A Bundle Of English Reports, News and Editorials For February 10-11/2020 Addressing the On Going Mass Demonstrations & Sit In-ins In Iranian Occupied Lebanon in its 117th Day

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A Bundle Of English Reports, News and Editorials For 10-11/2020 Addressing the On Going Mass Demonstrations & Sit In-ins In Iranian Occupied Lebanon in its 117th Day
Compiled By: Elias Bejjani
February 11/2020

Titles For The Latest English LCCC Lebanese & Lebanese Related News & Editorials published on February 10-11/2020
3 Lebanese Soldiers Killed While Pursuing Fugitive
Army Announces Names of 3 Troops Killed in Hermel Ambush
Hariri Slams FPM, Vows ‘Constructive Opposition’
Mustaqbal to Attend Tuesday Session, Urges Respect for ‘Peaceful Expression’
Frem Announces Boycott of Government Confidence Session
Bassil Urges End to Arms Proliferation after Troops Killed
Strong Republic’ Bloc to withhold confidence vote
Future Bloc will not grant confidence
Efrem says he will not participate in tomorrow’s confidence session: Ministerial statement not commensurate with challenges
Hariri: I will focus on the Future Movement and we will practice a constructive opposition
‘Independent Center’ Bloc: We will not attend tomorrow’s session; hence, no confidence vote!
Machnouk: No confidence to ‘impersonation government’ – no open doors without a defense strategy
Lebanon wins over Bahrain in the 9th International King Abdullah II Basketball Games
Fadlallah says “new paths in financial, economic system will determine where the country will go”
Defense Minister meets with French, British and EU Ambassadors
“Agriculture Ministry in service of society,” pledges Murtada
Army Command mourns its three martyrs
Religious leaders condemn attack on Army
Hitti extends condolences to Army over death of three soldiers
Italian Soprano Freni passes away
Abdel Samad says TL to transmit live King Abdullah Basketball Cup
Panel discussion at AUB on “The Disappeared of the Civil War in Lebanon: The Price of Forgetting and the Absence of Post-Conflict Justice”
Car processions in Beirut call for wide participation in protests tomorrow
Lebanon: Hitting The Walls/UMAM/Hayya Bina/February 10/2020
Lawyers claim Ghosn took millions from Nissan-Mitsubishi venture/Al Jazeera/February 10/2020

The Latest English LCCC Lebanese & Lebanese Related News & Editorials published on February 10-11/2020
3 Lebanese Soldiers Killed While Pursuing Fugitive
Beirut – Asharq Al-Awsat/Monday, 10 February, 2020
Three Lebanese soldiers were killed on Sunday when a military intelligence patrol was ambushed in eastern Lebanon. The patrol was pursuing a fugitive in a stolen vehicle in the Musharfeh – Hermel region when it was ambushed and came under fire. Two soldiers were killed instantly and three were wounded in the shooting, announced the military in a statement. One shooter was also killed and the fugitive was arrested. A third soldier died later on Sunday after succumbing to his injuries. Prime Minister Hassan Diab condemned the incident, saying attacks against the military were “attacks against Lebanon’s stability, which the army plays a major role in safeguarding.”He called for the immediate arrest of the perpetrators to set an example to all those who deign to undermine the authority of the state.The army has since operated patrols in the city.

Army Announces Names of 3 Troops Killed in Hermel Ambush
Naharnet/February 10/2020
The Army Command on Monday mourned three soldiers killed Sunday in an ambush in the Hermel area of al-Mesherfeh while chasing a stolen car.
It identified them as First Sergeant Ali Ismail, 37, First Sergeant Ahmed Haidar Ahmed, 33, and Soldier Hasan Ezzeddine, 28. Ismail and Ahmed are fathers of two children each while Ezzeddine was unmarried. Two other soldiers were wounded in the incident, which also resulted in the death of the fugitive Khodor Dandash.

