Could I use the present perfect with "not so long ago"? It's kind of similar in meaning with recently to me. "There've been protests not so long time ago."?
Last edited by ostap77; 10-Feb-2012 at 13:46. Reason: mistake
But I would use the simple past with the various forms suggested by ems.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.