By: Shwan Zulal
Saturday, March 26, 2011
By: Shwan Zulal
The protest continues in Kurdistan and there is frustration among protesters for lack response from the politicians. It is over a month since the protest started and action by KRG is still illusive. Although the President and PM have made many promises, none have materialised.
The big test next week would be when the Universities are opening their doors again after they were shut by the all-powerful student union just after the protest started in Kurdistan. Newroz Break was extended in fear of student protest in Erbil and other parts of Kurdistan. There are many student from Slemani(Sulaimaniyah) studying in Erbil who have been prevented from entering the city last week due to security screening and filtering out people from Slemani.
The KDP Student Union has asked students and Lectures to take an extended break without the approval of the Higher Education Minister. The minister was surprised when he found out about the decision and he complained that his authority has been undermined. Nevertheless, the Minister still continues in his role to date and despite being publicly humiliated. KDP and PUK militia have made it clear that they are the ones who run the show in Kurdistan and not KRG ministers. This conduct can be described as a typical Kurdish politician's behaviour, although his position have practically been rendered defunct, he still continues and does not take it upon himself to do the honourable thing and resign.
This issue of political organizations overriding the decision of government minister is at the heart of what the protesters want changed. Given the history of the region and the double administrations in the past, one can conclude that the old system is still there and have been disguised and hidden under the cover of KRG.
The universities are opening tomorrow and the question would be, whether they will stay open and for how long, especially in Erbil. Salahaddin University is expected to open under heavy security presence, and Students Union would have a major role in trying to forestall protests. Many believe Erbil could erupt, as traditionally in Kurdistan the Universities have taken the initiative in starting protests.
Today some of the protester in Maidani Azadi Slemani, Koya and Halabja, took part in Friday prayer as a symbol of defiance. The pattern have been copied from the Egyptian uprising model and so far it proved effective as it has generated a lot of debate about its legitimacy within religious circles. Meanwhile, Lvinprees have reported heavy security presence in all the mosques in Erbil.