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A Weekend For Modern-day Tensions, Memories Of Other Times …

  • April 24th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

syria-demonst-1.jpgWorld news during the religious season this weekend has focused on the violence in Syria, with some 100 believed killed by security forces over two days (22-23.4.11).

For Australians the coincidence of dates means Easter is conjoined with Anzac Day.


syria-demonst-2.jpgAnnouncements by the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria that it was lifting “emergency” bans on protest, in force since 1963, were followed within days by the security police actions.

Demonstrations around the funerals of people killed in earlier protests have been tolerated up till this weekend, but are now being fired upon.

syria-semonstr-burqa.jpgHowever protests have been reported in increasing numbers of places, including the capital, Damascus — and in foreign capitals, (see picture, Lebanon).

Activists demanding free elections have been smuggling out information and images, against a communication ban imposed by the government, which says its opponents include criminal gangs.

See video, Aljazeera, 23.4.11: over who-is-who in the conflict in Syria has heightened anxiety outside the country about further destabilisation in the Middle East.

For the moment the main focus is on the attacks on civilians, both the European Union and Australia joining in the condemnation of it.

The EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, said the shootings were intolerable.

“The Syrian authorities must immediately stop their violent response and fully respect citizens’ right to peaceful demonstrations,” she said.


cronulla-flag.jpgThe Anzac Day observances set for Monday were being noted at Easter weekend sporting events in Australia, the Last Post heard at such places as Shark Park in Cronulla, Sydney, before the home team squared off against the North Queensland Cowboys, (Cowboys won 30-12).

Pictures, Cronulla Anzac Day: Surf club flagstaff; RSL – scene of two-up; drinks for serving personnel; cenotaph following dawn service.



Official attention has focused this year on former theatres of war in Asia.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was scheduled to attend a service at the South Korean national memorial, after earlier speaking at the site of the Battle of Kapyong, fought by Australians serving with the United Nations forces in 1951; with the Governor General, Quentin Bryce, going to Hellfire Pass on the former Burma Railway, with a party of veterans re-visiting one of the worst scenes in their imprisonment during World War II.

Australians traveling to services at Gallipoli, and on the Western Front – at the new war memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, or the Anzac Day march at Ypres – were expected to again draw large crowds.

Organisers in France said they could see 4000 attend.
Aljazeera in English, Doha, “Violence continues in Syria”, video, 23.4.11., (25.4.11).

CSM, Boston,
“Syrian security forces raid home of activists after breaking up funerals”, 24.4.11., (25.4.11).

Ola Galal and Jonathan Salat, “Syrian deaths reported for second day”, Bloomberg, NY, 24.4.11., (25.4.11).




globalvoiceonline, globalpost, haaretz