Meskhetia: Georgian Repatriates' Press-release


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From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2001 16:17:32 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: Meskhetia: Georgian Repatriates' Press-release

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Marat Baratashvili <marat@geo.net.ge>

Meskhetia: Georgian Repatriates' Press-release



Press-release of the Union of Georgian Repatriates

In December, 2001 the NGO Union of Georgian  Repatriates has begun
performance of the project  "Inter-ethnic dialogues for nonconflict 
repatriation". The project is carried out at financial support by the
Council of Europe. 

Soon stage by stage and the voluntary repatriation of the deported in
1944 Meskhetian  population should begin in Georgia. For past decades
the negative stereotypes have developed about  deported Meskhetian  
among the multiethnic population of Georgia. Recently false hearings
about  potential repatriates  are distributed among the people. The
people are confused, also they are under pressure of misinformation .
At the same time both today's inhabitants of Meskhety and deported
Meskhetians still have not had  an opportunity of direct dialogue with
each other.

UGR considers it is necessary that repatriation of earlier deported
Meskhetian population should be preceded by the direct and frank
dialogue of the representatives of the sides. In other words: first
dialogue, then repatriation, rather than vice versa. Besides the
dialogue should be held between the representatives of different
categories of the population. Only in such case the preventive effect
will take place. Therefore the technology of specific preventive
dialogues is stipulated in the project.

The wide experience on repatriation of Crimean tatars  is saved in
Ukraine in postsoviet epoch. Close co-operation between  Ukrainian
NGOs and NGOs of the Crimean tatars is rather important . The
conflicts also became ripe on the Crimean peninsula in connection with
repatriation of the Crimean tatars. But the co-ordinated actions of
NGOs of different ethnic groups have helped  to prevent them.

In last years the NGOs play a growing role in formation of a civil
society and democratic construction in Georgia. Therefore exchange of
opinions between the interested  NGOs and development of the common
approaches concerning the repatriation of the Meskhetians  are
necessary.

On the basis of this, the objectives of the project are:
- To promote strengthening of trust between the representatives of the
deported Meskhetians, on the one hand, and representatives of various
ethnic groups of Georgia - with another.
- To study experience of co-operation of NGOs  of Crimean tatars   and
Ukrainian NGOs with government and international organisations at
repatriation Crimean tatars  in the Ukraine.
- To promote co-ordination of efforts inter-ethnic NGOs  of Georgia
and  NGOs of the deported Meskhetians, which are directed on the
nonconflict  repatriation - integration of the deported Meskhetian
population.

Information about a course of performance of the project will be given
to all interested persons.

Our contacts:
Phone: (995 32) 79 25 10
E-mail: marat@geo.net.ge

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