Soviet violinist Georgi Yermolenko was a virtual prisoner in his hotel room in Perth, Australia, on Wednesday (14 August) as negotiations on his future movements reached a deadlock.
SV ZOOM INTO CU Yermolenko (2 shots)
SV PAN Ywermolenko escorted down corridor
SV Newsman trying unsuccessfully to interview
CU PAN Car drives off
SV Car arrives at airport (FREEZE FRAME SHOT)
GV ZOOM INTO Men entering side door at custom's hall
SV Airline signs (2 shots)
GV PAN Crowds inside custom's hall
SCU Officials hold back crowd
CU Union official Rob Cowles speaking
CU Rev. Lance Johnston speaking
COWLES: "We're going to block every attempt to get him out of here until he's been talked to by these people and so that we know definitely that he wants to go."
REPORTER: "How are you going to make absolutely sure that he has made up his mind one way or the other?"
COWLES: "Well, I think that those people closest to him are the people who would know it. I don't know, I've only just met him for two minutes."
REV. JOHNSTON: "I have no indication that he wants to go back. No indication whatsoever. The only indication I have in what he has said to me and my fellow priest Richard Borthwick here is that he wants to stay, even though we pointed out all the complications and difficulties that would be in his way if he did stay."
Yermolenko was relaxed and confident as he spoke with reporters in a city hotel. This was before a meeting with the President of the International Society for Musical Education...Professor Dmitri Kabalevsky. After four hours of talks Yermolenko was whisked away to Perth airport. He didn't seem as relaxed or confident as he was escorted away by the one hundred and forty kilogramme "Cultural Attache" of the Soviet Embassy, Mr. Alexandrov.
There was a small crowd of wellwishers outside the hotel to see him off.
After a twelve kilometre drive, the cars arrived at the airport with a distraught looking Yermolenko under close escort. The party took a devious route to arrive at one of the side doors to the custom's hall.
Inside the airport terminal a large crowd was gathering to protest against the young violinist's leaving. Many thought he was being taken again his will and the scene soon became tense as members of the crowd tried to enter the custom's hall and speak to Yermolenko. But the Russians remained locked inside. The only indication as to what was happening came from the few interested persons who were permitted to see Yermolenko.
A sound commentary is transcribed overpage with an on-camera introduction.
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Background: Soviet violinist Georgi Yermolenko was a virtual prisoner in his hotel room in Perth, Australia, on Wednesday (14 August) as negotiations on his future movements reached a deadlock.
Yermolanko and five other members of his party have twice been prevented by trade union action from leaving Australia since the 19-year-old violinist said on Sunday (11 August) he wanted political asylum.
Several hours later, following talks with Soviet officials, he said he wanted to return home.
But, on Monday (12 August) Transport Workers Union members prevented his departure by holding up his aircraft until they were certain he was not on it. They withdrew their ban on Tuesday (13 August) when assured Mr. Yermolenko did want to go home.
However another union, the Federated Clerks, which issues 'plane tickets instituted a ban saying they believed he was under duress to leave.
Industrial, diplomatic and legal have followed.
First Assistant Secretary of the Australian Foreign Affairs Department, Mr. Hugh Gilchrist, said he was given promises that Mr. Yermolenko and the rest of the party would not attempt to leave their hotel. He described the situation as an impasse. A new round of talks is expected on Thursday (15 August).
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Yermolenko, said, through an interpreter, he wanted to leave.
He told newsmen: "Russia is my homeland and without my homeland I cannot live."
But a spokesman for the Federated Clerks Union said the interview convinced him more than over that the violinist was under duress to return home.
On Monday it was a Transport Workers Union spokesman, Mr. Rob Cowles, who was adamant Yermolenko would not leave Perth airport:
One of those who spoke to Mr. Yermolenko, a member of a student quintet from the Moscow Musical College, was the Revered Lance Johnston. He said they young violinist wanted to stay in Australia.
SYNOPSIS: Soviet violinist Georgi Yermolenko was a virtual prisoner is his hotel room in Perth, Australia, on Wednesday after twice being prevented from leaving the country by trade union action. The first action came on Monday after the nineteen-year-old musician said he wanted political asylum.