(Astana, April 3 irna-itar-tass-acsna)
Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan leaves for Israel on monday for an official visit which will continue till April 5, an official in the presidential press service has told itar-tass.
The press service official said Nazarbayev is to hold talks with the President and Prime Minister of Israel. Besides, he is planning to hold a series of meetings with members of the israeli business and financial communities.
ALMATY, April 1
The Japanese government has recently decided to give Kazakhstan a yen loan, with easy terms, in an attempt to rehabilitate the extremely bad motorways in western Kazakhstan.
The Japanese Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Mitsuhashi Hidekata, and the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, Yerlan Idrisov, signed corresponding documents in Almaty on April 1. The total loan is 16.539 billion yen, approximately US$143 million. This is Japan�s fourth loan to Kazakhstan.
It is worth noting that the Kazakhstan government included this project in its list of priority investment programs in 1996.
Trailer with radioactive containers expelled to Kazakhstan
Tashkent, April 2
Ten lead containers with a size of 70x40x25 centimeters and radioactive substances inside were stopped on the uzbek-kazakh border by the uzbek customs officers and the national security service. The containers were carried by an iranian-made trailer.
The cargo was on its way from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan for further shipment to Pakistan via Turkmenistan and Iran. its destination point was the pakistani town of Quetta, and the consignee was the Ahmad Khan Haji Mohammad company, uzbek official sources, among them chairman of the state customs committee major-general Saidazim Oripov, told itar-tass on Sunday.
The trailer was stopped at the Gisht Kuprik customs post of the uzbek-kazakh border, 20 kilometers away from Tashkent, two days ago. its driver was a national of Iran, Ali Rakhman Najab. the customs declaration described the cargo as stainless metal scrap, and the driver had a certificate of the South Kazakhstan Sanitary
Epidemiological Inspection saying that the cargo was not radioactive. Still, experts of the Uzbek Ministry for Civil Defense and Emergencies noticed that the cargo�s gamma emission exceeded the norm by 100 times.
A staffer of the Kazakh Embassy in Uzbekistan was invited to the place.
On Saturday evening the trailer was expelled from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan, bearing in mind the danger.
ALMATY, March 31 (THE GLOBE)
Last Friday, the former deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection announced the creation of the confederation of non-governmental organisations (CNGO),which was is to be headed by her.
�The new association is intended to lobby for the interests of public organisations,� Valentina Sivryukova said.
According to Sivryukova, the confederation whose constituent conference was held on March 30 will participate in forming the national social policy and deal with problems in the sphere of healthcare, education, culture and social protection.
Founders of the CNOG, which for the time being has not been registered yet, include about 20 public amalgamations.
At the initial phase of its activities, the CNGO plans to introduce a section of public organisations to the law �On social partnership�, and to include the law �On state order� into the bill plan for 2001, as well as to work out and propose a bill �On non-governmental organisations.�
In the CNGO head�s opinion, publicity of NGO�s activities by media should become much more standard procedure, and not only circulated or publicised by organisations themselves.
�There is the state order for informational services in the country, but it does not cover the public sector. This is a problem of national relevance, and I do not think it is easy to settle the problem. But we should try to be included in national procedures. Then we could show there are real public organisations, which do what the state does not do regarding many social issues,� she emphasised.
Mrs. Sivryukova added �for the period when he had worked at the state service, she had understood that ideas submitted to the Parliament or the government by public organisations were being ignored. Hence we will play the role of a servicing structure realising these ideas.�
�The authorities have no idea of activities of the public sector, that is why we need to inform civil servants of activities of non-governmental organisations,� she said.
The CNGO head thinks that national social policy should be based on ideas and experience of public organisations.
�Otherwise the authorities will always make mistakes and will not do what society needs,� Valentina Sivryukova concluded.
ALMATY, April 3
On Monday in Almaty the Internet newspaper Navigator presented �a political portrait� of the ASaP President, Bakhytzhamal Bekturganova. That was a continuation of the �Politicians on the Internet Project�.
