Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Third commemoration of St Hariri Day

Posted by worriedlebanese on 15/02/2008

800px-rafik_hariri_memorial_shrine.jpgThe French satyrical weekly, “Le Canard Enchaîné”, published an article proposing to move France’s national feast from July 14th (Bastille Day) to February 14th (St Valentine’s Day) because of the French president’s very publicised mariage and love affair. Ironically, the Lebanese government seems to have gone ahead with this plan, but obviously for other reasons.  The government decreed this February 14th a public holiday.The Lebanese government could have decreed that day one of national mourning, and marked the time of the assassination of the former Prime minister by a public speech. But even that would have been quite shocking in a country that has never marked an official holiday for its 200 thousand citizens butchered during the civil war, or the assassination of two Presidents (Bachir Gemayel and René Mouawad),  two Prime ministers (Ryad Solh, Rachid Karamé) and the heads of two of it largest Muslim communities (Musa al-Sadr, Hassan Khaled). So why should we commemorate that day in particular? To what purpose? And why decree the closing of banks, schools, universities and public administrations on February 14th? Is it to encourage and facilitate the organisation of a large public manifestation in downtown Beirut in which all the pro-government parties and figures were partaking in? This is quite obviously a kind of abuse of dominante position.  

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