In Salalah, Sohar and Muscat there has been significant protests over the last week as we all know. There have been Royal Decrees issued all week. The picture above is from the very well written blog by Dan & Jillian Kearney, who are teachers based in Sohar. Go and read their blog, there are some excellent insights and images there. I hope they don't mind I pinched the picture above!
The main demands (10 in total) have been posted on the Al Harah web forum, and I've posted them here (as best as I can tell after Google Translate has had a go):
1. A formal and explicit apology from the Omani Government, in various media, to the families of martyrs, wounded, prisoners. And that there is just compensation for these people.
2. Removal of the Inspector General of the Royal Oman Police because he is responsible for deaths in sohar
3. The Resignation of the Attorney General because he used to report to IG of Police, and the new AG to be an selected from the Judges.
4. Determination of a group of judges of the Supreme Court to oversee the Commission on the Truth The current problem of the public prosecutor on the events of Sohar, with an emphasis on the Committee's deliberations to be open and published in the media first hand.
5. The dismissal of cabinet ministers who said the people by refusing to, and not assigned to any position, official or ceremonial; Ali bin Majid Al Ma'amari, Ahmed bin Abdul Nabi Macki, Maqbool bin Ali bin Sultan, Khamis bin Mubarak Al Alawi, Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Rashidi, and Chancellor Abdul Aziz Bin Mohammed Al Rawas.
6. The formation of the Government of competencies and a national at the earliest opportunity, under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister appointed by the Sultan for a period of two years, so that you are the government - in addition to her duties - reviewed all of the popular demands that emerged from the demonstrations and sit-ins in various regions of the Sultanate, carried out the following priorities:
1 - the formation of economic committee composed of experts Omani economists the task of putting packs economic urgency, to address the claims of economic made by the protesters, with a focus on the problems of unemployed workers and the poor classes in society, and the low salaries of public and private sectors, military, retirees, and to develop radical solutions to the national economy, particularly acquisitions and the crisis of economic monopoly.
2 - to form a committee of experts from the field of education to review the various stages of the educational system, including higher education and its institutions.
7. The formation of an independent judicial commission to investigate cases of corruption and financial security and administrative support.
8. Establishing a National Council for the drafting of the Constitution of Oman, that the ends of his works, to present the draft constitution to a popular referendum in a maximum period of two years from the date of the establishment of the Council.
9. The establishment of a constitutional court separate and apart from the Supreme Court.
10. Expanding the powers of the Shura Council in Legislature and Regulatory matters, and held accountable to the Council of Ministers until the adoption of the Constitution of Oman.
And today, in what is been seen as really big news, HM has acted and removed the following people from office:
Ali bin Majid Al Ma'amari, minister of Royal Office, oman's security apparatus. He's been replaced by General Sultan Al Nu'mani, presently head of Royal Court Affairs.
Nasr bin Humood Al Kindi takes place of Sultan Al Nu'mani at Royal Court Affairs
Ali bin Humood Al Busaidi, minister of Diwan has been replaced by Khalid bin Hilal Al Busaidi
Now that is quite some news - and perhaps a sign of things to come.
In a some-what related story, the insurers for LuLu's in Sohar are saying they wont be paying out for it because they don't cover 'Political Unrest'. Thanks to Jaidev Majumdar of the Muscat Daily for this news.
Local twitter users in Sohar have also reported that since the LuLu's has been out of action, there has been a huge boom in business for other supermarkets in the town, and most noticeably the Safeer mall. I understand that there will be a Carrefour express opening in the Safeer Mall on April 1st. I suspect this has been in the works for some time, because Majid Al Futtaim (the people that own the City Centre mall brand) pulled out of their investment for Sohar City Centre (of which Carrefour was a planned anchor store).
And lastly, on a completely unrelated note, I'm giving away 2 tickets to the Canadian Stampede on March 10th - I'll be drawing the winner on Tuesday evening.