Hariri Slams FPM, Vows ‘Constructive Opposition’
Naharnet/February 10/2020
Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri lashed out Monday at the Free Patriotic Movement, saying it failed to make a single economic achievement over the past 30 years. “To all those who criticize ‘political Harirism’, especially the FPM, tell me about a single economic achievement for the FPM over the past 30 years,” Hariri said in a chat with reporters that followed a meeting for the al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc. Noting that he is yet to decide whether he will take part in person in Tuesday’s vote of confidence session, Hariri called on the new government to “implement its policy statement.”“We will not build a destructive opposition but rather a constructive opposition,” he pledged. “I cannot be part of the paralysis of institutions after I fought it over the past period,” he said, signaling that his bloc will take part in the parliamentary session. Separately, Hariri said he has decided to move an annual rally commemorating his slain father ex-PM Rafik Hariri from the BIEL venue to the Center House because “some people are manipulating street protests.” “This is a message to those trying to shut down the Center House and some people ‘give a one-way ticket’ but are not at the level of the challenge,” Hariri went on to say.

Mustaqbal to Attend Tuesday Session, Urges Respect for ‘Peaceful Expression’

Naharnet/February 10/2020
Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc announced Monday that it will take part in a Tuesday parliamentary session to debate Cabinet’s policy statement and vote on confidence in the new government. The bloc, however, said that it will not grant confidence to Hassan Diab’s government because “it has nothing to do with what the Lebanese are demanding.”“Its policy statement, the same as the budget it adopted, are copied from previous statements and are no longer valid for the current period not for the social, financial, monetary and economic crisis that Lebanon is facing,” the bloc added in a statement issued after a meeting chaired by ex-PM Saad Hariri. The bloc also called for “respecting citizens’ right to peaceful expression under the law,” as it urged against “attacks on public and private property.”

Frem Announces Boycott of Government Confidence Session

Naharnet/February 10/2020
MP Neemat Frem, who left the Strong Lebanon bloc following the October uprising, on Monday announced his boycott of a parliamentary session that will debate Cabinet’s policy statement and vote on confidence in the new government. Frem said he took his decision because he believes that the draft policy statement “is not befitting of the magnitude of the challenges and the means to confront them.” He said he was hoping for a policy statement that would “rebuild confidence through a scientific and clear vision.”Several MPs, including the Kataeb bloc, will boycott Tuesday’s session, which will be held amid strict security measures and anti-government protests.

Bassil Urges End to Arms Proliferation after Troops Killed

Naharnet/February 10/2020
Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil has urged an end to arms proliferation in the country in the wake of death of three army troops in a raid in Hermel. “The martyrdom of three army soldiers during the pursuit of armed robbers in Hermel strongly raises the issue of arms proliferation,” Bassil tweeted. “We express all support for the army and security forces to implement a decisive security plan,” Bassil added.

Strong Republic’ Bloc to withhold confidence vote
NNA/February 10/2020
In a press release on Monday, the Lebanese Forces’ media bureau indicated that the “Strong Republic” Parliamentary Bloc will participate in tomorrow’s ministerial statement discussion session, but will not give its “vote of confidence”. “The Strong Republic Bloc will attend the confidence session out of keenness on the continuity of the constitutional institutions’ work, but will not grant confidence to the new government,” the statement said. The Party reiterated its call “for holding early parliamentary elections.”

Future Bloc will not grant confidence

NNA/February 10/2020
In a press release by Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Press Office on Monday, it indicated that Hariri chaired this afternoon at the Center House a meeting of the Future Parliamentary Bloc. At the end of the meeting, MP Mohammad Hajjar read the following statement: The Bloc discussed the position to be taken regarding the confidence session and decided to attend tomorrow’s meeting without granting its confidence. This is based on the fact that the government has nothing to do with the demands of the Lebanese and its ministerial statement, just as the budget it adopted, is constituted of scraps copied from previous statements and does not fit the current period or the financial, monetary and socio-economic crisis facing Lebanon. The Bloc also stressed the necessity to respect the citizens’ right to peaceful expression within the framework of respecting the law and not attacking public and private properties.

