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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 14, 2004

14 June 2004
Russia Day, Sabantuy Celebrated In Tatarstan
On 12 June Tatarstan combined the celebrations of Russia Day with the beginning of the traditional Tatar Sabantuy holiday in the cities of Chally and Tuben Kama, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 14 June. A few special events were dedicated to the national holiday in the republic's capital Kazan, while the head of Tatarstan's parliament, Farid Mukhametshin, released a special statement outlining the importance of the holiday in uniting the multiethnic country, which "proceeds on its path towards social progress, on the basis of civil peace and concord, political and economic stability."

The same day, the Unified Russia party branch in Tatarstan organized a joint performance of artists representing different ethnic communities residing in the republic in the center of Kazan.

Also on 12 June, an official delegation from Tatarstan led by Deputy Prime Minister Zile Welieva and accompanied by Tatarstan's State Singing and Dancing Ensemble took part in the Russia Day festivities in Moscow.

Muslim Leaders To Discuss the Clerical Property Affairs
A conference of Muslim Spiritual Directorate heads from across Russia organized by Tatarstan's Muslim Spiritual Directorate opened in Kazan on 14 June, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. The religious leaders will discuss the legal and clerical aspects of managing waqiyf, the property received by religious organizations from public and individual donations. The chairman of the Moscow-based Muslim Spiritual Directorate of Russia, Rawil Gainetdin, is reportedly taking part in the conference.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Thousands In Bashkortostan Join Federal Labor Protest
An estimated 5,000 people participated in a 10 June gathering near the Sport Palace in Ufa to protest social-benefits reforms proposed by the Russian government, Regnum reported on 11 June, citing Vsya Ufa television. The event was organized locally by the Bashkir Federation of Trade Unions. Unionists object to the federal government's intention to make regional and municipal authorities responsible for payments to state-budget employees. Meeting organizers stressed that are not seeking purely political aims and did not allow Communist leaders to address meeting participants.

Brazil Promotes Joint Projects With Ufa
Prospects for bilateral cooperation were on the agenda of a meeting between Bashkir Deputy Prime Minister Boris Kolbin and Brazilian Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Russia Augusto Rego Santos Neves on 10 June in Moscow, Bashinform reported on 11 June, quoting a spokesman for the Bashkir Plenipotentiary Representation to Moscow, Azat Gafurov. The participation of Brazilian enterprises in tractor assembly at Bashkir enterprises was paid special attention. Bashkortostan's Industry and Economic Development Minister Valentin Vlasov and Deputy Foreign Economic Relations Minister Rishat Khalikov took part in the talks.

Ufa Celebrates Jubilees
Bashkortostan marked Ufa's 430th anniversary and the 250th anniversary of the birth of Bashkir national hero Salawat Yulaev on 12 June, Russian Independence Day, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 13 June. Festive performances were staged in Ufa's main squares and parks. President Murtaza Rakhimov, Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov, and State Assembly Chairman Konstantin Tolkachev laid flowers to the Salawat Yulaev monument.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova