A group of Belarusain archeologists in Minsk released a statement convicting the authorities, that classified as secret the results of the last investigation of the state commission in Kurapaty and demanded to publish the truth about manslaughter by NKVD in Kurapaty forest in 1930-40ies. Some Belarusian non-state organizations and political parties joined these demands. In the document the scientists call immoral the attempts of the authorities to make the public believe that the buried in Kurapaty are victims of the Nazi.
“The workers in Belarus are insolently exploited. Two or three years from now an hour of working time cost 49 cents, while nowadays it costs 31 cents. In Poland one working our costs an average of 2-3 dollars, although we both began with an equal cost of working time,” – independent radio-station Ratsya reports Ludmila Gryaznova (MP, Charter’97 member) as saying.
The footwear manufacture of Lyda is awaiting new redundancies. According to its director Kazimir Lunets, they’ve got to dismiss some 300 employees. The company pays a monthly 6-8mln. rubles to the workers for halted work. This year 118 people out of all the company’s personnel had been made redundant. Last year the Lyda shoe-makers went on a protest opposite the town hall building against mass redundancy but to no avail, reports www.praca.by.
Alexander Lukashenko will pay a working visit to Moscow on November 28. He intends to hold a number of meetings with the Russian leadership, during which they will touch upon issues of Russian-Belarusian relations. The president will likewise engage in the jubilee session of the Council of CIS heads of states, to be hosted in Moscow on November 30.
The volume of export of the agricultural products of Belarus over the nine months of this year, as compared with the analogous period last year, rose by over 40%, reports “Soyuz-info”. For the most part Belarus is exporting dairy products, eggs and meat. The significant share of the agricultural production is exported to Ukraine, Germany, Lithuania and Poland. However, Russia remains the key partner of the Ministry of agriculture. The export of foodstuffs there stands for over 86% of the overall export supplies.
By the end of the year Belarus will see another price-growth on meat and dairy products. Deputy Minister of agriculture Nikolai Popkov said at the November 14 press-conference that the purchase prices on the basic agricultural foodstuffs, such as milk, pork and beef will rise 1,5 times, reports BelaPAN. At the moment, it is hard to estimate how much they will cost in groceries after the rise in the purchase prices. The current prices on agricultural food cannot satisfy the producers, for they keep the whole industry quite unprofitable.
Belarus is a poor country, claims the World Bank. The Bank considers poor the country, whose citizens spend less than a US dollar a day. That’s exactly how much the majority of Belarusians spend every day, according to the WB research. Belarus got on one list with the poor countries, such as Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Moldova and Ukraine, whose population lives in misery for the most part.
Article 19, the Global Campaign for Free Expression, expresses its concern at the closing down non-state Grodno-based newspaper by the Supreme Economic Court of Belarus on 12 November 2001. «This additional interference in the work of the non-State media in Belarus contributes to an atmosphere of intense intimidation, preventing the media from fulfilling the function of conveying society’s different viewpoints and repressing alternative voices. We strongly urge your government immediately to cease all forms of intimidation against journalists, to take steps to abrogate illegitimate media legislation and actively to foster conditions in which the non-State media may flourish», - emphasizes Andrew Puddephatt, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, in his letter to A. Lukashenka. Here comes the complete text of the letter.
Last week media came up with the data about criminal links between the Belarusian authorities and terrorists. For instance, the DPA agency with a reference to the CIA sources circulated on October 31 information that “Belarus is a leading seller of weaponry to the Islamic guerillas’. The report was broadcasted on-line by Russian Internet sources utro-ru, gazeta.ru and Belarusian service of radio “Svaboda”. The report reveals that from the beginning of this year Belarus signed deals on the supply of arms to the Palestinian and Albanian separatist groups, worth $500mln. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry called this information deceitful. However, the DPA allegations aren’t the only leak in this regard. Minsk would face more trouble commenting on the following data. According to the information from the source, close to the competent international structures, during the 56th session of the UN Assembly General among the members of the Security Council there had been disseminated a document, which chronologically details the activities of the Belarusian regime at the world ammunition market. The emphasis there was placed on the supplies of weaponry to the states, which are considered sponsors of world terrorists.
In late November Geneva will host a session of the Administrative Council of the International Labor Organization. One of the key issues, to be risen there, will again be the “trade union” problem in Belarus. Earlier the Committee for the freedom of associations of ILO during its March 28-29 session passed a Conclusion on the state of affairs with trade unionists rights in Belarus. In the document to the Belarusian government they propose to correct the occurring violations and to never repeat them in future. The Committee intends to watch over the fulfillment of recommendations. Consideration of the “Belarusian issue” was initiated by a range of Belarusian trade unions, which submitted to ILO a complaint, listing the cases of trade union rights violations, committed by the authorities.
Representatives of the organization of the Independent trade union of miners of the Soligorsk company “Belaruskaliy” will go on a picket in Minsk on November 16. The action, sanctioned by the authorities, will take place in the “Dryzhby Narodov” park at 10-13 o’clock. The miners intend to call on the authorities to stop levying taxes on the severance pays, which are paid out to the worker following his dismissal from job, reports BelaPAN.
ZUBR resistance movement activist was denied reinstitution at his job. Yesterday the district court of the Krupky town held a court hearing over the petition of ZUBR activist Andrei Alekhnovich. The court ruled to deny him reinstitution at his working place. Andrei Alekhnovich was fired from school, where he worked as a social teacher, under art.47 of the Labor Code with a cynical definition “for immoral conduct”. The judge considered “immoral” the fact that the defendant circulated among his pupils the special issues of independent newspapers and pre-election stickers.
What are the new occupations of the former Cabinet’s Ministers, who lost their positions after the presidential ballot? Radio Svaboda reports that the former chair of the Belarusian government Vladimir Ermoshin, according to his family members, is on a holiday leave abroad. For quite an extended period of time remain unemployed former Defense Minister Alexander Chumakov and ex-Minister of culture Alexander Sosnovsky, dismissed by Lukashenko ahead of the presidential elections. Similar is the situation with Olga Dargel – former Minister of social protection. However, she is already of a retirement age, which allows her to received pension. Not so with the ex-Minister for healthcare Igor Zelenkevich who hasn’t reached the retirement age yet. So far, we don’t know where the man will work.
Overall indebtedness of agricultural enterprises of Belarus is nearing the level of 1,1trillion rubles. These data were reported during the November 14 press-conference deputy Minister for agriculture Anatoly Rubanok. According to him, this includes the debts for energy consumptions, loans etc. “Without the help of the state it’ll be extremely difficult to get out of this plight,” – noted deputy Minister.
Since November doctors and members of staff of the Institute of Oncology were forbidden to hold more than one office. As a result, salaries dropped almost twice. In a short time other doctors are to face the same rule.
By the year 2004 the citizens of Belarus will pay 80% of the total apartment rent, said in his Wednesday speech at the plenary meeting of the “house of representatives” the Minister of housing of Belarus A.Milkota.