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Javakh between the stick and the carrot2011-05-25 20:33
International Crisis Group has published a report on the state of affairs in Samtskhe-Javakhetia region of Georgia populated by Armenians. In one sentence, it goes as follows: "Alongside with significant success, there are still some drawbacks that need to be eliminated". In the "not-for-the-press" format, the researchers' words sound a bit differently: "The situation has been stabilized due to buying a part of local elites on one hand and a manhunt for dissentients on the other hand".
The report of the International Crisis Group on Javakh published on May 23 sounds as if its authors were very far from the region. The document is so much watered down that there is an impression it has been drawn up by the people living somewhere over the seas and being absolutely out of subject. The analysts have briefly summed up the situation in the region and gave several pieces of advice to the Georgian government - good ones, no doubt. Still, such recommendations could be given by anyone being more or less familiarized with the events in Javakh.
For instance, the authors of the report recommend Sakartvelo authorities to "provide excessive information in Armenian to the public about its policy and encourage the public discussion of such matters as integration and human rights. Another five pieces of advice were given in the same format. International Crisis Group proposes to allocate budget means for educational projects, translate Georgian textbooks into Armenian, ensure staff training for multi-language schools in the region and many other things. Such talks have been going on for a dozen and a half years already but there has been no improvement so far.
Generally speaking, the advice outlines a sound state program of Javakh integration into the common Georgian space. There is still no integration, by the way. So long as International Crisis Group provides consultation to the Georgian government on the regional state policy, it means the undertaken measures are still not enough.
Nevertheless, today, political life in Akhalkalaki, the main city of Javakh, is not bubbling over as it used to. It seems like all the recommendations given by the International Crisis Group have been implemented and peace has come at last. But in the "not-for-the-press" conversations, international analysts describe the real mechanisms used by Tbilisi to repress the region. The point at issue is the traditional imperial policy of the stick and the carrot.