Remember March 2005? Well, you probably don’t. But I do. Because, one of those mornings in March, I woke up to news of the revolution in Kyrgyzstan, my homeland.
At that time, Western media and Western governments interpreted this revolution as a victory for Democracy. For those cynical of us, who were actually from Kyrgyzstan, it looked more like a victory for hunger and destitution. To us, this was only the beginning. We knew that without social reforms, new protests are only a matter of time.
This march Kyrgyzstan celebrated a five-year anniversary of the revolution. Over this period of time things have only gotten worse. Utility prices are up; Bakiev’s power is centralized; his son, Maxim, is going around the country, telling people to give him their businesses or else; and Bakiev’s relatives and fellow clansmen are at the helm of most of the government institutions.
And so it is. This morning I woke up to news of another revolution. Only this time it didn’t come from the south (because Bakiev’s Southern clan is in power); it came from elswhere in the north and the west of the country. Protests began in Talas, spread to Naryn, Issyk-Kul, and Tokmok. Now protesters are in the capital. Citizens of Bishkek are terrified of the upcoming night. Owners of stores are bracing for night visits from fellow countrymen. Bakiyev announced a state of emergency.
Specialists predicted that Bakiev, unlike his predecessor, would not give up his power easily (I mean, what is Maxim to do if his daddy is not the boss any more?) Latest reports, however, suggest that the president fled the country. But even if revolution, part two, is coming to some sort of resolution, without social reforms, revolution, part three, will be here soon.