By Nick Megoran <nickmegoran@INFOTEL.KG>, 30 March 1999
You may be interested in the highlight of a recent speech by Daniyar Uconov in the Kyrgyzstani Jogorku Kengesh's debate behind closed doors about the border situation and relationships with neighbouring states. It was printed in the Acaba newspaper, 19-25 March edition.
His opinions about a 'fifth column' are somewhat alarming, and mirror comments made by Dooronbek Sadirbaev expressing his fear of the effects of immigration from neighbouring countries. Does anyone know of any responses made to this type of view by representatives of groups singled out in recent nationalistic speeches?
"This concern was raised 8 years ago - what are the people working in the security ministry doing, why do they get paid? Even if Akaev is not offended by Karimov's remarks, Kyrgyz people like me are. Why is he making fun of our president, what right does he have? This situation needs to be handled more firmly.
Every country has a "fifth column" problem, and I am especially talking about where one nationality lives concentrated together. For example, in Bishkek places like 'China Town' have appeared. Since the end of the Soviet Union and due to the Great Silk Road people from China have been coming, buying homes, opening tea rooms, getting married and having children. In twenty years this will be a great problem. There was a tradition amongst the Chinese that if a Chinese girl married a foreigner, the emperor summoned them. He raised the groom up into a minister or king, and he had to add his country to the Chinese empire. This happened a hundred years ago. We don't know what will happen tomorrow. Is this state politics?
I'm not opposed to the Uighurs at all. But their connections to Chinese state power are extremely unsettling. Nowadays men are coming from the villages without even a few tiyin to buy bread, and are marrying shameless women by asking them "Won't you bear children for me?" What will happen after fifty years? Will we be changed into Uighurstan? Of course, some people will accuse me of being a nationalist, but my own family is most international. My mother is Kazakh, one of my brother's wives is Russian and another is Komi.
Why does Uzbekistan shut off our gas supplies every other day? Why can't we shut off the water to Uzbekistan? How much of our land to we have to loose in order to be friends with Uzbekistan? Why is our relative Uzbekistan placing defensive barricades between Osh and Jalal-Abad? Why have they positioned a 12,000 strong paratroop brigade in Sovet-Abad? What is this, is it an indication of brotherhood? Why do people from Bazarkorgan have to take twisted routes in order to get to Suzzak? If it goes on like this, soon we'll be reduced to nothing else but riding around the mountains on horseback.
Our Kazakh relatives rob us too, squeezing everything they can get out of Kyrgyz travelling from Talas to Bishkek. Because we entered the World Trade Organisation, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have placed a 200% tariff on our goods. Every country has its own interests and its own path to follow, and if the political will to continue down that line is not sufficient then that country is not a country at all."
(note: this is not the full text)