Month: January 2011

Internet Censorship in Abkhazia?

Starting from January 28, 2011 Abkhazians who use internet service provided by A-Mobile are not able to access the website of Abkhazia’s Economic Development Party (ERA). Journalist Akhra Smyr writes on his blog that he is a customer of A-Mobile and he cannot open the party’s website. According to Smyr, possible reason of this action may be the fact that an independent Abaza TV broadcasts its stories on the ERA’s website.

Screenshot saying that Google Chrome cannot open the website. From Akhra Smyr's personal blog http://akhrensky.livejournal.com/87385.html

ERA has posted an official announcement on it’s website:

Оператор сотовой связи «А-Мобайл» заблокировал своим  абонентам доступ на сайт партии ЭРА http://www.era-abbkhazia.org. Проведенный редакцией сайта мониторинг показал, что ни один абонент сотовой компании «А-Мобайл» не может посетить сайт.

Редакция официального сайта Партии ЭРА

“Cellular operator A-Mobile has blocked its customers from access to the site of the party ERA www.era-abbkhazia.org. Editorial team of the ERA Conducted a monitoring which showed that none of  A-Mobile’s customer is able to visit the website.

– Editors of the official website of the ERA”

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Number of tourist increased in Georgia’s ski resort – Gudauri

After 2 months of no snow on Georgia’s ski resorts, it finally began to fall in the end of January, 2011. According to local sources the number of tourists in Georgia’s ski resort Gudauri, which is at elevation of 2,200 meters, has significantly increased. The snow is 20 cm high which is enough for skiing.

Locals say that most of the tourists are foreigners from Lithuania, Estonia, Netherlands, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and other countries. Tourists say they have heard about Gudauri from commercials.

According to visitors prices are convenient. Rope-way ticket costs start from 21 GEL ($11) for elderly and 15 GEL ($8) for children. For a complete skiing set person should pay 30 GEL ($17). Those who cannot ski may take a lesson from a trainer which will cost them 30 GEL ($17) per day.

Prices in family-owned hotels start from 50 GEL ($28), room for two in an average hotel costs $100. Tourists say prices are lower than in hotels in Tbilisi.

Follow this link to view live cams of Gudauri.

The slopes of Gudauri are above the tree line and are best for free-riders. The ski season lasts from December to April. Heliskiing is also available throughout the season.

Georgia to compete with Russia on Eurobasket 2011

Today, January 30, 2011 drawing for Eurobasket 2011 has been held in Vilnius.

Georgia got in group “D” alongside with Slovenia, Russia, Belgium,  Bulgaria and Ukraine.

The Eurobasket draw for 2011 is:

Group A: Spain, Turkey, Lithuania, Great Britain, Poland, Qualifier 2

Group B: Serbia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia

Group C: Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzigovina, Qualifier 1

Group D: Slovenia, Russia, Belgium, Georgia, Bulgaria, Ukraine

EuroBasket 2011, will be the 37th regional championship held by FIBA Europe. The competition will be hosted by Lithuania.

Georgian govt creates a website for South African Boers

In Fall, 2010 Georgian government announced that it was planning to invite South African Boers to move their businesses to Georgia.

There are approximately 40,000 Boers, mainly of Dutch decent living in South Africa who fear that the local government will oppress them by implementing new agricultural policies. Georgia, on the other hand, has huge agricultural resources that need to be used. Georgian government thinks that it would be a great opportunity if Boers would move to Caucasus and bring their knowledge of modern farming.

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Georgia: Policeman fired after being identified on Facebook

Also posted on Global Voices

More than dozen veterans of Georgia’s wars in Abkhazia and South Ossetia began a hunger strike on December 27 demanding that the government address their social problems and restore their medical discounts. Camping out in front of a monument to fallen soldiers on Tbilisi’s Heroes Square, the ex-soldiers said that they would anyway leave on 6 January, the date of the Georgian Orthodox Christmas Eve.

Tamada Tales, a EurasiaNet blog, outlined their demands.

Demanding state benefits and a change in the government’s allegedly “undignified” attitude toward them, a handful of veterans of the 1990s separatist conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia had camped out for over a week at a war memorial to fallen soldiers at downtown Tbilisi’s Heroes Square. Their state perks are essentially limited to a monthly utilities allowance that amounts to about $12 and a free public transportation pass.

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