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Crimean News 53

 

(Mass Media survey for 10-15 April 2000)

 

(All the material is given in an abridged form)

 

European Council: The Parlimentary Assembly has supported integration and accommodation of the Crimean Tatars .

Who are the Crimean Tatars for Ukraine?

Solution of interethnic problems is possible only through a legal way.

Ratification of regulation about the Crimean Tatars' Representatives Council.

Who gives the political coloring to the land problem?

There are no problems in Belogorsk, but there are "some peculiarities" in Bakhchisarai. Some words about giving land to the Crimean Tatars.

We demand legitimate right for land.

 

Politics.

 

European Council: the Parliamentary Assembly has supported integration and accommodation of the Crimean Tatars.

 

According to the Resolution project of Parliamentary Assembly of European Council (PAEC), it is proposed to convince the country-members of European Council in necessity to make investments in the assistance programs for the Crimean Tatars. In particular it deals with projects on providing dwelling, infrastructure, education and job opportunities.

 

This problem was considered earlier at the Committee of Parliamentary Assembly dealing with migration, refugees and demography. National deputies of Ukraine Anatoliy Rakhovskiy, Crimean Tatar nation's Mejilis Chairman, Mustafa Djemilev and the chairman of Verkhovna Rada* of the Crimea, Leonid Grach**,  were invited to the sitting. They considered the report of special representative of Parliamentary Assembly, Lord Ponsonby, who visited Crimea in 1999*** with an aim to study Crimean Tatar nation's problems. They also discussed the suggested project of Recommendations of Parliamentary Assembly aimed to solve these problems. Lord Ponsonby's report included the full description of present economic, social and political condition of the Crimean Tatar nation. Some social and political problems of the Crimean Tatars were emphasized. Leonid Grach came out at the Committee sitting and noted that there was no single native nation in the Crimea and that the Crimea was the "dormitory" for representatives of many nationalities. He shared his conviction that it was necessary to solve the problem of electoral quotas for the Crimean Tatars, legitimacy of Mejilis or ethnic organ of Crimean Tatars' authority and their national-and-territorial autonomy. And it should be solved both on the European Council and Ukraine's levels. It also deals with the fact that both Constitution of Ukraine and the Constitution of the Crimea have a strict "objection" to these issues - said Leonid Grach.

 

He emphasized that it was necessary to solve the repatriates' problem in a wider context but not "exaggerating" only Crimean Tatars' problem.

 

The Crimean Tatar nation's Mejilis Chairman, Mustafa Djemilev's speech was easy to understand  and just to the point. He suggested introducing some changes into the Recommendations**** project.

 

Shevket Memetov, "Golos Krima", #16(335), 14 April 2000,p.1.

 

Our information: *VR ARC and VR of Ukraine - parliaments of Ukraine and Crimea.

**Leonid Grach is also the leader of the Crimean communists.

***See "Crimean news 23".

****Mustafa Djemilev's full report and the extracts from deputies' speeches are available in the appendix - "Crimean Tatar problem in the European Council".

 

Who are the Crimean Tatars for Ukraine?

 

It was the first time after Crimean Tatars' return to the Crimea that Parliamentary hearings were held with the discussion of the problem in political rights regulating. We offer you the interview with the first deputy of chairman of Committee dealing with problems of human rights, national minorities and interethnic relationship, Refat Chubarov.

 

Verkhovna Rada has not considered the problem of restoring Crimean Tatar nation's rights since Ukraine became independent. What was your goal when you  initiated parliamentary hearings?

 

Due to the lack of a legislative basis, new problems arose during the development of the Ukrainian legislation. These problems were added to regulation on returning, accommodation and  restoring of nation's rights. Besides, it becomes even more important when the problems of repatriation is not taken into account. That is why our task is to make the issue of restoring the rights a part of all other issues which would be considered by Verkhovna Rada.

 

Parliamentary hearings were the only form of bringing up the issue of restoring the Crimean Tatars' rights, weren't they?

 

Not only in Verkhovna Rada but also in the whole Ukraine there is not enough understanding of the problem and the consequences of deportation. This problem has had to be discussed at the highest level. That is why we have decided to pay the maximum attention to these problems and call the representatives of political structures to think over the core of this issue. We have decided to hold Parliamentary hearings before proposing specific law projects, say, the law of Crimean Tatar nation's status, registered in Verkhovna Rada in October 1999. We have noticed that representatives of left powers have particular approaches to solve this problem. They think that there is no need in adopting separate laws on regulating the process of returning and restoring rights. Moreover, some of them insist on the fact that legislation creates all kinds of possibilities for the ethnos development, including its participating in the political life of the state. Representatives of the left parties, despite the obvious statistics, go on pretending as if there is no discrimination in the organs of executive power and  representation of the Crimean Tatars there.

