Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day! May Day! ... Belarus Dictator Lukashenka Steps Up Anti-Democratic Campaign While Promising To Bring Belarus To Forefront Of World Nations

April 30, 2008

... "Belarusan dictator Lukashenka has also stepped up his campaign against pro-democracy activists.

On April 22, a Belarusian court sentenced opposition activist Andrey Kim to 18 months in prison for allegedly attacking a police officer during a protest in January. Two days later, on April 24, another activist, Syarhey Parsyukevich, received a 30-month sentence for allegedly beating a guard while serving a 15-day sentence for participating in the same protest.

In his April 29 state of the nation address, Lukashenka fiercely defended the crackdown, ridiculed the young pro-democracy activists, and questioned the motives of opposition leaders.

"Who should we protect in this case? Hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens or a group of unrestrained loafers who want to play the role of professional revolutionaries with someone else's money," Lukashenka said. "Honestly, I feel sorry for these kids who are posing as revolutionary fighters. They are put in the front lines like meat, while those behind them seek to fulfill their own personal political ambitions. A whole dynasty of professional revolutionaries is emerging."

In response to the crackdown, Hans-Gert Poettering, the president of the European Parliament, called Belarus "Europe's last dictatorship."

Lukashenka in his speech pledged to modernize Belarus's economy, bring the country into the ranks of "leading nations," and double average monthly wages by 2011." ...

Brian Whitmore "Belarus: Lukashenka Abandons Courtship Of West" Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty April 30, 2008


"Political prisoners in Belarus are of greater importance for the United States of America than the number of American diplomats in the country", Jonathan Moore, US Chargé d’Affaires, during press conference in Minsk on April 30, 2008.


According to the World Bank's (possibly biased) statistics [2006], Belarus has a poverty rate of about 40%, while Ukraine had a poverty rate under 20%. [The World Bank has also estimated (July 2007) that Ukraine's poverty rate may have most recently dropped to 8 to 10% following almost a decade of very strong economic growth, the 'Orange Revolution', and strong government transfer payments -- especially to the elderly.]


The Strategic Plan of Minsk Development by the Year 2020.


28 May 2008: Opening concert of the first International Forum of Graduates from the Belarusian (Soviet) Higher Educational Establishments “Education without Frontiers”.


Photo credits [Faces of those arrested by Lukashenka]: (c) With thanks.


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