MINELRES: RFE/RL Newsline on minority issues

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Fri May 14 16:06:04 2004


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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 87, Part II, 10 May 2004

KOSOVAR PREMIER DISMISSES SERBIAN PLAN FOR PROVINCE. Kosovar Prime
Minster Bajram Rexhepi has denounced the Serbian government's plan
for Kosova as an attempt to destabilize the region, RFE/RL's South
Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported on 7 May. Rexhepi said
the Kosovar Albanians will never accept any decentralization along
ethnic lines. The Serbian plan envisions, among others, the creation
of autonomous districts in Kosova where the Serbs would be in the
majority (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 and 30 April and 6 May 2004 and
"RFE/RL Balkan Report," 26 March, 2 and 16 April 2004). UB


RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 88, Part I, 11 May 2004

OSH GOVERNOR ISSUES LANGUAGE RESOLUTION. Naken Kasiev, governor of
Kyrgyzstan's Osh Oblast, has signed a resolution to encourage the use
of the Kyrgyz language in the oblast, akipress.org reported on 10
May. The resolution obliges the heads of regional administrations,
rural administrations, businesses, and educational institutions to
ensure that written business is conducted in Kyrgyz, beginning
immediately. It also requires language-development commissions to
identify those areas where Kyrgyz cannot be used and draw up a plan
for switching to Kyrgyz by 2015. Finally, the resolution requires
that advertisements and signs be written in Kyrgyz. DK


RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 89, Part I, 12 May 2004

MESKHETIANS ON THEIR WAY TO AMERICA. Ren-TV reported on 11 May that
the first group of Meskhetians to emigrate to the United States from
Krasnodar Krai will be leaving in two months. The Meskhetians were
deported by Soviet leader Josef Stalin from their home in Georgia in
1944 to Central Asia, and then evacuated from Uzbekistan following
violent clashes with Uzbeks in 1989. According to the station, some
84 people have already passed their interviews with migration
authorities and have received refugee status. About 15,000
Meskhetians live in the krai, where until recently most were not
allowed to register or seek citizenship. According to the station,
some 10,000 Meskhetians are planning to leave Russia before the end
of 2004. In January, RIA-Novosti reported that some 4,000 of the
15,000 Meskhetians had already received Russian citizenship, and the
applications of another 2,800 Meskhetians were being processed (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 22 January 2004). JAC


RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 90, Part I, 13 May 2004

GEORGIAN INTERIOR MINISTER HEADS SOUTH. Giorgi Baramidze traveled on 13
May to the southern district of Tsalka, the scene of clashes on 9 May
between Armenians and Georgians, who comprise 80 percent and 10 percent
respectively of the local population, Caucasus Press reported (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 11 May 2004 and "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," 26 June
2000). Georgian Minister for Regional Policy Zurab Melikishvili told
journalists on 12 May that a special government commission will be
formed to address socioeconomic problems in Tsalka. Melikishvili denied
that the recent clashes were motivated by interethnic enmity. On 13 May,
Georgian human rights activist Giorgi Kervalishvili claimed that the
Armenian population in Tsalka possesses submachine guns and heavy
artillery, and appealed to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to
order a special operation to disarm them, Caucasus   Press reported. LF


RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 90, Part II, 13 May 2004

VOJVODINA LEADER ACCUSES BELGRADE ELITE OF OPPRESSION. The speaker of
Vojvodina's parliament, Nenad Canak, has accused political elites in
Belgrade of harassing pro-European and democratic parties in that
province, Deutsche Welle's "Monitor" reported on 12 May. Canak said the
alleged oppression is the result of a slide toward increasing
nationalism in Belgrade. In early March, members of Serbian Prime
Minister Vojislav Kostunica's coalition slammed an initiative for
greater autonomy for Vojvodina as a "direct attack on the integrity of
the Serbian state and the interests of the [ethnic Serbian] majority
population." The so-called Subotica Initiative was led by Canak, who
heads the League of Social Democrats in Vojvodina, and Jozef Kazsa of
the League of Vojvodina Hungarians (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 and 4 March
and 30 April 2004). UB