Refugees Demand Concrete Decisions from New Government
08 November, 2012
Refugees Demand Concrete  Decisions from New Government

Lately the refugees have tried to break in different residences. They demand their problems connected basically to shelters to be solved as soon as possible. Public movement Solidarity and its leader Davit Tsiramua who is a refugee and Abkhazia War participant himself, called on the IDPs to observe the law and wait until the new government studies the situation and takes concrete steps to help them.

– They responded to the call of the government, listened to our initiative as well

and stopped breaking in different places. Although, I can’t say their obedience  is omnipresent. They wait for the changes despite of their unbearable distress. We also explained to them that they mustn’t break an open door, it’s time for their problems to be studied by the new government; however, its members haven’t made any progress in their studies. Of course they need time to study the situation and then plan the priorities. I met the refugees and they also support our opinion, saying that just and correct approach to the matter is needed.

– But there is some kind of polarization among them, some of them are extremely radical and sometimes their conduct is quite aggressive. Are their demands adequate? Will the state resources be enough to satisfy all their demands?

– Of course they must realize and estimate correctly real possibilities of the government. But they have been refugees for almost twenty years. During that period the state had enough resources to help them who are the real victims of situation. International organizations had allotted money for this purpose, but that money didn’t get to the place of destination. The IDPs know about it, that’s why sometimes they are aggressive. The previous government had so many non-essential expenses, if they turned it to the correct direction, these people wouldn’t have such kind of problems today. Many of them have been paying rent for their shelter for scores of years. First a strict registration must be done to begin the process of helping them.

– But they say they have been waiting for this registration for twenty years and they don’t want this process to last for other twenty years. They say they want the reaction right now.

– That’s true. During those 20 years these registrations have been done for about fifteen times. But that was registration for registration’s sake and not for any real purpose of supporting people. They didn’t even learn the real problems of the families individually. This was only formalism and fiction. Refugees demand order today. We recommended them to demand regular meetings with the minister of refugees, resettlement and IDPs instead of using force. This process must be transparent, all of them must know what kind of steps the government is taking to help them. A feedback must be kept between the IDPs and the state. They haven’t established any kind of fund for refugees even by today. Many IDPs now live abroad and lead serious businesses. In previous years they wanted to transfer money to that kind of fund and have guarantees that the money would go to the correct destination. They knew it wouldn’t happen and kept back from doing it. When the minister of refugees rides in a Jeep that costs USD 100 000, he has no moral right to say that he cares for the difficulties the IDPs face. It’s far from the sense of civil responsibility. National Movement members did not have a grain of civil responsibility.

– How would you estimate the new minister of refugees?

– I know him as a very honest person, but to say the truth, the main thing is the attitude and will of Ivanishvili and his strict and humane demand. Active work must be fulfilled, systems must be transparent, no untargeted expenses, direct contact with people must be held and their interests and  rights must be protected. Improving social conditions is a part of these rights. If a person hasn’t got sense of honor for himself, he can do anything, including crime. Ivanishvili said a phrase which isn’t too easy to understand: “The key aim of my coming to the government is to support creation of critical mass of civil society; that’s the basis of a law-abiding  country”. Today this critical mass has been already formed. Some people think that civil society is only NGOs or some kind of control mechanisms. It is the supreme sense and responsibility of all citizens. First the members of the government must feel it.

– There is a feeling that breaking-in process on the part of the IDPs is orchestrated. What do you think about it and what are the evidences of this opinion?

– According to the interviews, it’s a proved fact. Even the refugees themselves know about it. Otherwise, their first reaction must be meeting with the minister and telling him about their social conditions, expressing their opinions about the policy in general. Breaking-in isn’t a solution.

– People below poverty line also demand shelters with the IDPs, what would you say about it?

– No matter who commits it – crime is a crime. As the refugees, they have their minister and logically they must turn to him and talk about the problems they face. Breaking in isn’t the determiner of their misery; may be this or that person breaks in the buildings for three times in a row while  the person living in extreme poverty  has the decency not to act like a brute.

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