BISHKEK / KARAKOL. About one thousand people, mainly the students of the Karakol state university, held a rally in the town Karakol, center of the Ysykkoel region, today. They demanded the U.S. Government to stop the war in Iraq, and urged the both sides to resolve the Iraqi crisis by peaceful means.
Meanwhile, the Association of the Non-Government and Non-Commercial Organizations is planning to organize an anti-war rally tomorrow in Bishkek. The leader of the pro-government association, Toktaiym Umetalieva, told RFE/RL today that the Birinchi Mai district administration gave a permission to hold the rally. Usually, it is hard for other NGOs, especially the opposition-minded organizations, to receive a permission to organize gatherings in the district.
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and edited by Bruce Pannier in Prague