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Whose TV-Set Under Whose Roof?

07.09.2009
Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

Gori office of the Human Rights Center and local newspaper “Kartlis Khma” are monitoring how aid is provided in the villages of former buffer zone. During the last two months several applications were sent to the local authority however they either do not reply or the replies are incomplete and late.

The Human Rights Center requested detailed information about the aid provided to the villages of Zemo Khviti and Karbi. However, Shida Kartli regional administration declared the information was secret and refused to release it.

According to our information the government appropriates the aid of the international non-governmental organizations.

Tragedy of 83-year-old Dimitri Gogishvili Who Assisted His Ossetian Pupil To Translate “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” (Georgian poem of the XII century)

Dimitri Gogishvili, resident of the village of Zemo Khviti, is 83 years old and was wounded during the war in August of 2008. The Human Rights Center has already published an article about him on May 9, 2009. The old man was teacher in Tskhinvali and then he was director of the public school in the village of Nikozi for 30 years.  The family was not compensated for the destroyed house. The Gogishvilis are unsuccessfully waiting for the reconstruction of the house since August war.

“When I worked at Tskhinvali School Ossetian, Armenian, Jewish and pupils of other ethnicity studied together with Georgian children. Ossetian pupil Giorgi Bestauti from the mountainous and did not know Georgian well initially translated The King in Panther’s Skin” in Ossetian. He wrote verses in Ossetian and Georgian languages,” 83-year-old man is proud who remembers the friendship of Georgian and Ossetian peoples.

Dimitri Gogishvili was in the village of Zemo Khviti during the war in August last year. He personally witnessed how innocent people were sacrificed to the war.

 “On August 6 intensive bombardment of Georgian villages started; they were firing in the direction of the villages of Gori district; there was terrible noise. I spent all the night in fear but in the morning, when I finally managed to sleep, a terrible noise woke me up. It was morning of August 7 the noise repeated and two bombs dropped near my gate several meters away from the house; the wave of explosion pushed me out of the bed; when I recovered I was wounded. Ruins of bricks, blocks and glasses were over me. I had my eye-sight worsened then. The bomb had destroyed the entire wall; the gate was damaged; every wall of the house and stairs were damaged; all windows are smashed. The wine-orchard was also damaged. Curtains, chandeliers and beds were damaged in the house. Bed of the child, chairs, table, fridge, TV set, washing machine, vessel, clothes, sofa and everything were damaged,” said Dimitri Gogishvili.

11 people died during the war in his village; two of them were soldiers; some of them were killed when they were fleeing from the village; others were killed when their houses were bombed; several people were killed on the road. The old man should be immediately operated on his eyes that he cannot afford. He urges to the authority for assistance.

How the government aids the victimized people

It is fact that 83-year-old Gogishvili and his family members needed assistance from the government.

The Human Rights Center got in touch with the Shida Kartli regional administration in March of 2009 and requested information about the provided assistance to the family of Gogishvilis and other residents of the village of Zemo Khviti.

The regional administration had not replied to the request even in July and the Human Rights Center applied to the Shida Kartli regional governor on July 22 again. It was the second letter requesting the information about the Gogishvilis sent to the Shida Kartli regional governor. We requested the same information in the second letter.

“We kindly request you to inform us about the activities you and your administration have carried out to support the family of Gogishvilis. In addition to that, according to the General Administrative Code of Georgia (Chapter 3, transparency of information), we request you to inform us within the reasonable time about the implemented activities in the village of Zemo Khviti to assist the residents victimized as a result of the August war.”

This time the Human Rights Center was luckier and within one month and five days (extremely “reasonable” time) we received the reply from the vice regional governor Zurab Chinchilakashvili on August 27 2009.

“We kindly inform you that the house of Dimitri Gogishvili will be examined within the next month. Currently, we have already brought blocks, sand and other construction materials to the place to repair the walls and carry out necessary reconstruction activities. Besides that, we have provided the applicant with all state and other assistances; the state renovated the roof and windows of his house; the family received new TV-set, fridge, food, saltpeter, Dimitri Gogishvili was operated on his eye for free; the family received some other aid too.”

As soon as the center received the letter, we got in touch with Tinatin Gogishvili, daughter of Dimitri Gogishvili who was astonished with the letter of Zurab Chinchilakashvili.

“No construction materials were brought to us. Initially, Zurab Chinchilakashvili visited us in spring and next time when the Human Rights Center spread information about us on its website. The vice regional governor rebuked us for having complained about us and said he was assisting us. They reconstructed the roof partially and now the rain, leaking into the house, damages our house more than it did after the bombardment. The stairs have collapsed; the walls are pulling down; several blocks were brought early in spring and they are still there. The house will not stand two more years because of damaged walls. The walls will not be able to keep the partially reconstructed roof. As for the windows, they installed new metal-plastic window sills without grinding them. The sills should have been reinforced and now they are bent aside. I do not know what to do. If you visit us, you can personally see what they have done,” said Tinatin Gogishvili.

As for the property of the family, Tinatin Gogishvili said that the Agency of Social Subsidies did not include them on the list of impoverished people.”They wrote about my father that he had mobile phone and did not deserve the allowance. It is cynic attitude. How can my father have mobile phone? He cannot see and hear,” said Tinatin Gogishvili.

As for the TV-set and fridge mentioned in the report, the international organizations gave these household items to the family and why the government tries to appropriate the aid of the international organizations.

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