Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 17-23 Jan.: Look back (in anger)

In 1979 David Bowie’s song Look Back in Anger was pretty famous.
The action of looking back – mostly in anger – marked the week.

In Azerbaijan on the 20th was mourned the anniversary of Black Saturday, when twenty one years ago the Soviet Army entered Baku. The intervention resulted in almost two hundred casualties, it made Heydar Aliev leave the Communist Party as an official act of protest. The tragedy is remembered as the cornerstone of the independence of the country.

All along the year many similar celebrations can be expected, as the twentieth anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union is in 2011.
Indeed, Lithuania opened the floor, on the 13th. Commemorating the anniversary David Bakradze, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, stated "The collapse of the Soviet Union and the present independence of Lithuania and Georgia was determined by the heroism of the deceased during those struggles”. In Azerbaijan the victims of 20th Jan. 1990 were declared shahid, the honorific term used for those who have laid down their life fulfilling a religious commandment, or fighting defending their country or protecting their family.

There was a sad celebration for Armenia, as well. Four years have passed since Hrant Dink was killed, on the 19th of January. It’s a painful recurrence that affects both Armenia and Turkey, especially since justice hasn’t been done yet. A dark shadow that further divides the two countries, which – quite the opposite – would find extremely beneficial to open a public (and even common) debate on the suffers ultra-nationalistic groups may bestow over their civil societies.

Georgia would have been forced to look back in anger to 2008 war, had its delegation taken part to the works of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where the consequences of war were discussed. According to MP Davit Darchiashvili, a member of the Georgian delegation in PACE and chairman of European integration committee in the Georgian Parliament, the Georgian side was skeptical because the main focus was the humanitarian aspect. The political aspect is deemed as a precondition to any negotiation for Tbilisi. Perhaps a reluctant pragmatism could help to alleviate the suffering of people affected by the war and to overcome substantial problems of interoperability which may have far-reaching implications, especially in ri-affirming a partial Georgian sovereignty over the breakaway regions. The “wall against wall” strategy so far implied just an assertive Abkhazian and South Ossetian sovereignty.

To quote David Bowie’s Look back in Anger, “Waiting so long, Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so”...

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