THE "TALIBAN" MOVEMENT AND OPPRESSION OF LOCAL PEOPLE

Events, facts, documents and evidences: When the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" received the administration under Nikolai Bambiza, there began humiliation and persecution of local people. Hundreds of local workers, including professionals, were forced to live their work in the National Park. They were replaced by temporary workers from other regions of the country. It resulted in the soaring level of criminal situation in the area and so prompted locals to properly name the unwelcome workers - "talibs". As the new administration began to close its eyes on the social problems of people, the village of Kamenyuki, which is the main gates to the National Park, deteriorated and got a shabby look. At present, there is virtually no cultural life in the village because the building of the cultural centre has gone down.

In pictures - A huge building of the cultural centre in the village of Kamenyuki has a dilapidated look. It is shut down as the building needs emergency repair. The windows are boarded up, and plaster comes away from the walls.

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(The cultural center in the village
of Kamenyuki, June 13, 2004)

Temporary workers come to stay in this hotel. It can accommodate 100 people.

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(The hotel,
June 13, 2004)

Local people have been trying to call attention to their problems by writing letters to the media and different state institutions and bodies, including the administration of the Belarusian president, (for more details, read "Open letter to the President and Parliament of the Republic of Belarus, the citizenry of Belarus and the world community from the oldest inhabitants of Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and "Open letter to the President, Parliament and Government of the Republic of Belarus from the inhabitants of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha"). Unfortunately, the letters returned no positive response from the authorities, but for "The report of working group after control inspection of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" that remained within the walls of the Parliamentary Committee

In pictures - This is how local youth express their attitude towards temporary workers and the administration that has been ruling in the National Park for three years now (the record on the wall is translated "Talibans, I will take you").

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(The record,
May 06, 2004)

Although in recent years the social tension in the National Park has somewhat decreased and the number of temporary workers has dwindled, the core social and psychological problems have not been resolved. The attitude of the Park's administration towards local people has remained the same. The administration of the Belarusian president, which controls the National Park, supports the outrageous policy the administration of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" pursues and directs against local people.