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Article Archive for Year 2007

Rahmon conveys his condolences to Pakistan
Written by , Friday, 28 Dec, 2007 – 14:22 | 3 Comments

Today president Rahmon sent a telegram of condolence to president Musharaff of Pakistan upon the death of Benazir Bhutto.

As it was reported by AsiaPlus, president Rahmon underlined in his telegram that this vile act one more time proved that terrorism does not have national or religious implications but rather it is a shameful phenomenon which needs to be fought by the whole human kind.

“Tajikistan always adheres to the idea of deadly struggle against this evil”, said the president of Tajikistan.

[inspic=12,right,,150]The news about the assassination of Butto was accepted in Tajikistan as a great sorrow. People are talking about her all the day. It is the most discussed news in Tajikistan today. Here people know her as a beautiful and courageous woman who wanted a better future for her people.

Friday Photo: Skating Rink at the Central Square in Tselinograd
Written by , Friday, 28 Dec, 2007 – 11:03 | One Comment

The Republic Square in Astana (or the Central square of Tselinograd) has turned into a skating-rink. It has become a bright tradition, although a very young one — it’s only its second year.

 [inspic=64,left,fullscreen,thumb]

Faster Internet
Written by , Thursday, 27 Dec, 2007 – 11:48 | 2 Comments

State Agency for Informatization and Communications plans to impose new requirements on the Kazakhstani Internet Service Providers. The requirements refer to the minimal speed for a broadband connection – not less than 256 Kbps. This condition, according to the agency, corresponds to the basic standards of the International Telecommunication Union.

“We will insist that the increased speed should not lead to the increased price”, the state agency underscored.

Will the domestic providers do so — reduce the price two times and lose additional income they receive now from the use of diverse tariff bars, which are formed on the basis of different speed of access? If the government is going to be persistent enough, then the ISPs will have to make a concession. But, in order to compensate their losses, they most likely will abandon unlimited tariff plans.

Medical University totally burned (updated)
Written by , Wednesday, 26 Dec, 2007 – 14:08 | 13 Comments

The main building of Tajik State Medical University which graduates all of the doctors in the country is totally burned. This tragedy happened today in the afternoon. The main building of the university started burning at around 2 p.m. and firefighters could not put out the fire. The whole building with all its libraries, laboratories, archives and equipment was burning and no one could do anything. This is terrible. As usual, the fire safety was not observed. Earlier Regnum reported:

The fire trucks can not come closer to the burning building because of the metal fence and the firefighters can not reach the fire.

Because of the fence the work of 11 teams of firefighters was in vain.

Ravshan uploads pictures. Click on the picture.

Dangerous Places
Written by , Wednesday, 26 Dec, 2007 – 7:00 | 2 Comments

Translation of Marat’s post from the Russian-language blog 

I decided to analyze – where it is more dangerous to live in our country in the cities or in the rural areas? In order to do so, I reviewed the mortality caused by accidents, traumas and poisoning in 2005. As occured, the most dangerous places are Karaganda and Pavlodar oblasts, and also Almaty. The most safe havens are on the South – in Kyzyl-Orda, Jambyl and South-Kazakhstan regions.

Now let’s see where it is less dangerous – in the cities or in villages? According to the graphs, the safest place in Kazakhstan is an aul [village] in Kyzyl-Orda or South-Kazakhstan region, while the most hazardous places are in Pavlodar, Karaganda and Ust-Kamenogorsk. Thus, the stereotype of patriarchal rural idyl is quite well-grounded. Or maybe it is simply not taken into account in auls, and nobody cares about the reasons of death?

Tables and graphs are here (ru).

Students, stop driving cars!
Written by , Tuesday, 25 Dec, 2007 – 14:03 | No Comment

Today president Rahmon met with Tajik entrepreneurs (rus) in Kohi Vahdat and discussed with them their problems and future plans. As I was informed, this meeting lasted for about four hours. President attentively listened to the complaints and questions of the entrepreneurs after making a long speech about development of entrepreneurship in Tajikistan and the efforts made by the government to support this process. The eyewitnesses say that some of the complaints and questions were very serious and brave.

Obviously apart from the president and the entrepreneurs this meeting (forum) was attended by most of the ministers and all other high governmental officials. These officials had a hard time when president recalled that some of his orders are not properly executed.

Talking about the execution of orders president brought as an example the ban on driving cars by students. He emphasized that there are still some cases that this prohibition is still violated. “From now onwards the violators will be strictly punished right up to expulsion from the schools, – said Rahmon. – It is not a secret that most of such students are children of entrepreneurs. It would be better to have children of peasants from rural mountainous areas of the country”.

