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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 18, 1998

18 November 1998
Tatar Parliament And Government Concerned With Language Law
The government committee evaluating the implementation of the "Law on Languages" and the State Council's commission on culture and national relations met on 17 November to enact measures aimed at intensifying the populace's learning of Tatar. The Law on Languages of the Tatar Peoples was passed in 1992 and requires all citizens of Tatarstan to be able to speak both of the republic's official languages, Tatar and Russian, by 2002. The greatest concern raised during the meeting was the slow progress in promulgating the Tatar language. Blame for this was put on Russia's dire economic situation, which they said prevents the implementation of Tatar instruction at all educational levels. The financial situation in the republic has also prevented the publishing of dictionaries and textbooks, the implementation of Tatar as the language of judicial and clerical staffs, and stopped the state from setting up a Tatar-language television channel, Tatar media reported.

Tatarstan's Students Want More Money
Tatar students submitted an appeal to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the government on 17 November demanding that their allowances be raised. Students called on the government to raise their allowances to twice that of Russia's minimum wage. The social problems for the some 80,000 students in Tatarstan were discussed for two days in Kazan at the second annual student's congress (see "Tatar-Bashkir Report," 17 November 1998). A resolution was passed that suggested the creation by the Tatar president of a Coordination Council. The proposed council would be staffed by representatives from youth associations and would defend the interests of students, Tatar state radio reported.

Russian-Swedish Prosecutor's Offices Agree To Cooperate
A delegation of Russian prosecutor-generals led by the office's national head, Petr Skuratov, agreed on 17 November to strengthen ties with Sweden. Tatar Procurator-General Saifikhan Nafiev was a member of the delegation which visited Stockholm to improve cooperation between the legal structures of the two countries, Tatar state radio reported. The two sides signed an agreement that covers cooperation and the exchange of information to better combat organized crime and corruption.

Compiled by G. Khasanova