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Kazakhstan Crisis

Tuesday, 15 August 2006 / Published in Appeals, BB Govinda Swami / 3,638 views

By BB Govinda Swami

August 11, 2006

Dear Friends,

It has been over three months since the Kazakhstan government attempted to destroy homes of the devotees and confiscate their properties. Due to your efforts of sending letters, faxes, and emails to the Kazakhstan government, the orders were frozen from the Capital. But sadly, there has been no resolve to the situation.

Our leaders in Kazakhstan have repeatedly approached Karasai District officials with a request for dialogue. They tell our people that they do not want to speak to them. They have also insisted that we not conduct our yearly spiritual festival. This has been a disappointment for the hundreds of devotees who travel from all parts of central Asia to attend spiritual discourses.

The Almaty Provincial government has never granted an appointment for any of our leaders to meet with officials. Five new cases have been opened against society members and five more cases have been lost in the Provincial court.

We have had meetings on the national level. The officers assure us that they wish to assist, but repeat the phrase “resolve the issue in court”. Thus, we are pushing our cases forward to the Supreme Court. Our advocates met with officers in the capital and explained that from the purely legal perspective we should have easily won these cases. But, as yet, we have not won a single case.

In short, despite the stay order, nothing else has changed. We are still experiencing a land confiscation attempt combined with selective discrimination against our minority religious community.

In September 2006 the government of Kazakhstan is hosting a “World Conference of Religions” in the nation’s capital. Attending will be leaders of major religions from around the world.

We strongly feel that conducting this conference, while leaving the issue of our society in an unresolved condition, compromises the integrity and aspirations of the conference. It makes the intentions of the government of Kazakhstan in exhibiting the tolerance of all religious faiths in the nation a show of hypocrisy.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

We are asking you to fax 3 letters of appeal.

1. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Fax +73172745631

2. Mr. Nurtay Abukayev
Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan
Fax +73172242908

3. To the Kazakh Embassy in your nation

The appeal is that they will “close the issue surrounding the Krishna Religion in Karasai Rayon, prior to the World Conference of Religions in September 2006.”

Kazakhstan is experiencing rapid and large scale material development. The respected leaders of the nation advertise the country as a model of democracy. But, what the Krishna devotees have experienced over the past three months has been a strong test of faith in that democratic model.

Still, our experience has given us confidence that Kazakhstan is a multi-faith society in which there is respect and tolerance for people of different religious faiths and backgrounds. But, in having that confidence, we expect that our case will be treated accordingly.

Please address the leaders of Kazakhstan that they will act accordingly and close this issue once and for all. Please request that they will grant us dialogue, tolerance, human rights and dignity. We know that your letters will help us in attaining that goal.

Thank you for your support and prayers throughout this period.

With affectionate regards,

BB Govinda Swami

A sample letter may be as follows:

Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Fax +73172745631

 

Dear President Nazarbayev,

Greetings.

I am deeply concerned regarding the issue involving the Religious Organisation Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan.

Nearly four months have passed since the attempted demolition of their homes and confiscation of their properties. And in this time there has been no official statement, or resolve, presented by your respectable government.

I understand that your nation is hosting an international “World Religion Conference” in September 2006. I sincerely feel that leaving this issue unresolved will show a disparity between what your country wishes to achieve by hosting this conference and what actually is taking place in Karasai Rayon, Almaty Oblast.

Therefore I am requesting the learned and thoughtful leaders of your nation to close the issue surrounding the Krishna Religion in Kazakhstan prior to the World Conference of Religions in September 2006.

Please show the world that Kazakhstan is truly a multi-faith society in which there is respect and tolerance for people of different religious faiths and backgrounds.

We thank you, in advance, and hope for a speedy close to the issue and a reply to this letter.

Sincerely,

 

Mr. Nurtay Abukayev Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan

Fax +73172242908

 

Dear Mr. Abukayev,

Greetings.

I am deeply concerned regarding the issue involving the Religious Organisation Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan.

Nearly four months have passed since the attempted demolition of their homes and confiscation of their properties. And in this time there has been no official statement, or resolve, presented by your respectable government.

I understand that your nation is hosting an international “World Religion Conference” in September 2006. I sincerely feel that leaving this issue unresolved will show a disparity between what your country wishes to achieve by hosting this conference and what actually is taking place in Karasai Rayon, Almaty Oblast.

Therefore I am requesting the learned and thoughtful leaders of your nation to close the issue surrounding the Krishna Religion in Kazakhstan prior to the World Conference of Religions in September 2006.

Please show the world that Kazakhstan is truly a multi-faith society in which there is respect and tolerance for people of different religious faiths and backgrounds.

We thank you, in advance, and hope for a speedy close to the issue and a reply to this letter.

Sincerely,

For the Benefit of Everyone
Another devotee victim of the London airport security procedures

One Response to “Kazakhstan Crisis”

  1. Tamoharadasa says :

    Maharaja BB Govinda Swami Prabhu; PAMHO. AGTSP!

    You were the first devotee whom I met, and you sold me a Gita on the streets of Winnipeg. I also travelled with you for a period in 1974 on the “blue bus”. Your cooking there was famous. I had heard that you were in Vrndavan dhama, but that you left for preaching. You have gone to the ends of the earth!

    I have tried to fax the numbers but someone live, or possibly a recording answers and so the faxes do not go through. I will mail if you provide addresses on this website.

    I am interested in hearing further from you, as I must in due course consider taking sannyasa, as ordered by our Srila Prabhupada. Meanwhile wishing you all strength and success.

    Tamoharadasa, Canada
    email; tamoharadasa@yahoo.ca

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