Otago Daily Times

Strike ac­tions start in Be­larus

- Politics · Belarus · Moscow · Alexander Lukashenko · Minsk · Strike Action · Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

MOSCOW: Fac­tory work­ers chanted slo­gans, stu­dents staged a sit­in and po­lice be­gan de­ten­tions last night as Be­laru­sians an­swered an op­po­si­tion call for a na­tional strike to force Pres­i­dent Alexan­der Lukashenko to quit.

Lukashenko had de­fied an ul­ti­ma­tum to sur­ren­der power by 10am yes­ter­day (NZ time). His re­fusal to quit will test whether the op­po­si­tion has the mass sup­port it needs to bring en­ter­prises across the coun­try to a halt.

Ex­iled op­po­si­tion can­di­date Svi­at­lana Tsikhanous­kaya has urged Be­laru­sians to block roads, shut down work­places, stop us­ing gov­ern­ment shops and ser­vices and with­draw all money from their bank ac­counts.

Lukashenko has scoffed at the calls, ask­ing ‘‘Who will feed the kids?’’ if work­ers at state­owned en­ter­prises go on strike.

Tsikhanous­kaya called for the strike to go ahead af­ter po­lice fired stun grenades and de­tained scores of peo­ple in a clam­p­down on protests by tens of thou­sands in Minsk and else­where at the week­end.

Re­ports late last night said po­lice had de­tained 523 peo­ple yes­ter­day, in­clud­ing 160 in Minsk. — Reuters

 ??  ?? Svi­at­lana Tsikhanous­kaya
Svi­at­lana Tsikhanous­kaya

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