Monday, June 14, 2010


ETHNIC UZBEKS ACCUSE GANGS OF ‘GENOCIDE’ - Ethnic Uzbeks in a besieged neighbourhood of Kyrgyzstan’s second city Osh have said that gangs of Kyrgyz men were carrying out “genocide” as Russia sent at least 150 paratroopers to the Central Asian state to protect its military facilities as ethnic clashes spread. The official death toll from days of fighting has risen to 120, amid reports of residents being burned out of their homes and shot as they fled, but many people fear the number of dead is higher. Witnesses saw bodies lying on the streets. Charred corpses lay unattended in an ethnic Uzbek shop destroyed by petrol bombs and fires burned in the streets of the southern city which were strewn with shell cases and wrecked cars after more than three days of fighting. The International Committee of the Red Cross reporting that its delegates witnessed about 100 bodies being buried in just one cemetery. Rights activists said the authorities were failing to stop the violence.

“God help us! They are killing Uzbeks like animals. Almost the whole city is in flames,” Dilmurad Ishanov, an ethnic Uzbek human rights worker, said from Osh. Tens of thousands of Uzbeks, who are traditionally concentrated in this area of the country, have fled the ongoing clashes causing one aid official to described the situation as a "humanitarian catastrophe," according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. An estimated 80,000 refugees have fled across the Kyrgyz border into neighboring Uzbekistan. This turmoil has fuelled concern in Russia, the United States and neighbour China. Several units of Russian paratroopers arrived to protect servicemen and families at the Kant airbase in the north of the country, a Kremlin spokesman said. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was alarmed by the scale of the clashes and ordered a special envoy to travel to the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.

In a new ethnic violence, mobs of Kyrgyz set fire to Uzbek populations and killed their residents. Thousands of women and children have fled to refugee camps along the border with Uzbekistan. When will it be the day that we understand that we are all spiritual brothers and that we all belong to this or any other ethnicity or nationality is just an illusion?

Certainly we can see that the whole world is populated by people who are working to attain the same things: happiness, peace, security, resources like food and shelter, and a hopeful future. How much easier it could be if we focused on our similarities instead of our differences. And with that, how much easier it would be to find the necessary cooperation that would pave the way for global assistance in helping everyone acquire what they need. ... The trouble we see so much of in the world today is not so much a clash of religions, but a clash of individual egos of people who associate their bodily identity and cause with their religion. It is the tendency of the human mind to cling to those people who are similar, and claim superiority over those who are different. This itself leads to the divisions of religion, caste, ethnic group, or race.

Stephen Knapp (Nandanandana dasa)
“The Whole World is One Family”

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