22 October 1999
HOSTAGES COULD BE RELEASED IN TAJIKISTAN SOON.
Ambassador Tursunbai Bakir Uulu held a news conference in Bishkek on 22 October, at which he said that Tajik Minister of Emergencies Mirzo Ziyoev met in the Tajikabad region of Tajikistan that day with Juma Namangani, one of the leaders of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Release of the 5 hostages taken in Kyrgyzstan last August was discussed. According to Bakir Uulu, the hostages could be released any time either that day or during the weekend.
Tursunbai Bakir Uulu is a member of Kyrgyz parliament and chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights. He visited several foreign countries in September-October, meeting with the rebel leaders abroad. He announced in Bishkek on 20 October that the hostages would be released by the weekend. According to him, he had a phone conversation with Zubair Ibn Abdurrahim, one of the leaders of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, on 21 October and the latter promised him that the hostages would be released this week.
Kyrgyz Defense Minister Esen Topoev announced on 18 October that the all the rebels had left Kyrgyz territory for Tajikistan. First Deputy Minister of National Security Valeri Verchagin of Kyrgyzstan is responsible for cooperation with Tajik officials.
Also, Bakir Uulu announced in Bishkek on 22 October that Nuridin Temirov, who helped him during his mission abroad, is a Tajik citizen and works for the Iranian embassy in Bishkek.
There are 5 hostages now in the hands of the rebels - 5 Japanese geologists and their Kyrgyz interpreter. They were captured in the Batken district of Kyrgyzstan on 22 August. Several other people were also taken hostage on 22 and 24 August in Kyrgyzstan and some of them were released in September-October. The last 7 hostages were released by Tursunbai Bakir Uulu on 12 and 18 October. 26 Kyrgyz citizens have been killed during the rebel crisis since 22 August. 17 of them were servicemen and they were killed during the clashes with the rebels. The others were killed in other accidents.
HUMANITARIAN AID TO REFUGEES.
According to the government, 13-million-soms in humanitarian aid (about $315,000) for refugees in southern Kyrgyzstan has been sent, beginning in August, from different organizations in Kyrgyzstan and from abroad. About 3-million-som of this (about $75,000) has been collected in cash.
There were up to 8,000 refugees gathered near the town of Batken on different days of the crisis. They had to leave the villages occupied by the rebels. There are now about 140 refugees left in Batken.
NO RESULTS OF LOCAL ELECTIONS HELD LAST SUNDAY.
No results of the elections to village, town, district and city assemblies held on 17 October have yet been announced by the Central Election commission. According to the commission, re-elections will be held in some constituencies. The average turnout was about 66 percent. 11,652 candidates had contended for the 6,711 seats in the different level assemblies.
The coalition of non-governmental organizations announced in Bishkek on 22 October that there were some irregularities during the elections. For example, some people voted for their relatives, and the local election commission did not allow independent observers to take part in counting the votes. About 2,000 observers of the coalition attended 700 local voting points. About 120 non-governmental organizations of the country are united in the independent coalition.
INDUSTRY IS CONTINUING TO DECLINE.
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Esengul OmurAliyev announced at a meeting in Bishkek on 22 October that the industrial output of the country was in the first nine months of 1999 was 4.6 percent less then in the same period last year.
NEW HEAD OF CONGFRESS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.
According to the governmental press service, a meeting of the Congress of Local Governments was held in Bishkek on 22 October, and Meted Sadyrkulov, head of the presidential administration, was elected its new chairman. President Askar Akayev and Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev attended the meeting.
CELEBRATION OF THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE STATE LANGUAGE.
A festive meeting devoted to the 10th anniversary of the state language law was held in the State Philharmonic Society in Bishkek on 22 October. President Askar Akayev delivered a speech and decorated several scholars and officials with state awards.
