Documentary Film about Vachtang “Botso” Korisheli

An American film crew is working on a production of a feature-length, non-profit documentary film on the life and legacy of Vachtang “Botso” Korisheli. Mr. Korisheli is a Georgian composer, teacher and sculptor who lives in California.

The filmmakers will finish the production of “BOTSO: The Passion of Music, The Passion of Art” by the end of 2008. The documentary will explore the life and philosophy of Botso Korisheli. Also, it will showcase life in Georgia and the Georgian culture.

For more information about Mr. Korisheli and this film, please visit www.aspectstudios.com/botso.

Research Georgian Biographies Online

The online Dictionary of the Georgian National Biography is the first English-language compilation of some 400 biographies of individuals, whose lives have influenced the Georgian culture and history. This resource provides information about people of every ethnic background, who contributed to the cultural diversity of the Georgian society. You may access this resource at http://www.georgianbiography.com

Association Forms Working Groups

The Georgian Association has formed Advocacy, Press and Education working groups. Volunteers who kindly agree to participate in these groups will advocate for Georgian issues with the United States government and other relevant organizations, ensure fair coverage of Georgian issues in the press, and build a framework to help preserve the Georgian language and culture in the U.S.

Soon, the Association will issue a formal position paper on key issues and priorities important to the Georgian community in the U.S. and the organization as well. Support for territorial integrity of Georgia and stability in the Caucasus will be top priorities.

A coordinator will lead and manage activities of each working group. We are still looking for enthusiastic volunteers. If you would like to join any of the above-mentioned groups, please contact us. For logistical reasons, it is easier to participate in these efforts if you live in the Greater Washington area. However, there will be many opportunities to contribute from afar. Therefore, if you live in a different state and are interested in helping, please let us know.

Russia Continues Bombing Georgia

 

  • Georgias existence is under attack by an authoritarian and imperial Russia that has flouted international law by bombing the country, slaughtering civilians and occupying its territory. This is a situation that the West has encountered numerous times in the past in Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1968, in Hungary in 1956 and in Afghanistan in 1979. We have seen the failure of appeasement before, and while international condemnations of Russia have proliferated, they will not prevent further dominoes from falling. Concrete actions must be taken.

    If Russia fails to cooperate with calls for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of its troops from Georgia, we urge the United Nations, United States, European Union and NATO to consider taking the following actions to prevent further aggression and preserve global stability:

  • Immediately Recall US Ambassador to Russia
  • Grant Georgia MAP for NATO
  • Remove Russia from the G-8
  • Strip the 2014 Sochi Olympics from Russia
  • Freeze Russian assets abroad
  • Enact economic sanctions on Russia
  • Continue to block Russian membership in the WTO
    This is a decisive moment for the West and the world more broadly. The Georgian Association in the United States hopes that the global community clearly recognizes the danger to its stability that Russian actions present.

    Georgian Association in the United States of America, Inc.

 

Georgia Under Attack

 

  • Georgia is under attack by an authoritarian power that refuses to recognize international law. This is a situation that Western powers have encountered many times before in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. The US must take the lead in fiercely condemning Russian aggression, which is a threat not only for Georgian independence but for many other Russian neighbors such as Ukraine and the Baltic states where Russia also has territorial disputes. The issue before the world community not only concerns Georgian democracy and respect for national sovereignty, but how to control the growth of a dangerous imperial and authoritarian regime in Russia. Should Russia pursue its war with impunity, we can expect continuing instability in the Caucasus for decades to come. No new democracy will be safe or able to thrive on Russia’s borders.

    This is a decisive moment for Western policy toward Russia. Do we allow a Russian military victory in Georgia which will reinforce Russian militarism and further weaken its democratic forces (the Russian media is already a propaganda machine for the state), or do we take the proper action that will reinforce democracy and international law.

