Libya, Day 9: "My Heart Is Burning With Sorrow"
Al Jazeera says of the above video:
You must watch this. The family of Mohamed Bouazizi, the young Tunisian from Sidi Bouzid whose act of self-immolation triggered the Tunisian Uprising, has a message for the families in Libya who have lost their loved ones to the violent repression of the protests.
Below is the second half of today's news round-up. From the Guardian:
Gaddafi is not standing down or leaving the country. He said he would die in Libya "as a martyr". It was his first major speech since the beginning of the unrest that threatens to topple the regime. One of his sons, Saif, is expected to again address the country tonight. The Libyan leader has also telephoned Silvio Berlusconi, with whom he has forged a friendship, to tell him that "everything is fine" in Libya. But refugees streaming across Libya's eastern border into Egypt said Gaddafi was using tanks, warplanes and foreign mercenaries to fight the growing rebellion.
More on the Qaddafi/Berlusconi relationship here. The latest from AJE:
Libyan government spokesman gives press conference outlining the vision of Gaddafi's eldest son, Saif al-Islam. Plans for reform include boosting payments to the unemployed. Also announces the formation of a committee to investigate events over the past couple of weeks. He says people "will be shocked by the extent of the distortion committed by Arab and foreign press and media. The spokesman goes on to attack "the brothers in Qatar" [aka Al Jazeera]. ...
The UN Security Council has agreed in the last hour [12:09 GMT] to condemn the violence used against protesters in Libya by the government there. ...
Deputy Libyan ambassador emerges from UN discussions. This is significant, as the deputy has a radically different position to the pro-Gaddafi ambassador. ... Libya's deputy UN ambassador says that Gaddafi's speech was code for his forces to start genocide against the Libyan people.
Nicaragua's president, Daniel Ortega, says he has telephoned Muammar Gaddafi to express his solidarity with the embattled leader.
Business leaders appear to be ready and waiting to move into a post-Gaddafi Libya. George Kanaan, CEO of the Arab Bankers Association in London, says reform will be "hugely positive" for the country - unlike Egypt, which already had a fairly open and "liberal" economy, change in Libya will encourage massive outside investment.
Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that the violent crackdown was "cowardly" and "beyond despicable." He urged U.S. and international oil companies to suspend their Libyan operations immediately until attacks on civilians stop. He also urged the Obama administration to consider re-imposing sanctions against Libya that were lifted by President George W. Bush after Gadhafi renounced terrorism and abandoned development of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
Here's a twist on this afternoon's Qaddafi speech.... The Libyan leader said, in his 90-minute ramble, that Minister of Interior Abdul Fattah Younis had survived an assassination attempt but was missing. Well, tonight Younis has said, "Qaddafi's men came to shoot me but the bullets missed me." ... Speaking to Al Jazeera, Libyan Minster of Justice Mustapha AbdalJalil, who has also resigned, is praising protesting youth.
More fascinating details on the Younis defection here.