According to the law passed in the old soviet parliament of the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialistic Republic on 22 September 1989, Kyrgyz is the state language in Kyrgyzstan. The state commission on state language announced in Bishkek on 20 August that it had worked out a new version of the law, and it would be given to parliament soon. According to the new version, only the Kyrgyz version of any official document would be considered as an original. Also, all official documentation should be shifted to Kyrgyz by 2005.
ONE MORE SOLDIER DIED.
According to local authorities in the Batken district, a soldier was killed in Batken during the night of 20 October. Investigations are underway. According to some unofficial reports, the soldier committed suicide. The other soldier died in Batken on 19 October. According to official reports, he had fallen from a rock. So far, 17 Kyrgyz soldiers have been killed in clashes with the rebels since 22 August, and an additional 5 soldiers have been killed in uncertain circumstances.
According to information from the Defense Ministry, governmental troops are being called from the southern regions and arebeing sent to their permanent places of dislocation. The reservists called up in August are returning home.
The presidential press service announced in Bishkek on 21 October that President Askar Akayev signed a special decree giving Defense Minister Esen Topoev the rank of Lieutenant General. He had been major general before. Topoev was appointed defense minister on 29 August.
RUSSIAN PAPER ON SITUATION IN KYRGYZSTAN.
The Moscow-based Kommersant-Daily published in its 20 October edition an article on the situation in southern Kyrgyzstan. According to the paper, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Russia have spent $15 million on military operations against the rebels in Kyrgyzstan. Expenditures of the rebels was $100,000. The rebels say they wanted the world to know about them and that they had won. After the end of the war, they will be releasing the hostages.
TWELVE PEOPLE DIED FROM POISONING.
First Vice Prime Minister Boris Silaev held an urgent meeting of the governmental anti-epidemic commission in Bishkek on 21 October. Urgent measures on medical help to people poisoned by mushrooms were discussed. It was announced at the meeting that 12 people have died in Bishkek-city and the Chu province in a week.
GERMAN MILITARY DELEGATION IN KYRGYZSTAN.
According to the governmental press service, Defense Minister Esen Topoev received in Bishkek on 21 October a German military delegation led by General Karl-Heinz Ferrer. Cooperation in the military sector between the two states was discussed. The two sides have considered the results of cooperation in last 5 years and future programs, and agreed to hold joint seminars both in Kyrgyzstan and Germany. It was announced at the meeting that Topoev would visit Germany next year.
RE-ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD IN SOME CONSTITUENCIES.
The Central Election Commission announced in Bishkek on 21 October that the Bishkek city election commission held an urgent meeting that day. It was confirmed at the meeting that elections in the 4 polling districts (held on 17 October) had been found invalid. According to law, re-elections should be held in 20 days. Also, re-elections will be held in some other constituencies of the country too. Last Sunday, elections to village, town and district assemblies were held. Results of the elections have not been announced yet.
AMENDMENTS TO THE TAX CODE PASSED.
The parliamentary press service announced in Bishkek on 21 October that the Legislative Assembly approved on 21 October 16 amendments to the Tax Code. Now, the amendments will be put into effect from 1 January 2000 if the other parliamentary house, the People's Assembly, approves it. There are about 80 clauses in the code.
The government had prepared about 50 amendments to the Tax Code, but only 14 out of them have been approved. Parliamentary committee chairman Daniyar Usenov told RFE/RL correspondent on 20 October that it was the 14th package of amendment prepared by the government in the last 2 years. At the same time, according to Usenov, the government does not work out other necessary documents. For example, Kyrgyzstan looses 200 million soms (about $5 million) every year because there is not a special agreement between Kyrgyzstan and Russia on avoiding double taxation.
The parliament approved the Tax Code, worked out by the government, in 1997 and it has been in effect since 1 January 1998.
REGIONAL TV STATION SUBORDINATED TO STATE TV.
The presidential press service announced in Bishkek on 20 October that President Askar Akayev signed a special decree on the Osh-3000 television station. According to the decree, it is to merge with the National TV and Radio Corporation and its president is to be appointed vice-president of the National Corporation. The Osh-3000 station was formed according to a special presidential decree earlier this year.