    The Georgian Association appeals to the US government to:

  • Demand the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia from Russia
  • To take the diplomatic lead and dispatch US envoys to the EU, Russia and Georgia to coordinate international action
  • To demand an immediate ceasefire and the end of civilian targeting by Russian planes
  • The establishment of a new international peace keeping regime in South Ossetia to replace the failed Joint Control Commission controlled by Russia. If Russia fails to cooperate and continues bombing of Georgia and occupation of the parts of its territory, the international community must take the appropriate action including measures to ensure the diplomatic isolation of Russia. This is a decisive moment for Western powers and the Georgian Association hopes that both the USA and EU clearly recognize the danger to political stability in Europe that Russian actions present.

    . The Georgian Association in the USA Inc.

 

A new Senate Resolution (S.Res.391)

A new Senate Resolution (S.Res.391) on the Latest News page under the title “The United States Senate Calls on the President of the United States to Engage in an Open Discussion with the Leaders of the Republic of Georgia”.
Calling on the President of the United States to engage in an open discussion with the leaders of the Republic of Georgia to express support for the planned presidential elections and… (Agreed to by Senate)
SRES 391 ATS
110th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. RES. 391
Calling on the President of the United States to engage in an open discussion with the leaders of the Republic of Georgia to express support for the planned presidential elections and the expectation that such elections will be held in a manner consistent with democratic principles.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
December 6, 2007
Mr. LUGAR (for himself, Mr. BIDEN, and Mr. DODD) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
December 13, 2007
Committee discharged; considered and agreed to
RESOLUTION
Calling on the President of the United States to engage in an open discussion with the leaders of the Republic of Georgia to express support for the planned presidential elections and the expectation that such elections will be held in a manner consistent with democratic principles. Whereas the Republic of Georgia, which is an emerging democracy strategically located between Turkey and Russia, is an important political and geopolitical ally of the United States;Whereas Georgia has made significant economic progress since 2000, with an economic growth rate that now exceeds 9 percent on an annual basis, and was named the top economic reformer in the world by the World Bank in 2006; Whereas the Government of Georgia has been a leader in addressing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction under the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program; Whereas the Government of Georgia is working to become a candidate for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union;Whereas the United States Government strongly supports the territorial integrity of Georgia and works actively toward a peaceful settlement of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia conflicts that might lead those regions toward greater autonomy within a unified Georgia; Whereas the popular uprising in Georgia in 2003, the Rose Revolution, led to the establishment of democracy in that country;Whereas opposition parties in Georgia engaged in demonstrations lasting several days beginning on November 2, 2007; Whereas the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, declared a state of emergency on November 7, 2007, after which the country’s main opposition television station, Imedi, was closed; Whereas Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza visited Georgia on November 10-11, 2007, and urged the Government of Georgia to reopen its private television stations, stating on Georgian state television: `A cornerstone of democracy is that all TV stations should remain open.’;Whereas President Saakashvili ended emergency rule on November 17, 2007, and announced presidential elections to be held on January 5, 2008; Whereas the Government of Georgia has announced the reopening of the major opposition television station, Imedi; Whereas the Government of Georgia has invited international election monitors to oversee the elections and thereby contribute to greater international recognition of the Georgian political process; and Whereas freedom of the press, freedom of political expression, and a fair and impartial judiciary are among the most fundamental tenets of democracy:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved,
That it is the sense of the Senate that–
(1) the President should publicly state strong support for free
and fair elections to be held in Georgia on January 5, 2008, in accordance with democratic principles; and
(2) the Government of Georgia, in order to restore faith in the democratic evolution of the country–
(A) must conduct free and fair elections, without government interference; and

Statement of Senator Obama on Tensions in the Caucasus Region Between Georgia and Russia.

Chicago, IL — “Over the last several weeks, Russia and Georgia have been engaged in a steadily more dangerous confrontation over two secessionist regions of Georgia — South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Although these territories are located within Georgia’s internationally-recognized borders, the Russian government seems determined to challenge Georgia’s territorial integrity in both places. Developments took an especially provocative turn several days ago when four Russian warplanes violated Georgian airspace close to the Georgian capital for forty minutes.

