addressing to the President of Russia, Zinaida Hanchar writes: “You cannot be uninformed of the crimes that take place on the territory of Belarus, but at the same time you continue to keep silent and to support Lukashenka’s regime. Well-known Russian politicians over and over again carry out noisy campaigns criticizing the policy of the Baltic States, allegedly for pressure on Russian people living on their territories. They explain it by concern for their fellow-countrymen’s destiny. I am Russian by nationality too, my son and me were born in Russia, and my mother is a citizen of the Russian Federation. So why does the fate of my family not bother Russian political elite? Silence of Russian politicians is understood by the Belarusian authorities as permission for new crimes”.
It was the comparison the Austrian newspaper “Standart” employed for Belarusian leader. In one of the articles the newspaper posed a question what Belarusian dictator has in common with Polish anti-democrat Leper. Analyzing the phenomenon of the Eastern European populism and anti- democratism on the example of the leader of the Polish movement “Self-Defense” Andrzej Lepper, Warsaw and Vienna philosophers Krol and Pfawigan believe that this Polish politician has adopted much from Belarusian dictator Lukashenka, and not from Hitler or Mussolini.
Belarus was not covered by the list of the countries for which Jackson-Vanick amendment is to be abolished. This amendment was adopted by the Congress in 1974, depriving the Soviet Union (and then post-Soviet countries) of the most- favored nation status in its trade with the United States for restricting Jewish emigration.
The presidium of the Trade Union Federation addressed its members with a proposal to carry out an all-republican protest action. The trade union of the agriculture mechanical engineering was the initiator the protest. Its leader Alyaxandar Bukhvostau declared at the session of the trade union Federation that further dialogue with the authorities on the problem of trade union dues collection is pointless.
Former director of Minsk production association “Atlant” Leanid Kaluhin was transferred from the mental hospital in Navinki to the pre-trial detention center. It happened on January 30, and again his relatives were not notified about it. In the guarded of the mental hospital they confirmed that Kaluhin left, but they refused to inform about his diagnose referring to Hippocratic oath.
Late at night an Orsha dweller came to the police station and told that the day before, at 11 p.m. two unknown people entered his apartment and seized… two kilos of sausage. After that the robbers slipped out. The owner of the house had not informed police about the incident, however he locked the door. To his surprise, few hours later the same wrongdoers appeared again. This time they made their way into the house by breaking a window. They beat, the man, took five kilograms of meat was disappeared. The police officers managed to find out that the crime was committed by a 20-year-old unemployed, who had previously served a term for theft. Now he is wanted by the police. Another housebreaker has not been identified yet.