40 days of mourning end – Situation in Bishkek still calm
Kyrgyzstan, Politics and Society, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan2 Comments
The period of 40 days of mourning for the victims of the revolution has just passed. Throughout the last few weeks, rumors about the things that would follow worried the locals in Bishkek. As I wrote before many businesses took all goods out of their shops, shopping centers errected barricades against new looting attempts and citizen patrols were revitalized.
Yesterday, we witnessed a large demonstration of the “Youth of Kyrgyzstan” in the city center. With an average age of less than 25 years, Kyrgyzstan has a huge share of young people on total population. As the young are becoming more and more self-conscious, they demand to be included in the current political decision-making processes, constitution writing and future government structures. Their activities have already shown some succcess, as a special ministry for youth was established a few days ago. The demonstration yesterday was very peaceful and will likely contribute to further stregthening the position of the Kyrgyz youth.
Also on the weekend, around one hundred people suddenly gathered on Ala-Too Square infront of the national history museum in order to demoslish the Erkindik (Freedom) statue. They brought a crane to push the staute from its foundation. But the police together with citizen patrols arrived on the scene quickly to prevent harm. The people that tried to demolish the statue said to be representatives of the Ak Shumkar Kut and Manas Eli movements, stating that according to certain Kyrgyz traditions and legends, women are not allowed to carry the top-part of the Yurt, which serves as a window for sunlight. Here’s a picture taken from the Ala Too webcam:
The atmosphere in the city today is a bit strange. People walk and work on the streets normally, but they mostly pass closed shops and businesses. Expecting further rallies and potentially riots, many businesses decided not to open today. Also, there are fewer kids around. Again, there are some demonstrations or auto corsos announced, the first being an auto corso of the Patriot movement. Other than that the situation seems remarkably calm. But it’s a somewhat strange calmness…