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Refugees expelled from Tbilisi “paradise”2011-01-21 20:04
Tbilisi is facing clashes between refugees and the police. People oppose "beneficial" transfer to the country's remote districts where they will be given houses and nothing else: no jobs, no hospitals, no schools. Unfortunate refugees whose return to places they lived before the first half of 1990s is impossible, are like a sore on the shining face of the capital of Georgia. They occupy buildings that can be sold well; their poor belongings scare tourists and bring Georgia's international rating down.
Now the clashes are taking place in the student district. The place is overcrowded with refugees blocking roads for cars that carry their things that must take them to remote provinces like Stalin's goods wagons. The police are clearing way by force. At this moment six refugees and a number of oppositionists that got involved in the brawl have been arrested for resistance to law-enforcement authorities. EU monitors are watching developments, though they were not allowed to access the scene.
The events near university hostels are the concluding chord of confrontation between the government and refugees. Failure of the protest rally on January 12 gave "the green light" to forced eviction. The rally was attended by nearly 100 refugees and a number of opposition activists. The authorities realized that people who want to remain in hostels have no public support.
Thus, "deportation" has come to a head. Even exodus of these people from Abkhazia did not look so humiliating. Goods wagons is the only detail that lacks - otherwise this situation would look like 1944 when nations of North Caucasus were forcedly displaced.
No doubt Saakashvili has fulfilled his promise to solve the refugee issue. They will abandon their temporary dwellings in Tbilisi but they won't go back home. Instead, they are expected in hopeless, miserable "reservations" on the outskirts of civilization.
These are people's lives, their sitting on suitcases for 17 years and promises to be sent home any day. Their stories can make part of Georgia's new history: the history of lies, political speculation and soul-trading of those who were taken hostage by failures of the country's "great" leaders.