Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Sunday honoured the memory of the victims of the April 9, 1989 tragedy, the “heroes, who paved the way for freedom at the cost of their own lives”.
The Head of the Government released a statement in commemoration of the date when Soviet troops had attacked peaceful protesters in Tbilisi, killing 21 people and injuring hundreds.
April 9 is a special day for each of us. On this day, all of Georgia, united by the idea of freedom, announced to the world the decision to build an independent, democratic European country. The brutality of the Soviet regime only consolidated the will of the Georgian people, strengthened our desire for independence”, Garibashvili said.
He expressed gratitude to “every citizen” who determined the future of not only Georgia, but also the countries of the Soviet Union with their “unanimity, dedication and support in those heroic days”.
The PM quoted Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the first democratically elected President of Georgia in the post-Soviet era, as saying "Everything can be taken away from the nation, but no one can take away the feeling of freedom."
Our further progress towards a better Georgia should be based on such unanimity around the ideal of freedom", Garibashvili noted.
April 9 also marks the restoration of Georgia’s independence, as the Georgian legislative body passed the declaration of independence on this date in 1991, based on the results of a referendum on March 31 that year, where an overwhelming majority of Georgians voted for the country to secede from the Soviet Union.