August 15-August 22, 1998
 
 
  1. Mosques have time to register

  2. Tashkent - home of television

  3. Kurash - Uzbek wrestling

  4. President meets Uzbek diplomats

  5. Coscom - one of six cellular operators

  6. Uzbekistan Railways and Marubeni to start a plant

  7. Ukrainian chancery opens in Tashkent

  8. Officials fear journalists

  9. Is media a real fourth estate?

  10. Central Asia Defence and Foreign Ministers meet in Tashkent

  11. EBRD to extend $10 million loan to Uzbekistan

 
  Mosques have time to register
  Officials in Uzbekistan say that a thousand mosques have registered with the authorities, as part of a campaign to bring all religious institutions under state control. The government estimates that there are about four-thousand mosques in Uzbekistan and ordered them all to register by last Saturday. However there is a possibility that the government may well give those that remain more time.
 
  Tashkent - home of television
  There have been many debates in the past about the place television was born. Americans claim that it was their scholar Zvorykin who invented television in late 20s, however, not everyone knows that it is historically poven fact that Tashkent is the home of television. Documents dated between 1925 and 1928 and the patent for the invention irrefutability of this fact. In 1911 the father of electronic television Boris Rozing received a still picture. The history of television is associated with the names of Boris Grabovsky and Viktor Popov. In 1925 the Inventions Committee received the descriptions and scheme of the telephoto and decided to issue a patent to the individuals for the invention of a radio device for distant vision. Well-known scholar and inventor Rozing gave a high mark to the efforts of Popov, Grabovsky and Piskunov. He said: "The only way to retain the invention is to continue developing it, otherwise there will always be some of its elements which may be developed by somebody else and licensed." In the old part of Tashkent, in this house the first work on the invention began. Boris Grabovski and his friends, who created the first telephoto, a television device, in the world, worked in an imperfect laboratory. There patent issued on July 30, 1928 read: "The author of the device to transmit mobile picture at a distance is the citizen of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." The device had all the major elements of the modern television system: the transmitting tube had a double-side photo layer and electra-static deflection of beam. Initial tests were held in the house of Grabovsky. They transmitted the picture of a light spot and a hand's move. Then they took all the devices to a testing communications station where they took a picture of a tram in motion. Then they transmitted the picture of two anchors without sound. The discovery was acknowledged abroad. The president of the International Association of Radio Press Asberg wrote in the French "Television" magazine that an absolute television system that used tubes with cathode beam was proposed in 1925 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The miracle of the 20th century began from a plain tube which is preserved at the Museum of Communications in Saint Petersburg. Television returned to Tashkent with no intention to leave it again. In 1956 Tashkent TV studio began its first program.
 
  Kurash - Uzbek wrestling
  On September 5 a large international sports event will be held in Tashkent. It is the national wrestling kurash. Kurash is believed to be 700 hundred years-old, almost ten times older than judo. It became widely popular at the time of Pahlavan Ali, Prophet Muhammed's son-in-law, who was famous in the Muslim world for being the King of Warriors in the fifth-sixth centuries. The peak of kurash's development concides with the reign of Great Commander Amir Temur known in the West as Tamerlane. Historical facts prove Amir Temur's interest in and care for the development and perfection of kurash. About 400 techniques of kurash were known at that time. Kurash was subdivided into four types sports, national, martial and for spectacle purposes. In his works well-known German scholar and historian Hermann Vamber wrote that "Tamerlane's military success was to a great extent possible because of kurash's popularity among the peoples of Maverannakhr and Tamerlane's serious attention to his worriors's commitment to learn kurash." Wrestling Kurash has taken a solid place in the centuries-old national and cultural legacy, property and traditions of the people as sports competitions and national games. No holiday or wedding ceremony in Uzbekistan has been held without kurash competitions in the past and nowadays. Wrestling kurash develops will to victory, strength, endurance, quickness, adroitness, resolution and courage. Names of legendary kurash wrestlers Pahlavan Mahmud, Sapalak Pahlavan, Koratosh Pahlavan and others were well known not only to the people of Turkestan, but also beyond its borders. The geography of kurash is pretty vast Turkmenistan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and other regions of Asia. On September 1 of 1991 the National Federation of Wrestling "Kurash" was founded with new rules being developed. The new rules correspond to the requirements of modern wresting. Since that time wrestlers from Central Asia, the Caucausus, Russia, Iran, Ukraine, Turkey and Korea took part in a number of international tournaments held in honor of Amir Temur, Pahlavan Mahmud, Al-Khakim At-Termizi as well as the Independence Cup and the President's Cup.
 
