Caretaker PM Saad Hariri urged the Lebanese during a speech at Qoreitem on Friday to participate in the Sunday rally marking the 6th anniversary of the Cedar Revolution.
The Cedar Revolution erupted on March 14 2005 , one month following assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri .
Here are the highlights of his speech:
-“On March 14 we remember the martyred PM and all the martyrs of the Cedar Revolution and all the causes that they died for.”
Commenting on the non-state weapons , the key issue in his speech today he said:
-“You all know as well as I do that the silent majority, which is the absolute majority in Lebanon knows the importance of standing against the non-state arms.”
– “We all know all the ereas where the arms were used to threaten us, there is no need to remind this majority about the issue of non-state arms.”
– ” They say to the Lebanese people, ‘What can you do against arms and violence? We tell them that they should know that victory with arms is the greatest of defeats. The arms will fail before those who broke the wall of fear in 2005 and destroyed what they have been dreaming of for 30 years.”
-“You, the Lebanese people, are right, and those in the right do not need weapons, all you need is the minds and hearts of all the Lebanese people.”
-” We don’t want any arms except those of the Lebanese state. The decision to go to war will rest in the hands of the state and no one will defend Lebanon except the army.”
-“We did not fall in the arms trap, and we won’t fall. We do not accept the use of violence in political life. “
Addressing Hezbollah without mentioning the group’s name he said: “Those fearing the truth need arms”, and added
“I want to ask you this question: Why are you afraid of the truth? The use of arms will not be of any help against the truth, the one who fears people knowing the truth fears the people as well.”
“They are afraid to find out who killed Rafik Hariri “
Addressing the needs and aspirations of the Lebanese people, he said:
“The Lebanese people want the right to education, work, creativity, security, development and realizing the dreams of freedom of all the martyrs, without violence and arms.”
Addressing the Lebanese Shiites he said :” We are not just partners in the same country because we have been and always will be partners in blood. We have sought reconciliation because no one among us is working against the Shiites.”
“The Shiites in Lebanon were the first who rose up against the use of weapons.
Was it not Imam Mohammad Mehdi Shamseddine who banned the use of arms by any Lebanese against his Lebanese brother? A day will come where I will tell you what Imam Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah used to tell me.”
“Was it not the Shiites who asked for sovereignty of the state in the South? Did not Imam Moussa Sadr rally against strife, war and non-state arms?”
“We commit to Imam Shamseddine’s declaration and Imam Sadr’s rejection of arms. Don’t get carried away with claims and rest assured that no statelet can take the place of the Lebanese state and our democratic system.”
He concluded his speech by talking about the rally : “Our future is the hostage of the arms and we will declare this on Sunday ( March13) and continue on saying it until Lebanon is victorious…. this year we will meet at the square to impose the Lebanese people’s will in a modern and ethical way with only the Lebanese flag….You will make your voice heard by those who do not want Lebanon to be a state, you will tell the world that your dignity and your dreams are not for sale or compromise…The Lebanese people know that silence is the same as the fear, your voice will rise on Sunday higher than fear, so the fear will be silenced and freedom will win.”
-Your decision is in your hands, we will rally on Sunday to say no to non-state arms. We will rally to support the government in making war and peace decisions because no one can defend Lebanon except the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) under the supervision of the government and its will.
-Our army is responsible for the South. The LAF fights the Israeli enemy, and we will support it in defending Lebanon against the Israeli army.
-We have no problem with arms against Israel, but we want these arms to belong to the state because it is the only way to prohibit them from turning against the Lebanese people.
-The problem is not with resisting Israel, but with using the arms domestically. We tell them that the days of blackmailing the Taif Accord have ended. Let them remember that the Taif Accord is built on the independence of the state and the monopoly of arms.