News from Beirut June 7  1997 ...Search

GLC Case, Seeking a Compromise and Legal Way out

The continued detention of GLC challenged former leader Elias abu Rizk could be nearing a legal and syndical way out but his release won't crystalize before Tuesday due to the time needed for the judicial procedurals. The release may take place together with a settlement of the Lebanon labour movement split. Mediators suggest the GLC to review and hold again the last elections after the two rival factions withdraw the legal suites against each other. The World Labour organisation's regional director Walid Hamdan is moving around in Beirut visiting yesterday Abu Rizk and the general prosecutor Adnan Addoum. He declared that Elias abu Rizk is a member of the WLO board and still occupies the post after he had been elected previously as representative of the GLC in the WLO board. He was affirmative in saying "no Syndical leader should be arrested because of his activity". He demanded immediate release of Abu Rizk because the release is top priority of the WLO. In Geneva, Ghoneim Zoghbi who leads the government recognised GLC faction, said Hamdan mission is in the framework of "a campaign of confusion". Zoghbi said after he inquired the WLO the fact about Hamdan mission he was told that Hamdan left to beirut to join his post not more".

Fresh reports today said Elias abu Rizk is to be released today for a 400 thousand Lira bail.

Syria-Lebanon, The Conciliation and Adulthood

News comments today said Lebanon three presidents requiring Mr. Abdel Halim Khaddam to concile them everytime they disagree meant either one of two things 1.They accept the Syrian patronage until a time they or Lebanon reach adulthood or 2.they accept the fact that reaching adulthood is something decided by Syria regardless of any effort they exert. While Mr. Khaddam declared he came to confer over regional issues as part of the Arab tour, the visit turned to a move aimed to concile president Hrawi and speaker Berri. The significance is that the visit turned to a local not regional, and furthermore, proved that the regional affair is not a main concern for the Lebanese officials. Mr. Khaddam declaration that severing relations with Turkey is not probable, has shown that Lebanon's call to sever it was merely teenage act or overestimation. The conclusion is that while Syria through Mr. Khaddam in talking over Lebanon is keen to consider Lebanon a state, Lebanon should behave in accordance.

Opposition MP Boutros Harb wished the visit of Mr. Khaddam have not dealt with the conciliation of the ruling society, something has shown the Lebanese incapable of  tackling their affairs by themselves. Harb said every Lebanese felt yesterday embarrassed or even ashamed of what had happened, and that the Lebanese wished the disagreements between the president and the speaker could have been resolved before the Syrian visit. MP Harb hoped that the officials won't repeat the mistake of reviving the troika rule system, and not to push the Lebanese society to choose either the troika or a split. Former MP Michel Maalouli questioned whether the two officials boycott was due to the troika or it was a result of splitting influences, shares, and interests. Maalouli said the course of events before and after the boycott prove that the troika system was in effect and valid, and the major issue now is the second extension of  term for president Hrawi which won't be disagreed, because decision on that is a Lebanese one.

NLP party meeting under Douri Chamoun said in a statement that the core of the problem with Syria is its recognition of the state of Lebanon. The NLP said the prerequisites of a state is independence, sovereignty and free decision making, also respect of its society privacy and nonintervention in its internal affairs, either through provoking conflicting powers or playing down on contradictions and disagreements, to justify intervention under the pretext of sorting out differences. The statement also said that reality now show clearly that the dialogue between the two states is sort of self dialogue. The NLP party said the real poverty and deprive should not be treated by ignorance and oppression.

Lebanon-Israel, Mothers want withdrawal

Small groups of Israeli mothers of soldiers who serve in Lebanon demonstrated in different areas demanding withdrawal of Israel's army from south of Lebanon, Israel's radio said. Organisers of the demonstrations, staged in the 15th anniversary of Israel's invasion to Lebanon in 1982, were a group named "voice for peace" which is not political and include mothers of the soldiers. It is recalled that 9 Israeli soldiers have been killed in south Lebanon since early this year, while tens others were wounded.

In Beirut, Tripoli, Tyre, Sidon seminars were held in the 15th anniversary of Israel's invasion to Lebanon. MP Amin el Hafez said the 17th May peace accord wanted Lebanon a dead body. Mp Boutros harb said the seminars aimed at reviving the Lebanese memory. He said the 5th of June was a a dark page for the whole Arabs .

The SLA sources said its posts at Qantara, Ghozlan, Kawkaba, and Bir Kallab came under mortar and machinegun fires from resistance lines. The Israeli and SLA artillery shelled areas in the Iqlim Toffah causing fires.

In Rashidiye south of  Tyre, one palestinian killed and another wounded when an Israeli shell, exploded. The shell was one of Israeli unexploded shells that was left since last year april's blitz.

Displaced: L.L10 bn for Kfarnabrakh

L.L10bn compensations for reparation, rebuilding, evacuation, and settlements compensations for the war victims of the Chuf town Kfarnabrakh. The payment is the first this summer of many other compensations paid by the displaced central fund. Kfarnabrakh, with 64 war victims, including Christians and Druze, with original population of 4.700 including 64 percent Druze and 36 per cent Christians, will mark 29th June a conciliation between its people. Number of the beneficiant families varied from one official to another, with some critics to the generous payment which is similar to another one for Beit Lif displaced who occupy properties at Qantari in downtown Beirut. The displaced ministry general director Hisham Nasseredine said its not fair to make comparison between Beit Lif and Kfarnabrakh, assuring that the beneficiants will be both Christians and Druze not only Druzes. He said the total number would be around 1,000 family and the payment will settle the entire case. Papers here argue if the L.L10bn is not enough for one village such as Kfarnabrakh, how about the many other villages and areas, such as Shahar, Bmeryem, and Tarshish. The problem of funding of the repatriation is still uncertain and unresolved. While special levis and charges were imposed in favour of the housing institutions, including horse power charged rate (2,000 L.L yearly mechanic charge on each HP), and the foreign maids financial guarantees( L.L1.5mn), while the displaced fund is only receiving frequent insufficient transfers.

Sheikh Mohammed Mehdi Shamseddine in Friday mass said the repatriation of all displaced in all regions is an essential national case. He said the entire national structure is fragile and short unless this major step is accomplished.

Prime Minister; Sport City and Visit to Saudi Arabia

Prime minister Rafic Hariri left yesterday to Saudi Arabia  in a special visit that will continue until Sunday. Earlier in the day, he checked for the third time in a week the reconstruction works at the sport city in Beirut urging completion of works on time, in order to open the Arab sports in July.

Mr. Hariri assured he will visit north Lebanon Tuesday including regions of Akkar, Dinniyeh, and Tripoli. Tripoli MP Maurice Fadel said the entire north Lebanon welcomes the visit which will allow him to observe decades of deprive in north Lebanon.

Christian Maronite League; Uniting Ranks

Maronite party representatives and political figures held yesterday 7th meeting devoted to discuss the Maronite League executive board's election which is scheduled on July 6. Attendants include representatives of the Kataeb, Tanzim, NLP, Tadamoun, former MP Pierre helou, and others. Representative of Gen. Aoun loyalists group Yussif Saadallah Khoury did not attend the meeting upon instructions from Gen. Aoun who felt a tendency to elect former MP Pierre Helou for the post . Gen Aoun is said to be not satisfied of Helou's views on Lebanon and his stand in support of the Taif accord. Another absent was representative of the national Bloc, because of Mr. Raymond Edde refrain to "involve the party in this new Maronite additional turmoil". The league 1,208 members are to elect July 6 the head, who for 17 years was Shaker abu Suleiman, and for 6 years Ernest Karam. The league was founded 23 years ago.


Lebanon official and security authorities renewed its warning of resuming hashish plantations amid security information saying it is replanted in the upper rural areas of Hermel, after four years of uprooting the cultivations upon a regional and international decision. The resumption of this cultivation was motivated by poverty and social deterioration since no initiatives were taken to develop the region and help substitute cultivations. A UN program on developing rural areas was insufficient and not worthy and all other pledged plans are still dormant. Hashish cultivation had started in 1930 in the same area mentioned now and precisely in the area where clans live in.

News In Brief

- Lebanese ambassador to the USA Mohammed Shatah left yesterday to Washington to assume his post. He said he is hopeful that the travel ban will be lifted shortly.

- Head of Lebanon Industrialists Association Jacques Sarraf said today the diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Iraq will be resumed shortly, and the trade relation will be resumed but after meeting some requirements.

- Security measures have been enforced in Aley region following a meeting of mayors and security officials under the Qaimaqam. The measures are enforced amid spate of thefts in Aley and Baissour. Municipalities in the region were asked to appoint night guards, citizens urged to monitor and cooperate with security agencies, and the security asked to increase its patrols.

- Japanese Red Army Five's trial in Lebanon will start Monday. Lebanese volunteering lawyers held meeting yesterday to coordinate among themselves and with the court in order to have a civilised adequate trial. They said they are defending a "hero Okamoto" case and their defense does not contradict with the friendship between Japanese and Lebanese people.

- Beirut criminal court ordered jail for at least one year for many university drug addicts students.

- Islamic Conference Organisation ICO secretary general left beirut yesterday after a two days visit in the framework of his Arab and Islamic tour. He said in Beirut that the ICO is facing a $15mn budget deficit and his tour aims to urge member countries to extend contributions.

- Lebanon foreign minister fares Boueiz and Egyptian ambassador Adel Khodari evaluated at a meeting yesterday Egypt's effort to resume the M.E peace talks. The Egyptian ambassador said his country is in favour of an Arab common market. The ambassador said he proposed establishing a free trade zone between Egypt and Lebanon in which agricultural products exempted from custom duties.

- Greenpeace organisation called Lebanon's authorities to close down the two incinerators at Amrousieh and Quarantine and to drop down any plans on new incinerators. The organisation said huge garbage piles that had been dumped in Monte Verde should be returned to its dump at Quarantine. The organisation said the demonstrations at Amrousieh peaceful sit in protests against the incinerator will continue until it is closed, praising also the strike against Burj hammoud dump. The greenpeace said the people will not accept an unfair environmental policy. The organisation called both the CDR and Sukleen which is in charge of cleaning to stop wasting money on rehabilitating the two incinerators and to stop the choice of burning garbage because of consequent danger on the environment.

Sports Round Up

- The NLP expressed its thanks and appreciations for those who demanded keeping the name of "Camille Chamoun Sport City". The party statement said the calls are a national stand based on faithfulness to great person and history. The party said the persistence to change and eliminate the name aimed at changing Lebanon's aspects and its distinguished privacies.

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