  President meets Uzbek diplomats
  President Karimov met with heads of Uzbek diplomatic corps and consulates in Tashkent on August 20. The ambassadors and consuls came to Tashkent for a special seminar on the country's foreign policy. President Karimov said that this was the first such a seminar since the nation's Independence. He also noted that not always our diplomats do their job on a required level. The president called them for active work in overcoming any possible problems between Uzbekistan and other nations. "On your work depends the face of the nation and impression on Uzbekistan overseas," said the president.
 
  Coscom - one of six cellular operators
  The Uzbek-American joint venture Coscom, a cellular communications operator in Uzbekistan has invested 20 million dollars since its emergence into the Uzbek market six months ago. During this period Coscom has put into operation stations in Gulistan, Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent. Soon a new station in Jizakh will be launched increasing the company's capacity to cover 80 % of the republic. Besides Coscom has a wide roaming coverage to almost 40 countries. In the nearest future the company is planning to invest 20 million dollars more.
 
  Uzbekistan Railways and Marubeni to start a plant
  On Wednesday the Uzbekistan Railways company signed a contract with the Japanese Marubeni Corporation for the construction of a plant in Tashkent to repair train compartments. This was a follow-up of the agreement between the government of Uzbekistan and the Japanese Overseas Economic Development Fund signed two years ago. The Japanese side was to give over one billion yen for the full repair of 450 passenger compartments and the purchase of 25 new ones in Germany. Marubeni won the tender to do the project. Once the plant is operational, it will render services to 1,250 compartments annually and will create 500 jobs. This will happen in two years.
 
  Ukrainian chancery opens in Tashkent
  On Friday August 21 a permanent chancery of Ukraine was opened in the center of Tashkent. Ambassador of Ukraine to Uzbekistan Vladimir Smetanin thanked a group of local engineers who built the chancery. The ambassador also mentioned the improving relations between the two countries. It is symbolic that the opening ceremony was on the eve of three events: Independence of both countries and the sizth anniversary of Uzbek-Ukrainian diplomatic relations. Commodity turnover between the two countries is expected to reach half a billion dollars by the end of this year as opposed to 20 million dollars in 1992.
 
  Officials fear journalists
  On August 20 journalists met with members of the Constitutional Court of Uzbekistan in Tashkent to learn more about their rights. Several laws passed by Oliy Majlis in the past two years ensure the rights of journalists to free access of information and the protection of their professional activity. However not all the officials obey these laws: some of them ignore the laws because they don't even know about their existence and some do so because they think they are above law. One of the main problems for journalists is to receive an information from an official. During the recent Cabinet of Ministers meeting President Karimov explained the reason. He said that officials fear the responsibility: either they are not competent and knowledgable enough or they are afraid to find themselves mistaken. The solidarity of officials in defending each other and resisting journalists is also a barrier for the latter to do an investigative reporting. So it may take years and at least two generations before the society will free itself from the remnants of the old times and will begin thinking newly.
 
  Is media a real fourth estate?
  This week the Uzbek mass media witnessed the government support and help for their efforts to be a real fourth estate and start e real democratization of mass media in Uzbekistan. On Monday Uzbek TV's news crew went to the North train station in Tashkent to do a story about the chaos and poor operation of the station but were not let by the station officials to do shootings. Moreover the TV crew was seized by the train station militia. After the television showed a story on this injustice, four President's Advisers, his Press Secretary, the Interior Minister, a deputy prime minister came out to defend the press and punish the guilty. Interior Minister Zakirjon Almatov yelled at the militia and officials of the train station and expressed his anger at their intereference with the work of the journalists. Then he ordered to fire them. Our some sources told us that on the following day a word came down on all ministries and khokimiyats to be cooperative with media and assist them in their coverage of problems.
 
  Central Asia Defence and Foreign Ministers meet in Tashkent
  The defence and foreign ministers of Central Asian states, except Turkmenia, held a closed-door meeting in Tashkent on Saturday. A well-informed source in the Uzbek Defence Ministry told Itar-Tass that the foreign and defence ministers of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia and Tajikistan discussed regional security in light of the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan. The source said that the ministers also discussed Thursday's U.S. missile strikes against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan. Based on the results of the discussion, the ministers adopted a joint confidential statement, the source said.
 
  EBRD to extend $10 million loan to Uzbekistan
  The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will give Uzbekistan three tranches to a total amount of 20 million U.S. dollars. The credit will be provided to Uzbekistan's National Bank for Foreign Economic Activities to finance seven project jointly valued at 14 million U.S. dollars. Most funds will be used to finance the production of consumer goods.

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