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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Belarusian Town turns 1000

President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has congratulated the residents of the town of Volkovysk, Grodno region, on the grand event – the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the town.

Happy 1000th birthday Volkovysk!"

In Other News:

Police still searching in Vtebsk for Bomber

Administration started using the idea of fight against terrorism as an excuse for activities against opposition.

From the UCP press-room

The "badge" of the KGB from Soviet times

Today in Vitebsk militia organized search in apartments of two activists of youth organizations. Militia explained that the search has been organized in connection with recent explosions.

Regional leader of Young Democrats (UCP youth section) Denis Denisov told that people from Regional Department on Fight Against Corruption and Organized Crime and some person in civil clothes visited his flat when he has been away. Representatives of law enforcement agencies explained that they had permission for search in connection with recent explosions. But instead of looking for explosives, they searched and took away many materials of different character – CDs and floppy discs, examples of elections leaflets brought from Poland, papers with signatures of citizens collected under the claim of naming one of Vitibsk streets after Vasil Bykov. Moreover, during the search representatives of state agencies were actively looking for a computer – they looked for it even in a fridge!

After the search, Denis’s parents received a record signed by the head of local anti-corruption unit S.Kolontaev who directed the search. The record listed the materials, which have been confiscated - however, they did not put all confiscated materials (all documents and some CDs with cartoons about Lukashenko) on the list.

Searches in flats of other activists were organized according to the same scenario.

Journalist issued warning over article

From Charter '97

An official Warning to Journalist Iryna Khalip was issued by the Belarusian procuracy

Iryna Khalip: “Will a revolution take place in Belarus?”

Deputy Prosecutor General of Belarus Nikalay Kupryjanau issued an official warning to deputy editor-in-chief of the newspaper “BDG. Delovaya Gazeta”, special correspondent of the Russian newspaper “Novaya Gazeta” Iryna Khalip. She has been informed about it today in the department on monitoring of fulfilment of the constitutional rights of citizens of the Prosecutor’s office of Belarus. The famous journalist was warned for the article “Time to throw away the rake” about the prospects of revolution in Belarus, published in August this year in the Russian newspaper “Novaya Gazeta”.

As Iryna Khalip said to the Charter’97 press center, it is said in the warning that “the article “Time to throw away the rake” with the question “Will a revolution take place in Belarus?” in the “Novaya Gazeta” of August 1-3, 2005 has been studied in the exercise of supervisory powers. It has been established that it has evidence of calls for destabilization of public order and change of the constitutional system of Belarus by extrajudicial measures”.
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Also, here are four more headlines from other stories from Charter '97

Seminar Belarus Democracy NATO PA
16:48, 26/09/2005

The capital of Lithuania will host a seminar on democracy in Belarus, to be attended by legislators from the NATO member countries, representatives of other international organizations, Belarusian opposition and Lithuanian governmental institutions. The two-day seminar, which is starting today, has been organized by the Seimas and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (PA).
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Belarus sliding into totalitarian rule says UN envoy

A United Nations human rights investigator on Friday warned that Belarus was sliding into totalitarian rule and said he saw little hope that presidential elections due in 2006 would be free and fair.
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Independent radio for Belarus should be based in Latvia, Lithuania or Poland - Kuskis

During an international seminar yesterday, organized by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Lithuanian Seimas, the European Parliament (EP) member Aldis Kuskis (New Era) called for a greater unity among parliament members and a systematic work on resolving problems in Belarus.
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Belarussian opposition will push for democratic reform

Belarussian opposition forces are determined to push for democratic changes in the country, Belarussian Popular Front Chairman Vintsuk Vyachorka said at a seminar in Vilnius on Friday. "There is no need to talk about the colors of a revolution. We know that it will be Belarussian," Vyachorka said. "We understand that we should make changes with our own hands," he said.

United Civil Party leader and a possible opposition presidential candidate Alexander Lebedko told the seminar that public opinion surveys show that incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko will receive 38% of the vote, while a candidate standing for reform will get 48%.
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Editor’s note: According to the Wikopedia, at the last legislative elections, the 13-17 October 2004 “referendom” vote, the two above mentioned parties were a part of the "People's Coalition 5 Plus" (Narodnaya Kaalitsya Pyatserka Plys) who as a group didn't secure any seats.
Said group consists of the following parties:

Belarusian Labour Party (Click the links)
Belarusian Popular Front
Belarusian Social Democratic Party-Assembly
Party of Communists of Belarus
United Civic Party of Belarus

As you can see, other than the UCP, even as a group they are not generating all that much heat.

Anatolij Lebedko: About the only one there.

All things being equal, and without endorsing him as a preference, it appears as though Anatolij Lebedko is probably the only legitimate candidate available to run against the current president in 2006. Vincuk Viachorka, the senior oposition leader would probably be considered a respected second. And, as the coming elections by far out shadow any other news coming from Belarus, as a project, the BHTimes will try and gather as much information about these groups as is possible over the next view weeks. Click HERE to view Mr.Viachorka's speach to the The House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa,
Global Human Rights and International Operations
Thursday, March 17, 2005)

News from Israel

So much for peace in the middle east:GAZA CITY, (AFP) - Israeli helicopters carried out more bombing raids across the Gaza Strip, hours after the radical Palestinian movement Hamas declared an end to rocket attacks.

AFP Photo: Palestinian firemen extinguish a fire in a destroyed shop following an Israeli air raid on...

Although there were no casualties, the overnight air strikes further soured the atmosphere which has led to the likely cancellation of a summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

The fallout of the violence in Gaza, just two weeks after Israeli troops left the territory, is also threatening to engulf Sharon himself who faces a crunch vote on Monday on the date of a leadership contest in his Likud party.

Sharon's main challenger Benjamin Netanyahu used a speech at the Likud convention Sunday to argue that the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza had effectively allowed the Islamist movement Hamas to take control.

Gaza-based militants had fired dozens of rockets into Israel over the weekend, with the Palestinian Authority doing little to stop the barrage.
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News from the classical world championships

Judit Polgar – preparing one by one with both colours

Judit Polgar

One of the most interesting personalities at the FIDE Classical Chess World Championship in Argentina will be Judit Polgar, easily the strongest female player in the history of the game. In the interviews conducted by the official web site Judit answers the ten standard questions put to each of the participants. Here's what she had to say.
See Article

An apology from the editor:
As of the moment, it looks as though number of times that the BEING HAD Times can be aired will have to be trimmed. The reason for this is that there has been a new tariff on telephone/internet use of 7 rubles a minute which effectively doubles the cost of producing the document (just saw last month's bill this morning). Therefore, because the internet is occasionally needed for reasons other than scanning news sources and because the advertising sponsorship program is taking longer to set up than had been hoped, it appears that the BHTimes will have to drop to only three times a week or so after today. Hopefully the money problem will be taken care of soon