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Wednesday, March 30, 20051112243100

Kung Fu Fighting

"The unsung role of Kung Fu in the Kyrgyz revolution," AFP, 28 March 2005, http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050328/lf_afp/kyrgyzstanpolitics_050328194347 (from Coming Anarchy).

This is the weirdest news of the night. No wonder the Defense Minister wasn't good at his job. I'm going to bed.

Many say people power brought down the regime in Kyrgyzstan last week. But Bayaman Erkinbayev, a lawmaker, martial arts champ and one of the Central Asian nation's richest men, says it was his small army of Kung Fu-style fighters.

In southern Kyrgyzstan, where the protests that brought down the Askar Akayev's 15-year regime first flared, the name of 37-year-old Erkinbayev seems to be on everyone's lips.

Effectors of Regime Change in Former Soviet Central Asia?

Erkinbayev is the wealthy playboy head of the Palvan Corporation, who led 2,000 fighters trained in Alysh, Kyrgyzstan's answer to Kung Fu, to protests launched after the first round of a parliamentary election on February 27.

A hero in his hometown Osh, he is generally considered to have financed the protests and sent his martial arts trainees to the front lines of the demonstrations, including in the capital Bishkek.

Heros of Democracy?

Oh, and the guy's Tony Soprano too

In the parliamentary elections of 2000 he is said to have spent two weeks on the run from the police after allegedly beating a judge who ordered him to drop out of the race for failing to disclose some of his wife's property in his registration form.

The ruling was later overturned under unclear circumstances and Erkinbayev described it as an "untruth."

"When I met the judge later he retracted his accusations," he said.

22:25 Posted in Central Asia, Humor | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: Kyrgyzstan, kung fu


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Posted by: SIFU CARMELO MUNET | Monday, August 29, 2005