WORLD BREAKING NEWS
The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
About 2,000 Omanis demonstrate demanding higher wages and stop rising prices
By: The Associated Press
Posted: 01/17/2011 12:44 PM | Comments: 1
MUSCAT, Oman - About 2,000 Omanis have staged a rare protest demanding higher wages and salaries and a curb to rising prices and the high cost of living.
The demonstration Monday, a rarity in the sleepy sultanate, was called for by the civil society groups and publicized on websites.
Protesters gathered in the district housing most government ministries under close watch by police. The demonstration ended peacefully.
One demonstrator said the march was a request to Sultan Qaboos to personally intervene against the greed of the merchants and raise government employees salaries including those in the police and the army. He refused to give his name fearing of government reprisal.
Banners held by the demonstrators read "no to high prices" and "no to the merchant greed."
and the great comment:
POSTED BY: jduester
JANUARY 18, 2011 AT 8:31 AM
To describe Oman as a "sleepy sultanate" is highly offensive and does not do credit to one of Arabia's oldest and foremost nation states. Oman has a highly educated population and its government displays a skillful and mature regional policy. I am utterly dismayed at this pejorative language and a considerable lack of professionalism by an AP writer.
Hmmm. Highly offensive is lot of offense. Especially as there are only two words quoted that are "offensive", and one of those is just a plain fact: Oman is a Sultanate.
So its official: We're not sleepy.
Remember, [Thanks Observer!] even England also saw large public protests over taxes and Gov spending cuts recently. There's not necessarily any connection to Tunisia at all.
Any pic links?
Update: Youtube [Thanx Al]:
Picture from an American student hunger strike in 2005 kimthewolf
From The Gulf News
Though the ministry area was deserted when the protest was held at government department as the staff work only up to 2.30pm. the main Sultan Qaboos Highway saw a huge traffic jam of office goers from the private sector heading home. The curious drivers slowed down the traffic, triggering congestion.
"I could see a huge crowd in the ministry area and the traffic was crawling," an expatriate, who wished not to be named, told Gulf News.
Most participants in the protest were reluctant to be quoted as they were government employees. However, some said they protested against low salaries and soaring prices.
The police kept track of the protesters even as some joggers continued with their routine. The police did not interfere and the protest ended as peacefully as it had started.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) had no comment to make when Gulf News contacted for details about the protest.
This is not the first time such peaceful protest was held in Oman. Recently some young graduates led a delegation to the Education Ministry, demanding teaching jobs.
Meanwhile, social media was abuzz with the news about the protest.