Bakhytzhamal Bekturganova claimed that the goings on in Ust-Kamenogorsk had been falsified by the Kazakhstan authorities, and the that issue of Kazakhstan�s joining the Russian-Belarus union complex. On the one hand, according to Mrs. Bekturganova, any integration in the Eurasian space could have many positive results. On the other hand, there are at present several questions hanging over the mutual policies of the three states.
In Mrs. Bekturganova�s opinion, there is no threat of Islamisation in Kazakhstan, as people of the country are not still devoted to a single religion. The Ecclesiastical Department of the country has no authority among the population. It is mainly the youth movement that is prone to Islamisation.
Of Kazakhstan�s opposition members she sympathizes with the Pokolenye leader Irina Savostina most of all and does not understand political position of the Azamat co-chairman Pyotr Svoik.
Mrs. Bekturganova considers main political malefactors to be Serik Burkitbayev, Altynbek Sarsenbayev and Krymbek Kusherbayev. In her opinion, there are no good politicians in Kazakhstan.
According to the newspaper�s editor-in-chief Yuryi Mizinov, the next heroes of �Politicians on the Internet� will be Sergei Tereschenko, Akezhan Kazhegeldin and Serikbolsyn Abdildin. All of them have already agreed to answer readers� questions sent to the Internet newspaper editorial staff by e-mail and to take part in a phone-in.
As far as the disgraced RPPK leader, Mr. Kazhegeldin is concerned, a virtual meeting will be organized with him. A set of questions has been prepared for him. Possibly, next week a direct dialogue between him and moderator will be held.
A woman from Aralsk (Kzylorda oblast), Ainagul Bakhyt died under mysterious circumstances. Almost a month before she died, she came to Almaty and gave an interview to radio Azattyk, where she spoke of the lives of citizens from the long-suffering Aral Sea region.
At the ambulance station where she had worked, salary had not been paid for 7 months. Moreover, since New Year the ambulance service had ceased to be a state enterprise and became self-supporting. Now those who use ambulance services must pay for the call from their own pocket. Where can the local population find money, when many of them do not work at all, and employed people do not receive their salary for several months?
Fatalities have become common, as people, not having a single tiyn to their name no longer try to call an ambulance for help. A short time later the ambulance station was closed, as nobody could afford to use its services.
All this, as well as inhumane living conditions in Aralsk drove former ambulance workers to hold a meeting before New Year�s Eve. Representatives of the oblast Akimat came to the meeting. Driven to despair medical workers expressed their resentment with the situation, including with the fact that salaries had not been paid for over a half a year and that there was only one ambulance with 10 litres of petrol per day in Aralsk, a town with a population of 40,000.
Medics went to the town square and held a demonstration. One of such activists was Ainagul: �For 7 months we have not received any money, our situation is worsening. The last straw was when one day my younger son asked for bread, yet there was nothing at home. I went to the neighbour to ask for food, but they also did not have anything.�
Some days later, three policemen arrested Ainagul in the street, beat her and took her to the police station. �The police sergeant, Suiegen Tolegenov, almost dragged me to the station. He, along with his driver, Muratbek Yesenbayev, kicked my stomach, pulled me up by my hair and beat my head upon the floor. �People like you should be hanged,� they said. Then Naizabek Mynzhasarov, a traffic policeman, joined them, and he kicked my kidneys. They demanded that I give them the videocassette from our meeting.�
Having come to Almaty, Ainagul visited Azattyk radio�s local office. She talked about everyday life in the Aral region for about 2 hours. The most moving story of all was perhaps the story of a woman, bringing up a child alone, who died from hunger: �Rakhmanova was taken to the regional hospital from the village of Sekseul. She died on December 23. She had not eaten anything for about 10 days. She lived alone with the child but had not received any grants for a long time, and she had not been given aid from anyone. Her child, who was lucky to survive, was 18 months old, but he weighted only 3 kilograms, even as a new-born child.�
After the interview on February 22, SolDat newspaper published an article called �Hunger and violence in Aralsk�. The article mentioned the names of the three policemen who had beaten the woman. Several complaints were sent to heads of the regional and oblast Akimats, the local court, the Office of Public Prosecutor and police and hundreds of copies of the newspaper flooded into the Aral district. Subsequently, the local authority forbade the selling and distribution of the newspaper and any photocopies of the paper.