Efrem says he will not participate in tomorrow’s confidence session: Ministerial statement not commensurate with challenges

NNA/February 10/2020
MP Naamat Efrem announced Monday his decision not to attend the government’s confidence session scheduled for tomorrow, “based on his commitment to achieving exceptional and clear rescue paths, and his conviction that what was stated in the ministerial statement is not commensurate with the extent of the challenges and how to face them.” “During my presence outside the country, I was determined to return to participate in the confidence session. I had counted on a ministerial statement through which the government could rebuild difficult trust via a clear scientific vision and a standard working methodology,” said Efrem. However, the MP regretted that the ministerial statement failed to touch on many of the required and urgent issues, including those related to the restructuring of debt and turning to the World Bank, as well as the investment of state assets in an effective and creative manner, in addition to initiatives of immediate reform and other measures of clear timing. Efrem deemed that the ministerial statement should not have avoided these essential parts, which would help it gain popular legitimacy for the painful rescue path, and guarantee the trust of international and donor institutions and the Arab and international community, as well as the Lebanese Diaspora.

Hariri: I will focus on the Future Movement and we will practice a constructive opposition
NNA/February 10/2020
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said that the February 14 commemoration will be held at the Center House this year to send a message to everyone trying to shut down this house, and to confirm that it will remain open to everyone, stressing that “the blood of Rafic Hariri restored, alone, Lebanon’s sovereignty.” In a chat with reporters after chairing the meeting of the Future Parliamentary Bloc, he said: “Everyone knows that tomorrow we will not grant confidence to the government.”
He added: “We will not participate in the session just for the sake of participating, but to say our word in Parliament because I cannot choose the policy of fighting obstruction and be part of it at the same time.”
Question: Are you going to attend tomorrow’s session?
Hariri: I did not decide yet.
Question: Why will the February 14 commemoration be held at the Center House this year?
Hariri: It is a personal matter. You all know that many are trying to use the street and you know how much I am against this issue. For me, February 14 is a national and emotional occasion, and for all these reasons I wanted it to be at the Center House this year, to send a message to those trying to shut down the Center House and show them that this house is open to everyone.
Question: Who is trying to close the Center House?
Hariri: The same people who tried to close the house of Rafic Hariri by assassinating him and what followed that. Some people “give a one-way ticket but are not up to the challenge.”
Question: Some hold the Future Movement responsible for the economic situation?
Hariri: We are part of this authority and we bear part of the responsibility, just as others bear a much greater responsibility than ours. All we wanted was for the country to enjoy stability and economic prosperity, and you will hear the content of my speech on February 14.
Question: What do you tell those who criticize “political harirism” and claim that it is the reason for how things have turned out today, specifically the Free Patriotic Movement that was your partner in the previous stage?
Hariri: What did they do? Let someone show me one achievement by the Free Patriotic Movement in the national economy in the last thirty years.
Question: They say that they regained sovereignty.
Hariri: The blood of Rafic Hariri restored the sovereignty.
Question: What kind of opposition will you adopt, and will it be against the mandate?
Hariri: My constitution is Taef and I will do what it stipulates, whether in power or in the opposition.
Question: What is the inclination of the Future Movement in the confidence session tomorrow?
Hariri: You will know it tomorrow, bearing in mind that everyone knows that we will not grant confidence to the government. We will not participate in the session just for the sake of participation, but to announce our position in parliament. If we do not say our word in parliament, where would we say it?
Question: It is said that this government’s ministerial statement is better that the previous statements of your governments?
Hariri: Excellent. Let them implement it then. We will not practice a destructive opposition just like the others but rather a constructive opposition like the one that was adopted by Martyr Premier Rafic Hariri and we are following suit.
Question: Will you devote yourself to the Future Movement in the coming stage?
Hariri: My entire focus will be on the Future Movement.
Question: What are your comments on the ministerial statement so that you oppose it?
Hariri: I invite you to hear what others have said about this statement to find out where the problem is. We have a few points we will say in parliament.
Question: How will you participate in tomorrow’s session in light of the street’s objection to it and the demand of part of your audience to boycott it?
Hariri: During the past fifteen years, we opposed the prevailing method of work, which is the method of disruption. My policy cannot be to combat disruption and to be part of it at the same time. The most prominent reason for which we reached where we are today, economically and socially, is the disruption that has been practiced. {Former PM Hariri’s Press Office}

