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Kyrgyzstan marks Day of People’s Revolution

March 25, 2012, 1:31 UTC+3

No special festivities were planned for this occasion

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BISHKEK, March 25 (Itar-Tass) — Kyrgyzstan marked Day of People’s Revolution on Saturday. No official celebrations were held to mark revolutionary events that ousted the then Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev from power 7 years ago. “No special festivities were planned for this occasion,” the office of the Kyrgyz cabinet of ministers reports.

Deputies of the Kyrgyz parliament of the previous convocation announced March 24 to be a day-off and a holiday, though the incumbent deputies are questioning the expediency of decision made by their predecessors.

Thousands of supporters of the Kyrgyz opposition gathered on Ala-Too Square in central Bishkek seven years ago to demand the resignation of the then President Askar Akayev. Prior to the rally, Akayev’s opponents had seized a police building, the prosecutor’s office, local government bodies and the building of the national security service in the southern Osh and Dzhalal-Abad regions. The stand-off between the police forces that were protecting the Government building and the protesters grew into scuffles and later in clashes in the afternoon on March 24, 2005. The multi-thousand crowd won that battle. They burst into the country’s main administrative building, smashing down furniture, throwing computers out of the windows and setting rooms and office cars on fire. Many observers believe that the seizure of Government building provoked mass looting in Bishkek that lasted for several days. The ousted President Akayev and his family had to flee Kyrgyzstan. At present, Askar Akayev resides in Moscow together with his wife and children. He hasn’t visited his homeland over all these years. Later, Akayev admitted that he had had the right to open fire at the demonstrators but refrained from using force to avoid human casualties.

“History teaches us to draw lessons from the past. It’s important that chapters of history of people’s struggle for their rights and freedoms make the people of Kyrgyzstan confident that the past trials and sacrifices were not in vain,” Almazbek Atambayev, the incumbent president of Kyrgyzstan, said on the anniversary’s occasion. Atambayev believes that Kyrgyzstan will become strong and prosperous and will join the club of developed countries.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev replaced Askar Akayev as president. He was ousted by another Kyrgyz revolution five years later. Unlike his predecessor, Bakiyev ordered to open fire at the demonstrators who attacked the government building. Almost 90 opposition members were killed and hundreds were wounded. However, that didn’t help the second Kyrgyz president to hold his grip on power. He fled Kyrgyzstan just like Akayev. Now, Bakiyev resides in Belarus.

April 7, the day when Bakiyev was overthrown, has been announced a day-off in Kyrgyzstan. 

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