According to neighbours, on March 7, approximately at 9 to 10 p.m. four unidentified men took Ainagul out of the house. Later she was found brutally murdered. Her husband was then arrested on suspicion of murder and the police announced that he had testified and confessed to the crime.
But neighbours state they saw four men coming out of Ainagul�s house on the same day. The local population thinks police concerned in the murder yet the situation is very difficult. It is even more difficult to discover the truth under these circumstances. In our society, where Akimats, police departments, courts and the Office of Public Prosecutor are closely connected and subordinate to each other, it is not easy to find the truth.
The Office of General Prosecutor has not yet responded to our letter. Ainagul�s parents are trying to find the people guilty of their daughter�s death. She was a mother of 4 children, the eldest child being 17 and the youngest being 3.
THE GLOBE based on materials from Radio Azattyk
(the Kazakh Service of Radio Liberty)
(Translated from Kazakh by THE GLOBE, full text)
Recently the author visited one of the distant villages of the Eastern Kazakhstan oblast. The conditions there immediately compelled me to write an article describing the lives of the local rural residents at present.
Despite persistent economic problems, the village I visited is considered comparatively well off in comparison with neighbouring auls. Not far from where I stood were other villages where there is no drinking water and where the land is too poor for agriculture. Water has disappeared after constant power cuts, during which water pumping stations do not work, so say the local citizens.
There are almost no Russians in the village. They all left in the early 1990s, for the Russian oblast of Ryazan.
The indigenous population has also begun to move closer to larger urban settlements. Today every rural resident would agree to exchange his home for a place in the suburbs.
Two or three years ago a German lived in the village. Whilst the Russians are all eager to move to Russia and the Kazakhs keen to move to the suburbs, the only German in the village has stayed in Kazakhstan and moved to a neighbouring village, where his Kazakh wife�s relatives live.
Only teachers and pensioners have any money in the village. That is why local merchants trust only them. Every teacher can shop on credit in the local market.
At the end of month every teacher has a long list of debts. The length of the list depends on delay of the salary. Local merchants are the first to know when teachers will receive their salaries and they wait for the teachers at the school gates.
Not everyone can shop with cash. Some people pay with flour, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil.
A lot of people can neither pay with money, nor do they have any products to exchange. These people are then forced to work for merchants. Some people work for their neighbours for whole day just to keep themselves and their families.
A significant part of village�s unemployment is youth. Most young men finish school and try to sign up for the army. But this provides only temporary relief, giving them work for only two years. Then they come back to the village and reinforce the swelling ranks of the unemployed.
There are some who have recently returned from a reformatory. They surround themselves with people with close �notions� and send parcels to those who have not yet been released.
The only district police officer, who is the only one employed to fight these gangs, has been promoted to Captain, bought a car and extended his lease from 1 to 1.5 years. As most people do not have money, he, like other decision-makers in the village, �has to� take bribes in the form of goods. Citizens say the district militia officer will not stay in the village for long, and he will certainly not live in the village until he retires on pension.
ALMATY, April 3 (Akela-group)
At the end of March, two events happened in Almaty. These events were unexpectedly and surprisingly connected with each other. One event was an attack by hooligans on the flats of three members of the opposition during the evening of March 30, a day before a sanctioned meeting of Kazhegeldin�s party. The second event was the International conference �Special Education and Social Support of handicapped children and teenagers. Interaction of state and public structures.� (Almaty, March 29 to 31).
In particular at the conference, scientists emphasised �comprehension in teaching was traditionally from the point of view of the teacher or author of a written text: what and how it was said and written. This aspect is important, but it is not the text� what determines the result is what a pupil understands and how the perceived text affects him.�
We think that like retarded children, Astana officials do not understand texts, including those of the media and does not make any conclusions from them. A scandalous example is an absence of any governmental response to publicised attacks on opposition members.
