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Citizens speak out - 30 Jul 2011

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Published on Sep 8, 2011

Citizens speak out. People continue standing firm in their resolve to bring better living conditions as well as greater freedoms and democratic principles into their lives as they gather in countries such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Chile, Egypt, Libya, Myanmar (Burma), Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and around the world.

CHILE - Cuban-based Prensa Latina reported on Thursday, July 28 that representatives from teacher and student groups met with Minister of Education Felipe Bulnes to present a proposal for resolving the current discord, which was welcomed by Minister Bulnes as a constructive first step toward achieving their goals.

MYANMAR - Burmese Nobel Peace laureate and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi sent an open letter to President Thein Sein calling for a ceasefire between government troops and major ethnic groups, while also offering to mediate in peace talks, saying that national reconciliation can only succeed through political negotiation.

AFGHANISTAN - The UK-based BBC reported Thursday that BBC journalist Ahmed Omed Khpulwak was among 25 people killed the previous day in an attack by an armed group in the southern city of Tarin Kowt.

TUNISIA - A court in Tunis on Thursday issued a 16-year jail sentence in absentia to former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on charges of corruption and property fraud. As the third trial and sentencing since the former leader departed for Saudi Arabia in January, he now would be facing a total of 50 years in Tunisian jail.

YEMEN - On Thursday, Yemeni security forces opened fire on protesters in Taiz, with the number of injured unknown, as citizens persisted in their demands for the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's longtime rule. Meanwhile, near the capital Sana'a in Arhab district, at least 45 pro-activist tribesmen were killed in clashes with Yemeni troops.

SYRIA - On Thursday night, activists report that security forces shot and killed at least two protesters in Deir Ezzour as they joined in calling for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while on Friday, as tens of thousands gathered across the country, troops opened fire and shot tear gas canisters at activists in Deraa, with no immediate reports of casualties.

With deep sympathies for those who have perished or suffer from injuries due to conflict, we pray that the strife in all nations may subside for people to choose to live, dignified and free, in a peaceful world.

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