Kazakhstan’s hardline president has switched off part of his Glorious Nation’s world wide wibble to try and stop an Arab Spring style uprising in the former Communist bloc contry.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been in charge for 20 years, imposed a three-week state of emergency in an oil town where 10 people were killed in a clash between cops and demonstrators.
Authorities insist that order had been restored in Zhanaozen, a city of 90,000 in Kazakhstan’s far southwest.
But part of the crackdown involved switching off all mobile phones and internet connections in Zhanaozen to prevent protestors organising themselves. It is exactly the same scenario advocated by “Dear Leader” David Cameron as a way of stopping riots in the Glorious Nation of England.
Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry claim that the clashes are being carried out by a small group of provocateurs allegedly set on disrupting a public celebration marking the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence.
Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the U.S. Erlan Idrissov told Reuters that these were people determined to attack peaceful celebrants as a way to gain maximum attention and to create as much destruction as possible.
Erlan Idrissov was the person who made a very good stab at showing the world that Kazakhstan was nothing like Borat in a calm and reasoned way. Unlike the Kazakhstan embassy spokesman Roman Vassilenko who made the mistake of pointing out that Kazakhs did not drink fermented horse urine, but it is a beverage called kumyss, made of fermented horse milk.
However, Idrissov might be a bit wrong about provocateurs as it is clear that the riots are not about anything so revolutionary. The city has been the site of a month long sit-in by oil workers seeking higher wages. Most of them were fired over the summer.
The targets of the demonstrations have been UzenMunaiGas’ headquarters along with the mayor’s office and a hotel.
Nazarbayev has kept a tight lid on any signs of public discontent during his 20 years of rule. He also had problems with a surge in radical Islamist-inspired violence recently. But it seems that at the moment, his first reaction is to turn off the internet.