All parties — Russia first and foremost — must now reduce tensions, avoid the risks of war, and reengage in peaceful negotiations.

As I stated in April of this year, I am committed to upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. This commitment has long been a fundamental building block of U.S. policy, and it will not change under an Obama Administration. I also affirm Georgia’s right to pursue NATO membership. This aspiration in no way threatens the legitimate defense interests of Georgia’s neighbors.

Only a political settlement can resolve the conflicts over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia needs to roll back the aggressive actions it has taken in the last three months. The Georgian government must resist the temptation to be drawn into a military conflict. All parties must make clear that they are committed to a diplomatic settlement and will not seek to resolve this dispute by force.

The international community must become more active in trying to defuse this confrontation. The fact that Russia has become a party to the conflict means that Russia is not qualified to play the role of a mediator. The visit to Georgia by German Foreign Minister Steinmeier this week was a positive, important step towards establishing a larger role for the European Union. The Euro-Atlantic community must speak with one voice in helping to promote peace in this volatile region. As part of the de-escalation process, a multilateral peacekeeping force must eventually replace the Russian peacekeeping force currently deployed in Abkhazia.”

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Policy Discussions with Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright

Washington, DC-On Wednesday, February 27, 2008, the Georgian Association in the USA along with its colleagues from the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC), representing more than 22 million Americans, discussed a range of policy issues with presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton’s advisor, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Also present at the meeting was Lee Feinstein, Senator Clinton’s Campaign National Security Director. The Georgian Association was represented by Mamuka Tsereteli (President), Maka Gabelia (Executive Director), Zacharia Kiknadze (Member) and Nino Japaridze (Board Member). One hour long discussion was moderated by Nino Japaridze.

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The meeting focused on key areas of concern for the Georgian Association, including Russia’s actions against Georgia and Ukraine and other Central and East European countries, energy security and diversification, and NATO enlargement. Secretary Albright fondly remembered her collaboration with General John Shalikashvili as she recalled her work on NATO enlargement. “NATO enlargement, the removal of the divide between East and West Europe, opened up a new chapter in the history of Europe. John and I stood side-by-side during this momentous time,” Albright noted.

Secretary Albright speaking on behalf of Senator Clinton reaffirmed Senator’s support for NATO’s “open door” policy. She welcomed Ukraine’s and Georgia’s aspirations for full NATO membership. Secretary Albright made it clear that the Membership Action Plan (MAP) criteria constitute a roadmap for full NATO membership, and MAP will be the measure determining the timeline of the actual membership in NATO for Ukraine and Georgia.

Albright expressed confidence that Senator Clinton would continue to advance issues of concern to the Georgian Association and the CEEC and she urged the group to remain engaged on the issues in Washington DC.

For more information contact:
Contact: Nino Japaridze
Tel: (301) 263-0808

Ron Asmus. He was a native of Milwaukee. Ron Asmus, to go with an obit called ASMUS02

Phone Conference with Dr. Ron Asmus

Washington, DC-Today, Mamuka Tsereteli, President of the Georgian Association and Nino Japaridze, Board Member of the Georgian Association, along with few colleagues from the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) spoke via conference phone with Dr. Ron Asmus, foreign policy adviser to Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The discussion, which was a follow-up to a meeting with Secretary Madeline Albright and Senator Clinton’s Campaign National Security Director, Lee Feinstein held last week in Washington, DC, touched upon numerous issues of concern to the Georgian Association and the CEEC.

The questions posed to Dr. Asmus touched on issues such as energy security in Europe and the United States, stability in the Baltics and the Caucasus, fostering of U.S. ties with the Central and East European region, as well as the assessment of Russia’s presidential elections.

