Oman protests continue despite reforms

2011-03-08 16:08
Muscat - Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the offices of the state broadcaster in the Omani capital Muscat on Tuesday called for media freedom and an end to the "misleading of citizens".

Demonstrations in support of political reform have been taking place in the Gulf sultanate for weeks and have continued despite the introduction of measures to this effect.

The protesters on Tuesday also demanded the removal from office of the minister of information, Hamed bin Mohammed Al Rashdi, and advisor to the sultan for cultural affairs, Abdul Aziz Al Rawas.

Hundreds of protesters have been camped out in front of the parliament house while staff of Omani Airways staged a demonstration outside the airline's offices, demanding better wages.

In the northern industrial city of Sohar, renewed protests caused disruption to traffic. Sohar saw violent clashes between protesters and security forces last week that left at least one person dead.

Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said sacked several ministers on Monday, in a third cabinet reshuffle in as many weeks. He replaced ministers holding key posts of economy, commerce and industry, and interior ministries.

The reshuffle was the Omani ruler's latest bid to appease protesters. Last month, he promised to create an additional 50 000 jobs for young people and provide a monthly stipend of about $390 for job seekers.

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