Lebanese Strong Transparent Democracy Organization (LSTDO)
Lebanese current events of february 15, 2008.
Reflexions on the political and economic Lebanese news.
Third memory of the assassination of Rafik Hariri
I - Facts:
Three years after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese government and state institutions remain frozen by the unlawful actions of the pro Syrian Lebanese and Palestinians, in Lebanon. Beirut Downtown is occupied by the installation of protesters tents of the opposition group. Neither the government nor the army and nor the judiciary apparatus have the audacity to act as law enforcement to put the city in a state of normal and secured functioning. Acts of aggression took place in the streets, with destructions of properties, and provocations of killings and injuries. Attacks have taken place in various regions of Lebanon.
Politicians continue to fuel a deleterious climate, while uttering threats of civil war, and intransigence in political decisions. The differences amongst the main political groups appear insolvent. Conflicts are too publicized by the Medias in Lebanon.
The security services and the Lebanese army try to limit the damages in interposing themselves between the warring parties at every riot. But their actions are limited without going back to the responsible politicians and without delivering them to the judiciary apparatus. The fear of armed militias inhibits the action of State institutions.
Similarly, the Lebanese judiciary apparatus is not particularly efficient on the restoration of the functioning of the State and punishment of guilty politicians concerning the country’s economic and social paralysis.
Political assassinations and threats have continued to be directed against political leaders of the government majority. The political leaders are barricaded to protect themselves.
Faced with this situation, with no elected president of the republic, the group of 14 March has sought to mobilize his supporters to demonstrate his power at the third memory of the assassination of Rafik Hariri.
By early February 2008, M. Saad Hariri, head of the Future Movement, went to Tripoli in northern Lebanon, to mobilize his troops in preparation for the demonstration on February 14. We heard thereafter that the party HIZBOLLAH had moved to the north of Lebanon about 250 militiamen to monitor and, may be, to threaten Saad Hariri.
Mobilizations of Christians parties were significant, with mass participation in the rally on February 14 at the exception of the Free Patriotic Movement of General AOUN.
The Maronite Patriarch SFEIR has supported the majority hoping an early election of a president of the republic. He suffered verbal attacks from M. SOLEIMAN FRANGIEH, pro-Syrian and ELMARADA party Chief.
The demonstration of February 14, 2008, took place without notable incident with rally of approximately one million people, at Martyrs Square, in Beirut. The speakers called for the early election of General Michel SOLEIMAN for the presidency of the republic. They rejected the blackmail of the opposition and any risk of a return of Syrian interference in Lebanon. They do not want to give veto power to the opposition in the future government.
At the same time, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, HIZBOLLAH gathered his supporters for the funeral of Imad MOUGHNIYEH, militia leader, who was assassinated on 12.2.2008 in Damascus. He is known for terrorist acts against Americans and Israelis. M. Hasan NASRALLAH, secretary general, accused Israel of this assassination. He made threats of open war against America and Israel. He also attacked the leaders of the group of the government majority in Lebanon.
Curiosity of the Lebanese politicians’ attitude, condolences on the death of M. MOUGHNIYEH were presented to HIZBOLLAH from M. Saad Hariri, and M. Fouad SANIORA, both barricaded in their strongholds for fear of being attacked by HIZBOLLAH militia. The Lebanese army chief, General Michel SOLEIMAN, who has theoretically the mission to disarm militias in Lebanon, has also moved to offer his condolences. This terrorist may have been responsible for the murder of several Lebanese personalities, and, in any event, he was the main link between the secret services of the Syrian and Iranian regimes, and the armed militia of Hezbollah on Lebanese soil.
Officials of the United Nations, United States of America and France have reiterated their support for the legitimate government in Lebanon, the election of Michel SOLEIMAN quickly to the presidency of the republic, and to the establishment of a democratic rule of law in Lebanon.
The day of Feb. 14, 2008, in Beirut, showed the presence of two main political currents in Lebanon: Independent Democrats in one hand, and the pro-Syrian anti-Western separatists in the other hand. They seem irreconcilable and leave the Lebanese State to drift.
II – LSTDO’s Position :
The LSTDO called for the support of the demonstration on February 14, 2008, out of respect to the victims of terrorism, and for the continuation of the Cedar Revolution for a democratic and independent State.
The LSTDO regrets the absence of Lebanese democrats of the Opposition in this event, especially those from the Free Patriotic Movement.
The threat of armed clashes between Lebanese persists as militias, installed on Lebanese territory, feel unpunished. In this regard, LSTDO considers that the services of internal security and the Lebanese army must not remain neutral, in just separating the opposing tendencies rioters. The public would feel more secure if the army imposes compliance with the law by arresting any outlaws rioter and delivering him to justice. The LSTDO was shocked in face of the aggression against the Lebanese army and, most importantly, we did not understand the scandal of the soldiers’ arrest. They did their duty to maintain law and order, and they have used their weapons in self-defence. The command of the army has committed an error of judgement which undermines people's trust in the Lebanese army. A few days after the arrests, about a dozen soldiers were beaten and injured without reacting. They were afraid from their own commander. This is unacceptable.
The LSTDO would have preferred that the army removes the Beirut downtown sit-in by the security forces and stops violating public order and without delay. The State should not treat the outlaws’ and the brave people in the same manner!
Faced with the interminable negotiations of the heads of political clans, LSTDO recalled that Lebanon would have been in peace for a long time if there was a genuine democracy and a normal functioning of Lebanese Institutions. For us, democrats, we believe that the only place of political negotiations is the Lebanese parliament where each project or every election can take place according to the Constitution, and the votes by secret ballot of all deputies. We must break the "democratic system between heads of mafias."
A substantial reduction in foreign interference in the internal politics of Lebanon is only possible if the projects, major laws and decisions are debated publicly in the parliament and realized after the secret ballot vote. That way of transparent democratic development will make threats, assassinations and violence inefficient and unnecessary for the terrorists who seek to influence policy decisions.
Lebanon needs political, humanitarian and financial aids, to strengthen its democracy. All other aid that might reduce democracy and the independence of Lebanon must be rejected.
And finally, we recall that it is not possible to negotiate a democratic functioning of the Lebanese State with armed militias like HEZBOLLAH. The prerequisite for working with deputies who represent armed militias is that they submit their weapons to the Lebanese army.
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Name of the Organization on the French-speaking pages:
Association pour la Démocratie Forte Transparente au Liban (ADFTL)
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التجمع الديمقراطي القوي الشفاف في لبنان
Name of the Organization on the English-speaking pages:
Lebanese Strong Transparent Democracy Organization (LSTDO)
_ LSTDO/ 15-2-2008.Rafik HARIRI third memory result _
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