Protests have been rare in Oman and the ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, is offering reforms to try to quell the demonstrations. On Sunday, he ordered 50,000 civil service jobs be created and offered a monthly stipend of 150 rials ($390) for job seekers. A day earlier, the sultan replaced six Cabinet members.
Thousands participated in a pro-government rally on Tuesday afternoon. They rallied in central Muscat, in front of the capital’s biggest mosque, chanting slogans in support of Oman’s long-serving ruler and calling on the anti-government protesters in Sohar to refrain from destroying state and private property – in contrast to what happened on Sunday night, when demonstrators burned the Lulu supermarket in Sohar.
A large section of the demonstrators here yesterday welcomed the two Royal Decrees, issued by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, on setting up an independent consumer protection authority and granting autonomy to the office of the prosecutor general. Lauding the Royal Decrees, Dr Zakaria Al Mharmi, a medical practitioner at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital and one of the protestors, over the phone said, “We see the two Royal Decrees as part of the new reforms and we are confident His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said will announce more initiatives.”