Debates over Latinization of Kazakh Language
Written by , Tuesday, 25 Dec, 2007 – 13:13 | 4 Comments

Kazakhstan intends to switch the state language to the Latin script. It was announced that the transition will take 12-15 years. As adam_kesher writes, the plan stirred many disputes and arguments – in particular, Russia and a part of Kazakhstan’s Russian-speaking population considers switching to Latin is an adverse move against them. However, the blogger is more favorable towards the prospect:

“It may allow for simplification of Kazakh grammar, reduce the number of letters, as well as ease up digitization of the language, making it more readable throughout the world, giving an educational raise within the country – providing that Russian language retains its status”.

But he points out two concerns: Firstly, the government’s calculation is very underestimated, obviously not taking into account scientific research, monitoring, control and translation of Kazakh and world literature classics into new Kazakh. Secondly – for some reason – the most unsuccessful Uzbek model was chosen for the transition. Read the full story »

Bottoms up?…!
Written by , Tuesday, 25 Dec, 2007 – 9:39 | No Comment

While the current focus of media sources is on the failed attempt at a democratic election in Uzbekistan, I am troubled by something else. In short-term, Karimov will cease his leadership through resignation or death. I don’t think too many people will disagree that it’s likely to happen in the next 6-10 years. However, by example of Turkmenistan, which has recently received very extensive coverage on Ferghana.ru, I am convinced that such an event would not solve any of Uzbekistan’s problems.

In fact, Uzbekistan is located in an area where Islamic extremism is brewing at a fast pace, and any weakening of podshoh’s (‘king’ in uzbek) power may lead to a civil war, which would get ugly very quickly. If we take for granted then that no steps will be taken towards democracy in Karimov’s new presidential term , should the focus be shifted away from the government’s loathsomeness into other aspects of Uzbekistan’s life that are much closer to people living there? Could the majority of Uzbeks be content living under despotic rule if their needs, such as access to food, healthcare, job opportunities, are satisfied?

The difficult part is that nobody knows if any of these areas can be developed successfully under an oppressive rule. However, I think that not messing in politics, at least, in the short-term, would be a smart choice for western NGO’s. For instance, the benefits that the Soros Foundation brought to Uzbekistan, sponsoring the Open Society Institute, were truly great, but it was forced into closure a few years ago, precisely due to its political involvement. Many young bright students benefited immensely from the debate program that was established by the OSI network, and now this opportunity is lost for the hundreds of others. The philosophical question here is whether we should focus on improving individual well-being, or on some values that we believe in (democracy, free speech, etc)? The practical one is, which battle should be fought now and which one should be left for later…

Crisis Has Gone?
Written by , Monday, 24 Dec, 2007 – 11:15 | 5 Comments

Mukhtar Ablyazov, Kazakhstan’s one-time energy minister and political prisoner, currently the chairman and principal owner of JSC Bank TuranAlem, country’s second-largest financial institution by assets, gave an interview to Bloomberg recently. He is planning to roll up investments from Armenia to Russia, despite the global reassessment of risk, triggered by concerns about subprime mortgage losses in the U.S.

“There is no crisis,” says the 44-year-old Ablyazov, although the inflow of cheap foreign lendings has dried down and S&P downgraded the Kazakh banks’ outlook to negative. “It is not pleasant,” Ablyazov says. “But I consider that some seven to eight months will pass, and we will cope with the situation.”

Ablyazov also remains optimistic about the country’s ability to weather the credit crunch. “Of course, we are disappointed a little because we had ambitious plans,” he says. “We have moderated our business and are getting down to work.”

Most commented posts in Kazakh
Written by , Sunday, 23 Dec, 2007 – 11:27 | One Comment

 This post is part of the crossblog survey 2007 in retrospect. You can also vote on the most important event of 2007 in our online poll. 

It’s high time to sum up the developments of the passing year and to start all over again in the New Year. Looking back, I see that we have had 136 posts on the Kazakh version – and 444 comments to them. Therefore, I decided to analyze the most commented posts on Kazakh blog of neweurasia. “Blog” and “new media” are the new terms for Kazakh language vocabulary – and the top posts are about blogging.

For example, “National Internet Award» is most commented post (18 replies). Readers were very active in showing their reaction to this competition. The main idea of this post was that an expert from Russia – who doesn’t’ understand Kazakh language – has had a privilege to choose the best Kazakh site. Interestingly, this problem was discussed only in new media, while mainstream media didn’t cover it at all. This post is a good example of a blog being an instrument. Here is \one of the comments:

Bakytnur: Somebody registered our site Massagan.com on Award.kz. I missed it, but it has won the 2nd place! Let’s celebrate it!

Read the full story »