UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon demanded today that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stop the slaughter of his own people, and said the "old order" of one-man rule and family dynasties is over in the Middle East. In a keynote address at a conference on democracy in the Arab world, Ban said the revolutions of the Arab Spring show that people will no longer accept tyranny: "Today, I say again to President Assad of Syria: Stop the violence. Stop killing your people."
"The old way, the old order, is crumbling," Ban said. "One-man rule and the perpetuation of family dynasties, monopolies of wealth and power, the silencing of the media, the deprivation of fundamental freedoms that are the birthright of every man, woman and child on this planet—to all of this, the people say: Enough!" Syria's state news agency, meanwhile, said Assad granted a general amnesty for those who have peacefully demonstrated, carried unlicensed weapons, deserted the army, and those who hand over their weapons before the end of January.