 

Can we rely on the support of the deputy corpus in the solution of these problems?

 

Representatives of many political parties realize where a delay of the Crimean Tatars' problem may lead. Even though they may disagree with some specific forms of solutions, they do agree that adopting laws should solve this problem.

 

Deputies of Verkhovna Rada say that singling out  one nation and giving it  exclusive rights would be restricting the rights of other ethnicities.

 

The Constitution of Ukraine forbids prioritizing according to national, racial and religious criteria. And it is right indeed. On the other hand, it is also important to remember that the constitution of Ukraine foresees government's care for the originality of native nations. That is why there is no contradiction in this case.  It is necessary to take into account the fact that a nation, which has been deported from its historical motherland, is returning to Ukraine. Its territory, Crimea, is also a part of Ukraine. Crimean Tatar nation has neither its own state formation nor a territory of its historical development. That is why the legislation of Ukraine has to give a clear answer to the following questions: Who are the Crimean Tatars for Ukraine and what is Ukraine for the Crimean Tatars?

 

How can the legislation be determined in this issue?

 

In this case, the only reasonable alternative is to adopt the law of the Crimean Tatar nation's status. It does not include any special rights, singling out our nation from others. This law foresees specific mechanisms that guarantee preserving and developing of the Crimean Tatars on their historical territory. This law can not limit possibilities, rights and interests of other national communities living in the Crimea. It deals with creating special mechanisms, which will enable preserving the nation in the future. Many nations have not got such a problem at all. The Russian minority is worried about its future and preservation of its cultural identity with Russian ethos. But such a threat does not exist in Russia itself. Ukraine is obliged to take care of the Ukrainian people. It is also obliged to take care of the Crimean Tatars who live on the territory of the whole Ukraine.

 

Gulnara Kerimova, "Avdet", ("Return"), #7(241), 12 April 2000, p.1-2.

 

 

Solution of interethnic problems is possible only through a legal way.

 

The Chairman of Verkhovna Rada of the Crimea, Leonid Grach, shared his opinion on Parliamentary hearings dealing with the Crimean Tatars' problems.  These hearings were held at the Verhovna Rada of Ukraine on 10 April 2000.

 

" The main guideline in this work is the results of the Crimean referendum on 20 January 1991. It has become the basis for solving some problems. The Referendum gives answers to many questions, including the problem of national autonomy. We are all under the same sun here. Everyone should understand it. There can be no exceptions for anyone. We also should not forget about the Russians living in the Crimea, who make up 60% of the Crimean population."

 

Galena Mamiko, "Krimskiye izvestiya", #67(2071), 11 April 2000, p.1-2.

 

Our information: The Crimean referendum was held on 20 January 1991 when the USSR existed. Its main goal was to determine the status of the Crimean peninsula as an administrative and territorial autonomy in Ukraine. Most Crimean Tatar could not take part in it, since not all of them had returned to the Crimea by that time. And those who had returned could not participate because they had not been registered, as it was required. One of the Crimean Tatars' main demands is restoring the status of national-and-territorial autonomy of the Crimea as it had been before the deportation in 1944.

 

 

Ratification of regulation about the Crimean Tatars' Representatives Council.

 

The President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, has ratified the regulation about the Crimean Tatars' representatives Council. The Council is a consultative-and-discussing organ at the President of Ukraine.

 

This Council has several goals. Among them is the analysing and forecasting of political-and-legal, socio-economic, cultural and other issues dealing with deported Crimean Tatars. Particularly it deals with their accommodation, adaptation and integration into the Ukrainian society.  The Council will also prepare and offer proposals to the President of Ukraine about possible solutions of these problems.

 

One of the function of the Council is the analysis of financing both state and republic programs on Crimean Tatars. Particularly it deals with their returning to the country, job opportunities and determining the best ways of using available funds for these goals.

 

The Council will take part in working on projects of legislative documents and state programs related to the problems of the Crimean Tatars' returning to the Crimea.

 

The Council of the Crimean Tatar representatives will analyze the implementation of the Ukrainian laws, acts of the President and the Cabinet of Ministers. It will be also analyzing the decisions on these issues by the parliament and the government of Crimea. It will be able to make its own proposals as well.

 

The chairman of the Council is appointed and dismissed by the President of Ukraine. The President also appoints the Council staff.

 

Interfax-Ukraine, "Krimskiye Izvestiya", #67(2071), 11 April 2000, p.1-2.

 

 

Land reform.

 

Who gives the political color to the land problem.

