Monday, March 14, 2011
By: Shwan Zulal
The good humour of the protest continues as the crowd gather around many poets and intellectuals to read out speeches. They range from serious political speeches rallying the crowd to speeches with humour to entertain the crowd. Maidani Azadi has become a meeting place for many students on a early Nawroz break and a flirting hot spot as its is known as (MEBAZI) in Kurdish.
One person which was not popular today was the Prime Minister, He published a statement answering the protesters demands and it could be described as weak and without real substance. The statement sounds like a personal wish list rather than a prime ministerial statement addressing a nation demanding reform and social justice. In one of the points he is addressing the issue of militia bases in the towns and cities and make recommendations in a personal capacity and not as PM. He recommends that the political parties reduce the size of their presence and have less bases and offices. This statement cannot convince the public that it is from a man who has authority and can make the changes he wants. Salih seems to be trying to do whatever he can to get the situation under control but the problem is obvious and this crises has made it more visible. The current PM does not have the full confidence of the political parties as he is pro reform therefore he could not change the system.
One thing Salih needs to be commended for is apologising for the shootings which killed and injured many protesters. Unlike Barzani and Talabni he showed a degree of leadership which cannot be said for the other two. Nevertheless, words and apologies are all welcomed but so far neither the PM's statement nor any other official have taken any active steps to prove that they mean what they say. None of the perpetrators who have shot the protesters been charged and only two are under investigations. There is no mention of the chain of command and who has ordered gunmen to shoot protesters in Slemani. The protesters are defiant and have said, they need action not words. So far neither KRG nor the political parties have shown any willingness to put their words into action.
It is becoming clearer by the day that Barzani family and the political party are above the law and parliament as they can take all sort of unilateral decisions like closing schools and universities and preventing people from Slemani to enter Erbil as well as arresting and shooting people without any regard to the law. Refusing to take any responsibility and shying away from questioning by Journalists, the so called guardians of the nations have been hiding because the cannot justify the self serving approach they adopted running the region.
This current unrest has been brought about by the inequality in the Kurdish society and the leaders must understand unless there is fairness and rule of law in Kurdistan, a stable government cannot be a reality. Protesters demands are; end corruption, unite the nation armed forces, stop tribal politics, rule of law, fairness, social justice ... . The majority of Kurdish people support these principles and do not understand why anyone who wants the beast for the nation call these demands unreasonable and the protesters saboteurs.