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24 April 2005 -- Today two anniversaries were marked in Kyrgyzstan -- one month since crowds of demonstrators chased President Askar Akaev from power and the 16th anniversary of one of Kyrgyzstan's oldest opposition groups.
Interim government officials joined representatives of various opposition political parties and movements and non-governmental organizations at the Akkula arena in Bishkek.
Besides marking one month since Akaev fled the country, those gathered marked the 16th anniversary of Ashar, the first anti-communist movement in the then Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic.
The leader of the Erkindik party, Topchubek Turgunaliev called the coincidence of the two anniversaries symbolic.
"This is symbolic that we are celebrating (the 16th anniversary of the Ashar movement) under these conditions, the epoch of freedom, and it coincides with marking (the first month after) the March 24th people's revolution," said Turgunaliev.
Many of the opposition leaders who played a prominent role in the events in Kyrgyzstan last month were present at today's ceremony.
Protests broke out in Kyrgyzstan over parliamentary elections that many, including international monitors, deemed unfair. Demonstrations spread across the country at the start of March, culminating in the storming of the government building in Bishkek on 24 March.