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Reader comment on item: Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia

Submitted by duishon (Canada), Mar 2, 2004 at 13:22

First of all I note that I purchased "Tournament of shadows" and could not do anything but reading. Very engaging and insightful book. I then found another book by Karl Meyer "The dust empire" which I also started reading immediately until I reached a paragraph that I felt was very innacurate. I wanted to personally contact Mr Meyer, but could not find his email and hope he gets his comment.

the inaccuracy is about Kyrgyzstan and ethnic issue. He writes,

"To this was added ferment among ethnic Uzbeks concentrated in the south of Kyrgyzstan. Their major city is Osh, the country's second most populous and the scene of communal riots in 1990. Grumbling became louder in 2002 when the police imprisoned an ethnic Uzbek parliamentary leader, Azimbek Beknazarov, stirring protests in Aksy, his hometown. In March 2002, police fired on marchers proceeding from Aksy, killing five demonstrators, the first such bloodshed in independent Kyrgyzstan".

I defer that Osh 1990 has nothing to do with 2002 Aksy (though I cannot say that Uzbek-Kyrgyz relations are ideal nowadays).
1. Beknazarov is Kyrgyz not Uzbek
2. 2002 events were related to selling land to China, not ethnic
3. the demonstrators of 2002 and all five killed were of Kyrgyz ethnicity.

I further point out that a reader not familiar with Kyrgyzstan context may immediately assume that ethnic conflicts are continuing in Kyrgyzstan these days and that police forces are shooting at Uzbek people. I would like to draw this into the attention of the author.

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