News, opinion, sports and culture E-mail:

Today's Headlines for:
Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Boxers Win, Journalism Loses

Quote of the day:

"It is not necessary to comment all speeches at Congress. I’m afraid, the idea of many of these speeches remained unclear for most of the participants. In most cases it was a regular “chewing-gum” with basic meaning that someone did not like the regime more than others and had actively been fighting against this regime for many years. Even oppositionists have been tired from such “revelations”. Therefore any speech, which did not fall within this habitual framework, sometimes caused loud cheers."

From a story about The Congress of Democratic Forces by the UCPB

News from the Top

October 4, 2005

Alexander Lukashenko Meets with Minsk City Mayor Mikhail Pavlov

Minsk to be a better "UNiversity Town"

On October 4, at his meeting with Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee Mikhail Pavlov, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko gave directions as to the elaboration of the project on building a “student village” in the Belarusian capital.

As of today, nearly 97 thousand students study at Minsk higher educational institutions - about 28 thousand of them cannot be accommodated in hostels due to lack of places there. The young people have to rent private flats, to find lodging in homes of relatives, acquaintances, and friends.

Given the seriousness of the problem, the Head of State has put forward the task to thoroughly examine all the issues of building a “student village” and to report him as soon as possible on the cost of the project and its implementation period.

Alexander Lukashenko Receives Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Belarus Piotr Prokopovich

You can tell things are going well because unlike the '5' and the '1', the '10' is still around.

On October 4, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko met with Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus Piotr Prokopovich to receive his regular report.
Piotr Prokopovich reported to the Head of State that over the past 9 months the banking system and the National Bank had ensured implementation of all the planned indicators of socio-economic development for the current year.

According to Piotr Prokopovich, the exchange rate of the national currency is stable and keeps strengthening relative to all the basic currencies. Since the beginning of the year the Belarusian rubel has strengthened by 0.9 percent relative to the US dollar, by 3.4 percent relative to the Russian ruble, by 12.6 percent relative to Euro. The result is greater stability of our economy and financial system.

The Head of State highlighted the need to implement undeviatingly the planned indicators for 2005 and he put forward the task to prepare for a more intensive work of the entire banking system in 2006.


From the UCPB

The report “Forcible Abductions in Europe” has been presented yesterday at the opening of the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe by a Special Rapporteur, Cyprian deputy Christos Pourgourides. It is a rare case when the resolution has been passed without a voice dissentient, and during the debate nobody raised objections. All speakers told only about the necessity of an international legal tool to struggle people’s disappearances and international prosecution of culprits.
In his introductory speech Christos Pourgourides said: “People’s abductions are a very serious humanitarian problem. In my country, Cyprus, between 1973 and 1977 more than 2,000 people have disappeared. I know that much depends on establishing real wrongdoers and bringing them to justice. But unfortunately legal framework for struggle with abductions of people is imperfect. I can give an example. I have found decisive evidence that high-ranking officials of Belarus are involved in disappearances of four Lukashenka’s political opponents. Among them are former Interior Minister Yury Sivakou and former Prosecutor General Viktar Shejman. A year and a half ago the PACE passed a resolution based on by report on the disappeared in Belarus, but the only thing we have been able to do was make the offenders awkwardly placed. Shejman and Sivakou are persons non grata and will never be able to go to Europe or the USA. But until Lukashenka is in power, they won’t be punished for their crimes. The reason is the absence of international document providing for international criminal prosecution. Besides, the definition of crime victims is absent. Taking in consideration unwillingness of some states to provide effective protection from forcible abductions, we should finally set up strict legal framework. We should also support efforts of the UN in elaboration of the Convention on Struggle against people abductions”.

In draft resolution the Rapporteur also insists on simplification of the procedure of urgent international intervention, on ban of amnesty for responsible for people’s abductions, and on consideration of such cases by military tribunals. All European parliamentarians voted fro that proposals. It is an unprecedented agreement of opinion in the PACE.

Lebedko Takes the Hit


Also from the UCPB

Well, the unification of the opositionist parties "seemed" like a good idea...

On October 5, UCP Political Council will hold its regular meeting. The main issue on the agenda will be results of the Congress and UCP participation in the implementation of its decisions.
As UCP Chair-Deputy Jaroslav Romanchuk pointed out, “We have made a break for several days. This should be enough for analyzing the situation and turning discussion from emotional to pragmatic and constructive levels. No one doubts that our leader will fulfill his obligations before united democratic forces, however attitude of our regional structures and our supporters to results of elections is quite ambiguous.”

It is possible that UCP leader declared about his resignation at the Political Council. However, Anatolij Lebedko himself did not comment that, he only pointed out that UCP was the main initiator of unification process and therefore the party must adhere to this strategic course.”

Iryna Khalip Is Hero of Europe

From Charter '97

The American social and political magazine “Time” announced that the famous Belarusian journalist, deputy editor-in-chief of the “BDG. Delovaya Gazeta” Iryna (Irina) Khalip a “Hero of Europe” in 2005 in a nomination “Brave Heart”. “The journalist discloses corruption of the regime, not sparing even Alyaksandr Lukashenka. She has been summoned for interrogations, beaten up many times. Last week, the Office of the Prosecutor General warned her that she could face up to five years in jail for writing articles it described as “calling for the violent overthrow of the constitution,” the article about the Belarusian journalist Iryna Khalip reads. Together with Iryna Khalip, a famous Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, a well-known rock musician and public figure Bob Geldof, a leader of the band U2 Bono, and a renowned Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar have been named “Heroes of Europe” in the nomination “Brave Heart”.


