Monday, June 19, 2006

Lukashenka Regime Celebrates Opening Of New National Library Of Belarus; White House Imposes Financial Sanctions On Lukashenka Regime

"The lofty mission of Belarus is to be a cultural center, source of good and spirituality in the heart of Europe, a meeting point of the eastern and western civilizations. The “precious diamond of knowledge” which is shining bright in the capital’s main avenue embodies this mission, president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko declared today at the official opening of the National Library’s new building.

According to the head of state, construction of the new building became common matter of all Belarusian people. “Implementation of this important national project once again demonstrated creative power of the Belarusian people. It confirmed that we are a united nation capable of most grandiose deeds,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

“When taking a decision about the construction we dreamt of erecting a temple which will become a national symbol of the young and independent Belarus, our calling card, embodiment of the most important traits of character of the Belarusian people who went down in history not as aggressors, invaders and destroyers but as workers and creators, thinkers, scientists and enlighteners,” the president emphasized."

Belarus Official State Telegraph Agency "Alexander Lukashenko: Belarus’ lofty mission - to be cultural center of Slavdom" June 19, 2006


"The United States on Monday imposed targeted financial sanctions on Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and top officials of his government in response to what Washington called a fraudulent presidential election in March.

President George W. Bush issued an executive order outlining the sanctions, which came a month after the United States imposed a travel ban on Belarus officials after the re-election of Lukashenko in a ballot Western governments denounced as rigged.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said the order, effective immediately, prohibits U.S. companies and individuals from engaging in any transactions with those cited.

"These persons will not be able to access any assets that they might have in the United States, and U.S. financial institutions, wherever located, will not be able to provide any financial services to them," Snow said.

The order applied to Lukashenko and nine other people, including the justice minister, the head of Belarus state television, the internal affairs minister and the president's national security adviser.

As a reason for the move, Snow cited the "fraudulent presidential election in March 2006, repression of post-election demonstrations, and continued detention of activists and opposition supporters, including former presidential candidate Alexander Kozulin."

Bush referred to Belarus in a speech on Monday to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy's graduating class in Kings Point, New York, saying he wanted to see freedom extended to Belarus, "where we support the reformers seeking to erase the stain of dictatorship from Europe."

Reuters "US imposes sanctions on Belarus officials" June 19, 2006

Belarus Manuscripts Nominated to the UNESCO Memory of the World Registry.

"This collection of manuscripts and books printed from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries reflects the diversity of the history and culture of Belarus, which then formed part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The period was notable on the one hand for a flowering of culture, society and the economy and on the other for a rise in national, religious and political strife. It was then that the Belarusian tongue became the official language of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The humanist tendencies of the Renaissance began to predominate in Belarusian culture. All these factors favoured the appearance in Belarus of manuscripts and printed material pertaining to the various religious denominations, in several languages - Belarusian, Palaeoslavonic, Polish, Latin, Yiddish - and several alphabets (including Arabic). The spread of the Reformation, and the intensification of the religious struggle, contributed to the development of polemical literature, which was religious in form but social and political in content."

Photo and text credit: UNESCO. With thanks.


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