Negative estimations of the President, the government and the country by both the population and the world surrounding Kazakhstan are so great, that this has pushed us to present a short introduction text reading methods, using as examples the above-mentioned media publications and using the help of Karl Karlep, Professor at Tartus University (Estonia), who delivered a lecture at the conference. Will this help anybody?
The Estonian scientist talked about strategies applied by an experienced man while trying to understand a text. We will present his key thoughts. We are feel that this will be of interest to all readers of THE GLOBE.
Professor Karl Karlep states
�In meaningful perception of the text, people look for its meaning, Professor Karlep says. Understanding of text�s meaning is primary in sensory formation. In its own turn, understanding depends on the knowledge of the individual who is interpreting the text, on his knowledge of language� and perceiving strategies.�
�Understanding an associated text means to touch on the meaning of separate sentences and to connect them with knowledge, from memory, including to fill in meaningful gaps� The result of understanding of texts is construction of their interpretations� To this purpose, certain people rely (selectively) on some strategies,� Karl Karlep states.
We will consider the application of reading strategies using texts attacking opposition members in the media.
Attacks on opposition members and use of text reading strategies
Here is a summary of events (Panorama, March 31): �On March 30, a RPPK meeting sanctioned by the authorities was held in an extremely tense atmosphere� A day before the meeting RPPK spokesmen expressed their fear of possible repraisals and promised to act using on legal methods. However, reality exceeded even the most negative expectations. The deputy chairman of the party�s Executive Committee, Amirzhan KOSANOV, who was late to the meeting announced he had been �threatened� the previous night. According to Mr. Kosanov, his window had had a stone thrown through it, the door of his flat was concreted over, unidentified intruders had written inscriptions with a permanent marker in the entrance; telephones were cut off in the flat. Similar vandalism had happened to other opposition members: Nurbulat Masanov and the Orleu leader Seidakhmet KUTTYKADAM.�
�Despite minor differences, all three incidents were similar,� THE GLOBE (#24(442), March 30) emphasises.
Let�s apply to the text reading strategies, mentioned by the Estonian Professor in his article. Let�s try to show how the authorities could have and should have interpreted these texts. Out interpretation of each of the above-mentioned strategies is conventional enough. However conclusions are subjective, so judge for yourself.
Strategy # 1: �Actualisation of ready schemes and building of schemes according to analogous patterns to interpret the text or to bring to the text elements to a more common meaning.�
On the whole, the Kazakhstani opposition, in particular the RPPK, the authorities� obvious opponents, was attacked once again. The style is the same. Similar events happen in neighbouring countries.
Strategy # 2: �Coding of the text into the system of basic conceptions (propositions). In fact, this process is full understanding of sentences.�
Here democratic principles are being infringed again. On the whole, it is bad for the investment climate and it is a sign for all citizens of the country (it is you, gentlemen in Astana, who have to decide which way to turn: either to frighten or form a negative opinion of yourselves).
Strategy # 3: �Strategy of local coherency: matching of content of several coherent sentences.�
Here, maybe, there is the organiser, the same for all attacks. Somebody decided all of this would happen. Surnames � Masanov, Kosanov and Kuttykadam are all from the same company, all of them are from the same opposition wing.
Strategy # 4: �Drawing conclusions on text information, including meaningful gaps.�
Who organised this vandalism? The authorities, or maybe, RPPK members themselves? Remember the KGB methods and education of Kazhegeldin: strange attacks against him, and his newspaper �21st century�. All this happened on the eve of Madeline Albright�s visit. On the other hand, remember the beating of some opposition members, mainly Russians, for example, the parliamentarian Chernyshov. Or attacks on Svoik and his wife in a Bishkek hotel in January 1997. Then, Human Rights Watch blamed President Nazarbayev personally. To be objective, at that time the President was cooperative and said: we protect our citizens not only in Kazakhstan, but also abroad.
However, methods of attacking the opposition in Kazakhstan are always very similar.
Strategy # 5: �Concrete definition, filling of the generalised scheme with concrete elements.�
We have to read texts again. THE GLOBE writes that Masanov mentioned the fact: he was called in the night, it was voice of �an adult with a Kazakh accent.� There may be a lot of concrete examples, they need to read texts once again.
