April 9 remembered 2013

People gathered outside the old parliament in Tbilisi to pay tribute to those who were killed on April 9, 1989. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–April 9 Georgia remembered that it was 24 years since Soviet troops dispersed a peaceful protest in Tbilisi, and 22 years since the day when Georgia restored its independence.

People started arriving late night yesterday at the April 9 memorial in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi to light the candles and pay tribute to the victims of the brutal crack-down in 1989.

Some brought flowers to the memorial and placed candles on the ground forming the words ‘April 9’ and a map of Georgia.

Among those passing by during the day to pay tribute were, government officials, local government representatives, diplomats, and members of parliament.

In the morning of April 9, 1989, Soviet troops dispersed a peaceful demonstration in front of the parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi.

People had gathered there to demand that Georgia be separated from the Soviet Union. The violence resulted in 21 deaths, while many others were poisoned by an unknown gas.

March 31, 1991 Georgia had a referendum which included all its constituent parts, also the two breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which showed that 98 percent supported Georgia’s independence.

On April 9, 1991, Georgia’s Supreme Council passed the Act of Restoration of State Independence, which became the legal basis for Georgia’s international recognition.