08 February 2013 9:49 am | | 16

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Opposition leader Chokri Belaid

Tunisia is preparing for the noon funeral procession today of assassinated opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

President Moncef Marzouki issued instructions yesterday for a national funeral and day of morning for Belaid, who was gunned down by unknown assailants outside his Tunis home on Wednesday morning. Flags throughout the country will fly at half-mast.

The funeral procession will start on foot from the Cultural Center in Djebel Jelloud, the Tunis suburb where Belaid grew up, at noon local time.

A military vehicle will carry his body to El Jallaz cemetery, where he will be buried in the Martyr’s Square.

The funeral will be attended by many senior opposition leaders, family members, and colleagues. The Defense Minister will attend the procession representing Marzouki.

Going against Tunisian traditions, Besma Khalfaoui, wife of the late opposition leader, called on women to partake in funeral procession to the burial site.

Tunisia’s largest labor union, the UGTT, called yesterday for a nationwide general strike Friday to coincide with the funeral.

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Comments (16)

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  1. michael says:

    The assignation of Belaid is a turning point for Tunisia. Tunisia is at a crossroads between a path of violence or a new secular revolution to stop the current government’s experiment with a so called moderate Islamist ideology. The truth is that Tunisia has always been moderate both in nature and the way they treated each other. However, due to the fanatical Salafists, Tunisia is facing a new unknown menace, that if not stopped now by moderate forces, it will repeat the Alegerian experience with of all of the horrors associated with their civil war. Tunisia needs to focus on its economic problems to eliminatate the core reasons why Islamists can unduly influence young men by promising great hope not in this world but the future in Heaven. The more the country is allowed to sink into a never ending strife, the more business investments are being pulled away due to the economic uncertainty. The secular forces have to grasp the courage to vote this terrible government out of office and unleash the power of the state on these radical Islamists and put religion back in the mosque where it belongs. The secular state can ill afford such chaos. Tunisians have the brain power and will to make Tunisia a shining example in a turbulent North Africa. Let us hope that the current regime has been exposed for who they are truly and what their idea of moderate Islam has done to this country. This kind of violence is repugnant to Tunisians. Let us hope that the secular forces will win the day and bring Tunisia back to the 21st century.


  2. mark says:

    with respect neither of you are in a position i suspect to speak for 90% of anything. The situation in Tunisia has been made worse through the growth of the fundamentalist agenda being so different from what the people largely knew before…There is no democracy anywhere that was created without uprising and war. If Tunisia wants to be a democracy then it must be prepared to embrace change. If Tunisia wants to be and Islamic state then it also must be prepared for change….very simple really.

    Why people are shocked over this mans death is strange to me I am sure he expected it each day for simply being who he was…if he did not then he was a fool. Should the government keep people safe of course they should but the truth is they have not kept any one safe. People are no longer even surprised when there are no charges against the atrocities the Salifast people commit. They have been given license to operate with impunity……the government protects them.

    People should now start to look after themselves and be prepared to do what they need to do to bring about change. The majority have caused so many problems that they need to be shown again what the majority want…if they dont want to join in to bring Tunisia and its people up then they should be given airfare to Saudi or Qatar where they will be welcome.

    Stop blaming and take responsibility for the actions, reactions or non actions you take….These people are using God, Allah whoever to hide behind they are really just nasty inadequate people who happen to claim Islam…but make no mistake their brand of Islam is not the same as many other muslims and these people cause problems where ever they raise their nasty heads.

    • yasmina says:

      if these guys according to you cannot speak for Tunisians, then using the same argument and with a lame name like yours, you’d be the last person to have any credibility to speak about Tunisia.
      Your demeaning comments about Tunisians and Belaid himself (“Why people are shocked over this mans death is strange to me I am sure he expected it each day for simply being who he was…if he did not then he was a fool.”, as well as your paternalistic and arrogant tone make you ill prepared to utter a single word about my country…go home and shut up.

      • mark says:

        I am from your country so you shut up….My point was that any person in the public spot light would know that they were in danger so why would Tunisia be any different. Remember the government has not done anything to protect the people….maybe the party will learn from this mans murder that they need to protect those who lead.

        no one can speak for another person…so shut up again…it was not an insult it is a fact like you cant speak for me and i would not attempt to speak for you. There is a huge assumption made when claiming to speak for 90% of anything.

        The way forward is not to insult or see insult where none was intended but to understand there are a lot of problems and dialogue is is not always pleasing but necessary…..

        If you were not to quick to insult you would read my introduction that says quite clearly…’with respect…..so maybe you should shut up for a long time or until you have something valid to say

        • yasmina says:

          starting with “with respect” and following with bull-crap doesn’t transform your bull-crap into ice cream ice cream. Your record of comments here make you the most “jack assed” person here.

          Implying that a dead person might be a fool is the culmination of cowardliness.

          But otherwise, sorry, no man in my country uses a pseudonym like “mark”….you heard it, NO MAN.

