Syria’s Top stories The The Week Ending 29 May 2011


The Week Ending 29 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.

30 May 2011

Top stories

Eight people have been killed on Friday of Homeland Protectors (Homat Al-Diyar). The Syrian authorities have meanwhile continued the broad campaign of arrests, which according to Syrian rights sources have so far resulted in more than ten thousand detainees and one thousand, one hundred civilian deaths. Reports have emerged of the killing of five civilians in a military operation carried out by the Syrian army in the city of Rastan, close to Homs. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem has meanwhile stated that it is Europe that will suffer as a result of the sanctions it has imposed on prominent Syrian figures, among them the Syrian president Bashar Assad. Syrian activists this Friday called for demonstrations on Saturday, naming them ‘the Saturday Revolution of the Fallen Hero Hamza Al-Khateeb’ after the child who was tortured and killed. Lebanese Hezbollah MPs have promised not to add any pressure to the international pressure on the Syrian authorities. In a telephone conversation with the Syrian president, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stressed that Turkey is intent on maintaining the strategic relationship with Syria. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reassured the Syrian authorities by announcing that he will reject the tabling of the Syrian issue at the international Security Council. Meanwhile the leaders of the G8 summit have stated that reforms would allow Syria to play a positive role in the region.

Economy

The Finance Ministry has issued a general communication asking all public authorities not to send any additional requests or undertake any transfers from the public budget for 2011. The Ministry of Finance, in coordination with the Central Bank of Syria, has promised to repay the loans provided by banks operating in Syria to finance last year’s grain season. A reduction in diesel prices in the Syrian market has had a positive impact on agricultural production in Syria in particular. Numerous campaigns to encourage depositing in Syrian governmental banks have continued, in order to support the Syrian pound and the national economy. Meanwhile a decrease in revenues of as much as 50% has been recorded by shipping and transfer companies.

Society

 

The child martyr Hamza Al-Khateeb – who was only thirteen years of age – has become a symbol of the Syrian revolution following the revelation of his tragic torture and killing. Meanwhile a Reuters correspondent has related the details of his bitter experience of degradation and cockroaches while under arrest in Syria. Syrians who have participated in the demonstrations in Syria have told stories of the torture they faced at the hands of the Syrian security forces. The Syrian actor Jamal Suliman has topped Syria’s list of honour created by Syrians on Facebook, which includes artists who support change in Syria.

Syria in the International Press

Western sources are discussing a Turkish-American road map related to the crisis in Syria, in which the Syrian opposition conference represents an important and significant step. Amnesty International has meanwhile obtained a video showing members of the Syrian security forces shooting to kill in order to suppress the protests in Syria. Various agencies have meanwhile reported how a funeral of martyred Syrians transformed into new demonstrations. Analysts have considered that the Syrian president could face a coup by the Syrian army.

From the Syrian Press

Minister for Agriculture and Agrarian Reform Riyad Hijab has confirmed that the Ministry has allocated $6 million to stabilise the population in villages harmed by drought. So called “armed gangs” have been accused by the Syrian media of attacking a policeman and his children in the area of Zabadani. Meanwhile the people of the eastern region are missing out on job opportunities because of errors in the population register. The “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) chanting called for by Syrian activist as a means of announcing their protest has been seen by the Syrian press as a means of incitement and provocation.

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