Monday, March 20, 2006

From a New York Times piece - Belarus Leader Expects Landslide; Protesters Defy Warnings:

Several independent Web sites — including Mr. Milinkevich's, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's and those of two opposition groups, Charter 97 and Zubr — were hacked through the day and shut down entirely, at times, blocking the few independent sources of information on the election results and other news.

State television, meanwhile, offered hours of pro-government fare, including a series of interviews with analysts and observers, including a few Westerners, who praised the conduct of the campaign and the voting today. One observer, who said he was British, said, "There are several things that Great Britain could borrow from Belarus and use for its elections."

Later, as votes were being counted, state television showed unflattering pictures and video of the opposition and its supporters, including photographs of the several youth organizers from a Russian opposition party who came to Belarus to support the opposition here. The men were shirtless, drinking and smoking what appeared to be marijuana.

This was followed by video of two transvestites engaged in a passionate kiss, and a suggestion from the news presenter that the opposition has the support of homosexuals.

The next sentence is vivid, too:

The day, like the campaign, was divided into parallel worlds.

The New York Times numbers are really low, by the way:

That did not stop everyone. About 3,000 protesters gathered at night on a square in the capital's center and chanted in front of the assembled police.

"Long live Belarus!" the [sic] cheered, at times repeating the last name of their candidate. "Milinkevich! Milinkevich!"

Sounds sleepy, doesn't it?

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