Saturday, January 29, 2011

Singaporeans should learn from the Egyptians & Tunesians their experience

Whatever their outcomes may be, they stood up and fight for a better national future, they should be proud. Their efforts and experience are going to be valuable to the billions of oppressed and exploited people in this world, in particular Singaporeans. And Singaporeans will have to learn both from the positive and negative angles and compare what these people did against what was done by others in this world, e.g. Thais, Taiwanese, Ukrainians, etc. A huge amount of dos and don't can be learned from every such campaigns. What prices did the people paid and what result did they secured. These knowledge will be useful in our own calculations and plannings. ;)

Everyone must had made mistakes, and did something creative or extraordinary or commendable, so via these different angles Singaporeans as a people of a young country can benefit from experience of these people who had put up their fights and paid their prices. Universities not limited to Political Science faculty can make studies into these mass civil movements. Activists can do case study & workshop of it. LEEgime can chew on it and try to calculate your own new position. ;-)

I urge Singaporeans to watch these events closely.

Mubarak holds crisis talks at presidency: TV

CAIRO: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was holding crisis talks with senior officials at the presidency, state television reported on Saturday, as mass riots demanding his ouster entered their fifth day.

"President Mubarak is now holding an important meeting with officials at the presidency," TV reported.

Earlier, at least three people were killed during anti-regime protests in downtown Cairo on Saturday, medics at a mobile hospital told AFP as they tended to dozens of the wounded.

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered on the central Tahrir square in defiance of a curfew and an order not to congregate during a fifth day of nationwide protests demanding that veteran President Hosni Mubarak stand down.

Egyptian police open fire on Cairo protesters

Egyptian police opened fire on a massive crowd, killing at least one demonstrator in downtown Cairo as the protests demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak took another deadly turn on Saturday.

The body of a dead protester was carried on the shoulders of a chanting crowd and many others were wounded after riot police opened fire in the heart of Egypt's capital city.

Thousands of protesters are now attempting to storm the offices of the Interior Ministry as protests against Egypt's authoritarian government stretched through its fifth day.

The clash comes shortly after a government-imposed curfew went into affect at 4 p.m. local time, following a relatively peaceful day of protest.

Public demonstrations and looting continued on Saturday even as the Cabinet resigned on the orders of the president.

State television was reporting that Mubarak named a new vice-president on Saturday, choosing his intelligence chief and close confidant Omar Suleiman to the post.

It was not immediately clear how the announcement would impact public demands that Mubarak leave his post after 30 years of authoritarian rule.

Mubarak has refused to meet the protesters' demands to step but pledged to usher in political reform.

The concession did little to stem the tide, as thousands of anti-government protesters returned to central Cairo on Saturday, chanting for Mubarak to leave the country.

The protest – the largest Egypt has experienced in decades – has been prompted by anger over the country's crushing poverty, unemployment and corruption.

At least 26 protesters and 10 police officers have been killed in the clash. Security officials say the death toll is likely much higher and will adjust as hospitals and morgues report in from across the country.

Al Jazeera is reporting that at least 100 people have been killed in protests across the country.

The number of people who have been wounded is being counted in the thousands.

For five days, crowds have overwhelmed police forces in Cairo and other major cities, often accompanied by rock attacks and firebombs.

Armoured vehicles and military forces were posted overnight near government buildings and around demonstration sites such as Tahrir Square. Unlike police forces, which are loathed for their cruelty, protesters appeared to accept the military presence.

Saad Abedine, a CNN reporter posted in Cairo, told CTV News Channel protesters did not appear swayed by Mubarak's promised regime changes, insisting the crowds would not be satisfied until the president had stepped down.

"I spoke to various people yesterday right after his speech and everybody said the same thing. They don't respect him, they don't like him and they have had enough," he said.

"Everybody is shouting for one thing. It is a time for the whole system to just collapse and bring in new people, a new regime. They don't believe that the government is enough. They want the parliament to be gone, they want free elections and they want the president definitely to resign."

The military was protecting heritage sites such as the Egyptian Museum, which is home to some of the country's most treasured antiquities. The pyramids were closed to tourists on Saturday.

During the worst of the clash on Friday, protesters attacked the ruling party's headquarters, burning the facility to the ground.

In a televised address, Mubarak dismissed his Cabinet and made vague promises of social reform while accusing protesters of plotting to destabilize Egypt by destroying the legitimacy of his regime.

The address outraged protesters who stayed in the streets well into the night, chanting for an end to his three-decade of authoritarian rule.

"What we want is for Mubarak to leave, not just his government," Mohammed Mahmoud told The Associated Press. "We will not stop protesting until he goes."

Cell phone and Internet service was cut off earlier in the conflict, but reports suggested that cell phones were working Saturday morning. Internet service appeared to remain blocked, hampering protesters who used social networking sites to organize.

The situation prompted criticism from U.S. President Barack Obama, who asked Mubarek to take concrete steps to improve human rights.

Obama's government threatened to reduce its $1.5 billion foreign aid program if the Egyptian government, Washington's most important Arab ally, escalated the use of force.

Foreign affairs experts derided Mubarak's decision to dismiss his government's cabinet as shortsighted, saying that a change to his staff would not satisfy those calling for constitutional change.

Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, U.S. Senator John Kerry called for Mubarak to respond to his citizen, adding that the dismissal of his government didn't address those issues.

"I think that we have to see how things move today and, obviously, the key here is for President Mubarak to respond to the needs of his people in a way that is more directly connected to their frustrations, much more so than apparently yesterday's speech succeeded in doing," Kerry told The Associated Press.

With files from The Associated Press


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