08ASTANA2361, KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, NOVEMBER 10 – NOVEMBER 21, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA2361 2008-11-26 09:15 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0092
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV
RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2361 3310915
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 260915Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3985
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0867
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0274
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0976
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2082
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2414
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0434
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0349
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

UNCLAS ASTANA 002361 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD, EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, NOVEMBER 10 - NOVEMBER 21, 2008 
 
1.  (U) NOTE:  The "Almaty Notes" series is intended to maintain 
focus on developments in civil society, the media, and the 
opposition in Kazakhstan's "southern capital" following the move of 
the Embassy to Astana.  END NOTE. 
 
NUR OTAN REACHES OUT TO NGOS 
 
2.  (U) On November 12, the new deputy chairman of the presidential 
Nur Otan party, Darkhan Kaletayev, met with NGO Shanyrak President 
Asylbek Kozhakhmetov.  Kozhakhmetov told Kaletayev about Shanyrak's 
work with internal immigrants who come to Almaty from other parts of 
the country and frequently face housing and social issues.  The two 
agreed to maintain contact and to cooperate in solving housing and 
internal migration problems in Almaty.  At a separate meeting of the 
AytPARK discussion club, Kaletayev expressed Nur Otan's readiness to 
cooperate on these issues with opposition parties.  In January, 
President Nazarbayev specifically called on the Nur Otan leadership 
to increase dialogue with NGOs and opposition political parties. 
 
GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES CIVIL SOCIETY PROGRAM 
 
3.  (U) At a November 19 meeting, members of Parliament's Public 
Council, which includes representatives of NGOs and state agencies, 
discussed the so-called "Concept on Civic Society Development". 
According to the Vice Minister of Culture and Information, the 
government has allocated 709 million tenge ($5.9 million) for NGO 
grants this year and plans to increase the allocation to 721 million 
tenge ($6.0 million) next year.  NGO representative pointed out 
several problems with the program and alleged that only 2,000 of the 
10,000 registered NGOs are active, while the rest were created 
solely to receive government grants. 
 
COURTS WARN RETIRED OFFICER ABOUT UNSANCTIONED RALLY 
 
4.  (U) On November 20, the Almaty Mezhrayonniy Economic Court 
issued a warning to the leader of the "BOMZh" (Vagrant) retired army 
servicemen union, Daulet Zhumanbekov, for organizing an unsanctioned 
rally.  Union activists picketed the city garrison office on 
November 18 to demand apartments in Almaty for retired military 
officers.  Under Kazakhstani legislation, retired officers with 25 
years of service are entitled to free apartments.  Several officers 
won a suit against the Ministry of Defense (MOD) for its failure to 
fulfill this obligation.  To date, the MOD has been unable to adhere 
to the court ruling and provide the officers with apartments in 
Almaty. 
 
FOREIGN LABORERS A SECURITY THREAT TO ALMATY 
 
5.  (U) Foreign migrant laborers down on their luck pose a real 
threat to Almaty, according to Almaty city officials.  During a 
November 10 meeting of city administration, Almaty's Chief of Police 
Yerlan Turgumbayev maintained that more than half of the crimes in 
Almaty were committed by immigrants and migrant laborers from other 
Central Asian countries.  Many of these foreign workers are not paid 
wages due and so cannot return to their homes.  The Almaty city 
administration decided to set up a working group to research the 
city's migration problems and to prepare recommendations for the 
government on amendments to the Law on Migration. 
 
CAMPAIGN AGAINST ILLEGAL HOMES CONTINUES 
 
6.  (U) The Almaty City administration continued its campaign to 
demolish illegally-built houses.  Eighteen administrative cases have 
been launched against owners of illegal dwellings built in the 
newly-redistricted district of Alatau.  The Administrative Court has 
already ruled to demolish 53 illegal houses in the district and will 
review 27 similar cases in the near future.  (Argumenty I Facty, 
November 11) 
 
MORTGAGE CRISIS AFFECTS RESIDENTS' MENTAL HEALTH 
 
7.  (U) According to the Almaty Psychiatric Center, more than 1,000 
Almaty residents who have sought the Center's help over the past 
three months named the mortgage crisis as the primary reason for 
their mental and emotional problems. 
 
HOAGLAND

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