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Kazakh Report: April 30, 2002


30 April 2002

KAZAKH PRESIDENT MEETS WITH VISITING ISLAMIC SCHOLARS
President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with a visiting delegation of Islamic Scholars from Jordan in Astana on April 30. Nazarbayev told the guests that during the 10 years since Kazakhstan became independent, the country has managed to revive "fruitful and traditional ties" with all the world's Islamic countries. He noted that Kazakhstan is a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and has economic and political relations with leading countries of the Islamic world. Nazarbayev was reportedly granted a diploma as an Honorable Member of Islamic Sciences Academy.

RESULTS OF 'ORDER' OPERATION ANNOUNCED
Kazakhstan's Ministry of Interior Affairs has announced the results of a special operation called "Order" that began one week ago. During the course of the operation police confiscated over 270 illegal guns and arms and detained dozens of illegal immigrants from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Sri-Lanka, all of whom are expected to be deported to their native countries. Investigations are under way.

ALMATY BUSINESSMEN ACCUSE LOCAL FINANCIAL POLICE OF PRESSURING SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES
At a meeting in Almaty on 30 April, businessmen from Almaty and Almaty Oblast who belong to the Association of Small and Medium Businesses openly criticized local financial police for creating obstacles to the normal development of their businesses. By trying to get bribes from owners of small and medium businesses, the financial police violate Kazakhstan's law on support of small and medium businesses, said Talghat Akuov, the leader of the Association of Small and Medium Businesses. Akuov added that if situation does not improve, local businessmen will be forced to operate illegally within the "shadow economy."

'ZHELTOQSAN' MOVEMENT LAMBASTS KAZAKH COMMUNIST LEADER
Leaders of the "Zheltoqsan" movement which unites veterans of the Kazakh Youth Uprising in Alma Ata in December 1986 held a press conference on 30 April at which they told journalists they have sent open letters to President Nazarbayev, the Kazakh Cabinet and Kazakh Justice Ministry criticizing Serikbolsyn Abdildin, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, for his recent statement about the uprising.

Abdildin claimed that the mass protests by young Kazakhs in December 1986 were organized by Dinmukhammed Kunayev. The protests were triggered by CPSU General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev's decision to fire Kunayev and appoint in his place an ethnic Russian, Gennadii Kolbin, and ended in bloodshed when special troops used force to try to disperse the protesters.

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