In the heart of Central Asia we are watching with solidarity as events unfold in the Middle East. The “people power” that the world witnessed in Tunisia and Egypt reminds us in Kyrgyzstan of our own victory last year against a corrupt dictator. Nothing can be more moving than to see humans celebrate their freedom. There are many skeptics and cynics who warn against popular revolutions, citing the violence and instability that they unleash, and the unpredictable consequences. There are those who dismiss national uprisings as shows set up by foreign governments, international media and terrorist groups – claiming that millions of people are all on hallucinogenic drugs.… Seguir leyendo »
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Last week Roza Otunbayeva led a group in Kyrgyzstan that ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev from power after protesters stormed the president’s offices; at least 84 people were killed. Newsweek-Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth reached Otunbayeva by phone to discuss the current situation. Excerpts:
What actually caused the outbreak of violence last week?
A number of reasons. There was a lot of corruption, and then in terms of transparency, Kyrgyzstan is 166th out of 180 countries. We are a country with such a low quality of life. But since January 1, President Bakiyev and his government started to raise the price for utilities — for electricity, for hot water, for mobile companies, for water for agricultural needs, [and his government also increased] taxes on real estate.… Seguir leyendo »