E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 10, 2006 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)



Theme of the month:
Dazhynki: Celebration or Report-Giving?

Person of the month:
Pavel Krasovsky: an Oppositionist or a Criminal?

Document of the month:
Charter of the State University: Step into the Future or into the Past?

Organization of the month:
New Life Church: Victory of Believers or Concession from Authorities?


Dear readers!


We should like to remind that Infofocus bulletin is now a periodical mass media registered in Lithuania, ISBN given on its first page. On the one hand, this means that activity of the IISEPS is moving more and more outside Belarus due to constant pressure on the part of the Belarusian authorities. On the other hand, legal status of a Lithuanian periodical edition will let the Belarusian mass media and all the citizens distribute our data and analytics without a fear of being jeopardized by the repressive legislation of their own country.
The “Topic of Month” in October is certainly the Dazhynki. First, this is their tenth anniversary. Second, due to efforts of the authorities this national tradition to celebrate harvest time completion has turned into an important test for the whole vertical of power. What is the aim of this quite a costly event? How feasible is the mobilization effect of such festivities? Is this large-scale support to agriculture on the part of government really justified? Does the Belarusian agriculture have a chance to achieve the European level in both the production level and in the quality of living among villagers? We asked all these questions to our experts Konstantin Skuratovich, reviewer for the newspaper Belorusy i Rynok (Belarus vs. Market), and Dmitry Kryat, journalist for the newspaper Sovetskaya Belorussia (Soviet Belarus).
Arrest of Pavel Krasovsky, activist of the youth movement, has become another reason for his introduction in the “Person of Month” column. It is already customary that opposition activists are detained for “antisocial behavior” but the accusations brought against Pavel threatened with the capital sentence. What’s this, a random case or the result of increasing pressure over dissidents in Belarus? None of the juicy cases again ‘ruffians’ from the opposition are actually covered in the state-run press. It seems there is no other subject that would be so good to show ‘the true nature’ of regime opponents. Why do the state-owned propagandists keep silent then? In what way does this practice comply with the official statements about the European choice of Belarus which sound more and more often? Here you will find opinions of our experts Yuri Prokopov, political observer for the Belarusian Television channel, and a well-known Belarusian human rights defender Ales Belyatsky.
This time “Organization of Month” is given to the New Life church the parishioners of which had to assert their rights with a hunger strike. You will hardly find another example of such stiff resistance to arbitrariness of authorities in the modern history of Belarus. About 180 believers joined for a hunger strike that became their major weapon. The decision on demolition of the church building has been suspended. Why wasn’t the problem settled in the normal order but believers had to resort to this extreme form of rights protection? Solidarity of believers forced the authorities to go for concessions. Yet, will this issue be settled into the favor of believers or is the current concession just a trick? Philosopher Vladimir Matskevich, a member of the hunger strike, will share his viewpoint on this issue. Those who took the decision on demolition of the church building denounced to give any comment. It has turned out that it is easier to take such ambiguous decisions than to comment on them, so we failed to find an official of an executive committee or a public politician supporting the official standpoint who would give their comments on the case.
The “Document of Month” column offers to your attention a revised Charter of the Belarusian State University. The very procedure of its adoption was quite surprising. What was the necessity for a revised Charter? Why was the regulation prohibiting formation of political organizations within the University taken off from the Charter? The new Charter is also omitting the Great Charter of Universities which was previously the basis of the University activity. Is this the choice of the “special path” in what regards organization of the educational process in this country? We asked these questions to the former Vice-President of the State University Anatoly Pavlov. Unfortunately, his colleague Vladimir Kluinya, Vice-President for Academic Issues, didn’t have chance to get introduced to the Charter yet and this is why he withheld any comments.

IISEPS executive board

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