Voices from Kyrgyzstan.Year 2006. Afterthoughts

Kyrgyzstan is celebrating the end of 2006. The year that brought more shocks and upheavals and proved that once being shaken the country can hardly gain stability overnight. Kyrgyz bloggers and bloggers writing about Kyrgyzstan in the last 2 weeks have been sharing their views about 2006 and were looking ahead into 2007. Edil Baysalov says that 2006 can be characterized as a year of compromises. He writes: “The main result of 2006 is the development of our political culture. We are witnessing the turn of Kyrgyz people into a mature and free democratic nation. In 2006 we have reached…

Moscow Calling Ashgabat

Unsurprisingly, Russia is the first international actor to shift its gears into engaging with the new Turkmen elite. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday conveyed the interim President Kurbanguly Berdymuhammedov his best wishes for the New Year. According to a Kremlin press release, Putin noted that: “Russia has always been and will always be friend to your country.” < …> “We note with satisfaction that in these days, the people of Turkmenistan are going through this difficult phase with great dignity. The passing of a president who has led his country for so long is a challenging moment for any…

Niyazov on Film

Now slightly out of date, but nonethless worth the watch for the fascinating footage if nothing else. This Russian-language report (in two separate videos) on Niyazov is from Gazprom-owned television station NTV:

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Having evicted U.S. troops last year, Uzbekistan is going to have a substitute. Russia has secured permission for its military aircraft to use an air base in Uzbekistan, as part of Moscow’s efforts to extend its presence in Central Asia. The first step in achieving that goal was making Uzbekistan rejoin Collective Security Agreement Organization. Uzbek government has not rushed to make that important decision, but pressure from Moscow finally made them give up. Lt. Gen. Aitech Bizhev, a deputy chief of the Russian air force, as saying that the two nations agreed last month that Russian military aircraft could…

Voices from Kazakhstan Speak about Future

Joining the English-language carnival of posts on Central Asia in 15 years, 5 authors on Russian-language neweurasia Kazakhstan came up with their visions – creative, fantastic or serious – of Kazakhstan in the future. Read on for the summary of the posts by Adam, Marat , Ksenia, Slavoraya, and Vitaly. Almaty Mariott, to be completed in 2007 Adam Kesher. 2021: An Eternal Land of Hopes. “2021. I am a free citizen of a free country, looking back at my homeland and seeing that nothing had changed. It is still a land of hopes. When I was a Soviet child, it…

Controversial opinions

While I was surfing the internet desperately trying to find more information about the intolerant sanctions of the new governor Akhmadjan Usmanoiv in Andijan province of Uzbekistan, I came across with two controversial articles. The first one is on Fergana.ru and illustrates the reaction of Andijani dwellers to the sanctions of the new governor. Here is one of them given in the article: “I always pray five times a day,” an elderly woman said. “Abandoning the namaz [prayer] because of my work, that’ll certainly be a sin. If I keep praying, however, it may cost me my job. To tell…

Weak Constitution

The final flickers of hope for anybody expecting that Kurbanguly Berdymuhammedov’s interim succession would signal a shift to openness and democracy will be concerned by his latest efforts to install himself in late Saparmurat Niyazov’s place. David Holley in the Los Angeles Times reports on the amendments the interim has effected already to ensure that he becomes leader: The country’s supreme legislative body, the 2,507-member People’s Council, or Khalk Maslahty, revised the constitution to allow acting President Kurbanguly Berdymuhammedov to run in the presidential election. Before it was amended, the constitution barred the acting president from being a candidate. At…

New governor, new rules in Andijan

Recently I came across the news that the Uzbek authorities have introduced new restrictions on Islamic practices in Andijan province. This is sad news because the restrictions will definitely fuel anti-government sentiment among believers. Despite this, few believers are ready to protest against the new rules. Ahmadjan Usmanov, the newly appointed governor of Andijan province, has introduced a number of decrees restricting Islamic practices in the province. All Andijan restaurants and cafes are now required to serve alcohol, while traditional Islamic calls to prayer will be banned in mosques throughout Andijan province. In addition, theologians and Islamic clerics are forbidden…

Earthquake in Kyrgyzstan

Today, early in the morning at about 2:00, I was suddenly awakened by the noise of falling CD cases from the shelf. My bed shook, the roof and windows were clattering. It lasted only for couple of seconds. It was over so fast that I couldn’t realize what was happening and went on sleeping. Only in the morning did I found that it was a 4.0 by Richter’s scale earthquake. As Akipress.kg reports, The earthquake’s epicenter was in Tersekei – Ala Too mountains close to the border of Yssyk Kul and Naryn oblasts, in 140 km away to the south-west…

Splitter Wing of Tajikistan

Presidium of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan (DPT) dismissed Chairman Masud Sobirov on December 24 and appointed his deputy Saidjafar Ismonov as acting head. Speaking to journalists yesterday, Mr. Ismonov said Masud Sobirov was dismissed because of his intention to reunite with another wing of the party, led by Rahmatullo Valiev. “He [Masud Sobirov] was not authorized to make such a decision without the approval of the party presidium,” said Mr. Ismonov. “Such issues should be discussed by all members of the party”. Members of the presidium were also disappointed with Masud Sobirov’s inefficient leadership. They told journalists that Mr.…

Tajikistan 15 Years From Now: A Less Optimistic Opinion

Editor’s Note: What follows is part of a cross-blog survey that explores what Central Eurasia might look like fifteen years from now. In his most recent post, Vadim predicts a bright future for Tajikistan 15 years from now. While I also have optimistic expectations of the country’s prospects, I believe we will inevitably face more negative developments in a decade. The bad thing about corruption is that it has a long-lasting effect. I am confident that we will not be able to create working mechanisms to fight corruption even in a decade. The longer people live in the atmosphere of…

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