Ms Otunbayeva has been very polite lately. She has offered an apology to Latvia for nationalizing private companies in Kyrgyzstan, which were partially or wholly owned by Latvian shareholders among other foreign investors. She has then issued an apology to those at home. To those at home who faced either death or injury or emigration, to be specific. She has traveled to the devastated city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan where she apologized on behalf of the then interim government for “being unable to prevent and stop the massacre.” Read the full story »
There have been many cases when animosity forced ethnic minorities to leave or wish to do so. A similar trend has been observed in Kyrgyzstan, mainly in badly hit southern regions, since the bloody events termed an “interethnic clash” took place in June 2010. For some reason the “interethnic” conflict had disproportionately hurt ethnic Uzbeks, who are a minority group at the national level, but are actually a majority in Southern Kyrgyzstan. Despite the figures, they were the ones who suffered from an immeasurably higher death toll and loss of property. Maybe that is the reason why as many as about 40,000 ethnic Uzbeks fled their homeland since the June calamity. The absolute majority travels to Russia, where they apply for and obtain the Russian citizenship. Read the full story »
Apparently Ms Otunbayeva does not realize that riding two horses at a time is not that easy as it may seem when one watches a circus acrobat doing so. It not only takes many long hours of exhausting training, but also those horses do not have their own strategic reasons for letting one to stand on their backs.
But Bishkek is not mindful of that is trying to ride two horses named “Moscow” and “Washington”. One of the first steps the prime minister of a new kind—the top political figure kind after the political reforms that is—Almazbek Atambayev did was traveling to Moscow late December. His visit resulted in pledges to invest in the country, write off debts, and other concessions. Grateful Atambayev said back then that there was no way to avoid Russia’s role and impact because Kyrgyzstan was “bound to Russia geographically, historically and economically”. I apologize for the tautology: The peak of the I-like-Putin statements was naming a peak after the Russian PM. Meanwhile we have some of the MPs—they too of the new kind of MPs by the way—reminding us how important it is to maintain and improve ties with the Kremlin rather than with the White House on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
“History is made up of repetitions.” I personally don’t buy that. However, certain events make one re-think whether people living during following decades/centuries after a certain event have their own brains. The Nazi party won a landslide victory in the early 1930s after rallying about the German state’s unity and future (not immediate) prosperity for the Aryan race. Everyone else—the French, the British, the Jews, the Communists—were guilty in the lack of resources and low living standards in the poor post-Weimer Germany and they had to be exterminated, killed, driven out and enslaved.
The Russians have a saying: “Moscow wasn’t built at once”. Apparently the Kremlin is employing the same concept in its foreign policy in Kyrgyzstan. At least that is the impression one is left with observing how patiently Moscow has been crafting a government it is now happy with. It all started, as local observers argue, with the April 2010 events, which were “inspired” by the Kremlin following the “trick” ex-President Kurmanbek Bakiyev tried to play on Dmitriy Medvedev and Vladimir Putin. The trick mentioned is receiving money from the Russians for the Kambar Ata hydro-electric power station in exchange for terminating the contract with the U.S.-led anti-terror coalition’s base in Kyrgyzstan, which the Bakiyev administration insisted was not so. Read the full story »
It is funny how teachers in Kyrgyzstan do not see the real economic situation in the country and continue demanding to boost their salaries. Those who are supposed to be source of enlightenment and knowledge fail to evaluate the current budget’s limits. It is funny that teacher throughout (!) the country are posing the same demand. Or is it funny, and there is no invisible hand behind the educators’ rallies?
The rallies are popping up in various parts of the country like an avalanche trace. Bazar Korgon teachers were first to take to street demanding to increase their salaries up to 10,000 Kyrgyz soms (1 USD=47 KGS). The “contagious decease” then spread onto Naryn, which was coupled with a protest march of those unhappy with the state administration. The “avalanche” marched onto Issyk-Kul and then onto Talas, the home of the second “popular revolution”. Read the full story »
Kyrgyzstan is a signatory to numerous international and UN conventions on human rights and liberties. Hence the celebration of the International Human Rights Day on 10 December every year. Unfortunately, this year’s Day is exactly half-a-year “late”; maybe the inhumane atrocities in the south would not have happened if there was so much attention the issue is enjoying these days.
The state directorate for rebuilding Osh and Jalal-Abad reports that 30 damaged (!) houses in the south were not restored because “the owners were not present and were not included into the list of needy”… Of course, they had to be there and beg the directorate to include them! The directorate does not understand that if a house is demolished during the June riots, it has to be rebuilt because the directorate has received the international community’s money to do just that job! Given the fact that homes usually house 5-member families on average, Jantoro Satybaldiyev has deliberately left about 150 people (including elderly parents and young children and infants) out in the street just because “oh, sorry, I didn’t know you wanted your homes rebuilt—you were not there!”
Uzbek citizens have been showing interest in the fate of ethnic Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan. The latest occurrence was reported by BBC when a Bukhara-based human rights organization has raised the issue of orphan children who lost their parents during the massacre in Southern Kyrgyzstan. Fergana.RU reported earlier that a group of human rights activists staged several rallies in Tashkent in support of their ethnic Uzbek colleague in Kyrgyzstan who was sentenced to life imprisonment. Uzbek President Islam Karimov told the UN General Assembly in September that an international inquiry was to be carried out into the June events. These were so far proposals to take action. Before that, Uzbek prosecutors’ offices were reported to have launched criminal investigations into the atrocities against ethnic Uzbeks while refugees were still in Uzbekistan. A well-known Uzbek singer, who was quite popular in Kyrgyzstan as well, condemned “the extermination of Uzbeks” in a song she sang in July. Read the full story »
Somebody help me understand the logic in the Kyrgyz justice system’s actions. Another 17 ethnic Uzbeks were sentenced to life-long imprisonment by a rural court and two were sentenced to 25-year-old conviction for allegedly killing 16 people and destroying several vehicles. This is only a case in a number of cases where ethnic Uzbeks were imprisoned for life or for long periods for alleged killing of other citizens.
The logic that I am failing to understand here is the fact that Human Rights Watch highlighted police’s and army’s involvement in the June massacre and brutality power-wielders employed to put down the riot. Although HRW says Uzbeks started the skirmish, it was mainly the ethnic Uzbek section of the population of Kyrgyzstan that suffered most, according to foreign mass media. Why not investigate into these cases and see whether the mono-ethnic (yes, Kyrgyz ethnic) army and police have employed “disproportionate force” during the upheaval? On the other hand, Bakiyev-appointed Osh Mayor Melis Myrzakhmatov told Kommersant newspaper in August that “I know one thing: Uzbeks encroached upon the sovereignty of Kyrgyzstan. We have repulsed them.” Could somebody please ask how the repulsion was exercised and what were the consequences? Could someday please inquire whether the slaughtered women and elderly were encroaching on the Kyrgyz sovereignty as well? Could somebody please ask whether the orphaned children were part of the “separation” masterminds? Read the full story »
As of this morning, major operating system problems have been solved. There’s a hefty backlog of posts that need to go up, especially about the parliamentary election in Kyrgyzstan, not to mention new material, including a series from Annasoltan on blogging in Turkmenistan. It’s going to take a little while, but don’t worry, neweurasia‘s English site is indeed back!
Update (very early in the morning of 22.10.2010): The backlog is now complete. Hopefully next week we’ll run Annasoltan’s latest, as well as another photo-essay by Mary Beth Pole!