Citizens seek more jobs and amenities

MUSCAT: The Sultanate witnessed protests at four different places, on different issues, yesterday. The protests were held near Sohar Gate in Saham, at the Ministry of Education office in Muscat, at Shomoukh in the wilayat of Manah, and in Suwiaq.
The protest in Ruwi was led by teachers demanding reforms in the education sector and in their service terms.

The protest in Shomoukh was led by nationals seeking employment. They had recently lost their jobs at a well-known engineering and contracting company.

The rally in Suwaiq was organised by citizens to protest against the alleged delay in implementing the promises made by the

Meanwhile, citizens protested in Saham against the alleged delay in ensuring adequate safety measures on roads in an accident prone area.

Teachers staged a sit-in at the Ministry of Education in Muscat to protest against the alleged delay in implementing the promises made to them in March by the authorities concerned.

“We were waiting all these days in hope that our demands would be met. But we have realised that the ministry is not willing to meet our demands. So we staged a sit-in. We need a number of changes in the current education system and in our service terms. We are overburdened,” said a protesting teacher.

During the strike, the teachers also held talks with the minister. “The outcome of the talk is not that much inspiring for us to stop the strike. We didn’t get a satisfactory answer. So we’ll intensify the strike from today,” he added.
The protest in Shomoukh was led by 300 nationals who had lost their jobs recently.

“We were given termination notice recently. Now, we don’t have jobs. We are stranded on the road literally. We think the government will take up the issue and come to our rescue,” said a protestor.

Sources told Times of Oman that around 1,000 citizens had lost their jobs at the company.

The protest, that started at 7:30am, was concluded at around 5pm. The protestors were demanding the intervention of the Ministry of Manpower to settle the issue.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Diwan and the Minister of Oil and Gas met the protesters. “The ministers have assured us that they would resolve the issue amicably,” a protestor added.
Security forces were present in the area as the demonstrations continued.

Meanwhile, a source from the company that has sacked the nationals told Times of Oman, on the condition of anonymity, that it had lost four service contracts, as a result of which it had to fire nearly 5,000 of its employees due to the financial constraints. “Four of our service contracts ended recently. So we had to remove the employees from those work sites,” the source said, adding that a new company had got the fresh contract and had already started work.

In Suwaiq, the protests were held in the wee hours yesterday. The protestors were demanding speedy implementation of reforms promised by the authorities earlier during the March protests. They were also demanding the creation of more job opportunities to curb unemployment.

The protestors blocked the road and the anti-riot forces had to disperse them to open the road for traffic. No casualties were reported.

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