Must Be Something in the Water

by Nathan Hamm on 5/11/2005 · 1 comment

There have been two deaths of big important people by car crash in Central Asia this week. First was Turkmenistan’s Water Minister.

Water Resources Minister Byashimklych Kalandarov, an ethnic Uzbek, was killed Wednesday when the car he was traveling in crashed not far from a new dam on the Iranian border, near the town of Tejen, a senior official with the country’s roads inspectorate said.

“A criminal investigation into the minister’s death has been launched,” the official told AFP on the condition of anonymity.

Kalandarov, 50, was one of very few members of Turkmenistan’s large Uzbek minority to hold a top post.

Kalandarov’s post put him in the firing line at cabinet meetings — high-pressure televised events at which Niyazov regularly blasts ministers over their perceived inadequacies, with the symbolically important water and cotton sectors traditionally receiving special attention.

And in Kazakhstan it was the General Director of the Khabar News Agency.

Khabar News General Director Zhanar Abdildina was killed in a car crash, yesterday. There seem to be no connection with Abdildina’s professional activities. It happened in the Bostandyk district of Alma-Ata at about 1 a.m. when the news agency’s Audi-100 carrying Abdildina, Raushan Sarsembayeva (president of the Association of Business Women of Kazakhstan), piano player Timur Urmancheev, and driver Serir Bakbayev collided with a Mitsubishi. Abdildina was killed instantly, all the rest hospitalized with traumas of varying severity. Preliminary investigation shows that it was the fault of the Mitsubishi’s driver whose identity was immediately established.


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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