Dr. Asmus noted the importance of diversifying energy supplies to Europe and the United States and equated the importance of the Blue Stream and Nabucco projects to the significance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Dr. Asmus said “Russia aggressively uses its energy resources as a weapon.” Asmus added that both the United States and the European Union should “tame Gazprom,” and apply competitive open market rules to Russian companies. The Blue Stream and Nabucco projects will act as catalysts in making Russia “play by open market rules.” “The oligarchic structures of Russia’s energy system must undergo liberalization,” Asmus stated. Asmus believes that real U.S.-EU cooperation will help “chip away at the current energy problems.” Asmus stressed Senator Clinton’s view of the importance of more active U.S.-EU collaboration in dealing with these ongoing energy security issues.

Many members of the CEEC expressed their disappointment with the White House’s reaction to the Russian presidential elections. Asmus explained that new policies are needed to deal with Russia. According to Asmus, “Washington’s Russian policy has exhausted itself. Current policy is not working as Russia is becoming more authoritarian. The Bush Administration has not placed enough focus on Russia. As a result, Russia continues to bully neighboring countries and challenge U.S. interests in the Central and East European region. Russia’s violations of Baltic air space is a useful illustration of Russia’s aggressiveness.” Asmus believes the next U.S. president will need to form new policies toward Russia.

Asmus opined that the right policy towards Russia will include progress on Ukraine’s and Georgia’s desire to join NATO. Asmus indicated that a “democratic and secure Ukraine anchored in the West is the best thing for Russia.” He noted that Ukraine’s and Georgia’s membership in NATO should not be threatening to Russia. He believes the United States must assist former Soviet countries in their consolidation of democracy.

Asmus said that strong U.S.-EU ties are needed to secure peace in Europe. Frank Koszorus, President of the American Hungarian Federation, expressed concern about Kosovo’s recent independence and its potentially negative effect on stability in Vojvodina. Russia’s support of Serbia has already caused ethnic tensions between minorities and Slavs. Asmus responded by saying “the U.S. made a mistake by taking its eyes off the Balkans.”

Dr. Asmus emphasized to members of the CEEC that Senator Clinton and her team will continue to keep Central and East Europe and Russia in focus and expressed desire for a continued dialogue with our communities. The CEEC members present thanked Dr. Asmus for his candid discussion today.

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The Georgian Association Organizes First Lady’s Visit To Capital Breast Cancer Center In Washington, DC.

CBCC provides breast cancer screening services and breast health education to women who do not have health insurance or other means to pay for mammograms.

Breast and cervical cancers are the leading causes of death among Georgian women. The First Lady of Georgia dedicates much of her time to the work in health care. She chairs the reproductive Health Council under the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. The Council made it possible to establish the first breast cancer screening center in Tbilisi. At this center, women between the ages of 40-69 who live in Tbilisi receive free mammograms and consultations. The aim of the program is to ensure access for the target population, make the services acceptable and appropriate to the needs of eligible persons, maximize early detection of breast cancer, and therefore, help reduce mortality from breast cancer. Also, First Lady is Founder and Director of SOCO, a charitable organization, which works to improve reproductive health and child welfare in Georgia (www.soco.ge).

CBCC Executive Director Amari Sokoya Pearson-Fields, MPH, and Medical Director Jennifer Eng-Wong, MD, MPH, hosted the meeting. They shared with Roelofs valuable information about breast cancer prevention activities, patient support mechanisms, funding challenges, and creative ways to raise awareness about importance of annual breast screenings. Dr. Levan Jugheli, the Medical Director of the Tbilisi Breast Cancer Screening Center, and wife of the American Ambassador in Georgia accompanied first lady at CBCC. They, also, met with representatives of March of Dimes, the Susan Comen Foundation, and visited the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during this visit to the United States.

First Lady Roelofs hopes that the Tbilisi Breast Cancer Screening Center can serve as a blueprint for similar facilities in rural areas of Georgia, where the need for cancer screening services for women is urgent.