This Euronews video says about itself:
At least two people are reported to have been killed in anti-government protests in Oman.
A rather conservative estimate of the number of people killed.
First, there was going to be a state visit by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, her son the crown prince, Crown Princess Maxima, and various Dutch big business fat cats, to autocratic Oman. That state visit was supposed to include Sohar port, partly Dutch owned.
However, then, like in Tunisia, Egypt, and many other countries, the people of Oman started demonstrating for democracy. Especially in Sohar, there was bloody suppression of the demonstrations. Demonstrators were killed.
The Dutch government did not want the queen to be caught up in pro-democracy demonstrations and their suppression in Sohar. So, the state visit was off. However, this Tuesday there will still be a private visit to the sultan of Oman, by Queen Beatrix, the crown prince, and the crown princess.
Why does it seems to be so urgent that Queen Beatrix will see Sultan Qaboos? A question of personal sympathy? No, there seem to be more sinister reasons: selling bloody weapons of war.
Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad writes today:
Queen Beatrix is said to visit the sultan of Oman from an economical point of view, especially to get a big military business order. De Volkskrant writes this morning that Dutch shipyard Damen Schelde may be selling four navy ships worth “hundreds of millions of euros” to the Arab country. …
The sultan of Oman has already proved important for economic interests of the Netherlands in Oman, this morning’s Volkskrant continues. Shell was pumping oil there for years, but a few years ago, its concession expired. There then was supposed to be a tendering procedure, until the Sultan of Oman decided that Shell should continue to do business, the morning paper learned from “an official concerned.”
The Dutch Department of Foreign Affairs is said to see in the dictatorship in Oman, and the growing resistance to it, no reason to stop the promotion of naval vessels. According to the official, those ships are not for war or other nefarious motives.
Yeah right, warships are never for war. And if port workers in Sohar are demonstrating, the warships will never ever fire at them … right? Like all those Western weapons sold to the Gadaffi regime in Libya, also were never used against the Libyan people … err … oops!
In De Volkskrant, a Damen Schelde manager says:
Oman is really important to us.
In Oman: National airline employees demand rise in wages: here.
Oman sit-in enters eighth day: here.
Women on the Frontlines in Bahrain: here.
Egypt Special: 7 Videos of Takeovers of State Security Headquarters: here.
Report: Mubarak’s sons received millions of dollars for backing Israeli gas sales: here.
Latest videos from Morocco’s day of nation-wide protests: here.
Banned books return to Egypt & Tunisia: here.