‘Independent Center’ Bloc: We will not attend tomorrow’s session; hence, no confidence vote!
NNA/February 10/2020
The “Independence Center” Parliamentary Bloc held a meeting at the office of former PM Najib Mikati today, in the presence of MPs Jean Obeid, Ncoula Nahhas and Ali Darwish.The conferees dwelled on the current prevailing situation, and the ministerial statement discussion and confidence session scheduled for tomorrow at the Parliament House. In this context, the Bloc stated that its members will not attend the session tomorrow, and consequently, will not give the new government their votes of confidence. The Bloc indicated that its decision comes in line with its call for building bridges of dialogue and understanding, instead of contributing to the widening wedge between the state and the people. The Bloc also stressed that the state’s authority is required, at this fateful crisis stage, to call for a national gathering to come up with a consensus that would address and solve the roots of the prevailing conditions.

Machnouk: No confidence to ‘impersonation government’ – no open doors without a defense strategy

NNA/February 10/2020
“From outside the Parliament, I withhold my confidence vote from a government of impersonation,” said MP Nuhad al-Machnouk in an issued statement on Monday. “From outside the Parliament, I can only hear the voices of protesters chanting, “No confidence.” I also hear the message of Archbishop Paul Abdel-Sater, and before him Archbishop Elias Aoudeh, declaring that times have changed, and that even spiritual institutions are at the heart of the revolution,” al-Machnouk stated. “The authority alone, and those attached to it, do not hear or show concern,” he added. “It does not hear that Lebanon, the people and the state, and Lebanon’s interests and future, are besieged because of political and security options that render our country in complete hostility with the whole world, the Arab and the West,” criticized al-Machnouk. He reiterated herein that “the Arab and Western doors will not open unless we enter the path of a national defense strategy.” “This authority does not want to recognize that Lebanon has potential in gas and oil, and that provocative speeches and interventions in Arab countries are what deprive us of these riches,” al-Machnouk underlined. He concluded by stating that “the time has come for the revolutionaries to know that the question and the answer are in Baabda and nowhere else,” adding, “There is nothing wrong with calling for early parliamentary elections in accordance with a new law that restores national stability to our institutions.”

Lebanon wins over Bahrain in the 9th International King Abdullah II Basketball Games

NNA/February 10/2020
Lebanon reaped victory over Bahrain by a difference of eight points (72-64), at the end of the match that took place between them today in Al-Hussein Sports City in the Jordanian capital, Amman, at the opening of the King Abdullah II friendly basketball games, which will continue until Friday 14. Lebanon ended the first half by scoring 13 points ahead of Bahrain (13-26), knowing that Coach Joe Moujaes was running the match without the help of a naturalized player, as the Sudanese Arthur Maguque is expected to join in the Asian qualifiers. Lebanon’s participation comes as part of the preparations for the two matches scheduled in the first part of the Asian qualifiers for the Asian Championship Finals 2021, whereby Lebanon will respectively play against Iraq and Bahrain at the Nuhad Nawfal Complex in Zouk Mikael on February 21 and 24. Also partaking in this round of games are Iraq, Jordan and Syria, noting that Lebanon had previously reaped victory twice before the cup stopped in 2011. The matches are transmitted live via the state-run “Tele-Liban” channel, in an effort by the Minister of Information, Dr. Manal Abdel Samad Najd, who contacted her Jordanian counterpart Amjad Al-Adaileh to this end, and they agreed on all technical arrangements. Abdel Samad expressed appreciation for Jordan’s rapid response, conveying regards to the Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz, and all the authorities cooperating with Lebanon.

Fadlallah says “new paths in financial, economic system will determine where the country will go”

NNA/February 10/2020
Member of the “Loyalty to the Resistance” Parliamentary Bloc, MP Hassan Fadlallah, indicated Monday that “the state today with all its institutions is facing financial deadlines related to debts that Lebanon has accumulated, and the time has come to pay them on specific dates during the upcoming months, starting March and beyond. These debts were not borrowed by the current government; some of them date back ten years and others some twenty years ago.””There is a discussion in the country about whether or not to pay this money…What is the track if we pay, and what is the track if we don’t?” questioned Fadlallah, speaking at a memorial service held in the southern town of Kouneen earlier today. He added: “Since the Lebanese state’s funds are limited, and since everyone says that this money belongs to depositors, who will take the decision in the Lebanese state? It is true that the Lebanese government is concerned, but this is a national decision, because on the basis of what the state decides, there are new paths in our financial and economic system that will determine where the country will go.” “This issue is being discussed within the state institutions, and as a political body, in order to come up with the best option for Lebanon, and we have established a basic control, which is the interest of the people…for what concerns us is that any decision that the state adopts does not affect the Lebanese people and their money,” Fadlallah emphasized. He hoped that “the new government will add its voice, when it obtains confidence, to our calls and demands to recover the depositors’ money.” The MP considered that national responsibility requires joining hands together for the sake of finding a solution, especially since many have participated in leading to the current crisis in Lebanon, and consequently have to bear the responsibility of dealing with it.
“There is a possibility to address the severe financial and economic crisis in Lebanon, and there are opportunities, steps that can be taken, and measures that we can together adopt at the national level. These measures open horizons for national solutions, and Lebanon has the capabilities and decisions, which, if agreed upon, would make others rush to help us…but we first need to help ourselves before we ask for the help of others,” Fadlallah underscored.

Defense Minister meets with French, British and EU Ambassadors
NNA/February 10/2020
Minister of National Defense, Zeina Akar, held a series of meetings at the Ministry of Defense in Yarzeh on Monday. In this context, Akar received French Ambassador Bruno Foucher, accompanied by the Embassy’s Military Attaché Christian Shabelle. Talks centered on the distinguished relations between Lebanon and France, and ways of activating them. Discussions also touched on the capabilities of the Lebanese Army. Akar also met with British Ambassador to Lebanon, Chris Rampling, accompanied by the Embassy’s Military Attaché Alex Hilton, with whom she tackled ways to activate the existing cooperation between Lebanon and Britain. Akar’s meeting with the European Union Ambassador to Lebanon, Ralph Tarraf, was also a chance to dwell on bilateral relations and activating support programs in various fields. The Defense Minister later received the UNIFIL Commander-in-Chief, Major General Stefano Del Cole, with discussions focusing on the work of the international peace-keeping forces in south Lebanon and the existing coordination with the Lebanese Army.

“Agriculture Ministry in service of society,” pledges Murtada
NNA/February 10/2020
Agriculture Minister Abbas Murtada stated Monday that “since he assumed his ministerial duties, he vowed that the ministry would be in the service of society.”In this context, and speaking in an interview with “Radio Lebanon” this morning, Murtada indicated that the import of potatoes has been delayed until the local produce is consumed. “As part of my follow-up, I contacted the Lebanese farmers and the Egyptian side, and requested that the import be delayed until February 20 to give the Lebanese farmer an opportunity to sell his produce,” he said. “The Egyptian side cooperated with us, and no truck loaded with potatoes has left Egypt till now. In this way, we would be protecting the Beqaa and Akkari farmers,” he added. However, Murtada pointed out that “the price of local potatoes may reach 4000 LBP per kilogram, if some farmers continue to protest the import of potatoes from the Egyptian market, according to the agreement between the Agriculture Ministry and Egypt.”He added: “There is an agreement between Lebanon and Egypt, namely that we import Egyptian potatoes and export to Egypt our local produce of grapes, apples, cherries and other fruits. Therefore, any cancellation of said agreement would threaten the Lebanese fruit season.”Meanwhile, Murtada stressed on ongoing communication with all concerned sides to protect the farmer and the consumer at the same time. “This is our duty,” he affirmed.

Army Command mourns its three martyrs
NNA/February 10/2020
The Lebanese Army Orientation Directorate eulogized Monday the three military personnel who were killed yesterday afternoon in the town of al-Musherfeh – Hermel district, after their military vehicle was subjected to an ambush and shooting while chasing a stolen car. The Army Directorate gave a brief excerpt on the lives and accomplishments of the fallen martyrs: First Sergeant Ali Ismail, First Sergeant Ahmed Haidar Ahmed and Soldier Hassan Ezzedine.

Religious leaders condemn attack on Army
NNA/February 10/2020
Lebanese religious leaders took a unified stance Monday and condemned Saturday’s attack on three soldiers who died in an ambush in the Hermel area of Bekaa. Head of the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council, Sheikh Abdul-Amir Qablan, denounced in a statement, “the attack on the three soldiers while performing their national duty to ensure citizens’ security and stability,” and considered it “a blatant attack on all the Lebanese people.”He also called on authorities to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Grand Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Abdul-Latif Derian, in turn, expressed similar sentiments in a an issued statement today, where he stressed that “this horrific crime against the army affected all Lebanese who believe in the military institution, in maintaining security and stability in the country. “

Hitti extends condolences to Army over death of three soldiers

NNA/February 10/2020
Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Minister, Nassif Hitti, extended his condolences to the military institution on Monday for the death of the three soldiers during the execution of an Army Intelligence mission in the area of Ras al-Assi. Hitti expressed heartfelt sympathy with the Army Directorate and the families of the victims over this ordeal, calling for “bringing all the perpatrators of this crime to justice, as well as imposing the severest penalties against them.”

Italian Soprano Freni passes away
NNA/February 10/2020
Italian Soprano Mirella Freni, one of the most important opera singers in Italy, died at the age of 84 in her home in Modena (north), after a long struggle with illness.

Abdel Samad says TL to transmit live King Abdullah Basketball Cup
NNA/February 10/2020
Information Minister, Dr. Manal Abdel Samad Najd, announced Monday that state-run Tele Liban’s ground channel will be the only station to broadcast live the King Abdullah Basketball Cup. In this context, Abdel Samad thanked “Jordanian counterpart Amjad Al-Adayleh for Jordan’s rapid response,” expressing her sincere greetings to Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz and all the authorities cooperating with Lebanon, in the hope of continuing coordination between the two countries on different levels. Abdel Samad also assured the Lebanese they will watch tonight at 4 pm (Beirut local time) via the TL ground screen the first match between Lebanon and Bahrain.

Panel discussion at AUB on “The Disappeared of the Civil War in Lebanon: The Price of Forgetting and the Absence of Post-Conflict Justice”

