The United Nations sends to Abkhazia a group of experts to investigate causes of the catastrophe of a UN helicopter in the Gulripshi district of Abkhazia (a self-proclaimed republic in the territory of Georgia). This is said in an official statement of the UN observation mission for Georgia, which was circulated in Tbilisi on Wednesday. The helicopter crash last Monday killed nine people -- three of the helicopter crew, five UN observers and one interpreter. The statement says, among other things, that the UN will not bring charges until circumstances of the helicopter crash have been cleared up in greater detail. It goes on to say that the October 8 incident serves as a pretext to remind to both the sides their obligations in the ensurance of security for the UN personnel. Security ensurance must be a priority, stresses the mission. The barbarous act of destruction of the UN helicopter with unarmed observers on board is evidence of a new phase in the worsening of the conflict, says the statement. The UN observer mission has laid on both the sides -- Georgian and Abkhaz alike -- the responsibility for neglecting work within the framework of mechanisms of the Geneva peace process and the emergence of a situation which created conditions for this cruel act.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.