Kyrgyz deputies sacrifice sheep to drive evil spirits away

April 21st, 2011 - 11:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, April 21 (IANS) After witnessing two popular revolts, a bloody fistfight and a police raid that turned up a Kalashnikov in the parliament chamber, the Kyrgyz legislature Thursday saw a sheep-slaughter to drive “evil spirits” away.

Deputies in the legislature sacrificed seven sheep Thursday morning to drive evil spirits out of the building, which was damaged in the unrest last spring and has been the scene of scuffles between rival factions, The Guardian reported.

The ceremony was attended by almost all members, who also read prayers for those who died in the uprising that toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiyev a year ago this month, Shairbek Mamatoktorov, a spokesman for the assembly, the Jogorku Kenesh told reporters.

A new parliament with increased powers was voted in last autumn and has occasionally proved rowdy.

Earlier this month, two MPs came to blows in the chamber. Police confiscated 11 guns - including an AK-47 assault rifle - in the building during a security sweep after the brawl.

Kyrgyzstan has had a turbulent recent history. The ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was followed by ethnic clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the south of the central Asian country two months later, which left hundreds of people dead.

The current parliament building was the seat of government until last year, when it was ransacked after the fall of Bakiyev. It was also damaged in 2005 when President Askar Akayev was overthrown in the Tulip Revolution.

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