 

Problems of the deported were discussed at the meeting of the head of district state administration with Anatoliy Korneychuk, the regular representative of Ukrainian President in the Crimea. A.Korneychuk stated that the land must be divided in a strict accordance to the law. He expressed his confidence that organizers of the protest actions delude people, who are not aware enough about the rights for land as it is foreseen by the law. Thus the organizers give the political color to the situation.

 

However, it would be naive to suppose that the existing order of dividing land would be fine for them. The native nation of the peninsula is in the frames of unfair laws according to the legislation of restoring rights of the repatriates. The fact that land dividing would have a political character was obvious from the very beginning of the reform. The Crimean officials refer to the Crimean Tatars, who give a political coloring to this problem. But overall the considerable part of the Ukrainian rural population, teachers, doctors, migrants, pensioners, and i.e. those who are beyond collective farm also have remained without land today.

 

President's representative expressed his concern about the fact that only 2 applications for land out of 11425 have been accepted in Bakhchisarai district. In Djankoy district only 60 applications out of 4456 have been accepted.  And there are about 29 thousand hectares of reserve land in this district.

 

However, it is unlikely that the Crimean Tatars will be happy about getting land from the reserve. The land there is for the most part unsuitable for agriculture work. So we may not call the demands of land re-division ungrounded, as A.Korneychuk put it. A.Korneychuk also stated that demands of some Crimean Tatar's  "hot heads" to re-divide land have no legalistic basis and therefore can not be met. "It is difficult to understand which principals should be followed in land re-division. Then the situation will be hard to regulate."

 

It is these words of representative’s head that reflect the real situation. It is possible that Ukrainian authorities made a haste decision on land reform. The situation is especially complicated in the Crimea today.  The consequences will affect the atmosphere in the society circles. The statement of the President's representative about lack of urgency in land problem does not sound consecutive. It is proved by the above mentioned numbers and events in the Crimean regions.

 

Asan Osmanov, "Avdet", ("Returning"), #7(241), 12 April 2000, p.3.

 

 

There are no problems in Belogorsk, but there are "some peculiarities" in Bakhchisarai. Some words about giving land to the Crimean Tatars.

 

The representative of Ukrainian President in the Crimea, A.Korneychuk, considers that there are no problems with land dividing among the Crimean Tatars in Belogorsk. "I thought the situation would be more complicated. However, a very smart man deals with this problem there." That is why all the applications have been accepted. It is another issue however, that after the decision of giving land has been made people do not come to register their documents on land property. People refuse to pay for things that they consider the state should give to them free of charge.

 

But there are a lot of "peculiarities" in Bakhchisarai district. More than ten thousand applications for land, both from the deported and social sphere officials, have been received there. But the available arable land in the land reserve makes up only 1600 hectares.

 

The President's representatives has not come across with the cases when people agreed to move from "problem" region (i.e., two above mentioned regions, as well as  Simferopol district, Southern coast and Sudak) to the steppe district with availability of free land. The land plots make up 18 hectares there. This very variant of moving has been actively proposed lately for solving the problem of land for  the Crimean Tatars as well as village teachers and pensioners.

 

Kira Ivanona, "Krimskoye Vremya",#69(963), 14 April 2000, p.3.

 

 

 

We demand legitimate right for land.

 

On March 27 a Crimean Tatars' protest meeting was held in Dalyokoye village of Chernomorskoye district. The reason for this was  the agrarian reform.  Crimean Tatars submitted 268 applications with a request to give them land plots of an average size. The average size of a land plot in this collective agriculture enterprise (CAE) is 9,61 hectares. But the applications were turned down. The following reason was stated: "There is a lack of land in the state reserve. It makes up 3150 hectares in the region and 779 of them are arable". The problem of giving land plots to the officials of social sphere still remains unsolved. There are about 100 of teachers and medical workers. One can see the analogous situation in other villages of Chernomorskoye district.

 

The meeting participants expressed their indignation to such a rejection. They pointed to the lack of reason for keeping out the Crimean Tatars from the lists of CAE members.

 

During the meeting they adopted a resolution. It includes the following demand: to withdraw the Decree on "Land privatization" until the adoption of a new Land Code of Ukraine. The new code should include the articles guaranteeing native nation's right for land, land re-division with the participating of the Crimean Tatars. Also it should not permit dividing vakuuf lands in Chernomorskoye district that had religious and historical sacred places of the Crimean Tatar nation.

 

If the demands of dwellers of  Chernomorskiy district are not satisfied they are ready to continue actions of civil insubordination. They are even ready to block the building of district administration and to carry on dividing the land  by  themselves.

 

Veli Ibraimov, "Golos Krima", #16(335), 14 April 2000, p.3.

 

Our information: Chernomorskiy district of the Crimea is located in the steppe part of the peninsula.

 

 

 

 

 

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