Despite a government ban and heavy police presence, pro-democracy protests have resumed in the Taragaian capital Bor-Öndör and have spread to several other cities.
In addition to re-occupying Tebengri Square, protesters have rallied in three other public parks in the capital. Protests have also been reported in the cities of Shiraghul, Mukhali, Khalja and Dayir. DTNS reporters have been able to verify that each protest now numbers at least several thousand strong and appear to be growing in size. The protesters have added the release of Khadagan Daldurkhan from police custody to their demands. Daldurkhan, leader of the Taragaian Democratic Front, was arrested after the first protest at Tebengri Square earlier in the month.
After an initial strong denunciation of the protesters, Chairman Jirghogadai Tömörbataar has issued no further public comments or made any appearances. The Presidium of the Central Committee, the governing body of Taragai, has reportedly gone into an emergency session.
Xiomera to place missiles in colonies
The government of Xiomera has responded to Milintica forming military ties with Wosteaque by announcing that it has begun placing strategic ballistic missiles on an island it occupies near the socialist nation.
Xiomera has occupied one of the five islands of the Milintican island chain since the Great War, despite its being on the losing side of that war. It has refused multiple Milintican demands to return the island, which lies only 20 miles off the coast of the main island of the chain.
“In response to Milintica posing a much greater threat due to its cooperation with Wosteaque, we have no choice but to take steps to restrain the Milinticans,” Prime Minister Toquihu told the media. “The Milintican regime has long been hostile to Xiomera, and we will not remain idle as they increase their military posture.”
Xiomera will also be placing missiles in several other colonies as a defensive measure, the Prime Minister said. This includes Catexco Island between Legionas and Huenya, and Antepec Island in far southeastern Caxcana. The Chenalco Islands, near Elalia, have also begun receiving missiles. The overall effect is believed to significantly expand the range of Xiomera’s nuclear arsenal.
Arana, Matōchmizalo clash on Auria and Taragai
President Matōchmizalo of Milintica and his chief political rival, Milintican Communist Party Premier Neina Arana, have clashed on the campaign trail over two current world hotspots.
After the declaration of an independent communist state in Auria by Alain Bonnet and the United Aurian Commune, Arana said that Milintica “should immediately support the UAC.”
“We should never have sided with crowned heads in the first place, but a Milintican should never raise their rifle to help royals suppress a true communist movement. Such an act would be an utter betrayal of everything we stand for. If Matōchmizalo is any kind of socialist or any kind of man, as he claims, he will immediately do everything in his power to help protect Alain Bonnet and the UAC.” Arana added that even if the government does not do so, that her party intends to raise “volunteers” to go to Auria to help the UAC.
Such a move would put Arana and the MCP squarely in conflict with the Milintican government, which currently supports the Aurian government as part of the Coalition. Milintican security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told DTNS that the government “might not be able to fully prevent Communist volunteers from going to Auria on behalf of the UAC.” They also warned that anything short of mass arrests might not be enough to deter the MCP from that course of action. Such arrests would open Matōchmizalo up to charges that he is repressing his political rivals during an unexpectedly close election campaign.
Arana also called on the MCP to send “volunteers” to help the government of Taragai deal with pro-democracy protests sweeping that country. Taragai represents another potential issue for Matōchmizalo, who has initially sided with the protesters despite their desire to replace a communist state.
For his part, Matōchmizalo has said that Milinticans need to understand that “attempting to use imperialist methods to fight imperialism is a strategy that is guaranteed to fail.”
“We cannot force anyone to be socialist. We can only show them the path and encourage them to take it. Only this way will Milintica ultimately succeed in its goals, and also continue to become part of the community of nations. If we follow the course that Arana wants us to follow, it will be the death of socialism and the death of Milintica.”