          • mark says:

            What a angry little person you are….There have been many civil rights leaders who have been foolish with security and it has cost their lives Benazir Bhutto and Martin Luther King, Ghandi to name a few. Great people and believers in their cause who motivated millions of people. However disregarded security foolishly and are now dead…lost to us all.

            Chokri Belaid had not yet reached that status but now we will never know..so yes in my anger and sadness i call him foolish for not taking better care of him self and his security. If that some how, in your less than vivid imagination makes me a coward in your eyes so be it….Happily, I don’t put you in a position to judge me so please carry on with assumptions and judgements…or as we say make yourself tired.

            Because someone is dead does not make them a different person. I am sure his family now wish they had taken his security seriously and now maybe the others will so this wont happen again.

            I wont reply to more of your insults….I suggest you move on…..possibly get a life, too much yaki yaki bursha

        • Truthteller says:

          Yasmina and Mark…you can both disagree, but name calling won’t solve anything. Politically, you both are closer than you think. Mark, your remark about assasination being expected is tendentious and betrays your cynicism about ‘the rule of law.’ As a politically conscious citizen, you have to fight for that law to be enforced. Cynicism and arm chair analysis are not enough. An arrogant know-it -all tone will not get you heard. Yasmina, you are saying the same things in different ways, but because you are defending your personal position and taking offense (and then Mark is escalating by denying your right to speak), you cannot hear yourselves.

          To my mind what’s happened is that in the flush and furor of revolution following the ousting of ben Ali, people desperately wanted change. Because al-Nahdha had a reputation of oppressed/persecuted minority, of all parties who competed, it was known (organized) and their hands were ‘clean.’ Citizens naively assumed that using Godas their banner would make the party members moral and free of corruption. Years of authoritarianism had produced a politically inexperienced citizenry who left it up to the ‘experts and technocrats’ to rule the country. Unused to the instability, and giving credence to the rhetoric of ‘moderate Islamism’ coming from Ghanoushi but also from the West, people rushed to believe and voted for al-Nahdha.

          From what I saw this summer, al-Nahdha has not been sharing power, nor do they think of themselves as a ‘transitional government’ but are slowly placing their sympathisers in key bureacuractic positions.They have dragged their feet on the constitution, have not created any investments with the billions that they have been given/loaned by the EEC, Qatar(!), Libya, etc. They have voted for raises for themselves in the Constitutent Assembly, but not adequately compensated the victims of the revolution. Not much has been done in the area of transitional justice–both of you agree on that. Al-Nahdha (and the Salafists that have been allowed to proliferate through intimidation tactics) have turned a revolution that demanded “work, freedom, and national dignity” above all into a culture war about God and secularism. “Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and render unto God that which is God’s.” God alone cannot balance the budget, nor create jobs, or attract foreign investment. The people –even a God fearing people–must do that themselves.

          Most Tunisians I know regret the day they voted for al-Nahdha and would vote them out, if given a chance. Elections must be allowed to happen on schedule and not be indefintely postponed. Homegrown candidates who have lived in the country through the ben Ali era must take leadership and not leave the future direction of the nation to exiles who have languishedfor decades in jails abroad or lived disconnectd to the daily reality of Tunisians trying to put food on the table.

          Tunisians are a politically awake people now. They have to decide their destiny. It will involve a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be a violent fight that tears the country apart. Remember the hey days of your revolution…we were all inspired by how you came together from all parts of Tunisia to demand dignity and freedom from oppression. Do not substitute a corrupt dictatorship by another from the right that claims God is on their side.

          • mark says:

            @ Truth teller. Thanks for the interference You are of course correct this is bigger than petty name calling. I apologize. On with the debate

  3. Uknown says:

    It’s not about religion dim wit it’s about government and governmental lies and mistakes and want of power: using religion as an excuse and a way to get approval of the people. Stupid Nahdha.

  4. Brad Naksuthin says:

    Religion is really a terrible thing. That’s why some societies have attempted to ban religions.

    Religions create intolerance because most religions believe
    This is a central belief of ALL the major religions except Buddhism…which is not so much a religion as a philosophy.
    That’s why there have been so many religious wars over the years.
    And that is the reason why most of the “hot” spots in the world today where people are killing each other and dying…are places where religion plays a major part in the conflict.

    Islam, Judaism and Christianity…for thousands of years fighting among themselves and fighting each other.

    The world would be a much better place had these three religions never existed

    • Tunisian says:

      90% of Tunisians don’t approve of your statement. We find it insutling.

    • Richard says:

      90% of Americans also believe in God. In addition, the greatest mass murderers in history were Stalin, an atheist, and Hitler, a believer in witchcraft. And that at a time that 99+% of people believe in God. God protect us against a time when atheists should become a majority.

    • Big al says:

      You don’t have a clue what you are talking about,

      You don’t compare Isalm to Christianity

      Isalm wants the blood of it’s own kids to die for a cause

      Christianity, God gave his own son on the cross for the sins of mankind

      you believe that, it will change your life, you stay hardened to salvation that only belongs to Jesus you

      my friend will die in your sins, and remain in your indifference!

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