|The Week Ending 1 May 2011
Greetings from the Strategic Research and Communication Centre! Here is a brief about last week’s top stories about and from Syria in English and Arabic.
3 May 2011
Friday of Rage has resulted in the deaths of sixty-two civilians, while the United States and Europe have confirmed that sanctions are being imposed on prominent personalities within the Syrian regime. Fifty members of the Baath party in the blockaded Syrian town of Al-Rastan have resigned, following the announcement of party resignations in the city of Banias. Syrian television has publicised the funerals of the dead soldiers, while Deraa has faced bombardment. Prime Minister Adel Safarhas stated that the government will devote itself over the coming weeks to forming a comprehensive plan for the reforms desired in the various sectors. Meanwhile the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned Syria on Friday for its use of lethal force against peaceful protestors, ordering that an investigation be begun into the circumstances of the killings. Hamas has denied that it intends to leave Syria and European diplomatic sources have announced that there is unanimous agreement within Europe on imposing sanctions on Syria. Ankara has meanwhile stated that it is against foreign intervention in Syria, while London supports doing more.
The Agriculture Ministry has distributed half of the prescribed quantity of fodder rations in areas damaged by the floods in Al-Hassakeh. A study has been reported of consolidated information on the past ten years, judging that temporary workers in Syria should be made permanent. The Arab Company for the Porcelain and Sanitary Ware Industry in Hama has meanwhile breathed its last after its losses exceeded the threshold of $1 million. A contract has been formed for the construction of a photoelectric plant in Damascus’ Countryside with a capacity of one megawatt, costing close to $6 million.
London withdrew the Syrian ambassador’s invitation to the wedding of Prince William as a protest against the repression of demonstrators in Syria. Artist Abbas Al-Nouri has stated that the Syrian people’s strength lies in its cohesiveness and unity. Meanwhile 1,355 residential apartments have been allocated to those registered with the General Housing Establishment in Aleppo. Damascus’ Second International Forum on Psychological Health has been held, focussing on interest in the care programme and early detection in order to achieve a better life. It has been confirmed that Syria’s television drama industry has not been affected by current events.
Syria in the International Press
The international media has reported the outbreak of popular demonstrations in Syria, considering them a challenge to the spread of the army which is surrounding the cities. The international community is meanwhile acting to send a strong message to Syria. Within the context of the dozens of arrests in Syria and the tightening of the noose around Deraa, news has emerged of the authorities’ detention of the lawyer Hassan Ismail Abdelazim, General Secretary of the Democratic Arab Socialist Union party. Meanwhile hundreds of Syrians have crossed the border into Lebanon after the Syrian army surrounded Tal Kalakh. A march has been held in the Jordanian border town of Al-Ramtha in support of the Syrian people.
From the Syrian Press
There has been a review of Friday’s count of members of the army and security forces and civilians killed, while international pressure on Syria increases in ferocity. Rain and floods have caused significant damage to wheat, barley and cotton in Al-Hassakeh province. Eight people have drowned in these floods. A rise in the prices of foodstuffs has meanwhile been observed in Aleppo, causing the Chamber of Commerce to convene to deal with the issue before unrest emerges on the Aleppan street. The Governor of Lattakia has demanded that journalists in the province refrain from hypocrisy.