|07BISHKEK334||2007-03-26 10:32:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Bishkek|
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UNCLAS BISHKEK 000334
1. (SBU) On March 24, the Kyrgyz Government convoked the
leadership of the country to celebrate the second anniversary
of the 2005 "revolution." In contrast to last year's public
event on Ala Too Square that included a military display and
helicopter flyovers, this year's ceremony was by invitation
and held in a large auditorium in the Sports Palace. Streets
around the White House and Sports Palace were blocked off to
vehicular traffic, and the MVD was out in force. In
addition, the MVD established an inner cordon around the
2. (SBU) President Bakiyev gave a short speech congratulating
the people who had united to achieve the March 24 revolution.
He said that despite the criticism, he had fulfilled his
mandate: he had created stability in the country, as well
as economic growth. Bakiyev departed from his text to give
examples that were clearly important to him of how his
administration had helped teachers and the school system.
The President again ad libbed to contrast how well the
government is working now to the anarchy that prevailed under
former President Akayev, who "abandoned his people." Now, he
said, the government works in a coordinated manner, and the
leadership is strong and takes care of the Kyrgyz people.
3. (SBU) The President noted that getting the country to this
point had been difficult, and criticized his critics who only
complain. Bakiyev challenged them to join the government and
get to work, rather than sit on the outside and second-guess
his efforts. Bakiyev said he is ready to sit down with the
opposition to discuss its concerns and ready to work with
everyone. He said those who say they "want to wait" before
they enter government are simply ambitious and do not have
the interests of the Kyrgyz people at heart.
4. (SBU) The cultural program began with a modern dance
number that culminated with the raising of a yurt. It also
included ballet, hiphop, gymnastics, and children's dances.
The musical performances all appeared to be lip-synched and
included: a Russian love song performed by three ethnic
Kyrgyz gentlemen in white leisure suits; a number of
patriotic songs, including "Kyrgyzstan" mouthed by an ethnic
Russian in Kyrgyz military fatigues, and a violin performance
so energetic that the strings all snapped, which was
virtually unnoticeable due to the canned Vivaldi pouring out
of the loudspeakers. Every performance was met with
enthusiasm by a supportive audience.
5. (SBU) COMMENT: This was clearly a command performance for
the Kyrgyz leadership and the entire Kyrgyz elite attended.
Foreign Ambassadors were put in the front row, presumably so
that the cameras could record international support and
solidarity on this day. Similar to Bakiyev's televised
address the previous evening, Bakiyev not only acknowledged
the present political tensions, he appeared to be publicly
challenging the opposition to act responsibly and work with