Speeches & Statements

The President of Georgia delivered a speech at the parade dedicated to the Police day

Hello Gentlemen!

I congratulate you with the police day!

Ladies and gentlemen, dear residents of Gori, our fellow countrymen,

We are celebrating the excellent holiday of St. George and  Police Day today.

Within the society, the Georgian Police enjoys one of the highest authorities/popularities in the world.  

According to the polls, the Georgian police have a 90 percent rating in the society and it compares to that of Georgian Church and the Georgian Armed Forces.

It certainly is not an accidental thing.

Society has become very experienced and this is the road which we have gone through all these years.

Similar polls were conducted in 2002 as well, and only 5 or 6 percent of the society confided in police then – the police were perceived as a source of threat.

That is why it is not surprising that back then Georgia was a very easy place for criminals and organized crime to thrive in.

They had close ties with the government – they were part of the government, just as they were part of business and our law enforcement agencies.

For this reason, reforming the police was the first immediate necessity, which we all had to do together.

We are also celebrating today the 8th annual anniversary of ousting of one of the most dangerous separatists in the history of Georgia, the local feudal head Aslan Abashidze, by the Adjarian society and return of Adjara into the constitutional space.

We did it then with the joint effort of the Adjarian society and the central authority. Yet, we should not forget that Aslan Abashidze had left Batumi together with Igor Ivanov, when the first division of the Georgian Army, the first armored vehicles of the Georgian internal army had entered Batumi.

Certainly, the Adjarian society and its determination had played the decisive role, but it is the greatest credit of the Georgian Army that stability had prevailed here, that lawlessness and disorder did not persist and Adjara did not go out of the Georgian constitutional-economic space.

The Georgian Police have a huge historic merit throughout these few years, but our main merit is still the fact that we managed to achieve an unbelievable thing – to change the mood, mentality and attitude of the society towards the police and law enforcement structures; we have transformed the social institutions as well, transformed the impact of crime and criminals on the Georgian society, which has great significance.

All of us together, we have fundamentally changed the mentality of the society, which was utterly criminalized, utterly non law-abiding and utterly hopeless and depressed.

In my childhood, just as in the childhood of the MPs and ministers present here, an example to follow was not a policeman, but a legal thief, a law-breaking hustling element. Seeing a policeman would not excite us, including even those who were distinguished with good manners and studies.

Criminals’ words had great authority and everything, including the priorities of the society was flipped upside down.

We managed to rectify this situation.

No one thought we would make it, as according to our conqueror, Georgia is a country of those people, who sing well, dance, is known for its food and drinks, but these people are not able to create something meaningful. They think that one of the mechanisms and means to rule the Georgian people is precisely crime.

We have changed this tendency and our conqueror will never again see the criminalized again, underdeveloped, subdued, easily manipulated society, easily ruled Georgia.

For the first time in centuries, we have managed an unbelievable thing for our epoch in the Caucasus – to create a modern statehood. Not even a single conqueror would imagine this, those who would invade us for centuries long and especially the one who still raids today few kilometers away from here.

It is a merit of today’s epoch, today’s life, today’s generation, which will remain in history for the next 10 centuries, just as the works of David the Builder have from the 10th century.

Georgia has not seen a consolidated, a modern statehood belonging to any specific epoch for 10 centuries before the epoch of David the Builder and 10 centuries afterwards.

We have managed it together in an astonishing record minimum time.

That is why the Caucasian nations are fixing their eyes on us.

I was visiting the Georgian border check point together with you the other day and shook hands with many North Caucasians, who entered into Georgia.

We have relations with these people and I know their mood very well – for them, Georgia is to be imitated like a role model.

If the Soviet system and Russian Empire had poisoned them so much that they regarded us and our country as enemies for centuries, everything has changed radically today.

Certainly, this causes a big concern of our conqueror, as the Caucasus (I mean on both sides of the hill) has seen an orientation, a model of development and future.

We have all made this together.

In fact, we saw at the border the work of our policemen, who we have substituted with the border troops and basically created a new system.

I met one of the Russian citizens yesterday, who came from Moscow in his own car and entered from the Lars check point. He told me that he sang something at the Lars check point and our policeman had asked him to sing louder. All the border guards came out, our smiling policeman surrounded and started to sing Georgian songs, which he remembered from childhood. Everyone smiled and applauded, and then they had a nice dinner and he continued towards Tbilisi.

He was stunned to see our smiling border guards: while on the other side I had no willingness to smile at all, let alone doing a concert.

Perhaps, the same situation is at many check points, but Georgia is a special and outstanding country.       

Georgia is what we are all making together and it is not by chance that not only Caucasia, but Ukrainians, Moldovans, people of Central Asia and the greater part of the Russian society consider Georgia as a huge driving force of progressive reforms today.

Several days ago this person, who authorized unlawful actions in our country and declaration of our occupied territories as independent states, first adopted our police law (we know this well because we assisted this a little) and later adopted a part of our uniform and
police car equipment system.

They have emulated our buildings as well, and in the end even slipped – well, we very much want to implement the Georgian reform here as well, but we will not succeed – our country is too big, while Georgia is small.

The issue is not the size of a country, but it is the heart. You have to have such a mentality and a new world in your mind. 

This is the difference between us and that is why Georgia is a role model for the entire post soviet space and across Europe.

No matter what those who criticize us say, according to the last few studies of the European Union, Georgia is the safest country in Europe. This is neither my PR, nor that of Merabishvili or any one of you.

No one would have thought about it few years ago.

The crime rate here is lower than in France, in Germany, in Scandinavian countries, let alone the post soviet space.

