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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 1, 2001

1 March 2001
Shaimiev Stresses Importance of Federalism in Annual Message
President Mintimer on 28 February noted in his annual message to the State Council that "collisions occur in the federal system because of legal shortcomings. He said that Tatarstan does not seek any powers the federal center now has but added that it will not give up any of its own rights. He supported the shift to the Latin script and he urged that Moscow make use of legal developments in the region, including Tatarstan's law on parties. He also said that he would work to improve salaries and business conditions.

Opposition Pickets to Demand Shaimiev's Resignation
Tatarstan opposition figures, mostly Communists, demonstrated in Liberty Square on 28 February to demand the resignation of President Mintimir Shaimiev and the dissolving of the State Council.

Tatar Moslems To Help Refugees
The Moslem Religious Board has agreed to work with the Tatarstan branch of the Russian Migration Service to help provide assistance to Muslim refugees arriving from CIS countries, Tatarinform reported on 1 March.

TPC Condemns War In Chechnya
The Tatar Public Center on 28 February urging "all the progressive forces" to help end the Chechen war and the suffering of the Chechen people. The TPC condemned "Russia's conquest of other peoples from the Middle Ages on. Its statement said that some 350,000 Chechens have been killed in the last decade alone.

National Broadcasters Association Opens Office In Kazan
The National Association of TV-Radio broadcasters has opened its representation Kazan, Efir TV reported on 28 February. The non-profit organization which unites over 300 companies across Russia, defends journalists' rights.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkortostan, Czech Republic To Boost Ties
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov on 28 February met with visiting Czech Republic ambassador to Russia Yaroslav Bashta to discuss bilateral cooperation, the presidential press service reported.

Minister Promises To Repay Back Wages
Labor, employment and social care minister Lev Bakusov on 28 February said that the republic's wage arrears had fallen from 1.4 billion ($49 million) in 1999 to 951 million rubles ($33 million) in 2000 and that it �must be paid off during the current year,� the presidential press service reported.

Teachers Hold Protest Meeting
Over 1500 employees of educational institutions and students held on 28 February a meeting in Ufa to join a Russia-wide protest action, Bashinform reported. The participants adopted resolution on behalf of republic 193,000 education sector workers protesting low pay and poor working conditions.

Bashkortostan Tatar Teachers Visit Tatarstan
A delegation of republic Tatar language teachers is visiting Kazan to familiarize themselves with Tatar history and culture, Bashinform reported on 28 February.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova