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Friday, April 13, 2012

Afghans give lantern to US as gift to protest lack of electricity




Civil activists in Afghanistan’s central province of Bamiyan have given a lantern as a symbolic gift to the US embassy in the capital Kabul to protest against lack of electricity in the province, Press TV reports.


The activists held a silent protest in front of the Afghan parliament on Tuesday to attract attention to the fact that they have not benefited from billions of dollars in aid from international community and that they are still without electricity.

“The US has failed to keep its promises. Over ten years on [since the US invasion of Afghanistan], we still don’t have electricity. By presenting this lantern as a gift to Obama, we want to raise our voice,” Hosaini Madani, a civil activist, toldPress TV.

The activists took the lantern to capital Kabul and gave it to Afghan parliamentarians and asked them to hand it over to the US embassy.

They also condemned the indifference of their government and of the international community to the plight of the people in the central province.

This is not the first time that the Bamiyan residents raise their voice against discriminative policies of the international community and Afghan government by such symbolic peaceful demonstrations.

In 2010, they paved the roads in Bamiyan with mud to protest against government’s indifference towards roads in the central province.

They also gave medals and certificates to their donkeys that help them bring potable water from the fountains. Through the certificates they appreciated the donkeys for their honest service.

In 2011, Bamiyan residents built a huge lantern and set it up in the city’s central intersection to protest lack of electricity. The junction was later called “Lantern Intersection.”

Such measures by the residents of Bamiyan have given them high reputation in staging peaceful and calm civil protests.

When Obama took office in 2009, he pledged to tackle social problems and improve public welfare for the Afghans. However, after more than three years of his presidency, most of the Afghans do not have access to basic living requirements such as electricity, safe drinking water and health services.

MN//MA

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