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Tbilisi clings to burned card2010-10-07 10:53
South Ossetian authorities are set to do away with historical injustice. An ad-hoc commission on toponymy has been holding sessions in Tskhinval for several months already with a view to return original Ossetian names to the republic's localities. Naturally, Tbilisi could not leave this "arbitrariness" unnoticed. Forgetting about discriminatory principles of their own interior policy Georgia starts pouring heaps of absurd accusations onto RSO authorities implicating Russia by an old habit.
It will be remembered that the latest session of the commission on toponymy chaired by vice PM of South Ossetia Domenti Kulumbegov took place in Tskhinval on October 4 to consider the return of old names to RSO's localities and their subsequent mapping. For instance, Zonkar and Ered villages will be marked as Tsadikhau and Irikhau.
As Dmitry Medoev, RSO ambassador to the Russian Federation remarks, this is a totally legal process. "These changes are based on legitimate decisions made by the authorities and are within the competence of related bodies of state power in our country. Lands and areas are given back their historical names that were changed in compliance with the decisions by the Georgian SSR at the time of the Soviet Union. Thus, the processes initiated by the RSO authorities are absolutely fair", - the South Ossetian diplomat emphasized in his interview with GeorgiaTimes correspondent.
"Let me remind that Georgia too had special commissions for renaming localities not only in South Ossetia, but also in Abkhazia and some parts of the Georgian SSR historically inhabited by Greek and Armenian population", - he added.
Still, a rather normal administrative process made supporters of Saakashvili regime burst up with emotions. Fierce adepts of "provincial fascism" stand by the position of Sakartvelo diplomats accusing South Ossetia of "continued ethnic cleansing" and even attempts "at eradication of the Georgian trace" in the territory of South Ossetia. These people should be prescribed a strong drug for historical and political sclerosis - and a lot of it. Maybe this will help them get rid of the habit to see imaginary specks in the eyes of others having the whole stocks of beams in their own eyes.
Georgian society's attempt to forget the concept of "South Ossetia" is not even the point here: this name is persistently replaced with an openly offensive substitute "Tskhinvali district". Tbilisi is too quick to forget the times when due to silent laissez-faire by central authorities citizens of Ossetian origin were stripped of opportunity to speak and get educated in their native language in the USSR's most subsidized republic. Another glaring fact is pressure on Ossetians forcing them to change their surnames. The cases when refusing to become "...shvilis" and "...dzes" Ossetian applicants lost all chances of admission to Georgian colleges.
However, South Ossetian authorities don't react to Tbilisi's protests so far. They are right to do so since Georgia's allies and opponents in the international arena realized long ago that representatives of Saakashvili regime simply need time to "sow their wilds". They neglect them as children at play and keep up with their job in peace. That is why Dmitry Medoev is sure that "no side should get nervous" discussing this situation.
"If Georgian leaders are so concerned over toponymy and history issues, my recommendation to them is to return original names to lands and areas in Javakh, Kvemo-Kartli, Ajaria and other places with artificially georgianized names, - the RSO ambassador to Russia noted.