MINELRES: Georgia: Follow-up to minorities protest against MP's insulting statement

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Fri May 4 18:36:03 2007

Original sender: Multinational Georgia <pmmg@caucasus.net>

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To Mr. Arnold Stepanian,
Chairman of the Union 
"Public Movement Multinational Georgia" 

Mr. Arnold!

Responding on your letter, I acknowledge you that I share your emotional
experience, and would also like to assure you that this nothing else but
the result of provocation. In particular, journalist of the newspaper
"24 Hours" Eka Kvesitadze libeled me in her article where allegedly
wrote my citation. I assure you that I have not said this and will prove
it to you and the whole society in the shortest period. This is a libel
and I have already addressed Tbilisi public prosecutor Mr. George
Ghviniashvili with request to make a careful study of abovementioned
case. In regards to my own friend Mikirtum, I gave a complete interview
about this to the newspaper "Kviris Palitra" which was published on 30
April 2007.    

Proceeding from all abovementioned I have the right as citizen of
Georgia to prove before the society that this made-up accusation is a
libel and I will call authors of this dirty campaign to account in
accordance with legislation of Georgia. 


Chairman of the Faction "Majoritarians" 
Beso Jugeli 

"I am a politician and I shouldn't make a slip in speaking"
"Please forgive me this mistake"

Last week not only the opposition was asked to apologize.  If the
students attacked the Republican Party, the non-governmental
organizations protecting the rights of national minorities blamed Beso
Jugeli in kindling the interethnic confrontation and asked him to make
his apologies in public.  Mentioning of Mikirtum in undesirable context
caused damage to Beso Jugeli's reputation though he still considers that
there is no guilt of him: 

- Those who are blaming me in heating the interethnic confrontation will
find themselves in the prison, believe me, I will do it.  Your colleague
Eka Kvesitadze (journalist of NP "24 Hours" who published Jugeli's*
statement in the newspaper on 12 April 2007) wrote that allegedly I said
in radio "Utsnobi" that the law "on Cultural Heritage" is not against
Georgians as in those historical districts of Tbilisi residents are
Armenians, Kurds, Azeries and the people of other nationalities.  One
should be insane to make such statement.  As soon as I had read the
article I called to the radio "Utsnobi" and Eka Khoperia told me that
the audio record where we were speaking about the law was lost but she
stood ready to confirm that I had make no such statement.

A few days ago I got a letter signed by ten NGOs.  In fact this is an
appeal - they call upon my colleagues in the faction to remove me from
the position of faction's Chair or to leave the faction as I am an
inflamer of interethnic confrontation.  

Let me tell you what was the issue of this public excitement.  A few
days ago near the Parliament I saw my friend Mikurtum.  I stopped car to
talk to him.  I said that he had been trying to see me for three days
but he was not allowed to go in.  What's wrong? - I asked.  You know
that I live in Sololaki and I will not be able to pay tax you are going
to introduce and approve.  I suggested him to  lease a part of space. 
Besojan - he said - it is not so easy to lease a house, it needs time. 
Then you can sell the part of it and deposit money at the bank and you
will get the interest - I said.   After this conversation there was the
live broadcast.  Could I say the story about Mikirtum there too? That's
why I mentioned Mikirtum as the conversation with him was still very
fresh in my mind.  In my thoughts I intended to give him an answer and
that's why I said that there is no need for Mikirtum to live all the
time in Sololaki.  This was a big mistake and I make a slip in
speaking.  They took advantage of this unintentional mistake and made me
as an inflamer of the interethnic confrontation.

One should know that I - Beso Jugeli - am a President of
Georgian-Armenian Association.  Twice a month a am visiting Yerevan.  Do
you know what was going on yesterday in my office? - all of my Armenian
friends came to me.  They couldn't imagine that I would have made such
statement.  Despite of this fact I made my apologies.  I am a politician
and I shouldn't make a slip in speaking.  A politician must be careful,
but I am a human and I am not made of plasticine.  People sometimes make

- Non-governmental organizations ask you to apologize.
- It is not difficult to ask for excuse, but those people are not
satisfied with this.  They write and ask me to leave my position.  And
they say to the members of my faction how the laters can stay in the
same faction with such  unworthy person? Is not it possible to forgive
me my human mistake?

Due to my unintentional mistake I present my apologize to everyone I
insulted.  There is no need to chop off my head for this.  Beso Jugeli
never was or will be a heater of interethnic confrontation.   

* "There is no need for Mikirtum to live all the time in Sololaki ("Open
Air", channel "Imedi"; "This law is not against Georgians as in those
historical districts of Tbilisi residents are Armenians, Kurds, Azeries
and the people of other nationalities"  ("Dialogue", Radio "Utsnobi")

Newspaper "Kviris palitra"
30 April 2007

Translated from Georgian by the Union
"Public Movement Maltinational Georgia"

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