I’m Voting!

Translation of sadenova’s post (ENG) Egypt held a referendum last Friday. For many citizens, it was their first experience having a say in the fate of their country and the constitution it would adopt (not counting fighting in the streets, of course). The number of voters who turned up was so high that were neither enough ballot boxes nor ballots for everyone. An emergency run of 1.5 million ballots had to be printed. Our quasi-referendum/quasi-elections are taking place in two weeks. As usual, we will have a low turnout. Presidential candidate Mels Yeleusizov says it be about 20%. The Central…

K+ Channel Off the Air in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan

Translation of sabinareingold’s post (RUS) Cable provider Ala TV has temporarily stopped broadcasting the independent channel K+. Ala TV’s management claims this is the temporary result of technical upgrades; however, K+ employees are not surprised that they “face problems yet again.” When I telephoned Ala TV, director Vasilii Goncharov explained that the channel was unavailable due to technical improvements the company was imlementing at the moment. He also added that, in addition to K+, the channels Dom Kino (cinema) and Muzyka Pervogo (music) are also not being broadcast. “We are currently restructuring our equipment. There is construction going on, we’re…

Of Swans and Lawyers

Translation of Mashrab’s post (RUS) After the long-awaited snowfall, I took a walk down Broadway, or what used to be known as the Tashkent Broadway: a street full of people, artists displaying their paintings and cheerful cafes. Now all that’s left of it is… well, nothing. I was surprised to find, behind the Law Institute, a small pond with three – guess what – swans: two white ones and a black one. I spent a long time marveling at them and could not believe that there is a little sanctuary of nature like this one in the very heart of…

Russia and Kyrgyzstan Cautiously Cooperate

Translation of Kamilla’s post (RUS) In return for a 48% stake in Dastan Corporation (ammunition) and a 75% stake in Kyrgyzgaz, Russia will lift tariffs on fuels and lubricants and provide Kyrgyzstan with a loan of 30 million dollars. Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on 18 March. The result of the talks can be described as only partially positive. The lifting of tariffs on fuels and lubricants only affects a limited quantity of 605 thousand tons. “Depending on the rate of consumption, the quantity of fuels and lubricants [under the agreement] could be increased…

The Peculiarities of Tashkent Weather

Translation of Jamil’s post (RUS) Winter seems unable to accept the fact that Spring is here. After yesterday’s 30 C (!) today’s morning snowfall is further evidence of how unpredictable the weather is these days. Call it global warning, conspiracy (there are plenty of stories about how the superpowers can influence the weather in any part of the globe), or what have you, but no one predicted snowflakes on 15 March 2011. And still, weather forecast websites refuse to accept reality. The temperature is, apparently, 9-10 C and there is heavy rain…

Tajnet Users Hint at Revolutionary Potential

Translation of TajikVoice’s post (RUS) In light of recent revolutionary events in Arab countries, social networks have acquired an absolutely unique status, suddenly being thrust into the center of public attention. In response to the unrest, vigilant law enforcement agencies in Tajikistan have been keeping a close eye on the country’s politically active citizens. The main tendency over the last two months among Tajik Facebook and other social network users has been their extreme politicization. Practically any link, news item or commentary turns into a discussion of the Tajik government.

Controversy as Mutabar Tadjibaeva Rejects “Woman of Courage” Award

Translation of Abulfazal’s post (RUS) No sooner had Mutabar Tadjibaeva rejected her International Woman of Courage Award, which she was given by the US State Department in 2009, than comments started pouring in from all sides. To some extent, this was a PR move. Perhaps, Tadjibaeva rushed a little with her rejection of the award and thereby cut off some channels of influence that she may have had in US lobbies. However, this does not give anyone the right to condemn her as a “nationalist” or anything of that kind. This is my personal opinion.

Exclusive: Alpha Telecom Embezzlement Schemes Revealed

Translation of Mirbek’s post (RUS) Azamat Murzaliev: “The numbers [see below] are based on documented evidence obtained as part of the company’s internal audit. These figures may change should additional or new information come to light. […] At the moment, the company’s financial operations are being audited by Ernst & Young and separate audit for fraud is being carried out by the independent international company KPMG.” Alpha Telecom, it turns out, employed a number of embezzlement schemes: 1) Using front companies that would submit invoices for services they never performed, or using affiliated companies whose delivery of services has been…

Patriotism vs. Nationalism: Where does today’s youth draw the line – and does it?

Translation of Jamil’s post (RUS) A friend of a friend had some interesting wallpaper on his cell phone. After talking to him for a while, I realized that the young man was “sick” with nationalism in the worst sense of the word. When I asked him to forward me the picture he immediately asked, “Are you Uzbek?” After I answered affirmatively, he warned me that I was now responsible for always having the picture displayed on my screen and forwarding it to other Uzbeks. “We need to unite,” he said, “because our brothers have been killed by the Kyrgyz and…

Wikipedia Week in Kyrgyzstan

Translation of Mirbek’s post (RUS) Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan’s Information Program is announcing the start of a competition for Kyrgyz citizens to take part in its Wiki-Week. The purpose of the event is to advance and promote Wikipedia in Kyyrgyzstan by supporting youth and research groups that publish materials on the virtual encyclopedia.

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