Saturday, April 29, 2006

Government Demolishes Daccas

of the Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan

April 25, 2006: The court executives of the Karasai district of the Almaty region started to demolish the cottages owned by the members of the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness in Karasai district.

The litigation of the Hakim (Governor) of the Karasai district of the Almaty region, in coordination with the Almaty Regional Territorial Department of the Land Resources Management, against the Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan started many months ago and finally turned into a real tragedy. In his plaint the Hakim appeals to the court with the illegal request: to evict the members of the religious organization from their land, to confiscate their plots of land and transfer them to the land reserve of the Karasai district.

The members of the religious community received a notification about the planned demolition of their houses overnight. The next day the court executives in the presence of the officers of the local Hakimat (Governor office) and the police tried to start the demolition of one of the cottages. However the members of the Society, including children and elderly women, blocked the entrance to the building by ranging themselves in the path of the bulldozer. They stood out with the posters appealing to the President of Kazakhstan for help, asking him to stop the lawlessness. The policemen made several attempts to catch the members of the Society for Krishna Consciousness and throw them inside the police car.

"We are not going to leave our homes!" - with these words the followers of the Society for Krishna Consciousness stood on the defensive for many hours. Finally the court executives and the officers of the local administration left but promised to come back without fail.

The government accuses the owners of the cottages that they have not privatized their plots of land and do not have necessary documentation for the cottages situated on these plots of land.

The owners of the land repeatedly approached the Hakim of the Karasai district with the request to issue the acts of private ownership for the cottages and the plots of land, but the Hakim rejected all their applications. It is not possible to receive the technical documentation for the cottages without the acts of private ownership.

On February 21, 2005 an initiative group of 29 people applied to the Hakim with the purpose of receiving permission for privatization. The answer of the Hakim came on April 23, 2005, wherein he ordered that the submission of the initiative group would be considered for one month more.

Then the Hakim informed the defendants about the extension of the term of considering their application until May 23, 2005.

After which he brought claims against them on April 15, 2005, after neglecting to consider their application.

The Land Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan maintains and protects the rights of the land users. The land laws do not impose limitations on the period necessary to receive the acts of private use of land.

The Hakim's motives are extraordinarily selfish, especially as he constantly accuses the cottage owners that their cottages were not privatized, and he is the only person authorized to give such permission for privatization.

Five cottages to be demolished have been mentioned in the executive list. All these cottages belong to the members of the Society. However the authorities say that this is only a beginning. Five more claims are currently considered by the court. The Hakimat officers have said that there are 12 more claims on the way. Actually the list of the court executive contained information of 47 houses of the followers of the Society for Krishna Consciousness, out of which five had to be demolished on April 25.

Each of the above mentioned claims is issued to individual citizens of Kazakhstan. Yet in each and every claim the connection of the defendants to the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness has been illustrated. This is a direct and flagrant violation of human rights and freedoms which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Kazakhstan. This is a direct transgression of the policy of the President of Kazakhstan who demonstrated great liberality by conducting the First Congress of World and Traditional Religions in Astana in 2003.

The members of the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness took part in that Congress. At that time spiritual unity of all the religions in Kazakhstan was declared. Let us ask what is happening with the religious freedom now, on the eve of the Second Congress, planned for September of 2006? In the situation with the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness we have a clear fact of religious intolerance displayed by the local executive authorities.

One of these days the government will again attempt to demolish the cottages. Please illuminate this situation in mass media, give us your help so that the greed and self motivation of powerful individuals will not deny a religious community of what they have legally acquired and their right to exist. We are ready to present all the documents related to this case, pictures, and video materials.

Maxim Varfolomeev, PR department of the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan, tel. +7 300 740 79 43

Ekaterina Levitskaya, the representative of the Coordinator of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, tel. +7 300 716 49 67

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Monday, April 17, 2006

President Bush and Moral Legitamacy

President Bush and Moral Legitimacy

The events of the last year have placed President Bush at an all time low in regards to his public popularity. With only sub 40% approval ratings the modern presidency becomes more subservient to this problem of democracy in order to function.

In President Bush’s situation he has gradually but steadily manipulated himself into this predicament by having Scooter Libby and Donald Rumsfeld deliver and listen to policy advice that is substandard to credible executive management.

It is not possible to accurately discern if President Bush directly ordered the revelation of Valerie Plame’s identity. Regardless it is folly to have Scooter Libby under indictment and having President Bush survive sheer loyalty.

Secretary of Donald Rumsfeld is plagued the spectre of torture and a polarized political climate that will oppose anything that this president does simply to seek his removal if not having the concerns of Iraqis or the soldiers who are fighting at the fore.

Overall the miscues of policy counsel and double speak of leaks and what is indeed torture have disintegrated the moral faith and credibility that the president needs to rule.

President Bush and his staff need to reassess their legitimacy if they intend to sustain their remaining years in power.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Religous Repression in Turkmenistan

There appears to be a noticable lack of religous toleration in the CIS. Here we are able to discern a continued increase in the lack of toleartion in the religous forum.

3 April 2006TURKMENISTAN: Jailed Krishna devotee transferred to women's camp

By Felix Corley, Forum 18 News Service

Shortly after her failed appeal against her seven year jail sentence for illegally crossing the border, charges her supporters reject, Hare Krishna devotee Cheper Annaniyazova was finally transferred on 23 January from the women's prison in the capital Ashgabad to the women's labour camp in Dashoguz in northern Turkmenistan, Forum 18 News Service has learned. Work in the labour camp is reported to be hard, while bribery to escape the worst work is rampant. Even acquiring a decent place to sleep requires bribes. Annaniyazova's state of health and conditions in the labour camp remain unknown. Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox church in Dashoguz, the only Orthodox place of worship in northern Turkmenistan, still cannot complete construction of a new church begun some years ago. Officials are questioning the parish's right to use the land, while the church's registration application has been denied. [read more...]

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