Syrian parliament urges Assad to clarify `reforms`

Syria`s parliament has asked the President to explain the proposd reforms.

Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 19:42 PM IST

Damascus: Syria`s parliament has asked
President Bashar al-Assad to explain in detail a string of
reforms promised in response to a wave of popular dissent
across the country, an MP said Sunday.

"On Sunday night, MPs requested that the president
clarify the measures that authorities have announced and urged
him to address parliament and explain," MP Mohammed Habash
said.

Parliamentarians also held a minute of silence, he
said, to honour those killed in two weeks of unrest in Syria,
where demonstrators earlier this month began taking to the
streets to demand change.

The security situation in the country has worsened in
past days, with reports of gangs wreaking havoc in the
northern port city of Latakia and sporadic bouts of violence
in the southern governorate of Daraa.

Rights groups have put the death toll at around 130,
with Daraa -- a tribal area at the Jordanian border --
sustaining the most casualties.

Authorities have accused Muslim fundamentalists of
aiming to incite sectarian-based strife in Syria, a majority
Sunni Muslim country which is also home to Christians, Druze
and Alawite Muslims.

Presidential adviser Buthaina Shaaban yesterday told
AFP that Assad, who is facing unprecedented domestic pressure
in his 11-year rule, was expected to address his nation in the
days to come.

Authorities on Thursday had said Syria has decided to
end emergency rule, which has been in force since the
Alawite-controlled Baath came to power in 1963.

Bureau Report