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March 27, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmonov has given instructions to local authorities to drop the Slavic "-ov" and "-ev" from the surnames of newborn babies, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported.
A statement from the presidential press service quotes Rakhmonov as saying Tajiks should use the traditional versions of their names as part of a return to national roots.
Today's announcement comes a week after Rakhmonov said he had decided to use the traditional version of his own name. Local media and the presidential website have already begun calling him Rakhmon.
It's unclear, however, if the Tajik leader has officially registered his new name with the justice authorities.
Today's presidential statement also said Rakhmonov has banned high school graduation parties because he is concerned about the "excessive luxury" of school festivities.
The president also ordered a ban on the use of cellular phones and private cars at high schools.
(with material from Asia-Plus, Interfax)