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Kyrgyz Report: May 18, 1999


18 May 1999

GAS SUPPLY TO KYRGYZSTAN INTERRUPTED AGAIN.
Northern regions of the country, including some districts of Bishkek, are without natural gas as of 18 May. Deputy Director General of the Kyrgyzgas state company Toktosun AbduvAliyev told our correspondent in Bishkek on18 May that gas deliveries were cut by the Kazakh Intergas company near the village of Novo-Voznesenovka on the state border at about 7 p.m. the previous day. According to him, the debt of Kyrgyzgas to Intergas for gas transportation in 1997-1998 is $2.2 million. A Kyrgyzgas delegation left for Almaty for negotiations on 18 May.

NEW DEMONSTRATION PLANNED IN BISHKEK.
According to Ramazan Dyryldaev, Chairman of the Kyrgyz Commitee for Human Rights (KCHR), members of the commitee and their supporters will picket the parliament building in Bishkek again on 19 May They will demand the resignation of Minister of Justice Nelly Beishenalieva and re-registration of the KCHR with the Ministry of Justice.

About 400 people picketted the government building with the same demands in Bishkek on 12 May. After they met with the head of the government administration, Ratbek Eshmambetov, presidential adviser Askar Aitmatov and presidential administration department head Bolot Januzakov, a special conciliation commission was formed that includes representatives of the presidential and governmental administrations, the KCHR and the Ministry of Justice to review the committee's status. But, according to Dyryldaev, Minister Beishenalieva is still against registration of the KCHR.

The KCHR was founded in 1996 and registered with the Justice Ministry the same year. On 28 September 1998, the Ministry revoked the registration, saying there were some errors in the original registration documents. For the last six months, leaders of the KCHR tried unsuccessfully to re-register their commitee with the Justice Ministry. Then on 21 April, the Ministry registered another organization under the name "Kyrgyz Commitee for Human Rights." That organization is headed by Sardarbek Botaliev, Dyryldaev's former deputy, who was sacked in 1998 under suspicion of embezzlement.

Leaders of the five human rights organizations of Kyrgyzstan have sent a protest appeal to President Askar Akayev.

KYRGYZ SERVICEMEN IN THE US.
The Ministry of Defense announced in Bishkek on 18 May that a 15-member Kyrgyz delegation led by First Deputy Defense Minister General Ismail Isakov, has departed for the US. They will take part in military exercises being held in the state of Louisiana.

NEW CRIMINAL-PROCEDURE CODE PASSED.
The parliamentary press service announced in Bishkek on 18 May that the parliament's Legislative Assembly had passed a new Criminal-Procedure Code of Kyrgyzstan. It is based on the old Soviet- era code that has been in use for the past 30 years, with some 99 amendments.

DAY OF MUSEUMS.
Kyrgyzstan marks the International Day of Museums on 18 May. According to information from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, there are 39 museums in the country now and only 4 of them have receive governmental support. However, 7 Kyrgyz museums are members of the UNESCO International Council of Museums.

According to Ermek Abdukarimov, head of the cultural department in the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, about 500 people work at different state museums and more than 1,000 people at independent museums.

INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON DRUG TRAFFIC.
General Askarbek Mameev, Chairman of the State Commission on Drug Control, announced in Bishkek on 17 May that experts from the US, Russia, Turkey, Afghaniztan, Azerbaijan as well as from the five Central Asian States will take part in an international seminar on drug trafficking, which begins in Bishkek on 19 May. The theme of the seminar is �Great Silk Road and Combat Against Narcotic Business in Central Asia�. The state commissions of the five Central Asian countries will submit reports on the situations in their respective countries. President Askar Akayev and Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev will take part in the seminar, which is sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment.

According to Mameev, 3,299 drug-related crimes were registered in Kyrgyzstan in 1998 and 25 kg of heroin were seized. In the first 3 months of 1999, 879 drug related crimes were registered and 5 kg of heroin were seized. Also, General Mameev says there are 3,918 registered drug addicts in the country now, but the real figure is several times higher. There are about 6,000 hectares of land in Kyrgyzstan where wild hemp grows.

RUSSIAN MILITARY DELEGATION IN KYRGYZSTAN.
According to Colonel Mirbek Koilubayev, deputy head of the border guard directorate in the Defense Ministry, a Russian delegation led by Vice Admiral Yuri Kononov arrived in Bishkek on 17 May. Besides other items, the transfer of responsibility for guarding the state frontier between Kyrgyzstan and China from Russian military units to Kyrgyz border guards will be discussed. Kyrgyzstan announced earlier this year it would begin to guard the frontiers itself beginning 28 May 1999.

The Kyrgyz army will mark its 7th anniversary on 28 May. President Askar Akayev and Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev will take part in a special meeting marking the anniversary and President Akayev will deliver a speech at it.

NUMBER OF ARRESTED PEOPLE IS LESS THEN ANNOUNCED.
Ministry of National Security official Talant Razzakov told our correspondent in Bishkek on 17 May that 9 persons were detained in Bishkek on 1-3 May, not 12 people, as had been announced earlier. Razzakov confirmed that all the nine people are accused of preparing an attempt on President Askar Akayev�s life. According to Razzakov, they had a plan and several versions of their action. Also, the detainees have begun to plead guilty.

NEW APPOINTMENT.
The governmental press service announced in Bishkek on 17 May that Esentur Salykbayev has been appointed Director of the State Tax Inspection and First Deputy Finanse Minister. He had previously been head of the Bishkek city tax inspection. Former head of the State Tax Inspection Medet Sadyrkulov has been appointed head of the presidential administration.

SOM CONTINUES TO FALL.
The press service for the National Bank announced in Bishkek on 17 May that the rate of the som was 41.2 soms to $1 at the inter-bank market in Bishkek that day. In total, $448,000 were sold, of which the National Bank sold $225,000.

GOVERNMENTAL MEETING.
Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev held a governmental meeting in Bishkek on 15 May. Most of the proceedings took place behind closed doors. According to the governmental press service, implementation of some projects launched jointly with international financial organizations was discussed.

Minister of Agriculture Emil Uzakbaev told the meeting the project on sheep-breeding should be revised and re-structured. Prime Minister MurAliyev accused the Ministry of inactivity. MurAliyev asked the all regional governors and heads of governmental bodies to prepare reports on their activity within two weeks.

UNION OF ORIENTALISTS FOUNDED.
The founding conference of the Union of Kyrgyz Orientalists was held in Bishkek on 15 May. Chairman of the organization committee of the Union was Professor Avaz Atakhanov. Foreign Minister Muratbek ImanAliyev took part in the meeting.

KYRGYZ WRITERS TO CIS CONFERENCE.
The 3rd conference of CIS writers will be held in Moscow on 19 May. Chairman of the Writers Union of Kyrgyzstan, poet Nadyrbek Alymbekov and several members of his union will take part in it. There are currently four separate writers unions in Kyrgyzstan.

NEW PAPER BEGINS PUBLICATION.
The first issue of the new "Asia Nuru" (the Asian Beam) was released in Bishkek on 15 May. It is the organ of the Writers Union, led by Nadyrbek Alymbekov, and chief editor of the paper is Shaidulla Mamatjanov. Prominent Kyrgyz writer Tchingiz Aitmatov is a member of the Editorial Council. According to the editorial board, the paper will be printed in Kyrgyz, Russian and Uzbek soon.

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