Anorak | What News From Kyrgyzstan?

What News From Kyrgyzstan?

by | 8th, April 2010

COVERED widely by the media, the reports of the rioting in Kyrgyzstan yesterday vary widely in tone and content. But, even if you have to drill down into the piece, not even The Guardian can conceal the reason for the unrest, which has seen protestors beat a Cabinet minister to death.

“The violent rolling protests appeared to be largely spontaneous rather than a premeditated coup,” it says, eventually telling us that a “leading expert” has said the government had triggered the protests by imposing punitive increases on tariffs for water and gas. “In the last few months there has been growing anger over this non-political issue,” said Paul Quinn-Judge, central Asia project director of the International Crisis Group.

“The government thought they could get away with it,” he adds. “Most people agreed. But in the last few weeks we have seen several rumblings in the secondary towns and cities in Kyrgyzstan. There has also been a crisis inside government. Now it has all come together in one giant wreck.”

Even the BBC is forced to concede this point but, in fact, the problem has been grumbling for more than “a few weeks”. Unrest was reported by Radio Free Europe at the end of February, identifying the protestors as responding to the “electricity price hike”.

There is much more to it than that, as The Daily Mail indicates, but even on 23 February the Institute for War & Peace Reporting had Timur Toktonaliev in Bishkek writing : “Soaring energy costs anger Kyrgyz”, with prices for electricity having risen 100 percent and

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Posted: 8th, April 2010 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink