Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Oct. 22, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Monday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.



March 14 launches [campaign] of civil disobedience to topple government

Mikati: I won’t resign ... Jumblatt: sad scene

Accusations directed against Syria in the assassination of Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan

After Prime Minister Najib Mikati said “not to separate between the assassination of Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan and the recent uncovering of a spate of bomb attacks planned in Lebanon,” President Michel Sleiman said the Internal Security Forces Information Branch, which Hasan headed, succeeded in uncovering terrorist networks and foiling strife through seizing bombs and arresting the courier.

At the international level, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Sunday said the car bombing that rocked Beirut Friday “likely bears the fingerprints of Syria.”

However, the funeral procession Sunday took on a different tone when a group of young men launch a failed, unorganized and uncoordinated attempt to storm the Grand Serail.

MP Walid Jumblatt, in remarks to An-Nahar, described as “sad” the scene of the confrontation between the group of protesters and policemen at the Grand Serail.



Hariri tells Clinton, Fabius and Ban Ki-moon he will boycott the government until its departure

March 14 bids farewell to Hasan ... concessions

As in his life as well as in his death ... And just as his achievements had a great impact in the short and long runs at the local, regional and international levels, Hasan’s martyrdom will similarly have a political impact in the short and the long runs at the local and regional levels.

But Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan’s tragic departure necessitated a political response from the March 14 coalition, when former Prime Minister Saad Hariri called for an end to concessions.

Hariri said that March 14 would offer no more concessions and called for a peaceful civil action to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati and boycott it until it departs.

Hariri received telephone calls from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, who offered their condolences over Hasan’s martyrdom.

Hariri stressed during these phone calls that the March 14 alliance would continue to boycott the Mikati government until its departure because “it is the product of the Syrian-Iranian axis and seeks to achieve this axis’ interests at the expense of the interests of Lebanon, its people and its security."



Fate of the government on Sleiman’s table ... Mikati off to pilgrimage

Prime Minister Najib Mikati will head to Saudi Arabia Monday to perform the Hajj, pending the outcome of consultations by President Michel Sleiman over the fate of the government.

In his eulogy, Sleiman called on the government not to provide cover for the perpetrators, stressing the need for the judiciary to issue indictments in the case of former Information Minister Michel Samaha.



Berri for a national unity government

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said he supports the formation of a national unity government.

“If the loss of head of the Internal Security Forces Information Branch Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan produces a national unity government, I don’t mind,” Berri told Al-Akhbar.

“But if [Hasan’ loss] is going to widen strife and divisions, then this is something that will only serve the goal behind the assassination," Berri added.

“This moment requires sanity and responsible national action,” he said.



Wissam al-Hasan martyr: Opposition “commits suicide” at door of Grand Serail!

Certainly, martyr Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan deserves a better goodbye, one that befits his accomplishments.

Perhaps the sober ceremony at the Directorate General of the Internal Security Forces would have been enough, rather than committing all these errors and taboos in one day ... in the name of the martyr.

What happened during the funeral of Hasan in Downtown Beirut was nothing but a political suicide.

Hasan had not yet been buried, when some of those who marched at his funeral, like the Future Movement and the March 14 coalition, committed a sin.

The path to the sin was too short – a mere few meters away where the Grand Serail which was besieged by supporters of the Future Movement, Kataeb, Lebanese Forces and the National Liberal Party.





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