Monday, April 4, 2011

Update 16: Salalah Protests (not the end)

So yesterday's rumor turned out to be false. The protests continue in Salalah and they plan to stay in the People's Square (nickname for governor's parking lot) until the Sultan addresses them himself or their demands are met. Read more here. Officials keep coming to speak to them, but isn't it clear? The people do not trust the government anymore. Simple as that. Ministers mean nothing anymore. Reality hurts, but it's true.

Yesterday's press conference with Sayyid Fahd Al Said was a positive gesture, and I'm sure most of you agree with that. He encouraged newspapers to not hold back when publishing news about protests. He reminded them of the critical role that media plays in times like these. He told them to report current events in Oman without sugar-coating them. He confirmed that people were working day and night to work on addressing the demands of the protesters. He assured the nation that every human is entitled to a decent life. Read the rest below. Don't mind the crappy translation. I love how Omani newspapers just can't seem to let go of the word 'glory' and 'glorious' when describing Oman and/or the ruler.

Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud meets Editors-in-Chief of Local Newspapers and Magazines and Senior Media Officials.

Muscat, April 3 (ONA)- Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers met today with editors-in-chief of local newspapers and magazines and senior media officials in the presence of Hamed bin Mohammed al Rashdi, Information Minister and Sheikh Abdullah bin Shuwain al Hosni, Undersecretary of the Information Ministry. .

At the beginning of the meeting, Sayyid Fahd hailed the qualitative and quantitative development witnessed by the Omani media and the efforts undertaken by the local newspapers to present the views and ideas. He pointed out that the modern media is not only a mean for transmitting news but rather a very important interactive process that enhances communication among officials and citizens and enhances the social constructive dialogue so that everyone can shoulder his national responsibilities.He said that education and awareness are among the major task of media men so that every citizen feels that he is not living alone and that there are some people who care for him, listen to his views, aspirations and transmit it honestly. At the same time, it provides that piece of information which may not be known to him to rest assured about his present and future.

Sayyid Fahd affirmed that the meeting provides the opportunity to identify the challenges facing the Omani media and how to overcome them. . As for the current events on the Omani arena, Sayyid Fahd pointed out that His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said is a wise leader who managed to guide Oman to the highest ranking of glory, progress and good reputation. "We should all preserve the achievements at which the loyal people of Oman took part in realizing them", he added.
Sayyid Fahd also pointed out that the Sultanate should not be compared with others when it comes to addressing the events that were not known in the Omani society. No doubt that the care and interest covers all those living on this kind land and that it is important to preserve the safety and security of people and their property. The policemen are watchful to ensure this while maintaining highest degree of self control. We consider the safety of everyone in this country as gain for all of us because our society vehemently dismisses all forms of violence. Therefore, it is important to focus on raising awareness of good behaviours in addressing the demands, especially that freedom of opinion is guaranteed to everyone in the society and receives attention of the leadership and all officials who work tirelessly to satisfy the demands that ensure descent life for every citizen. He affirmed that the corrective steps recently taken by the state will be seriously activated, especially those related to strict auditing in a bid to preserve the achievements of this nation. We assure everyone that the reform march is on the right track of which the general frame was outlined by the leadership, he continued.
Sayyid Fahd pointed out that there are many issues which are now being studied carefully, in addition to evaluating the education policies and areas related to developing the private and public sectors while taking into consideration the Omanis working in these sectors. He added that all steps will see light successively and that they all translate the aspirations that serve the public interest. Sayyid Fahd urged everyone to cooperate to present the civilized reality of this country, known for its rich history and culture.

The participants took part in the dialogue by presenting some views and expressed their deep appreciation for the confidence invested in them by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the support they receive to enable them to carry out their national mission efficiently. They affirmed their commitment to media ethics and adopting freedom of expression to help this generous country preserve its achievements. They hoped that more similar meetings should be held to cast light on a number of issues on the Omani arena.

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