NNA/February 10/2020
The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut (AUB) organized a panel discussion, entitled “The Disappeared of the Civil War in Lebanon: The Price of Forgetting and the Absence of Post-Conflict Justice”.
The deliberations covered the topic of the disappeared of the war, from the different legal, political and social perspectives. Participants included author and political activist Dr. Lyna Comaty, Head of the Committee for the Families of the Kidnapped and the Disappeared in Lebanon Widad Halawani, lecturer and researcher at Saint Joseph University and AUB Dr. Carmen Abu Joudeh, lawyer and executive director of the legal agenda Nizar Saghieh. The panel was moderated by the researcher and coordinator of the “Civil Society Actors and Policy-Making” program at the Issam Fares institute Fatima Al-Moussawi.
The panel was introduced with a welcoming speech by Fatima Al-Moussawi, who said that the Lebanese popular uprising demanded many judicial, political and social reforms, and rejected all the practices that followed the Lebanese civil war. These practices destroyed the Lebanese, economically, socially, politically, but not by violence. In light of this she said, the issue of the forcefully-disappeared must be positioned on the popular demands map and knowledge must be obtained on how to interpret it through the current political and social developments.
The panel started with Dr. Comaty, who read an excerpt from her book “The Transitional Phase Post-Conflict in Lebanon: The Disappeared of the Civil War”, during which she touched on the issue of the disappeared in Lebanon during the past ten years. She noted that during the “post-war Lebanon” period, the issue of disappeared persons entered a transitional period between two states, as it was not ignored but was not resolved in thirty years. Indeed, the Lebanese state embraced the issue, but the practices of the Lebanese sectarian political system hindered its solution.
Speaking of the current period, Dr. Comaty said that the October 17 Revolution held the keys to the solution of a series of problems that had been neglected since the Taif Accord, including rebuilding the national memory and revealing the fate of the disappeared. She added that “the revolution also calls for political change in depth” as, according to the National Charter and the Taif Agreement, the political sectarianism is a transitional period that we must seek to abolish, and this abolition will announce the beginning of the solution to the issue of the disappeared after thirty years.
For her part, Wadad Halawani started her speech by asking two questions: “How did we manage to convert the issue of kidnapping and concealing people during the Lebanese civil war to an issue? How did we manage to maintain it “effectively” and within one framework that brought together different parties, politics, sects, religions and all “infectious diseases” in our country causing the current situation?
Halawani explained that the Lebanese authorities refused to reveal the fate of the disappeared persons, using flawed arguments that changed with each political stage, one of these flawed arguments being that searching for them may ignite the civil war again, or that the priority is to fight Israel, or that the Syrian hegemony prevents the opening of this file. Halawani also asserted that there was a meeting between the demands of the families of the disappeared and the demands of the October 17 uprisings. She said: “We called on the current government to include the implementation of the law of the disappeared persons, which was passed 14 months ago, as this law will guarantee the foundations for the establishment of the state and the achievement of civil peace.”
Saghieh talked about the legal effort that has been exerted so far, noting that when the Amnesty Law was passed in 1990, the concept of transitional justice was not present in public discourse and the unforgivable crimes according to this law were limited to those committed against political leaders only, which paved the way for the current system that is led by six sect leaders, and which is based on spoil-sharing and corruption. He also referred to the issue of exhuming the mass graves that are spread across all of the Lebanese territory, saying that what prevented the search for these graves was that former warlords and current leaders fear that the horror of these graves would shake their positions and their image amongst their followers.
Saghieh added: “Today, with the bankruptcy of the country, we see with the naked eye the same hideousness that exists in the graves, how they caused the Country to fall in bankruptcy to enrich themselves, and enhance their wealth and their leadership. This is why there is great similarity between the rights of the families of the disappeared to know what happened to them and what the October 17 revolution aims to achieve. i.e. bringing to account those who stole, and recovering the looted money. We are not sure that we will be able to recover the stolen money and we are not sure that we will know the fate of the missing, but we are sure that the resistance that started with the families of the missing will continue with us all.” Abu Joudeh, in turn, pointed out that “through the October 17th Revolution, we must be bold enough to acknowledge that the current political system will not solve the issue of the missing; hence, so this issue should be the criterion on which we base our path towards civil peace, the state of law, justice and fairness to the victims of loss.”

Car processions in Beirut call for wide participation in protests tomorrow

NNA/February 10/2020
Protesters roamed the streets of Beirut this evening in their vehicles, starting from the Ring Bridge and passing through the city’s various streets, under the headline, “No confidence”, NNA correspondent reported.
Protesters called on citizens to “widely partake in preventing deputies from reaching the Parliament House, in order to stop the session of granting confidence to the new government from taking place tomorrow.”
Demonstrators appealed to citizens to join their call through loudspeakers, raising the Lebanese flags and honking their car horns.

Lebanon: Hitting The Walls
UMAM/Hayya Bina/February 10/2020
Awaiting October 17 second’s Installment
Once the Lebanese security forces finished insulating the Parliament and the Grand Serail, home to the prime minister’s offices, with a tall wall-like fence of cement panels, a young Lebanese artist, Rula Abdo, rushed to the site and drew a 3D graffiti featuring two hands prying the wall apart to create a way through. This graffiti is perhaps the best illustration and expression of where the October 17 uprising, (“thawra,” revolution, in the language of those participating in it), stands today after the success of the establishment, championed and curated by Hezbollah, in appointing a new prime minister, form a government and guaranteeing the confidence of the parliament in the government…The graffiti highlights on the one hand the unfulfilled wishful thinking of what started on October 17 and on the other hand how the establishment has decided to keep riding its strategy of (partial) denial – full denial having become unsustainable – and its rush forward regardless of everything that has happened, irrespective of the long-standing decay of the state institution and notwithstanding the root causes of the Lebanese malaise which exploded when the previous government decided to impose a tax on WhatsApp calls…While the wall currently dividing downtown Beirut is saving, literally and allegorically, the façade of a State which continues, for better or worse, to function according to the constitutional rules, that same wall cannot hide the fact that sheltering behind it are those same “zaims” (leaders), and their stooges, the very people who drove the country’s economy to the verge of its entire collapse and who, to add insult to injury, are the people’s representatives in the parliament and the government of the super-actor among those present on the Lebanese scene, pro-Iran Hezbollah, the group which prevents the State from exerting its full sovereignty!
If the wall stands, that would mean that the graffiti will remain a daydream subject to all kinds of suppression. If the graffiti comes true, and October 17’s second round starts, this would mean that Hezbollah would have to enforce normalcy and there would be no guarantee then that the second installment would be as playful, colorful and hope-driven as the first …