Irina Khalip remembers clearly the day she stopped being a journalist and started to become an activist. It was April 2, 1997, and thousands of people had rallied in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, to protest the proposed unification of Belarus with Russia. Pushed by the country’s authoritarian President, Alexander Lukashenko, the merger was seen by many as an attempt to re-create the Soviet Union. Khalip went to cover the protests in Minsk with her father, Vladimir, a documentary filmmaker. When riot police broke up the protest, Khalip and her father were caught in the melee. “It was the most horrible day of my life,” Khalip, 37, says, recalling how cops clubbed her and dragged her by her hair. Her father was beaten unconscious.

“Before that, I’d been covering street actions as a journalist,” she says. “Since then, I’ve been there as an activist.” And Khalip continues to harass the authorities. Last week, the Office of the Prosecutor General warned her that she could face up to five years in jail for writing articles it described as “calling for the violent overthrow of the constitution.” Quips Khalip: “At least they didn’t beat me up this time.”

As deputy editor in chief of the BDG Delovaya Gazeta, a privately owned biweekly paper, Khalip takes on corrupt officials and even Lukashenko himself. She’s regularly subjected to nightlong interrogations by police. The risk is serious: “During Lukashenko’s rule, some 4,000 people have been imprisoned for political reasons,” says Andrei Sannikov, an opposition leader. At least three opposition activists have disappeared since 1999.

Khalip is determined to carry on. “I’d like to be the Belarusian answer to [Yuliya] Tymoshenko,” she says, referring to a leader of Ukraine’s orange revolution and, until recently, the country’s Prime Minister. “Without the premiership, of course.” —

Editorial Board of Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta Is Fined 23 000 Dollars

From Viasna

Minsk Kastrychnitski Borough Court ruled to fine the editorial board of BDG. Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta 50 million rubles (more than 23 000 US dollars) and the journalist Siarhiei Satsuk – 5 million rubles for the benefit of the former riot squad officer Siarhiei Biadrytski.
In June 2005 the former policeman sued to the court concerning protection of his honor and dignity. The matter is that #70 of the newspaper, dated 20 May 2003 had the article “Advertisement action” by Siarhiei Satsuk, devoted to investigation of the criminal case against two persons who were accused in several crimes. One of these persons is the plaintiff. He demanded 100 million rubles compensation from Marat enterprise (the newspaper founder) and 10 million rubles from the journalist. The trial started this summer, but was suspended because of absence of the plaintiff’s lawyer. On 29 September the court hearings were resumed.

According to the information of the defense lawyer Larysa Atamanchuk, who represented BDG interests, the court partially satisfied the suit. The published information was found corrupt and insulting for the plaintiff’s honor and dignity. The editorial staff of the newspaper was obliged to publish a disproval within 30-day term and pay 50 million rubles to the plaintiff. Mr. Satsuk was also fined 5 million rubles for the benefit of Siarhiei Biadrytski.

Press-service of Belarusian Association of Journalists

Click Here to check out the Delovia Gazzeta on line at


Belrus wins international kick-boxing tournamnt 5-1

From Vecherny Minsk

Belarus won a tournament against a mixed European team in pro Tai style kick-boxing. Three world titles and one European title were at stake during the September 30th fight card in Minsk. Belarusian fans at ringside and on television enjoyed watching Andrey Kotsur knockout the turkish sportsman of Osmanli turk Jugina for the 62 KG belt in the third round. In other title fights, Andrey Kulebin won by knockout over Zhalala Ecauchee of Belgium and Yury Bulat beat Frenchman Abdallu Mabelja - 5:0.
The only European Boxer to win his match was Farida Kidara of France who won a unanimous decision over Vasily Sisha. President Alexander Lukashenko, who was at ringside for the event, received a memorial cup from the International Federation of Thai boxin in appreciation for Belarus’ commitment to developing sport.

News from the International Chess championships in Argentina

Veselin Topalov: International Grandmaster. Born in Sofia (Bulgaria) on March 15th, 1975. He is currently number three on FIDE’s world ranking (Elo: 2788). His aggressive style and theoretical preparation led him to the top of world’s chess. He beat Kasparov in his last match at the prestigious tournament of Linares, sharing the first position. Polls show him as one of the candidates to win the title.

Veseling Topalov cannot be stopped. Today he chalked up another victory, yet another with the black pieces. After six rounds the Bulgarian has conceded just one draw, and even that was a lucky escape for Anand in round two. Today it was Judit Polgar who, after playing the dubious 20.g4, was taken apart in the ruthlessly accurate style of this man. Garry Kasparov had a succinct explanation for Topalov's success: "He is playing chess." The result is a performance, so far, that comes to 3157 Elo points (i.e. one could only expect someone with that rating to score 5.5/6 in this field of players.

Anand and Svidler fought for 39 moves, with the Indian former world champion pressing, but to no avail. Kasimdzhanov vs Leko was a complex affair but ended in a 43 move draw. Adams vs Morozevich was even more complex, with the Russian pressing hard when his English opponent faltered. After almost exactly six hours and 76 moves the game ended in a draw.

Here is the current standings after 6 rounds:

Veselin Topalov 5.5
Peter Svidler 3.5
Vishy Anand 3.5
Kasimdzhanov 3.0
Peter Leko 2.5
Judit Polgar 2.0
Michael Adams 2.0
A. Morozevich 2.0