Strategy # 6: � Visual coding � building a spatial scheme or an icon picture.�
Victims, participants of the events live in different parts of the city. How much does it cost to organise this? THE GLOBE points out that the police have not responded yet.
Strategy # 7: �Macro-strategy � imagining the full content of the text: deleting insignificant information and building generalised conceptions (propositions) and schemes.�
Here attacks to obvious opponents of the regime and infringement of the key principles of democracy are evident. For people to whom this is beneficial, it is not clear who organised this. Another quotation from Panorama: �Why this incident happened to three members of opposition cannot be rationally estimated, as it is not clear, why the authorities applied such severe methods to intimidate the opposition, which could gather an extremely limited number of people, and far less than projected 600 to 800 participants of the RPPK meeting came?�
Further : �If wanted, the authorities could have just fixed weakness of the opposition that brought maximum 200 to 250 its supporters but instead of that it got another unpleasant scandal.�
Strategy # 8: �Creating a model of the situation � combination of text�s content with knowledge from memory.�
Again here, we have numerous violations of the law directed against opposition members. Let�s remember again the arson attack on the office of Yevgeny Zhovtis, a famous barrister well known in the West. The attack happened on the eve of Albright�s visit. Again Kazhegeldin�s KGB style.
Strategy # 9: �Determination of pragmatic meaning of text elements.�
This is main thing for the authorities. The president of the country or at least Prime Minister must speak with their own texts: to clarify, direct personally the Ministry of Internal Affairs, etc. Moreover, Mr. Tokaev announced himself as a politician, and politicians do not keep silent. They must act immediately and respond in person quickly, preferably on TV.
The Estonian Professor Mr. Karl Karlep writes �as a rule, pupils with special needs (so the author delicately calls retarded children and teenagers) barley understand these strategies, and their formation is non-systematic.�
It seems to us that President and Prime Minister�s advisors in Astana cannot read texts, cannot make conclusions and recommend their bosses to act. We would like to say, following the comments by Ostap Bender who recommended Shura Balaganov �not to sign the Sukharev convention�, that maybe, they should not have shifted to Astana. The authorities� silence irritates. On the whole, we are vexed at the country.
Bakhytzhamal BEKTURGANOVA, President of ASaP
ALMATY, March 30
703 people were surveyed
These days we only ever hear the President and the government saying that the Kazakhstan economy is gradually coming round to a stable growth �curve�. Polled citizens do not share their optimism.
What mistakes did the country�s administration make during the transition to the market economy? (%)
|1. Transfer of national strategic industries (i.e. oil and gas, power resources, etc.) to the private sector||39.4|
|2. Destruction of the state sector of the economy||30.8|
|3. Pension reform according to the Chilean model||30.2|
|4. Abandoning free general education||24.9|
|5. Reduction of social programs during the transition period||24.2|
|6. Don�t know||9.1|
With whom or with what do you associate hopes for improvements in the future? (%)
|1. No hope any longer||41.4|
|2. With Kazakhstan�s population||25.6|
|3. With help from Russia||9.8|
|4. With the Forum of Kazakhstan�s Democratic Forces||9.7|
|5. With aid from foreign countries||6.5|
|6. With the government of Kazakhstan||5.7|
|7. With the President of Kazakhstan||4.3|
|8. With the Parliament||0.0|
|9. Don�t know||7.5|
Has the situation in the country changed since the Presidential election? (%)
|1. Yes, for the better||2.0|
|2. Yes, for the worse||30.0|
|4. Don�t know||2.8|
97% of polled people answered this question.
The conclusion is clear: The country�s leaders have lost the confidence of the Almaty population. Having decided to change the regime, but to remain themselves as a permanent state �administration�, the country�s leaders have completely compromised the liberal reform project, stripping it of its democratic backing.
Do you think that the current President has full and exhaustive information about the situation in the country? (%)
99% of respondents answered the question.
How do you view the liberal market-oriented path of reforms followed by the President and the government of Kazakhstan? (%)
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