Pink, Orange, Banana

Neglected to note this at the time.

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT PROMISES NO REVOLUTIONS. Alyaksandr Lukashenka said while attending an Orthodox Christmas service in the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk on 7 January that there will be no revolutions in the country, Belapan reported on 8 January, quoting the presidential press service. Lukashenka’s assertion reportedly came in response to a letter from Orthodox clergy who called on him to preserve peace and stability in Belarus. “They draw my attention to what has happened in Ukraine,” Lukashenka said. “I want to assure you that our country, the generations that live in our state, have exhausted the limit of wars and revolutions. I ask you to remember this and not to return to this subject. There will be no pink, orange, or banana revolutions in Belarus.”

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

I’m told that orange is an awfully, and perhaps dangerously, fashionable color in dreary Minsk this winter. No word yet on whether there has been an upsurge in people giving roses. (And absolutely no truth to the rumor that the film “Ray” has been banned because of the prominent role played by the song “Georgia on My Mind.”)

Next presidential election expected in 2006. More on how you can help as we become aware of it.

7 thoughts on “Pink, Orange, Banana

  1. If I remember correctly, Belarus’ ZUBR student opposition group is funded, in part, by Soros’ Open Society Foundation. Sadly, they have not gotten the kind of funds, help, and attention that those in Georgia and Ukraine, but it might be worth sending a lot of emails and letters voicing concern. It could, in the very least, get them some more cash.

  2. I was responsible for a good deal of funding to NGO’s in Belarus between 2001 and 2004. ZUBR is an active, if sometimes shrill, organization but still deserves support. However, anyone trying to legally fund any type of civil society NGO, particularly one as vocal as ZUBR, will run into formidable legal obstacles put in place by the government over the past five years. The funded organizations are also subject to constant tax audits while their funders can be accused on spying on nationwide TV. Many of us were of the opinion that Belarus would be better off and marginally more democratic if it were simply made an oblast of Russia (we were only half joking). Putin has put to rest that idea (of democracy) – although he personally is contemptuos of Lukashenka.

    Also, Lukashenka has the solid support of pensioners and the farm community since he makes certain (unlike in Ukraine and Russia) that they receive their pensions on time and that, in general, there are no power outages and prices are kept low. The support in the rural areas is strong since he came from the farm sector during the Soviet period. Add to that the support of the church – strongly pro-Russia – and you can see why this will be a hard road to follow.

    I guarantee they saw little of what happened here in Ukraine and were fed the same diet of anti-Yushchenko news as they received in Russia (the major Russian stations are the principal stations in Belarus).

    Revolution or any substantial democratic change will be a long time in coming. Too bad, really.

  3. If Belarus were to join Russia, it would make things simplier. One repressive dictatorship instead of two.

  4. Yulia Tymoshenko has just been named acting Prime Minister. Let the fireworks begin. This will be a show.

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