#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Tunisians fighting on for democracy - lesson for the oppressed?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tunisians fighting on for democracy - lesson for the oppressed?

RIPPED TO SHREDS: Banner of former dictator, Ben Ali.
Determined Tunisians are holding tight to their demands for democratic rule.
Demonstrations have continued since dictator Zine-al Abidine Ben Ali was ousted on Friday, with protests overnight taking place as the interim prime minister tried to name a new government.

About a thousand people demonstrated in the capital demanding the interim prime minister, Mohammed Ghannouchi, form a new government free of any members of Ali's former  Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party.

More than 70 people are believed dead but Ghannouchi earlier today named an interim government pledging to abolish Tunisia's information ministry and to create a state where the media had "total freedom".

The announcement came amid growing pressure from demonstrators for Tunisia to make a clean break with the policies of the former president, who was in office for 23 years.

Journalists say there is some uncertainty over whether the inclusion of several veteran ministers in senior positions will be acceptable to those protesting on the streets.

One opposition figure, Ahmed Bouazzi, of the Progressive Democratic Party, said he believed the demonstrations would now be put on hold.

"It's not realistic to dissolve the ruling party," he told the BBC, citing the example of the chaos that engulfed Iraq after Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath party was dissolved in 2003. "We can go forward with this government, and can even go again into the streets if it is not working."

But others were less convinced by the presence of several veterans of Ben Ali's government in the new administration.

"It's as if Ben Ali's system is still there," Mohamed Mishgri told Reuters news agency. "It's for that reason that the demonstrations are continuing in Tunis. We want a new state with new people."

Unrest in Tunisia had grown over several weeks, with widespread protests over high unemployment and high food prices pitching demonstrators against Tunisia's police and military.

After dozens of deaths the protests eventually toppled Ben Ali's government. The demonstrations gained momentum in December after a 26-year-old unemployed man, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire in protest against a lack of jobs in the country. He died earlier this month.

Amid concerns the protests may spread across the region, a man set himself on fire outside the Egyptian parliament buildings in Cairo on Monday. His motivation was not immediately clear.

There have also been several such incidents in Algeria which, like Egypt and Tunisia, has high unemployment and has been facing political unrest. (BBC and other news sources)


Epeli said...

The disposal of the Tunisian dictator Ben Ali will resonate through the developing world for quite some time. The events show, that even in the most oppressive police states, the power of the people can change the faith of nations very quickly. First, the Arab world will be impacted but even the Pacific and Fiji will feel the shock waves. The faltering economy of Fiji, the stealing of money by the regime and its cronies and the draconian oppression of the people is a good recipe for turmoil. The question remains if Fiji is a nation of cowards accepting anything a dictator dishes out or a place where a little self respect and civil courage still exists.

Mo Jo said...

epeli@3.21pm tis not only fijians tis the pacific people generally though the mau mau movement in samoa comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

Baby Doc from Haiti looking for another gig - maybe Vore could in invite him to Viti?

Wishful thinking said...

OI, weren't the Mau Mau in Kenya? Or have I missed something? Anyone hoping for a rerun of Tunisia in Fiji is deluded.There's no comparison whatsoever, no first family enriching itself while the rest of the nation simmers.

Where's the evidence of anger on the streets of Suva? Where's the heightened military presence? People are just getting on with their lives.It might make the regime's critics puke but many ordinary people I know think FB and his sidekick, ASK, are doing a pretty good job. I don't agree with them but that's the truth.

There will be NO revolution because everyone in Fiji is so complacent and respectful of authority, whoever runs the matanitu. Of course, if the economy goes down the toilet, things might be different. But you watch, that's not going to happen because of Frank's new tau in Beijing.

Propping up Fiji is nothing compared with what the Chinese are getting in return, a stronghold right in the middle of the ANZUS backyard. Global domination is what it's all about and Frank knows it. He'll play them all off against each other and do as he pleases. Just like Seru Cakobau did to become Tui Viti but on a bigger scale.