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Why is Kyrgyzstan burning ?

Last updated on: June 14, 2010 15:55 IST

Why is Kyrgyzstan burning ?

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The bloody riots that have engulfed the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan have had an unexpected fall out, a 100 indian students who are studying in Osh, the country's second largest city, are trapped.

Kyrgyzstan has just had its second 'revolution' in the last five years. Kyrgyzstan is the only country on the planet to have both an American and a Russian military base on its soil, has had a history of unstable government. The current deposed head of state, Kurmanbek Bakiyev came to power during a similar peoples' uprising in 2005 which was termed as the 'Tulip Revolution.' Now its his turn to flee from the capital Bishkek, after wide spread protests against his "autocratic rule." Bakiyev is currently in exile in Belarus.

Kyrgyzstan has also seen violence, looting  and arson, when Bakiyev rode to power on a wave of hysteria in 2005. He has since been accused of corruption, nepotism and autocracy, the very maldies he had vowed to cure.

Image: Smoke rises from the residential area of the city of Osh in Kyrgyzstan
Photographs: Alexei Osokin/Reuters
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The interim head of state can't control the violence

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The violence erupted mainly between the majority ethnic Kyrgyz and the minority Uzbek communities. A new interin government led by Roza Otunbayeva has been installed. Otunbayeva had informally asked for Russia to send peacekeepers to 'control the situation' but the Russians refused. The American don't want to get involved as Bakiyev refused to extend their use of the airbase which was vital to their operations in Afghanisthan.

Neighbouring Kazakhstan has sealed its border since the violence erupted. Uzbekistan has claimed that a 100000 Kyrgyz refugees have crossed over since the clashes started. NGOs operating in the are have warned of an impending humans rights crisis.

Image: Soldiers ride on an armoured vehicle along a street in Osh
Photographs: Alexei Osokin/Reuters
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Kyrgyzstan is a cost-effective destination for Indian sudents

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Kyrgyzstan has turned into a attractive destination for Indian students as they offer medical and engineering course that are cheap and are recognised world over. The average fee in such colleges is affordable and the fact that some of these colleges are recognised by the Medical Council of India is an added bonus, which enables these students to come back and practice medicine in India. The fact that the courses are taught in English is an added bonus.

The medical college based in Osh, Kyrgyzstan's second largest city has a sizeable number of students from South Asian countries including India and Pakistan. The college's website claims that the cost of the entire course is only a million rupees, a fraction of what the same education would cost in India.

Image: Men walk past a burning building in Osh, Kyrgyzstan
Photographs: Alexei Osokin/Reuters
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