They look to us, as we have dealt with the organized crime that affected them not only in Georgia, but we helped Austrians and the Spanish in this job. We are assisting the post –soviet space as well, so that they also get rid of organized crime.

If the EU would sometimes criticize us for the vagueness of certain reforms in 2004-2005, this organization has held several seminars today in Tbilisi, where they invite the representatives of the most developed European countries in order to acquaint them with our reforms.

This is the reality and it is not my imagination.

Everyone is delighted by the fact that starting from high school and finished by general school, there is no street and organized crime in Georgia. 

This is the achievement of every single of us.

We are proud of you – if not for your outstanding operation throughout all these provocations, including during the 2008, Georgian would probably no longer exist today.

They have assaulted Georgia, our statehood in 2008.

They came in here not to take a small city, Tskhinvali, but to destroy the Georgian statehood, which is like a sting to them and which does not allow them to live in peace.

We have showed them a tremendous mobilization.

Many say today that the Government had fled then – not only did it not flee, but it showed an incredible unanimity to everyone. Whereas, every place where the Soviet Union or Russia has invaded, the government was either killed in few hours, or fled; not to mention everything being collapsed around it.

Every policeman and all government structures were working properly. 

Our policemen had shown examples of incredible heroism and we preserved our country, our statehood. More than ever in the past, our flag is waving with pride today for the world to see, as we all have said – we are not afraid and we will not surrender to the enemy!

We repeat the same today – Georgia will never surrender, it will never say no to freedom, as it has tasted the price of freedom and the threat of losing it once and for all.

It is unacceptable for us.

Because of this, we pay tribute to our fallen policemen; we pay tribute to our policemen who fell in the war.

We pay tribute to those, who were under fire here at the check points, along the demarcation line and who still would not open fire – they simply took out their dead colleagues from the positions.

We know it very well that basically no one will forgive us anything. We are a small country and because of that we should be particularly vigilant.

I will never forget what happened in the last days of the war: according to the international agreement, of which the occupant had fulfilled only a little part, Russians had to withdraw from a portion of the occupied territories in 2008; as foreseen by the agreement, a young policeman, a 22 years old boy Beso Khurtsilava ,was accompanying them on the Ganmukhuri Bridge. Beso had stopped at the demarcation line and looked. The Russian “BTR” stopped, from which one of the Russian soldiers, indeed an inhuman person, empted the load of an automatic weapon on Beso. It had been the call of rage of not being able to fully take Georgia. Beso died right away. The boys around him had not fired back at them.

That is what heroism is about and this is what is called love for homeland.

That is why no one will defeat us as a country.

That is why everyone should understand that this police belong not to any political party, or a private brigade of a president or any minister, but it is the property of the people.

Our people know this very well and the politicians should also understand this well, especially it concerns those who have not remembered the policeman who were killed in the fight against crime even once, and are erecting monuments to the thug killed in confrontations.

The death of every person is equally sad, but those people were threatening other’s lives and would at least threaten the life of those policemen, with whom this confrontation had taken place.

The Georgian society remembers, and the family members and relatives of these policemen know it as well that these people have not given their lives in vain.

Certainly, we still have many problems and part of our territory is occupied. We should neither forget, my friends, that the fight against corruption and the preservation of social standards requires a constant fight.

We should not allow for the policemen to become offensive. 

Those legends that were told about the righteousness of policeman, about their kindness should still be spread and strengthened.

The greater part of our society is still very poor today.

We do not show off ourselves, but the whole world is staring wishfully at us, those who have common sense, but we are implementing our reforms so successfully that they are not able to discredit us.

A significant part of our society still lives in poverty and the level of unemployment is still very high.

Because of that, we need to be very delicate and subtle towards the society. Primarily, they need assistance and support, compassion and understanding from us. You will be fine with this.

I know it well that you deserve much more as well, but let us maintain this rightness and certainly, with the growth of Georgia’s prosperity we will have higher salaries and the material conditions will be much better.

We have started to give apartments to policemen for the first time and we will do everything so that none of you regret that you are part of this significant force.

The police has a very short, but significant history in Georgia; it has a prideful present and even greater future.

We should always be ready to keep order in Georgian together with our armed forces, together with hundreds of thousands of our reservists. We should be the guards of our society and our country.

At the same time we should understand that we are the police of a democratic country and that the police is neutral in all ongoing political processes of the country.

The police take an equal stance towards everyone.

The main duty of the police is to protect the constitutional order and not separate politicians, but I repeat it once again that the fact that we protect order means precisely that any attempt to cause disorder through military or any other means, as had been the case on many occasions in the past years, will have a response from the Georgian Police, from the entire Georgian society.

This is yet another lesson that we have learned in the past years.

We are the guards of democracy, i.e. we are the guards of our and our children’s future.

It is a great honor and pride for each one of us to stand here in front of you today.

Several dozen Georgian Policemen receive state awards, different kinds of orders today.

Before that, on behalf of you and on behalf of us, I would like to thank the Minister of Internal Affairs Ivane Merabishvili, who together with all of us, has played a decisive role in the establishment of Georgian Police in today’s form.

He still has a long way ahead and hence, we do not want to praise him too much, he still has many exams and he should prove even better that he deserves the appreciation of the society.

On your behalf, I would like to decorate him with the Order of St. George.

I am delighted that today’s parade, to the disdain of the enemy, and to the delight of the residents of Gori, is being held on this square.

We have grand ideas regarding Gori ahead; we anticipate great reconstruction ahead and this is my presidential, as well as personal duty.

I welcome the part of the Gori society that has gathered at this square.

I bow before you, I am grateful for everything you have done here so far.

Thank you very much!


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