BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt called Monday for official action in the northern district of Akkar in response to the Indonesia boat incident that killed at least 26 Lebanese from the north.
“There is no logic that can justify the tragedy of the Akkar residents in the deep seas of Indonesia and it requires officials to take immediate action that would send positive messages to the residents of Akkar,” Jumblatt said in his weekly message to the PSP-affiliated Al-Anbaa website.
He said official action over the sunken boat incident would “revive hope in the spirits of residents.”
At least 26 Lebanese asylum-seekers drowned in a boat accident off the coast of Indonesia on Friday as they tried to migrate to Australia.
Officials say 25 people survived the incident while over 30 people remain missing.
Jumblatt said that poverty was what drove residents to seek illegal asylum, and he lamented the situation in Akkar.
“ Akkar has been forgotten and left to its fate alone. It has the highest level of poverty in Lebanon, with some areas lacking electricity,” he said.
“The despair of its people has forced several of them to escape poverty to death after all possibilities of life were no longer available to them,” he noted.
Jumblatt blamed the state’s negligence for the current situation in the northern district.