The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010 - Daily Star - Aoun: STL is an 'international plot' that does not seek justice

FPM leader urges plan to resist naturalization of refugees
By The Daily Star

BEIRUT: Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader MP Michel Aoun said on Sunday that the UN-backed tribunal was an international plot aimed against Lebanon rather than a court seeking justice in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

“Lebanon is being subject to conspiracy and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon [STL] is turning into an international game rather than seeking justice,” Aoun said during a tour in the Kesrouan District.

“Those who killed former Prime Minister Hariri are not Lebanese even if they are agents of Lebanese nationality,” he added.

Aoun went further to stress that the side behind Hariri’s murder sought to serve international interests particularly the naturalization of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

The FPM leader called on the Cabinet to put in place a plan to resist the naturalization of refugees while stressing that “verbal resistance” would not prevent such a plot.

Last week, Parliament approved a bill lifting former restrictions on employment for Palestinian refugees, who were granted the right to work in any field open to foreigners with benefits including social security from a special established fund.

“Why does Lebanon lack the right to negotiate the issue of the right of return of Palestinian refugees?” Aoun asked.

“We rejected the division of Palestine but it was divided, we rejected the displacement of Palestinians but they were displaced, we rejected the abolition of the Palestinian refugees’ right of return but they did not return,” Aoun added.

Commenting on the issue of spies for Israel, Aoun said “falling as a prey to wrongdoing was normal while those pretending that they are above all wrongdoing are sinners.”

Aoun stressed that the Lebanese Army would remain united despite the uncovering of spies within its ranks.

“Some point to the arrest of a former major general and they forgot that among 11 other major generals who were under my command, two were elected president,” the former army general said in reference to former Major General and FPM official Fayez Karam who was recently arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel.

Tackling the issue of reforming the country’s infrastructure, Aoun vowed to push for the implementation of developmental projects in the Kesrouan District, beginning with the water, electricity and transportation sectors.

Aoun added that the lack of interest in reforming infrastructure was part of a conspiracy since 1990 aimed at driving Lebanese people to poverty and encouraging them to emigrate.

“We are resisting [such schemes] through planning projects,” Aoun said while calling on Kesrouan residents to resist through “protests to force the implementation of these [developmental] plans.”

Meanwhile FPM official and Energy and Water Resources Minister Jibran Bassil, who accompanied Aoun during his Kesrouan tour, stressed that building dams would become a necessity if the country faced a water-shortage crisis.

Bassil made his statement from the Shabrouh dam site in the Kesrouan town of Faraya.

“The Shabrouh dam is the last one to be built 30 years ago after 10 years of debate and five years of implementation … I believe this dam provided water supply to Kesrouan residents contrary to the past and we are working on solving minor problems in supplying water to some nearby towns,” Bassil said.

Bassil highlighted that project studies for 43 dams had been conducted but their implementation awaited Cabinet’s allocation of required funds.

“We are discussing the establishment of only 10 dams out of 43 but we should begin work as soon as possible,” Bassil said, adding that he would raise the issue during the Cabinet’s next meeting. – The Daily Star

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