(1) Protesters growing in numbers in Salalah.
(2) A large group of lawyers (wearing their robes) have joined the protesters.
(3) Rumor that needs confirming: His Majesty is to address the nation at 7 p.m tonight. Can anyone confirm if this is true?
(1) Just received an automated phone message from Sabak (breaking official news in Oman) announcing that the letter with the people of Dhofar's 'demands' has been successfully delivered to His Majesty the Sultan. The message reached me at 8:00 a.m Monday morning.
(2) Protests continue in Salalah in front of the Governor's office (Minister of State & Governor of Dhofar). They're peacefully gathered under their tents and feeling empowered.
(3) More royal decrees out today. Lots and lots of government reshuffling!
(Update - Feb 27)
I'm exhausted. It's been a long day. Here's a mini-summary of the past 48 hours:
(1) Protests continue in Sohar & Salalah
(2) Protests in Salalah quiet and peaceful
(3) Protests in Sohar violent.
(4) Police shot 2 dead (confirmed) in Sohar and maybe up to 4 (last I heard an hour ago)
(5) Tear gas and rubber bullets used on protesters in Sohar.
(6) Police in Salalah snoozing in their cars while protesters sit peacefully opposite the governor's office.
(7) Protesters claim they're not moving until their demands have been fulfilled
(8) Their plan seems to have worked.
(9) His Majesty reshuffles ministers around last night. Royal decrees can be read here.
(10) Protesters still not satisfied
(11) His Majesty (as of a few minutes ago) announced a monthly compensation package of 150 OMR for each registered unemployed person in the country. Where did THAT money come from?
(12) His Majesty has also announced the 'creation' of 50,000 jobs. Sounds highly suspicious. Where did the 50,000 come from?
(13) Huge protests expected on Tuesday March 1st all over the country.
(14) If you live in Salalah, RELAX. There's no violence and it's safe to go outside. The protesters have congregated in front of the Minister's office. There are no protests anywhere else in town. It's not even called a protest anymore. It's a peaceful 'sit-in'. Send them cookies if you want.
Read Muscat Mutterings for more details. I'm cross-eyed. Cheers.
And I thought the opening of Oman's largest Lulu Hypermarket and the launch of the National Geographic exhibition would be the only interesting piece of news from Salalah today! Apparently not! Protesters gathered outside the Governor's office yesterday after Friday prayers and evidently they have not moved and won't until their demands have been fulfilled. I sent my brother to investigate. They've been chanting 'People want an end to corruption!'.
الشعب يريد اسقاط الفساد
What demands? They want the following from His Majesty the Sultan:
(1) An end to corruption in the government
(2) More jobs for people in need
(3) increase in salaries for the poor, widows and divorced women
(4) Lowering prices
(5) An end to financial and administrative wasta in the government and private sector
(6) And other demands.
It'll be interesting to see how it turns out. The police are standing around watching. Nothing violent.
Here's a video of the demonstrations last night
in Salalah. Evidently protests have erupted in Sur, Sohar, Shinas, and more in Muscat. What is going on in the Arab world?!!.
Lulu post will come later!