This statement was made on the Belarusian state TV channels this weekend.
The programme “V tsentre vnimaniya” (In the Spotlight) on the Channel One explained who had been invited to the round table talks, said there were no political prisoners in Belarus and quoted extracts from letters of judges and journalists of state media to Europe, Salidarnasts reports.
The newsreader, Yury Prakopau, focused most attention on Alyaksandr Lukashenka, which was usual, and his son Kolya, who went to school for the first time, but also dedicated a news unit to the initiative of the head of state to organize a public dialogue.
We remind that Lukashenka said on August 29: “I offer all sober-minded people and patriots, whatever political camp they belong, to gather for a round table discussion, look into one another's eyes and give the real estimation of the ways to improve the situation in the country.”
A number of opposition leaders made their statements on the initiative during the next few days. Having discussed this proposal, the leaders of the United Civil Party, the Belarusian Popular Front, the Party of Left “Fair World”, For Freedom and Tell the Truth campaign, the organizing committee to create the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party came to a conclusion: talks with the authorities are not possible unless political prisoners are released.
“For an unknown reason, opposition members thought it was the invitation for them; they began to take their places and dictate conditions,” Prakopau commented on Lukashenka’s initiative. He reminded that over a hundred of NGO and over ten parties are registered in Belarus.
“Can rioters be sober-minded people? What can we discuss with the people who offered to impose economic sanctions on Belarus?” the news presenter asked the audience.
He added that the opposition is unable to hold talks and said that a proposal to start a dialogue was made to “all responsible political forces”, not to “agents of foreign secret services”.
Editor of “Belaruskaya Dumka” magazine Vadzim Hihin, who is denied entry to the EU, and Uladzimir Nistsyuk, a member of the public consultative council at the presidential administration, confirmed Prakopau’s words.
The three continued the education of the public started on September 3 by Ryhor Kisel, the chairman of board of the Second National Channel.
“The president seems to mean: left, right, opponents and supporters, come together and work out proposals even with participation of the authorities. If a proposal is worth something, the normal authorities cannot ignore it,” Kisel told ONT channel, “Yezhednevnik” writes.
He also thinks there’s a substitution of notions: “The word ‘talks’ is unacceptable in this case. Talks take place from time to time: presidential and parliamentary elections, talks between the president and people. The rest is work.”
Prakopau added that there are no political prisoners in Belarus, compared the people convicted in the December 19 case with London rioters and read out extracts from letter of judges and members of the pro-governmental Belarusian Union of Journalists to EU institutions and the UN. Authors of the letters expressed their discontent at putting some people on EU blacklists and demanded to “restore them in rights” and “stop pressure from European officials”.