Lawyers claim Ghosn took millions from Nissan-Mitsubishi venture
Al Jazeera/February 10/2020
Carlos Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing and launched court cases against the companies, arguing he was fired unlawfully.
Carlos Ghosn, the former auto executive turned international fugitive, used a joint venture between Nissan and Mitsubishi to inflate his pay, offset a cut in his publicly-declared earnings, and cover a personal tax debt, lawyers for the companies said on Monday.
Ghosn, former chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, was arrested in Japan in 2018 on financial misconduct charges but fled to Lebanon last December. Lawyers for the companies are claiming that he granted himself a salary and bonus worth 7.3 million euros ($8m) in total without the knowledge of the boards of Nissan and Mitsubishi. Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing, including concerning the way he was compensated, and has since launched court cases against the companies, arguing he was fired unlawfully. One of the cases is in the Netherlands, where Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Corp – both Japanese companies – made new submissions on Monday.
The lawyers alleged in the arguments submitted to the Dutch court that Ghosn had awarded himself the compensation through the Nissan-Mitsubishi joint venture. Representatives of Ghosn’s legal team said the allegations of unknown or unjust payments were unfounded. They attended the Amsterdam District Court hearing, which was linked to Ghosn’s unlawful dismissal lawsuit. “We don’t dispute that Mr Ghosn received a good salary,” lawyer Roeland de Mol said. “But he had the heavy task of getting French and Japanese companies to cooperate. He didn’t retire to go play golf after he stepped down as Nissan CEO.” Nissan-Mitsubishi lawyer Eelco Meerdink said there was also evidence that Ghosn made the alliance pay a personal French tax debt of 498,000 euros ($545,000) in 2018, and that he had arranged a “prepayment” of his 2019 salary in 2018 to avoid a scheduled increase in Dutch income tax rates.
The allegations came as Ghosn’s legal team challenged his dismissal by Nissan and Mitsubishi during the court hearing in Amsterdam, the first public session on the case after the former executive launched a suit against the companies last July. Ghosn is seeking 15 million euros ($16.4m) in damages from the Japanese carmakers – companies that, he alleges, violated Dutch labour laws. Ghosn’s lawyers argued for the release of internal documents relating to his dismissal following a Nissan-Mitsubishi inquiry, which the carmakers used to substantiate his dismissal on allegations of financial misconduct.
Ghosn’s legal team claims he was unfairly dismissed as chairman of Nissan-Mitsubishi BV, a Dutch-registered entity, because the details of the allegations were not shared with him. His lawyers say the documents will show the companies were aware of his activities.
“Nissan and Mitsubishi publicly shamed Ghosn,” de Mol told the court. “Their reports and accusations were never put to Ghosn. There was no due process.”De Mol said he was pushing for “a full debate on the reasons of Ghosn’s dismissal” and added, “We need the information in his file to be able to do that. Mr. Ghosn is ready for a fight.” Nissan-Mitsubishi lawyer Meerdink dismissed the demands by Ghosn’s legal team, saying the reasons for the executive’s dismissal were clear, and that his lawyers were “going on a fishing expedition”. The Amsterdam court said it would postpone any decision on documents until Nissan and Mitsubishi file their case on the reasons for Ghosn’s dismissal – a filing that is expected on March 26.