Oman celebrates 41st National Day: Stability guarantees peace, prosperity
A military parade to be presided over by Sultan Qaboos will mark the 41st National Day celebrations, which will also be celebrated with fireworks in Muscat and Dhofar and the opening of many development projects, both in the government and the private sectors, said Shaikh Sabbaa bin Hamdan al Saadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for National Day Celebrations.
The military parade will take place at parade grounds at the Sultan Qaboos Academy for Police Sciences in the Wilayat of Nizwa on Friday, November 18, while fireworks on the occasion of the blessed National Day will be held in the wilayats of Bausher, Seeb and Salalah at 8 pm. on Friday.
In a statement to Oman News Agency, Shaikh Sabbaa the committee started early to prepare for the celebrations installing illuminated festoons and the Sultanate’s flag along the highway from Muscat to Al Baraka roundabout, while at the same time decorating flyovers and pedestrian overpasses. A reception will also be held as part of the National Day celebrations programme, Al Saadi added.
Al Saadi expressed allegiance and gratitude to the Sultan, the architect of Oman’s modern renaissance, for all the achievements brought about in the country during his prosperous reign.
Indeed, 2011 has been a year of historic highs for Oman, characterised by a succession of landmark events that culminated recently in the inauguration of an enfranchised, empowered and invigorated Majlis Oman.
Political pundits have hailed the opening of the 5th term of reconstituted Majlis Oman as a new beginning for Oman. For one, the Lower Chamber of this 5th edition of the Majlis , the Majlis Ash’shura, is the product of a national ballot that was, for the first time in the decades-long shura (consultative) process, truly free and all-encompassing. For another, the new Majlis’s expanded remit enjoins its members, particularly those of the Majlis Ash’shura, to play their part jointly with the government in advancing the nation’s development and prosperity.
Qaboos eloquently articulated this point when he stated that: “The gradual development of the shura process, underpinned by strong foundations and stable pillars, has led to the establishment of a Majlis that is now ready to contribute “effectively to the decision-making process for the higher interest of the country and citizens”.
The revitalised Majlis Oman is set to play a national role, given the enlargement of its mandate encompassing the legislative and audit fields. The Omani Monarch devoted a key part of his address to reaffirming the government’s commitment to the continued development of the Omani youth and the nation’s human capital.
“We have always affirmed our continued attention to the development of human resources and we said that these resources take top priority in our plans and programmes as the human being is the cornerstone of every development structure and a pivotal component around which all types of development revolve as their ultimate goal is the happiness of the individual, providing him with a means of a decent living and guaranteeing his security and safety,” Sultan Qaboos commented.
In his address, the Sultan also pledged to ensure that the youth of Oman get all the support and assistance they need in order to develop their collective ability to contribute to the nation’s comprehensive development.
In this regard, he underlined the need for a “comprehensive assessment” of the country’s educational sector, with a view to ensure that it is capable of meeting the aspirations of Omanis with regard to their career goals.
Royal Decree 99/2011 surpassed even popular expectations of the nature and magnitude of these legislative and audit powers. In a demonstration of Sultan Qaboos’ true intent to empower his people, through their elected representatives, the Royal Decree co-opts the Chairpersons of the two Majlises in procedures stipulated for the selection of a successor to the Royal throne.
The Sultanate is on the right track. Indicative of this is the statement by Hamoud Bin Sangour Al Zadjali, chief executive officer of the Central Bank of Oman, that the loans offered by the country’s banks rose to 11.5 billion rials compared with 10.2 billion rials in the same period last year. Zadjali further stated that the size of loans given by the commercial banks had not been affected by the recent incidents witnessed in some Arab countries. And this also shows that the Sultanate is stable in every sphere, especially with regard to the economy.
The entire credit for the stability in the political and economic sphere must go to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. Ever since the 1970-takeover, the Sultan has strived hard to ensure that his country stood on a strong foundation of stability.
Stability is the engine that pulls the country towards peace and prosperity. Hence, all policy decisions taken over the years were with the aim of achieving stability. And to achieve stability, the well-being of the citizens is of primary importance. As a result, the welfare of the citizens was always given preeminence. Against such a background, it is understandable why he gave so much importance to the development of the health care and education sectors. In the educational sector, a variety of institutions were established in the private and public sectors with the necessary trained staff. Above all was the spread of education to the farthest corners of the country. In the bargain, every citizen had the right to get educated.
Such a policy was certainly path-breaking. In the health care sector too, a lot of steps forward were taken. Hospitals and clinics, with sophisticated equipment and skilled staff, were set up all over the Sultanate and medical education was given high priority. In consonance with the education and health policy was the Omanisation programme, giving priority to citizens for jobs in the public and private sectors. Citizens now dominate the public sector and the private sector is steadily moving forward to ensure that the youth are given priority in employment.
The result of the policies in the health care and education sectors and the Omanisation programme are there for all to see. Thousands of educated, skilled and healthy youth are taking up jobs and gradually replacing expatriates. The Sultan’s call to provide jobs to 50,000 youth in the public and private sectors gave additional encouragement to all to recruit local manpower. It is such farsighted policies that are responsible for the nation’s steady but rapid move forward. The result is stability, which will ensure balanced development and progress and prosperity for the people.