Mohammed al Shahri, one of the protesters in Salalah, told Muscat Daily that the sit-in will continue for as long as it takes to settle all issues. “Around 5,000 people came together today to push for their demands to be met including increasing salaries for both government and private sector employees, waiving of housing and personal loans and reform of education in Oman,” he said.
“We believe that His Majesty the Sultan ordered some grants to improve education in private colleges a while back but we have not seen how the money was used. Fees are still very high and I think there is a need for reduction in fees. This is one of the issues we would like to see resolved as many people find it difficult to continue with higher education.”
One of the burning issues bothering the people of Salalah is how the 50,000 jobs mandated by a Royal Order will be distributed among the different regions in Oman.
“It looks like the job distribution is unfair and so far we have not heard of any job allocations for the people of Salalah. I believe there is wasta in job allocations.”
“In addition, we are not sure if the process of putting the removed corrupt officials on trial has started or not. We want them tried and if they are guilty, the things they took from the government should be returned.
“Also, there is an issue of the Muriya project where people’s lands between Taqa and Mirbat were taken for the project. The people who were displaced from that area are unhappy and want the government to look into the matter,” Shahri said.