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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 31, 2001

31 July 2001
Kremlin Campaigns Against Tatar Latin Alphabet
The Russian presidential administration has sent to famous Tatars residing in Moscow a text of the statement against the latinization of the Tatar language with a request that they sign it, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir service reported on 29 July. Cardiologist Renat Akchurin, General Rasim Akchurin, diplomat Farid Seiful-Mulyukov, artist Mansur Sattarov, composer Almaz Monasypov are among those who received copies of the statement.

Academician Says Russian Language Too Must Switch To Latin Script
Sergei Arutyunov, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the head of the Caucasus department of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology Institute, told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir service on 29 July that Tatarstan's efforts to switching the Latin alphabet prove that Tatarstan is more progressive and passes ahead of other regions in terms of its level of cultural development. Arutyunov expressed thebelief that globalization and computerization will force Russians as well to switch to the Latin alphabet before the end of this century. He said that Cyrillic writing has already become antiquated for Slavic languages as well, noting that even Bulgaria, the motherland of the Cyrillic alphabet, is now discussing the introduction of Latin script. But the Russian great-power idea prevents such moves and this will likely give rise to a situation in which the non-Slavic peoples of Russia take the lead over the Russian people in terms of their civilizing development. He pointed out that if, as great-power chauvinists are hoping, Moscow can use the alphabet issue as a weapon, then the republics' sovereignty will be eliminated. He stressed that a broad-scale campaign against human rights in general and nationalities' rights, in particular, is underwayin Russia and that it could culminate in Russia's disintegration.

Tatarstan Schools To Be Given 1,600 Computers
An Education Ministry official told on 30 July that Tatarstan will receive 1,600 computers and 1,100 modems under the federal program on computerization of rural schools. Sixty percent of the funding will be provided by the republic budget.

Islamic University Admits New Students
The Kazan Russian Islamic University said on 30 July that it has admitted 18 students to the Shariat faculty, seven students to the Koran study faculty, and 40 students to the preparatory department, Tatar-inform reported.

Shaimiev Says Khodyrev's Victory Was Not Due To Communist Ideology
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 30 July told Interfax that he does not think there is a connection between Communist ideology and Duma Communist faction deputy Gennadii Khodyrev's 29 July victory in the Nizhnii Novgorod gubernatorial elections. Shaimiev said that electors trusted the personal qualities of Khodyrev who had demonstrated his ability to work when he headed the oblast. Shaimiev noted that due to the "pseudo-reform" activities of former oblast heads, an oblast that possessed great potential had lost more than other donor-regions did. Low activity and voting results reflected low trust in the local authorities, he stressed.

Government Discusses Information Policy
The cabinet on 30 July discussed a concept of Tatarstan's information policy which is intended to promote a united information space in the republic. But they postponed its adoption, saying that the document needs to be improved, Tatar-inform reported.

Cholera Registered In Kazan
Seventeen patients suffering from cholera have been registered in Kazan, one of whom has since died, Tatarstan Television reported on 30 July. The first cases of the disease were reported on 27 July. A lake in Kazan in which all of those infected had swam was said to be the source of the infection. Russian Chief sanitary official Gennadii Onishchenko arrived in Kazan on 30 July to take charge of the situation. The last case of cholera was registered in Kazan 29 years ago.

Interior Bodies Fighting Bribery
The Tatarstan Road Traffic Security Board ordered that those of its employees who have refused to take bribes be paid 20 percent more that the sum they were illegally offered, "Profil" reported on 30 July.

Sberbank To Credit POZIS
The Tatarstan branch of Sberbank and the Yeshel Uzen Sergo plant POZIS on 30 July agreed on a strategic partnership under which the bank will advance a $20 million credit to the plant to produce refrigerators, Tatar-inform reported.

New Hospital In Baltach
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov on 30 July opened a new hospital in Baltach district, Tatar-inform reported.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Constitutional Court Head Says Power-Sharing Treaty Will Be Preserved
According to Bashkortostan Constitutional Court Chairman Ildus Adihamov, the power-sharing treaty between Bashkortostan and Russia will be amended to bring it into compliance with the Russian Constitution as the republic recognizes the superiority of federal laws, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 29 July. Adihamov said that the denunciation by some federation subjects of their power-sharing treaties is "a natural thing," as oblasts and krais are territorial entities of the Russian Federation and they do not have the status of a state as Bashkortostan does. And the republic will continue basing its activity not only on the Russian Constitution but also on the bilateral treaty that is a necessary part of the state management system, he stressed.

Rakhimov Criticizes District Administrations Heads
President Murtaza Rakhimov sharply criticized district administration heads at a recent meeting for "being unable to work," and being concerned only with their own prsonal interests, constructing big houses and purchasing expensive cars, while ordinary people hardly make ends meet, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 29 July.

Merger Of Three Official Newspapers Proposed
RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent on 29 July cited unofficial reports of the possible merger of Bashkrtostan's three official newspapers , the Bashkir-language "Bashkortostan," the Tatar "Kyzyl tang" and the Russian "Respublika Bashkortostan." All three are the organs of the Bashkortostan State Assembly and the cabinet and are funded from the republican budget. According to the plan, the Bashkir- and Tatar-language papers are to be reformatted as inserts of the Russian-language one.

Population In Bashkortostan Decreases More Slowly Than In Russia
The natural decline of the population in Bashkortostan last year totaled 28 percent compared with the Russian average of 76 percent, Bashinform reported on 27 July. The birth rate had increased by 274 while mortality had grown by 900. Totally 4.1 million resident live in the republic, 57 percent of them at a work age.

Cabinet Promotes Electronic Trade
The cabinet on 30 July set up an inter-departmental council on electronic trade, Bashinform reported. The body is intended to develop state policy in that sector and draft corresponding legislation. Deputy Prime Minister Rustem Garifullin was appointed to head the council.

Bashkir Companies To Take Part In Chinese Fair
A delegation of some 60 Bashkortostan businessmen left for China on 30 July to take part in "the Shengyang Fair of Goods for Russia," Bashinform reported.

By Gulnara Khasanova